The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
The Forum - On Line Opinion's article discussion area



Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Main Articles General

Sign In      Register

The Forum > Article Comments > The case against biofuels: probing ethanolís hidden costs > Comments

The case against biofuels: probing ethanolís hidden costs : Comments

By C. Ford Runge, published 26/3/2010

Itís time to recognise that biofuels are anything but green.

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All
The stupidity of massive government intervention in the marketplace with the ridiculous 'No home shall be without ceiling insulation' debacle, is eclipsed by the madness of the government mandated and subsidised 'No car shall be without ethanol in its petrol tank'. It is well established that to produce ethanol, energy IN is greater than energy OUT. A bit like the old saw that what you get from Canberra is what you send to Canberra, less freight both ways. C. Forde Runge with his excellent article has hopefully driven a nail into the coffin of the ethanol gravy train which doesn't stop at corn in the US of A. A friend recently returned from Sabah where a rainforest approx 100 km by 200 km was razed to grow Palm Oil, a major source of biofuels. There are abundant reserves of carbon-based fuels available to allow us and future generations the wealth and well-being to find new and cleaner energy sources without sterilising rainforests or good cropland. The starry-eyed, save-the-planet Al Gore acolytes who support turning off the lights for an hour tomorrow night, should go back to school and study some facts.
Posted by John McRobert, Friday, 26 March 2010 6:17:31 PM
Find out more about this user Visit this user's webpage Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
I think biofuel can be very good for the environment but economic and agricultural academics should take off the blinkers and think laterally.

Long term independent investigative research indicates human sewage nutrient waste can be fed to algae that in turn can produce biofuel. No need to clear forests or take up scarse arable land. Dumped sewage is presently causing nutrient pollution and algae that is in turn causing severe damage and destruction of ocean food web ecosystems.

As pictures say a thousand words there is more insight at:
http://agmates.ning.com/forum/topics/why-blame-farmers-and-co2?commentId=3535428%3AComment%3A85731&xg_source=msg_com_forum
Posted by JF Aus, Saturday, 27 March 2010 10:00:05 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
A good article, with the author pointing out the stupidity of building a nonviable energy infrastructure. But biofuel production is a technology in its infancy, and it might have been more interesting to compare biofuel production with photovoltaics.

Photovoltaics provide a good example of how government assistance can help the development of new technology with potential. The first commercial cells were produced in 1955 cost $1500 per watt.

http://inventors.about.com/od/timelines/a/Photovoltaics.htm

This compares with $6 per watt for 5 kw systems installed in the United States currently. It is doubtful that solar photovoltaic technology would have progressed as quickly without government assistance. Now that the technology is coming close to price parity with retail electricity cost, and with subsidies reducing, there is substantial interest in the development of thin film phottovoltaics by large corporations.

http://sify.com/finance/interview-ge-plots-big-solar-push-takes-on-first-solar-news-technology-kd1gOdbadca.html

The real interest for biofuel technology is in using the organic waste from primary industry. This has the potential to provide a substantial amount of fuel with no impact on food production. If this technology is not developed then the environmental destruction and use of food crops for fuel will become more widespread, as a rising oil price makes such ventures more viable.
Posted by Fester, Sunday, 28 March 2010 2:21:34 PM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Biofuel from algae was mentioned on the ABC's Science Show on Radio National last Saturday. Apparently it takes up a huge amount of space - the amount of fuel extracted per hectare of algae pond is pretty small. They spoke of million of hectare being required to replace the fossil oil we currently use.
Posted by Candide, Monday, 29 March 2010 6:44:31 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
My issues with ethanol are that:

Firstly: unless your car is designed for ethanol use, the ethanol damages all the rubber parts, ie. fuel lines, fuel pumps etc.

Secondly: ethanol has such a low calorific value, that you get about half the mileage from it. ie. E10 will give you 95% of the distance.

When they phase out regular, I will switch to premium, rather than to a feel good useless alternative.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Monday, 29 March 2010 7:56:56 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
Candide,

The amount of space required to process algae into biofuel would depend on the type of process.
Posted by JF Aus, Monday, 29 March 2010 10:27:08 AM
Find out more about this user Recommend this comment for deletion Return to top of page Return to Forum Main Page Copy comment URL to clipboard
  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

About Us :: Search :: Discuss :: Feedback :: Legals :: Privacy