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Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:03 pm    Post subject: Re: If Pimental is correct then corn should be about \$2.50 to \$2.70 a bushel; if Hosein then \$6.00 per bushel Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

a_plutonium@hotmail.com wrote:

 Quote: Bob Eld wrote: That is simply not true, it's old data pushed by David Pimental and others. A more modern number shows a net positive energy balance of 167%. This includes all inputs and outputs including transportation, fertilizer, farming, distilation, etc. It results in a net energy INCREASE for corn ethanol of approxametely 33,000 BTU's per gallon. Source: Hosein, USDA, 2001. Markets weigh in on this debate, for which the Universities such as Iowa State, Univ of Nebraska and all the other aggie schools have been derelict. A bushel of corn yields about 2 gallons of ethanol. The price of a gallon of diesel/gasoline is about \$3.00 a gallon. So, if Pimental is correct that we lose energy by petrol-farming to make ethanol then the price of a bushel of corn would be about \$2.50 a bushel. On the other hand, if Hosein is correct, then since in his estimation of 167% that the price of a bushel of corn on today's commodity market would be that of 2 X \$3.00 which equals \$6.00 per bushel. It has been a very long time since I saw corn at 6 dollars a bushel.

A key to your argument is the 2 gallons / bushel. Is this figure correct ?

You've aslo ignored any subsidies.

Graham
CJT
science forum beginner

Joined: 19 Jun 2006
Posts: 4

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: If Pimental is correct then corn should be about \$2.50 to \$2.70 a bushel; if Hosein then \$6.00 per bushel Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

Pooh Bear wrote:

 Quote: a_plutonium@hotmail.com wrote: Bob Eld wrote: That is simply not true, it's old data pushed by David Pimental and others. A more modern number shows a net positive energy balance of 167%. This includes all inputs and outputs including transportation, fertilizer, farming, distilation, etc. It results in a net energy INCREASE for corn ethanol of approxametely 33,000 BTU's per gallon. Source: Hosein, USDA, 2001. Markets weigh in on this debate, for which the Universities such as Iowa State, Univ of Nebraska and all the other aggie schools have been derelict. A bushel of corn yields about 2 gallons of ethanol. The price of a gallon of diesel/gasoline is about \$3.00 a gallon. So, if Pimental is correct that we lose energy by petrol-farming to make ethanol then the price of a bushel of corn would be about \$2.50 a bushel. On the other hand, if Hosein is correct, then since in his estimation of 167% that the price of a bushel of corn on today's commodity market would be that of 2 X \$3.00 which equals \$6.00 per bushel. It has been a very long time since I saw corn at 6 dollars a bushel. A key to your argument is the 2 gallons / bushel. Is this figure correct ? You've aslo ignored any subsidies. Graham Don't get me started on subsidies (i.e. rewarding inefficiency).

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Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: If Pimental is correct then corn should be about \$2.50 to \$2.70a bushel; if Hosein then \$6.00 per bushel Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasolineto produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

CJT wrote:

 Quote: Don't get me started on subsidies (i.e. rewarding inefficiency).

Compared to worldwide prices, US gasoline is 'sort of' subsidised by the very low
tax.

Graham
Dan Bloomquist

Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:27 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modernagriculture

Pooh Bear wrote:

 Quote: Dan Bloomquist wrote: Pooh Bear wrote: a_plutonium@hotmail.com wrote: I suspect Pimental of Cornell is correct on this issue and that Hosein is wrong. On the contrary, Pimental's work is regularly criticised on several counts. " Pimentel's analysis is based upon older data, and contains a number of inaccuracies. It does not properly account for the efficiency of much of the industrial processing related to ethanol. Pimentel's energy balance is based upon the performance of 1979 ethanol conversion facilities. " The efficiency of producing ethanol has increased greatly in the intervening decades ! http://www.energybulletin.net/14849.html http://journeytoforever.org/ethanol_rooster.html http://journeytoforever.org/ethanol_energy.html 1.3, think about it. I've posted the numbers before. Crop fuels will not have an impact, period. To talk like they will creates unfounded hope that we can fix this with crop fuels. It's pretty clear that ethanol and bio-diesel will simply be a part of the fix ( maybe 10-20% of road fuel )

http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php

3 to 6 quad at today's demand. Take the most exceptional producer of
ethanol in the world, Brazil. 4Billion gallons a year, (gross, no
EROEI). That's one third of a quad. So, how do you figure?

 Quote: The simplest fix is to use less energy and ensure that it's used efficiently.

I've been saying that for years. When do we start?

--
"We need an energy policy that encourages consumption"
George W. Bush.

"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a
sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy."
Vice President Dick Cheney
habshi
science forum beginner

Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 11

 Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture Dont forget the subsidies paid to farmers by the govt . So they can easily produce one gallon of ethanol from 1.5 gallons of oil and make a good profit . Of course it is stupid energy economics and only means our oil will run out faster than ever.
habshi
science forum beginner

Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 11

 Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:37 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture What about plutonium or enriched uranium powered tractors . Imagine how much oil they would save! We might need only a small number of guarded farms to produce all the food we need under cover.
Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:41 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modernagriculture

Dan Bloomquist wrote:

 Quote: Pooh Bear wrote: It's pretty clear that ethanol and bio-diesel will simply be a part of the fix ( maybe 10-20% of road fuel ) http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php 3 to 6 quad at today's demand. Take the most exceptional producer of ethanol in the world, Brazil. 4Billion gallons a year, (gross, no EROEI). That's one third of a quad. So, how do you figure?

If Brazil alone can manage that much, I'm sure the US can do better !

 Quote: The simplest fix is to use less energy and ensure that it's used efficiently. I've been saying that for years. When do we start?

Smaller engined vehicles ? Diesel engines in place of gasoline. Better insulation for homes
and offices. Avoid simultaneous use of heating and ac. It's really quite easy.

I'm at the point where for most of the year my largest use of electricity is my PC followed
by the TV. LCD displays are making part of that equation better but it would be nice to see
some attention to low power CPUs. This one uses 70W for the CPU alone.

Graham
Dan Bloomquist

Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:59 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modernagriculture

Pooh Bear wrote:

 Quote: Dan Bloomquist wrote: Pooh Bear wrote: It's pretty clear that ethanol and bio-diesel will simply be a part of the fix ( maybe 10-20% of road fuel ) http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php 3 to 6 quad at today's demand. Take the most exceptional producer of ethanol in the world, Brazil. 4Billion gallons a year, (gross, no EROEI). That's one third of a quad. So, how do you figure? If Brazil alone can manage that much, I'm sure the US can do better !

'That much..' Just what do you mean? It is one percent of our
transportation demand. I'll spot you a raging EROEI of 2 and now it is
half a percent. So, who in the world will go hungry if we feed our
demand for energy from crop fuels?

Have you seen the land mass Brazil uses to produce this .3 quad/year?

We have done this before and you have yet to show numbers that support

 Quote: The simplest fix is to use less energy and ensure that it's used efficiently. I've been saying that for years. When do we start? Smaller engined vehicles ? Diesel engines in place of gasoline.

When do we start?

 Quote: Better insulation for homes and offices. Avoid simultaneous use of heating and ac. It's really quite easy. I'm at the point where for most of the year my largest use of electricity is my PC followed by the TV. LCD displays are making part of that equation better but it would be nice to see some attention to low power CPUs. This one uses 70W for the CPU alone.

All this has nothing to do with liquid fuels.

Numbers:
 Quote: I dont expect everyone to read everything I post. but according to a USDA website, if you convert the numbers posted you see 500 gallons of ethanol from swichgrass/acre...

That is the gross yield. What is the EROEI? But I'll use your number.

500/42 one for one is 12 barrels/acre/year. You can pretty much get a
barrel of fuel from a barrel of oil.

Heating value, Ethyl alcohol to gasoline, 11,600/20,500 so call it 7
barrels/acre/year. (Notice I'm rounding in your favor.)

5E6 * 365 / 7 is 260 million acres a year. That is the size of all the
U.S. grains, cotton, and soybeans. More than three times the size of our
present corn acreage. And we have not accounted for EROEI.

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/wisner/WisAug04.htm

Another way to look at it, corn:
Ok, call it 7 billion gallons/year.
(Nation wide planed and existing bio refineries)

We have currently 80 million acres dedicated to corn cultivation.
http://www.extension.iastate.edu/agdm/articles/wisner/WisAug04.htm

This season we yielded 140 bushels per acre
http://www.agriculture.com/ag/story.jhtml?storyid=/templatedata/ag/st...

numbers vary from 2.5 to 3 gallons per bushel but I'll use 3. So if all
the corn grown were converted to ethanol that would be 33 billion
gallons. So 20% of that corn would go into ethanol.

Now, how does this compare to our liquid demand? 7 billion gallons of
ethanol is half a quad of energy. (77000btu/gallon). We currently demand
http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php

So that means 1/80 would be supplied by the gross output of corn. But we
still have not accounted for eroei.
http://www.energybulletin.net/14849.html

Looks like the consensus puts it at 1.3. Not a pretty picture for corn.

*** And another, Brazil:

Brazil produces .15mb/d equivalent heat in ethanol.

It isn't an opinion. It is what the numbers say. If the disparity
between demand and production grows at just 3mb/d/year that is twenty
current Brazils of _gross_ output a year. Even if an EROEI of two is
assumed now you are up to forty, (40), Brazils a year. EROEI of corn is
1.3 by consensus so 2 may be quite a leap.
http://www.energybulletin.net/14849.html

**

So, before this goes any farther, account for the EROEI of switchgrass.
And if the processing is anything like ethanol, you are looking at
\$60billion/mb/d just for the distilleries. What about the infrastructure
to groom, fertilize and harvest this switchgrass? Remember that gross
yield requires 50 million acres/mb/d.

--
"We need an energy policy that encourages consumption"
George W. Bush.

"Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a
sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy."
Vice President Dick Cheney
Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:15 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

habshi wrote:

 Quote: Dont forget the subsidies paid to farmers by the govt . So they can easily produce one gallon of ethanol from 1.5 gallons of oil and make a good profit . Of course it is stupid energy economics and only means our oil will run out faster than ever.

If the energy actually *came from oil* it would be immensely insane.

Of course, the energy comes froma wide variety of sources so it's just typical
disinformation even before looking at the numbers more closely to see the truth
that those numbers are bogus anyway.

Producing gasoline takes energy too btw ! The last figures I saw actually made
ethanol look considerably more attractive than gasoline.

Graham
Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

habshi wrote:

 Quote: What about plutonium or enriched uranium powered tractors .

Would you use robots to drive them so that ppl don't get irradiated ?

Graham
Pooh Bear

Joined: 17 Apr 2005
Posts: 76

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:55 am    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modernagriculture

Dan Bloomquist wrote:

 Quote: Pooh Bear wrote: Dan Bloomquist wrote: Pooh Bear wrote: It's pretty clear that ethanol and bio-diesel will simply be a part of the fix ( maybe 10-20% of road fuel ) http://eed.llnl.gov/flow/02flow.php 3 to 6 quad at today's demand. Take the most exceptional producer of ethanol in the world, Brazil. 4Billion gallons a year, (gross, no EROEI). That's one third of a quad. So, how do you figure? If Brazil alone can manage that much, I'm sure the US can do better ! 'That much..' Just what do you mean? It is one percent of our transportation demand. I'll spot you a raging EROEI of 2 and now it is half a percent. So, who in the world will go hungry if we feed our demand for energy from crop fuels?

Let's take my 10% figure. I mentioned both ethanol *and* biodiesel so let's say they each
contribute equally. So you want 5% x 26.5 quads of ethanol = 1.325 quads. That's 4 times what
Brazil's producing. A challenging task but do you really believe it's not do-able long term ?
Especially with cellulosic ethanol production too ?

Additionally, I'd hope that overall gas consumption might actually drop in the long term thus
making the target easier to hit. If it doesn't drop it begs a few serious questions about the
long term viability of US energy policy !

Incidentally I gather that Brazil's offering to sell fuel alcohol to the USA. Nowhere did I say
that imports don't qualify.

 Quote: Have you seen the land mass Brazil uses to produce this .3 quad/year?

I'm sure you'll tell me.

 Quote: We have done this before and you have yet to show numbers that support your claims.

Seems like a good time to look at it then.

 Quote: The simplest fix is to use less energy and ensure that it's used efficiently. I've been saying that for years. When do we start? Smaller engined vehicles ? Diesel engines in place of gasoline. When do we start?

Now maybe ?

 Quote: Better insulation for homes and offices. Avoid simultaneous use of heating and ac. It's really quite easy. I'm at the point where for most of the year my largest use of electricity is my PC followed by the TV. LCD displays are making part of that equation better but it would be nice to see some attention to low power CPUs. This one uses 70W for the CPU alone. All this has nothing to do with liquid fuels.

Is no oil used for electricity generation in the USA ? It affects overall demand for oil.

 Quote: Numbers:

You're replying to someone else's post here.

Graham
Dean Hoffman
science forum beginner

Joined: 12 Jan 2006
Posts: 11

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:37 am    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

a_plutonium@hotmail.com wrote:

 Quote: I am getting annoyed by politicians running for office who tout ethanol as a great new energy source. Iowa and Nebraska are campaigning with ethanol as an issue. This does great harm. For farmers and others may think that ethanol is some sort of solution. Ethanol can be a solution provided the farming of grains is done without using any petroleum products. That means the old way of farming using horses and no tractors. The science is that it takes 1.5 gallons of gasoline/diesel to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. You say you don't trust the land grant universities research.

What do you think of the research here:
http://tinyurl.com/h67w8

This is at the top of the page of the url:
Hosein Shapouri*, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of
the Chief
Economist (OCE), 300 7th Street SW., Room 361, Washington, D.C. 20024,
telephone:
202 401 0531, James Duffield, USDA/OCE, Andrew McAloon,
USDA/Agricultural
Research Service (ARS), Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East
Mermaid Lane,
Wyndmoor, PA. 19038, and Michael Wang, U.S. Department of Energy, Center
for
Transportation Research, Energy Systems Division, Argonne National
Laboratory, 9700
South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL. 60439

They come up with a positive energy ratio of 1.67 for corn ethanol.

Dean

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Edward Green

Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 95

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:07 am    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

habshi wrote:

 Quote: What about plutonium or enriched uranium powered tractors . Imagine how much oil they would save! We might need only a small number of guarded farms to produce all the food we need under cover.

I've heard something like your subject line claim before, but I suspect
its a crock.

Farms have been able on average to produce a free energy surplus for
millenia, otherwise man and his domestic animals would have starved to
death, or we would have been stuck at the hunter gatherer stage.

Now, is modern agriculture some exhorbitantly wasteful of resources,
that it continually runs a huge energy deficit, made up only by our
windfall fossil fuel account? This sounds like an untested politically
motivated hypothesis. Give references.
<lucasea@sbcglobal.net

Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 94

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:37 am    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

"Herman Family" <ecalptsudwaseht.in.reverse@frontiernet.net> wrote in
message news:3Iplg.3722\$oa1.3573@news02.roc.ny...
 Quote: "Michael Moroney" wrote in message news:e751p2\$3ct\$1@pcls4.std.com... a_plutonium@hotmail.com writes: To run a Science Research Experiment on how much petrol is used to obtain the data of 1.5 to 1 in disfavor of ethanol is not a experiment that is inaccessible to the common person. A simple set up can be done. Use a rototiller as a tractor, use a mower as a combine. Now, rototill and mow a long stretch of ground, say perhaps 50 meters. Measure how many cups of gasoline is needed to till 50 meters, how many to mow 50 meters. Fertilize the 50 meters and measure how many cups of fertilizer

Worthless experiment. Economics of back-yard power equipment is way worse
than farm-scale.

 Quote: Now I don't have any way of finding out how much the farmer's cost is, so how about the next best thing. How much do farmers sell corn for? Now that price is readily available, just check the commodities market. A quick check shows corn currently fetches 261.25 cents per bushel.

Worthless information. Corn is currently heavily subsidized in the US, so
the price is nowhere near reflective of production costs.

 Quote: Of course, if you really want to get into this, you might check on using sugar beets or sugar cane as your carbohydrate source.

Bingo. I believe that was Brazil's approach. Much more efficient, and
there now exist methods that are a lot less environmentally disastrous that
tradition sugar cane farming. As I understand it, Brazil has been able to
essentially completely eliminate their need for foreign oil since the 1970s
(I recall they used to depend on foreign sources for something like 30 % of
their consumption.) If ethanol production was a net energy consumer, they
should now be more dependent on oil than ever.

I also understand that there are enzyme technologies close to large-scale
tests for use of cellulose instead of starch or sugar in the production of
ethanol. If that happens, I think the energy balance and economics probably
become even better, since just about any plant biomass will do.

The biggest issue that I've heard from people who know what they're talking
about, is that oil is too hydroscopic to pipeline, and must be trucked
and/or railroaded to destinations distant from the production plant.
Doesn't sound to me like that should be a deal-killer, however. Significant
de-centralization of the production (enabled by the use of a wide range of
plant biomass) should help here.

Eric Lucas
<lucasea@sbcglobal.net

Joined: 25 Mar 2006
Posts: 94

Posted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:41 am    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture

"Frank" <frank.logullo@dol.net> wrote in message
 Quote: Also, something I never see addressed, is that in fermentation, for every molecule of ethanol generated, there is a molecule of carbon dioxide, the dreaded greenhouse gas. Where does it go?

Ummm...back to the atmosphere, where it was until the beginning of this
year's growing season. That's a lot better than returning CO2 to the
atmosphere that hasn't been there since 400 million years ago, when the
entire planet was tropical.

Eric Lucas

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