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(SFGate)   Remember 99 years ago, when Israel's first president came up with a way to make a better biofuel than ethanol? No? Well, fortunately a bunch of scientists do   (sfgate.com) divider line 11
    More: Cool, biofuels  
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8798 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Jan 2013 at 8:35 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-17 01:02:09 PM
2 votes:
Actually, it was "California Environmentalist" who opposed the use of MTBE (after CONGRESS, mandated its use as an oxygenating agent in gasoline.) Ethanol's use in the blending of gas was encouraged in California, as a REPLACEMENT for MTBE and California began phasing out the use of MTBE back in the late 90's.

BTW, this whole "FOOD CROPS" for ethanol is over-hyped as well. The vast majority of corn grown in the US (for at least the last 70 yrs or so) was never intended for human consumption. It is known commercially as "dent corn" (from the small "dent" in the kernel's top of most species) and is grown almost exclusively for animal feed and/or ethanol production.

When used for ethanol, first the corn kernels are processed in a manner which removes most of the sugars, but preserves the solids. The sugar solution is allowed to ferment to produce ethanol, while the solids (called "Distiller's Grains") are sold for use directly as, or as an ingredient of, animal feed. Thus, the corn that is grown for ethanol, would have other wise been grown and sold as animal feed in the first place, not it merely serves a dual purpose - producing both ethanol and animal feed.

What Chaim Weizmann did was basically a variation on the Fischer-Tropsch process of turning organic matter into liquid fuels. The question is today, what enzymes/bacteria/etc. are going to be the most effective means of breaking down organic materials into useful by products (like butanol, hydrogen, etc.) in the most energy efficient manner.

It isn't just BP that has dropped hundreds of millions of $'s into this line of research, but Dow Chemical, Gevo, and Shell Oil are all in the game. Matter of fact, Shell just built a butanol refinery in texas this last year in an effort to commercialize the product.
2013-01-17 09:39:45 AM
2 votes:
*counts on fingers
subtracts 1947
divides by 99
wait, I have to start over*
2013-01-17 02:25:10 PM
1 votes:

OgreMagi: lawboy87: BTW, this whole "FOOD CROPS" for ethanol is over-hyped as well. The vast majority of corn grown in the US (for at least the last 70 yrs or so) was never intended for human consumption. It is known commercially as "dent corn" (from the small "dent" in the kernel's top of most species) and is grown almost exclusively for animal feed and/or ethanol production.

I think the problem was farmers switching from food corn to dent corn because there were higher profits from government subsidies and the growing biofuel market.  This reduced the food crops which increased prices and that hurt the lower classes in Mexico the most.


Came here to say this.

To say "it was dent corn" is disingenuous. Eatin' corn was switched to dent corn, and dent corn became expensive for animals.

So, Mr. Smarty-Pants, you may know the process in detail, but are purposely obfuscating the economics of wasting our time with corn ethanol.
2013-01-17 02:03:13 PM
1 votes:

lawboy87: BTW, this whole "FOOD CROPS" for ethanol is over-hyped as well. The vast majority of corn grown in the US (for at least the last 70 yrs or so) was never intended for human consumption. It is known commercially as "dent corn" (from the small "dent" in the kernel's top of most species) and is grown almost exclusively for animal feed and/or ethanol production.


I think the problem was farmers switching from food corn to dent corn because there were higher profits from government subsidies and the growing biofuel market.  This reduced the food crops which increased prices and that hurt the lower classes in Mexico the most.
2013-01-17 01:32:50 PM
1 votes:

Dansker: dennerman: I always hated the idea of Biofuels. I mean, whoever thought, "Let's burn food for fuel!" was a good idea should be removed from their position and made to feed the hungry for at least a year.

Biofuels do not have to be made from food stuff. You can use grasses, garbage, or, as TFA suggests, eucalyptus.


Sounds like I need to educate myself on the subject a bit more before I spout off again. For now I'll stick to non-controversial topics like gun control, politics, and religion.
2013-01-17 12:09:44 PM
1 votes:
Israel had a president 99 years ago? During Palestine's Second Aliyah?

/the first died in a place crash
2013-01-17 11:47:37 AM
1 votes:
Anything fast growing?

Like farking HEMP?

/surprised at first mention
2013-01-17 11:15:30 AM
1 votes:
My theory, which is mine, goes like this:

The powers that be know that the human race is doomed. But since they're a bunch of anti-intellectual nihilists, the plan is to strip the Earth of easily accessible and useful resources before we go so that whatever species takes our place will be forever damned to a low-energy agrarian lifestyle like Jesus wanted.

it's obvious when you connect the dots.
2013-01-17 11:00:03 AM
1 votes:
America needs to get off the Corn teat.
2013-01-17 10:32:20 AM
1 votes:
Does this mean we'll finally stop using a food crop for fuel?

Keep in mind using corn for ethanol literally kills poor Mexicans, so every tree hugger, and politician pandering to Iowa, who backs corn ethanol has blood on their hands.

/America's donations of surplus corn went down, and the purchase prices went up, thereby making cornmeal more expensive for poor Mexican villagers. Link
2013-01-17 08:57:20 AM
1 votes:
Just once I'd love to read one of these that ends with: "The team has already secured $2B in funding and construction of several industrial scale plants will begin in different states within three months."

Five to ten years.... it's always friggin five to ten years.... except fusion... they've settled on 50 years as their mantra.
 
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