More Unintended Ethanol Consequences: Study Says Gulf Dead Zone May Increase (1 Viewer)

blackadder

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In additon to driving up the costs of basic foodstuffs and probably burning as much energy as it saves in the process of producing it, massive expansion of Ethanol production may also have the side effect of increasing the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico due to increased application of fertilizer and the associated nitrogen runoff via the Misssissippi:

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jU6qItzJ1GYKP8nH0U2vO6ggZlag

LA should be aware of this given the link to the economy and culture via seafood.
 
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Is it ironic that the boats will have to burn more fuel to get further out in the Gulf due to the larger dead zone created by environmentally friendly fuel production?
 
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Is it ironic that the boats will have to burn more fuel to get further out in the Gulf due to the larger dead zone created by environmentally friendly fuel production?

Ironic, yes. Surprising? No.
 

champ76

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Thanks for the link. I am not a fan of ethanol.
 

AsaPW

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Must find a better source of energy.
 

superchuck500

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(It might be what you're referring to when you say "more unintended consequences") Note also the recent reports in scientific journals that conclude that the overall contribution of ethanol production generates equal or more greenhouse gasses those fuels people aim to replace with ethanol.

By using a worldwide agricultural model to estimate emissions from land-use change, we found that corn-based ethanol, instead of producing a 20% savings, nearly doubles greenhouse emissions over 30 years and increases greenhouse gases for 167 years. Biofuels from switchgrass, if grown on U.S. corn lands, increase emissions by 50%. This result raises concerns about large biofuel mandates and highlights the value of using waste products.
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1151861

I'm all for alternative energy and believe in human contribution to warming- but we're going to have to do better than ethanol.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1151861
 
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Must find a better source of energy.

http://www.butanol.com/

How does butanol compare with ethanol as an alternative fuel?<o>></o><u1></u1><u1>

</u1>Butanol has many superior properties as an alternative fuel when compared to ethanol. These include:<o></o>
<u1></u1>
  • <u1></u1>Higher energy content (110,000 Btu’s per gallon for butanol vs. 84,000 Btu per gallon for ethanol). Gasoline contains about 115,000 Btu’s per gallon.
  • Butanol is six times less “evaporative” than ethanol and 13.5 times less evaporative than gasoline, making it safer to use as an oxygenate in Arizona, California and other states, thereby eliminating the need for very special blends during the summer and winter months.
  • Butanol can be shipped through existing fuel pipelines where ethanol must be transported via rail, barge or truck
  • Butanol can be used as a replacement for gasoline gallon for gallon e.g. 100%, or any other percentage. Ethanol can only be used as an additive to gasoline up to about 85% and then only after significant modifications to the engine. Worldwide 10% ethanol blends predominate.
I seem to recall there was talk of using waste products from cheese manufacturing as well as being able to convert woody products normally wasted into butanol. I'll have to keep digging to see if that is right.

At any rate, BP seems to think its got more potential than ethanol. The good news is that the equipment used to make it is very similar to ethanol so conversion to it from ethanol would be easier.

http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?ch=specialsections&sc=biofuels&id=18443&a=
 

Jeff Miller

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That's all well and good, but it doesn't address the issue of pollution and greenhouse gas production.

becoming and engery independent from the middles east does not have to be tied to issues related to so called global warming.

in my opinon, engergy independence it currently more important then finding the cleanest method possible. Get off mid east oil first, then make it clearner as you go.
 
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blackadder

blackadder

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becoming and engery independent from the middles east does not have to be tied to issues related to so called global warming.

In my opinon, energy independence it currently more important then finding the cleanest method possible. Get off mid east oil first, then make it clearner as you go.

I think its not quite that urgent and we can afford to put some thought into it. Really, the process should have begun 35 years ago, but that is another thread.

We are clearly planning to stay in Iraq for decades and our policies in the Middle East show no signs of change regardless of where we get our oil.

All things being the same, if you are energy independent but follow the same course in the region, you will be faced with the same problems.

I suppose the positive would be that you can feel free to launch the next war without worrying about impacting oil supplies.

But being energy independent in and of itself won't free us of trouble in the Middle East so long as we keep 50 years of crazy policy in place.
 

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Using ethanol doesn't fund terrorism. That's a good start.
 
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blackadder

blackadder

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Using ethanol doesn't fund terrorism. That's a good start.

Terrorists will always find someone willing to supply them with weapons.

It doesn't take much for someone who is willing to die.
 

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