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Thread: Pethanol: Stupidest idea ever

  1. #1
    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    Pethanol: Stupidest idea ever

    http://www.absolutemichigan.com/dig/...w-fuel-source/


    This is one of the dumbest ideas ever. Ethanol is already an incredibly inefficient process that takes more energy to make than you get out of it. Corn was bad enough, but at least it was renewable (in a sense). So now they turn to peat to supply the alcohols that they'll mix with gasoline. Michigan already has one of the fastest dwindling peat reserves in the united states. If they determine this to be "Environmentally sustainable" there'll be no carnivorous plants left by 2012.

    Yes, the article is a few years old, but I know they're still doing research.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    ethanol isnt an inefficient process......ethanol from corn is......if we could grow sugar cane over a wider swath of the US ethanol wouldnt be a bad idea.....

    but i do agree fuel from peat is stupid though it says just that at the end of the article......make more sense to do it from coal like Germany did in WWII, we have huge reserves of coal as well as oil.....the thing is, in the US due to the mostly temperate climate its just cheaper to pull oil out of the ground than to do much else....
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    Agree on the stupidity of fuel from peat, but there are some professors here at University of Tennessee using Kudzu to make ethanol. What better than the fastest growing plant that will literally grow anywhere in any type of soil in any light conditions.

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    rattler's Avatar
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    i seem to remember hearing something to that effect on the kudzu......
    cervid serial killer
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    Eats genetically engineered tomatoes Sig's Avatar
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    Yeah, I meant ethanol from corn is really inefficient... I like the idea of it with bamboo, though. At least that way if it goes south you can use it for something.

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    How disturbing is it that when I read the title of this thread I imagined it involved an alternative method of disposing of deceased pets...? I am leaning towards very.

    But peat (versus pets) makes better sense contextually even if it is an idiotic suggestion. Why not just go back to harvesting and burning peat, coal and wood yourself if that is going to be the basis of your ____thanol? Reduce the energy wasted on transporting the material /energy over distances to consumers.

    They really gotta think more carefully about what carbon source to use in their process.

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    ethanol isnt an inefficient process......ethanol from corn is
    Pedantic note: Getting ethanol is an inherently inefficient process, no matter what you're fermenting to get it. Fermentation is significantly less productive than its aerobic counterparts (biochemically; this isn't an opinion). So while this is a pedantic note, it is of some worth because there will be a degree of inefficiency regardless of what you ferment. No, that's not an excuse that we should ferment peat.

    Frankly, fermenting peat doesn't seem ecologically sound on ANY level. So many people are working on methods to get the sort of carbon sequestration levels we see in peat bogs... Burning sequestered carbon while destroying the viable ecosystems that it supports... This pains me.
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    Our system of agricultural production uses a lot of water and fertilizer while losing a lot of soil, nutrients and chemicals downstream. It isn't a viable, long-term source of energy because of those losses and because the inputs require lots of energy themselves (even ignoring the solar energy that the crops actually use).
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