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#214109 - 02/26/12 03:45 PM from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour
Schlack Offline
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Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 9551
Loc: Ireland
“Kitchen Stove” Biorefinery Goes from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour

Quote:

The California biofuel company Cool Planet BioFuels has announced the successful test of a pilot biorefinery that can convert an acre of the giant grass miscanthus into gasoline at the rate of 4,000 gallons per acre. You read that right – the process yields straight, drop-in quality gasoline that is chemically identical to its petroleum-based cousin.


Now im generally against the idea of using agricultural land for fuel instead of food - and indeed the additional carbon footprint of many biofuels, but this seems like a great leap forward.
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#214114 - 02/26/12 04:32 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
numan Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
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Forty-two gallons in a barrel. About a quarter of the petroleum is turned into gasoline. World consumption of petroleum is about 80 million barrels per day, or about 1.25 trillion (1.25x10^12) gallons per year. That means that it would require about 125,000 sq. miles of cropland (a little less than the area of California) to meet world gasoline demand -- spread out over the entire world, of course.
A daunting prospect.

On the other hand, Miscanthus giganteus tolerates many kinds of soils, is moderately drought resistent, and can tolerate cold and snow. So it might grow on land that is unsuitable for food crops.
It would still require a lot of land. What effect would that have on ecosystems?
Moreover, it would require fertilizers. Most fertilizers today come from petroleum -- SIGH.


Edited by numan (02/26/12 06:07 PM)
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#214115 - 02/26/12 04:39 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
Ardy Offline
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Registered: 12/22/05
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there is no doubt in my mind that thsi si an extremely important technology that will provide a significant part of future energy demands.

That said, I doubt that time i now, as was implied by the breathlessly enthusiastic PR news release


Edited by Ardy (02/26/12 04:39 PM)
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#214116 - 02/26/12 04:39 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
numan Offline
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Ethanol Produced from Perennial Grass Could Offset 20% of Gas Use with 9.3% of Cropland
Miscanthus: "still in its infancy"

Quote:
As Long readily admits, Miscanthus still has a ways to go before it becomes a viable alternative to gas, let alone corn ethanol....
Keep in mind that this Miscanthus is completely unimproved, so if we were to do the sorts of things that we’ve managed to do with corn, where we’ve increased its yield threefold over the last 50 years, then it’s not unreal to think that we could use even less than 10 percent of the available agricultural land. And if you can actually grow it on non-cropland that would be even better.

Since the grass grows from perennial rhizomes, once it has been established, one need not re-plant it year after year. That is a considerable advantage over maize.
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#214118 - 02/26/12 04:59 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Ardy]
Schlack Offline
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Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 9551
Loc: Ireland
Originally Posted By: Ardy
there is no doubt in my mind that thsi si an extremely important technology that will provide a significant part of future energy demands.

That said, I doubt that time i now, as was implied by the breathlessly enthusiastic PR news release


No arguments here.
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#214123 - 02/26/12 05:45 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: numan]
Ted Remington Offline
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Registered: 07/09/08
Posts: 4890
Originally Posted By: numan
'
Seventy-two gallons in a barrel. World consumption of petroleum is about 80 million barrels per day, or about two trillion (2x10^12) gallons per year. That means that it would require about 0.8 million sq. miles of cropland ( about a quarter of the land area of the United States) to meet world petroleum demand -- spread out over the entire world, of course.
A daunting prospect.

On the other hand, Miscanthus giganteus tolerates many kinds of soils, is moderately drought resistent, and can tolerate cold and snow. So it might grow on land that is unsuitable for food crops.
It would still require a lot of land. What effect would that have on ecosystems?


There are 42 gallons in a barrel of oil, not 72. The consumption of 88 million barrels of petroleum is not the same as 88 million barrels of gasoline.

"1 barrel of crude oil = 42 US gallons (159 liters or 35 imperial gallons). It produces from about 21 percent to 35 percent of gasoline or petrol, plus many other products such as kerosene, etc."

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_gasoline_can_be_made_from_one_barrel_of_crude_oil#ixzz1nWw8C98w
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#214125 - 02/26/12 05:48 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
numan Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
Oops! That's what I get for relying on my memory!

Thanks for the correction, Churl. I shall amend my original posting.
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#214126 - 02/26/12 05:56 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: numan]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline
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Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 10570
Loc: Downey, California
Originally Posted By: numan
That means that it would require about 0.8 million sq. miles of cropland ( about a quarter of the land area of the United States) to meet world petroleum demand -- spread out over the entire world, of course.
A daunting prospect.


But then again an enterprising individual with a few extra acres of land could indeed set up his own little neighborhood coop where members could avoid the price hikes by making their own fuel, yes?
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#214127 - 02/26/12 06:09 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
numan Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
I think they might be defeated by their lack of economies of scale. On the other hand, they might be ingenious in their use of fertilizers.
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The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#214135 - 02/26/12 07:43 PM Re: from Grass to Gasoline in One Hour [Re: Schlack]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline
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Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 10570
Loc: Downey, California
Chances are pretty good that I will end up living very close to this company as we are scouting homes in that exact area (Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Paula etc) so it might be interesting to see how all this shapes up.

It would be nice to be able to pull up to an N100 fuel pump and pay less.
I love competition, it's an all American idea and the petroleum industry needs competition.
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