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Would you like to be able to offset 70 percent (or more) of the oil imported in the USA?

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posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 01:47 PM
Would you like to be able to create one third (or more) of all U.S. transportation
fuel needs? Would you like to be able to offset 70 percent (or more) of the oil
imported in the USA?

Please give me a few minutes to finish posting before commenting, thanks.

Mods, I chose Fragile Earth as my thread seems to fit, if it does not please feel free
to move it. Thanks.

After activity in a thread about global warming/climate change I decided to make a
thread which shows the many different ways we could create and have energy,
which does not require oil/gas (fossil fuel) being drilled from the planet and which
are far more environmentally friendly.

I felt that the thread was being disrailed a bit, and did not want to continue adding to
the derailing of that thread.

Basically, I am kind of on the fence in regards to climate change/global warming
being human caused and believe in the end it is irrelevant as to if humans are a part
of the cause or not. I do believe that climate change is taking place, and I feel that
living in a healthier environmentally friendly manner is only good for the planet and
those of us who live here which includes all things animal and plant.

This thread is not about global warming/climate change, it is about the use of and
different types of Biofuels, Biomass, Geothermal, Hydro power, windpower, water
power such as wave and tidal, solar power and other forms of alternative fuels that
is available for human use. I do not want to discuss if climate change is happening
or what is causing it, I want to discuss other forms of energy that removes the need
for fossil fuels. As well as I have chosen to throw in a bit of information about
plastics that could be made from renewable resources that do not involve using
fossil fuels.

I have used several wiki links as they were very well written, even though in many
cases wiki is not the best place for reliable information, in my research I found that
the wiki links I used had much of the same information as other reliable sites, it was
just consolidated.

Let's start with a bit of information about crude oil, it not only creates pollution in the
form of CO2 when using it, but the extraction and the extensive processing before it
can be used as well as spillage causes pollution and environmental damage.

Earth Oil Extraction-Environmental pollution


Many forms of extracting oil/gas from the planet causes a negative impact to the
environment in the water table, soil and air.

Petroleum is used in pharmaceuticals, solvents, fertilizers, pesticides and plastics.
Other products/oil producing plants can be used to create the same items, removing
the need for as much fossil fuel extraction from the planet, and again lessening the
environmental impact of items made from fossil fuels on the planet.

I personally believe in organic fertilizers, and not using pesticides as much as

For a little history on petroleum, the earliest known oil wells were drilled in China in
347 CE or earlier. It is time we moved out of the dark ages and into a new way of
creating and using energy that does not harm the environment, or those using the

Petroleum/fossil fuel usage, extraction and processing has significant social and
environmental impacts, from accidents and routine activities such as seismic
exploration, drilling and generations of polluting wastes not produced by other
alternative energies.

For example, offshore exploration and extraction of oil disturbs the surrounding
marine environment. This happens in many different ways including dredging which
stirs up the seabed and kills sea plants and marine creatures that need these plants
to survive.

We then have what is called macroseepages, which over 70% of the reserves in the
world have, and many fields have seeps. Seeps are when liquid or gas escapes to
the surface through fractures and fissures in the rock. Seeps are considered a
significant source of pollution, leaking into the water table and out into the
environment. Seeps can be a natural environmental occurrence, but are also
created in the process of extraction. This site goes into more detail in regards to
the environmental impact of fossil fuel extraction with several links which talks about
fossil fuels in a positive manner. My point here is not to "hate on oil", but to look at
other viable, environmentally friendly sources for energy.

A bit of research and reading will bring you up to date on the damage that fossil
fuels can cause to humans, plants and the creatures of this planet.


Biomass and Biofuel is a renewable energy source which can be created from
multiple items such as manure, waste and crops. Biofuel and Biomass is basically a
solid, liquid or gaseous fuel obtained from biological material. It is not from fossil
fuel. Biofuel or Biomass can be created from plants or waste products.

If you have the setup a person can even make biofuel themselves, bypassing large
corporations, therefore saving money and using a product that is friendly to the


Biomass is plant matter which is grown to generate electricity. Also, biomass can be
created from waste such as dead trees, yard clippings and wood chips, including
plant or animal matter used for producing fibers, chemicals or heat.

Options of biomass includes, miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow,
sorghum, sugarcane and other tree species including eucalyptus to oil palm.

An article talking about bio-diesel and how to make it. It is very in depth and has many links.

Ethanol is another Biofuel which can be used in vehicles that are not diesel. Many places in the USA have
already started adding ethanol to fossil fuel to offset the cost, production and
pollution of fossil fuel usage.

Today in the USA ethanol is created in general from corn, though ethanol could be
better made using other plants.

A link which goes into more detail about making ethanol


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 01:57 PM

One form of Biofuel involves using the waste from landfills by recycling the
gases that a landfill releases. Several landfills are now doing this and
supplying their own electricity and supplying others with electricity. We
could also use garbage to create fuel for our vehicles.

Biofuel can be used for the same applications as fossil fuel that is extracted
from the earth, but is cheaper and the burning of these fuels causes less
pollution to the environment than using fossil fuels as well as being more
environmentally friendly in the production. You can heat your home, create
electricity and run your vehicles on Biofuel.

An estimate of 40 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol could be produced from
plant waste destined for the landfill, providing as much as one third of all
U.S. transportation fuel needs. If other forms of waste, such as the stalks
of corn plants (corn stover) or the remnants of timber harvest are included,
"we would have enough feedstock in the U.S. to offset 70 percent of the oil
import." A percentage that deserves far more study than is currently being
given to these processes.

We can also turn manure from ranching into biofuel.

Another type of biofuel, is called "Agrofuel", and it is fuel which is produced
from plant crops, such as sugar cane, beet, sweet sorghum, corn and
hemp(not marijuana) to produce ethanol. Another is to grow plants that
produce oil, such as vegetable oil, oil palm, soybean, hemp(not marijuana),
algae and others. When heated these oils burn in a diesel engine.

I look at these with the knowledge that at this time, many of these products
are being grown, such as oil palm, in a way that is harmful to the
environment, and this practice would need to be addressed to allow the
benefits that is possible with these products.

We could make plant type choices that would be far more reliable, cheaper
and environmentally friendly than some of the choices being used now.

First generation biofuels contain sugar, starch, vegetable oil or animal fats.

Second generation biofuels include the use of straw, timber, manure, rice
husks, sewage and food waste. Another positive of using these for fuel, is
that this also assist us with our waste management. Second generation
biofuels are non food crops, such as waste items.

Third generation Biofuels, at this time is made from algae.

Basically, we have the technology and the ability to create energy/fuel for
continuing to live in the lifestyles that we as modern day humans like,
instead of staying in the dark ages by continuing to use fossil fuels.

One quick statement here about hemp, it is NOT marijuana. I get so
irritated when I see people continuing to view and speak of hemp and
marijuana as the same plant when they are not. They are the same in the
exact manner that mushrooms and shrooms are the same, they are related,
but hemp like mushrooms do not get you high, marijuana like shrooms
does. They are the same as in you and your "cousins" are the same, but
obviously different. It seems that people like to ignore information, and live
in denial, believing that mushrooms/hemp and shrooms/marijuana are the
same, when the truth is brought up, people put their hands over their ears
and yell "la la la I can't hear you". The government has done a great job
with the disinformation in regards to Hemp. If you don't believe me, do
your research, the truth is out there.


Geothermal power is cost effective, reliable, and environmentally friendly,
but has previously been geographically limited to areas near tectonic plate

Recent technological advances have dramatically expanded the range and
size of viable resources, especially for direct applications such as home
heating. Geothermal wells tend to release greenhouse gases trapped deep
within the earth, but these emissions are much lower than those of
conventional fossil fuels.

Geothermal plants can be equipped with emissions-controlling systems that
reduces the exhaust of acids and volatiles further decreasing the amount of
pollution they cause.

Also, elements such as mercury, arsenic and antimony can be injected back
into the earth instead of disposed into rivers etc. I would wonder if in the
future we could come up with an even better way to protect th
environment from these substances.

We are still studying and learning about geothermal uses and so many
unknowns still abound in regards to geothermal energy. I advocate that it
is a possibility that deserves more study.

Solar engergy

I am going on the assumption here that most people know about the
possibilities of solar power, and with the advances in solar technology that is
taking place, I see where in the future, it will become more available to the
general population.

Solar energy can be used for more than just creating electricity. Such as
heating and cooling through architecture, creating potable water via
distillation and disinfection, lighting through the use of skylights/domes etc.,
hot water, and the use of thermal energy for cooking.

Reading about solar power I learned more about the differences between
passive solar and active solar.

Passive Solar
Active Solar

Active solar techniques use photovoltaic panels, pumps, and fans to convert
sunlight into useful outputs. Passive solar techniques include selecting
materials with favorable thermal properties, designing spaces that naturally
circulate air, and referencing the position of a building to the Sun.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 02:10 PM

Hydro Power

Hydroelectricity is generated using the gravitational force of flowing water.
Once a power plant is completed it then creates no direct waste and has a
lower output level of greenhouse gasses compared to fossil fuels.

With hydroelectricity we do have to be conscious of the environmental
impact of where we put dams, as well as looking into the impact of methane
and carbon dioxide created by the decaying materials in flooded areas.

I do find many negatives in regards to hydroelectricity, but I again think
that with better technology this could be a viable way for many places to
create electricity.

Tidal Power

Tidal Power is something very new for me, and have only been hearing
about it for about the past six months, even though the earliest uses of it
date from the Roman times.

Tidal Power converts the energy of tides into electricity. There seems to be
many different types being used and studies at this time. As it is a new one
for me, I do not have much of an opinion on if this would be a viable source
of energy that is environmentally friendly, as I would imagine that it could
have an impact on ecosystem.

Wave Power

Again, a new one for me that I am still reading about, which is a form of
hydropower, but converts waves into electricity.

Same concerns for me as with Tidal power.

Wind Power

Wind power is the conversion of wind into electricity. Wind power is one
that is very exciting to me, especially with all the new technology that allows
many places that previously could not use wind power, to be able to take
advantage of just about any amount of winds.

Something fairly new is an Airborne wind turbine, which is supported in the
air without a tower, but does have a tether to transmit energy.

New technology makes wind power available to the residential homeowner.
The technology uses a better design that creates energy from low to
moderate wind conditions which are as well indestructible in high winds of

Part of the problem with many wind turbines is that they have to have a
continual wind, which does not reach high speeds, as these high speed
winds have the ability to destroy them. Here is a link, which shows many
different types that can be used in the residential setting. I don't know that
this would be the best place to get these items, but it has great pictures of
many different choices as well as information about wind power.

Combustion hydrogen

This is a technology that is currently being studied and is only available as a
"lease" in limited settings and is not available to the general public yet. In
2007 their were approximately 200 of them in use in the USA, mostly in
California. I do not see this technology as being viable any time soon, but
is a very interesting idea.

Fuel Cell

This goes along with the above hydrogen system, and as I am not one who
understand this technology, I will leave it up to someone who has more
knowledge to discuss the advantages of these type of power.

Compressed air car

I have to say that this is one I had never heard of until starting my research
for this thread. It is an interesting concept that is a "future" idea, though
has been used to propel torpedos. As with the hydrogen above, if anyone
else has more information about compressed air cars, it would be
appreciated, as well as possible other uses.

Compressed air cars are powered by engines fueled by compressed air,
which is stored in a tank at high pressure such as 30 MPa (4500 psi or 300
bar). The storage tank is likely to be made of carbon-fiber in order to
reduce its weight while achieving the necessary strength, also when
penetrated it will not explode, instead it will crack. Instead of mixing fuel
with air and burning it to drive pistons with hot expanding gases;
compressed air cars use the expansion of compressed air to drive their

The idea is not new. There have been prototype cars since the 1920s and
compressed air has been used in torpedo propulsion as well.

Electric cars

Just what it says, a vehicle which runs on electricity, stored in battery
packs. The problem at this time seems to be the storage of this energy. I
think most people have heard of hybrids, a vehicle which runs on a
combination of fossil fuel and electricity.

The type of fuel used, I imagine though have not found for sure in my
searching, could be biofuel of one type or another in conjunction with

From my research I have re-learned that the electric car is actually one of
the oldest automobiles. Sometime between 1832 and 1839 Robert
Anderson invented the first electric carriage.

An interesting tidbit of information is that in 1899 Camille Jenatzy had a
speed breaking record of 62MPH, it's top speed was 65.79MPH.

New York had the first commercial application which was a fleet of New York
City taxis in 1897. Electric cars in the early 20th century out-sold
gasoline-powered vehicles.

It is obvious, at least to me that we have many other options available to us
other than fossil fuels which have an environmental impact which is far less
than fossil fuel usage does, as well as them being renewable.

I understand that many of these are still being studied, meaning that we are
still learning about the impacts of using these forms of energy, as well as
learning new ways that are better, safer and more efficient. I understand
that many people have fear and or confusion when thinking about switching
over to new forms of energy, and it seems we have an abundance of
possible solutions. I believe that as humans, we are adaptable and change
can be good. The problem lies in staying inside a bubble that does not allow
for adaptation of better forms of energy.

edited for bad typing, though I am sure I missed some.

[edit on 22-4-2009 by amazed]

posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 02:16 PM

Another reason why it seems to be so hard for us, as human beings, to
transition from one resource to another, is our inate ability to blame
everything on something besides ourselves. Whenever there's a major
problem most people will use the excuse of; "Oh it's just human nature, we
can't change it, we can't fix it. It's just how we are." They continue to advert
their eyes from things they don't want to find, even if the information is
staring them right in the face.

Now, a bit of information in regards to plastics that can be created without
the use of fossil fuels.

Bioplastics are organic
plastics which are created from vegetable oil, corn starch, pea starch, hemp
or microbiota instead of being made from fossil fuels. These products can
be made to be biodegradable.

Most disposable items could be created from bioplastics, such as packaging,
catering, bowls, plates, cutlery, straws, napkins, bags for fruits and
vegetables that we buy in the stores, trays for fruits, vegetables, eggs,
meats, soft drink bottles and dairy products. The list is almost endless.

What do you use that is plastic? It could possibly be made from renewable
environmentally friendly plants.

When looking at plastics that we do not want to degrade quickly, new
technology is being studied and used for mobile phones, carpet fibers and
car interiors. A new electroactive bioplastic is even being developed to
carry an electrical current.

Unfortunately, for now it is not possible to ensure that GMO corn is not being
used in bioplastics in North America, though European and German
consumers are "hostile" towards GMO products. Go Europeans and
Germans for this, Monsanto in my thoughts is a harmful company that
should not be allowed to continue. But that is for another thread.

Using bioplastics significantly reduces the hazardous waste which is caused
by using oil-derived plastics.

In moving towards this direction, we definitely have to properly manage our
forests to not allow further deforestation, and study the impact of water
supply and soil erosion.

Thanks for participating and along with me, learning about other viable
sources of energy. I am looking forward to hearing from those who might
have other ideas than what I found, along with opinions and thoughts as to
using different types of energy that does not involve fossil fuels.

Remember, I am myself still learning about the possibilities, and in no way
saying that all of the above choices are the "only" options or the "best"
options. But I am willing to look into them, and move towards a future that
is viable, environmentally friendly, cost effective and renewable.

My family and I plan, this summer hopefully, to look into wind power, we
have even found some free plans online as to how to build small wind
turbines. I think this would be great for my children, even if we do not build
one that is a viable source of energy, we will learn quite a bit and have fun
doing so.


posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 02:18 PM
I wanted to say a quick apology for how the postings came out, seems that when I transferred from word to here the enter keys etc did not come out quuiittee right.

Hopefully it does not cause anyone hardships with reading my information.




posted on Apr, 22 2009 @ 02:50 PM
I would like to add something else
as if I had not written enough.

With all the possible alternative energy sources available to us, why are we still using one that is harmful?

A possible answer is "follow the money", if we moved into many of these other forms of energy, who would no longer be making billions and billions and billions? The few main oil companies? Or someone else?

If we moved into using these other forms of energy, we would have many many companies making money, and not just a few. Also realize, some of these forms of energy have almost no large long term cost to the consumer. For example, making your own bio diesel is far cheaper than buying diesel as we do now.

In the long run, consumers would be paying out less to use many of these environmentally friendly forms of energy.

An example again would be solar energy. The cost of using solar will go down eventually I believe, leaving the electric companies "out in the cold" as more and more consumers start switching over to the use of other ways to bring electricity to their homes.

So, follow the money, and question why, environmentally friendly ways for humans to tap into many different types of energy, have been ignored and/or put on the back burner for so long.


posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 11:24 AM
super long writing but i can see why you would include as much as possible in your opening posts, because it does get tiresome to respond continuously to ' BUT, IF xxx then yyy' statements when filling in the blanks was all that was needed.

the idea of reducing fuel consumption is a good one, even though the focus on CO2 seems from my point of view, misguided and i can give you a few links with reasons if you wish.

my primary issue with most of these alternative fuel sources is that they are either outright detrimental and widely in use or seem to remain in the lab testing stage for forever and a day. i recently (re)posted a list of biofuel plants in the USA, which are almost exculsively processing corn. the actual ratio of corn versus all other feedstocks may even be worse because more experimental facilities tend to be smaller.

direct link:

what i am missing here is a broader view, because reducing petroleum consumption in car engines becomes irrelevant when the same amount of energy has to be expended to produce the fertilizer needed to grow fuel crops.

such views or the simple cost and effect analysis are nowhere to be found, it's all about GW panic, therefore arguments do not seem to apply, which is, on a larger scale a tell-tale sign that a lot of what is now sold as 'green' serves as the means to an end which is unsuited for public consumption - as some people would put it.

let's see, IF people feld that CO2 was a real problem, wouldn't they wecome any reasonable relief?

Planet saved without taxation! Well, almost...

Scientists at Columbia University are developing a carbon dioxide (CO2) scrubber device that removes one ton of CO2 from the air every day.

While some see the scrubber as an efficient and economical way to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide, many environmentalists are opposing the technology because it allows people to use fossil fuels and emit carbon in the first place.


arguing along the lines of CO2 and greenhouse gas in general plays into the lobby's hands to a certain extent, unfortunately, even though i feel i have little choice, simply because people will view not adressing the issue as weakness.

shooting holes in the GW'ers arguments is therefore probably the most reliable way to make a credible point, imho.

Biofuel Related N2O Emissions Outweigh CO2 Benefits

PS: in the end i hope you can see clearly through the fog and understand that the only real winners in this game will be nuclear power industries, which even organized greens now reluctantly start to embrace. these nuclear industries would remain mostly under gov't control and the taxpayer would foot the bill for dealing with the nuclear waste, effectively subsidizing all large scale consumers of electricity, who would get it cheap.

once they could blackmail us all with their radioactive dirt, we would probably see a gradual shift away from GW to other, more profitable scares. afacis, AGW is simply marketing run amok, but that's just me.

posted on Apr, 24 2009 @ 12:31 PM
Yes, I thought about posting a bit at a time, but was worried that I would not get the information posted in a reasonable manner.

Thanks for more links

I know that some of the choices for making biofuel, like oil palm is not at this time, being managed in a fully environmentally friendly way and this definitely needs to be addressed. Creating one problem over another is not what I am interested in.

Perhaps other, more friendly choices could be made? An interesting new one is the "third generation" biofuel, which is made from algae. Growing algae would take up far less acreage than palm oil, and can be grown "up" instead of over acres of land. Or other plants could be chosen which actually feed the soil and do not need the fertilizers you were talking about to grow well other than manure.

Deforestation does not need to occur for us to have biofuel as well as I don't believe we should be using GMO products for biofuel either.

In looking at all your links, it seems that you are against biofuel? Or just biofuel in the way it is being managed?

Much of the corn that is used in biofuel is GMO, personally I don't believe we should be using any type of GMO products, much less in our food source. I go there because of your link where you say "a few tons of food literally went down the drain".

I agree GMO corn is not the way to go, but I also feel GMO should not be in the food chain, we have no idea what the long term effects of these products will be, not only on humans who consume the products, but on the environment.

Part of the problem seems to be the confusion that ethanol can only be created by using corn which is just not true. We have many options that are better for the environment, which I listed in my previous postings. Unfortunately we seem to stuck in the idea that ethanol can only be created from corn.


posted on Apr, 25 2009 @ 01:25 PM
reply to post by amazed

alternative fuel sources should be used when they are efficient and have a less overall environmental impact than conventional fuel. i can see the problems in defining what is considered environmentally friendly and what isn't, though. what can be said, however, is that '2nd' and '3rd' gen biofuel are currently lost generation fuel, because they are vaporware. only when they are actually used can their environmental effects be determined (prototypical use preferred), so it may or may not be a good idea but we can't really know yet.

before GW, green initiatives and movements were all about doing tangible things, like saving particular habitats, reducing avoidable waste, like excessive packaging, reducing harmful emissions, which form strong acids in conjunction with water or reducing toxins in general.

with the advent of GW/CC all these concerns appear to have all vanished, even though they are of course still valid. if and when green(-ish) organisations speak out against f-ex. GM crops, they use vague or trivial arguments or simple doubt instead of simply showing the industry the actual track record of these varieties. some of these have after all been in use for more than a decade and we know that they rarely deliver on their promises and are either harmful to the soil (accumulating Bt toxin) or endorse the unhealthy practice of herbicide overuse until inevitable resistance emerges.

i think that somone borrowed from Nietzsche (haven't verified the quote, though, so take pinch of salt) that nothing is more detrimental to a particular cause than defending it with the wrong arguments.

imho, preventing GM crop use is about preserving arable land and i dare say, nothing else, because toxicity or farmers going broke due to captive contracts are all secondary considerations once you figure out that we'd have nothing to eat once most of the world looks like the chemically induced deserts of Argentina and resistant pests finally catch up with these crops.

i dedicated an entire thread to this particlar issue

so, why am i talking about an apparent side show? well, it seems as if a lot of unhealthy developments can be implemented with little or no public resistance when GW is used to unlock the gates, so to speak.

there are a lot of people who profit directly from the climate scare (and related legislation) and a lot more who think they can use it to enforce an agenda. take the quote from my last post, the catchphrase being ' ..because it allows people to use fossil fuels'. that would be a bad thing due to increased demand, sure, but that's obviously not the reason here, because then he could have openly said so. begs the question why another essentially unrelated issue has to be invented or at least instrumentalised to achieve the desired goal.

there's even a well known word for that strategy: manipulation

so, from what i can see, a lot of interest groups are miling the subject for all it is worth and a true reduction of fuel consumption is likely not on their to-do list. if people wanted true efficiency, the best way to achieve that would be gradual and all it would take is taking the power to shape our surroundings away from political and commercial forces. the way the world looks is the result of relentless concentration and vertical integration, some will claim these developments are inevitable, the result of a free market. if so, why do these large corp's and banks need bailout money? when you think about it, the world is deliberately being shaped for those with clout and the more they have the faster the trend. breaking with that tradition would certainly shift the balance of power back from the few to more people with more diverse results. what these would look like is not the point, imho, the point is that a way of life canot be ordained, it needs to develop on its own. i imagine there are ways of life which require less fuel among other things.

posted on May, 1 2009 @ 11:06 AM
I will be getting back with this thread next week, sorry for the delay in answering, but I have a lot going on right now.


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