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Could grass be a better alternative to corn, for making ethanol?

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posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:32 PM
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There seems to be a food shortage going on in the world, some linked to gas prices and farmers using corn for making ethenol, rather than sell as food.

Something came to my mind this morning, while I was mowing my lawn. Since corn is virtually a type of grass, why can't we use grass to make ethenol?

I virtually have about 20 lbs of grass that I am about to throw away, and it grows to the point where I am forced to mow my lawns every week.

Could all this wasted grass, not only from my yard, but every home I've seen can be recycled into ethanol? I don't know the scientific basis behind it, but would grass be a more cost efficient, readily available, and almost limitless resource we can use to make ethanol, rather than corn?

[edit on 28-4-2008 by DJMessiah]




posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:36 PM
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I'm no expert, but these guys at Scientific American at least pretend to be:

Grass is Better than Corn for Making Ethanol



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:41 PM
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It would seem like the more logical reason to use grass. Maybe if the goverment paid each household a certain amount of money each month, to be allowed to use their grass for ethanol conversion, or some sort of tax break, I think this idea can take off.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:53 PM
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Sounds like a great idea, certainly better than sacrificing a food crop for fuel, and as it would appear, scientific evidence to support it too.
One flag, one star, well done.
Regards,
Horsegiver.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 06:57 PM
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We keep having so many people clog up the world, and maybe we better start looking for a way to squeeze fuel out of corpses. Foolish to have them go to waste when I could be using their complex fats to power my Hummer to the mall.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:00 PM
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Thank you. I've been looking for articles on this and have found one that says a Canadian company has been using grass and it has been proven to be cheaper and more useful than using corn:

news.nationalgeographic.com...



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:05 PM
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"Could grass be a better alternative to corn, for making ethanol?"

Oh my god please don't let this happen! (I can already see the price of golf skyrocketing).

Seriously though, this would be a step in the right direction. There are so many varieties of grasses which grow very fast and very tall.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:10 PM
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I think grass is food too and no food should be used to fuel a machine. It's the worse idea in the whole world. What's next? Cow's milk has just been authorized to fuel the new 4tit hybrid BMW, or chickens can bock, bock, bock you to work with the new it taste like chicken motor from an idiot who invented it. Sorry DJ, to me food is wrong to use as fuel.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:14 PM
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reply to post by Solarskye
 




It makes more sense to use grass rather than corn or wheat, wouldn't you say?



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:15 PM
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reply to post by Solarskye
 


If grass is food, then are bushes and trees also food? Have we been building our homes out of food all this time? I think I understand where you are coming from but I do not consider grass to be food in the same sense that I consider corn to be food. Grass would be a great alternative to corn if those were the only two options on the table....



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:16 PM
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reply to post by DJMessiah
 


Yes I agree with that, but grass is food for alot of animals we eat. There's just got to be a better way.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:23 PM
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reply to post by Solarskye
 


Grass can grow at a much more rapid pace than corn (which is already being used for feed). I can assume that we have more fields of grass than corn fields, we can get more grass per acreage than corn, and unlike corn, grass would be more cost effective.

Currently, corn is being used for ethanol. If we had it replaced with grass, the cows and chickens would not go hungry, and neither would the people all over the world who's lives depend on simple sustenances like corn.

[edit on 28-4-2008 by DJMessiah]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:33 PM
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reply to post by DJMessiah
 


You do have a point there and it's well taken.
It's definetly better than using corn. I guess we could recycle our grass we mow and set up grass farms. It's amazing that the engine was invented with all these inventors, but no one has been able to build something that works without a dollar sign as the idea symbol.

Sorry, just wanted to edit to ask where would we grow the corn if it's all grass in the fields?

[edit on 4/28/2008 by Solarskye]



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 07:54 PM
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I believe you can use anything that was alive. Any plant will do...



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 08:36 PM
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Grass isnt going to cause chaos worldwide, Corn will.

Its all about making the world more tupsyturvy, and not about reasoning.

Coast 2 Coast raised this question the other night. The Decider has Decided.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 09:29 PM
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I thought you were talking about hemp. After all I have seen a few threads saying they were going to try to reduce the crime if not do away with it. I am watching China to see if they hop on the new fuel bandwagon. They process of converting plants to fuel has improved recently. Grow the plant to seed and havest the seed for food and put the rest to fuel or other uses like fiber.

Using petroleum products like oil for fuel means using carbon that is stored on earth out of the atmosphere. Using plants for fuel means grabbing carbon out of the air. Now if we could trap the carbon we use for fuel from going back up to the atmosphere AND convert all our engines to trap the carbon, then we have a giant carbon storage machine. No guarantees on what happens to the temperature and climate however.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 09:35 PM
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Brazil uses sugar cane for it's ethanol and it is about 8 times more efficent at giving ethanol than corn. Somewhere I read that algae/seaweed might be a good source as well, since you wouldn't have to utilize any farmland to make it.

Biofuels as they are currently being manufactured in most of the world is just a shell game. They won't bring down prices, don't believe the hype. At least with sugar cane you get a good bang for the amount of fuel it takes to make the ethanol.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 09:52 PM
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reply to post by dgtempe
 

I get your point, but there are other countries that may be able to use this technology. All plant material contain cellulose which is a molecule (polysaccharide) made up of other sugar molecules (monosaccharides). Now, not all grasses can serve as fodder. Animals have their tastes too. These undesirable grasses can serve as the source of cellulose to produce alcohol. And most often they do not require replanting, nor do they require much fertilizer. I live where a lot of sugar cane is grown, and most of the leaves of these plants go up in smoke at harvest time. Imagine the waste of a potential resource such as this. As necessity is the mother of invention, I say now is the time to invent.



posted on Apr, 28 2008 @ 10:00 PM
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A better way to save the world and still have gas is.......hemp!!! We need those stupid laws gone to the save world and more press on the issue.



posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 04:16 AM
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Bad idea.
Best to leave plants out of the energy making business. They clean up the air.

Best alternatives: Wind, Solar, Maritime power




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