Ethanol = Emissions

"Ethanol auto emissions no greener than gasoline: study"

The emphasis on ethanol as an answer to global warming is not going to help much. USA Pres. Bush has just announced a big deal with Brazil for ethanol, and some/much of that Canadian federal money for the 'clean air act' is going to help set up ethanol production. It is a waste of money when that money is meant to addresss greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming.


The study found no statistical difference between the greenhouse gas emissions of regular unleaded fuel and 10 per cent ethanol blended fuel.

Although the study found a reduction in carbon monoxide, a pollutant that forms smog, emissions of some other gases, such as hydrocarbons, actually increased under certain conditions.

Ok, so now I see that the ethanol was only mixed in at 10%. I know ethanol is an "oxygenate" which should improve tailpipe air quality, and that the 'whole cycle' of fuel production is better with ethanol compared to crude oil, but it is still a 'hydrocarbon' fuel and will produce greenhouse gasses when burned.

Overall, the problem is that "renewable energy" as a solution has been tactically hijacked and now we are talking about "renewable fuels" instead. Wind and solar produced electricity is what we mean by "renewable energy".

Wind and Solar are being ignored by Harper and Bush and the oil culture who will allways be pushing for ways to continue burning fossil fuels, even at a blend. Another example will be when we make hydrogen - they will do it with fossil fuels instead of 'splitting water' with solar-produced electricity.

Wind and Solar represent the opportunity for individuals to own and produce their own electricty, and the advent of plug-in hybrid cars could reduce the need for electricity-over-the-grid immensely. That will take away a large amount of profits from the few corporate entities that we all pay into for energy - electrical or gasoline. They had it so good for so long, and still do. They will fight the obvious solution to global warming, and we can see that fight in the actions of Harper and Bush.

Having our own little house-mounted electric systems will be a case of "everyone doing a little bit that makes a huge difference" that we will see in the blue skies. This 'coming together' could also herald a new time in human relations as we pull away from the unbalanced 'wealthy elite model of economics' where we all pay into a single corporate entity for things we all need, and creating billionaires in the process. Do we really want to play along at this any longer, instead of making our own electricity, and maybe even selling a little bit?

Seed money from the feds should go to production of solar panel and windmills, and their related technologies if we really want to tackle global warming and actually HELP the economy.
You're late and I don't want to repeat myself:
Ethanol is not viable in the long run as renewable resource either, it is subject to all the same weather and catastrophies as food crops which could drive up the cost. It is already causing food prices to increase as food supplies are being used to produce it. And it has larger social economic impacts in places like brazil that are producing it. The only seriousle viable solutions are electric, solar and or hydrogen, all 3 have set-backs and negatives but all are better long term solutions than ethanol IMOP.
A better altenative to current ethanol production would be to change the crops used to ferment and produce ethanol. A good candidate is a sub-tropical grass called Miscanthus. Unlike corn, the whole plant may be used rather than selected plant parts. The yield is higher with less input (water).

In a class last year we did a module on renewable alternatives. This was one of the candidates. You can also burn the plant to produce energy and the CO2 it gives off is roughly equal to the CO2 it took out of the atmosphere and soil.
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Ethanol is another wonder fuel that isn't. Even hydrogen, the perfect fuel, is flawed since electrolysis is the only "clean" way to produce it.
And I think hydrogen requires more energy to produce than you get from burning it.
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That's what I was thinking......Good place to use solar photo-voltaic power.
Quote: Originally Posted by Tonington View Post

And I think hydrogen requires more energy to produce than you get from burning it.

That is true. Something like This would be ideal, assuming all of the other storage problems etc. could also be solved. Although I imagine we are a long way from seeing this done in practice. But maybe someday....
Mmm, there are some interesting biological mechanisms which could be tapped for hydrogen. Methanogenic bacteria could produce the methane from other waste products. There are some bacteria that can take methane and other waste products such as those from the food processing industry and convert it to hydrogen at nearly 80% efficiency.
Ethanol has always been simply a way to give ADL, US car manufacturers, and corn farmers lots of money. It has nothing to do with logic, or energy efficiency. Amazingly enough, people have fallen for it.
I think not
I read somewhere switchgrass is a good candidate for ethanol fuel. It yields 1000 gallons per acre as opposed to corn that yields 400? per acre.
I think the problem here is people don't understand WHY carbon emissions are bad.

Carbon emissions are fine, its part of the life cycle and required to keep the biosphere going.
If not for carbon emissions plants couldn't grow. They absorb carbon out of the air and store it in themselves. This is the carbon emitted when Ethanol is burned. Oil is the same way, biomatter being pumped back into the biosphere.

The problem with oil, is that it has been out of the biosphere for millions of years. Burning that oil returns that carbon to the biosphere, which warms it back up.

If you take all the carbon removed from the biosphere since the time of the dinosaurs, and put it back into the biosphere. It will be as warm and jungle covered as the time of the dinosaurs. Which is bad for us critters that evolved in cool climes and built our cities along the shores of cool climes.

With Ethanol, what you put into the air is exactly what you took out of the air. Its Carbon Neutral.
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Ethanol has always been simply a way to give ADL, US car manufacturers, and corn farmers lots of money. It has nothing to do with logic, or energy efficiency. Amazingly enough, people have fallen for it.

Well, it certainly won’t replace oil unless we seriously cut back on driving. As for production, perhaps electric tractors are required. I am not sure how fossil fuel is used in the production of fertilizer but that must also be considered in production.
Of the 3 i mentioned solar would be great, but the current problem is todays panels aren't effecient enough to quickly power a vehicle and keep it operating all day with the power of of gasoline engines. Plus it doesn't get the funding as the established powers that be, don't want a free power source fueling vehicles and ending there monopoly.

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