Biofuels, a fiasco
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Default Biofuels, a fiasco

    The new French Minister of Agriculture has described the use of arable land for vehicle fuel production, a fiasco. He is intending to discourage further development by removing the government support. The reason is simple, with the climate changes a shortage of grain production is emerging world wide and the diversion of crops to fuel production is no longer sustainable. It is said that the maize used to produce 1 tank fill of ethanol would feed a child for a year. He is diverting attention to the development of of second generation bio fuels based on the use of organic waste like wood chips and timber clearance and also more research into micro-organism energy conversion.
    As this applies to both biodiesel derived from colza and similar oils and ethanol from sugar beet and maize, one can only surmise on the effect on the car manufacurers, who are already shifting their emphasis onto petrol engines for the under 2 litre mass market.

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    Contented Peugeot Driver addo's Avatar
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    How many typos, will this lead to - "Cars to be powered by micro-orgasms"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerry Freed
    car manufacurers ...are already shifting their emphasis onto petrol engines for the under 2 litre mass market
    Yes, undoubtedly, but people like me will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into a world where two litres is big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    The new French Minister of Agriculture has described the use of arable land for vehicle fuel production, a fiasco. He is intending to discourage further development by removing the government support. The reason is simple, with the climate changes a shortage of grain production is emerging world wide and the diversion of crops to fuel production is no longer sustainable. It is said that the maize used to produce 1 tank fill of ethanol would feed a child for a year. He is diverting attention to the development of of second generation bio fuels based on the use of organic waste like wood chips and timber clearance and also more research into micro-organism energy conversion.
    As this applies to both biodiesel derived from colza and similar oils and ethanol from sugar beet and maize, one can only surmise on the effect on the car manufacurers, who are already shifting their emphasis onto petrol engines for the under 2 litre mass market.
    Hi
    Surley sanity will not prevail. This must be just a diversion. Not only is biofuel production using potential foods , but the third world is clearing forests at a great rate to produce various oils which we do not need either. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and hungry so we can drive our cars when ever we want.

    The problem with producing biofuel from wast like wood chips is that its gets distorted and we chip virgin forest to produce the chips, like we do now, instead of using a genuine waste product. When will we learn ?
    Jaahn

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    Default Biofuels, a fiasco

    Why not just ban bread instead?

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    Should get a life 2353's Avatar
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    A lot of the ethanol in Australia comes from the waste from sugar cane harvesting and processing. http://ethanolfacts.com.au/about_orig
    Save the earth, it's the only planet with chocolate.

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    Hi,
    The CSR web site is interesting. It has a few statements which are, I would think, not universally agreed or at the least a bit muddled. I quote;
    “Ethanol is a sustainable and renewable product with proven green credentials.”
    “Adding just 10% ethanol to petrol increases the amount of oxygen in the fuel combustion process (i.e. it raises the fuel’s octane level).”
    “Ethanol also reduces engine knock and makes the engine run more efficiently because the extra oxygen it carries delivers more energy to an engine than petrol alone.”
    “We are taking the lead in advocating ethanol as a fuel additive in Australia.” They would, wouldn’t they.

    Here is the opposition web site. http://www.manildra.com.au/our_produ...ticle/ethanol/
    Also has a few dubious statements.
    “Ethanol and biodiesel significantly reduce transport greenhouse gas emissions. When burnt, renewable fuels release carbon monoxide that plants reabsorb in a never-ending cycle during their growth phase.”
    We hope that is not a proven scientific fact ?
    If we did genuinely get biofuel from some unwanted byproduct with little energy input it would be great. However it mostly relies on Government regulation or payment to drive it. This distorts the process as the pigs line up at the trough for a free feed and the original environmental or sustainable principles get lost. As the French have revealed.

    Cheers Jaahn

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    At least it takes relatively little energy to turn vegetable oil into biodiesel - one of the major issues with ethanol is the amount of energy used in converting sugars/starches into ethanol, then distilling/purifying it.

    If arable land is to be used to grow crops for fuel, it should only be for biodiesel.

    Cheers

    Alec

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    The Americans are also talking of producing less biofuel this year because of the drought.

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    JBN
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    If, as Gerry stated, the amount of grain to fill a tank with biofuel would feed a child for a year, then......

    Given that the Earth's population is expanding at a rapid rate and that many parts of the World are overpopulated, has anyone worked out if we can reverse the cycle and use children as a source of fuel? This would take the pressure off over population depleting our resources. It would also reduce child abuse, paedophilia, child labour, child prostituation, child trafficing, reduce classroom sizes, reduce the waiting lists for childcare places, etc.

    Best of all, maybe the "My FamilY" stickers could be replaced by child stickers denoting how many kids per 100 kilometres.

    John

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaahn View Post
    If we did genuinely get biofuel from some unwanted byproduct with little energy input it would be great. However it mostly relies on Government regulation or payment to drive it. This distorts the process as the pigs line up at the trough for a free feed and the original environmental or sustainable principles get lost. As the French have revealed.
    this is also the case in the US -- corn production is heavily subsidized, which is not only responsible for the ethanol in our fuel but also the ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup that is used to sweeten almost all processed foods here. IMHO these subsidies harm everyone except monsanto, a prime example of "corporate welfare."

    at the time the subsidies were put in place, my home state of louisiana produced quite a bit of sugar cane and fought these subsidies, but they lacked the political clout of the corn-growing states so they lost out...since cane sugar is relatively unsubsidized (as compared to corn), the result has been the devastation of the sugar cane industry in louisiana (and, to a lesser extend, hawaii).

    one hears quite a lot of talk about using switchgrass and other less-nutritional crops as a source material for ethanol production, but as long as the subsidies are in place, i don't see that happening.

    @JBN -- truly, a "modest proposal."

    andré
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    For the cynics among us , biofuel would seem to be the answer to ever increasing population growth. Whilst JBN's proposal is commendable, if we just grew enough, or even too much biofuel we could cut the middleman (or woman) out of the population growth equation......
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Does China need more fuel (or will it need more fuel in the near future as more of their population can buy cars)? Is there a link to their need for fuel and them buying land here in Oz?

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrethx View Post
    this is also the case in the US -- corn production is heavily subsidized, which is not only responsible for the ethanol in our fuel but also the ubiquitous high-fructose corn syrup that is used to sweeten almost all processed foods here. IMHO these subsidies harm everyone except monsanto, a prime example of "corporate welfare."
    andré
    Somewhat related to 'corporate welfare' is the effort by companies like Monsanto to make propositon 37 in California fail. It's a proposal to label food that contain GMOs. Monsanto alone spent $4.2 million to campaign against it.
    Why don't they spend that sort of money to tell people how good the GMO foodstuff is for them and put a label on to promote sales
    JB
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychlone View Post
    Does China need more fuel (or will it need more fuel in the near future as more of their population can buy cars)? Is there a link to their need for fuel and them buying land here in Oz?
    I believe India and China both require additionally every year the same amount of extra fuel that the USA does. Those who have any concept of what this means for "regional stability" and "security of oil supplies" will already know where this is going.....
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Icon14 Any move from subsidised is a welcome change IMHO!

    The issue is that we will need productive land to be kept for food production until such time as the world growth in population stabilises and there seems to be several projections floating around suggesting various dates that might be a point where population growth will peak in our future.

    Diverting farms from food production to produce ethanol has only been possible due to heavy subsidies provided by government, which encourages investors to dabble in the market. Without the subsidies this would be too risky and less profitable/less attractive.

    Government subsidies have some advantages, strategically provides a "home grown" product market and interest in technology and invention to enhance its viable use. Saves on external expenditure for import of fuels and dependence on external sources, artificially boosts the price of oil held in strategic and economic reserves for future domestic and transport use.

    The technology and invention is important in developing alternatives to oil and extending the effective supply, also in developing viable use of waste product to eventually move exclusively to adapt to alternatives. This is already well underway and a gradual removal of subsidies, or return to emphasis on food production with generous tax incentives and exemptions directed to achieve that result.

    Gas "over production" due to fracking techniques of release is providing its own incentive (lower price) to substantially alter the strategic direction and policies in the transport and energy fuel market. It may well be that the quite substantial drop in oil prices on the US oil market (overnight dramatic drop) is part of the effect on supply and demand, though there "may" be other effects like impending Presidential election campaigns.

    The C02 issue is fading as having any real effect/correlation, as other more important climate/weather factors are being confirmed by research, that probably should have been done before responding to the scary alarmism promoted by a group that stood to benefit from that propaganda. That propaganda is fading and there is increasing emphasis on boosting world production of food. Of course C02 has a natural and important role to play in increasing food production in areas of reduced rainfall (many of the worlds poorest and starving live in such marginal areas) and in that scheme of things biofuel should be restricted to those forms that come from waste product, converted efficiently to co-exist with, or conserve/extend other energy products.

    There are several peer reviewed papers along those lines under active discussion and others on natural sequestration projects "just in case" but working with the earths natural processes rather than some of the taxing economists and m oney mover schemes that were being promoted. So for me, I welcome the move away from "food robbing to feed the rich entrepeneur" to adaptation to meet the needs of the world and its people - particularly the poor and hungry (who are the expendables it seems in the eyes of some of their fellows, or only trotted out when someone wants to enhance some agenda using their plight!!)

    So we are heading in the right direction, work with nature, adapt, change and improve technology and invention to meet and bridge the gaps in our knowledge.

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Europe is not listening to Ken, the subject of CO2 emissions has faded because it is taken now for granted and forms a core part of national and international energy and transport strategy. Read here what the reality is, free of propaganda
    http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/t...s/index_en.htm
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    Gerry, that item is produced by the same idiots that started the "CO2 is killing the world" campaign? It's not propaganda? Come on!
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    Icon7 Thanks for the link though!!

    You beat me to it Kim

    Propaganda to justify itself and defend its dictatorial ability to mandate - much like Flim Flannery's Climate department in Australia.

    But even given that its still a good reference site and I have bookmarked it for future reference - it will be interesting to see the cost to benefit supposedly achieved and also if like our own emission controls this makes for better more efficient fuel combustion in cars. Or will it create other problems.

    It does have a section on adaptation and I expect that other countries will find that a more cost effective solution in the long run as the European climate becomes colder (as some predict) (There are a number of discussions at open sites like Climate Etc that are actively discussing the implications of Arctic SUMMER ice melt and harsh, colder European winters. (Incidently Open site, means an internet site that encourages scientific debate/discussion without censoring alternative opinions - Professor Curry's site meets that open criteria.

    With the natural processes of nature sorting itself out, the climate will change as it always has, and apart from the expenditure of money and time, those regulated changes are unlikely to make any real difference in the natural scheme of things, but will of course please those who believe it will, and that is some benefit.

    Worth having a look at those open discussions.

    Regards and again thanks for the link.

    Ken

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    Gerry, that item is produced by the same idiots that started the "CO2 is killing the world" campaign? It's not propaganda? Come on!
    I think I know where the idiots are.
    This European strategy has broad political and public support across the EU and underpins the designs of the French vehicles that this forum is about. It effect is global as it sets standards for all manufacturers that want access to European markets.
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    1000+ Posts Kim Luck's Avatar
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    I'm sure General Motor's Holden is all ears. And the population of Europe in general doesn't have two pence to rub together so is it because of their policies or in spite of them?
    Last edited by Kim Luck; 20th September 2012 at 01:14 PM.
    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I'm sure General Motor's Holden is all ears. And the population of Europe in general doesn't have two pence to rub together so is it because of their policies or in spite of them?
    What is Holden, talk to the GM management about Opel.
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    Biofuels?
    For a week I thought you folk were talking bifocals ?? No wonder I couldn't make head nor tail.
    Started out with nothing, still got most of it left.

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    Icon12 Look around you but carefully and sceptically!!

    Quote Originally Posted by gerry freed View Post
    I think I know where the idiots are.
    This European strategy has broad political and public support across the EU and underpins the designs of the French vehicles that this forum is about. It effect is global as it sets standards for all manufacturers that want access to European markets.
    So it is a just a marketing ploy, an artificial politically manipulated trade barrier built on protective exclusion, and using care as an illusion, a smoke screen. This sounds a bit like a past bad song played again. Some of us can remember the butter mountains, Gluts due to feather bedding of farmer subsidies that produced over priced mountains of production and generated tons of food products polluting streams and fields or buried in landfill, are we seeing the same errors developing here based on a false strategy that will lead inevitably to the Greek solution or the end of the Euro.

    Shed the scales and look closely beyond the propaganda and spin, as such an economic gamble might just speed you down the track to the Shite you want to avoid .!


    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by catshamlet View Post
    Biofuels?
    For a week I thought you folk were talking bifocals ?? No wonder I couldn't make head nor tail.
    Rose coloured too!!

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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I suggest that you read the site and comment afterwards. It is not an economic strategy but a social one which in fact has adverse economic effects particularly to the large polluters. The car component aimed at cleaning our urban air is just one outcome.
    It is not unusual for the party line of large economic interests to intersect those of democratically elected governments but a French car forum is not the place to do battle.
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