Comments on: Biofuels run into trouble http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: lance http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1793 Mon, 24 Nov 2008 16:50:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1793 quote: For $100 the auto Industry can make any vehicle a Flex Fuel Vehicle capable of running on Gasoline or any blend of ethanol..

the flex fuel sensor for a GM costs $500, the larger needed injectors cause worse atomization, and less accurate fuel air mixtures. GM gets away with this because it lets the vechile get %20 worse fuel economy. They trade these MPG costs to other vechiles to stay under the cafe cap.

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By: whs806 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1749 Sun, 23 Nov 2008 12:50:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1749 BioFuels are not competitive to oil or gas. The only reason they exist in the USA is due to government subsidy. Ethanol made from corn costs twice as much as ethanol made from sugar cane. It requires a lot of energy to make ethanol resulting in very little if any net energy production. But it does raise the price of FOOD! Stop the federal subsidy of ethanol made from corn!

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By: etohisnosavior http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1740 Sun, 23 Nov 2008 04:19:42 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1740 The whole concept of corn ethanol for fuel is absurd, if for no other reason than its (in)efficiency. Were it not for the farm states & their lobbying efforts over the last decade, we wouldn’t be faced with this continuing debacle. Once again, the almighty federal government with its regulatory & bureaucratic gobbledygook has created an artificial market that would not otherwise exist or even be remotely sustainable. Many of the “Greenies” who have bought into the delusion that ethanol is good for the environment, are totally uninformed. When corn is cooked down and distilled, there are 3 chief by-products: Ethanol, Distiller’s Grain (which generally are dried, consuming more fuel & producing more emissions to become Dried Distiller’s Grains – DDG’s)and CO2. YES . . . . CO2!! Carbon dioxide is one of the principle by-products. Hmmm, CO2, where have I heard of that molecule before? Oh yeah, it’s a GREENHOUSE GAS!!! Wake-up America and smell yet another government mandated fleecing! Not only are we not realizing any true environmental benefits, discussions continue as to whether or not corn ethanol production is even net energy positive. With millions of starving/ hungry people on the planet, sourcing fuel from food is a concept that is illegitimate and unfounded.

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By: June http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1727 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 22:13:55 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1727 If the public even thinks ethanol raises food prices that’s not good. First we’re taxed to pay ridiculous farm subsidies. Then we get fewer miles to the gallon. Then grocery prices go up as well. I realize there are multiple factors, but look at just the psychology–the effect on people already depressed by losing their homes and their jobs and their retirement money. Stop using corn-based ethanol–stop until a non-food like algae or crop wastes can be used as the source.

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By: Pete Cann http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1718 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 15:59:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1718 Corny, looks as though we need to change the MPG standards away from gallons to use miles per BTU of theoretical chemical energy available by oxidation. I’d say grams of carbon, but renewable fuels contain carbon that was extracted from the atmosphere during their production, so that’s not a great idea.

Biodiesel should be talked about, yes. I’m ignorant of how much oil we can grow. The foodies aren’t going to approve.

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By: Corny http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1707 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 12:27:36 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1707 GM ‘s sudden stewardship of the environment is simply a way to continue to make gas guzzlers thanks to E85 an extremely inefficient fuel. The CAFE standards call for all car companies to achieve an average MPG for all vehicles. I believe the most recent number is 27 MPG. Well if you make the biggest money off of 10 miles per gallon SUV’s you would hate to say good bye to them wouldn’t you?
The CAFE standards has a loophole, that being that an E85 vehicle operating on E85 miles per gallon are ONLY figured against the actual amount of gasoline in the blend (15%) if you divide 100% fuel by 15% gasoline you get the multiplier to the mpg (666) therefore a gas guzzling 10 MPG SUV is given credit for 66.6 MPG. If you sell one SUV like this you can have 5 vehicles only achieving 20 MPG and this gas guzzling SUV and you average more than 27 MPG overall while not one of their vehicles really met the standard.
GM is not the only one taking advantage of this free ride Ford and Chrysler are too. The big three are heading down the toilet and this is just their hands clinging to the rim.

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By: Jay Wheeler http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1705 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 09:22:54 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1705 Everyone that has posted a comment and has mentioned ethanol as a Bio-fuel by using corn, soy beans etc, but they left out one very important source for Bio-fuels Algae. It solves problems with coal and with other pollutants. Check it out for your self.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algae_fuel
http://www.algalbiomass.org/
http://www.oilgae.com/
http://www.oilgae.com/energy/sou/ae/re/b e/bd/geo/me/il/il.html

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By: Jim Blue http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1689 Sat, 22 Nov 2008 05:05:57 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1689 Ethanol is a waste of time and money as a fuel. If the government didn’t put 42 cents subsidy in it, it would be long gone. Worse yet, a 10% ethanol blend DECREASES fuel mileage 8-12%.

If we had any sense, we would be making and using diesel cars. Right now, diesel is less than 3% of the U.S. consumer market (Europe is well over 40%). Then, instead of ethanol, we could make much cheaper corn oil and other vegetable oils and run vehicles on that. Yes, it might take a fuel heater in colder climates in the winter OR they could just use diesel, big deal. And that oil can also be cheaply converted as heating oil too.

Why doesn’t it happen. Federal and state governments tax diesel heavier than gasoline so that business ends up with a bigger bite of the cost. So, consumers avoid them. Don’t go there with emissions–we have clean burning diesel and vegetable oil burns even cleaner.

Thanks Government. And now you want to run the health care program as well as you do our energy program. And you have done so well with Medicare already!

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By: Dan M http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1647 Fri, 21 Nov 2008 21:08:45 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1647 Food VS Fuel Debate..

The bottom line is the cost of corn is very minor to your end food product..that is simply a fact

Lets take a Product that is ALL corn

1 Lb Box of Corn Flakes at $3.29

1 Bushel of corn & $7 a BU

56 lbs / $7 == 12.5 cents for the corn
So $3.16 of the cost is something other than corn

same Math with Poultry , Cattle (your chicken and Steaks)

Also If ethanol were to blame for high Corn prices then why is it we are producing nearly 9 Billion gallons of ethanol this year ..up 1.5 billion gallons from last year)and corn dropped from nearly $8 a BU to the current $3.38 cents ? cbot.com

You can blame anything you want for the higher price of food but to blame high corn and ethanol simply has no logic in it. WE make so much corn we don’t know what to do with it all, to this day we still have farm subsidies that PAY farmers to not grow corn.

The reality is the Food vs Fuel debate was an orchestrated smear campaign by the GMA (Grocers Association). They paid a Glover Park Firm 50K to put together an attack plan ..to blame ethanol so they could protect their profits ! http://www.growthenergy.org/foodvsfuel/G MA_Proposal.pdf

They would spam boards like this ..they would release their “story” to the Major media like CNN ..you all would hear that Ethanol was to blame for high food costs and you simply believed it ..why? well because it was on the News lol

No one is going hungry because of ethanol..it was ludicrous last year and it’s ludicrous today.

The beauty of the internet is that it can be extremely empowering for those that REALLY want to search out the truth

That said.. Corn is not perfect (mostly because of fertilizer costs)but it is well known that we are already on a path away from corn to cellulosic ethanol..

The first 2 Cellulose plants are already in production stages ..and within 2 years those will be the only ethanol plants you will even see being built

Ethanol is not evil .. the only people who think it is evil is the GMA and the Oil Companies … both of which are simply trying to enhance and protect their profit margins .

God Forbid any major terror attacks or hurricanes etc..but during any catastrophic event .. with a flex fuel vehicle you can MAKE your own fuel if push came to push .. it’s just alcohol that’s all it is ..you can drink it..it’s moonshine.

You cannot make gasoline ..

If Iran decides to black the Persian Gulf and stop the flow of Oil from that region.. Ethanol can bridge us through that ..you don’t need to do anything special ..simply pull up to the E85 pump instead of the Gas Pump…

And we can have that OPTION ..for just $100 per vehicle

We don’t have to send our kids to spill their blood .. we simply pull up to the E85 pump until the “crisis” is resolved .

Yes we need Hybrids, Electric Vehicles , Hydrogen and so on.. but the shortest path out of the Monopoly of Oil IS ethanol..because the infrastructure is already in place…Billions of gallons of ethanol are already produced, there are already 1900 Stations selling E85 and it only costs $100 to make any vehicle E85 capable..

So while we work towards longer term electric vehicles etc.. for the money the best short term to transition is all vehicles FFV

BTW.. here is GMs 2009 Line Up of FFV’s

2009 Chevrolet HHR FWD
2009 Chevrolet Impala
2009 Chrysler Sebring
2009 Dodge Avenger
2009 Buick Lucerne

along with there larger Trucks and SUVS..

It’s a good start but there is no reason ALL the vehicles coming off the line shouldnt be FFV’s

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By: James http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2008/11/20/biofuels-run-into-trouble/#comment-1645 Fri, 21 Nov 2008 20:47:44 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=624#comment-1645 Ethanol (both 1st and 2nd generation), while not a perfect replacement for gasoline, is a crucial piece of the energy independence pie. There will be no one answer to solve our energy problem. We will need wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass technologies…not to mention far more efficient technologies. I want to focus on ethanol in this, though.

It is true that when added to gasoline it significantly lowers the energy density; however, it is an octane booster, which means a more thorough combustion of the hydrocarbons will take place. With a turbo-charged engine, the fuel efficiency will jump from 35% below to 20%. This oxygenation of the fuel reduces CO, hydrocarbon, particulate matter,benzene, and sometimes NOx(http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehi cles/emissions_e10.html). Not only does the fuel reduce tailpipe emissions, but looked at from a life cycle analysis standpoint, ethanol (E100) reduces the total carbon emissions by around 75% compared to gasoline b/c the carbon released was absorbed by the plant from the atmosphere.

The media have created an unnecessary and faulty tension between the use of corn/soy for food versus for biofuels: the claim is that biofuels are responsible for the increase in food cost. However, according to USDA and the Department of Energy, biodiesel and ethanol consumption accounted for only 0.2% of the overall increase in food prices (4-5% of the 4.8% increase)http://journeytoforever.org/bio fuel_food.html. The tiny size of this effect is due in part to the biofuel industries’ ability to coexist with the livestock industry, the largest consumer of corn/soy in the U.S. The residue from the fermentation of corn into ethanol (called distillers’ dried grain) and from the pressing of soy into oil (called oilseed cake) is sold as highly nutritious, protein-rich animal feed. (Cattle cannot digest starch, which is the carbohydrate hydrolyzed to sugar to make ethanol.) Thus, as more ethanol and biodiesel plants come online, the amount of
feedstock they consume affects the overall corn/soy supply significantly less than is initially apparent.

So, if biofuels are not the main factor causing the food prices to increase, then what is the culprit? Food prices are increasing because food is a product of energy, and energy costs went up like mad last year. It cost more to plant the seeds, harvest, process, package, and transport food than ever before. Therefore, rather than being the death toll of the rapidly developing biofuels market, the increase in food prices functions as a harbinger for scarcity of petroleum and the many effects of our reliance on it.

President Elect Obama was asked several days ago how the falling price of oil would effect his push for renewables. He responded rightly saying that it is more important than ever to push forward b/c we must be thinking about our future. In the next 10-20 months, the market will be saturated with ethanol. So, it is of utmost importance that the government pass a tax incentive like that of Brazil which gave auto manufactures a break on flex-fuel vehicles. In 2003, 0% of the cars in Brazil were FFVs, but by Oct of 2008, 88% of them were.

I think it is important to remeber that, yes, the cost of ethanol is high, but compared to what…oil that we go to war for? Biofuels allow us to create energy security, generate economic activity, and abate greenhouse gas emissions. I have a lot more to say, but will leave it at that.

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