Skip to comments.Are biofuels still economically feasible?
Posted on 12/18/2008 1:29:38 AM PST by ari-freedom
Several months ago when gas was over $4.00 a gallon and lines were long at gas stations across the country, biofuels were heralded as the next best thing to sliced bread. Now the price of gas has fallen below $2.00 a gallon in many places and is flowing freely again. What does this mean for the biofuels industry?
The New York Times reported that major oil projects have been placed on hold because of the large drop in oil prices over the past several months. Oil exploration and new refineries have been postponed because these projects are no longer cost effective.
This is a trend that is not confined to fossil fuels but also carries over to green fuel technology. The momentum to find fossil fuel replacements has also dropped dramatically. Once gasoline dropped below $2.00 a gallon, biofuel could no longer remain cost competitive.
(Excerpt) Read more at tech.blorge.com ...
Were they ever economically feasible? I think they were more politically expedient than economically feasible. Iowa loves biofuel.
Sure they are. Just not the ones they are talking about.
I know plenty of people that burn mostly wood to heat their homes. I know one couple that use one of those wood pellet burners and swear by it.
And I read good things about corn burners that can burn corn or wood pellets.
Also Biodiesel may be economical as long as you are processing it your self and get the vegetable oil for free.
I use wood to supplement my gas and electric heat but I don’t think that’s the biofuels we’re talking about. FWIW, I prefer gas.
Well I did say in my post that it was not the biofuels they were talking about.
Why do you prefer gas? Is it the convenience or the mess of ashes or maybe the odor.
Gas is much easier to work with. You don’t have to chop it, split it, season it, and then clean up after it. Sometimes though, a wood fire is definitely where it’s at. I have a gas furnace and an electric furnace and two wood burning stoves. I figure no matter what happens, I’m gonna stay warm one way or the other.
That EESTOR super capacitor is slated for production in 09; that could spell the complete elimination of the petroleum economy.
Are you a heating contractor? Seems like you have a lot of money tied up in furnaces of one type or another.
You have to grow the crop (fertilizer and farm equipment require fossil fuels).
You have to harvest the crop...more machinery fuel usage.
You have to deliver the crop to an ethanol factory...more fuel usage.
You have to convert the crop to ethanol...more fuel usage.
You have to deliver the ethanol to the blending facility...more fuel usage.
You have to deliver the E85 to where it is used...more fuel usage.
You get lower energy output from gas with ethanol than you get from pure gas...fuel deficiency.
Bottom line is ethanol is a boondoggle...but then what is government for after all????
The only solution good enough for them is to simply eliminate the human race and let the planet go "au natural".
Bio-fuels are still economical. We have just been beating on the wrong horse to get them. There is technology which will produce all the high grade oil we need AND provide animal feed as the byproduct.
As an added bonus, not an acre of farmland need be taken from human food production in the process. Ethanol will go the way of “carbon sequestration” just more stupid ideas that wasted tons of money.
No, it all came with the house (big old farm house) when I bought it. I like the diversification though.
(Of course nobody told Obama, that if every square inch of tillable farm land on this Continent were placed into fuel production only, forget food, it would still only provide us with 28% of our needs.)
But full speed ahead! Those FACTS are not real! What Obama says is the only thing that is REAL! So, forget logical thinking. It just gets in the way.
“Bottom line is ethanol is a boondoggle”
I have to agree. I’ve seen similar reports elsewhere too. I always liked the idea of using lightning bolts to split water. That’s basically free energy once you create the system (minus maintenance costs of course). Then you burn the separated constituents in giant turbines to produce energy that is easily converted to electricity with which we can use to fuel our super high performance plug in electric cars. The by product is just more water which is returned to nature via the normal hydrological cycle. What could be better?
WOW! Who knew?
You could sell them on Television for $19.95, and throw in two of ‘em if you hurry up and buy now!
Are you mocking me!?!
Obama’s a lot like the Bushes in that, once he gets an idea in his head that he’s right, neither heaven nor hell is going to disuade him. Barry never forgot how easily Iowans were manipulated in their caucusas which swept him into power. He didn’t chose Thomas James Vilsack because he likes him. We’ll see when a small box of corn flakes costs $6.00.
Yeah, that's Geoge Pimentel at Cornell. He's been selling that meme for years. The problem is that when you look at a meta-study of peer-reviewed examinations of ethanol's energy ratio, the vast majority of other studies disagree with him.
Dr. Wang at Argonne labs has done such a study, and you can find both his full paper, and a slide presentation summarizing it on the web.
According to that meta-study, ethanol has a positive energy ratio of ~1.25 (i.e. you harvest 1.25 units of energy for every 1 unit invested). A lot of propaganda tries to claim that the "1 unit invested" is "petroleum energy" (i.e. oil), which is incorrect. The biggest part of the energy investment goes to making fertilizer, which currently uses methane (which is NOT "petroleum energy", but IS a "fossil fuel"), which "could" be replaced by nuclear.
Low energy seems good, but it’s contributing to massive layoffs.
Not only is Ethanol not economical, it is disastrous in small engines. Do not use Ethanol in lawn mowers, chain saws, leaf blowers, etc. Ethanol is simply another farm welfare program.
You would be surprised the small amount of recoverable energy in lightning. While I was getting my BSEE in power systems, one professor made us do the math in the recoverable energy for a typical storm.
The lightning stroke has immense power, but because the duration of current is so very short, the actual energy is surprisingly small.
Massive amounts of infrastructure are needed to handle the immense current and direct it, for tiny durations.
You are right. He should have had his money invested in the stock market.
Give OPEC a few weeks; they’ll correct the imbalance. Biofuel will again be competitive.
No and that is part of the plan. When we start looking like we may take the steps to get out from under the camel drivers thumbs on energy, the price comes down so their oil is cheaper than anything that we can come up with. When all our plans are sidelined, the price will go back up.
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