daily menu » rate the banner | guess the city | one on oneforums map | privacy policy | DMCA | news magazine | posting guidelines

Go Back   SkyscraperCity > Infrastructure and Mobility Forums > General Developments and Discussions

General Developments and Discussions » Bridges | Cycling | Maritime



Global Announcement

As a general reminder, please respect others and respect copyrights. Go here to familiarize yourself with our posting policy.


Reply

 
Thread Tools
Old July 13th, 2008, 10:17 AM   #61
Peshu
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 757
Likes (Received): 1

Ethanol requiring more energy than petrol to produce the same outcome is bullshit propaganda from the oil companies . A scare tactic . I,ve been using a ten percent ethanol mix in my v8 SS for the last three months and haven't even noticed any difference in consumption .

Only thing i've noticed is a better price at the pump and added power to my engine . You can not possibly trust what oil companies say . They are a huge business . A mate was telling me how a few years ago he had bought a Ford Falcon taxi running purely on L.P.G ( liquified petroleum gas ) which had done close to five hundred thousand K.M's . He got another two hundred thousand K.M's before the engine let up . That's about seven hundred thoiusand K.M's . According to oil companies you can only achieve those sorts of K.M's with oil ????????

Unfortunately in this world impartial advice is hard to come by . One has to learn for himself . Just don't believe those shifty oil corporations .
Peshu no está en línea   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links
Old July 14th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #62
butch83
Registered User
 
butch83's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wwa/Ww/Ży
Posts: 1,745
Likes (Received): 71

I agree
"Who killed the electric car"
Is an interesting movie.
__________________
x
butch83 no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 4th, 2008, 03:06 PM   #63
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Group says ethanol had small effect on food prices
1 August 2008

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Another new study says that ethanol production has had an impact on food prices, but only a small one.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is chairman of the Ethanol Across America campaign that released the study. He says farmers are increasing yields to help meet the strong demand for corn, and that may lead to prices leveling off.

The study says fuel prices have had a much bigger impact on food prices than ethanol production.

Douglas Durante of the Ethanol Across America campaign says ethanol demand accounted for about 20 percent of the increased demand for grain. Global demand from countries like India and China accounts for much of the rest of the increased demand for grain.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 5th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #64
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Some drivers choose 'pure' gas over ethanol blends
Monday July 28, 11:07 am ET
By Michael Hill, Associated Press Writer

Susan Blakey is a gasoline connoisseur. She drives by stations that sell fuel mixed with ethanol for purer stuff that gives her better mileage than blends.

"I wouldn't use it unless absolutely nothing else was available," Blakey said.

Ethanol, added to gasoline for years, is being avoided by some drivers as pump prices soar and the plant-based additive becomes more prevalent. A few of the consumers are merely suspicious, like the blogger who wrote "I don't want CORN in my car." Others worry about lower fuel efficiency. Stuck with paying $4 or more per gallon, they want to extract every penny of value from their fill-ups.

"It's mainly for the pocketbook," said Beth Corcoran, who said she and her husband drive by cheaper gas at her local Wal-Mart in a suburb of Oklahoma City in favor of pricier, no-ethanol gas. She says the better miles per gallon saves her family money in the long run.

Most gasoline sold in the United States is now mixed with up to 10 percent ethanol, according to industry estimates. Often called E10, the use of the blended fuel has grown with a federal mandate designed to boost the levels of renewable fuels at the pump. It's the only sort of gasoline sold in many areas. The mix is designed to be compatible with most vehicles on the road, as opposed to the 85 percent ethanol blend called E85, used in "flexible fuel" vehicles.

Advocates promote ethanol as a homegrown fuel that reduces the country's dependence on foreign oil, though it has lost some of its luster in the past year amid a surge in corn prices. Still, since ethanol is less expensive than gasoline, stations that sell ethanol blends can shave a bit off the per-gallon price.

But even at cheaper prices, some drivers say it's still not worth it because of mileage losses.

A gallon of ethanol has less energy than a gallon of gasoline. The federal Department of Energy says it takes 1.03 gallons of E10 for a vehicle to cover the same distance that it would with a gallon of gasoline.

Actual road results may differ.

Corcoran said her husband's Honda Accord got a bit more than 30 mpg on "pure" gasoline versus 25 mpg on E10. Blakey, who lives in O'Fallon, Ill., soured on E10 after noticing a big drop in mileage in her family's 2002 LeSabre on a trip to visit her daughter in Ohio.

"It's huge, huge difference," she said.

Ron Lamberty, a vice president of the American Coalition for Ethanol, an industry group, said many vehicles running on E10 will experience a 3 to 4 percent drop in fuel efficiency, though some vehicles actually see a slight increase because of E10's higher octane rating.

Lamberty said mileage critics are not taking a larger picture into account. Ethanol burns cleaner, creates jobs, is good for fuel-injection systems and -- by reducing overall demand -- reduces gasoline prices.

Lamberty contends that the mileage issue is not a large one, using an example of a car that can travel 300 miles of a tank of gas. If it experiences a 3 percent drop in fuel efficiency on E10, that equals nine fewer miles per tank.

"It's not a lot of miles," Lamberty said. "It's not like you're all of the sudden not going to have to go the station one day."

Regardless, choosy drivers continue to hunt out "pure" gasoline in areas where reformulated gasoline is not required. Some states, like New York, require labels at the pumps like: "Contains up to 10% Ethanol." Some stations do more, like the Citgo retailer along Route 9 in upstate New York just south of the Adirondacks with a big sign reading "NO ETHANOL 100% GAS." The station's prices on a recent day were one to two cents less a gallon than stations down the road selling blends.

One Web bulletin board includes a map of where to buy ethanol-free gasoline in Tampa.

Still, the search will likely get harder in the coming years.

There are at least 11 states with blending requirements, include California, where fuels must have 6 percent ethanol as an oxygenate. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard, which requires increasing use of renewable fuels every year, is expected to spur more ethanol production in the coming years. Florida this summer adopted a law that will require blends by the end of 2010.

"It is becoming increasingly widespread," said Brandon Wright of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 6th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #65
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Energy crops key to biofuels growth
By Martin LaMonica, CNET
Tue Aug 5, 2:27 PM ET

After a rash of negative publicity, biofuels backers say that advanced technologies will reshape the industry, making ethanol from sustainably grown sources cost-effective within a few years. General Motors on Friday convened a panel of experts from cutting-edge ethanol companies that described different technologies--acid hydrolysis, specialty microbes, and genetically engineered energy crops--which they say will bring back biofuels' faded luster.

The key technology transition, already under way, is shifting from corn to other feedstocks for making ethanol from plant cellulose. With the right technologies and policies in place, the U.S. could meet one-third of its transportation fuel needs by 2030, said Candace Wheeler, a technical fellow at GM's research and development center.

The near-term projection is that, once ongoing plant construction is completed, ethanol will supply almost 10 percent of the U.S. gasoline demand, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Nearly all of that will come from corn.

Wheeler said that the "low-hanging fruit" feedstock for cellulosic ethanol is wood chips and other agriculture wastes. But to get to one-third of demand, long-promised ethanol feedstocks such as fast-growing grasses need to enter the ethanol picture.

"To really get a significant impact...you are going to have to use purposely grown energy crops," she said. "It's really a timing issue. With improvements in technology and economics, these things will be real in the very near future."

Backlash
After a period of government support and rapid investment, a biofuels backlash kicked into gear last year, with people questioning the environmental and economic benefits.

One concern is that farmland diverted to grow energy crops has contributed to higher food prices. Some U.S. senators, including John McCain, have called for repealing the existing biofuels mandates; European political leaders have also reconsidered its policies.

Also, corn ethanol emits roughly the same amount of greenhouse gases as gasoline, according to studies. Ethanol's impact on air quality is being studied by academics. GM has commissioned a study on this issue as well, Wheeler said.

Researchers say that cellulosic ethanol can lower greenhouse gas emissions significantly and that grasses, such as miscanthus and switchgrass, can be used to make ethanol on marginal crop lands.

However, cellulosic ethanol has yet to be produced on a commercial scale at competitive prices.

That will change once genetically optimized energy crops begin to be harvested, predicted Richard Hamilton, CEO of Ceres. The company uses genomics to analyze plant genes and breed grasses and fast-growing trees like poplar, willow, and eucalyptus.

"We need energy crops to get the industry to scale," Hamilton said during the conference call of panel speakers. "Within the next years, we are going to see competitive production costs. Cellulosic biofuels will be very cost-competitive with oil or other sources of biofuels."

Ceres' first sorghum and switchgrass seed products, sold under the Blade Bioenergy Crops brand, will be available this fall and planted next spring, he said. They are bred to be drought-resistant and grow rapidly.

Multiple technology paths
Right now, most ethanol production is going to the pumps in the form of a 10 percent blend with gasoline. Flex-fuel cars can run E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and gasoline, which is available at only about 1 percent of U.S. filling stations.

GM has committed to making half of its fleet flex-fuel capable by 2012. To prime the pump for E85, it has invested in two ethanol start-ups which are among the most favored to bring cellulosic ethanol to market.

Mascoma, spun out of Dartmouth College, is designing an ethanol-producing microbe that it says will lower the cost of ethanol production by cutting out the traditional step of using enzymes to make sugars.

Another GM investment is Coskata, which uses a combination of gasification and microbes to turn carbon-carrying feedstocks, including agricultural and forestry wastes or even trash, into ethanol at $1 a gallon.

Municipal waste can produce 20 billion of gallons of ethanol per year near city centers where the fuel is consumed, said Arnold Klann, CEO of BlueFire Ethanol, who spoke on the conference call. Earlier this year, an executive from Coskata estimated that municipal solid waste could yield about 8 billion gallons per year.

BlueFire recently received permits to begin construction of a trash-to-ethanol plant in Lancaster, Calif., that is expected to produce ethanol at $1 per gallon by September, Klann said. Its plans call for a 17 million-gallon-per-year facility next year and then 55 million-gallon-per-year plants after that.

After pretreating incoming trash, the company's concentrated acid hydrolysis process sprays the trash with sulfuric acid which turns the starchy materials into sugars that are then fermented into ethanol.

The remaining lignin material is burned to partly fuel the operation, meeting 100 percent of its steam requirements and 70 percent of its electricity needs, according to Klann. Using landfill also reduces landfill methane, a potent greenhouse gas, he added.

Company representatives on the conference call said that they need continued supportive government policies, notably loan guarantees, to scale up their operations.

Although these panel speakers were bullish on the future of biofuels, the question of whether the U.S. could grow enough biomass to make one-third of its fuel is still not completely resolved.

An oft-cited 2005 Department of Energy and Department of Agriculture study, nicknamed the "billion ton study" (PDF), concluded that 1.3 billion tons of biomass could be harvested sustainably each year in the U.S. by midcentury, which would meet about one-third of U.S. fuel consumption.

Wheeler said GM-commissioned research done at the University of Toronto reached similar conclusions. She added that the author of the billion-ton study plans to do a follow-on report with updated data.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 8th, 2008, 05:35 PM   #66
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

EPA denies Texas governor's ethanol waiver request
8 August 2008

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) - The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday denied a request from Texas Gov. Rick Perry to cut the federal ethanol mandate in half for a year.

Perry spokeswoman Allison Castle said EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson spoke to Perry about his waiver request by phone shortly before Johnson announced the agency's decision publicly Thursday.

An energy bill passed in December required 9 billion gallons of ethanol to be blended into gasoline from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31 of next year. Perry asked the EPA in April to drop the Renewable Fuels Standard requirement to 4.5 billion gallons because demand for ethanol is raising corn prices for livestock producers and driving up food prices.

In a statement issued by his office, Perry called the decision "a mistake" and "bad public policy."

"I am greatly disappointed with the EPA's inability to look past the good intentions of this policy to see the significant harm it is doing to farmers, ranchers and American households," Perry said. "For the EPA to assert that this federal mandate is not affecting food prices not only goes against common sense, but every American's grocery bill."

Castle said Johnson did not address the other issue Perry included in his petition.

"The administrator didn't mention anything to the governor about the livestock industry," she said, adding that cattle feeders in Texas had their worst monthly loss in history in March.

Johnson, during a conference call with reporters, said the agency's assessment looked at the livestock issue and found feed prices have increased because of biofuel production.

"However, is that the result of the (Renewable Fuels Standard) mandate? Our conclusion is no," Johnson said. "And second, are those price increases meeting the statutory requirement of severe harm to the economy? And our conclusion is no."

More than four dozen House Republicans and two dozen GOP senators, including presidential candidate John McCain, wrote the EPA in support of a waiver. The state of Connecticut also supported Texas' request.

Environmental groups, concerned about how biofuels affect the climate, water quality and biodiversity, also supported the waiver.

Sandra Schubert, spokeswoman for the Environmental Working Group, said the denial is shortsighted and that the country should be focused on viable clean energy solutions.

"Instead, the misguided corn ethanol mandate is forcing farmers to plow up marginal land and wildlife habitat, while increasing global warming and dumping toxic fertilizers and pesticides into our precious water sources," she said in a statement.

On Capitol Hill, the decision drew mixed reaction.

Members of the Texas congressional delegation, U.S. Rep. Joe Barton and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who has filed legislation that would freeze future ethanol production at this year's level, criticized the agency's decision.

"I am disappointed that the EPA missed this opportunity to provide relief for American consumers who are dealing with skyrocketing food prices due to the unintended consequences of the continued escalation of the ethanol mandate," Hutchison said in a statement.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, also a Republican, called the decision a "victory," saying it will allow farmers to "continue to plan for and meet the fuel and food needs of the future."

Corn growers agreed. David Gibson, executive director of the Texas Corn Producers Board, said consumers win as ethanol lowers gas prices and reduces America's dependence on foreign oil.

"Every independent study has confirmed that using corn to make this cheap, clean, American-made fuel has no significant impact on food prices," he said.

Perry came under fire early in July after it was reported that he filed his waiver request shortly after a prominent poultry producer donated $100,000 to the Republican Governors Association, which he chaired.

Lonne "Bo" Pilgrim, co-founder of Pilgrim's Pride Corp. of Pittsburg, the nation's largest chicken producer, made the contribution in March. Perry filed his waiver request in late April.

Castle said then that Perry asked for the waiver only because of ethanol's potential negative impact on livestock and poultry producers.

In a statement, George Watts, president of the National Chicken Council, which represents the nation's chicken producers, processors and marketers, said the group was "deeply disappointed" by the EPA's decision.

The group estimates higher feedgrain prices have cost companies in the broiler chicken industry more than $6 billion since October 2006.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 10th, 2008, 03:34 AM   #67
trnstn
Citylicious
 
trnstn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Toronto
Posts: 21
Likes (Received): 0

Algae based fuel!
trnstn no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 11th, 2008, 11:54 AM   #68
xXFallenXx
Registered User
 
xXFallenXx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Temecula, CA
Posts: 3,862
Likes (Received): 170

Quote:
Originally Posted by trnstn View Post
Algae based fuel!
Please!
xXFallenXx no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2008, 09:09 AM   #69
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Brazil's biofuel plane fleet grows
20 August 2008
Agence France Presse

Brazilian biofuel, already available for nine out of 10 cars on the roads, is also keeping a small but growing fleet of aircraft aloft, the company making them says.

Some 200 single-engine, single-seat Ipanema planes made by Neiva, a subsidiary of Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer, are now burning cheap ethanol made from sugarcane for their crop-dusting and public health missions.

The first of the ethanol-fueled EMB 202As took to the air in 2005, and the company has steadily increased production, with 32 being turned out this year, the head of the factory in the central west town of Botucatu, Almir Borges, told AFP.

Next year, production should stabilize at 36 planes per year, he said.

The biofuel version of the plane is swelling sales of the aircraft, already the market leader in the agricultural aviation segment with a 75 percent dominance. Around 1,000 of the traditional, petroleum-based version have been sold over the past three decades.

The biofuel technology is only being used for the propeller-driven planes, and within heavy restrictions for light aircraft, Borges explained, adding that ethanol was not being used in Embraer's range of jets.

But even taking account of that, the prospects for growing the number of ethanol aircraft in Brazil is huge.

The vast South American nation is home to the second-biggest fleet of light aircraft in the world, after the United States, with 14,000 planes. Around 12,000 of those could be adapted to use biofuel.

Brazil's Aerospace Technical Center estimates that another 400 light aircraft are flying on ethanol in the country, but without the government certification given the Ipanema planes, creating potential safety concerns.

Embraer's studies suggest that having just 600 Ipanemas running on sugarcane ethanol will reduce the demand for traditional petroleum-based jet fuel by 16.8 million liters (4.4 million gallons) per year and save 13.5 million dollars in running costs.

AvAlc, or Aviation Alcohol, as Neiva calls its brand of ethanol for aircraft, costs just 30 percent of what AvGas (aviation gasoline) does.

Brazil is the second-biggest producer of ethanol in the world (again, after the United States), generating 18 billion liters last year, of which around 17 percent was exported.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 22nd, 2008, 06:03 PM   #70
KIWIKAAS
Registered User
 
KIWIKAAS's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: The Hague
Posts: 4,521
Likes (Received): 751

Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Group says ethanol had small effect on food prices
1 August 2008

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - Another new study says that ethanol production has had an impact on food prices, but only a small one.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is chairman of the Ethanol Across America campaign that released the study. He says farmers are increasing yields to help meet the strong demand for corn, and that may lead to prices leveling off.

The study says fuel prices have had a much bigger impact on food prices than ethanol production.

Douglas Durante of the Ethanol Across America campaign says ethanol demand accounted for about 20 percent of the increased demand for grain. Global demand from countries like India and China accounts for much of the rest of the increased demand for grain.
If ethanol is already causing a small impact on food prices in it's infant stages then surely that's a big wake up call to us all concerning possible future price increases?
KIWIKAAS no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old August 26th, 2008, 05:37 AM   #71
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Biofuels, food crops straining world water reserves: experts
23 August 2008
Agence France Presse

Burgeoning demand for food to feed the world's swelling population, coupled with increased use of biomass as fuel is putting a serious strain on global water reserves, experts said

"If we look at how much more water we will need for food and how much more for biomass for energy going forward ... it is quite worrying," said Jan Lundqvist, who heads the scientific programme at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

Global food needs are expected to roughly double by 2050, at the same time as climate change and dwindling oil reserves are pressuring countries to set aside ever more land for producing biomass to replace greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels.

These parallel global trends risk colliding with "the water-constrained biophysical reality of the planet," according to SIWI, which hosted the the World Water Week in the Swedish capital last week.

"Almost every increase in water used in agriculture will affect water availability for other uses, including that needed to keep ecosystems healthy and resilient in the face of change and perturbation," the institute said in a recent study.

According to Lundqvist, the global population today uses around 4,500 cubic kilometres of water each year to cover all water needs, including for agricultural irrigation, urban use and for energy production.

While that is below the level of what is considered environmentally irresponsible, he stressed that future needs could rapidly push water use to dangerous levels.

"It might be environmentally reasonable to withdraw maybe 6,000 (cubic kilometres), but if we withdraw more water it would be at a very high environmental cost, because we need water to flush the system and for different ecosystem services," he said.

"It is simply not advisable."

According to SIWI project director Jakob Granit, recent studies indicate that "by 2030, the same amount of energy that we produce today with fossil fuels will have to come from biomass."

At the same time, scientists predict we will only be able to "meet food demands by 2050 if we have a much more efficient use of water ... That does not include the water we need for all that biomass," he told AFP.

In addition to questioning whether it is realistic to expect biomass to cover a large share of our energy needs in the future, the best way to address the problem of shrinking water reserves is to better manage water and land use, experts say.

According to Lundqvist, there is a dire need to shift the world's focus away from irrigation systems, which are putting so much pressure on rivers, lakes and groundwater.

"We are at the end of the road when it comes to irrigation, because all the water available in rivers and so on has already been now more or less used up," he said, insisting that much more attention must be paid to the potential of rainfall.

"In a large part of Africa, if you look at the total rainfall throughout the year the amount is usually enough ... to grow many crops," he said.

"If you can capture that rainfall, and store it as soil moisture or in local dams, it would be possible to significantly increase food production in these areas," he added.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 11th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #72
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

UN expert faults US, EU biofuel production in higher food prices, suggests int'l monitor
10 September 2008

GENEVA (AP) - A United Nations expert said Wednesday that recent studies indicate that U.S. and European Union targets for biofuel production by their grain farmers have been the biggest cause of the world food crisis.

Olivier de Schutter, a Belgian professor, also said an international monitor may be needed to supervise the production of energy sources such as ethanol, which may end up being less beneficial to the environment than expected, even as they cause global food prices to rise.

Citing various reports, he said biofuel production targets outlined by the United States and European Union have led to increased speculation on agricultural land and commodities, and diverted cropland and feed away from food production.

He said the International Monetary Fund estimated that 70 percent of the rise in corn prices was due to biofuels, with 40 percent for soybeans.

The World Bank, de Schutter added, concluded that biofuels from grains and oilseed in the U.S. and EU were responsible for up to 75 percent of changes in commodity prices.

"There is a consensus that these initiatives have had a significant impact," said de Schutter, who reports to the 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council. His message to Washington and Brussels: "They should without further delay revise their policies."

The U.S. mission to the United Nations in Geneva declined to comment. France, the current holder of the EU presidency, had no reaction, said mission spokesman Gael Morand.

While energy sources such as ethanol have been touted by rich and poor countries as renewable and potentially cleaner than traditional fossil fuels, their use has come under increasing scrutiny in the last year amid greater research of their effects on the environment and global food prices.

De Schutter said he disagreed with the view of his predecessor in the post of U.N. special investigator on the right to food, Jean Ziegler, who last year called for a five-year moratorium on biofuels production to prevent massive hunger.

The food riots that occurred earlier this year in some cities around the world seemed to some, at least, as a confirmation that these were legitimate fears.

But de Schutter said not all methods of biofuel production are equally culpable.

Brazil's ethanol-producing sugarcane growers, he said, have not contributed to food price hikes because the industry's development has been accompanied by a near tripling of Brazilian sugar exports since 2000.

By contrast, U.S. and EU targets for biofuel production by their grain farmers have had direct and indirect effects on the rising price of staples such as corn and soybeans, he said.

In a 43-page report to the council, he proposes a "permanent forum" for international monitoring of biofuels where countries would have to show how the benefits of an increase in production would outweigh negative effects on food availability and nutrition. The body would also examine investment decisions and their effects on food commodities.

But such an approach would be loathsome to many rich and poor countries that are skeptical of any international control over how they allocate their own land and resources.

Talking to reporters, de Schutter conceded that this was a "delicate issue," but said biofuel production increases in one country cannot be ignored elsewhere, if they are not being accompanied by "social safety nets for the poor" and benefits for small farmers, who comprise the majority of the world's hungry.

In his report, he said: "Policies aimed at promoting the use of agrofuels from feedstock, having an inflationary impact on staple foods, could only be justified under international law if very strong arguments are offered." Biofuel production targets and international biofuel markets are steps in the wrong direction, he added.

The United States is the world's biggest ethanol producer, and U.S. President George W. Bush has made the fuel a central part of his plan to cut gasoline use by 20 percent by 2017. Brazil is second, but the largest exporter.

European governments have made similar targets to boost biofuel production.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 12th, 2008, 07:04 AM   #73
Cymen
Just another user
 
Cymen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 4,922
Likes (Received): 40

Quote:
Originally Posted by trnstn View Post
Algae based fuel!
The good thing about algae are they reproduce very fast so breeding a kind that produces more oil is not unthinkable.
__________________
"Amsterdam is the world's smallest metropolis" - Mick Jagger

I'm not a slave to a god that doesn't give a shit!
Cymen no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 16th, 2008, 05:21 AM   #74
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

NH group makes progress on ethanol production
15 September 2008

HANOVER, N.H. (AP) - Researchers at Dartmouth College and an affiliated company say they have taken a significant step in the quest to make ethanol from wood, grass and other cellulosic plant material.

The researchers genetically altered a bacterium so less of it is needed to make ethanol.

They published their work online last week in a scientific journal.

Unlike the oil used to make gasoline, the plants used to make ethanol are a renewable resource. But ethanol in the United States comes from corn, and ethanol production has undercut the world food supply and driven up the price of corn.

Dartmouth Professor Lee Lynd calls the research a first step.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 16th, 2008, 05:22 AM   #75
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Vietnam launches locally made ethanol-blended gasoline
15 September 2008
Agence France Presse

Vietnam on Monday launched a locally made ethanol-blended gasoline with the view to "ensure national energy security and reduce the economy's dependence on oil products", said oil giant PetroVietnam.

Gasohol E5, which is five percent ethanol and 95 percent gasoline, was produced at an 80-million-dollar chemi-biological plant in northern Phu Tho province using ethanol alcohol imported from Brazil and homegrown sugarcane and cassava, the group said.

After pilot sales in Hanoi, PetroVietnam plans to send the new product to other major cities including Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in the south.

The state-run company, which is planning to build another plant with a capacity of 100,000 cubic metres in central Binh Dinh province, said Gasohol E5 would also help ¨the protection of the global environment¨.

Each year, communist Vietnam imports between 12 and 14 million tons of various types of fuel for its 86 million people and demand is forecast to increase by between 10 and 15 percent a year, PetroVietnam said.

The country has vast offshore oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea but lacks a functioning refinery and has to import its refined petroleum products.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #76
Isaac Akira
Senkwekwe
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 12
Likes (Received): 0

In Brazil, we produce a much more economic, enviroment friendly sugar cane ethanol. Plus, it have very low influence under the food higher 'cause it is made of... sugar cane (at least you don't eat tons of sugar per year nor the cow and pig you eat do it).

If you don't have a gain of energy producing corn ethanol, when you make ethanol from sugar cane you produce 8 to 11 times of the energy used to produce and you use much less chemical product to grown it. Not a bad business.

And despite sugar cane had subsidies in the past, nowadays the subsidies is zero. It means that the regular citizen don't pay farmers produce sugar cane.

Plus, the ethanol producer are starting to make electrical energy from sugar bagasse.

As you can see, sugar cane ethanol have much more advantage to consumer and environment than the corn ethanol.
Isaac Akira no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 17th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #77
Fabrega
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 410
Likes (Received): 148

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isaac Akira View Post
In Brazil, we produce a much more economic, enviroment friendly sugar cane ethanol. Plus, it have very low influence under the food higher 'cause it is made of... sugar cane (at least you don't eat tons of sugar per year nor the cow and pig you eat do it).

If you don't have a gain of energy producing corn ethanol, when you make ethanol from sugar cane you produce 8 to 11 times of the energy used to produce and you use much less chemical product to grown it. Not a bad business.

And despite sugar cane had subsidies in the past, nowadays the subsidies is zero. It means that the regular citizen don't pay farmers produce sugar cane.

Plus, the ethanol producer are starting to make electrical energy from sugar bagasse.

As you can see, sugar cane ethanol have much more advantage to consumer and environment than the corn ethanol.
Yes Brazil does produce ethanol a lot cheaper from sugar cane, but our goverment here in the US has tax to death the ethanol coming from your country, with still no savings coming to consumers. So ethanol coming from corn is just as expensive.
Fabrega no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:11 AM   #78
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Vietnam suspends ethanol sales due lack of standard

HANOI, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Vietnam has suspended indefinitely the sales of ethanol-blended gasoline, less than a week after it allowed two filling stations in Hanoi to test the fuel in its drive to cut fuel cost, state media reported on Sunday.

The online newspaper Vietnam New (www.vnn.vn) quoted Deputy Trade Minister Nguyen Cam Tu as saying sales of the fuel would only resume after the government has established official standards for ethanol-blended products.

The report said a test on 50 taxis in Hanoi would continue to help authorities determine the quality of ethanol-blended gasoline.

Petrovietnam's oil trading arm PV Oil started retailing ethanol-blended gasoline imported from Brazil and called Gasohol E5 from Sept. 15 at about 16,500 dong per litre ($1), 500 dong less than charged for the popular 92-octane gasoline. The firm plans to sell the fuel at its stations nationwide following the test in Hanoi.

The Southeast Asian country now relies almost entirely on oil product imports as it lacks refining capacity.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2008, 05:12 AM   #79
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

ANALYSIS-No quick resolution to food versus fuel debate

ST. LOUIS, Sept 19 (Reuters) - The government mandate for a much more aggressive U.S. policy to produce crop-based fuels is less than a year old but it has spurred one of the biggest battles within the agricultural industry in decades.

The mandate, included in a landmark energy law signed in late 2007, set off a record run in prices of corn and soybeans, the main crops used for bio-based fuels like ethanol. Farmers, and their bankers, applauded, as demand exploded.

But that huge new crop demand from energy refiners also has choked off profits of food producers from cereal makers to vegoil producers to the livestock growers, dairy farmers and fish farms faced with soaring feed prices.

Food raw material prices have risen at rates that have alarmed economists, including the U.S. Federal Reserve and other policymakers. In August, wholesale food prices were 9 percent above a year ago -- the biggest jump since 1981.

The critics all cite the same reason: the biofuels "craze" as a wrong-headed, shortsighted policy that has to change. That view had ample play on Friday at a round-table discussion of experts at the annual Soyatech soybean industry conference.

"The fact that we've framed this as a food versus fuel debate is absolutely correct," Bill Lapp, president of Advanced Economic Solutions and a consultant to food industries, said.

"Ultimately we are going to find out that it is going to be tough to find enough acres to meet all these demands."

The U.S. energy bill mandated that biofuels production must jump roughly five-fold to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Some eventually will be made from new materials like straw and switchgrass. But meanwhile -- especially in the last year -- the law has meant much bigger portion of the U.S. corn and soybean crops have been diverted to non-food use.

Almost a quarter of the U.S. corn crop will be diverted to ethanol production this year. Biodiesel, made from soybean oil, is also expanding steadily.

"Food guys are not going to leave themselves short. They will win the battle although it may come at a great deal of cost and expense to manufacturers and consumers," Lapp, formerly head of economic research at food giant Conagra Inc , said in predicting more retail food price gains.

Gary Blumenthal, chief executive of Washington-based World Perspectives, agreed: "Food will win out first and foremost because we will choose to eat ahead of driving our car."

Faced with soaring food inflation, the battle over using food to produce fuel has created a growing backlash against biofuels that put the Bush Administration, a strong backer for last year's biofuel's legislation, in an odd cross-fire.

Last month, the Republican Party even included a plank in its 2008 campaign platform calling for an end to the biofuels mandates for ethanol.

But proponents of biofuels at Friday's round-table were undaunted, claiming that biofuels were not just necessary for U.S. energy independence but for a stronger rural economy.

"It makes us a much more energy independent nation -- it also allows us to create an America where we once again construct, make and build things," said Tom Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, the top U.S. grower of corn and soybeans.

Biofuels boosters also continued to argue about the extent that soaring crop prices are linked to increased biofuels demand versus other factors, including rising world population, soaring energy and transport and fertilizer costs, and demand for higher protein diets in a wealthier China and India.

Recent government and private studies have estimated anywhere from 3 to 15 percent (some say even higher) of the rise in U.S. corn and soybean prices can be tied to expanded biofuels demand.

But analysts at the round-table said there is a tighter price correlation between Chicago Board of Trade corn and soybeans with crude oil than with ethanol or other energy prices.

"The cause is the question -- no doubt about the correlation," David Lehman, director of commodity research for CBOT parent CME Group , told the conference.

Government regulators are now reviewing the role of big speculators in the record price rallies in both energy and agricultural futures markets over the last year.
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote
Old October 18th, 2008, 05:54 PM   #80
hkskyline
Hong Kong
 
hkskyline's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 86,912
Likes (Received): 18174

Plant-based fuel makers face tough test
By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
16 October 2008

MARION, Ohio (AP) - It may be one of the biggest green gambles of the century: a national goal of converting wood, grass, corn stalks and garbage into 16 billion gallons of cellulosic biofuels annually by 2022.

No commercial-scale refineries exist, researchers have yet to agree on the best technology for fuel conversion and there is no distribution network to handle fuel once it is made.

Add it all up and the country's not even close to meeting the EPA's renewable fuel standards a mere 14 years from now.

"The United States could not move that much ethanol today if it had to," said biofuel consultant Bill Caesar, a principal with McKinsey & Co. "There are a lot of other pieces of the puzzle which need to fall in place over time before we hit these very big numbers."

The government has ordered that 36 billion gallons of biofuel be blended into the fuel supply by 2022. Of that, 16 billion must be cellulosic ethanol. No more than 15 billion can be corn ethanol, with the rest coming from other biofuel sources, such as the residue left from sugar production.

Nebraska ranks number two nationally in ethanol production.

Increased use of renewable fuel is one of the major roads to the country's new energy goals, which include reducing reliance on foreign oil, shrinking greenhouse gas emissions and keeping basic transportation affordable.

An estimated 200-plus large-scale facilities are needed to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's standards -- each capable of producing about 100 million gallons a year.

A few dozen biofuel projects are on the drawing table across the country, almost all of them cellulosic. Those include 13 biofuel plants funded by the Department of Energy, and only four are commercial scale.

BlueFire Ethanol, based in Irvine, Calif., produces fuel from lawn trimmings and other landfill waste products. Arnold Klann, co-founder and chief executive officer, says he could open dozens of commercial-scale plants from now until 2022 and produce only 5 billion gallons a year. His first plant, the recipient of $40 million in federal startup money, won't open until late next year.

Ethanol advocates all agree that cellulosic ethanol is the next step for the biofuel industry for a variety of reasons.

Cellulosic-based fuel isn't made from food, such as corn, dodging the food vs. fuel debate. Corn, which was selling at around $4.10 a bushel this week, has more than doubled in price in the past two years.

Cellulosic ethanol also results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions during production. And there's a lot more of it, from wood chips to grass to garbage. It can be grown in places where corn can't, and doesn't require the same maintenance of a food crop.

Those are all selling points but don't get the nation any closer to 16 billion gallons of fuel.

Shipping the raw material is complicated because it generally is lighter than corn, so more is needed to make a shipment financially feasible. Some of the material, such as switchgrass, deteriorates more quickly.

It's still a big gamble for investors, even with a potentially massive payoff.

"If oil stays in the $140 range, you can probably make a celluolose plant pay, but are you willing to bet $400 million it will stay there?" said Wally Tyner, a Purdue University agricultural economist.

The government says the federal standard of 36 billion gallons is reachable but agrees it is up to federal officials to assure investors the country's financial commitment is strong and lasting.

"We've stimulated the excitement -- government's got to sustain that investment," said Alexander Karsner, the Energy Department assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy.

EPA spokeswoman Cathy Milbourn says the ethanol market will expand as mandated biofuel production increases.

Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Poet LLC, the nation's top ethanol producer, says one of the solutions to meeting the cellulosic standard is building plants capable of producing both kinds of ethanol.

One of those plants is to open this month on a 90-acre site in rural Marion County in central Ohio.

The plant will process about 30,000 bushels of corn an hour, producing about 65 million gallons of corn-based ethanol annually.

However, the biorefinery can add cellulosic material to the mix, upping the output. Much of that could be parts of the corn, such as stalks and cobs, that now go unused in the ethanol process.

"We can use the same farmers, the same fields, the same infrastructure to get cellulose to the plants," said Mark Stowers, Poet's vice president for research and development. "We don't have to reinvent the wheel."

Advocates say the odds are on cellulosic ethanol's side for a variety of reasons. The need to reduce dependence on foreign oil has never appeared greater. Petroleum supplies will continue to be tight as the appetite for oil in China and India and other emerging countries grows. And belief is growing in the "peak oil" theory, that the outer limits of the global petroleum supply has been reached.

"We've never had the same kind of focus on energy that we have today in the history of the U.S.," said Melissa Stark, leader of a team of Accenture analysts looking at the future of biofuels.

"All of a sudden, cracking climate change is as important as putting a man on the moon," she said.

------

On the Net:

Department of Energy: http://www.doe.gov
U.S. EPA: http://www.epa.gov
BlueFire Ethanol: http://bluefireethanol.com
__________________
Hong Kong Photo Gallery - Click Here for the Hong Kong Galleries

World Photo Gallery - | St. Petersburg, Russia | Pyongyang | Tokyo | Istanbul | Dubai | Shanghai | Mumbai | Bangkok | Sydney

New York, London, Prague, Iceland, Rocky Mountains, Angkor Wat, Sri Lanka, Poland, Myanmar, and much more!
hkskyline no está en línea   Reply With Quote


Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Related topics on SkyscraperCity


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 01:45 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

SkyscraperCity ☆ In Urbanity We trust ☆ about us | privacy policy | DMCA policy

tech management by Sysprosium