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Ethanol: A Tragedy in 3 Acts
Business Week Online ^ | Thursday April 27 2006 | Ed Wallace

Posted on 04/27/2006 10:45:52 AM PDT by Brian Allen

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To: Brian Allen

The only way that ethanol makes sense is when it is made from cellulose. Using food crops for ethanol will drive up the cost of food. Using a plant that has been genetically selected for high cellulose content and rapid growth would be the way to go.

So far, the process of converting cellulose to ethanol needs more development. It will be soon.


61 posted on 04/27/2006 2:35:04 PM PDT by jonrick46
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To: Mr. Lucky
Google on "biodiesel retailers map" and see if you don't think this fuel is popular in farm country.

http://www.wnbiodiesel.com/
62 posted on 04/27/2006 2:37:06 PM PDT by P-40 (http://www.590klbj.com/forum/index.php?referrerid=1854)
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To: P-40
I'm not 100% sure about tah tax but that was what was posted here on other thread. I'll try to look it up. But what the point was only the very rich in Brazil have cars. So a small amount of fuel could make a huge difference for them. In America theres probably a car for every 2 people.
63 posted on 04/27/2006 2:44:31 PM PDT by RHINO369 (It depends what the meaning of is is)
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To: P-40
Plants can take solar energy and convert it to a storable medium very efficiently.

That's what I figured. It's easy to store corn energy. Just fill a silo with corn or fill a tanker with ethanol. No batteries required.

Here's another question for you (if you don't mind):

Since plants store energy as carbohydrates, why isn't it a simple process to convert them into hydrocarbons? After all, they're both just carbon and hydrogen bonded together. Why do we have to turn the carbohydrates into alcohol, which has the disadvantages of low btu's and being water soluble? Why not just turn the starch into oil (or gas)?

64 posted on 04/27/2006 2:44:45 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: Brian Allen
proper "3 act tragedy with ethanol" goes like:
Act 1. Thirst
Act 2. Imbibing
Act 3. Catharsis and Hangover.
65 posted on 04/27/2006 4:28:46 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: iThinkBig; WOSG
*** Nuclear power ping to WOSG.

"Ethanol is really only the solution to automobiles..."

It doesn't look like an economically viable solution for the long term. It takes too much energy and ground water to grow the crops and refine the ethanol. I would bet a considerable amount of money that in the year 2056 we will be driving two kinds of cars: 1) for short trips under 100 miles, we'll use battery-powered electric cars or battery/gasoline hybrids that run primarily on nuclear electric power, and 2) for long trips over 100 miles we'll use gasoline powered cars or gas/electric hybrids with much more efficient gasoline engines than we have today. (Only problem is I will probably not be around in the year 2056 to collect on this bet.)

This ethanol program looks like more of a political horse-trading deal designed to pump up the economy in the farm belt. If we REALLY want to lessen our dependence on ME oil for the long term, we have to build more nuclear power plants. Nuclear power produces enormous amounts of energy from small amounts of nuclear fuel at very low cost. Eventually we will have to build more nuclear power plants because we won't be able to produce enough natural gas to run all those gas power plants. Natural gas reserves get used up over time and eventually there will be no alternative to nuclear power. So let's stop all the political pandering to environmental groups and get on with nuclear power. I think the political background for nuclear power is starting to change: I saw last week that somebody in Greenpeace is now supporting nuclear electric power.

66 posted on 04/27/2006 4:32:12 PM PDT by defenderSD ( Wishing, hoping, and praying that Saddam will not nuke us is not a national security policy.)
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To: Brian Allen

Ethanol is just rebranded Super Unleaded, 91 octane, and costs 10 cents more at the pump.


67 posted on 04/27/2006 4:53:19 PM PDT by BigSkyFreeper (There is no alternative to the GOP except varying degrees of insanity.)
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA; CedarDave
Sobering what depletion of the aquifer will mean for our agriculture.

Could you provide a ballpark figure on what percentage of Corn in Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana (the 4 major Corn growing states) is grown under irrigation?

68 posted on 04/27/2006 5:06:09 PM PDT by Iowa Granny (One size fits all panty hose generally DON'T)
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To: immigration lady

$0.50 per gallon Subsidy?


69 posted on 04/27/2006 5:39:10 PM PDT by Paladin2 (If the political indictment's from Fitz, the jury always acquits.)
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To: CedarDave
In addition to your serious concerns about ground water depletion, the runoff from corn field created "dead zones" in rivers, estuaries and coastal areas, where the aquatic life dies due to the fertilizer dissolved in the runoff water.
70 posted on 04/27/2006 5:43:38 PM PDT by daivid
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To: Yardstick
In a sense, a cornfield manufactures itself

Actually, NO. No self seeding corn varieties have been developed yet. And crops must be rotated, it depletes the soil to grow corn after corn after corn after corn.

71 posted on 04/27/2006 5:44:53 PM PDT by Iowa Granny (One size fits all panty hose generally DON'T)
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To: Iowa Granny
I don't know how much corn is grown under irrigation. I do know that widespread water shortages could become a much bigger issue than oil shortages.

Canadian moonbats have been ringing alarm bells for decades about large-scale shipments of water to the U.S. The politics around any move toward a Continental water strategy would be messy, to say the least.

You could pipe water from Alaska of course -- but, that would take some energy. Similarly, you could get into large-scale desalination -- but that's also an energy hog. It would clearly make little sense to use energy to create water for irrigation of land -- in order to grow energy crops.
72 posted on 04/27/2006 5:46:25 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA

My guess is that LESS than 1% of the corn in the 4 major corn growing states is grown under irrigation.

Iowa, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana are primarily dry land farming states. There are a few exceptions along the Mississippi river where the soil is sandy and won't hold moisture.

So to suggest that growing corn will deplete the aquafers is simply NOT the case in the major corn growing states.


73 posted on 04/27/2006 5:53:42 PM PDT by Iowa Granny (One size fits all panty hose generally DON'T)
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To: Iowa Granny

Can't help you much there, but here is one link:

http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/ircroppies.html

Or Google "percentage irrigation midwest" or something similar.



74 posted on 04/27/2006 6:14:59 PM PDT by CedarDave (DemocRATs- the CULTURE OF TREASON! If it wasn't for double standards, democrats would have NONE)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Oh, no. Is today Pirate Talk Day? I forgot to iron my costume.


75 posted on 04/27/2006 6:21:15 PM PDT by Rte66
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To: Iowa Granny

I learn something new every day on Free Republic. Thanks.


76 posted on 04/27/2006 6:22:34 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: jonrick46

The reason we don't grow our own US sugar cane much anymore (or at all) is because it is very, very labor intensive to harvest. And I'm sure the enviros go whack about the burning off of the leaves and stalks.

OTOH, that is when it's being used for food. It would seem that if being used for its cellulose to make that type of ethanol or biofuel, then maybe none of that has to be done for conversion. Hawaii was once one of the largest growers in the world, wasn't it? They have the highest fossil fuel gasoline costs in the US, too. Maybe there's an opportunity there for them.

On the other hand, there's no substitute for petroleum in aviation fuel - but I don't know about ships - are they run on diesel?


77 posted on 04/27/2006 6:28:55 PM PDT by Rte66
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To: Rte66
Is today Pirate Talk Day?

Nahhhh...that's on September 19th.

78 posted on 04/27/2006 6:31:39 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (I can't complain...but sometimes I still do.)
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To: Iowa Granny; USFRIENDINVICTORIA
The 100th meridian is the longitude commonly used to delineate areas to the west and east where irrigation is necessary or not necessary, respectively. It certainly is not completely true, but a good rule of thumb for this discussion.

The Boundary Between the Moist East and Arid West

(But you knew that already, didn't you Granny!)

79 posted on 04/27/2006 6:38:03 PM PDT by CedarDave (DemocRATs- the CULTURE OF TREASON! If it wasn't for double standards, democrats would have NONE)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Thanks. That's *very easy* for me to remember.


80 posted on 04/27/2006 6:38:44 PM PDT by Rte66
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