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February 01, 2006

Comments

C. Scott Miller

This study corroborates the findings of a study made last year (BEFORE PIMENTAL's release of his erroneous study) by Michael Wang of the Center for Transportation Research of the University of Chicago/Argonne National Laboratory (work sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy). http://www.anl.gov/Media_Center/News/2005/NCGA_Ethanol_Meeting_050823.ppt.

Corn and sugar fermentation have been invaluable at helping build our current infrastructure for ethanol (2% of our national liquid fuel consumption is better than 0%). It has also spurred marketing of flex-fuel vehicles and established the 800 stations that offer E85.

But we can do much better with conversion technology (CTs) and regional solutions based on regional feedstock assets. Fossil fuels can also be used in the CTs for the creation of celluosic ethanol. Blending of CT feedstock can produce optimized output results for each region and may develop interesting electricity co-generation solutions.

I would like to see co-siting of CTs with the 85+ existing sugar refineries. That will allow a smooth transition for farmers who would then be able to convert ag waste, switch to other crops, and help profit even with foul harvests.


Thomas

Biofuel seems increasingly prosperous. In a recent comment by a professor of The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark, he states that just 16% of Danish farmland could supply ethanol to replace our entire consumption of gasoline! This prognosis included improvements already in the pipeline for the enzymes that break down the cellulosis.

About biofuel in CHP. We have quite a lot of that in Denmark, but I'm personally growing increasingly sceptical. Burning straw is not only technically difficult, because of e.g. hydrocloric acid, but a lot minerals are removed from the soil, only to end up as harmful deposits in the boiler. All these minerals need to be replaced in the soil, usually by fertilizer.

What I like so much about making ethanol is the fact that only the hydro-carbon (which came from sunlight, water and CO2 captured from the atmosphere) is removed. There will be an end by-product that contains all the minerals that the plant had originally taken from the soil. These minerals can probably be re-applied to the soil, thus greatly reducing the need for energy-intensive fertilizer.

This process is much more like the process in a cow's stomach and, as we know, cow manure is excellent fertilizer.

Actually there are other processes to seperate manure into water, hydro-carbon and minerals (left over fertilizer). This left over fertilizer is actually more efficiently absorbed by plants than artificial fertilizer. But that's a whole other discussion.

-Thomas

Halvo

I hope that in the push to ramp up biofuel production, we don't forget about the sytems supporting the feedstock. Thomas' point is critical. What water and soil problems will we see if California goes full steam ahead on corn based ethanol. Are there not major water and soil conservation issues there already?

Jim from The Energy Blog

C. Scott Miller - The Wang study you referred to was one of the six reports that were analyzed. I did not list the studies because I only wanted to make my main point. Other blogs have listed all six studies.

G Eddy

What is switchgrass? How many acres of farmland would be required to produce a barrel of oil equivalent from switchgrass? From corn? From sugar cane?

This begs the question of what will we eat if we use a significant fraction of farm land for fuel production?

Jim from The Energy Blog

Halvo - The problems you pointed out are true for corn ethanol, but not as severe for cellusosic ethanol made from swithgrass or Miscanthus grass. They will grow on marginal land and control errosion, require little or no fertilizer and are drought resistant.

Jim from The Energy Blog

G. Eddy - Switchgrass is a perennual grass that grows very tall, lives for 10 years or more, thus not requiring the energy input from planting every year. It does not require any cultivation, no fertilizers, is drought resistant and controls errosion. Very similar to Miscanthus grass referred to in the above comment. (see my new post, Switchgrass for more information) I don't remember the yield per acre for corn ethanol, but it is much less than for the grasses. Cellulosic ethanol can also be made from forestry waste. A ORNL study, made last year, concluded that we could obtain 30% of our liquid fuels from biomass without compromising out food production.

SwitchgrassLover

Great work here. There is much more potential than the nay-sayers think. When you consider all of the unused land available(some of which our farmers are collecting revenue not to farm!) we could put a serious dent in traditional oil requirements.

eric blair

What water and soil problems will we see

If there is no provision for returning the 'waste' organic material back to the land, the eventual effect will be a stripping of the micro elements and the destruction of the soil food web via the starvation of many of the symboitic fauna the flora needs to grow and prosper.

Switch grass is a perannual grass that grows very tall, lives for 10 years or more, thus not requiring the energy input from planting every year. It does not require any cultivation, no fertilizers, is drought resistant and controls errosion.

Please double check the 'no fertilizer' claim. Most of the data I've seen says 'light' nitrogen, and I've not seen any data showing what happens with you harvest the grass without returning ash or the dead grass back to the land. (Eric- You are right, I really should have said "little or no fertilizer." My post on switchgrass goes into a little detail on this. - Jim)

Otherwise - spot on.

corn ethanol,

The corn idea exists to provide a 'demand floor' for corn.

Great work here. There is much more potential than the nay-sayers think.

But unless 'the plan' puts back the organic material left over from obtaining 'liquid energy', what WILL happen is, over time, the land will eventually unable to support plant life.

To get the 'waste' back to the land, the closer the process of biobits to fuel is to the growers of the biobits, the more likely it is the 'waste' will return to the soil.

'the ideal plan' would put the energy extraction process right on the biobits growers property. Then the bio-bit farmer can sell off excess capacity and would be responsible for 'closing the waste loop'.

So unless you are pushing the return of 'organic waste' material to the land switchgrasslover,

eric blair

Oh, I almost forgot. People are treating the production of Ethanol like it is either a 'corn' or 'switchgrass' solution.

Personally, I'm growing sugar beets for making sugar-squeezings. The chipped beet? Fodder for the various critters and goes right back on the land as compost.

And this solution is 'only one farm'-style solution.

SwitchgrassLover

Despite my adoration for switchgrass, I completely agree Eric that a variety of feedstocks should be employed in our efforts to reinvigorate the small farming communities and reduce our dependance on imported energy. Diversity is strength.

halvo

Jim- At first glance, switchgrass seems to make a lot more sense to me than corn. My worries about corn based ethanol production in California stem from the only pure play on ethanol out there. Cascade Investments LLC (Bill Gates) recently agreed to an $84 mil investment in this ethanol pure play and their future product line "emphasizes clean-burning corn-based ethanol". The first plant is probably coming on line in the 4th quarter of this year and I believe they have 8 corn based ethanol plants in mind for California. I doubt they will be trying to import corn from out of state, so my concern is based on the assumed increase in irrigation and fertilization that will be required to meet the demand for California corn. There is definitely room for greater efficiency in California irrigation systems, but will efficiency improvements be enough to cope with increased consumption? Also, ADM is currently the largest producer of ethanol in the states. As far as I am aware, ADM is not all that into perrenials, so there could be some serious challenges in producing the most sensible ethanol product in the US.

Robert

Something like half the capital investment in a bioethanol plant is in the purification equipment, which doesn't really care how you made the ethanol. (A few adjustments might need to be made for various impurity purges; nothing major.)

So a plant built to make ethanol by one fermentation process, could conceivably be rebuilt to use a different fermentation process, (or either fermentation process), as a viable alternative to building completely new plants.

brother_bones

I'm still not seeing the issues of land use addressed. I don't see ethanol ever supplanting gasoline. At best it will be a suppliment.

Jim from The Energy Blog

Brother Bones - Land use is not a problem yet, but certainly could become one if corn remains the primary feedstock for ethanol plants. The solution is being addressed by developing a process for cellulosic ethanol which can use any plant material as feedstock. This will help in two ways 1)feedstock grown on marginal lands can be used and 2) the entire plant, rather than just the seed corn can be used, thus increasing the amount of ethanol that can be produced from a given amount of land. R&D is well underway to do this and DOE, as president Bush has popularized by his recent statements about switchgrass, is going to fund several pilot/prototype plants in the next couple of years. Studies have been done that indicate that using cellulosic ethanol up to 30% of our fuel can be produced from biomass. One study indicates that this plus conservation, through adoption of hybrid and all electric vehicles and increased mileage standards, could eliminate the need to import petroleum oil to produce liquid fuels by 2050. It could be a rough transition in the next ten years as we struggle to develop and implement cellulosic technology. In the meantime prices for both corn and oil could increase dramatically as shortages of both develop.

brother_bones

Land use isn't an issue now because production is not on a nationwide level. What about the Jeffrey Dukes report (http://globalecology.stanford.edu/DGE/Dukes/Dukes_ClimChange1.pdf) that shows every year we burn 400 years worth of plant material in fossil fuels? How can we possibly match that consumption from any other source? Or any other combination of sources?

30% fuel from biomass, hybrid and electric vehicles, conservation; this is all very Jimmy Carter of you, but I'm not seeing the upside to going this route rather than investing in some other technology. Do these studies take into account rising energy needs or do they look at our needs today as a static number? Do they take into account the developing worlds new found industrialism that will require finite resources that are currently being sold to us?

At least you're more realistic about this technology and the maximum amount of petroleum it can replace. I've seen others talk as if ethanol was some wonder product that can end the worlds energy ills. I just don't see why we should waste time on a product that must be coupled with several other technologies over the next 45 years when we could be putting our resources into something better.

Lou Ann Hammond

I just found this site and was reading the info above. I've written an article about cellulose ethanol that you might find of interest.

Iogen; cellulose ethanol
http://www.carlist.com/autonews/2006/autonews_254.html

sandra

I just found this site and think that this is very interesting information

W. Koch

The food value in the production goal of 8 billion gallons of ethanol per year would feed 220 million people for one whole year on a 2000 colorie per day diet. With literally 1000's starving to death in Africa, we are using FOOD FOR FUEL FOR OUR FORDS.
Oh well, let them eat cake---

B. Kutzera

No comment on ethanol made from sugar cane? I've heard it is much more efficient than corn or switchgrass. We should deregulate the sugar industry in this country and import all the cane or ethanol from Brazil that we can take before setting up this huge corn based system.

Slim

This is just such exciting stuff. Great blog.

Gavin Guy

Royal Chevrolet Cadillac in Lynchburg, Virginia has flex-fuel vehicles in stock now. If you and me want to save money, then we needed to produce and buy theses type of cars!!!

Jenna Soule

I am a senior at Rush-Henrietta High School and my chemistry class has been very involved in the study of ethanol and what it may do for us in the future. My aunt lives in Pittsford and has been offered an oppertunity to partisapate in a ethanol plant production. She owns about 5 acres of land that is used for the production of corn. She wasn't too sure that it was a good idea untill I talked to her about this and how it may change the way we live in America in about 20 years. She thought it was great and then decided to get into the project. I would like to learn more about these things and what else is going on with ethanol. If anyone would be interested, please send me more information to my e-mail address and keep me posted. Grlsinger1988@yahoo.com Thank you!!!

Kristine

I personally think that anything is better than gasoline. Whether its ethanol or switchgrass whichever gets the United States independent from other countries. Could this be why we are fighting in Iraq... I think so! We need to find a better way that will be cheaper and easier to get and make.

Kristine

I personally think that anything is better than gasoline. Whether its ethanol or switchgrass whichever gets the United States independent from other countries. Could this be why we are fighting in Iraq... I think so! We need to find a better way that will be cheaper and easier to get and make.

Katie

I am a student at Rush Henrietta Senior High and my chemistry class is currently studying the efficiency of ethanol as a fuel. So far in our studies, I think that ethanol is the way to go. It seems to be more cost efficient and more available to people. If you could possibly update me a little more on this type of fuel it would be greatly appreciated. Here is my email address for you to keep me posted, laroccak16@yahoo.com, Thank You!!!!

Katie

I am a student at Rush Henrietta Senior High and my chemistry class is currently studying the efficiency of ethanol as a fuel. So far in our studies, I think that ethanol is the way to go. It seems to be more cost efficient and more available to people. If you could possibly update me a little more on this type of fuel it would be greatly appreciated. Here is my email address for you to keep me posted, laroccak16@yahoo.com, Thank You!!!!

Katie

I am a student at Rush Henrietta Senior High and my chemistry class is currently studying the efficiency of ethanol as a fuel. So far in our studies, I think that ethanol is the way to go. It seems to be more cost efficient and more available to people. If you could possibly update me a little more on this type of fuel it would be greatly appreciated. Here is my email address for you to keep me posted, laroccak16@yahoo.com, Thank You!!!!

amazingdrx

Electric plugin vehicles charged with solar, wind, and water generated electricity are much better.

Ethanol does not help stop global climate change from CO 2 greenhouse gas emmissions.

It in fact makes it worse, because land that stores huge amounts of carbon is stripped of that organic matter in the process of fuel farming.

Oil wars would really be halted with electric vehicles using renewable electric power. Ethanol will not provide enough fuel to replace oil. Here's a good presentation on the problems with ethanol and fuel farming in general.

http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/5/13/213817/525/#5


Ethanol will always rise in price with the price of gas, doing nothing to stop the economic pain of american families dependent on imported gasoline.

BPO

Useful article...as you mentioned, these are possibly disruptive times...and not just in ethanol/biogasoline...it is the same case for biodiesel as well..

Initial feedstocks for biodiesel were soy (US), rapeseed (Europe), and feedstock such as palm (Asia)...but it is almost certain that none of the above three feedstock will survive long-term...more likely are non-food feedstock such as jatropha and karanj...the latest development is biodiesel production from algae (see http://www.oilgae.com )...biodiesel production from algae is expected to provide yields that are 100 times that for soy...now that's another disruptive tech for you!

Ec @ Plant Oils Database

amazingdrx

Biofuel from algae is a very good idea, grown in solar collectors, it uses up no natural carebon sink land. Collectors can be located on roofs and over parking lots.

clean water, waste treatment, organic fertilizer, electricity, and heat for heating/cooling are all possible byproducts. Plus cO 2 and other pollutants like NOx from conventional power plants can be trapped and increase algae growth.

This process could produce liquid fuel for applications like aviation, where renewable electric battery power would be problematic until the energy density of batteries approaches that of liquid fuels.

Aviation could be powered by high temp fuel cells that use liquid fuels and feed the hot gases into a turbine to acheive 75% efficiency, much better performance and less CO 2 emmissions than a standard conbustion aircraft turbine.

I think that algae could also be harvested from ocean, lakes, and rivers to reduce pollutants from fertilizer and toxic runnoff, with biofuel production and all the same byproducts.

Once most transportation is renewable electric battery powered, liquid fuel consumption maybe 10% of the present level. And biofuel from algae can practically and affordably provide that level of production with zero ecological damage.

amazingdrx

The measurement in these studies, energy in/energy out, seems simple, but it is decpetive.

Since the main goal of biofuel is to replace oil, it ought to be the ratio of oil energy input to energy output.

Another goal is to minimize greenhouse gas emmissions. That ought to be measured in the ratio of energy from combustion used in the total process to energy output.

Mixing these different factors together is not helpful, only misleading. Anyone reviewing the various studies in a competent and honest fashion should take this into account.

Renewable electric battery powered vehicles use no oil and emit no greenhouse gases.

Frank

Can we seed a lawn with switchgrass ? Can it be hybridized to replace existing lawns. Talk about killing two birds with one stone....basically free raw matireal for ethanol producers....prevent grass clipping from ending up in the landfill. We don't need the farmers....we can harvest this stuff every weeked !!!

heating


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up.

There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course,

is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First,

they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating

purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive

solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat.

Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.

Elliot Vandusen

I read another really interesting study, recently. It was done out of Rutgers University. The title is “Renewable corn-ethanol and energy security” and it’s posted on www.ssrn.com. It shows two important things: (1) if ethanol was produced from corn in a sustainable fashion –without lots of fossil fuel inputs – it would take 100% of U.S. corn harvests to satisfy just 3% of our automobile fuel consumption. (2) It shows that the supply of ethanol, because of yield variation due to weather, is about twice as risky as the supply of crude oil. Anyway, the article really shows how ethanol (from corn) is from an energy security perspective. Here is a link to the article (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=969496&high=%20eaves)

Sandy Smith

I wonder the extent to which material and energy balances for ethanol (and its co-products) produced for and used as bio-fuel comprehend the extent that photosynthesis fueled by sunlight removes CO2 and N2 from the atmosphere and thus reduces greenhouse gases? I have seen no analyses or comments valuing this aspect - that substituting bio-fuels for fossil fuels may yield still another significant benefit: lower net CO2 emmissions, mitigating perhaps the single most insidiously damaging result of burning fossil fuels.

James

That's an interesting question (regarding removing CO2 and N2), but I'm guessing the land used for producing the feedstock (corn in most cases) would be used to grow plants with or without ethanol demand. For instance, we havent increased corn acreage in response to ethanol demand (the extra land is just not there). So my bet is there is not significant benefit.

jay

forget all of this ethanol mumbo-jumbo. let's get behind the hybrid plug-in and quite posssibly only visit the pump once every other month

Roberrific

For more information on Dr. David Pimentel and Prof. Tad Patzek read Fuel Ghoul and discover how and why these two 'scientists' are working for Big Oil.

Fuel Ghoul
http://roberrific.typepad.com/drunkenmoose/

David Skilling

SUGAR BEETS-- This annual crop can be grown throughout most of US with or without irrigation. It is not a direct food crop for people and animals as is corn--except for derived refined white sugar that we should ingest less of. Despite its ease of conversion to ethanol, over 20% reduced land usage Vis a Vis corn, and decidedly lessened impact on ultimate human food prices; it has not been fairly evaluated as a feedstock for ethanol. Its components are--beet juice containing 17% sucrose and a byproduct--dried beet pulp solids--an animal feed.

Benefits over corn-
Lesser total impact on human and animal food costs.
Providing another substantial market for beets could reduce need for 1.2 billion dollar government farm subsidy for refined sugar.
Water and energy costs for milling corn and extracting and converting its starches (62% of kernel) to sugar are avoided as beet juice can be fermented directly to produce ethanol.
Beets can yield the same amount of ethanol using over 20% less acres of farmland than corn. (527 gals vs. 411 gals/acre)

Why the government supports corn and how the USDA biased their report on relative expenses of ethanol feedstock--
Corn growers and related industries are a larger voter block supporting politicians--the end result of this support is the actual imposition of future spiraling cost and food "taxes" on consumers by increasing meat and corn-based food costs. Using corn for ethanol raises pricing on everything from eggs to tortillas. This should be included in the overall cost to society of choosing corn to produce ethanol. Using beets would only raise the cost of refined sugar or lessen the need for a sugar subsidy--depending on your point of view.

While stating "ethanol can be produced directly from beet juice" the USDA and its scientists did not deduct (but actually included) the extra costs of producing food grade refined sugar and molasses. --- Then readding water to reproduce the original beet juice before fermenting. The USDA reasoning --no pilot plant exists that is making ethanol directly from beet juice--these USDA scientists are apparently unwilling to approximate the costs of juice extraction and direct conversion from beet juice to ethanol. Corporate agribusiness has large investments in corn research, production, handling and storage while only existing sugar mills (designed for producing subsidized refined sugar (not ethanol)) are used as a counterpoint in the USDA's "cost" analysis. The government has not supported a single pilot plant to validate direct beet juice to ethanol conversion.

The law of unintended consequences--cost of chicken production recently increased over .05/lb --this will translate to a retail cost increase for chicken (the poor mans steak) of 20% before end of 2007. Soybean planting will decrease (and those costs rise) as corn for ethanol usage increases to 25% of corn crop. (Over 100 corn to ethanol plants are on line now and 50% more under construction). Because of demand for corn, the costs of two of the three major food grains in America will rise fast. All dependant products (food) will raise consumer spending to the point the Fed will raise interest rates to curb "inflation" brought on by their corn/ethanol feedstock choice. It's time to kick butt and demand a fair assessment of total corn vs. total sugar beet costs.
They should support at least a single pilot plant for extracting and converting beet juice directly to ethanol. We would probably have to insist on a caveat--- that the government not locate this beet-ethanol plant in a desert and thus continue to "validate" their ill-advised choice of corn. Our leaders wandered off on the feel good path of energy independence picked the path that would yield the immediate voting support, and again disregarded the ultimate impact on consumers.
Anywhere in the "rust belt" would be a good spot for that pilot plant.
.

GreyFlcn

Uhm given the massive $500 million dollar biofuels grant that Berkeley got from BP (with specific focus on ethanol)
I wouldn't place them as entirely objective.

Second, BioFuels aren't necessarily a good solution from a national fiscal policy standpoint.

Since
1. Demand for fuel is inflexible
2. The Supply is being artificially inflated due to taxpayer subsidies.
3. What happens to the price, it goes down (Or doesn't since the middlemen take a big cut)
4. If a food crop is used, you have more subsidies in play since the commodity price inflates.

End result, ethanol is largely paid for by taxpayers.

Furthermore, whats more important with biofuels is the carbon balance, and the relative price per ton of emissions reduction.
Considering the going rate for reduction of 1 ton of carbon is $3 dollars. And it costs about $60 dollars to reduce 1 ton of carbon with corn. Ethanol has a LONG way to go.

Lastly, BioFuels do almost nothing to reduce N20 and N02 (which forms Ozone) emissions. And can actually largely increase them, since the largest contribution of N20 is nitrogen based fertilizers.

You have to consider what electricity is being used to distill the biofuels.
When made with coal, corn ethanol is WORSE on carbon than petroleum.

BioDiesel from palm oil, where rainforrests are destroyed to make it, is 10x worse than petrodiesel.

Lastly, when you get into issues like SugarCane and Palm Oil in other countries.

_

Considering the massive opportunity cost of biofuels, and the fact that it can easily make nitrogen emissions worse, (and potential make carbon emissions worse)

Rather than trying to overcome demand by raising supply. (Which is rather silly given the RISE in demand growing so quickly worldwide)

What we should be doing is reducing demand with better vehicles.

Ethanol Blog

A lot of information in this blog: i have to digg in!

Carole Curnow

With so many cars on roads why can't we harness some of the energy of tyre friction on roads?

Dave Clark

How about an ethanol pipeline in the midwest? Make it connect to major rail hubs, Read it on http://usecorn.com/

Sarah Press

Globalization can be good for the environment if the government doesn't get in the way.

Protectionist policies are hurting consumers and the environment. The subsidies and tariffs placed on ethanol prevent Americans from buying cheap, efficient and green ethanol from Brazil. These policies benefit large corporate farm not American consumers. For more check out: http://www.cwt.org/blog/
Feel free to comment and debate.

jim

This study is has lost relevance due to new technology. See the "Chen-Xu" method patented by Purdue University. This process produces 4 gallons of ethanol per bushell of corn compared to the current processes of 2.7gallons/bushell. All the co-products stay in the human food chain....as opposed to cattle feed (DDG). Also, there are no EPA issues. It uses less annual water than the crops planted on its footprint....ouch! Plus, its cost is lower per gallon than the touted Brazil sugar cane model.

TheSUBWAY.com

We found an interesting article about the problems with Ethanol on ConsumerReports.org:

http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2008/03/ethanol-e85.html

"But there are some problems with increasing ethanol blends. Ethanol contains less energy than gasoline, so increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline will likely result in lower fuel economy. Increasing standard fuel blends from zero to 10 percent ethanol, as is happening today, has little or no impact on fuel economy. In tests, the differences occur within the margin of error, about 0.5 percent. Further increasing ethanol levels to 20 percent reduces fuel economy between 1 and 3 percent, according to testing by the DOE and General Motors. Evaluations are underway to determine if E20 will burn effectively in today's engines without impacting reliability and longevity, and also assessing potential impact on fuel economy."

TheSUBWAY.com would like to invite readers to post their own views and ideas in TheSUBWAY.com's Investor Forum:

http://www.thesubway.com/small-cap-forum

Phil Waste

Southern Resurgence

Here is an idea that the Republicans, oil, tobacco companies will hate.

How about we plant sugar cane or sugar beets in the states of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. We encourage them to stop planting tobacco which is killing millions. Sugar cane or sugar beets are 7 times more efficient than corn in making ethanol.

You want proof that it works? Just google Brazil and find out for yourself. Now, you won’t be using a food product or even displacing a food product……

In 1798, Thomas Malthus predicted that population growth would be perennially held in “check” by inherent limits to food production. ... Energy can substitute for food in his theory but when the energy is the food……catastrophe will result.

Completely renewable and no one is hurt except for those purveyors of death the tobacco companies.

I would sure like to know the idiot who decided to use corn (a food product) and doomed ethanol to failure. Had to be an oilman!

Stop the tax subsidies to corn farmers and give them to sugar cane and sugar beet farmers, in the mean time eliminate import tariffs for ethanol. Allow the import of flex-cars made by our very own car company Chevy….

Come on all you Democrats in Congress are you going to give us more of the same or are you going to make a difference? Do something now to prove you are not just more of the same…… and I mean minions of the oil companies….

OH! This could all be done in one year……….No more dependence on foreign oil. What ever happened to common sense in America? You know, if we can’t straighten out a simple mess like this we deserve to fade away as a has been leading nation……

It is real simple folks; America has been sabotaged by special interests namely the oil companies including those from the Middle East who want to sell oil, oil, oil.

Cars are already to go, made by Chevy! They are called flex-cars and burn any combination of oil and ethanol.

Phil Waste

If Ford and Chevy want to survive? I hope you do, so why don't you put E85 pumps in all your dealerships and advertise your flex-fueled cars which you have been making for years now?

Start pushing sugar cane and sugar beet ethanol which is 7 times more efficient than 'corn' ethanol and it doesn't rob our food supplies.

You can do it now or be forced to do it later. Make your choice.


Brian J. Donovan

Louisiana Enacts the Most Comprehensive Advanced Biofuel Legislation in the Nation
__________________

Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative Benefits Consumers, Farmers and Gas Station Owners with Localized “Field-to-Pump” Strategy

Baton Rouge, LA (September 23, 2008) – Governor Bobby Jindal has signed into law the Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative, the most comprehensive and far-reaching state legislation in the nation enacted to develop a statewide advanced biofuel industry. Louisiana is the first state to enact alternative transportation fuel legislation that includes a variable blending pump pilot program and a hydrous ethanol pilot program.

Field-to-Pump Strategy
The legislature found that the proper development of an advanced biofuel industry in Louisiana requires implementation of the following comprehensive “field-to-pump” strategy developed by Renergie, Inc.:

(1) Feedstock Other Than Corn
(a) derived solely from Louisiana harvested crops;
(b) capable of an annual yield of at least 600 gallons of ethanol per acre;
(c) requiring no more than one-half of the water required to grow corn;
(d) tolerant to high temperature and waterlogging;
(e) resistant to drought and saline-alkaline soils;
(f) capable of being grown in marginal soils, ranging from heavy clay to light sand;
(g) requiring no more than one-third of the nitrogen required to grow corn, thereby reducing the risk of contamination of the waters of the state; and
(h) requiring no more than one-half of the energy necessary to convert corn into ethanol.

(2) Decentralized Network of Small Advanced Biofuel Manufacturing Facilities
Smaller is better. The distributed nature of a small advanced biofuel manufacturing facility network reduces feedstock supply risk, does not burden local water supplies and provides for broader based economic development. Each advanced biofuel manufacturing facility operating in Louisiana will produce no less than 5 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year and no more than 15 million gallons of advanced biofuel per year.

(3) Market Expansion
Advanced biofuel supply and demand shall be expanded beyond the 10% blend market by blending fuel-grade anhydrous ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump. Variable blending pumps, directly installed and operated at local gas stations by a qualified small advanced biofuel manufacturing facility, shall offer the consumer a less expensive substitute for unleaded gasoline in the form of E10, E20, E30 and E85.

Pilot Programs
(1) Advanced Biofuel Variable Blending Pumps - The blending of fuels with advanced biofuel percentages between 10 percent and 85 percent will be permitted on a trial basis until January 1, 2012. During this period the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Division of Weights & Measures will monitor the equipment used to dispense the ethanol blends to ascertain that the equipment is suitable and capable of producing an accurate measurement.

(2) Hydrous Ethanol - The use of hydrous ethanol blends of E10, E20, E30 and E85 in motor vehicles specifically selected for test purposes will be permitted on a trial basis until January 1, 2012. During this period the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Division of Weights & Measures will monitor the performance of the motor vehicles. The hydrous blends will be tested for blend optimization with respect to fuel consumption and engine emissions. Preliminary tests conducted in Europe have proven that the use of hydrous ethanol, which eliminates the need for the hydrous-to-anhydrous dehydration processing step, results in an energy savings of between ten percent and forty-five percent during processing, a four percent product volume increase, higher mileage per gallon, a cleaner engine interior, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Act No. 382, entitled “The Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative,” was co-authored by 27 members of the Legislature. The original bill was drafted by Renergie, Inc. Representative Jonathan W. Perry (R - District 47), with the support of Senator Nick Gautreaux (D - District 26), was the primary author of the bill. Reflecting on the signing of Act No. 382 into law, Brian J. Donovan, CEO of Renergie, Inc. said, “I am pleased that the legislature and governor of the great State of Louisiana have chosen to lead the nation in moving ethanol beyond being just a blending component in gasoline to a fuel that is more economical, cleaner, renewable, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline. The two pilot programs, providing for an advanced biofuel variable blending pump trial and a hydrous ethanol trial, established by the State of Louisiana should be adopted by each and every state in our country.”

State Agencies Must Purchase or Lease Vehicles That Use Alternative Fuels
Louisiana’s Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative further states, “The commissioner of administration shall not purchase or lease any motor vehicle for use by any state agency unless that vehicle is capable of and equipped for using an alternative fuel that results in lower emissions of oxides of nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, or particulates or any combination thereof that meet or exceed federal Clean Air Act standards.”

Advanced Biofuel Price Preference for State Agencies
Louisiana’s Advanced Biofuel Industry Development Initiative provides that a governmental body, state educational institution, or instrumentality of the state that performs essential governmental functions on a statewide or local basis is entitled to purchase E20, E30 or E85 advanced biofuel at a price equal to fifteen percent (15%) less per gallon than the price of unleaded gasoline for use in any motor vehicle.

Economic Benefits
The development of an advanced biofuel industry will help rebuild the local and regional economies devastated as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita by providing:
(1) increased value to the feedstock crops which will benefit local farmers and provide more revenue to the local community;
(2) increased investments in plants and equipment which will stimulate the local economy by providing construction jobs initially and the chance for full-time employment after the plant is completed;
(3) secondary employment as associated industries develop due to plant co-products becoming available at a competitive price; and
(4) increased local and state revenues collected from plant operations will stimulate local and state tax revenues and provide funds for improvements to the community and to the region.

“Representative Perry and Senator Gautreaux have worked tirelessly to craft comprehensive advanced biofuel legislation which will maximize rural development, benefit consumers, farmers and gas station owners while also protecting the environment and reducing the burden on local water supplies,” said Donovan. “Representative Perry, Senator Gautreaux, and Dr. Strain, Commissioner of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, should be praised for their leadership on this issue.”

About Renergie
Renergie was formed on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol. Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program. Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is more economical, cleaner, renewable, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline. Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.

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