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regfootball

Science magazine declares ethanol worse for the Earth than fossil fuels

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http://www.autoblog.com/2008/02/21/science...rth-than-fossi/

Jon Markman at MSN Money doesn't hold back when he says "Corn-based ethanol production is sure to go down as one of the greatest mistakes ever in U.S. energy policy." It's even more provoking when he writes "replacing fossil fuels with corn-based ethanol would double greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades. The studies show that switchgrass, an alternative to ethanol that's more weed than plant, would boost emissions by 50%."
Edited by regfootball
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It's all relative. The oil that oozed out of the ground (see: Beverly Hillbilllies) and cost next to nothing to process is all gone. It is now nothing more than degrees. Ethanol, in my opinion is nothing more than a temporary measure - a way to stretch out the already exhausted U.S. domestic supply. None of the alternative energy sources have zero carbon footprint. Not solar, not nuclear, not windmills, nada. After all, each of those sources requires a lot of technology and manufacturing to begin their life cycles , plus maintenance of equipment.

We can dance around the subject for the next 50 years, but the bottom line is that as a civilization, humanity is going to have to figure out how to make an economy flourish, and keep our planet running on ZERO growth. The developing world has to stop breeding like rabbits and the developed world has to learn how to prosper without growth. There are plenty of resources on this planet to go around, but we can't keep growing our economies (or populations) at 3% a year and not expect some serious fall out in the near future.

When you think about it, our entire economy is nothing more than a gigantic pyramid scheme. Figure out how to acheive prosperity without that pyramid and I warrant all of our problems will be solved. All of them.

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The world is severely overpopulated now...I think we need mass sterilization..I don't know if there are technologies that could be use to sterilize the masses through the water supply or food, but the indiscriminate breeding needs to stop.

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The world is severely overpopulated now...I think we need mass sterilization..I don't know if there are technologies that could be use to sterilize the masses through the water supply or food, but the indiscriminate breeding needs to stop.

:yes:

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Well D'uh. Corn is the worst crop imaginable to make ethanol. Other sources for ethanol may prove cleaner... although im still a fan of Hydrogen.

Edited by Teh Ricer Civic!
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The problem is that all types of farming creates a huge 'footprint.' At least Brazilian sugarcane is a more efficient process than corn, but I doubt we will ever see that in THIS country.

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I have a brilliant idea. Simply brilliant!

I have been working on the prototype for quite some time now. It will solve all of our fuel problems without impacting the corn supply. And not only this, it will single-handedly solve America's obesity problem!

Here are some technical documents for my invention. They are quite technical and designed for engineers, so normal folk might not grasp them, but I can assure you, the system is quite simple in execution.

100mpgcivichybrid.jpg

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I have a brilliant idea. Simply brilliant!

I have been working on the prototype for quite some time now. It will solve all of our fuel problems without impacting the corn supply. And not only this, it will single-handedly solve America's obesity problem!

Here are some technical documents for my invention. They are quite technical and designed for engineers, so normal folk might not grasp them, but I can assure you, the system is quite simple in execution.

100mpgcivichybrid.jpg

On a more serious note...

I've always wondered why exercise bikes and elliptical trainers both use motors to impede the force you apply to them without generating electricity from it. You could be pushing back out into the grid when you're on one of them. It wouldn't be much power, but people are going to use these things regardless if they make electricity or not, so why not use the free power?

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The assumption that ethanol production will depend on corn is a fatal flaw in the argument. Corn is a very temporary feedstock for ethanol production, so the author's premise is based on an incorrect assumption.

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Further Proof that hydrogen is the fuel of the future.

I know a physics professor at The Ohio State University who would profoundly agree with you.

Chris

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It's all relative. The oil that oozed out of the ground (see: Beverly Hillbilllies) and cost next to nothing to process is all gone. It is now nothing more than degrees. Ethanol, in my opinion is nothing more than a temporary measure - a way to stretch out the already exhausted U.S. domestic supply. None of the alternative energy sources have zero carbon footprint. Not solar, not nuclear, not windmills, nada. After all, each of those sources requires a lot of technology and manufacturing to begin their life cycles , plus maintenance of equipment.

We can dance around the subject for the next 50 years, but the bottom line is that as a civilization, humanity is going to have to figure out how to make an economy flourish, and keep our planet running on ZERO growth. The developing world has to stop breeding like rabbits and the developed world has to learn how to prosper without growth. There are plenty of resources on this planet to go around, but we can't keep growing our economies (or populations) at 3% a year and not expect some serious fall out in the near future.

When you think about it, our entire economy is nothing more than a gigantic pyramid scheme. Figure out how to acheive prosperity without that pyramid and I warrant all of our problems will be solved. All of them.

The largest problem here is religion. The Hindus in India don't want to be overpopulated by the Muslims, the Muslims want to outpopulate the Christians, the Fundy Christians are reproducing like rabbits, some orthodox Jewish people don't believe in birth control, etc.

Down play the role of religion first, and then you'll be able to start on the population problem, not before.

Chris

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Welp...

Looks as if the media is hellbent on killing ALL of the fun cars.

And what a surprise! All this commotion after GM invests heavily in an Ethanol company! Coincidence? Not hardly.

Say hello to your future, enthusiasts. It's called video gaming, since we won't be allowed to have fun cars after roughly 2015.

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The largest problem here is religion. The Hindus in India don't want to be overpopulated by the Muslims, the Muslims want to outpopulate the Christians, the Fundy Christians are reproducing like rabbits, some orthodox Jewish people don't believe in birth control, etc.

Down play the role of religion first, and then you'll be able to start on the population problem, not before.

Chris

:yes:

I, and Copernicus, agree with you.

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Say hello to your future, enthusiasts. It's called video gaming, since we won't be allowed to have fun cars after roughly 2015.

in 2080P and 7.1 surround... all in a VR helmet.

corn efficiency is somewhere between ~.7x and ~2x from farm to exhaust, depending on scientist... around here a gallon is something like 2.30.

get us fission plants for electric cars for those than want one.

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Tesla Roadster, anyone?

There will be fun cars in the future, they will just take a very different form from the cars of today.

Or maybe I'll just switch to motorcycles...my wife would kill me before the bike would....

Chris

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Tesla Roadster, anyone?

There will be fun cars in the future, they will just take a very different form from the cars of today.

Or maybe I'll just switch to motorcycles...my wife would kill me before the bike would....

Chris

The verdict is still out on Tesla...

I see no fun in electric cars, and as a result NEVER want to HAVE to drive one. Sure, the option would be nice to have for those of us that want it. However, ICE is where it's at for me and a large part of the enthusiast base.

I've thought about switching to motorcycles as well if it gets bad enough.

ICE powerplants can run on much more than gasoline, and that's what people (The general public) seem to be forgetting.

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I have a brilliant idea. Simply brilliant!

I have been working on the prototype for quite some time now. It will solve all of our fuel problems without impacting the corn supply. And not only this, it will single-handedly solve America's obesity problem!

Here are some technical documents for my invention. They are quite technical and designed for engineers, so normal folk might not grasp them, but I can assure you, the system is quite simple in execution.

100mpgcivichybrid.jpg

Something like that's been done. :P

http://www.micheldebroin.org/images/projects/20071026spc.jpg

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Hydrogen is not an energy source. It's simply a carrier of energy. There are 2 ways to "make" hydrogen:

The first is through electrolysis which means separating the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in water using an electrical current. How is electricity generated? Fossil fuels mostly (natural gas, coal, oil).

The second is by separating the hydrogen from carbon molecules in hydrocarbon fossil fuels like crude oil and natural gas using a "reformer."

So you can see that fossil fuels are the key commodity required to make hydrogen (unless we build a buttload of nuclear power plants to generate electricity). Then, there's the hydrogen infrastructure costs and transporting problem.

Sorry, there will be no hydrogen economy.

Further Proof that hydrogen is the fuel of the future.
Edited by buyacargetacheck
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Hydrogen is not an energy source. It's simply a carrier of energy. There are 2 ways to "make" hydrogen:

The first is through electrolysis which means separating the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in water using an electrical current. How is electricity generated? Fossil fuels mostly (natural gas, coal, oil).

The second is by separating the hydrogen from carbon molecules in hydrocarbon fossil fuels like crude oil and natural gas using a "reformer."

So you can see that fossil fuels are the key commodity required to make hydrogen (unless we build a buttload of nuclear power plants to generate electricity). Then, there's the hydrogen infrastructure costs and transporting problem.

Sorry, there will be no hydrogen economy.

Your facts are out of date. I'll post a link for you shortly.

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The assumption that ethanol production will depend on corn is a fatal flaw in the argument. Corn is a very temporary feedstock for ethanol production, so the author's premise is based on an incorrect assumption.

Assuming we will always depend on corn is flawed, however for now it is not as flawed of an assumption as we would all like it to be. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 was recently signed into law, which keeps corn ethanol around in full swing at least until 2022. Cellulosic ethanol will become cost competitive with corn ethanol around 2012, which will start the shift in production away from corn, however corn ethanol production will continue to grow until 2015. You would think by now everyone would see the side effects of using so much corn for fuel, and phase it out, but I guess not. Perhaps in 2023.

ethanolprojection.jpg

Ideally we will move away from crops entirely and just use waste products. Although switchgrass is not a bad crop to use to supplement cellulose ethanol production. It has a better root structure than corn and doesn't allow as much deterioration or erosion of soil. It also supports habitat for insects and ground birds much better than corn, although I'm not sure how much of an effect that will have if the crop is being recycled constantly.

Is that foot powered? lol seems a bit heavy, probably work better with a CRX. ;]

The first is through electrolysis which means separating the oxygen and hydrogen molecules in water using an electrical current. How is electricity generated? Fossil fuels mostly (natural gas, coal, oil).

I've always been a big solar power advocate. It is still in its early stages and not cost competitive with fossil fuels yet, but it's getting there. :thumbsup:

I know that a lot of people do make the mistake of thinking hydrogen will replace fossil fuels. It's like comparing apples to oranges. The first step that needs to be made is to clean up the power plants. Replace them with nuclear plants or solar farms (of course solar will have to become 100x more efficient for that to be feasible), then electric cars will truly be "clean". Once electric cars are truly clean, hydrogen fuel cells can replace the batteries as a more efficient storage medium for electricity.

Edited by siegen
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We need to find a fuel source that comes from something that doesn't have to be grown..something that is abundant and naturally available. Sand, rock, dirt, something like that...

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All of these options are just that - OPTIONS. Think of all the imported oil that could be saved just by mixing ethanol to say, 20%, of standard gasoline. I don't think anybody is seriously advocating corn-based ethanol is going to replace imported oil, but isn't it better to send a few billion dollars a mont LESS money to the Middle East?

Everything is by degrees. The Ontario government is floating the idea (today's headline in the Toyota Star) of creating one of the largest nuclear plants in the world, even bigger than the already huge Darlington plant that we have on our door step. Ontario already generates half its electricity by nuclear, far more than almost any jurisdiction in the world. I think this is a positive step, especially considering Canada has most of the world's uranium ore as well.

Besides, we can always ship the spent nuclear rods to Michigan, thus creating jobs in Michigan, too. :duck:

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