Options

Corn Ethanol: Now Things Are Just Getting Stupid

2»

Posts

  • Options
    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You find more and more issues with corn ethanol the more you research it.

    So other than the EPA declaring it illegal to run your old diesel engine on waste veggie oil, does anyone know of a reason why its not a viable option?

    Sakebomb on
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Biodiesel is a solution that only works so long as the fuel is considered worthless. If demand increase, then it becomes a valuable commodity, and then you see a bunch of people fighting over limited quantities.

    In other words, it'll work for the early adopters, but not for the later ones.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    All biofuels suffer from the same basic problem that plants are actually pretty poor at collecting solar energy, it's just relatively speaking they're not "valuable".

    I really don't like the people who run their cars of vegetable oil - everything they post seems smug about the idea that they're green, when the reality is there is no way in hell it's actually remotely practical for everyone.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Options
    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2008
    All biofuels suffer from the same basic problem that plants are actually pretty poor at collecting solar energy, it's just relatively speaking they're not "valuable".

    I really don't like the people who run their cars of vegetable oil - everything they post seems smug about the idea that they're green, when the reality is there is no way in hell it's actually remotely practical for everyone.

    They're also still burning hydrocarbons.

    ViolentChemistry on
  • Options
    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Hacksaw wrote: »
    Endomatic wrote: »
    Kagera wrote: »
    I have a feeling that support of corn ethanol is tied into farm subsidies.

    Would I be correct in that assumption?
    I would go so far as to say that it is pretty much the entire reason that this sort of thing is still discussed. If it wasn't for "Big Corn", it would've been written off a much longer time ago.
    This is more or less it; the Corn Farmers of Amercia (aka the most nefarious bunch of mercinaries in the country) have found a new way to make skads of cash, so they're pursuing it with all their strength. Say hello to corn-powered cars, kiddies!
    They've done more damage to the idea of alternative fuels than oilmen have. Now anytime ethanol is brought up as an alternative, people lose their fucking minds. And, they should, but I'm not sure they understand why they should be angry.
    Aldo wrote: »
    Biofuels are such a clusterfuck, it was clear from the get-go that this was not a renewable and clean resource, yet it got sold like that. Now that the media are finally paying an iota of attention to it, shit hits the fan.
    What pisses me off about this is that the same people who are now saying it's a bad idea are the people who were saying it was a good idea years ago, when folks were telling them "hey, this isn't the way to go" and the ones for ethanol were calling everyone fools and puppets of big oil. Part of me is saddened. Part of me is just shrugging about people finally reaping what they've sown.
    Sakebomb wrote: »
    So other than the EPA declaring it illegal to run your old diesel engine on waste veggie oil, does anyone know of a reason why its not a viable option?
    Whenever I see people running on waste veggie oil, I see them going from restaraunt to restaraunt asking for their waste oil... the restaraunts aren't really charging for it. However, if you figure in the whole supply chain of having to make the veggies, render the oil, fry up some taters, store it for transport, and have the guy run a still in his backyard (you still have to refine it again), there's a hell of a lot of raw material, labor, transport and energy there that you're putting in for a few gallons of usable fuel.

    GungHo on
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    All biofuels suffer from the same basic problem that plants are actually pretty poor at collecting solar energy, it's just relatively speaking they're not "valuable".

    I really don't like the people who run their cars of vegetable oil - everything they post seems smug about the idea that they're green, when the reality is there is no way in hell it's actually remotely practical for everyone.

    They'll get theirs eventually, when it becomes harder and harder to find waste oils because other people have beaten them to the punch. Of course, the worst offenders are the people who set up equipment to make their own biofuels at home using subsidized crops. Subsidized so that people can use it for food, and not so that people can literally burn it away using extremely inefficient methods.
    They're also still burning hydrocarbons.

    Yeah, but the carbon was removed from the air in the first place, so the net effect is zero. Moreover, what else would you do with that? I mean, waste oil becomes rancid, and prone to bacteria/pests/vermin. It also clogs up pipes and sewers.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Someone converted a Prius to run on hydrogen once. The sad thing is that essentially that made the cars indirect emissions higher.

    Posts like this make me wish I could afford a Tesla Roadster.

    chamberlain on
  • Options
    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    GungHo wrote: »
    However, if you figure in the whole supply chain of having to make the veggies, render the oil, fry up some taters, store it for transport, and have the guy run a still in his backyard (you still have to refine it again), there's a hell of a lot of raw material, labor, transport and energy there that you're putting in for a few gallons of usable fuel.


    Yeah but that doesn't count anyway, because otherwise its just waste.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
  • Options
    GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    JebusUD wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    However, if you figure in the whole supply chain of having to make the veggies, render the oil, fry up some taters, store it for transport, and have the guy run a still in his backyard (you still have to refine it again), there's a hell of a lot of raw material, labor, transport and energy there that you're putting in for a few gallons of usable fuel.
    Yeah but that doesn't count anyway, because otherwise its just waste.
    Yes, it does count when people start saying it's a real alternative to petrol and start selling "do it yourself" kits as if it's the wave of the future. I see these jackasses on the news once a quarter-year showing them driving from restaraunt to restaraunt giggling about how they smell like french fries and how easy it is because people aren't charging for it. It's in no way something that can be put into a pipeline and sold commercially on more than a very local level.

    GungHo on
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    They should just have a separate waste collection that specializes in biodiesel, then distribute that to public vehicles for mass transit. But make it so that people can make private arrangements if they call ahead. Easier to monitor and process, and you ingrain caution early on.

    The thing is, you should maximize biodeisel enough for waste disposal, but no more than that. And you want to avoid a situation where people have to race from fast food joint to fast food joint for their latest fix.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    DanHibikiDanHibiki Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Someone converted a Prius to run on hydrogen once. The sad thing is that essentially that made the cars indirect emissions higher.

    depends on where you live. Toronto for example has a hydrogen fuel station that is exclusively wind powered, and if the use of hydrogen in expanded then the power used will still come mainly from nuclear powerplants, so all in all it will be nearly entirely emission free, both internal and external. Comparatively speaking of course.

    DanHibiki on
  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    All biofuels suffer from the same basic problem that plants are actually pretty poor at collecting solar energy, it's just relatively speaking they're not "valuable".

    I really don't like the people who run their cars of vegetable oil - everything they post seems smug about the idea that they're green, when the reality is there is no way in hell it's actually remotely practical for everyone.

    Of course not. Sure, one asshole can do it, but for everyone to do it?

    How many french fries are we going to eat, anyway?

    Shadowfire on
    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Yes, corn ethanol is stupid. This has been suspected since before the whole ethanol rage got off the ground, and was shown to be energy inefficient a year or so ago. I cannot fathom why so many people still think its a good idea, but then people do a lot of dumb things.

    Damn you humanity, grow a fucking brain.

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • Options
    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Someone converted a Prius to run on hydrogen once. The sad thing is that essentially that made the cars indirect emissions higher.

    Posts like this make me wish I could afford a Tesla Roadster.

    Im right there with ya.
    Its gonna be about a year before I can build enough credit for one. And last time I checked, there is a 2 year waiting list.

    Great thing is, once you actually do get an electric car, you can install a solar panel on your garage to recharge the damn thing then wear a T-shirt that says OPEC can suck my balls

    Sakebomb on
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Yes, corn ethanol is stupid. This has been suspected since before the whole ethanol rage got off the ground, and was shown to be energy inefficient a year or so ago. I cannot fathom why so many people still think its a good idea, but then people do a lot of dumb things.

    Damn you humanity, grow a fucking brain.

    Honestly?

    Most people don't understand the laws of thermodynamics. They don't understand why you can't get energy from nothing, and that energy always has to come from somewhere. And the fact that plants are ridiculously inefficient at processing isn't exactly common knowledge. If it weren't for Tesla Motors, I wouldn't even have known. Remember, we live in a country where the majority of the population doesn't accept the theory of evolution.

    Hopefully, the recent food shortages will motivate people to contact their representatives. Most people don't use ethanol, but everyone has to eat food.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    ZythonZython Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    Kagera wrote: »
    I have a feeling that support of corn ethanol is tied into farm subsidies.

    Would I be correct in that assumption?

    Yeah, pretty much.

    The worst part, is that because of the whole corn ethanol craze, we're currently facing a corn shortage. A fucking CORN shortage. D:

    Zython on
    Switch: SW-3245-5421-8042 | 3DS Friend Code: 4854-6465-0299 | PSN: Zaithon
    Steam: pazython
  • Options
    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    They're also still burning hydrocarbons.

    Yeah, but the carbon was removed from the air in the first place, so the net effect is zero.
    Maybe, but couldn't the same argument could be made about oil or coal? That was removed from the air millions of years ago, but it's the same idea.

    It's such a small segment of the population, that their contributions are negligible anyway. I just don't think it's a good argument in certain contexts (i.e. when talking with anti-environmentalist Republicans like Inhofe).

    templewulf on
    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
  • Options
    SchrodingerSchrodinger Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    templewulf wrote: »
    They're also still burning hydrocarbons.

    Yeah, but the carbon was removed from the air in the first place, so the net effect is zero.
    Maybe, but couldn't the same argument could be made about oil or coal? That was removed from the air millions of years ago, but it's the same idea.

    Yeah, but there's a slight difference between returning the atmosphere to the state it was in a year ago, and returning it to the state it was in when it was a toxic and uninhabitable molten orb.

    Schrodinger on
  • Options
    SpeakerSpeaker Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    You know, biodiesel made from algae is actually very good.

    It's too bad special interests are standing in the way.

    Speaker on
  • Options
    [Tycho?][Tycho?] As elusive as doubt Registered User regular
    edited April 2008
    [Tycho?] wrote: »
    Yes, corn ethanol is stupid. This has been suspected since before the whole ethanol rage got off the ground, and was shown to be energy inefficient a year or so ago. I cannot fathom why so many people still think its a good idea, but then people do a lot of dumb things.

    Damn you humanity, grow a fucking brain.

    Honestly?

    Most people don't understand the laws of thermodynamics. They don't understand why you can't get energy from nothing, and that energy always has to come from somewhere. And the fact that plants are ridiculously inefficient at processing isn't exactly common knowledge. If it weren't for Tesla Motors, I wouldn't even have known. Remember, we live in a country where the majority of the population doesn't accept the theory of evolution.

    Hopefully, the recent food shortages will motivate people to contact their representatives. Most people don't use ethanol, but everyone has to eat food.

    This is exactly true.

    I often bring up thermodynamics in conversation, my policy is that if you had to choose just one subset of physics to know something about, choose thermodynamics. Because thermodynamics will greatly increase your understanding of how practical things work around you, especially relating to technology and energy.

    I wish it wasn't called "thermodynamics"; its a very technical sounding word and people tend to glaze over as soon as they hear it. This is despite it being a field of physics that is actually very accessible to a layman; you dont need any math to understand the basic principals of conservation of energy, or how heat engines work. Oh well, people still get sucked in by "free energy" machines. I guess expecting a minimum of competence is too much to ask.

    [Tycho?] on
    mvaYcgc.jpg
  • Options
    templewulftemplewulf The Team Chump USARegistered User regular
    edited April 2008
    templewulf wrote: »
    They're also still burning hydrocarbons.

    Yeah, but the carbon was removed from the air in the first place, so the net effect is zero.
    Maybe, but couldn't the same argument could be made about oil or coal? That was removed from the air millions of years ago, but it's the same idea.

    Yeah, but there's a slight difference between returning the atmosphere to the state it was in a year ago, and returning it to the state it was in when it was a toxic and uninhabitable molten orb.

    I sort of knew that would be your response, which was why I specified "in certain contexts". :lol:

    templewulf on
    Twitch.tv/FiercePunchStudios | PSN | Steam | Discord | SFV CFN: templewulf
Sign In or Register to comment.