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THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 14 Jul 2015, 10:39:17

That's fun Tananda. Let's take the Way Back Machine to those early days before the doomers and oil-company flacks showed up to ruin rain on Graeme's parade of fun-facts.

Graeme really posted this in 2007 wrote:Box converts car fumes into biofuel

The world's richest corporations and finest minds spend billions trying to solve the problem of carbon emissions, but three fishing buddies in North Wales believe they have cracked it.

They have developed a box which they say can be fixed underneath a car in place of the exhaust to trap the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming — including carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide — and emit mostly water vapour.

The captured gases can be processed to create a biofuel using genetically modified algae.

Dubbed “Greenbox”, the technology developed by organic chemist Derek Palmer and engineers Ian Houston and John Jones could, they say, be used for cars, buses, lorries and eventually buildings and heavy industry, including power plants.

“We've managed to develop a way to successfully capture a majority of the emissions from the dirtiest motor we could find,” Palmer, who has consulted for organizations including the World Health Organisation and GlaxoSmithKline, said.

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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 14 Jul 2015, 18:18:53

How the Future of Biofuels Is Taking Shape

Global production of biofuels has surged over the past decade or so, with annual production climbing from approximately 10 billion liters in 2000 to nearly 80 billion liters in 2012. Much of this growth is being driven by governments’ increasing focus on alternate fuel sources in an effort to reduce the countries’ reliance on foreign oil. Demand for biofuels has been particularly strong to date in the U.S., the European Union and Latin America, and has accelerated markedly recently in China and India.

Biofuel production is led by the production of so-called first-generation biofuels, which are derived from crops that can also be used as food or feedstock. Bioethanol, which is made from biomass (including sugar cane, sugar beets, maize and wheat), accounts for approximately 70% of first-generation biofuel production. Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable oils (primarily rapeseed, soybean and palm oils), accounts for approximately 30%.

Although first-generation biofuels have been hailed as a viable alternative fuel source, their production has met some controversy, particularly regarding the effects on the food and feed markets. Concerns about the effects of first-generation production on food prices, specifically, were particularly high in 2007, when grain prices reached an all-time peak. Those concerns have persisted, particularly with regard to the potential food-price effects of first-generation biofuel production on developing countries. Concerns have also been raised about the impact of first-generation production on land use and food security.

In response to these concerns, governments and companies have begun to push the development of second- and third-generation biofuels, which are derived from resources (including waste biomass, certain vegetable oils, animal fats, lignocellulose and algae) that cannot be used alternatively as food. The European Union, for example, is trying to promote development by establishing a 7% blending cap for first-generation biofuels and a 0.5% blending target for second-generation biofuels in 2020. Second- and third-generation biofuels are not fully price competitive with first-generation biofuels today, although some (mainly lignocellulosic bioethanol and some advanced biodiesels) are expected to become competitive within the 2020 to 2030 span.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 13:09:58

More world class BS. Cellulosic ethanol expected to be competitive by 2020-2030. It was supposed to be competitive 100 years ago. In 2008 it was ready to go. In 2015 there is virtually no significant production, and those plants that are running operating well below capacity. It was not competitive 100 years ago, it is not competitive now, and it will not be competitive in 2030. It is a net energy loss.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 14:39:33

This from David Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek's paper in Natural Resources Research, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2005. The paper analyzed the embodied process energy to convert both switchgrass (and wood cellulose) into ethanol fuel.

However, converting switchgrass into ethanol results in a negative energy return (Table 4). The negative energy return is 50% or slightly higher than the
negative energy return for corn ethanol production (Tables 2 and 4). The cost of producing a liter of ethanol using switchgrass was 54c/ or 9c/ higher than the 45c/ per l for corn ethanol production (Tables 2 and 4).

Incidentally this paper is perhaps the first to even attempt the complex study of net-energy analysis. There was no interest until the ethanol issue was drug up by GW Bush and his friends at ADM back in the early 2000's.

When petroleum flowed copiously and freely under its own water/gas drives it was essentially free and there was no need to consider alternatives. Certainly not the energy-cost of extraction, the eroei. Even a crappy oil eroei of 5 (ultra deep, tar sands) has a ROI of 75%. You only looked at competitive costs and market supply. Political control and over-supply issues were relevant. Now that folks see the end of oil, they want to find a substitute. And folk discuss eroie without doing the hard work of actually measuring embodied process energy directly. They come up with weird models, like Hall and Cleveland. Read a first-order analysis, try Pimentel.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 15 Jul 2015, 17:04:33

Carnot wrote:More world class BS. Cellulosic ethanol expected to be competitive by 2020-2030. It was supposed to be competitive 100 years ago. In 2008 it was ready to go. In 2015 there is virtually no significant production, and those plants that are running operating well below capacity. It was not competitive 100 years ago, it is not competitive now, and it will not be competitive in 2030. It is a net energy loss.


Hardly convincing. Where's your source? Here is the reality:

Waste-Based Biofuels Going Into United Passenger Planes This Summer

The days of “sustainability” meaning “biofuels made from conventionally-grown corn and soybeans” are long behind us — thank goodness — but many researchers (and energy companies) are still exploring ways to clean up the fuel that goes into our transportation. Sustainablog‘s Talancia Pea came across one experiment that’s well underway: United Airlines has partnered with a company developing biofuels from food and farm wastes. The airline will be testing a blend of conventional and waste-based biofuel on passenger flights this Summer.


Sadly if American families continue throwing away food at the current rate, United will have no problem finding enough raw materials to produce its biofuels. The airline has 20-year collection agreements with municipal waste management companies, including Waste Management. Take a look at this infographic further explaining the cycle of how household and farm waste will become jet fuel here.

As United join ranks with Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines and British Airways to invest in the future, I think this move is ready for lift off! Biofuel production creates more jobs, reduce landfill waste and in turn better air quality and health for us all.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 06:01:26

More world class BS (WCBS).

The global jet market is something like 200 million tonnes + per year. At a 10:1 conversion of waste into fuel (Solena comparison) then this would require >2 billion tonnes of waste with a high organic carbon content.

Oh, and by the way, jet makes up only about 5% of the total liquid fuels market.

I guess it is back to algae then. Still awaiting your analysis.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 16:51:39

Waste is not the only feedstock. And from page 2:

Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.


The airlines do not intend to replace all of their conventional fuel (from page 2):

“[B]iofuels will account for a low proportion of global aviation consumption before 2020, but could make a significant contribution over a longer time horizon,” says an FAA Center of Excellence report. The report says that a high price on carbon, combined with some “optimistic assumptions” could result in 100 percent biofuel usage by airlines globally by the early 2040s. “With no carbon price and slow development of biofuel technologies, biofuels account for 3% of aviation fuel use in 2030 and 37% in 2050,” the report says.


Read the book I referred you to (Bioenergy & sustainability: bridging the gaps); you'll find the answer there.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 16 Jul 2015, 18:11:14

Graeme wrote:Waste is not the only feedstock. And from page 2:

Potential feedstocks, or biologically based sources, that could be used to produce sustainable aviation biofuel in Japan include municipal solid waste, plant oils and animal fats, used cooking oil, algae, cellulosic biomass and residues from the wood products industry.


I would add office waste, cereal boxes, old carpets, and rusty nails to that list. Why not? And don't forget burned out and abandoned houses. Useless people and dead cities. Our life is cheap. So are the solutions. Entropy rules
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Fri 17 Jul 2015, 03:44:46

Graeme,

More cut and paste WCBS. The devil is in the details like all your posts.


"High price of carbon and unrealistic optimistic assumptions" could ( note COULD and definitely not a cat in hells chance) supply 100% of aviation fuels requirements. By that time Joe Public will be so broke he will not have a pot to piss in. The aviation industry will have collapsed and the only users of this or Solaslime's offering will be the military who will pass the buck onto the TAXPAYER.

Graeme do the thermodynamics (if you can) and look at the next energy gain. It is negative.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Fri 17 Jul 2015, 16:43:12

China to License DuPont Biofuel Technology

DuPont says it will license its biofuel technology to China’s largest cellulosic ethanol manufacturing plant.

The agreement allows Jilin Province New Tianlong Industry’s (NTL) plant, located in Siping City, Jilin Province, to license DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol technology and use DuPont Accellerase enzymes to produce renewable biofuel from the leftover biomass on Jilin Province’s corn farms. NTL is working to secure the necessary government approvals and support to implement this agreement.

The agreement will help NTL produce cellulosic renewable fuel for the rapidly growing Chinese liquid biofuel market, which is projected to exceed 1.7 billion gallons per year by 2020.

China has set a goal to peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 or sooner and to increase China’s non-fossil fuel share of energy to around 20 percent by 2030.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 08:00:55

Hmm,

Sorry if I sound sceptical, but.

1.7 billion gallons (US) - (fairytale units) is about 5 million tonnes (real world units). Pretty impressive. After decades of trying the US is still not even close to producing 1 million tonnes of cellulosic ethanol.

Even better where will all of the biomass come from. You can easily reckon on 20-25 million tonnes of biomass.

By the way that is not the plant capacity of the announced plant.

Anyone want to bet that the 5 million tonnes is not reached. 1 Million perhaps?

Let us wait with baited breath how this technology will perform for the Chinese.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 14:20:46

FedEx, United bet it's (finally) time for jet biofuels to take off

In the last five years or so, an entire genre of writing about the aviation industry has developed around the potential of using greener fuels to help curb plane pollution.
From algae-based concoctions to blends with used cooking oil or the residue left over from forest fires, excitement about piloting widely varied biofuel feedstocks — or raw materials that can be converted into fuel, lowering carbon emissions by varying degrees — have prompted plenty of premature warnings to the aviation industry's incumbent petroleum fuel suppliers.

What's kept the aspirations of biofuel providers and airlines looking to cut emissions on the ground, however, is nagging uncertainty about the scalability of biofuel supply chains, regional variation in available feedstocks and (of course) cost concerns.

"There are two key issues," Jessica Kowal, Boeing's head of environmental policy communications, told GreenBiz. "We as an industry need to increase the supply, and we need to bring down the cost. It needs to be more affordable and available."

To that end, FedEx has become the latest corporate buyer to bet on aviation biofuels. On Tuesday, Colorado biofuel producer Red Rock Biofuels announced that the shipping giant has agreed to purchase 3 million gallons of low-carbon fuel per year.

The news comes after Red Rock announced last year that Southwest Airlines will procure another 3 million gallons of woody biomass-based fuel annually — and as other big names in the aviation space, like United Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, refine their own approaches to biofuel innovation and emissions reduction.


Preparing for takeoff
In addition to FedEx, Southwest and plane manufacturers like Boeing, several other commercial airlines have also signaled renewed interest in biofuels and further trimming carbon emissions.

Overall, the Natural Resources Defence Council calculates (PDF) that as of January, more than three dozen commercial airlines have logged a combined 600,000 miles of flight time powered at least in part by biofuel.

By way of context, U.S. air carriers alone flew passengers more than 7 million miles during the period of May 2014-April 2015, illustrating that biofuels are still a very small piece of the pie. That figure doesn't factor in the commercial market for cargo transportation by plane, a la FedEx, or smaller private aircrafts.
The question now is whether the proportion of flights run at least in part on biofuels will start to tick upward with more big-name airlines investing hefty sums of money.

In recent weeks, United Airlines has announced that it is testing a biofuel blend made from farm waste and animal fats on a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Perhaps as a sign of longer-term faith in expanded usage of the fuel source, the airline has also invested $30 million in the producer of the agricultural biofuel, Fulcrum BioEnergy — a provider that Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific has also backed.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby ennui2 » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 14:51:34

Fuel from forest-fires, in part started due to the AGW that planes contribute to. Nice vicious cycle there.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 15:07:40

But once the airlines increase their supply of biofuels in the aviation fuel mix, their contribution of CO2 to global warming will decline rapidly.

RedRock Biofuels to supply 3M gallons/year of renewable jet fuel to FedEx through 2024

Red Rock Biofuels LLC will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation. The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest Airlines, which signed a purchase agreement with RedRock in November 2014 for about 3 million gallons per year, in purchasing Red Rock’s total planned available volume of jet fuel. (Earlier post.)


In addition to reducing lifecycle carbon emissions, Red Rock’s production process will reduce the risk of devastating forest fires in the western United States by decreasing the amount of waste woody biomass in surrounding forests.

As we look to break ground on our refinery in the coming months, we’re thrilled to have signed a contract with FedEx as they look to diversify their fuel supply and reduce emissions throughout their aviation unit. With our total jet fuel capacity now sold to FedEx and Southwest Airlines, we are building a suite of powerful, global customers that continue to commit to the future of alternative fuels in a market where oil prices are low, providing true validation of our business model and mission.

—Terry Kulesa, co-founder and CEO of Red Rock


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby pstarr » Tue 21 Jul 2015, 17:45:11

quick: that post was a waste of time, Graeme. See ya. Wouldn't want to be ya. :)
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 05:25:49

Graeme,

Just winder if you read up on your beloved Red Rock.

They claim that they want to build a plant with a feed capacity of 175 kta woody biomass and produce 16 millions gallons (mixing units again to hide the reality) of naphtha, jet and diesel. http://redrockbio.com/Technology.html

The process is our old and trusted FT using a reactor system from Velocys.

http://www.velocys.com/index.php

Two problems come to mind.

1. Scale - this is a very small plant - in fact Bonsai
2. The Veloscys reactor has not ever been built commercially- yet

Previous attempt to scale FT have not been successful. The reported cost of the plant is $200 million.

Now a few maths. 16 million gallons of products is about 60 million litres with an average density of about 0.8. That gives us about 48 kta . As I said a Bonsai plant.. Base on current jet and diesel pricing of around $510 pmt and naphtha of $470 pmt the annual revenue can be expected to of the order of $24.5 million. Using a lower average density would actually make matter worse, and the average density might be lower.

Working out the operating expenses on such a small plant id difficult, but judging by the location and likely hefty personal costs it is perhaps wishful that they are going to make a huge profit. If they were to make 20% profit on the sales revenue, that would take 40 years to pay off the plant excluding any interest charges. On a capacity basis the installed cost works out at about $4166 pmt of plant capacity. Compare that with Shell Pearl $2933 pmt and FREE natural gas for 10 years.

Red Rock publish some interesting if not confusing data.

Feestock @ $22.5 / barrel BTU equivalent

Crude Oil @ $95 / barrel BTU equivalent

If we look at natural gas as an equivalent feed the BTU equivalent price of NG in the US is about $18-20 / barrel based on NG of $3.0-3.3 MMBTU.

In other words NG is cheaper and a whole lot easier to handle. Bearing in mind that this is woody biomass left over form wood harvesting it is also likely to contain a lot of contaminants which will need to be removed. This add cost and potentially fouls equipment.

So what do Red Rock know that the rest of the world does not. All I know is that past attempts on small volume FT plants have not borne fruit (Choren comes to mind). How many FT plants have been built in the US? Shell cancelled their proposed project. It remains to be seen if Sasol proceed with their even more costly plant.

Now let us look at the plant yield. 48 kta of products from 175 kta of feedstock . That is about 27.5% on purely mass basis. On a CV basis it is a little different


Biomass 14 MJ/kg heating value

Products 43 MJ/ KG heating value


Feed (175 million x 14) = 2450 million MJ

Products (48 million x 43) = 2064 million MJ

Looking at the conversion on heating value in/out we have 2064/2450 x 100 = 84%

That would appear to be optimistic, or my maths might be wrong. Dry wood typically has a CV of 16-18 MJ with hardwoods are the higher rage and softwoods at the lower range. I used 14 MJ/ kg as this could be realistically assumed for wood harvest waste and might even be optimistic. Moisture content is critical.

Using a value of 16 MJ/ Kg lowers the conversion to 73.7%.

Compare this with the Shell process (SMDS) then shell claim a theoretical thermal efficiency of 78% and that their process achieves 63% using NG feed. Source Myers Petroleum Refining Handbook 3rd edition 15.35.

I will leave readers of this post to draw their own conclusions. I know what mine are.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 22 Jul 2015, 15:12:48

Carnot. Nice effort. BUT we know that the ff industry does not have the answers. The impact that your industry has had on the environment was and will forever be a complete disaster. Airlines have no choice but to choose biofuels. They acknowledge that this choice will be difficult but they are determined. Take a look.

Biofuel Developers Can Thrive Despite Cheap Oil

Renewable diesel producers Neste Oil and Diamond Green Diesel, gasification specialist Red Rock Biofuels, and Edeniq, which makes cellulosic ethanol, were among 13 producers of alternative fuels best positioned to compete with cheap oil, according a report from Lux Research.

How Alternative Fuel Companies Will Compete with $50 Oil evaluated 25 alternative fuel producers from seven technology families, four feedstock types and three stages of development and found that many developers have planned for low oil prices and some will still be able to achieve cost reductions needed to thrive.

“Many companies have technology roadmaps for cheaper alternative fuels,” says Yuan-Shend Yu, lead author of the report. “Not all of them will actually achieve that benchmark, but some will – while others will find alternate markets or, ironically, use support from oil majors to survive until prices rise again.”

The report includes the following findings:

Due to lowered production costs achieved through feedstock diversification, renewable diesel producers Neste Oil and Diamond Green Diesel were the clear leaders in Lux’s model. On the other hand, Solena Biofuels and Joule Unlimited were among the laggards due to delayed production and commercialization.

Amid low oil prices, high-profile companies such as Solazyme, Amyris and Gevo have shifted toward specialty chemicals and nutraceuticals this year. Sapphire Energy also has shifted away from fuels and now targets nutraceuticals, producing Omega-3 EPA from its algae.

Believing cheap oil to be a short-term phenomenon, oil majors have remained prominent supporters of alternative fuel developers across various technology platforms. For example, Total has added to its existing portfolio in biofuels and bio-based chemical companies by investing in Renmatix, a biomass-to-sugars company.


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EIA proposes to expand biofuel data collection activities

In July, the U.S. Department of Energy published a notice in the Federal Register inviting public comments on proposed revisions to certain information collection forms, including several focused on biofuel. Comments are due Sept. 8.

The notice explains the U.S. Energy Information Administration intends to request a three-year information collection extension with certain changes from the Office of Management and Budget with regard to several forms related to both biofuels and fossil-based fuels.

Regarding biofuels, the EIA said it is proposing to collect data on biofuel products for several categories and subcategories, including ethanol, both cellulosic and noncellulosic; butanol; biodiesel; biojet and biokerosene, both cellulosic and noncellulsoic; and other forms of biofuels, both cellulosic and noncellulosic. The EIA said this change assures continued relevance of the data and improves market coverage by accommodating potential for introduction of new biofuels.


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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Thu 23 Jul 2015, 03:36:56

Neo master,

Our discourse related to Red Rock. You brought up this example and I replied with a well crafted opinion that highlighted several problems:

1. Cost

2. Rather optimistic yields.

What do you reply with. Another snide comment on my employment.

Let us first understand a few facts of life.

Firstly the fossil fuel industry may have a checkered past but who brought the fossil fuel industry into being. Mankind.

Fossil fuels have allowed mankind to do many good and bad things.

Probably the worst outcome of fossil fuels is that it has allowed the global population to expand beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.

But is has also provided us with many of the things we take for granted. Think how different life would be if we did not have fossil fuels:

No clean drinking water
No means of travel other than by foot, horse or some wind powered device.
No continuous electricity supply
No space heating
No internet
No wind power
No pv power
No hydro power
No biofuels (yes that is the reality)
Very limited choice of foods
Very limited health care

Need I go on, because the list is endless. What can and will your green fuel alternatives provide in the future. Very little indeed, because most of it, if it ever materialises, will be consumed in production. Either a limited at best, or a net negative energy gain.

As for your last cut and past pieces I would reply with, " Is that the best you can cut and paste". It is not original work and you are deluded if you believe what Lux and Frost and Sullivan types write. The fastest route to bankruptcy is to base all your strategic thinking on drivel like this. Many companies have taken drivel like, forgotten the basic on thermodynamics, invested in biofuels and lost their shirts.

The Neste process works, but have they made any money. Not enough to justify the investment. I know because I have spoken with them and thy are very guarded about what they say in public. Do the maths and you can see why. It is based on hydroprocessing animal and vegetable oils, The product works but the cost of the feedstock is the killer and always will be. Just how much veg oils and animal fats are there. Simple answer, not enough to power a population for 7 billion and rising, and there never will be.

So neo master Graeme, how about reasoned original response to Red Rock. Oh, and by the way just what are your qualifications for you master status. You seem to be ever so ready to belittle mine. Just how qualified are you (or not).
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Thu 23 Jul 2015, 04:48:39

Master is a posting count based status. Experts have some generally accepted specialty area, nobody is always right.

Graeme has been bugging people here for years, gets annoyed with demands to participate, sees himself as a 'green news Bible' guy. Not much point investing so much argument, just cut & paste back at him.
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Re: THE Biofuel Thread pt 6

Unread postby Carnot » Thu 23 Jul 2015, 05:14:48

Sea Gypsy,

You are right but without Graeme posting his nonsense this forum would be pretty dead. He posts his drivel and some of us step up to the plate if we are not so bored with his polemic offerings and have the time. When we get bored we go quiet. Only by rebutting the claims in the drivel he posts can we get the point over on the thermodynamic limitations of any biofuel. We have to say it loudly and often enough, because that is what all the green BS does. Get enough idiots to republish the biofuel dream and Joe Public will believe it. It is not far from the antifracking mob. They managed to get Joe Public behind the cause on what is very flimsy evidence. That does not mean that fracking is without risk, it is just that the risk is overplayed. In Graemes case he promotes his so called green fuels with scant knowledge of the subject, especially with respect to the thermodynamic issues. None of us are perfect. I will reply to Graemes drivel when I have the time and when I am able to comment on the subject in a meaningful way.
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