Knowing is half the battle: Cellulosic ethanol

Every day now it seems that the less than informed masses continue their slow bovine shuffle towards the trend of corn ethanol. Of course it’s a white house win-win because it keeps on burning oil just as much as ever, if not more, and it makes the lobbyists happy. However, it’s important to remember that corn ethanol is really not efficient at all. You know all the usual stuff – takes as much oil to make as it allegedly saves, throws our agriculture industry off balance, and it’s silly to go through all this effort for no gain. All this is why I was very excited to see cellulosic ethanol on ecogeek.org today.  There are several crops that can produce ethanol far more efficiently than the one we illogically are promoting here in the USA. This is not a wonder solution as it is a bit difficult for large scale use yet. I’m just happy to have another viable option on the horizon.  Maybe if we get enough of these options we’ll get some informed action soon. Anyways, check out the whole article if you want to geek out on cellulosic ethanol.

Cellulosic ethanol can contain up to 16 times more energy than is required to create it! If that doesn’t sound ridiculously impressive, consider that gasoline contains only 5 times more energy than was required to create it and corn ethanol is totally lame, containing only 1.3 times the energy required to create it.

– shawn

[source: ecogeek]

$1000 fine triggered by bumper sticker: “Powered by 100% vegetable oil”

In the world’s best example of bumper sticker regret, Bob Teixeira was fined $1000 for advertising his vegetable oil fuel usage. Add to that additional fines and then a fee to make himself legit the bumper sticker could end up costing him $4500.

The premise being that he is avoiding North Carolina state fuel taxes. By the letter of the law, which was written for industrial vehicles, someone using alternate fuels is avoiding taxation. Obviously when the laws were written no one thought some guy would convert his car to run on soybeans.

Media attention around the story has lead the NC Department of Revenue to compromise on Bob’s fines and also to investigate changing the law to accommodate personal vehicles.

So if the fine is repealed and the law ends up changed then this is nothing more than a funny sensationlised headline. Good luck, Bob.

– shawn

[source: charlotte observer]

Knowing is half the battle: Biodiesel

diesel.jpgClayton over at Green Options has written a great FAQ style article on Biodiesel. Turns out this is a very accessible fuel for anyone, not just fanatics. If you own a diesel vehicle or might be in the market for a car soon, check it out. It’s also a good link for anyone who wants to get up to speed on one of our fossil fuel solutions.

For myself I get a little more excited about newer technologies such as electric cars. However, biodiesel is something you can do right now with little or no investment. I wonder if there are diesel hybrids out there, I don’t recall seeing one ever.

– shawn

[source: green options]

Ethanol for dummies

ethanol.gifSome folks love ethanol and champion it as the solution to all our oil and climate issues. However this is completely not the case. Rather than list off a myriad of stats on the topic I’m just going to post this illustration.

I don’t know Andy Singer or if there is a link I can put for credit, but he does a great job of explaining ethanol.

– shawn

Exxon now hiring naysayers, apply within!

As we all know, the IPCC report is out and it states just how jacked up the climate is. All the analysis of the report seems to confirm that the 2500+ experts, 800 contributing authors and 450 lead authors from 130 countries do in fact have a clue.  Continue reading “Exxon now hiring naysayers, apply within!”