RegGuheert wrote:Also, recent research indicates that [BS URL Deleted]. Considering that this study comes from the University of Nebraska, I'd have trouble convincing myself that it it is biased against corn.
No, not all renewable solutions are a good idea. Some, like using ethanol widely as a fuel, simply are not.
Here's a huge problem - it's HUGE! And frankly, Reg, it's one of the reasons I ignore your posts.
First - nice job hiding the link-spam to the cesspool of the internet.
Secondly - the paper referenced is not about ethanol per se - it's about figuring out what to do with corn stover - make ethanol or return it to the field. Of COURSE it's better to return the organics to the soil!
There are three huge pieces that many here are continually missing when it comes to quoting science to defeat ethanol as fuel. Number 1: the CO2 emitted from ethanol is NOT FOSSIL. It is CO2 that was made from removing carbon from the atmosphere. Therefore, it doesn't matter if ethanol made from plants emits one BILLION times more CO2 than gasoline - it's not a climate change problem!
Number 2: ALL of the fossil fuel EROEI calcs used to show how 'superior' petroleum is for fuel completely ignore the stored solar energy, and the time and pressure it took to turn the biomass into oil. They start with drilling a well. The equivalent 'truth in EROEI' process for fuel ethanol is to start measuring the energy flow from a tank of ethanol. The fossil-worshipers, though, don't do that. They start in a corn field and count every single calorie from dirt to fuel tank. The most dishonest - the scientist funded by the oil industry - even included the energy to mine the iron his his tractor in order to assign a negative EROEI for ethanol. Just TRY to calculate an EROEI for gasoline using that standard! ROFL
And finally - 3: The energy balance studies for ethanol assume developed world petroleum-laced chemical ag - where the ground is tilled with diesel, sprayed natural-gas derived ammonia, laced with other petrochemical-laced fertilizers; 'treated' with petrochemical-derived insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides; then harvested with diesel, dried with natural gas, and transported to an ADM facility to make high-fructose corn syrup with diesel. (Remember - 7 calories of fossil fuel for each 1 calorie of food value.) Yet even when generated in that environment, the energy balance for ethanol is STILL positive! When ethanol fuel is made on an organic farm - where the harvest is 4x the size of chemical monoculture farming - and with no petrochemical fertilizer or pesticides - the energy return is WIDLY positive.
Yes - electrify everything and bring on 100% renewables. But in the meantime, we need - as is MUST - stop burning fossil fuels. Ethanol is a piece of the solution - it's one of the silver BBs. Gasoline, on the other hand, is NOT in any form. Burning ethanol reverses our problem. Adding ethanol to gasoline - like hybrid cars - only slows our race to the cliff.