Skip to comments.Ethanol: A Tragedy in 3 Acts
Posted on 04/27/2006 10:45:52 AM PDT by Brian Allen
click here to read article
But wait, there's more!
MTBE is being replaced by ethanol, after the Congress (or was it the EPA at the direction of Congress?) mandated either one or the other be used as an oxygenating additive in motor fuels.
It turns out that MTBE does not break down readily, is toxic, and is contaminating groundwater. Congress refused to renew any waiver of liability on MTBE, so the switch is on.
Additionally, COngress has mandated ethanol useage, which when combined with MTBE replacement, will bring the total requirement (projected) for this year to some 6.1 billion gallons of ethanol.
Now for the fun part.
The US, at 100%, can only produce 4.5 billion gallons of that 6.1 billion gallons of ethanol, so 1.6 billion gallons will have to be imported.
There is a tarrif on imported ethanol. Congress put that there also, long ago, to protect domestic producers.
This makes the Congressional 'profit' on a gallon of motor fuel multiples of the oil company profit on that same gallon (Federal fuel tax+ ethanol tarrif), but who gets the blame?
The spaghetti trees in Switzerland that I first saw on TV have evidently been hybridized. National Geographic was able to photograph a spaghetti azalea in the wild, possibly in the U.S. South.
For some reason, the BBC continues to say it was an April Fool's joke in 1957. They have never admitted that the rare tree, which I saw with my own eyes being harvested by women with wicker baskets, as was the custom, was evidently destroyed by the radiation emitted by their television cameras. It has been quite an elaborate cover-up. Read here:
Sure about that?
Few if any anti-pollution measures would "survive in a free market." That being said I'm not sure we want to mimic Mexico City.
How much oil is in ANWAR?
why? Put our own farmers to work... Make our own plants and refineries. Get politics out of the mix.
why? Put our own farmers to work... Make our own ethanol plants and refineries. Get politics out of the mix.
I stand corrected. The article I was using as my source did not state that the 4.5 billion gallons was the maximum capacity, but an anticipated production amount.
Thank you for pointing that out.
The producer's thoughts on the matter (expressed with stereotypical British understatement) are as true as ever:
"I think it was a good idea for people to be aware they couldn't believe everything they saw on the television and that they ought to adopt a slightly critical attitude to it."
<< I personally heard the Brazilian Ambassador ... >>
That's a pretty darned efficacious way to hear, all right.
But, regardless of how well you heard him, like everyone who espouses and promulgates the ethonol flim-flam, the shukkin' and jivin' socialist Brazillian ambassador was lyin' to yah.
Brazil is SOMEWHAT "energy independent" because its ongoing OIL exploration and drilling has paid off and it continues to bring new fields on line. And in any case its ethonol is from easy to grow in tropical Brazil [It's only grass, after all] cane sugar and American "farmers" and their failed lawyer and other quote-hired congressconmen are trying to scam us with the smoke and mirrors delusion that they and Archer Daniel Midlands can make it from grain for less than the 1.25 gallons of OIL and USD$3.00 a gallon it presently costs to produce.
Do you reckon if they could there wouldn't, in a New York minute, be genius Americans, like those at Exxon, say, already far and away the world's most innovative, creative, productive, industrious and entrepeurial, lining up construction crews and equipment to the horizon in every direction and building plants and tripping over one another to get their very special ethonol brew to market??
Oh, goodie - so glad you caught that - I was *hoping* you and other FReepers would! Can you imagine - 50 years ago!
I remember two others from Panorama, but they were real (I think!). One was about eating "oiseau" in France - live birds baked in pies, while the diners covered their heads with large cloth napkins and "inhaled the essence" of the pie. They spit out the beaks and saved them as souvenirs.
The other was an oft-repeated film segment of Prince Charles dressed up as an Indian chief in a war bonnet and full beads-and-buckskin war regalia, riding around on a little Indian pony.
I did a little Googling to try to answer my own question and the nub of it is this: unlike hydrocarbons, which consist only of hydrogen and carbon, carbohydrates also contain oxygen. That's the key. They're partially oxidized, which means they have less chemical energy -- and it also means that you converting them into a hydrocarbon is not a trivial thing.
Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, which are hydrocarbons (or are composed mostly of hydrocarbon molecules). The veggie oil doesn't need to be turned into hydrocarbons because it already is hydrocarbons.
My question is about the carbohydrates in plants (sugars, starch, cellulose), not the oils in plants. I was thinking that carbohydrates should be easily be turned into hydrocarbons given that both were just combinations of carbon and hydrogen. But as it turns out, carbohydrates are fundamentally different from hydrocarbons because they have oxygen as part of their basic structure (there are probably other differences as well, but that was the main one I picked up on as I Googled around). This (apparently) is why plant carbs aren't turned into gasoline or diesel, but alcohol.