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In it's currently popular form in the US, I agree. It's basically part of a farm subsidy to get midwestern politicians re-elected.lorenzo wrote:Ethanol is a net energy loser.
Bytesmiths wrote:However, I believe it could be made in a sustainable manner. Brazil is having success using sugar cane, which is MUCH better suited to ethanol production than corn.
lorenzo wrote:Ethanol is a net energy loser.
Tad Patzek wrote that paper with David Pimentel, let’s see what their “peers” had to say “Only Dr. Pimentel disagrees with this analysis. But his outdated work has been refuted by experts from entities as diverse as the USDA, DOE, Argonne National Laboratory, Michigan State University, and the Colorado School of Mines. While the opponents of ethanol will no doubt continue to peddle Pimentel’s baseless charges, they are absolutely without credibility.”
A United States Department of Agriculture study concludes that ethanol contains 34% more energy than is used to grow and harvest the corn and distill it into ethanol. "We show that corn ethanol is energy efficient as indicated by an energy ratio of 1.24"
"For every BTU dedicated to producing ethanol there is a 34% energy gain... Only about 17% of the energy used to produce ethanol comes from liquid fuels, such as gasoline and diesel fuel. For every 1 BTU of liquid fuel used to produce ethanol, there is a 6.34 BTU gain."
"Ethanol production is extremely energy efficient, with a positive energy balance of 125%, compared to 85% for gasoline. Ethanol production is by far the most efficient method of producing liquid transportation fuels According to USDA, each BTU (British Thermal Unit, an energy measure) used to produce a BTU of gasoline could be used to produce 8 BTUs of ethanol."
New study confronts old thinking on ethanol's net energy value, 3/28/2005 Ethanol generates 35% more energy than it takes to produce, according to a recent study by Argonne National Laboratory conducted by Michael Wang. The new findings support earlier research that determined ethanol has a positive net energy balance, according to the National Corn Growers Association. That research was conducted by USDA, Michigan State University, the Colorado School of Mines, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and other public and private entities. A USDA study released in 2004 found that ethanol may net as much as 67% more energy than it takes to produce. Argonne is one of the US Department of Energy's largest research centers.
April 14, 2005 Mike Milliken also reports on Novozymes and NREL Reduce Cost of Enzymes for Biomass-to-Ethanol Production 30-Fold!
Nobel Prize winning physicst Steven Chu argues for biomass using cellulose.
"The US already subsidizes farmers to grow corn (like we subsidize oil & gas) to turn into ethanol, but $7bn in the past decade has been wasted because the process isn’t carbon-neutral. “From the point of view of the environment,” explains Chu, “it would be better if we just burnt oil.”
“But carbon-neutral energy sources are achievable. A world population of 9 billion, the predicted peak in population, could be fed with less than one third of the planet”s cultivable land area. Some of the rest could be dedicated to growing crops for energy. But the majority of all plant matter is cellulose—a solid, low-grade fuel about as futuristic as burning wood. If scientists can convert cellulose into liquid fuels like ethanol, the world’s energy supply and storage problems could both be solved at a stroke.“
Bytesmiths wrote:In it's currently popular form in the US, I agree. It's basically part of a farm subsidy to get midwestern politicians re-elected.lorenzo wrote:Ethanol is a net energy loser.
However, I believe it could be made in a sustainable manner. Brazil is having success using sugar cane, which is MUCH better suited to ethanol production than corn.
I don't know if BiGG said anything useful -- he's on my "Ignore" list. Keeps the blood pressure down.
I agree. But let's not forget the recent news that the Amazon's deforestation rate is going up. Culprit: soy and sugar cane plantations.
Biodiesel from oil palm, coconut and jatropha is more sustainable, I think.
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