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Biofuels 'are not a magic bullet'

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posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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Biofuels 'are not a magic bullet'


news.bbc.co.uk

But a number of recent scientific studies have shown that the carbon savings from using biofuels compared with petrol and diesel vary hugely, depending on what crop is grown and where, how it is harvested and processed, and other factors.

There are also concerns that widespread planting and use of biofuel crops would threaten natural ecosystems and raise food prices.

(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.foxnews.com

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
Sweden to lead the way on Biofuels
Biodiesel May Not Be So Green




posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 01:51 PM
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The EU has a goal of 10% biofuel and UK has a 5% requirement. These goals are being reevaluated due to several concerns such as whether real carbon savings are possible.

news.bbc.co.uk
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 02:01 PM
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Good. They should have proceeded with caution from the beginning instead of getting caught up in the hype. I mean using soy for biofuel? Who's moronic idea was that? Yields are piss-poor. And then they hyped up corn. What the hell? Arghh! Idiots. There are only two viable crops as of this moment -- algae and palm oil. And for the palm oil, it depends on whether it comes from existing plantations or from new ones. Existing -- good. New -- bad.

Morons. Who were on the committee(s) earlier?

Sorry about the rant. Pissed off at hype. Any hype. Makes good ideas and concepts dumb because of the mad uneducated rush.

[edit on 14-1-2008 by Beachcoma]



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 
There are only two viable crops as of this moment -- algae and palm oil. And for the palm oil, it depends on whether it comes from existing plantations or from new ones. Existing -- good. New -- bad.
Hi Beach,
I hadn't thought much about palm oil but I see what you mean about the new palm oil vs old. I can imagine some tropical nations leveling all their old forests and planting a monoculture of palm trees. Here is a discussion aboutThe bad side of biofuel: palm oil in Indonesia or Palm oil biofuel deemed a failure.

My view is that thanks to the Al Gores of the world, people and news agencies have Global Warming to fear and worry about and they will grab at anything that comes along. Start government programs, put a subsidy on it and etc.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 04:08 PM
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It's actually a terrible alternative! Forests will be leveled to plant these "Sustainable" fuel crops - eliminating more CO2 absorbing plant material than it will save versus hydrocarbon use. Machinery will still be used to plant and harvest this material - more CO2 in the atmosphere. Erosion due to exposure will put entire areas at risk of mud slides or other ecological/meteorological disaster. Food prices will soar as more of these crops are redirected from the food chain into fuel use - exacerbating the already dire food shortage on the planet.

On a lighter note, I did read a story that stated that Switch Grass proved to have the highest yield of ethanol after processing with the least impact. But, in my opinion, burning anything as a fuel is absolutely the wrong direction to be heading here.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 04:20 PM
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I came across this other alternative that actually sounds as good as the algae idea:

Coskata, Inc. Introduces Next Generation Ethanol – Technology to Produce Ethanol for Less Than a Dollar per Gallon

Using patented microorganisms and transformative bioreactor designs, Coskata ethanol is produced via a unique three-step conversion process that turns virtually any carbon-based feedstock, including biomass, municipal solid waste, bagasse and other agricultural waste into ethanol, making production a possibility in almost any geography. Coskata’s process technology is ethanol-specific and enzyme independent, requiring no additional chemicals or pre-treatments; environmentally superior, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 84% compared to conventional gasoline; and has the ability to generate 7.7 times as much energy as is required to produce the ethanol, compared to corn ethanol which generates approximately 1.3 times as much energy according to Argonne National Labs.


Sounds pretty promising. And they've partenered up with General Motors (even though that company is being an asshat with the unveiling of two new fuel guzzling SUVs.... that's for another thread)

Certainly something to keep an eye on.

reply to post by kozmo
 


Yeah. Even though I mentioned palm oil as a viable alternative, it's not so good in the long run because of that food price aspect, at the very least. As of last week, the price of cooking oil in my country just went up. No doubt because of the strong demand for palm oil for the purpose of producing biodiesel.

Sigh... can't have your cake and eat it, too.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:31 PM
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This is a totally biased article probably funded and written by coal, natural gas, and oil subsidized corporate writers.

I agree biofuels are not a magic bullet. However, they are one solution to a larger societal problem.

What other options do we have? Use hydrogen which is more flammable than gasoline and harder and more expensive to extract?

reply to post by kozmo
 


You're confused on this subject.

HEMP can be planted in large quantities along with switch grass.

While the internal combustion engine is outdated and should be replaced with a electro-magnetic alternative, this is a much better solution than continuing our foreign dependence on oil.

There does not need to be widespread deforestation for this to be productive, economically, and ecologically viable.

Here's a few sources for you to look through on hemp biodiesel:

How to make biodiesel at home or farm

Hemp as a biodiesel




History of biofuel

Hemp for fuel

Hemp car

facts about hemp

Hemp as fuel substitute

P.S. How is this not infinitely better than our current transportation options?

[edit on 1/14/2008 by biggie smalls]

[edit on 1/14/2008 by biggie smalls]



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:37 PM
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^beat me by six seconds.

Since we're not allowed to talk about it on here (which is a huge joke if you ask me,) you should all look up the biofuel/ethanol capabilities of hemp.

Not only can you get more out of it than most other things, it's way way way better on the environment than other alternatives, and there are endless uses for the leftover material. It could eventually replace a lot of things that are harming the planet.

I can't get into it or my post will get deleted, but paper, wood, plastic, and fiber for any number of things can all come from the same plant that's supplying the fuel, and there's less than three tenths of one percent of any illegal substance in it.



[edit on 14-1-2008 by alaskan]



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:47 PM
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Actualy, you CAN talk about hemp in here, just so long as you are not talking about promoting drug use, or personal drug experiences.

Hemp as a useful crop is fine.

Brasil gets a great deal of biofuel out of sugarcane. Corn is a waste of energy and not a good plan. Corn is used a fuel simply for the government handouts. Switchgrass is a good source of biofuel and there are a number of alternatives. It is all a matter of scale. We should begin however, by lowering our consumption. Outlawing SUV's in the city is a good start. SUV= Stupid Urban Vehicle.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:52 PM
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Originally posted by biggie smalls

This is a totally biased article probably funded and written by coal, natural gas, and oil subsidized corporate writers.



It's not biased. It's one of the more balanced articles on biofuel I've read. Don't get me wrong, I'm a proponent of biofuel, not an opponent (check my thread history, you'll see). I am however an opponent of backing the wrong crop and doing things in a rush without proper research.

Also, the fact that the author (Richard Black) frequently writes articles challenging climate change sceptics to present their ideas seem to invalidate your assertion that he is "on the payroll."

As for hemp -- we can all fantasize but you know it's not gonna happen with the current setup of the world.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by Terapin
Actualy, you CAN talk about hemp in here, just so long as you are not talking about promoting drug use, or personal drug experiences.



Not true, the closest I got to talking about use or experience was using the M word once, and apparently the mods are hyper sensitive to that. No use arguing about it though.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:01 PM
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reply to post by alaskan
 


Because the M word is used for the drug, while hemp is for industrial purposes. Here's a thread by a Super Mod on hemp:

The Hemp Conspiracy

No problems there. So long as you don't discuss the mind-altering aspect or strains of the plant.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 


Beachcoma,

Sorry if I seemed a little peeved. I'm not really happy with our current energy situation as you can imagine. We always take the easy way out, and the one that makes companies who stand to profit from the way things are the most amount of cash possible.

The chances of hemp being used on a large scale would essentially change the makeup of the Middle East. We would not being using petroleum products at all as everything made of plastic can be made up of natural substitutes.

It just sickens me when people (not you) think we must use petroleum for technological and social livelihood.

We'd actually be much healthier without petroleum use...And yet the ignorance continues.

alaskan,

Hemp is not the same plant as cannabis. You can discuss conspiracies related to Cannabis, but not personal use. As long as you do not say "I use such and such herbal medicinal plant" you will not violate the Terms and Conditions as far as I understand them.

Beachcoma,

You mention the 'wrong' crop being discussed. What would be the 'right' one? Any other alternative ideas?



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:10 PM
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Originally posted by biggie smalls

alaskan,

Hemp is not the same plant as cannabis. You can discuss conspiracies related to Cannabis, but not personal use. As long as you do not say "I use such and such herbal medicinal plant" you will not violate the Terms and Conditions as far as I understand them.


You're preaching to the choir here, there has been unfair treatment though.
Example so this doesn't get dragged out: Posts about hemp and hemp alone getting deleted.

[edit on 14-1-2008 by alaskan]



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by biggie smalls
Hemp is not the same plant as cannabis.


Actually it is the same. But industrial hemp and those grown by the Dutch hydroponically have different ratios of the psychoactive ingredient.

Anyway...


The right crop for biofuel production? Algae. Nothing else comes close, except maybe seaweed (which incidentally also happens to be a form of algae called 'macroalgae')

Pond Scum and The Future
Japan may run its cars on seaweed

Both options will not compete with other crops for land and water.

Additionally:
Scientists: Seaweed Could Stem Warming

What have we got to lose?



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:41 PM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
But industrial hemp and those grown by the Dutch hydroponically have different ratios of the psychoactive ingredient.

The right crop for biofuel production? Algae. Nothing else comes close, except maybe seaweed


So seaweed is a form of hemp adapted to grow in sea? Amazing.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by buddhasystem
 


Was that a joke?



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by Beachcoma
 

Buddha has, well, a sense of humor!

And as far as the various types of hemp. The ones I chopped as weeds back in Iowa looked and smelled exactly like the ones we had later in the 60's and 70's, ie. they are indistinguishable. Once I picked a nice fresh, growthy hemp branch with its blooms from the wild and placed it in the cab of my buddy's pickup. My buddy was a cop. And BTW he didn't see the humor at all! Didn't do that again!



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 05:17 AM
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Oh, snap! I get it. Man, I feel stupid now.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 07:14 AM
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Originally posted by plumranch
And as far as the various types of hemp. The ones I chopped as weeds back in Iowa looked and smelled exactly like the ones we had later in the 60's and 70's, ie. they are indistinguishable.


Look and smell doesn't always equate to potency, a male plant smells much like the female, but has none of the effect. But that is off topic.

As far as hemp growing goes, take a ride down a highway, how much plain old crappy grass you see growing? That could be hemp fuel 20 feet tall.

How about that back yard you spend all summer mowing?

Wouldn't have to cut nothing until October if it was hemp.

Any space wasted on plain old grass that needs chemicals and wastes water could be replaced by a biofuel or food hemp crop on a nice rotation as to not kill the soil.

The usefulness of hemp as biofuel is as old as the automobile, its information that has been suppressed. Actually its use as fuel for lamps goes back to the Scythians.

Its ludicrous that they are using corn for fuel, its not even good for eating, and requires so many pesticides, but Monsanto and their ilk makes a mint on the seeds and chemicals.




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