Originally Posted by eljefe
Corn based ethanol and bio-diesel won't do much help in the long run. (There was a good article in the October 2007 National Geographic.) They are only 1.3-2.5 times more efficient than dinosaur fuel, and it drives our food costs up. There are other options, which are much more efficient. Cane ethanol is about 8x more efficient, and if they figure out cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass, etc. then we could get up to 35x more efficient. Additionally they are figuring out how to make ethanol from algae. Algae and switchgrass take much less input and aren't food crops. Even if corn based fuels didn't drive the cost of food up, the price of food would still be going up, as so much dino-juice is use in the production of all our food. One true benefit of the bio-fuels is that the carbon used is current. Our energy woes aren't going to be solved by any one thing. We need to conserve, find alternative sources of power generation (solar is on the verge of being more efficient than coal with the new thin-film technologies which are just being developed), and switch our cars to alternative fuels. We won't have access to cheap dino-juice anymore. China and India are buying up worldwide oil leases and have 2 billion people who want gas.
And even if the United States converted every available plot of land to produce corn for the sole purpose
of corn-derivitive fuel alternatives, it would only meet a mere 15% of the US demand for fuel. Now,what about the human dietary consumption of corn? There simply would not be any corn to eat!:biggrin:
Also, ethanol is highly sensitive to movement and time,and it would not only lose its effectiveness and efficiency to run vehicles and other tasks petrol undertakes when exposed to the pipelines petroleum is transported in, but congeals after a certain amount of time in those very pipelines. Now, think about the prices of our local HEB and every other store in the nation if ethanol had to be shipped COMPLETELY (source to pump) by vehicle, without pipelines?
Yes, very scary.
The idea of utilizing alternative fuels is a wonder-fuel (like that?) idea, don't get me wrong, I just believe that more qualitative research and tests should be made by our government and corresponding organizations before getting the nation riled up about ethanol and other alt-fuels, because ethanol seems like it will flounder in the face of other comparable fuels.
Its not the materials that is the root of this problem, its materialism.