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Registered: 12-2008
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Ethanol vs Biofuel Electricity


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Growing plants to make electricity is a more efficient and environmentally sound way to power vehicles than biofuels, according to a study meant to spark a debate over energy policy.



Study Proves More mpg with Biofuels
5/18/2009, 6:03 am Link to this post   Blog
 
Wetdog Profile
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Registered: 04-2009
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Re: Ethanol vs Biofuel Electricity


    I've seen this study before. This has many serious flaws.

     1) it only looks at corn ethsnol, and it looks only at the amount of energy from the resultant ethanol. It does not even consider the fact that there is still considerable energy contained in the DDG final product. There is not even any mention of meat, dairy, eggs, products produced from the DDG let alone any accounting for the energy contained in them. Not even energy contained in biomethane produced from waste products intermediate to the production of food for humans.

    2) There are only a tiny handful of electric vehicles on the road---statistically insignificant in number. There are however over 8 million Flex Fuel vehicles on the road right now. They are in manufacture right now, cost the same as conventional vehicles, and are increasing in number rapidly. Not to mention that any vehicle on the road right now can use ethanol at least up to 20%----but they cann't use electricity.

   3) There is no mention of transmission and conversion loss. Any time transmit electricity, you have energy loss due to resistance. Any time you change voltage you have resistance. Any time you convert from electrical to chemical energy you have energy loss---and more energy loss when you convert from chemical to electrical again(battery charge and discharge)

    It just looks like another propaganda piece to me.
     
6/16/2009, 12:55 am Link to this post Send Email to Wetdog
 
AgnesW Profile
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Re: Ethanol vs Biofuel Electricity


I guess the final choice should depend on what gives us the best outcome. It seems quite logical to me at least, to have 2 vehicles (which most families have today) one electric for local driving, one flex for long distances. As algal ethanol moves into the mainstream, it will allow ethanol produced from crops to be diverted to other uses such as electricity but I imagine it will take 10 years or more to see it happen.
I agree with your comment on transmission and conversion loss and it makes me mad to see power co's building huge solar projects on thousands of acres in the desert which will destroy the ecosystems beneath them and which will require transmission to locations many miles away. Decentralized electric production is the only sensible path to follow and it should employ every means available for local production.
6/16/2009, 6:18 am Link to this post   Blog
 


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