# Name your favourite BioFuel Technology

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Singularity, Feb 20, 2006.

1. ### erich_knightErich J. KnightRegistered Senior Member

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108
Concerning Charcoal:

I thought, I first read about these soils in " Botany of Desire " by Michael Pollen, or Dr. Jared Diamond's "Guns Germs &Steel" but I could not find reference to them. Wherever, I did not realize their potential.

Terra Preta' soils I feel has great possibilities to revolutionize sustainable agriculture into a major CO2 sequestration strategy. There is an ecology going on in these soils that is not completely understood, and if replicated and applied at scale would have multiple benefits for farmers and environmentalist. Basically we could have Bio-fuels and non oil dependent soil fertility too.

Here's the Cornell page for an over view:

http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/biochar/Biochar_home.htm

http://forums.hypography.com/earth-science/3451-terra-preta-9.html

The Georgia Inst. of Technology page:

http://www.energy.gatech.edu/presentations/dday.pdf

As you will see the Japanese work with these soils is impressive, Especially with trees.

The new agricultural technology called marker-assisted selection, or MAS offers a sophisticated method to greatly accelerate classical breeding and it could be the key to the large scale development of Terra Preta agriculture.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/03/AR2006070300922.html

Or, We could get Dr. Ventor to design the bugs needed for our locals:
synthetic genomics, inc. http://www.syntheticgenomics.com/index.htm

I hope these efforts will lead to a larger systemic and holistic approach to sustainable agricultural development.

I've sent this thread to the researchers at M-Roots, who make Mycorisal fungus inoculations for acceleration of the reestablishment of the symbiotic fungal / root relationship. Here's the M-Roots site: http://www.rootsinc.com/

I also sent it to Dr. Jared Diamond, if he replies, I will probably have an orgasm!

If pre Columbian Indians could produce these soils up to 6 feet deep over 20% of the Amazon basin it seems that our energy and agricultural industries could also product them at scale.

Harnessing the work of this vast number of microbes and fungi changes the whole equation of EROEI for food and Bio fuels. I see this as the only sustainable agricultural strategy if we no longer have cheap oil for fertilizer.

I believe, to have results in northern climates, an M-Roots type fungus inoculent and local compost bugs would be needed to get this super community of wee beasties populated into their proper Soil horizon Carbon Condos.

On Bio Hydrogen:

Nanologix has got their first H2 Clostridia Bio-Reactor going at Welech's Foods in PA., Producesing 70% H2. Erie PA. Waste Water Treatment Plant has signed up also:
http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060622/clth058.html?.v=54

Erich J. Knight

3. ### erich_knightErich J. KnightRegistered Senior Member

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A variation of this process would also work as well for syn-fuels, and still sequester CO2 while building soils at large scales:

http://www.eprida.com/hydro/

Erich J. Knight

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7. ### erich_knightErich J. KnightRegistered Senior Member

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HOT DAMN!!!!!........We made it into Nature!!

If this doesn't get Terra Preta some real traction , I don't know what will.

News Feature
Nature 442, 624-626(10 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/442624a; Published online 9 August 2006

Putting the carbon back: Black is the new green
Emma Marris1

Emma Marris is a Washington correspondent for Nature.

Top of pageAbstractOne way to keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere is to put it back in the ground. In the first of two News Features on carbon sequestration, Quirin Schiermeier asked when the world's coal-fired power plants will start storing away their carbon. In the second, Emma Marris joins the enthusiasts who think that enriching Earth's soils with charcoal can help avert global warming, reduce the need for fertilizers, and greatly increase the size of turnips.

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v442/n7103/full/442624a.html

Erich J. Knight

8. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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And where do you think the roots of the cut sugar cane are? Answer: in the ground at ZERO fossil fuel energy cost to put them there.

Alcohol, from sugar cane grown in tropical countries, is the economically best way to store carbon. (Also a lot of carbon is stored in the growing cane - sort of like growing trees, but faster in removing carbon from the air.)

A million tons of carbon stored in cane fields (or in metal tanks full of alcohol) should get the same "carbon credits" as a million tons stored in growing trees that were planted.

Sugar cane beats the hell out of schemes that use pumps to inject CO2 into wells, aquifers, etc. - this seem to be the "answer" proponents "hydrogen power" like as many of them are opposed to nuclear energy. They want to burn coal for the energy needed to make hydrogen and pump the CO2 produced into the ground. Ecologically OK, but why not let nature do the work of removing the CO2 - ALREADY EXCESSIVE in the air?

BTW the first and largest photo of your reference:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journa...ll/442624a.html

is totally inappropriate and borderline dishonest in any article on storing carbon. From the mud dome hemisphere construction and the vegetation, I immediately recognized it. (I drive by several every time I go out of Sao Paulo to work on house I am building by myself.) Some very poor man, probably in Brazil, spends his days stealing forest wood, and burns/bakes it inside this structure and get a few sacks of charcoal to sell. - 100% of what was carbon stored in the trees he stole, is released as CO2 into the air. That is why I think to include such a photo in that article is "borderline dishonest." Such dishonesty makes everthing there questionable, at least for me.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 16, 2006

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10. ### erich_knightErich J. KnightRegistered Senior Member

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That sugar cane is at best Co2 Neutral, Terra preta is carbon negitive :

"The remarkable thing about this process is that, even after the fuel has been burned, more carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere than is put back. Traditional biofuels claim to be 'carbon neutral', because the carbon dioxide assimilated by the growing biomass makes up for the carbon dioxide given off by the burning of the fuel. But as Lehmann points out, systems such as Day's go one step further: "They are the only way to make a fuel that is actually carbon negative".

I want to post the Brasilian embassy and ask why they don't creat Terra Preta in the cane fields!??

What about getting all these microbes and fungi working working for us ??

What about the tripling soil fertility, without NPK??

"According to Glaser's research, a hectare of metre-deep terra preta can contain 250 tonnes of carbon, as opposed to 100 tonnes in unimproved soils from similar parent material.
The extra carbon is not just in the char — it's also in the organic carbon and enhanced bacterial biomass that the char sustains.

That difference of 150 tonnes is greater than the amount of carbon in a hectare's worth of plants. That means turning unimproved soil into terra preta can store away more carbon than growing a tropical forest from scratch on the same piece of land, before you even start to make use of its enhanced fertility. "

Harnessing the work of this vast number of microbes and fungi changes the whole equation of EROEI for food and Bio fuels. I see this as the only sustainable agricultural strategy if we no longer have cheap fossil fuels for fertilizer.

We need to get this super community of wee beasties to work with us by populating them into their proper Soil horizon Carbon Condos.

I feel Terra Preta soil technology is the greatest of Ironies since Tobacco.
That is: an invention of pre-Columbian American culture, destroyed by western disease, may well be the savior of industrial western society. As inversely Tobacco, over time has gotten back at same society by killing more of us than the entire pre-Columbian population.

Erich J. Knight

11. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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100% False.

Sugar cane to ethanol fuel carbon cycle is ALWAYS and IMMEDIATELY a net removal of CO2 from the air. Not only is part of the carbon immediately sequester in the growing cane and for years in the soil as roots, but the crushed cane can be processed in a "bio factory" (cow) that not only cost nothing to build but can be sold for human food (beef) at significant profit. The waste products of this four legged bio factory can be:

(1) Burnt for fuel. (It provides most of the fuel used for cooking in most of rural India and other poor parts of Asia.) or
(2) Used to enrich the soil, like the "terra preta" produced by expensive mechanical factories, which can neither be sold at a profit not used as human food but require significant fossil fuel (for making steel etc) to build. In contrast, cows are “built” naturally and run on solar energy (grass stored).

Use (1) should be discouraged when possible without causing too much human suffering as use (2) is much more beneficial in the long run. Use (1) instead of use (2) is a major factor causing the regions where use (1) is dominate to remain poor, but as they are poor, people using (1) can not afford to invest this “cow produced asset” for the year or two required to gain much more productivity. - They have an immediate need to cook tonight’s dinner, etc. (In some parts of India, this fuel asset is so competitively and desperately sought, that it never hit’s the ground but is caught by small children following the cow and then sun-dried until it can be used as fuel.)

In addition to the sequestering of carbon in the cane roots much more carbon is removed from the air by the growing cane (very economically as cane to alcohol produces both profit and lots of low skill requirement jobs.)*

In contrast to this economically productive cane-to-alcohol carbon sequestering and air clean up (of CO2) process, the production of terra preta will for about 500 years INCREASE the CO2 in the air and ALWAYS (FOR EVER) release poisonous CO into the air! The terra preta plant will of course some require energy and by its very nature release great amounts of heat, which is not economically feasible source ot the required energy. In contrast the crushed cane not only can provide 100% of the energy required for cane crushing and distillation but there is a surplus which at the larger plants is burnt to generate and sell electric power (the excess over local motors requirements etc.) Obviously the cane burnt for energy does not go to the cow. Cow food comes only from the smaller alcohol production plants.

The expensive terra preta mechanical factory releases, by "smoldering," into the air more than one ton of CO2 for every ton of carbon char it produces, and this does not include either the CO2 released to bring the cellulose to the terra preta plant nor the CO2 released by the tractors etc that must bury it to keep it from blowing or washed away by rain into the stream, eventually becoming sequestered on the ocean floor. (This lost to the oceans is doubly disastrous as not only does the soil not get enriched, but once on the ocean floor microorganism convert it to CH4 and CO2. The CH4 is then stored as methane hydrate if the deposit location is cold and deep, as often will be the case.)

Production of terra preta INCREASES the CO2 in the air as it is a combustion process ("smoldering" with too little oxygen to convert 100% into CO2, but producing a lot of poisonous CO, which will later in the atmosphere becomes CO2.) At best, approximately half of the carbon in the feed stock to the terra pret plant will end up in the "char" produced. For example, if one starts with 1000 pounds of carbon ALREADY SAFELY STORED in the celulose 500 or less pounds can be stored in the soil as char on the first attempt. Note the more than 500 pounds now released to the air, was safely stored in cellulose, which could have been buried for immediate storage of 100% of the carbon, not half or less.

As the years pass, the 500 or more pounds of C first released from safe storage in cellulous, by the terra preta plant can be again captured by living plants and brought back again to the terra preta plant. Then an additional 250 or less of the original 1000 pounds can also get stored in the soil. After many years, many cycles thru the trerra preta plant, most of the original 1000 pounds can be stored in the soil, but NEVER all of the inital 1000 pounds as each cycle does burn fuel to bring the cellulose to the terra preta plant and to bury it. If this fuel consumption requires 5 pounds (for 1000 pounds processed in many sequential cycle) then AT BEST the terra preta process can put 995 pounds out of every 1000 pounds processed in multiple cycles into the soil. Thus with modern means (not using only the manual labor of the Amazon Indians who may have been able to store 100%) the terra preta can not achieve net removal of CO2 for many, many years (I would guess 500 years.)

Much better than this very slow process to achieve net sequestering is to construct a methane recovery land fill with almost immediate displacement of some the combustion of petroleum and natural gas with methane made, at very low incremental cost to a common trash dump. This achieves significant and almost immediate net reduction in the CO2 as the fossil fuel consumption is reduced (replaced by carbon that the plant making the cellulose removed from the air.) - For example trees remove CO2, are made into paper that ends up the methane producing landfill. Then the methane is burn and the carbon returns to the air is again made into trees etc. To the extent this is done, the fossil fuel remains in the ground as chemical feed stock for future generations*

SUMMARY:
Erich_knight HAS IT EXACTLY WRONG. Terra preta will be INCREASING the CO2 in the air for many years (perhaps 500) and cane-to-alcohol system immediately reduces the CO2 in the air. Note I did not adequately mention the billions of tons of carbon that is stored in the cane still growing in the fields or after it is converted (a small faction) into alcohol, the millions of tons of carbon stored in steel tanks of the alcohol distributor.

Erich knight’s confusion on this is, I think, fundamentally caused by not recognizing that terra preta, unlike sugar cane does not directly remove one gram of CO2 from the air.** Terra preta is a STORAGE SYSTEM***, not a removal system. This is similar to the mistake proponent of the "hydrogen economy" make - hydrogen is an energy storage chemical, not an energy source. It is highly doubt full that terra preta can economically compete with other carbon storage system such as methane producing land fills and sugar cane, which is not only an economically viable CARBON STORAGE system, but also a SOIL ENRICHMENT system, and a ENERGY SOURCE (or actually the most economically efficient means currently available of capturing and storing solar energy for liquid fuel, which displaces oil consumption to give a double reduction effect in the air's CO2 content.) and a FOOD SOURCE, both directly as sugar and indirectly as beef, and a low skill JOBS SOURCE.

In contrast, man making terra preta is only a continuous source of poisonous carbon monoxide! and prehaps 1% as many jobs.

---------------------------------
*Perhaps even more economically important is fact that the alcohol fueled car is not burning a very valuable chemical feed stock material that future generation will need to make plastic etc., economically. The cost of not having economical oil to make plastics etc from will be enormous for some not too distant set of our descendents. It is a major crime against them to burn up this chemical complex we call petroleum, simply for heat! Also by doing so, we may be leaving them a world too hot to sustain life, if the methane hydrates of the ocean floors are destabilized. No greater crime than that is possible! That is not genocide, but “speciescide”, for many species!)

**Terra preta is actually a weak SOURCE of CO2, as are all organtic materials in the soil, it is slowly oxidized. The more that is there, the more CO2 it will produce.

***Terra preta is a very good storage system, better than wood construction in houses, and worse than either CO2 injection into aquifers, or a liquid fuel system economy using alcohol from sugar cane (or from any grown cellulous when and if that becomes possible) to keep constantly many millions of tons of carbon either in the growing cane or in the alcohol in the distributor's storage tanks or in the soil, after passing thru a cow, or even in the cow itself!

Final note:
I assume that like beef, one can eat terra preta, (for the proteins in the microorganisms in it and /or its ability to absorb digestive gas), but doubt it is as nutritious or tastes as good.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2006
12. ### CarcanoValued Senior Member

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6,865
On a side note, I was doing some reading last night about Henry Ford's investigations of Bio-plastic for use in the construction of car panels. He ended up building an entire car using just the protein and carb content of soybeans and hemp fibre. The body panels were not only ten times more resistant to denting, but were also only 2/3 the weight of steel panels. Heres a pic of Ford taking an axe to the car to demostrate how strong the new material was:

http://altahemp.com/hempinfo.html

13. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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23,198
Interesting. Note also Ford never made car parts from these renewable sources, despite the advantage you mention. I presume because that would have cost more, which is the point I was trying to make about it being a crime to burn up petroleum for heat instead of use it only as a chemical feed stock, and pehaps for some critical lubrications, but as synthetic oils are already in use and better, perhaps there is no such need to use natural oils as lubricants.

As Paul Dixon would say:
"Your children will thank you" (for not using up their cheap plastic source - oil.)

14. ### CarcanoValued Senior Member

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Perhaps not, Ford was dead serious about mass producing cars with plastic parts, but this was right about the time when car production was halted due to the war, and there may be other reasons as well, such as the ban on hemp production.
http://virtualfactory.blogspot.com/2006/04/official-and-unofficial-story-of.html

The focus on bioplastics now seems to be polylactic resin derived from corn and sugar cane.

15. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Even more interesting. Thanks. I am not (at least not yet) buying WWII beginning the reason why Ford never make use of bio plastics in production line cars, for two reasons:

(1)With steel in short supply for the war machines that should have made it easier to turn to bioplastics, if they were both practical and economic.

(2)I suspect they were neither. 70 years later they are still "being developed" (but quick search now make me think they can be made practical) The economics I have not seen any information on yet, but will try some more. Your reference above does touch on a long standing concern of mine - What I think is the primary defect in the "free market system" - Namely the need for government to try to include the cost to society of production processes that the maker of products can duck. The most gross of these cost is now at least partially included - for example if your business is to reprocess old lead acid car batteries, you can no long being the process by dumping the liquid out into the stream behind the plant and the stacking them in big pile to burn an collect the melting lead with God knows what pollution (lead vapors certainly) going into the air. You still can of course make a product (almost anything) and ignore the end of cycle disposal costs.

Almost the only industry that does not avoid the disposal costs is the nuclear power industry. Some day the computer I am pounding now will hit the trash can and the battery in it plus a lot of other things, if lucky will end up in some poor country polluting their air after some component are salvaged by hand when it is burned or chemically processed to recover the small amount of gold in it.

If cars made of soybeans instead of steel are not (and I suspect they are not by a big factor) economically competitive now, perhaps the government including more of the currently avoided cost can help. Disposing of cars is not much of a cost. It certainly pays, even with high US labor cost to strip out the electric motors for their copper and all the steel is easily recycled (after “chunking” to small pieces) with magnetic separation) but the full cost of getting the steel from iron ore and coke to the environment is certainly not included as much of this cost is "dumped" on some third world count.

As China is still “coal-power” it certainly can not be held up as a current model for an economic system that does include most of the true cost of production They do not have great quantities of drinking water and yet are polluting what they do have in their "great leap forward" (the current expansion, not the non-sense of the same name Chairman Mao attempted) but with at least 30 modern nuclear plants in construction and the world’s largest (plus dozens of smaller) hydro-electric dams coming on line in a planned economy that can include all the costs, they will transform from a pollution center more rapidly than say Pittsburgh, PA did. (I can remember when even a brief visit there might cause serious lung problems, and certainly a hacking cough. No Chinese city is worse than Pittsburgh’s valley was in WWII’s steel and coke production peak.)

16. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Alcohol is now (in Brazil) slightly less than half the price of gasoline! Recognizing it has only about 70% of the energy content by volume, and that you can buy more than two gallons for every gallon of gas that means you can go a little more than 40% farther with alcohol than with gasoline for the same expenditure. 2x0.7= 1.4

Reason why alcohol is now so cheap is that Brazil and soon India (worlds second producer) had very good growing seasons and record crops. (Only when the government is holding down the price of gasoline and supply of alcohol is low is alcohol driving same cost as using gasoline. - Alcohol has many dozens of independent competing producers, but PetroBras is essentially the only gasoline source and is government controlled, especially as national elections approach.)

US places US$0.14 on each liter imported from Brazil and quota restrictions also, but they never are important as with 3.75L/gallon, that is 52.5 cents extra cost per gallon or when the 0.7 energy factor is considered, that is$0.75/gallon handicap for Brazil company trying to export to US. There is also a 55 cent / gallon "kick back" (of your tax money) to US producers of alcohol. So US's support of "free trade" is BS as the "playing field" is tilted $1.30/gallon to aid US producers of alcohol. I do not include here the fact that corn the US alcohol producers buy is the largest of all the farm subsidies! - More of your taxes go there to make a very few, very rich, like the Cargill family, much richer each year. (Cargill is largest privately held company in US if not the world, but they have big campaign contribution expenses - US has best government money can buy.) Also interesting is fact that the import duty on oil is$0.00/ gallon so the rich enemies of the US in Mid East can also have a 52.5 cent /gallon advantage over poor friends - the truely needy population of Africa, India and South America. Just like in book 1984, US government needs an “enemy,” even if US needs to help prop it up financially.

When you know the facts, surely you can smell this giant rotten rat* that is causing Joe American to pay higher taxes for the privilege of paying more for his car's fuel than need be.

If I may combine and paraphrase GWB & Paul Dixon's closing line:

Stay the course - The Saudi and Cargill families and all the Ex-oil companies CEOs in US government will thank you.
----------------------------------------------
*Not to mention causing more deaths in Iraq each month than 9/11, making it unsafe for Americans to freely travel in much of the world, etc.

Last edited by a moderator: Sep 21, 2006
17. ### erich_knightErich J. KnightRegistered Senior Member

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108
Concerning Terra Preta:

Dear Billy

Did you even look at the EPRIDA site? http://www.energy.gatech.edu/presentations/dday.pdf & http://www.eprida.com/hydro/

They are a social purpose firm, designing equipment and business a model that will not cost the farmer anything out of pocket and create a many fold increase in rural high pay employment.

Did you study the data presented at the 2004 EACU conference and the recent World Soils Conference in Philly?

Johannes list the publications on his site :
http://www.css.cornell.edu/faculty/lehmann/terra_preta/TerraPretahome.htm

With all respect, Erich

18. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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To Erich_knight
Thanks for links. I have now looked at http://www.energy.gatech.edu/presentations/dday.pdf

Its 54 pages are mainly two parts: bio fuel & & terra preta.

The bio-fuels section is OK, but is mainly hopes and dreams and ignores alcohol which is real, economic, and enviromentally friendly.

On terra preta section:

Page 45 gives the relative carbon release by many fuels, showing all, even solar photovotatics, make some release (and they are correct when producing them and set up in field is included) and only terra preta as carbon negative. For reasons I detailed, in earlier post they are not entirely honest here. Yes, terra preta stores for reasonably long times (less than C02 injection into aquifer or raising clams etc as I mentioned in prior post) but each pass thru the char plant sends less than half of the carbon input into char for terra preta. Thus, if instead of using methane producing land dump to process 200 tons of bio-waste and by avoiding oil use, removes and /or store more than 200 tons in about one year, the char plant will put more than 100 tons of CO2 into the air for every 100 tons it stores, and part of that dumped into the air may be posionous CO initially. Their terra preat enthusasm is causing dishonesty.

Probably the same reason they failed to even include alcohol (of any type) in their page 45 chart -it is better, cheaper and much quicker than char at least as world converts and stores carbon in growing cane and alcohol storage tanks. After 1000 years or so, char can store more carbon than cane and alcohol.

You have quick and strong enthusiasm for many new technology but IMHO are not critical enough in your examination of them. Let me respectively suggest that you compare the results of processing 100 tons of wood chips and old news paper by two different processes. (methane land fill plant vs. Terra preta production and storage plant) in terms of how much (include oil displacement) the CO2 in air is changed by both and which removes more carbon form the carbon cycle for 100 years. I think you will find that the terra preta plant does not reduce oil consumption (adds slightly to it) and removes less than 50 tons of carbon from the carbon cycle and is not economically feasible without tax payer support. I.e. loses on all counts compared to the methane producing land fill.

Later by edit: I have visited the other two links now - not much new or different from first and I again not the almost activie ingnoring of ethanol and methane land fill alternatives. Also I know little about it, but is it not possible that Brazil's terra preta is natural, not man made? Obvious nature can make coincentrated carbon deposits (we call hem coal). Obviously vegitation in some areas, like Brazil, grows so fast and dies that it burries earlier half rotten vegitation. etc. Fact that some brokne potteryis found in it etc is not proof that it ws intentional made made soild addative. Perhaps tribal man's only role was to agee to sue one location as the dump. Back then it would not have old TV, tires, bottles and batteries, just vegitation and some pottery chards. The vegitation would generate heat (have you ever opened a big compost pile?) and with inadequate oxygen be largely reduced to carbon and oils (call that char) I like this natural carbon deposit theory alternative as I know peat is good for making scotch

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20. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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Thanks for link - It talks, for two pages, even about getting alcohol from tulip popular trees yet never even mentions sugar cane, worlds largest and best source. The only liquid fuel source that is cheaper than gasoline, has 30 + years of use in million of cars, and also cleans the air of CO2! Amazing - must be written by an American, who like most, can not understand there is an advanced world beyond the US borders.

21. ### SingularityBannedBanned

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1,287
Let them do the RnD

We will then use the results to Modify the SugarCane.

I hope we can create Ethanol from Genetically modified Forest Tree Basks (outer coverings of trees). So that somehow we will get our Jungles back instead of BioFuel Farm feilds.

22. ### Billy TUse Sugar Cane Alcohol car FuelValued Senior Member

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I strongly recommend you hear and see slides of Dupont 3Oct06 presentation at 'Ethanol on The Cob' Biofuels Conference at:

www.veracast.com/webcasts/citigroup/biofuels06/98102254.cfm

Especially hear the questions.
Answer to one was approximately: “Yes a cellulose source is even more attractive in Brazil as their plants only produce ethanol 8 months of the year because they can not store the juice pressed from the cane. The crushed cane could fill in the other 4 months, increasing both the profits and greatly increasing yields per acre. Even today Brazil can compete with 20dollar / barrel petroleum.

Brazil’s climate is not good for wheat production. This year’s crop is less than usual and Brazil will import 80% of its needed wheat. Adam Smith’s lessons about the virtues of trading sadly are still ignored. A wheat for alcohol trade between Brazil and US would benefit both - greatly benefiting the US, but not the politically well connected current vested interests in US who care only for the profits they can milk from the tax payers.

US shoulld be importing bio-fuels from tropical lands where they are more efficiently* and economically produced and avoiding extra cost both when buying fuel at the “gas station” for your car and when paying taxes to support the large subsidies required for corn based fuel to compete.

--------------------------------------------------
*Production of ethanol in Brazil from sugar cane yields 8 units of energy for 1 unit of petroleum energy input, whereas production from Iowa corn yields only 1.25 units of energy produced for 1 unit of petroleum energy input. (Some researchers still maintain Iowa’s net energy yield is negative!)

Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2006
23. ### Chathabig brown was screwed upRegistered Senior Member

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1,867
H2 and O2. You can get these two with hydrolysis and perioxides, and they are efficient, more efficient and pure than ethanol.