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June 26, 2007

Comments

Mark Vane

Hi, Found a cool news widget for our blogs at www.widgetmate.com. Now I can show the latest news on my blog. Worked like a breeze.

amazingdrx

Save 100% of the energy used for making ethanol? Don't make it.

Use renewable electricity in plugin hybrids instead. Enough with ethanol. it's a huge boondoggle wasting scarce capital, water, and energy from oil (of all things?).

Calamity

Yes, why would you want to burn perfectly good alcohol?

Tim

This technology will be highly beneficial when producing ethanol or better yet Bio-Butanol from NON-FOOD cellosic feedstock sources that DON’T require replanting, watering or fertilizing such as perennial switch grass, waste woodchips or spent biodiesel Algae. Not only will this save thermal energy but the separated process water can be recycled more easily.

Calamity

So how much does this improve EROI of corn ethanol and cellulosic?

Saul Wall

"Use renewable electricity in plugin hybrids instead."

Since plug in hybrids still need some fuel this is not an argument against ethanol since plug in ethanol hybrids are possible.

"Enough with ethanol. it's a huge boondoggle wasting scarce capital, water, and energy from oil (of all things?)."

This article describes large savings of energy and water from just one technology. There are other technologies aiming to do the same thing. Might it not be somewhat early to dismiss this process especially if Ethanol is used as a starting chemical for the synthesis of another liquid fuel?

Even if ethanol is not used for a vehicle fuel in the long term, it is a very important chemical in industry and would become more so if certain alternatives made from petroleum were to become more expensive due to rising oil prices. Being able to produce it using less energy and water is a very good thing.

abbott-associates

This could really represent a significant breakthrough in ethanol processing. Even if there were no net cost savings as implied in the post, the reduction in energy usage for ethanol processing would be a huge plus - it takes a lot of energy to distill the ethanol-water azeotrope out of an aqueous environment. This will be particularly positive when cellulosic ethanol is commercial.

Saul Wall

Since this techniques is not dependent on the source of the ethanol it would be interesting to see it in the light of this development. Creating biodiesel (which can be done from algae farms, sewage, and thermal depolymerization as well as that farm land which is going unused anyway due to productivity increases) creates glycerin as a waste product. While it is an economically valuable chemical, the increase of biodiesel has created a glycerin glut. The above link discusses the development of a method for converting glycerin into ethanol. This returns the revenue that biodiesel producers once got from the sale of glycerin while producing a second renewable fuel.

JohnBo

This is a great step forward. I remember when only the military had reverse osmosis water purification and now I have a small system on my farm. If a similar development can take place for ethanol we may be able to buy a self contained small system that would supply our energy needs from farm waste. These types of advances are positive and rather amazing. The future of energy supply looks good when one reads the Energy Blog. Thanks Jim for spreading the news.

averagejoe

JohnBo,

The website below describes a way to use Zeolite as sort of a "Poor Man's" molecular sieve. You'd still have to distill the ethanol first, but supposedly zeolite lets you remove that last little bit of water that distillation can't. Might be useful on a farm... or in a Mad Max scenario. Who knows.

http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/id26.html

Mack

I dont see a saving @ 40% but yes it is a good developement. Can you explain me about costing of the memberane.

Craig

France generates some 75% off their electrical needs via small nuclear power plants. Yet we don't consider this source at all.

Craig

France generates some 75% off their electrical needs via small nuclear power plants. Yet we don't consider this source at all.

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