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Old 10-12-2007, 09:46 PM   #11
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I don't think it's cleaner than natural gas, but it's a bitter cleaner than gasoline and the main reason I mention it is because it would be an easier conversion (400 dollar kit, I believe) and it's also a bit cheaper these days. Dunno about the supply line, something to research I guess.
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Old 10-13-2007, 05:19 AM   #12
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problem w/ethanol is the production methods and the embedded industry pushing their agendas. You have to really hump the land to get good corn, and that takes fuel/energy/resources which cuts into the net energy gain and adds carbon in todays environment.

One emerging approach is prarie grasses:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...1207161136.htm

Basically a diverse mixture of low maintenance prarie grasses that just about grow themselves. You mow them down and process the biomass.

Using sub-prime agricultural land this "would yield 51 percent more energy per acre than ethanol from corn grown on fertile land."
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:00 AM   #13
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I don't think it's cleaner than natural gas, but it's a bitter cleaner than gasoline and the main reason I mention it is because it would be an easier conversion (400 dollar kit, I believe) and it's also a bit cheaper these days. Dunno about the supply line, something to research I guess.
This has got me thinking...

If it was under $500 to convert and the supply chain was solid in my area, then it may require more consideration. I recall something about emissions, tho...

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Old 10-13-2007, 11:08 AM   #14
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Poke around and do some research, last time I did it seemed fairly painless with a benefit for emissions (not huge though).

Lemme know what you find out, I've got homework,
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:56 AM   #15
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Propane Thread Added

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Poke around and do some research, last time I did it seemed fairly painless with a benefit for emissions (not huge though).

Lemme know what you find out, I've got homework,
I figured that I'd start a new thread to avoid hijacking my own Ethanol thread

Propane: An Alternative Fuel?


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Old 10-13-2007, 04:41 PM   #16
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One thing that detractors of Ethanol often fail to distinguish is the production of corn vs. other sources for the fuel. I think the industry as a whole pretty much understands that corn is not the most sustainable and profitable direction to continue. They are working on alternatives that require less land management, expense, and impact the environment less - without stealing from the land supply viable for food crops.

Ethanol is not going to go away and I buy E10 at every opportunity. It burns cleaner, but just as important to me is that it is a 100% domestically produced fuel. That alone substantially reduces the costs associated with gasoline, as anybody capable of reading between the lines should be able to figure out that our sole reason for involvement in the middle east is to control the oil supply. Eliminate that need and you eliminate the massive financial burden associated with it, however subsidized it may be.
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:20 AM   #17
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soil depletion...environmental degradation....higher food prices??

.................................................. .................................................. ..

http://culturechange.org/cms/index.p...d=107&Itemid=1


"Ethanol is an agribusiness get-rich-quick scheme that will bankrupt our topsoil.

Nineteenth century western farmers converted their corn into whiskey to make a profit (Rorabaugh 1979). Archer Daniels Midland, a large grain processor, came up with the same scheme in the 20th century. But ethanol was a product in search of a market, so ADM spent three decades relentlessly lobbying for ethanol to be used in gasoline. Today ADM makes record profits from ethanol sales and government subsidies (Barrionuevo 2006)."

"Long before there was "Peak Oil", there was "Peak Soil". Iowa has some of the best topsoil in the world. In the past century, half of it?s been lost, from an average of 18 to 10 inches deep (Pate 2004, Klee 1991).

Productivity drops off sharply when topsoil reaches 6 inches or less, the average crop root zone depth (Sundquist 2005).

Crop productivity continually declines as topsoil is lost and residues are removed."

"When you take out more nutrients and organic matter from the soil than you put back in, you are "mining" the topsoil. The organic matter is especially important, since that?s what prevents erosion, improves soil structure, health, water retention, and gives the next crop its nutrition. Modern agriculture only addresses the nutritional component by adding fossil-fuel based fertilizers, and because the soil is unhealthy from a lack of organic matter, copes with insects and disease with oil-based pesticides.

"Fertilizer energy" is 28% of the energy used in agriculture (Heller, 2000). Fertilizer uses natural gas both as a feedstock and the source of energy to create the high temperatures and pressures necessary to coax inert nitrogen out of the air (nitrogen is often the limiting factor in crop production). This is known as the Haber-Bosch process, and it?s a big part of the green revolution that made it possible for the world?s population to grow from half a billion to 6.5 billion today (Smil 2000, Fisher 2001)."
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Old 10-14-2007, 01:29 AM   #18
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pollution... water scarcity... limited resources...

the trifecta that finally gets breeders' attention???

naaaaah, don't be silly

just like peak oil/gas prices not impacting our love affair with the suv

it'll take a "correction" of epidemic proportion to get through to breeders

then they'll think they need to breed their way through it
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:27 AM   #19
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Ok, assuming all of the naysaying about topsoil depletion is correct, that still begs the question of whether or not it is better than dino-oil. I say yes for this one reason: Plant based ethanol production is from a recently recycled resource.

In short, that means that plants sequester carbon from our atmosphere and we are simply reliberating it in ethanol useage vs. the use of fossil fuels which liberates carbon that was sequestered millions of years ago and cannot be so easily recaptured. In other words, ethanol use is a means of working with what we've got vs. introducing more carbon to the ecosystem.

Are we shooting ourselves in the butt on sustainability? Most likely, but we are already there even on food production. So long as electric vehicles are not the norm for transportation, biofuels are our next best option - but not the final solution.
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Old 10-14-2007, 08:17 AM   #20
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...that still begs the question of whether or not it <ethanol> is better than dino-oil...
I guess the point I would make is that there are much bigger fish to fry, like if we stopped being so damn wasteful and vain our fossil fuel bill would probably be cut by 2/3.
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