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takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture
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Dirk Bruere
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Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:54 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

LongmuirG wrote:
Quote:
Dirk Bruere responded to a comment from William Mook:
WM>> BP has invested the most in renewables, but mostly as an
advertising
WM>> gimmick - their renewable investments do not contribute to their
bottom
WM>> line. They're cost centers supported out of their PR budgets!
lol.
WM>> Their exploration and recovery investments dwarf their renewable
WM>> investments for this reason.

DB> And the nice thing, from their POV, is that as oil becomes scarcer
and
DB> more expensive the more money they make as long as they can keep
DB> industry locked into it.

It is more complicated than that. Giant BP currently is ranked only
something like #19 among global oil companies in terms of its oil
reserves. BP has about 5.8 Billion Bbl of liquid reserves (per the Oil
& Gas Journal) -- way less than 1% of global reserves. The big boys
are, of course, the national oil companies -- Saudi Aramco alone has
about 25% of conventional global reserves. The big shareholder-owned
oil companies like BP are not replacing their reserves through
exploration; they are liquidating themselves. You can't reap the
benefits of high oil prices unless you have oil to sell.

Just over 30 years ago, the Seven Sisters had the bulk of existing
global oil reserves sewn up, and they were discovering more oil each
year than they were producing. Now the remaining big shareholder-owned
companies are bit players without an obvious way forward -- which
explains why they play games with reserves estimates, and invest so
much of their time & money buying each other up. This is a very
difficult environment for major oil companies -- are they going to end
up like the railroads in the 1950s, quite profitable until they go out
of business?

Possibly, but the *cannot* go out of business while cars still need

hydrocarbon fuels.

Dirk
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Dirk Bruere
science forum addict


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:58 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

William.Mook@gmail.com wrote:
Quote:
Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:
William.Mook@gmail.com wrote:

BP has invested the most in renewables, but mostly as an advertising
gimmick - their renewable investments do not contribute to their bottom
line. They're cost centers supported out of their PR budgets! lol.
Their exploration and recovery investments dwarf their renewable
investments for this reason.

And the nice thing, from their POV, is that as oil becomes scarcer and
more expensive the more money they make as long as they can keep
industry locked into it.

Dirk

That works until there is an economic slow down due to disinvestment in
industry. In an industrial economy paying for energy is sort of like
paying for taxes. I mean, the Bush tax cuts have kept the economy
limping along, and rises in oil prices have taken the bulk of that
savings out of the economy. One of the largest transfers of wealth in
US history.

Anyway, politics aside, increasing energy costs operate on our economy
like increasing taxes - which slow things down. Now, if this were all
profits, and those profits were reinvested, it wouldn't be like a tax.
But discovery rates are declining, the cost of producing a Gigajoule of
energy is rising, and so energy productivity is declining. More and
more infrastructure is going into building up energy production. So,
in terms of an earlier itme when energy was cheap, it *IS* like a tax.
And there IS a Schumpeter like limit. That is, a price of energy which
if costs rise above this price, there is a general disinvestment in
other economic sectors. Bush gave the economy a big gift lowering
taxes - which is great. It allowed more money to be spent on energy
without killing the economy. But its a temporary solution. Rising oil
prices rising costs of energy generally, will take larger and larger
tolls out of the economy, eventually rising to the point where other
sectors -other than government spending- must disinvest to support the
rising costs. At that point, the economy will slow down generally.
And at that point, the large profits of the oil companies will be
rather pointless.

But not to the oil companies.
Their sole purpose, like any living thing, is to survive and maximise
their profits (in the widest sense of the word).

Quote:
Of course, as costs rise innovations will occur. And to the extent
innovations cause a change of USE of energy - ethanol or hydrogen or
electricity - instead of gasoline for example - this competes directly
with major oil.

Depends.
The oil companies control the distribution.

Quote:
But, if costs rise an innovations occur that change the way energy is
PRODUCED - gasoline from coal, gasoline from sunlight and coal,
gasoline from sunlight and atmospheric CO2 - then, this complements
major oil and as the cost of conventional production rises, past the
cost of these alternatives - they will be adopted by the majors.

ie the oil companies will try to keep us locked into oil, no matter what
its source.

Dirk
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LongmuirG
science forum beginner


Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Dirk Bruere wrote of the shareholder-owned oil companies:
Quote:
Possibly, but they *cannot* go out of business while cars still need
hydrocarbon fuels.

We are talking about shareholder-owned companies -- BP, Total, people
like that. They most definitely CAN and WILL go out of business if
they do not have oil to sell.

There is a lot of oil in the world, but most of it now is in the hands
of countries, their national oil companies, and entities like Russian
oil companies that may officially be shareholder-owned but are actually
under the very close eye of the Russian state. Will the European
motorist care if he has to buy his diesel at a Q8 station or a Petronas
station instead of a BP station?

We can think of giant companies like BP as the canaries in the coal
mine. When they fall over, it will be hard to avoid taking peak oil
seriously. Since quite a few of them have already fallen (Gulf, Amoco,
Arco, Burmah, Elf, Texaco, etc) ....
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Dirk Bruere
science forum addict


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

LongmuirG wrote:
Quote:
Dirk Bruere wrote of the shareholder-owned oil companies:
Possibly, but they *cannot* go out of business while cars still need
hydrocarbon fuels.

We are talking about shareholder-owned companies -- BP, Total, people
like that. They most definitely CAN and WILL go out of business if
they do not have oil to sell.

There is plenty of oil, at the right price.
Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.

Quote:
There is a lot of oil in the world, but most of it now is in the hands
of countries, their national oil companies, and entities like Russian
oil companies that may officially be shareholder-owned but are actually
under the very close eye of the Russian state. Will the European
motorist care if he has to buy his diesel at a Q8 station or a Petronas
station instead of a BP station?

Then the Russians etc will discover how important it is to hold the
means of distribution.

Quote:
We can think of giant companies like BP as the canaries in the coal
mine. When they fall over, it will be hard to avoid taking peak oil
seriously. Since quite a few of them have already fallen (Gulf, Amoco,
Arco, Burmah, Elf, Texaco, etc) ....

Oil shale.

Dirk
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Dan Bloomquist
science forum addict


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:
Quote:

There is plenty of oil, at the right price.

Peak Oil primer and links
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

Quote:
Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.

Peak oil is about production. Alternatives are not in production.

Quote:
Oil shale.

I have yet to see a serious study where the EROEI is high enough to make
it work. If it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil, what's
the point?

--
"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
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LongmuirG
science forum beginner


Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Dirk Bruere wrote:
Quote:
There is plenty of oil, at the right price.
Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.
[snip]
Oil shale.

We may be mixing several different ideas, here, Dirk. Let's try &
untangle them.

1. There is a finite supply of conventional oil in the world, and so
eventually conventional supply will become constrained. Optimists say
that point lies 30-50 years in the future; not so long ago, they said
it lay 70-100 years in the future; regardless, there is a lot of
agreement that sooner or later we will have to look for some energy
source other than conventional oil.

2. Supply & demand will always be in balance, through the miracle of
markets. Higher oil prices may result in some additional supply; they
will certainly result in demand destruction. Demand destruction is not
painless - lost jobs, lower incomes, etc.

3. At high enough prices, new technology (supply substitution) may take
the place of demand destruction. This would be much less painful.
However, the only thing we know for sure is that the price at which
available alternative technology becomes viable is somewhere over
$250/Bbl -- which corresponds approximately to what the heavily-taxed
Euro-consumer currently pays for oil. Even at that high a price, new
technology has not replaced fossil fuels in Europe. Indeed, the EU
imports as much oil as the US. Including all fossil fuels, the EU
imports about 1/3 more than the US -- despite high end-user prices
through taxes.

4. Companies like Exxon & Occidental invested heavily in shale oil
development in the 1970s & early 1980s, when oil prices were higher in
real terms than today. They gave up.

Bottom line is that the price of oil is going to have to go far above
$100/Bbl before (non-nuclear) supply substitution becomes much of a
factor. Demand destruction is going to be more important than resource
substitution. The big question is what oil price the guys with the
conventional oil reserves think is in their long-term best interests --
and those guys are not the big shareholder-owned oil companies.
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Eeyore
science forum beginner


Joined: 22 Jun 2006
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 8:42 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodernagriculture Reply with quote

Dan Bloomquist wrote:

Quote:
Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:

There is plenty of oil, at the right price.

Peak Oil primer and links
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.

Peak oil is about production. Alternatives are not in production.

It's also about demand. Reduce the demand and peak oil shifts.


Quote:
Oil shale.

I have yet to see a serious study where the EROEI is high enough to make
it work. If it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil, what's
the point?

Of course there's a point ! The process energy doesn't have to come from oil.
Use nuclear and you're well away.

This is what's so idiot about making comparisons purely in oil terms. Oil is esp
useful for its use in transport.

Graham
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Dirk Bruere
science forum addict


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Dan Bloomquist wrote:
Quote:


Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:

There is plenty of oil, at the right price.

Peak Oil primer and links
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.

Peak oil is about production. Alternatives are not in production.

Oil shale.

I have yet to see a serious study where the EROEI is high enough to make
it work. If it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil, what's
the point?

Coal to oil...
"Currently, two companies have commercialised their Fischer-Tropsch
technology. Shell in Bintulu, Malaysia, uses natural gas as a feedstock,
and produces primarily low-sulfur diesel fuels. Sasol in South Africa
uses coal as a feedstock, and produces a variety of synthetic petroleum
products. The process is today used in South Africa to produce most of
the country's diesel fuel from coal by the company Sasol. The process
was used in South Africa to meet its energy needs during its isolation
under Apartheid. This process has received renewed attention in the
quest to produce low sulfur diesel fuel in order to minimize the
environmental impact from the use of diesel engines."

It appears to be economic for them right now.

Dirk
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MadDogR75@yahoo.com
science forum beginner


Joined: 25 Sep 2005
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:59 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture Reply with quote

Michael Moroney wrote:

Quote:
A better method is to use real life data on how much it actually costs
farmers to grow corn. A good part of that cost will be the cost of oil,
either directly (diesel for tractors) or indirectly (energy cost to make
fertilizer, pesticides etc.). It doesn't matter what form the oil is,
each gallon used will show up as maybe $2.50 in costs (assuming untaxed
diesel).

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. Now
farmers aren't going to sell below their costs, or at least not for long,
else they soon become ex-farmers. So their cost is going to be less than
$2.6125 per bushel. ....................................................

You're forgetting subsidies, without which even ethanol boosters
acknowledge
that it's not economically viable.
MadDog
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Dan Bloomquist
science forum addict


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:00 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodernagriculture Reply with quote

Eeyore wrote:
Quote:

Dan Bloomquist wrote:


Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:

There is plenty of oil, at the right price.

Peak Oil primer and links
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per barrel.

Peak oil is about production. Alternatives are not in production.

It's also about demand. Reduce the demand and peak oil shifts.

You have refused an intelligent discussion on the economics before. I'm
sure nothing has changed.

Quote:
Oil shale.

I have yet to see a serious study where the EROEI is high enough to make
it work. If it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil, what's
the point?

Of course there's a point ! The process energy doesn't have to come from oil.
Use nuclear and you're well away.

Show the numbers. How many billions per mb/d of production? Production
expectations into the future.

Quote:
This is what's so idiot...

Only idiots wave their arms about and ignore the numbers.

--
"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
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Dirk Bruere
science forum addict


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:06 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture Reply with quote

MadDogR75@yahoo.com wrote:
Quote:
Michael Moroney wrote:

A better method is to use real life data on how much it actually costs
farmers to grow corn. A good part of that cost will be the cost of oil,
either directly (diesel for tractors) or indirectly (energy cost to make
fertilizer, pesticides etc.). It doesn't matter what form the oil is,
each gallon used will show up as maybe $2.50 in costs (assuming untaxed
diesel).

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. Now
farmers aren't going to sell below their costs, or at least not for long,
else they soon become ex-farmers. So their cost is going to be less than
$2.6125 per bushel. ....................................................

You're forgetting subsidies, without which even ethanol boosters
acknowledge
that it's not economically viable.
MadDog


And how do you cost in the subsidy oil gets through having to maintain a
huge military to ensure continuity of supply?

Dirk
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Dan Bloomquist
science forum addict


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:
Quote:
Dan Bloomquist wrote:
Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:


There is plenty of oil, at the right price.

Peak Oil primer and links
http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

Virtually unlimited quantities of it if one can tolerate $100 per
barrel.

Peak oil is about production. Alternatives are not in production.

Oil shale.

I have yet to see a serious study where the EROEI is high enough to
make it work. If it takes a barrel of oil to produce a barrel of oil,
what's the point?

Coal to oil...

Coal is not kerogen. Using the last Chines numbers, (with Chines labor),
in today's dollars, $60 billion per mb/d. That is not an unreasonable
number as long as economies are not caving.

Consensus on lead time to fix this without economic disruptions are in
the decades. We could see demand production disparity at 3mb/d/year
after 2010. And we have yet to build the infrastructure to build the
infrastructure.

--
"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
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Dan Bloomquist
science forum addict


Joined: 05 May 2005
Posts: 94

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:15 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol inmodern agriculture Reply with quote

Duane C. Johnson wrote:

Quote:
Hi Dan;


Probably so.
However, "non-imaging" optics can obtain quite high
gains while not requiring as high an accuracy. See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-imaging_optics
http://www.mech.tohoku.ac.jp/mech-labs/yugami/research/E_cpc/non-image-e.html

http://www.ise.fhg.de/english/current_topics/events/events2005/pdf/barcelona/5DP-1-4_Luther.pdf

http://www.nrel.gov/ncpv_prm/pdfs/33586P17.pdf
http://gltrs.grc.nasa.gov/reports/2000/TM-2000-208401.pdf
http://gita.grainger.uiuc.edu/IOPText/0305-4624/17/3/I02/ptv17i3p118.pdf

Hi Duane,
Thanks for the links.

Quote:
I can't find a really good picture of the lens version
that William was describing on the net. However, a very
good description is in the Duffie book "Solar Engineering
of Thermal Processes".

Maybe you will do some scans and put them on your website someday.

Quote:
Essentially these things take multiple images from
multiple reflections and sort of pile them on top
of each other effectively causing concentration.

Mook wrote after a lot of unrelated stuff about thermodynamics:
"Note, we use ARRAYS of self-similar optical elements. These
optical elements communicate with one another in a unique way that
we're in the process of patenting. Basically, the field of regard of 1
lens is small a few degrees, consistent with an efficient lens
operating at 625x solar. But, a PAIR of lenses operate as a totally
different sort of optical element, and the field of regard of a PAIR of
lenses forms an annulus around that field of regard around a single
lens. Ditto for a TRIO of lenses, forming a larger annulus, but still
well constrained."

So I take it he will have several lenses per unit and it is not the
lenses of different units that are commuting. But what is the point of
multiple lens? At that, (see ptv17i3p118.pdf), the suns rays, it appears
will in fact create a hot spot as you can't both avoid imaging and
maximize efficacy. But maybe you can, I'll wait until I see the reference.

Quote:
Duane

Best, Dan.

--
"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
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LongmuirG
science forum beginner


Joined: 04 Dec 2005
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture Reply with quote

Dirk Bruere went off the rails:
Quote:
And how do you cost in the subsidy oil gets through having to maintain a
huge military to ensure continuity of supply?

Let's see -- Japan depends on imports for ~100% of its fossil fuels,
including oil. Next time you see Japan's huge military flexing its
muscles in an oil producing country, be sure to alert the New York
Times; they like to report that kind of thing.

Then there is the EU. It is second only to Japan in terms of the
percentage of its fossil fuel it imports, importing about 2/3 of the
fuels it uses (including 84% of its oil). The EU is also by far the
largest energy importer on the planet, importing over 20 Million
Barrels Oil Equivalent per day, far above the US's 16 Million or
Japan's 9 Million. Yet the EU is militarily so weak that it was not
able, despite much hand-wringing, to stop genocide in its own
neighborhood in Yugoslavia. But despite being a military pygmy, the EU
is still able to keep on importing more fossil fuels than anyone else
on the planet, day after day.

So that old canard about needing a "huge military to ensure continuity
of supply" looks pretty threadbare.
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Dirk Bruere
science forum addict


Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:41 pm    Post subject: Re: takes 1.5 gallons gasoline to produce 1 gallon ethanol in modern agriculture Reply with quote

LongmuirG wrote:
Quote:
Dirk Bruere went off the rails:
And how do you cost in the subsidy oil gets through having to maintain a
huge military to ensure continuity of supply?

Let's see -- Japan depends on imports for ~100% of its fossil fuels,
including oil. Next time you see Japan's huge military flexing its
muscles in an oil producing country, be sure to alert the New York
Times; they like to report that kind of thing.

The US has long militarily subsidised Japan through various treaties.

Quote:
Then there is the EU. It is second only to Japan in terms of the
percentage of its fossil fuel it imports, importing about 2/3 of the
fuels it uses (including 84% of its oil). The EU is also by far the
largest energy importer on the planet, importing over 20 Million
Barrels Oil Equivalent per day, far above the US's 16 Million or
Japan's 9 Million. Yet the EU is militarily so weak that it was not
able, despite much hand-wringing, to stop genocide in its own
neighborhood in Yugoslavia. But despite being a military pygmy, the EU
is still able to keep on importing more fossil fuels than anyone else
on the planet, day after day.

IIRC the EU combined military budget is around 40% that of the US.

Quote:
So that old canard about needing a "huge military to ensure continuity
of supply" looks pretty threadbare.

Not at all.

Dirk
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