Speakeasy forum

General discussion

How neat....

by C1ay / July 6, 2005 4:49 AM PDT
Cornell ecologist's study finds that producing ethanol and biodiesel from corn and other crops is not worth the energy

Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.

"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."...

In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

* corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
* switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
* wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced....

More...

yet

Five Ethanol Plants Receive $46 Million in Government of Canada Funding

Canada's capacity to produce renewable transportation fuels is set for another substantial increase following the announcement of a second round of funding under the Government of Canada's Ethanol Expansion Program (EEP). The Government of Canada has allocated a further $46 million for the construction or expansion of five ethanol plants across Canada....

These contributions are in addition to $72 million that was previously allocated to six other projects under the first round of the Ethanol Expansion Program.

"The interest in this program is a sign of the ethanol industry's growth and potential in Canada," said Minister Mitchell. "This is good news for the agricultural community, as it creates a new market for Canadian farmers."...

More...

So, if more energy is required than the ethanol can produce I wonder what Canada's net loss is....
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How neat....
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How neat....
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Unfortunately we're not much better ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 4:58 AM PDT
In reply to: How neat....
Collapse -
I'm not saying we are.....
by C1ay / July 6, 2005 7:01 AM PDT

It was just funny that those two headlines popped up on the same day....

Collapse -
what about
by Dick White / July 6, 2005 5:32 AM PDT
In reply to: How neat....

biodiesel from waste vegetable oils? I'm guessing that the analysis focused on growing the particular crops specifically for conversion to ethanol or biodiesel. With the energy intensity required for modern agricultural methods, it is not surprising that more goes in than comes out. But what if you changed the equation - use all the waste cooking oil (restaurants, food processing plants, as well as home cooking...) for conversion to biodiesel. It has already produced some economic return in the first usage for food preparation, now get some more economic value out of the waste. Yes, this will require some "adjustment" to our business methods, but so will any other change in our energy policy.

dw

Collapse -
How many gallons of oil does ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 5:42 AM PDT
In reply to: what about

... your family use per year? Any restaurant? If one does the math on the amount of dietary oils per capita that might be used for fuel later, it just doesn't seem it would get the car very far!

Evie Happy

Collapse -
there was a guy in Wales? who was buying up the oil
by jonah jones / July 6, 2005 5:55 AM PDT

from all the fast food places and running his trucks on it....

Collapse -
So one guy ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 5:59 AM PDT

... oil from a bunch of restaurants ... that was my point. If everyone did it, the waste oil would run out awfully quick!

Evie Happy

Collapse -
a number of guys in the UK
by Dick White / July 6, 2005 6:03 AM PDT

got busted by the police a few years ago for running waste vegetable oil in their diesel cars. Seems the authorities were peeved about all the lost revenue from the road taxes that would have been collected at the gas pumps, so they just started pulling over all diesel cars and checking them for conversion oil tanks of untaxed ''fuel.''

dw

Collapse -
that was the case i meant
by jonah jones / July 6, 2005 6:05 AM PDT

if i remember correctly, he ended up paying cents-per-gallon and it was "legal"


.

Collapse -
found a link
by jonah jones / July 6, 2005 6:18 AM PDT
Collapse -
yup...
by Dick White / July 6, 2005 6:32 AM PDT
In reply to: found a link

it was purely a tax revenue issue. Here in the colonies, not as many diesel vehicles so what little taxes are lost through the infrequent use of waste cooking oil isn't worth the enforcement effort. And in Virginia, there is a line on the personal income tax form where you can self-declare and pay uncollected taxes for your personal activities outside of the usual tax collection opportunities, e.g., sales tax on internet purchases and road taxes for fuels not dispensed through a retail outlet.

dw

Collapse -
commercial uses...
by Dick White / July 6, 2005 5:57 AM PDT

are where the quantities are. Son#1 has converted 2 of his own diesel cars to bio and help several others. When he was in college, the dining hall loading dock had several hundred gallons in tanks waiting for the waste haulers to take it away. At home, the local Chinese and Thai food restaurants have better quality cooking oil than the fast food places. They have to pay to have it disposed of. Charlie takes it, 10 gal at time, for free. True, it takes some work to filter it (and the bio-blend stuff requires some chemical treatment to make it compatible with the original dino-fuel), but if the personal "work" were exchanged for the "price" of commercial processing, where would the economics take us (other than away from the interests of the current corporate-political axis, which is why it will never happen...).

dw

Collapse -
So long as it's only a few ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 6:01 AM PDT
In reply to: commercial uses...

... there is plenty of supply. Divide the several hundred gallons of oil among the entire student body and you're going to run out pretty darned quick.

Evie Happy

Collapse -
well, if your point...
by Dick White / July 6, 2005 6:12 AM PDT

is that this, by itself, isn't a total replacement solution - that's true. But any solution must be a combination of things brought together. My point is that this could be a part of the transportation/oil puzzle if the poohbahs in high places wanted to allow it to be.

dw

Collapse -
Realistically ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 6:37 AM PDT
In reply to: well, if your point...

... I just don't see it being a large enough part of the puzzle to make it worthwhile. Maybe I underestimate the amount of cooking oil discarded.

Evie Happy

Collapse -
So we should throw it away because it's not a total
by Roger NC / July 6, 2005 6:14 PM PDT
In reply to: Realistically ...

solution then use it?

Shrug, another part of our disposable society.

It cost more to recycle (now) than to make new plastics etc. so we dump it.

I wonder in the future if the dumps will become the new "Saudi Arabia".

JMO

Roger

click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

Collapse -
That could be our secret strategy.
by Kiddpeat / July 6, 2005 11:08 PM PDT
Wink
Collapse -
you seem to ignore the fact that
by jonah jones / July 6, 2005 6:22 AM PDT

there must be tens of thousands of fast food places, caterers, hotels, restaurants, hospitals army bases, just dying to get rid of a few million BARELLS of used oil...

.

Collapse -
According to this link ...
by Evie / July 6, 2005 6:44 AM PDT
Collapse -
Drop in the bucket, 10 new landfills
by Roger NC / July 6, 2005 6:15 PM PDT
Collapse -
Reply to both responses
by Evie / July 6, 2005 10:50 PM PDT

In keeping with the subject of this thread -- it takes more energy to make ethanol than we get from ethanol as a fuel -- all I'm saying is that on a larger scale, it could well take more energy to use waste oil than we get from it. I'm just brainstorming -- ummm, thought showering -- about the practicality of taking what ****'s son does to another level.

Now: The price is right -- *free*! The supply is endless because so few are doing this. Transportation costs for the oil aren't factored in because he gets it from somewhere he is already going anyway. He takes 10 gallons at a time in his trunk -- probably in gallon plastic jugs the restaurant gets the oil in to begin with. He presumably filters it manually so it can be used.

As widespread alternate fuel: As there are more takers for the oil, it is no longer given away and it gets harder to find as other takers abound. Now it is transported in larger vessels that must meet specifications by dedicated means rather than in someone's trunk. Filtering is automated. Transport and treatment now consume energy and add to the cost of the product. So that all taken into consideration, and given that the total amount of oil IS a drop in the bucket, I don't see how it makes it worth it as a significant contribution to solving our energy problems.

Here's my thought shower. Develop biodiesel generators for restaurants. They can use them to power their ovens or refrigeration. In addition to their waste oil, they can have more delivered from smaller restaurants with other deliveries. Sounds like a plan to me Wink

BTW, landfills aren't necessarily the worst thing we can have. We have absolutely NO shortage of land in this country and veggie oil and a lot of waste (plastics) is far from toxic. I remember along with the Ice Age I was bombarded with images of erosion and ponds filling up and swamping over. Before the anti-development folks took control of the asylum, homes were built on landfills.

Evie Happy

Collapse -
Ummmm. Somebody is already collecting this oil. I doubt
by Kiddpeat / July 6, 2005 11:13 PM PDT

very much that it's going into a land fill. I know that used motor oil doesn't. It's reprocessed, and used again or for other purposes. Why are the charging to collect it? Maybe a charge is needed, or maybe it adds to the profits.

Collapse -
Why are they charging to collect it?
by jonah jones / July 7, 2005 2:51 AM PDT

it's a service.... same way you pay for the garbage to be collected, or to have your groceries delivered...


.

Collapse -
gimme 10c on every barell in your
by jonah jones / July 7, 2005 2:55 AM PDT

"drop in the bucket" and i can retire right now...

.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
icon
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
icon
Laptops 21,181 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
icon
Phones 17,137 discussions
icon
Security 31,287 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
icon
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
icon
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

GIVEAWAY

Turn up the volume with our Apple Byte sweeps!

Two lucky winners will take home the coveted smart speaker that lets Siri help you around your connected house. This sweepstake ends Feb. 25, 2018.