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Thread: Article from Money magazine on Ethanol

  1. #1
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Article from Money magazine on Ethanol

    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortu...ex.htm?cnn=yes

    They talk about the newest technology and the increasing demand for ethanol. I don't need my soap box for this one. Even the oil companies are getting involved.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    So, we hear nothing from dubyah's crack energy secretary on this development....there's a shocker!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  3. #3
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    So, we hear nothing from dubyah's crack energy secretary on this development....there's a shocker!
    That is supposed to be in the State of the Union Address.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  4. #4
         
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    We will be hearing a lot more about alternative fuels after Tuesday night's State of the Union address. The Bush Administration is slowly understanding that their Mid-East policies are failing to create stability in that region. Iraqi oil production has decreased since the invasion. Iran said about 10 days ago that if the US ruins the Iranian economy by using santions over their nuclear development Iran will cut oil exports and ruin the US economy. It hard to use the big stick approach in world affairs when the other guy has a gun pointed at your gas tank. The oil companies will make even more money as the price of oil increases and will use that money to move into alternative fuels with the help of tax breaks paid for by the ever more stressed-out taxpayer. Ten years from now we may all be driving cars with more ethanol in the tank but we will be paying more for that full tank one way or the other.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that it is a great idea. The big thing is to see if car companies will create conversion kits for cars that are not equipped to run on Ethanol.

    I would also like to see if other options will be available such as heating houses!
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  6. #6
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    A couple of the problems with ethyl alcohol are that it does require more energy (and fertilizer) to grow and refine and that it has a much lower per-volume energy content compared with gasoline/petrol. Although its volume price at the fuel pumps is slightly lower than gasoline/petrol, one must use more of it to go a certain distance, negating the consumer cost savings.

    Even though I am not (yet) on the ethyl alcohol bandwagon, I can see some of its merits, but it is still not and likely will not be a be-all and end-all.

    An aside, any bets on if/when NASCAR converts to ethyl alcohol for its fuel?
    BTW, the two major USA-based 'open wheel' circuits have been using alcohol (methyl, which is petroleum-derived) fuel for many years and are converting to ethyl alcohol. They like alcohol because even though it burns with an invisible flame, it is water-soluable and water will put out any fuel fires.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Cars running on booze? no way man!

    I think that Brazil is one of the biggest countries that use ethanol for fuel... I think there were some issues over some cancerigenic fumes or so... I read about that ages ago so I don't know if that thing was solved or it was deemed a myth or something...

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    What companies are into producing ethanol for automobiles? Or what companies are in the R&D? I want to buy stock in this, it's bound to be a boom.
    @GigCityPlanner

  9. #9
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide
    What companies are into producing ethanol for automobiles? Or what companies are in the R&D? I want to buy stock in this, it's bound to be a boom.
    Although they are not producing the ethanol, both Ford and GM are fully on the Ethanol bandwagon!
    More than five million Tauruses, Explorers, Stratuses, Suburbans, and other vehicles are already equipped with engines that can run on an energy source that costs less than gasoline
    And have you heard about GM's yellow gas caps? In the next few weeks the auto giant is set to unveil an unlikely marketing campaign drawing attention to E85 and its E85-ready cars and trucks like the Chevy Avalanche. They will sport special yellow gas caps, and if you already own such a vehicle, GM will send you a gas cap free.
    Here is a list of places that you can buy Ethanol (E85)
    And here is your list of companies!
    Last edited by michaelskis; 30 Jan 2006 at 3:06 PM.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  10. #10
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Wow, that's great.......if one feels like driving to Battle Creek every time they fill up!!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  11. #11
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Wow, that's great.......if one feels like driving to Battle Creek every time they fill up!!
    There have been some furious NIMBY battles involving the siting of new ethyl alcohol plants, too. The one just southwest of Oshkosh, WI was only built after a lengthy series of NIMBY court cases.

    Also, the *MASSIVE* now-former Cargill malt plant just north of Jefferson, WI is being converted into a fuel distillery.

    One thing that I am wondering is that with 'E-85' fuel (most fuel that is available here in the Appleton area is 'E-10' and there is a strong push in the legislature to require that all fuel in Wisconsin be at least 'E-10'), what is the other '15'?

    Also, that 'places that you can buy' list is obsolete, it is available at a couple of stations in and around Oshkosh, WI and at a new station along College Av (WI 125) just east of US 41 here in Appleton.

    Mike

  12. #12
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    Also, that 'places that you can buy' list is obsolete, it is available at a couple of stations in and around Oshkosh, WI and at a new station along College Av (WI 125) just east of US 41 here in Appleton.

    Mike
    There was some in the UP that are not on the list too! But it was the most complete list that I could find.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  13. #13
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    I want to see an ACTUAL energy audit on ethanol. I'm not convined its a net gain given the effort in producing the corn.

  14. #14
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister
    Wow, that's great.......if one feels like driving to Battle Creek every time they fill up!!
    We have a plant and a 24hr cardtrol station 5 miles from here. When you first fire up the car in the morning you get a smell not unlike the one you used to get when you drove around with a bunch of drunks in your car, (not that I ever did that) but it only lasts a few seconds.

    Quote Originally posted by mgk920
    what is the other '15'?
    It's 15% plain old gas. The plant must add the gas to the trucks before they leave to make it undrinkable, they apparently do not want semi loads of Everclear running around.

    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    There was some in the UP that are not on the list too! But it was the most complete list that I could find.
    Try this link:

    http://www.e85fuel.com/database/search.php

    Quote Originally posted by abrowne
    I want to see an ACTUAL energy audit on ethanol. I'm not convined its a net gain given the effort in producing the corn.
    I have never seen an unbiased report, and I have been looking for a couple of years. Most of the one that show a net loss, are either from the late 80's early 90's and the technology has improved, or they flat out forget to count the use of the by-products as livestock feed. The ones that show the gains are from ethanol producers, so who knows?
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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    Cyburbian jenniplans's avatar
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    Has there been any talk of an ethanol tax? My reason being is that state DOT financing depends in part on the gas tax. As more gas is replaced with ethanol, the amount of $$ going to the DOT declines.

  16. #16
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jenniplans
    Has there been any talk of an ethanol tax? My reason being is that state DOT financing depends in part on the gas tax. As more gas is replaced with ethanol, the amount of $$ going to the DOT declines.
    That's a problem that has not been addressed in Iowa. They do add road use tax to E85, but it is rolled back a few cents a gallon to promote its use.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  17. #17
    Simply shifting our entire fuel addiction from gasoline to ethanol wouldn't really improve things by much. We'd have to cover the entire earth with fields of crops for fuel to satisfy the demand. I'd like to see the stats behind Vinod Khosla's claim that even the US can run entirely on ethanol w/o major disruptions in the amount of productive land going for food, and the amount of land used for agriculture in general. All the numbers I've seen don't support that at all.

  18. #18
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    All the numbers I've seen don't support that at all.
    I think he is figuring in the new technology that uses waste products and such. I don't know how much farther they can go, but the biotech industry is squeezing more ethanol out of a bushel of corn every year.

    I do agree that we have to do major work on the demand side as well as the supply side.

    On a side note, a planned plant in the State Next Door has announced they will build it near a huge landfill. They plan to partially power the thing with waste methane.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

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