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EPA and ethanol

Post in 'The Green Room' started by EatenByLimestone, Oct 14, 2010.

  1. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Northern IL
    There are lots of options for feed stock. From corn to switch grass to beets and sugar cane (down south). The current problem with those options are the logistics. We raise corn and beans. Lots of them. We have the infrastructure to deal with it. Many changes (and expensive ones at that) would need to be made to change over to another feed stock other than switch grass. Most farmers can still bale the stuff.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think it is more about entrenched economic interests. The corn industry is huge and subsidized. Their lobbying power is enormous, especially when coupled with the fertilizer and seed company lobbys of ADM, Monsanto and Dow. Switchgrass just grows, no profit there. Miscanthus is a great feedstock and easy to grow too. Actually, hemp is also a great source of feedstock. It grows and harvests super easily. And even though this is not reefer style plants and the fact that it used to be a required crop on large farms for our national interests, it is not on the table. However, there are some saying that municipal solid waste, MSW, may be one of the better feedstock out there in cheap and ready supply. Poop on! http://fulcrum-bioenergy.com/thermo-chemical-conversion.html
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    No doubt that there is plenty of political pull from these folks. But the corn industry being "huge" was part of the draw. It could immediately supply a current feedstock that was in ready supply. There would have been staggering costs as well as some learning curve to change the average farmer (that were already in dire straights because of $2.50 a bushel corn). HOPEFULLY we can look into some of the more "no brainer" feed stocks in the near future.

    But of course - we would be consuming land that COULD grow food :p (sorry Dune, I had to buddy)

    I really wish we could get past the politics and lobbying when we are considering our future energy needs. Its just too darn important to the rest of us.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm basically opposed to a using plant that is also a food for fuelstock. The huge monocrops of corn are very threatening to the world's food supply. It's way too vulnerable to a disease spreading like wildfire throughout the world crops due to lack of genetic diversity. And it sucks the life out of the soil instead of returning nutrients. This leads one down to the rabbit hole of soil exhaustion. Corn is a bad idea for fuel. There are much better feedstocks.

    Your wish is a good one, but unlikely in a corporatocracy. The needs of the individual are now secondary to the needs of the corporation and shareholders. Unless another corporation or the defense dept. has the need, it probably isn't going to happen until the cost causes unrest in the flock.
  5. benjamin

    benjamin Minister of Fire

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    SW WI
    I'm opposed to using any alcohol as an automotive fuel. None should be diverted away from it's rightful purpose of getting somebody shellaced.

    Where is Blutarsky when you need him.
  6. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Wood is our sugarcane. http://methanol.org/

    We have 5 million acres of fallow pulp wood forest. The infra-structure to harvest exists still today.

    Wood is already the largest source of renewable fuel, and presently underutilized.
  7. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    NH
    and methanol doesn't mess with the drinkable alcohol supply either, bonus points for that one.
  8. Wallyworld

    Wallyworld Member

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    Downeast
    One other thing to consider is ethanol is very corrosive, the State of Maine forced gasoline dealers to change underground pipe that might have had issues with 10% ethanol. Cost alot of money and put small businesses out of the gas business as some couldn't afford to change the pipe. 15% is pushing the limits of present gasoline equipment so I expect more piping and possibly pumps, meters and valving to come out if this goes ahead.

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