Too good to be true?

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George wrote:

I think there is where the NEV would go negative...but I've not looked into the chemical process balance in depth as yet.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

The easiest way to break up the cellulose is to feed it to cows. Nothing negative to that; the cows make it into milk or beefsteak.
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"George E. Cawthon" wrote:

That is what is done w/ it at present--the suggestion was to process it further chemically as part of the ethanol extraction process--and <that> process is what would be more energy in than additional out.
As noted earlier, it's likely in my estimation that a limiting factor in the economics of biofuels will be the saturation of markets for the secondary products unless major new/additional usages can be created/found.
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Well, no. Suggestion of digestion by the same bacteria that fill the gut of the ungulates to yield methane would be more appropriate.
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George wrote:

That would be called a "cow"... :)
Sorry, I misinterpreted your first suggestion...
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Which relates to the question I posed, how?
How many acres of farmland does it take to produce say, 1,000 barrels of either ethanol or biodiesel?
I'm not arguing about the efficiency of the conversion from 'raw' biomass to 'useable' fuel, Rather, I'm commenting on the ability, or lack thereof, to supplant any significant amount of petroleum imports.
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That's a good question, and I've throw it to at one of our senior reporters at work (farm newspaper) to see if they know the answer.

We ran a story a couple of weeks ago about a research pproject that was close to producing bio-diesel from the animal parts that can no longer be rendered due to the BSE scare and the closure of the US border to our cattle. Interesting stuff. There may be more sources for bio-fuels that simply growing plant matter and converting/digesting it.
--
~ Stay Calm... Be Brave... Wait for the Signs ~
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

...
I've not seen it in those terms altho it can be derived...what's more significant and what is the focus of all reports I've seen is the NEV (net energy value)--how much energy is available after production inputs, distribution, etc. The production on a per bushel basis isn't so useful a measure so it normally isn't the focus.
Last data I saw was roughly 1.33 for ethanol. I don't recall for biodiesel, but it's >1. Both are improving w/ time, from both improved processes and fuel stock enhancements. Reducing inputs w/ more efficient cultivation practices, reduced water/chemical/fertilizer inputs is also a factor.
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

....
As a followup I sent a query to the National Biodiesel Board...here's the response...

Extrapolating on basis of 31.5 gal/bbl, that would convert to something under 600 A/1000 bbl, higher than the estimate for ethanol from corn, but still, there are millions of actres in production and additional acres can easily be devoted if needed.
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: We ran a story a couple of weeks ago about a research pproject that was : close to producing bio-diesel from the animal parts that can no longer : be rendered due to the BSE scare and the closure of the US border to : our cattle.
Thermal depolymerization. Interesting article here:
http://www.discover.com/may_03/gthere.html?article atoil.html
    -- Andy Barss
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

OK, I did find a reference...for ethanol, 2.65 gal(anhydrous)/bu corn. At 200 bu/A (easy) that's 530 gal/A ==> ~17 bbl/A. So a 1000 bbl ==> 60 A.
The 2.65 gal/bu came from
http://www.bbibiofuels.com/ethanolevolution/FuelEthanol-lr.pdf
Haven't found a number for biodiesel/gal soybeans for comparison yet...
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Except those numbers don't add up.
200 bu/a is *really* optimistic. 140-160 is more the 'typical' range for serious corn growing states -- e.g. Iowa, Nebr, Missouri, etc. non-corn-belt states will be significantly lower yields. USDA figures for the 2001 crop put the nation-wide yield at 131+ bu/acre -- the _third_ _highest_ number on record.
And a bbl of oil is 42 gallons.
Combined, you get a more realistic number of 9.46 bbl/acre.
Now, here's what I was leading up to ---
A car, driven 15,000 miles/year, and getting 25mpg, will need 14.285 bbl of fuel/year. That's the output from 1.5 acres.
The entire corn crop for the state of Iowa, last year, was 1.2 million acres. 100% conversion to fuel, would be about 800,000 cars worth. Somewhat over _half_ the cars registered in the state. Not counting any bus/truck/etc. demand.
Automobile usage is a small part of total fuel consumption. like 1/5 or less. of vehicular use. well under 10% of all petroleum consumption, when you include oil-fired heating, farm implement, and marine use.
Iowa's _entire_ corn crop, used for fuel, might make a 2-3% reduction in petroleum fuel usage in Iowa. With a realistic level of diversion to fuel, you might get a 0.5% reduction _in_Iowa_. On a national basis, probably an order of magnitude (at least) lower.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

Moreover fuel does not account for all the petroleum used. Petroleum is the single most important feedstock for organic chemicals like virtually all synthetic fabrics, plastics and solvents.
Your arithmetic is quite sobering.
--

FF


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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net wrote:

IMHO, the only thing that will solve the oil shortage problem is economics.
$10/gal gasoline would bring lots of new technology out of the wood work, but as long as the fossil fuel industry is in control of US energy policy and their stooge occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Av, there will be no meaningful solutions brought forward.
Lew
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snipped-for-privacy@spamcop.net (in snipped-for-privacy@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com) said:
| Robert Bonomi wrote: || ... || || Automobile usage is a small part of total fuel consumption. like || 1/5 or less. of vehicular use. well under 10% of all petroleum || consumption, when you include oil-fired heating, farm implement, || and marine use. | | Moreover fuel does not account for all the petroleum used. | Petroleum is the single most important feedstock for organic | chemicals like virtually all synthetic fabrics, plastics and | solvents. | | Your arithmetic is quite sobering.
It is indeed.
We can expect that as the cost of fuel rises, more and more land will be given over to ethanol production - and other crops will be sacrificed until a (shifting) economic balance is achieved. Soybean derivatives (everything from livestock feed to plastics) will become sharply more expensive.
If the pressures to maximize ethanol production are sufficiently high, we face the danger of taking a giant step backward to repetitively planting the same crop on the same land until the soil is exhausted. Should we get to that point, there will be serious breakage - and the worst of it won't be in the corn belt.
We urgently need to develop alternative energy sources and rethink (especially) our building, production, and transportation technologies. Even 200 mpg cars and 100 mpg trucks won't solve the problem, or even just keep us from freezing in the winter.
We should perhaps begin thnking in terms of /passenger/ miles per gallon and /ton/ miles per gallon instead of /vehicle/ miles per gallon.
And (near and dear to /my/ heart) we need to improve thermal efficiency of the structures we build so that those structures /can/ be 100 - 150% solar heated. All of the technology we need to accomplish this is already available - the problem is that most of what we build with traditional methods is so "lossy" that solar can only provide 30 - 50% of the energy needed for heat.
All of this points to a need for improved and expanded architectural and engineering education - at a time when quality of education appears to be "on the skids".
<rant> It makes me crazy that people seem so willing to say: "What do you expect from me - /I/ can't do anything," and expect that politicians will /legislate/ a (no cost) solution. Have we really dumbed down that much? </rant>
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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[...]

Even more urgently we need to scale down our need for production and transportation, or at least put a stop to it's growth, wich otherwise eats up all efficiency gains.
[...]

To answer you last question: Yes... The economy needs a restructuring so that it provides work and supply for all *without economic growth*, otherwise there will be no future worth living in.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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In order for that to work, there must also be no population growth. How do you propose to achieve *that*?
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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Doug Miller wrote:

Plus, I doubt the folks in the third world countries will continue to be content with that scenario even if their populations <were> to somehow magically become stable...
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Of course economic growth in the hird world is still necessary, but in the developped part the situation is different; and having an economy whose main interest is growth also in the third world will not work in the long term. How to stabilize populations I have no viable idea other than education, ironically also economic growth, awareness-raising and abandoning ploicies like the global gag rule.
--
Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@physik.uni-bonn.de Phone: +49 228 73 2447 FAX ... 7869
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Juergen Hannappel wrote:

...
...
Well, in actuality it <isn't> so different except in relative starting points---there are still sizable populations of disadvantaged in every country of which I am aware and I know of no magic bullet to make those on the lower rungs to become content to remaining there in perpetuity....
W/ apologies to Garrison Keeler, your scenario asks for a situation where ".. all families' incomes are above average."
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