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Thread: Alternate Fuels

  1. #9
    Grouchy Old Anime Otaku LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata has become well known LenMiyata's Avatar
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Grumble Grumble Grumble
    Quote Originally Posted by Arrianna View Post
    Ethanol
    Now I don't approve of using corn to make ethanol with what it has done world wide in combination with the continuing crop failures of the last few years buuuut... evidently you can make ethanol with switchgrass. Never heard of it? It used to cover the great plains as far as you can see and feed the buffalo that grazed there. It is perennial so it can be harvested for 10 years without replanting, prevents soil erosion, is hardy and can be grown without commercial fertilizers, collects carbon dioxide and traps it naturally in the soil (at a much higher rate the trees do to boot), and you can make an average of 11,500 gallons of ethanol per acre. As a final bonus the remains after you have made the ethanol can be turned into methanol, methane gas, and even hydrogen.

    So please educate me on anything I missed or just feel free to comment.
    Now the current Bush Administration mandates for corn based ethanol are nothing more then a thinly disguised agricultural price support subsidy, with American corn ethanol receiving a 50 cents a gallon subsidy from the US Government through 2010, while at the same time Brazilian sugarcane based ethanol (both cheaper to produce, more energy efficient, and lower green house gas impact) has a 50 cent per gallon import tariff. With the raising price of corn feed stocks, further expansion of corn ethanol production plants are now being cut back, and the production of biodiesel is reduced, both in the US (because of the rise of soybean oil) and over seas (due to the rising costs of palm oil)

    Environmental Capital - WSJ.com : Biofuels Backlash: Asian Palm-Oil Producers Shut Plants
    Biodiesel plants idled by rising soybean prices | Green Tech - CNET News.com

    The long term solution is cellulose based ethanol. (Cellulose is nothing more then polymerized sugar. If you could break it down back into sugar...) The problem with this solution is that up to now, the proposals have been nothing more then laboratory experiments and prototypes. This year, actual production facilities are being built, and it remains to be seen if they can actually meet their estimated costs of production under real world conditions...

    GM invests in 'trash to ethanol' start-up - CNET News.com
    Last edited by LenMiyata; May 01, 2008 at 10:29 AM.
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  2. #10
    Lady Barronmore Arrianna has become well known Arrianna has become well known Arrianna has become well known Arrianna's Avatar
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Quote Originally Posted by LenMiyata View Post
    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    Now the current Bush Administration mandates for corn based ethanol are nothing more then a thinly disguised agricultural price support subsidy,
    I would call them a blatant attempt to get the US away from imported energy sources since he has come right out and said so from the get go. I just think he supported the wrong agricultural product.

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  3. #11
    Devoted Otaku gamemaster331 is off to a good start gamemaster331's Avatar
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    How about tidal power where energy is produced as the tides move ina and out by spinning turbines. From what I've read and talked to others about, France uses it on their Mediteranean coastline. I think several other countries do to. What I don't understand is why we here in America don't use it.

    Then there's also a plant in Arizona that burns used tires for energy. From what I've read, it produces enough energy to poer one or two cities.

  4. #12
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Tidal power, from what I have heard, it can produce a great amount of energy but it also has the possibility of causing massive disruption to the local environment in the way in which it is done. During construction as well as during it life, fish migration other wildlife, the natural movements and flows can be greatly disrupted/ destroyed. .

    Which is a shame because it would be a real option considering the amount of energy it would create

  5. #13
    Devoted Otaku gamemaster331 is off to a good start gamemaster331's Avatar
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    The way I read it is that they bury the turbines deep in the ocean with grates and the like. They have it now to wear it causes very little impact to the undersea environment. At least that's what I've read. Not sre if it is to that point already or not, yet. If we put both environmentalist and engineers working together on it, I'm sure that it could be done. I also forgot to mention that Lake Erie can be a source of tidal power.

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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Your talking about off shore turbines right? I can see how they would have an affect any where they are placed - particularly during construction phase. The other is Tidal Barrages, which by the looks would have more of an impact on the environment (info)

    Maybe as time goes on we will have something better, but at the moment it doesn't seem to good compared to other renewables.

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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Yeah. Initially, they'd have a great impact on the system, but with careful placement and proper construction, they would be alot better for the environment than the plants that use fossil fuels and not as dangerous as some nuclear plants. From what I learned in my Environmental classes, Perry Nuclear Plant is situated on a faultline several cities over and the elctricity it produces isn't even used in the area.
    I was also thinking of their placement in areas where the natural ecology has already been disturbed ruined.

  8. #16
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    Re: Alternate Fuels

    Grumble Grumble Grumble

    Tidal Power actually has even less viable locations then Geothermal power. What is the average difference in height between high tide and low tide? (6 feet?, 12 feet? How many Hydropower dams do you know of that are only 12 feet tall???) And capturing and diverting the high tide in significant amounts is bound to have environmental consequences for fish migration and habitat.

    What might be a more viable solution would be to harness the power of Waves. The major issue with both is that locations with either strong wave or tidal power potential are usually far away from where the power demands are....

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