New Biofuel Process Could Supply ALL US Transport Needs

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by AndyPipkin, Mar 20, 2007.

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  1. Every cloud.....
  2. I have always beleived that Man will find the answers when he has too.
    And I do like the thought of allowing our Arab 'friends' to return to the simple life only they understand.
  3. It sounds too good to be true. I wonder how much acreage would be left after growing crops for Biofuel in order to feed the cattle and the people? Also, what would be the cost of the energy required to break down the biomas, electrolyse the water and then combine the hydrogen with teh carbon dioxide. Probably substantially more than drilling the black stuff out of the ground and transporting half way round the world.
  4. MikeMCC is right in the problem. It's a few yeara since I was involved but stort then was that one and half times land area USA would be needed to produce the alternative fuel. I'll update and come back (unless someone beats me to the punch)
  5. Current technology lets you produce bioethanol at around 130% efficiency i.e. you get 30% more out than you put in. The USA would need to devote approx 25% of it's land mass to production at the present production efficiency levels.

    There is a heap of work going on in with the bio-engineering of trees and working with the enzymes from termites to produce more sugars from a given acreage.

    All that said it would take a while to use up all of the Athabasca Oil Sands.
  6. you get 30% more out than you put in.

    Care to explain this. I may be being a bit dim but don't the first two laws of thermodynamics kind of preclude this from happening.
  7. So heap in urbanised areas, deserts, mountains, forests, national parks, lakes, etc. That would probably be a sizable chunk of ALL arable land. Biofuels are still, at best, only going to be able to help the situation
  8. Just one little question, whcih spare 25% of the US lanmass are you suggesting they use for this plan.


  9. Yeah thats an issue now but in reality the process can only get more efficient and cheaper with time and investment, necessity being the mother and all that. I grew up on farms and you would be very surprised how much energy in the form of heat and gas can come from masses of rotting crops piled up on the ground. I would think that in a controlled industrial process massive amounts of fuel can be produced with very little waste thats actually dangerous unlike hydrocarbons.

    I'm not convinced by the greeny fascists arguments against biofuels and the need for more land. Their motivations seem to be to return us to a lifestyle where nobody travels further than 10 miles from their birthplace and the countryside is nothing more than an amenity for city people.
  10. I think that's what the politicos are after too so that they can feel important when the peasents doff hteir caps when the top nobs (should be with a k there) go past.

    It's true that there is alot of green waste that can be used to generate biofuel. But alot of it has to be ploughed back in as well to prepare the soil for the next crop, otherwise you have to use more fertilizer, that needs more fuel use,...
  11. Alaska?
  12. There's this big warm thing in the sky...

    Anyway, I reckon we'll only need biofuels for aviation. With the lithium ion batteries for cars and zinc-air fuelcells for heavy metal, oil's going obsolete sharpish.
  13. So the proccess is 100% efficent is it, with no waste heat, water or chemicals and nothing else is added or taken away during proccessing.

    Well feck me, I'll justget on my perpetual motion bike and go aan patent the idea.
  14. Can't be arrsed to read the link but if this is the way ahead does the new biofuel give the same calorific output as existing Hydro-Carbons if not the big things that go whoosh in the sky may go bang on the floor.

    Surely hydrogen cells and ceramic engines are the way ahead for cars etc. Hydrogen in one end H3O+ out the other and the good thing about H20 is it contains Hydrogen.....hooray for science.