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« A Sound Way to Turn Heat into Electricity | Main | Brazil May Become First to Produce Economically Viable Cellulosic Ethanol »

June 05, 2007



Umm, yeah. Maybe we ought to think about whether ethanol is a good idea before we worry about pipelines to transport the stuff...


Agreed. Ethanol has its own shortcomings. We should find something that leverages our existing infrastructure before we look at a new one. What would ethanol pipes consist of? Stainless steel? Fiberglass? These are both very expensive prospects themselves, let alone continuing to finance energy research at large. Furthermore, if we're going to look at transportation bills, let's look at upgrading our rail system and highways first.


Why should we spend tens of billions of dollars to construct gigantic infrastructure that will be obsolete/unnecisary in 2-3 years when BioButanol comes out?

Especially when we aren't even sure that BioFuels as a whole will create a net benefit.

There's some strong evidence which says that Ethanol proponents like Argonne National Lab, and Vinod Khosla are cooking the books.


Congressmen Boswell is a Democrat from Iowa which is the center of the corn belt. http://boswell.house.gov/default.asp

He is simply buying votes and campaign contributions using political grandstanding and good old fashioned pork. Our tax money for the corn lobbies political support. Logic and science has NOTHING to do with this legislation. How typical!

Sky King

Corn Ethanol is a non starter, forget it. One gallon of petroleum products to produce 1.2 gal corn ethanol - yeah, that's a real savings and gets us off dino juice...

Cellulosic is the only viable ethanol solution. Once methods are perfected, we could eliminate the growing forest fire danger the Forest Service has been warning us about for years by thinning the forests of the dead and fallen material that is choking off tree growth and posing a fire hazard. Harvest it locally, make ethanol from it locally, and use it locally. It is insane to keep wasting diesel fuel hauling crap around the country from one place to another when locally produced goods should stay in the local area. With the rising costs of transportation, we will be forced to do this at some point anyway, might as well be an early adopter and be proactive in this.

Here in NH, the GSCCC is working to promote Cellulosic Ethanol production from wood chips locally and to keep what is produced in the state for local consumption, not haul it away for someone else.

Paul Dietz

One gallon of petroleum products to produce 1.2 gal corn ethanol

'Petroleum products' here includes natural gas or even coal, so it's not clear why this is, a priori, a non-starter.


Actually it doesn't even produce 1.2 gallons of ethanol.
The .2 comes from creating a cattle feed additive.

And the reason that it is priori is that

1. Natural Gas supplies are taking a nosedive, i.e. can't rely on those.
2. Coal is Coal. Using it at all unless you assume magical sequestration results in more CO2 than gasoline.

C. Scott Miller

I think the pipe research proposal is an excellent idea and quite necessary for site developers.

My understanding of the problem of piping ethanol is that 1) it is susceptible to water contamination from pipe leaks and 2) it is best not to alternate between other fuels and ethanol using the same pipes.

I would like to know the results of the kind of pipe research that is being proposed. Not being able to pipe ethanol is a drawback in comparison to fossil fuels because of the relative trouble and expense (not to mention emissions) of hauling it any other way.

Once an industrial site is built, it frequently converts to similar industrial usage because of the raw material, zoning, and transportation corridor development that went into it. There are existing pipes that connect prospective biorefinery sites with existing transportation hubs that could be upgraded at relatively low expense compared to these hauling costs - saving time and money.

Could pipes that carted chemicals and fuels yesterday be upgraded to service ethanol today and maybe biobutanol tomorrow? Maybe the research could tell us.

Jay Tee

Conventional corn ethanol is acceptable to jump-start the industry, so get over it folks! Cellulosic ethanol is making great strides and will be economically viable. The brazilians are basically saying they can already make cellulosic affordably.
Jump-starting the industry makes sense, and in the future, ethanol is not going to be an environmental drag.

drilling rigs

i think this is an awesome plan. i do not every see this being done.

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