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Burning BioMass is more Efficient than Creating Ethanol

What I just wrote up there is obviously true. I mean, I am in no way surprised by that, but apparently it's a big story. I suppose the story, really, is that somebody actually got out a pen and viagra samples in canada paper and did the math.

Here are the results, "biomass converted into electricity produced 81 percent more transportation miles and 108 percent more emissions offsets compared to ethanol." Those are some good numbers, and I think we can all agree that, in an ideal world, we would all have electric vehicles.

Buuut, we don't. We have vehicles that run on liquid fuels, and a transportation and infrastructure that relies on liquid fuels. The average car in America stays on the road for ten years, meaning that, for quite a while anyway, we're stuck with liquid fuels.

Creating ethanol, by design, is less efficient than burning it for electricity. There are a half-dozen energy-intensive steps necessary to turn cellulose into ethanol. But ethanol is a more convenient fuel than electricity. We don't need advanced batteries, we've got the pumping stations in place and there are already a lot of flex-fuel cars on the roads.

I hope we can all agree that electric cars would be better than ethanol-powered cars...but we should also agree that both are better than gasoline.

Via NPR and UCMerced


Camelina Jet Fuel Could Reduce Emissions By 84%

A recent study by Michigan Technological University found that jet fuel made from camelina reduces carbon emissions 84% compared to regular petro-based jet fuels. We've covered the advancements being made with jatropha-based jet fuels and the generic cialis from canada successful test-flights done using the biofuel, but camelina appears to be even more promising.

The plant, which requires little fertilizer and water and buy pfizer viagra online has a high oil yield, has a low-carbon life cycle and has shown the greatest reduction in emissions compared to other biofuels. The study focused on camelina grown in Montana and it found that the state alone could cultivate 2-3 million acres of buy viagra without prescription in canada the crop without displacing other crops. That amount of camelina would produce 200-300 million gallons of oil per year.

Jet fuel seems to be the area where biofuels could really make the greatest difference. Cars will be able to run on electricity or hydrogen, but airplanes will be harder to convert. If biofuels can be made in a way that doesn't disrupt other crops and with less of an environmental impact than oil, then plants like camelina seem to look there levitra tablets sale be a great solution, at least in the price cialis short-term.

via Treehugger


Ethanol Production Consumed 861 B Gallons of Water in '07

So it turns out the reason that everyone was getting all angry about ethanol last year was the wrong reason. The alternative bio-fuel, which is mostly made from corn, was widely blamed last year for skyrocketing food costs. But, this year, a Congressional Budget Office report has concluded that only a small percentage of the increase in food prices was due to ethanol.

But that doesn't mean we should all jump back on the ethanol bandwagon. According to a new University of Minnesota study, producing ethanol from corn requires about three times more water than previously thought. The study says that ethanol production required about 861 billion gallons of water. This is water that, in recent years, has been in significant decline in America's food-growing states. 

A gallon of it's great! generic cialis online ethanol, depending on soft gel viagra irrigation practices, might require up to 2,100 gallons of water to produce. While, in areas more suited to corn production, it can take as little as 100 gallons of water to produce a gallon of ethanol. The worst news of all of this, is that from 2005 to 2008 water use for ethanol production increased 246%, whereas U.S. bioethanol production has increased only 133%. This means that corn ethanol production has pushed into land that is not well-suited for growing corn, thus increasing water use far more than it increased yield.

So while you can stop worrying that you're burning the poor's food in your gas tank, you should be worried that you're burning your children's water. Let's hope that cellulosic ethanol can take over for the limitations of corn.


Microbes Eat CO2, Make Fuel

When electricity flows at  a trickle pace, it’s not very useful for a lot of our high-power applications. That’s why, as we all know, finding a way to store that energy so that it can build up slowly over time is critically important.

One way to store that trickle is to generic levitra mastercard run a chemical reaction that will leave us with some combustible fuel.  For example, scientists are working on catalysts that will make it easier to split water into O2 and H2 – the latter being combustible hydrogen - using electricity derived from photovoltaic power.

In the same vein, scientists recently developed a process called electromethanogensis.  If you break down the name, you see that the process involves generating methane (natural gas) from electricity.  How does this happen?  The answer lies in a species of bacteria known as Methanobacterium palustre (see the word “methane” in there?), which is able to chemically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) into methane (CH4).

The bacteria is used as part of an electrolytic cell.  An electrolytic cell is the buy levitra online australia opposite of a battery – a battery takes two compounds that want to react with each other and taps that potential in the form of canada viagra prescription electricity.  In an electrolytic cell, the electrons are pumped in and they drive the reaction uphill, so to speak.  In this case that uphill reaction is CO2 turning into CH4 (the opposite of the downhill version, which happens when we burn CH4, or any other fossil fuel).  The bacteria’s job is to catalyze the process, which means that you get a lot more natural gas for the same amount of electricity fed in.

What’s interesting is that the scientist primarily involved, Dr. Bruce Logan of Penn State University, has also used bacteria for the opposite process – microbial fuel cells (in fact he wrote a book on the subject).  In that process, bacteria are harnessed to eat nasty molecules from sources such as municipal waste pools, break them down and release electric energy as a byproduct. 

This is the kind of thing that makes biological-based energy sources so intriguing.  In reality, bio-energy makes up a tiny fraction of all renewable energy out there, and some suggest that it will always be that way.  But in principle, bio-energy holds so much potential that it’s hard to say where the technology will be in 10 years from now.  We’ve been tweaking microbes to make drugs and wow it's great gay viagra natural products for a while, but we’ve only begun thinking about incorporating them into the energy infrastructure, be it in methane synthesis such as this, bio-diesel production or algae fuel.

Via Green Car Congress
Image via Penn State


Study Shows Great Potential for Cellulosic Ethanol

A study conducted by a government laboratory in partnership with General Motors revealed that the U.S. has the land, water and transportation resources necessary to make a whole lot of cellulosic ethanol. Enough, in fact, to replace one-third of our gasoline needs by 2030.

The seven-month study evaluated the country's ability to only here hydrochlorothiazide levitra complete each step needed to produce biofuels from "seed to station" and at what volume. Researchers found that the U.S. could produce 90 billion gallons of biofuel per year by 2030 and that it would cost about the cheap us cialis same as producing the equivalent amount of gasoline. The laboratory assumed the fuel would be made of "energy crops," fast-growing plants that would not use the same land as that used for food crops.

Other assumptions were that each ton of biomass would create 95 gallons of fuel and that each ton would cost $40. This would make the biofuel competitive with oil prices when oil is priced between $70 and $120 a barrel. The savings in CO2 emissions were calculated to be 250 million tons per 60 billion gallons of cellulosic ethanol.

The big details missing from this study are how the fuel would be made and what exactly would be used to make it. There have been a lot of successful trial runs of good choice viagra no prescription canada biofuels and biofuel-blends, but no company has reached a point where they could manufacture cellulosic ethanol at a commercial level.

If you'd like to read more about this study, click here for the executive summary.

via Green Inc.

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