Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ethanol: The Video



One possibility that is not mentioned in this video is that ethanol could be economically viable if it is made from sugar. But we would have to import the sugar. Because of tariffs, sugar costs four times as much on the US market than it is on the world market. It is possible that American ethanol made from Brazilian sugar could reduce our dependence on Venezuelan and Middle Eastern oil. No developed country is resource independent, but we can do more trading with our allies so that we can trade less with our enemies.

We are fortunate in that we are not dependent on other countries for the most important goods, food and medicine. Right now, third world countries need grain from us more than we need oil from them. If you don't believe me, try starting your morning off right with a healthy breakfast of shale topped off with light, sweet crude. We should stop making our ethanol out of food and start making it from sugar.

2 comments:

Bobby G. said...

Rob:
There is ONE aspect to ethanol (which imho is not worth the price to refine it), and that is getting ethanol from SWITCHGRASS.
It grows fast, and produces more BTUs per gallon than corn, which is about 75% of what gasoline produces, so you're not getting a bigger bang for ANY buck tossed at that..
And, you have to fill up more often.

I still think hydrogen is the way to go...for the time being, anyway.

As for me?
Well, I'm STILL waiting for MR. FUSION, so I can retrofit my Firebird...where's Doc Brown when you NEED him?

;)

B.G.

Robert Enders said...

It takes a lot of heat to split up water into hydrogen and oxygen. The best way that I can think of to do that is with nuclear power. A nuclear generator works by heating up steam, which causes a turbine to spin. If the fission can be used to create hotter temperatures, the water vapor can be converted into elemental hydrogen and oxygen.