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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 03:31 PM
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NBC and CBS ran shows on Sunday about Ethanol, Dateline and 60 Minutes. Last night ABC had a news article on it as well. They were all showing ethanol as THE answer to the fuel issue, using the example of Brazil. I know, I know. Just saying all the networks jumped on it.
Ethanol is just too small a hydrocarbon with insufficient density of high energy bonds to provide a thermal efficient substitute for the more complex hydrocarbons. Worse, if you look at the per-acre demand on land in the USA, significant areas of food production would need to convert to fuel.

Better results (as far as thermal efficiency goes) would be to grow plants that produce a higher density of double and triple carbon bonds. Think of plants that produce oils and waxes.

Worse, only a small portion of the USA is moist subtropical. This means that the photosynthetically more thermal efficient C4 plants (most grasses, most succulents) would require special growing conditions, driving the dry-wt/price lower. A country like Brazil with abundant water and tropical light can grow several crops per year in comparison to 1-2 crops in the USA.

I know of one independent oil guy who bought-up huge acres of lignite-bearing farm and ranch land in AR, TX, and LA. Those areas are being strip mined for fuel to burn in high sulphur electrical plants. The worst of all worlds.

I'm curious what the crossover price is for low sulphur coal conversion to liquid fuel. I mean, $4/gal? More? When that happens we will have a couple hundred more years of buring insane amounts of hydrocarbons pumping enormous amounts of S & Hg as well as CO2 into the atmosphere. Yahoo.
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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It will give the Haitians something to do. Assuming that we already have the Puerto Ricans working at full capacity. Plenty of cheap labor there. (True, that doesn't keep the money here, though.)

But, we already pay farmers to grow excess corn. And we pay them to NOT grow corn.

According to the program, even the prairie grass can be harvested for the purpose of ethanol manufacture. Practically any bio material. Garbage, solid waste, you name it.
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 04:34 PM
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Wiki says:

Ethanol, also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol, is a flammable, colorless chemical compound, one of the alcohols that is most often found in alcoholic beverages. In common parlance, it is often referred to simply as alcohol. Its molecular is C2H6O, variously represented as EtOH, C2H5OH or as its empirical formula C2H6O.

-----------

BUT, Note that "absolute" alcohol, which is close to 100% ethanol, may nevertheless contain traces of 2-propanol, together with methanol or benzene. The latter two are very toxic, while "denatured" alcohol has substances added to it which make it unpleasant and possibly hazardous to consume.
I've had the stinkin' vial for almost 3 months now.

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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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If it really bothers you, you can dump it in the driveway. It's basically like pouring a shot of moonshine on the ground. Or hell, just open it and let it evaporate.

EDIT: nevermind that last bit. Maybe its best that some people don't know...

Last edited by Gregs300CD; 05-10-2006 at 05:52 PM.
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst
Ethanol is just too small a hydrocarbon with insufficient density of high energy bonds to provide a thermal efficient substitute for the more complex hydrocarbons. Worse, if you look at the per-acre demand on land in the USA, significant areas of food production would need to convert to fuel.

Better results (as far as thermal efficiency goes) would be to grow plants that produce a higher density of double and triple carbon bonds. Think of plants that produce oils and waxes.

Worse, only a small portion of the USA is moist subtropical. This means that the photosynthetically more thermal efficient C4 plants (most grasses, most succulents) would require special growing conditions, driving the dry-wt/price lower. A country like Brazil with abundant water and tropical light can grow several crops per year in comparison to 1-2 crops in the USA.

I know of one independent oil guy who bought-up huge acres of lignite-bearing farm and ranch land in AR, TX, and LA. Those areas are being strip mined for fuel to burn in high sulphur electrical plants. The worst of all worlds.

I'm curious what the crossover price is for low sulphur coal conversion to liquid fuel. I mean, $4/gal? More? When that happens we will have a couple hundred more years of buring insane amounts of hydrocarbons pumping enormous amounts of S & Hg as well as CO2 into the atmosphere. Yahoo.
I've heard 50$ a barrel. This company said in Congressional testimony $35 a barrel.

"Today, fuels from CTL technology can be produced – finished – for $36 to $42 per barrel. That’s the equivalent to purchasing raw crude at prices of $30 to $35 per barrel. EIA’s AEO 2006 projected long-term oil costs at $50 and above. The same forecast shows CTL production growing to 700,000 barrels per day by 2030. But the first plants must be financed and built, paving the way for the industry to flourish and add to the nation’s energy security

http://energy.senate.gov/public/inde...itness_ID=4372

The problem is attracting capital for the massive building of these plants. Government support is required, on a moon-shot scale.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 08:23 PM
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I've heard 50$ a barrel. This company said in Congressional testimony $35 a barrel.

"Today, fuels from CTL technology can be produced – finished – for $36 to $42 per barrel. That’s the equivalent to purchasing raw crude at prices of $30 to $35 per barrel. EIA’s AEO 2006 projected long-term oil costs at $50 and above. The same forecast shows CTL production growing to 700,000 barrels per day by 2030. But the first plants must be financed and built, paving the way for the industry to flourish and add to the nation’s energy security

http://energy.senate.gov/public/inde...itness_ID=4372

The problem is attracting capital for the massive building of these plants. Government support is required, on a moon-shot scale.
No kidding, $40 per barrel. Hm. Even if the oil price recedes to $50 that is still a huge profit per barrel over $40. setting up a refinery in WY or PA (for example) would probably cost a couple billion. But we burn several hundred million bbl of oil per year in the USA. That's easily a $1/4-billion profit above the profit floor needed to sell the fuel at a profit.

I'm thinking there's more to it. Like scrubbing out sulphur maybe? Sulfates and sulfides are terrible greenhouse gases and major smog irritants. It's been really difficult to get legislation passed that lowered the acceptable sulphur in diesel. I can only imagine it would be even more difficult with coal. especially 'dirty' coal like lignite or bituminous. The waste stream must be hideous.

Makes me curious.

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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-10-2006, 10:37 PM
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Ethanol's part of the answer, but the oil sands, and clean fuel from coal is gonna happen. The trick is getting there, or what will money be worth when we do get there. We've got to make up for about 15 years of denial which price should be starting to change. AAV -Advantage Energy Income owns a good bit of the oil sand and pays a 25 cent Cdn per month dividend ( will tend to rise and fall with the price of crude) yielding better than 13% US right now. Ivanhoe Energy Inc IVAN is a huge long shot at 2.80 ( buyer be very aware) but is touting a advanced refining technique for the sand http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060427/to144.html?.v=25 and might be fun. ECA Encana has exposure to the coal gasification play.
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