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Biodiesel May Not Be So Green

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posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:56 PM
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Biodiesel May Not Be So Green


www.foxnews.com

Surprisingly, European farmers currently growing rapeseed for biodiesel could reduce their carbon footprint by more than half if they planted trees and let regular diesel be burned instead.

This is partly because commonly used fertilizers emit nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that has nearly 300 times more warming effect than carbon dioxide, which tends to get all the attention.

(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
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Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Biodiesel a possible replacement for oil.




posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 10:56 PM
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The author found that often the nitrous oxide and CO2 produced by farming practices negated some benificial effects of biodiesel use. Nitrous oxide is produced as a side effect of fertilizer use and is hundreds of times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. It's probably better to plant the ground to trees and use diesel fuel. Or better yet build new clean nuclear facility that produce almost no greenhouse gasses (like France)!

www.foxnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 11:24 PM
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reply to post by plumranch
 

It's probably better to look at biodiesel as something that would reduce dependence on foreign oil, but is also renewable. Beyond that, I'd say making things more efficient, using organic farming practices, etc., so that *less* biodiesel is used, is probably the preferred route.

Nuclear power production doesn't generate greenhouse gases, but it does leave us with a lot of highly radioactive waste that has to be stored somewhere. My focus would be on reducing consumption and increased generation from renewable sources (wind, tidal, solar, biofuels, etc.).



posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 11:43 PM
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Well, this is one of those (IMHO) ridiculous absolute ways of viewing things. If your only concern is CO2 emissions, maybe I could believe that Biofuels are not a great alternative to Diesel. However, it will take more than a skewed article like this to convince me to believe that somehow burning Diesel is a better environmental choice to growing plants.

God forbid the environmental damage when a tanker carrying the rapeseed wrecks in the North Sea, or San Fransisco Bay. I am sure the environmental effects of a tanker full of rapeseed would probably not be nearly as catastrophic as the recent tanker spills.

The topic is not as simple as these faux news articles paint them to be.



posted on Nov, 28 2007 @ 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
Well, this is one of those (IMHO) ridiculous absolute ways of viewing things. If your only concern is CO2 emissions, maybe I could believe that Biofuels are not a great alternative to Diesel. However, it will take more than a skewed article like this to convince me to believe that somehow burning Diesel is a better environmental choice to growing plants.


It sounds like typical stuff funded by the oil companies. There are lots of benefits to using biofuels, even if CO2 emission reduction isn't one of them.



God forbid the environmental damage when a tanker carrying the rapeseed wrecks in the North Sea, or San Fransisco Bay. I am sure the environmental effects of a tanker full of rapeseed would probably not be nearly as catastrophic as the recent tanker spills.


I'm waiting for an article that says something like, "Would you let your young, innocent, virgin daughters fill their cars with rapeseed oil?!" It seems to be in line with some of the reasoning they use for these fake articles.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 12:16 AM
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Originally posted by plumranch
It's probably better to plant the ground to trees and use diesel fuel.


If only the world were a simpler place. Unfortunately it isn't, no matter how we wish it to be.
Planting Trees Doesn't Necessarily Mitigate Global Warming

Climate change is a complex thing. Those who blame it entirely on man and those who put the blame on, say the Sun for example, are both two extremes on the same spectrum. In my opinion they are idiots or more probably lazy thinkers. It's nice and comfy to be sure of something, instead of hanging in uncertainty, but it is contradictory to denying ignorance. We must weigh in all factors.

Carbon dioxide did not end the last Ice Age
Aircraft contrails contributing to global warming?

There's also undersea volcanic activity to consider... I will get around to writing an article on that. Procrastination is a bitch


Anyway, lets move on to the topic at hand - biodiesel. True, it's not perfect yet but then, at it's onset so was diesel and diesel engines. Progress is being made to make the technology cleaner and greener.

Sweet fuel supply

That article describes a new technology that produces biodiesel from glucose, and hydrogen from the waste product. Fantastic!

And then there are other sources of biodiesel that needs no land nor does it require fertilizer. Instead it uses smoke pollution from existing coal plants and other heavy industries as a source of 'fertilizer', scrubbing the smokestacks of toxic fumes and producing biofuel at the same time.

Pond Scum and The Future

In that thread you will also learn that algae can be a source of hydrogen as well. Although that technology (hydrogen from algae) is still in the development stage, real progress is being made (check the final post there).

You can't stop the biofuel tide. No amount of Fox news propaganda is going to deter venture capitalists from this goldmine of renewable energy.

Feel free to pose any other questions you may have on biofuels -- I have been researching the subject long before I joined these forums and long before it became a 'buzzword'. The same with climate change.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 02:31 AM
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Feel free to pose any other questions you may have on biofuels
reply to post by Beachcoma
 

Hi Beach,
Thanks for your post...

One of my ventures is farming and we farmers seem to be benifiting greatly from the ethanol as fuel phenomenon. I shouldn't be critical but permit me to doubt that the overall environmental effect is not necessarily positive from the biofuel effort. Now believe me, recently it has been benificial to midwest farmers!
My question to you is... what about the that nitrous oxide that is so potent as a greenhouse gas. The biological biproduct of fertilizer use, so prevalent in agriculture and esp. in the midwest. Doesn't that put us into a negative overall greenhouse gas position after we have produced and consumed all the rapeseed oil or ethanol?



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 02:52 AM
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First off, rapeseed isn't the only source for bio-diesel fuel.

Secondly, you don't have to use any fertilizers if you don't want to. Perhaps they become advantageous on a commercial scale, and this little 'ol gardner is biased, but I know I could grow my own fuel without fertilizers.

I also have a friend in the UK that has his bio-diesel engine geared (not sure how) so that he can use the oil from fast food restaurants as fuel.

Basically what I am saying is you could grown organic corn and use that as a bio-diesel fuel source and thus wholly mitigate this articles claim.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 03:14 AM
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Ugh.
I find myself agreeing with a Fox News story... I feel dirty.

Thing is, Biodiesel really is a non-starter as a "green" technology. Current agricultural practices consume as much as 2000 calories of fossil fuel to produce a single calorie of crop when you take into account fertilizer, pesticides, and oil burning machinery. That's not taking into account the shipping costs and the fact that it takes energy to process the crop into usable fuel.

Then there's the whole issue of food. If we were to dedicate enough agriculture to producing biofuel to make a significant impact, we wouldn't have enough left to feed ourselves.

So no, biodiesel isn't green... unless you're talking the greenbacks that it's making for various people who are misrepresenting things.

My contention is that Biofuel is only a viable technology when you're talking about waste re-processing... and even then, it would likely be better to put that waste directly back into the agricultural system via composting.

Now I'm sure Fox has an agenda in making this information known (likely bought and paid for by Big Oil), but alas... even Fox can be right sometimes.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 03:30 AM
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Originally posted by Cloak and Dagger
First off, rapeseed isn't the only source for bio-diesel fuel.

No, it's just the most efferent. Of all the crops that can be used to produce biofuel, apparently rapeseed has the best turnover. Still, it's a negative figure when you compare oil calorie input vs usable energy returns.


Secondly, you don't have to use any fertilizers if you don't want to. Perhaps they become advantageous on a commercial scale, and this little 'ol gardner is biased, but I know I could grow my own fuel without fertilizers.

Actually, yes... you really do HAVE to use fertilizer if you want to produce crops.

Think of it this way, nothing is free and everything has to come from something. When you grow a crop, the plants are leaching minerals and nutrients from the ground. Those become the usable/burnable elements of the plant. When you remove the plants, you remove those nutrients from the system. It's a simple matter of logic to understand that when you continuously remove something from a system, the system eventually runs out and fails.

If you don't fertilize, eventually you will be left with ground that is reduced to useless dust. This is what happened in the 20s leading into the 30s and caused the great Dust Bowl.

Now, there are other ways to fertilize than to simply douse the ground in oil based chemicals (Cuba has some amazing technology in this field), but the fact remains... everything has to come from something and when you burn off parts of your system you will eventually face depletion.


I also have a friend in the UK that has his bio-diesel engine geared (not sure how) so that he can use the oil from fast food restaurants as fuel.

A normal diesel engine can burn cooking oil without any modification. It's hell on your filters, but it's perfectly doable. This is an example of waste reclamation. Since there's currently system in place for reclaiming used cooking oil, burning it as fuel is acceptable. However, it's no better for the environment and that waste would be more effectively used as in producing fertilizer for producing more crop to produce more cooking oil.

Oh... and fueling up on cooking oil can get you in trouble for tax evasion.
It also produces a powerful smell.


Basically what I am saying is you could grown organic corn and use that as a bio-diesel fuel source and thus wholly mitigate this articles claim.

The sad truth is that it cannot and does not.
Hopefully my above posting has shown you why.



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 04:36 AM
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Originally posted by plumranch
My question to you is... what about the that nitrous oxide that is so potent as a greenhouse gas. The biological biproduct of fertilizer use, so prevalent in agriculture and esp. in the midwest. Doesn't that put us into a negative overall greenhouse gas position after we have produced and consumed all the rapeseed oil or ethanol?


That is true, nitrous oxide presents a significant problem and is much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide if one considers the amount of time it takes to cycle back down from the atmosphere. But like Cloak and Dagger mentioned, rapeseed isn't the only source for biofuel. And no BitRaiser, it isn't the best source either. That distinction goes to my weapon of choice -- algae (see link in previous post). That single-celled plant can utilise useless deserts and be fertilized with smoke from factories. Sweet!

However since that particular source is still rather hi-tech and thus somewhat out of reach (for the moment) to you, let's move on to the third best option -- the Florida aspen a.k.a. Chinese tallow. Why did I recommend the third best instead of the second best? Unfortunately the second best is not suitable for temperate regions -- oil palm. Plus there's a whole lot of other controversial issues associated with oil palm thanks to years of smear campaign.... that's for another thread. Anyway, back to the Florida aspen -- the yield is close to 5 times better than rapeseed plus the tree is really not that choosy about it's soil-type, though it grows best in sub-tropical regions. And you're planting trees in just the right region where it actually helps mitigate global warming (see other link in previous post). Nice


I'm not sure why rapeseed, sunflower and soy were pushed as biofuel sources... the yields are horrible. The only way to make it decent is to fertilize it rigorously, in which case it offsets any potential benefits as, BitRaiser has demonstrated. The top three sources I mentioned earlier however do not require as much attention as the ones being pushed and consequently vilified due to their inherent problems -- which BitRaiser has highlighted. You've got to use the right crops if you want to make any positive impact. If you choose to plant those with sub-par yields that require copious amounts of fertilization, then of course its not a green option.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Oh yeah, BitRaiser -- you're a good researcher and especially good when it comes to uncovering disinformation. Research a little bit more about algae, oil palm and Chinese tallow and see if you still hold the same negative view, which I do agree with if it's rapeseed, soy and sunflower. Maybe you can even uncover why there is a lot of disinfo going on for the top 3 sources while the bottom 3 sources are given a push. I've got my own theories (think synthetic fertilizer) but you might uncover something else.

Edit: damn it didn't see any typo when I proofread it before


[edit on 29-11-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 05:48 AM
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Don't worry BitRaiser, faux got it from Wall Street Journal (whatever their agenda may be).

www.truthout.org...

But most of you... you really don't get it, do you? Biofuel is a major part of the NWO plan of depopulating planet earth.

Let me state, I'm talking about biofuel produced from edible plants, first generation, and not the second generation of cellulosic ethanol, made from switchgrass, wood chips or other plant matter.

Don't you get it, the biggest crime to mankind ever, is biofuels. Beside from the fake claim it reduces greenhouse gasses, it robs land, steals food and what is left of food is pressed to prices higher than ever. It's the perfect tool for inducing famine. And that's exactly what it is intended for.

First of all, studies now show the production of biofuels by current technology counting in the energy to produce and transport, at best are even in CO2 to fossilfuels.

Next, it takes away land used for food production, thus increasing the demand for food. Which in turn means higher prices and aviability will only be for a steadily increasing number of people. There you have the famine. When you fill up your SUV, designed and introduced to the market to boost fuel demands, you take out edibles that could have fed 20 people for one year.



A recent study by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development concluded that biofuels "offer a cure [for oil dependence] that is worse than the disease." A National Academy of Sciences study said corn-based ethanol could strain water supplies. The American Lung Association expressed concern about a form of air pollution from burning ethanol in gasoline. Political cartoonists have taken to skewering the fuel for raising the price of food to the world's poor.

Last month, an outside expert advising the United Nations on the "right to food" labeled the use of food crops to make biofuels "a crime against humanity," although the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization later disowned the remark as "regrettable."


That people here on ATS buys the hoax is "regrettable" too bearing in mind the motto of the site. This problemacy has been known for acouple of years, and at least for the last been widely exposed in part of the press. Even the food giants now start to complain.



Packaged-food companies, too, began pushing back, as one after another blamed biofuels' effect on grain costs for hurting earnings. In June, Dean Foods Co., H.J. Heinz Co., Kellogg Co., Nestle USA, PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co. sent a letter to senators saying that requiring greater use of ethanol would affect their "ability to produce competitively available, affordable food."


The awareness is growing, but it comes from some corners we usually don't count.



Opponents of ethanol also have hammered on an Agriculture Department projection that by 2010, less than 8% of the U.S. gasoline supply will come from corn-based ethanol - and 30% of the corn crop will be used to make it. That suggests to some that the tradeoff between food and fuel is unbalanced.

At the same time, some foreign countries have been increasingly questioning ethanol. Mexico blamed it in part for contributing to rising prices of corn-based tortillas. China barred new biofuel plants from using corn, and Malaysia trimmed its biofuels production mandates. Cuban President Fidel Castro has called using food crops for fuel a "sinister idea." President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela ordered troops to secure his oil-producing nation's grain supplies, saying corn was to be used for food, not fuel.

In other words, if demands were to be all covered by corn-based fuel, the US would have to quadruple its corn output, and use it all for this "sinister idea."



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 05:58 AM
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reply to post by khunmoon
 


Good post. Notice how soy and other less then optimum crops are given a push for biofuel production, whereas the crops that actually do produce good amounts of oil are either downplayed or given a smear campaign?

Besides population reduction, I've a strong suspicion it is also for the profits to be gained from synthetic fertilizers (which come from petroleum). Despicable :shk:



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 06:47 AM
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Thats why they need to legalize industrial hemp, it would produce more than just hemp oil(for running your car). It doesn't leach the soil, the fibers can be used for paper/cloth, the seeds are an edible nut, ect. You don't need fertilizer to produce BioDiesel. Plus the article acts like waste vegtible oil(WVO) isn't being used. McDonalds or BurgerKing will sell thier old fryer oil for about 10$ for 20-30 gallons, thats 2000+ miles of travel for a diesel engine. All the anti-diesel crap they spew is just funny. I'm sorry, but I would rather fill my car up once a month for 10 dollars(and help use up a waste product).

Go ask Europe why over 51% of all vehicle sales are diesel.

Or we could compare an industrial hemp farm(like the ones in Canada), to a refinery and all its polution...Have you been to Gary,IN?

I agree that corn based ethenol is retarded, Diesel engines are not!

[edit on 29-11-2007 by LordBaskettIV]



posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 04:35 PM
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Basically what I am saying is you could grown organic corn and use that as a bio-diesel fuel source and thus wholly mitigate this articles claim.
reply to post by Cloak and Dagger
 

Hi Cloak,
I think most of the biofuel sources need fertilizer to make production profitable ie. make it worth raising. Farmers always like a profit!
In Iowa come spring, all those big white tanks parked in fields contain anhydrous ammonia (NH3). Here is an article discussing NH3 and it current usage in agriculture. The production was 10 million tons in 2006. They burn natural gas to produce NH3 which produces a tremendous amount of CO2. Then you add in the fact that the NH3 is converted partially by nature to NO which is 300 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it looks like we are headed in the wrong direction!
Add that to the fact that the farmers in my area are planting aces that formerly they put into soybeans to corn because of higher corn prices which are due to increased biofuel (ethanol) production. Soybeans don't require fertilization, they are a legume and fix their own nitrogen to the soil. Corn requires lots of NH3 pumped into the ground every year! So we have a compounding greenhouse gas problem.
Oh yes and when we produce corn rather that soybeans and less bean production, fewer soybeans are available for food.



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