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Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:59 am
by AndyH
Solution - BioEthanol (Really!)

edit... NPR Science Friday from 2008:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/08/1 ... ered-today
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... 2&f=510221

/edit

There's more to ethanol as fuel than corn and the 'food vs. fuel' debate. It's solar powered, produced through a series of biological processes that do not produce harmful substances, and can provide liquid fuel, food, carbon sequestration, and can boost the local economy. And we have more than enough base stock materials in the US to make oil redundant without harming any food production or farmland.





Role of ethanol production in food/feed:
http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/8e7b0d9ca4e0 ... 6bvuqo.pdf

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/ethanol.html

http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/alcoholfuel/

http://www.allardresearch.com/systems.html

http://www.waterc3.com/

Read, er 'preview' ;), the first chapter for the history:
http://www.amazon.com/Alcohol-Can-Be-Ga ... 617&sr=8-1

edit - it appears that the full "Alcohol can be a gas" presentation from the DVD is on youtube, though it's broken into about 37 parts, there's no playlist, and the first couple of segments are annoyingly short. ;) But it's possible to follow the parts from the end of video 'suggestions' so it's usable. The full video is available from Blume's website, Amazon et al, and supposedly Netflix (currently a 'short wait').

Part 1:

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:33 pm
by Herm
Far simpler to do rooftop solar, after all everyone needs a roof.. with the proper appliances and house design you dont need much stored power to run the house at night.. yes it means you can only run your washer and dryer during the day.. or pay some utility for expensive electricity.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:39 pm
by Herm
AndyH wrote: There's more to ethanol as fuel than corn and the 'food vs. fuel' debate. It's solar powered, produced through a series of biological processes that do not produce harmful substances, and can provide liquid fuel, food, carbon sequestration, and can boost the local economy.
Very little carbon sequestration, but it is close to carbon neutral.. if you care about that.

Corn stover and stalks can be plowed under, and some should be to promote soil conservation as they rot.. but some Poet ethanol mills are experimenting another use for corn stover, burning it for process heat to increase the EROI. Cellulosic ethanol from that waste wont amount to much, its too energy expensive to process.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:03 pm
by AndyH
Herm wrote:
AndyH wrote: There's more to ethanol as fuel than corn and the 'food vs. fuel' debate. It's solar powered, produced through a series of biological processes that do not produce harmful substances, and can provide liquid fuel, food, carbon sequestration, and can boost the local economy.
Very little carbon sequestration, but it is close to carbon neutral.. if you care about that.
It's pretty important to think about that. As far as corn goes, there's much more biomass in the stalks, leaves, cob, and root system than in the kernals - and it's all made from carbon.

edit... Ethanol is carbon neutral ONLY if we look at the carbon used to make the corn kernals - this decision on 'neutrality' completely disregards the rest of the plant. For every 1 pound of corn, we get 1 1/2 pounds of stalk - and about 1 1/2 pounds undergroud in the root system. But that's still not all of the carbon equation:




Behold - the difference between marketing and reality!
/edit
Herm wrote:Corn stover and stalks can be plowed under, and some should be to promote soil conservation as they rot.. but some Poet ethanol mills are experimenting another use for corn stover, burning it for process heat to increase the EROI. Cellulosic ethanol from that waste wont amount to much, its too energy expensive to process.
Too energy intensive compared to what? One can sit back with a beverage while the enzymes do the heavy lifting.

But from an appropriate perspective, rather than a big ag view, anything put back into the soil to recycle the nutrients is a good thing as that goes right back into the next harvest. Seriously - look into permaculture. There's no such thing as 'waste' and a closed loop works much better than one that's open.

Compare/Contrast:
Big Ag: Damn snails - need more insecticide!
Permaculture: You don't have an excess of snails - you have a duck deficiency!

Watch the videos - the speaker/author is an alcohol producer, farmer, permaculture designer, and had an intensely-farmed community supported agriculture operation in the SF Bay area that fed 450 families from TWO acres while rebuilding the land.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:03 pm
by AndyH
Solution - WWS

Yes - we can provide 100% of the WORLD's energy needs with Wind, Water, and Solar.

http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jaco ... icyPt1.pdf
http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jaco ... icyPt2.pdf

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:54 pm
by AndyH
Solution - Get Real About the Economy and other expectations

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/myth-o ... 2012-06-12
Yes, everything you know about economics is wrong. Dead wrong. Everything. The conclusions of economists are based on a fiction that distorts everything else. As a result economics is as real as one of the summer blockbusters like “Battleship,” “The Avenger” or “Prometheus.”

The difference is that the economic profession is a genuine threat, not entertainment. Economics dogma is on track to destroy the world with a misleading ideology.
It's difficult to make a vast plan with half-vast assumptions... ;)

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 1:01 pm
by AndyH

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:25 pm
by leafetarian
While I agree with your points about Alcohol / Ethanol being better than fossil fuels, the reason why many of us bought LEAF is that we simply don't like anything burning and LEAF shows that you don't really need to burn anything!

There are several problems with biofuels:
1) ICE (internal combustion engine) is inherently inefficient. As you can see citations from the book "Without Hot Air", ICE has very low efficiency of 25% or so because huge amount of energy gets wasted in heating the car and environment and then braking etc. (without aggressive regen like LEAF) whereas EVs are 80-more than 90% efficient.
"Without Hot Air" shows that it is better to electrify everything including transportation and even heating homes and heating water using heat exchangers / heat pumps running on electricity and use electricity from solar, wind, water only.
2) There is natural PV (or wind) + EV synergy.
As this earlier post mentions: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables ( http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4848" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
It is possible to supply the world with solar, wind and water. So, why grow biofuels (which can compete with food) and burn them?
Moreover, you can see that Professor Jacobsen gives detailed reasons about why we should not choose biofuels and I found those arguments very logical and based on solid science.

3) I highly doubt any "clean burning" or carbon capture etc. Nothing that burns is likely to be clean. There are generally harmful chemical by-products in burning anything (including natural wood) which can cause various diseases including cancer. Look at this BBC article quoting research at MIT : Road pollution is more than twice as deadly as traffic accidents, according to a study of UK air quality ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )

By contrast, solar or wind + EV cause no emissions at all.

Not even moving around carbon (as in PV + EV) is better than moving around carbon ( and other chemical by-products) and hoping for carbon neutral state.

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:51 pm
by AndyH
leafetarian wrote:While I agree with your points about Alcohol / Ethanol being better than fossil fuels, the reason why many of us bought LEAF is that we simply don't like anything burning and LEAF shows that you don't really need to burn anything!
On the subject of EVs I agree completely - and more than 50% my miles are EV. However... I simply cannot go all electric with any vehicle available today. My ICE miles are in a pickup - not a show truck but one with dents and places to tie-down the sheets of plywood, 2x12s and hay bales often in the back. Sorry - for the time being I do have to burn something. As do many of the people in the interior of the country. I wish it wasn't the case. Since carbon (after population) is our number one problem, ethanol's significant carbon negativity is a real benefit here.
leafetarian wrote:There are several problems with biofuels:
1) ICE (internal combustion engine) is inherently inefficient. As you can see citations from the book "Without Hot Air", ICE has very low efficiency of 25% or so because huge amount of energy gets wasted in heating the car and environment and then braking etc. (without aggressive regen like LEAF) whereas EVs are 80-more than 90% efficient.
Overall efficiency: Change your view to "well to wheels" - how efficient is distributed generation? How many cancer deaths are caused by our >40% reliance on burning coal?

Engine/point of use efficiency: I agree with gasoline, less so with diesel (though emissions are not great), but it's better with an alcohol engine - into the 40% range. Alcohol can replace nearly all gasoline today and some diesel (and can replace all diesel with a fuel delivery system developed in the 1980s and used on city buses). We can go carbon neutral for all of our transportation immediately if we choose - well before we'll have any significant EV market penetration.
leafetarian wrote:"Without Hot Air" shows that it is better to electrify everything including transportation and even heating homes and heating water using heat exchangers / heat pumps running on electricity and use electricity from solar, wind, water only.
It "can" be better - and certainly can be better than the US norm of heating the air inside buildings, but there are significantly better ways that have been in use throughout North America for more than 40 years - buildings that don't require heating or air conditioning for example. When do you plan to build YOUR Earthship? :lol:
leafetarian wrote:2) There is natural PV (or wind) + EV synergy.
As this earlier post mentions: A Plan to Power 100 Percent of the Planet with Renewables ( http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=4848" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
Look up two posts. :) And also look to RMI's "Reinventing Fire" program...
leafetarian wrote:It is possible to supply the world with solar, wind and water. So, why grow biofuels (which can compete with food) and burn them?
Simply because 100% electric is a long term project - and we need a MUCH FASTER set of solutions for our carbon trouble. We simply cannot wait for everyone in the US to discover EVs.

Alcohol can be made from food - absolutely. But the corn used for ethanol in the US is designed from the start to be an industrial feedstock - it's never going to be 'food' unless we're talking about animal feed. In that case, distiller's grain - a byproduct of ethanol production - is a much better feed than raw corn. There are some nice synergies here as well. More to the point, however, is that the only reason we use corn in this country is because we grow "too much" of it and it's dirt cheap. There are so many better crops for ethanol - and many of them don't need fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides, or food-quality land.
leafetarian wrote:Moreover, you can see that Professor Jacobsen gives detailed reasons about why we should not choose biofuels and I found those arguments very logical and based on solid science.
I've keyword searched Jacobsen's papers (linked two posts above) for "bio", "fuel", "alcohol" and "ethanol" and found no mentions of these. There was one line in the Scientific American article but it came across as opinion - I didn't see any data on which it might be based. Would you share the solid science that underpins his (or your) assertion please?
leafetarian wrote:3) I highly doubt any "clean burning" or carbon capture etc. Nothing that burns is likely to be clean. There are generally harmful chemical by-products in burning anything (including natural wood) which can cause various diseases including cancer. Look at this BBC article quoting research at MIT : Road pollution is more than twice as deadly as traffic accidents, according to a study of UK air quality ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; )
But again - you're talking about gasoline and diesel here - and I agree! Gasoline is not a single product - it's a chemical soup of left-overs from refineries - and is not the same anywhere. Ethanol is ethanol - carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. A complete burn produces only CO2 and water. Gasoline will never do that. Ethanol emissions are very, very different - even when produced in engines evolved for gasoline over 100 years.
leafetarian wrote:By contrast, solar or wind + EV cause no emissions at all.
Once the pieces/parts are manufactured, anyway... ;)

A 100% solution would be great - but there are none on the horizon today. Ten 10% solutions, however, will get us there - and can get us there quickly with today's tech. Either way, it's a good thing!

Re: World Energy Use - There's No Tomorrow - Let's Fix This!

Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 8:40 pm
by leafetarian
I think one other approach which I think is the best is to encourage high density, transit oriented city living with plenty of public transportation. I think this suburbia was a new concept imposed on people to serve interests of auto lobby, oil lobby and construction lobby. New York City has super low energy footprint per capita and it is many times lower than any other city / town in US.

If people have fast public transport (subway / metro) as in DC, NY and have bikable / walkable environment they simply don't need vehicles whether they are EV or not.