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hardnox
Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

Didn't hear about any of these clunkers on Fox, didya?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Range_Fuels

 

Processes that don't have a net energy surplus don't "make us safe." They just shuffle money around.

 

At least solar is a huge success story although Germany and China did the heavy lifitng to get it there.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=cost+curve+solar+energy&biw=1047&bih=474&tbm=isch&imgil=FtkEo_asK3bO...

 

 

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hardnox
Advisor

corn stover

I think the long term agronomic concerns about removing stover are valid.

 

Assuming the process could be perfected the "right" way to do cellulosic is with permanent crops like grasses or woody species.

 

There is some 5-10 million marginal acres that has been dedicated to corn in order to meet the conventional demand plus ethanol. Those acres are big losers- there might be a 2.0 EROEI (energy returned on energy invested) for the most productive corn land but the marginal acres are barely a 1.0.

 

Those acres could be dedicated to perennial cellulose crops, but the policy is all rammykacked into a near zero sum money shuffle.

 

As I've said before, the government diverted a huge amount of capital into corn ethanol and it makes sense to get some value out of it. The problem is that there's not much of anywhere to go with it from here but we've created a powerful lobby that will constantly ask for more.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

Hey Nox, Smiley Very Happy  I don`t watch Fox News because   a. I`m too tight to have a satellite dish  and  b. Fox News is too liberal for me.      From what I understand Fox would be against Ethanol, cause they`re into their Rino big oil, cheap labor, big big big business. 

 

Yes, solar is good..but there again you have to put it in the right place.  Like I don`t think Seattle where it rains every other day would be a good idea.  Arizona would be a great place for solar.

 

And that`s the way with ethanol, early on with ethanol i listened to a real guru on siteing ethanol plants.  He had a map of rail lines and NG pipelines and corn production...whole bunch of these maps and superimposed them over each other and circled where the ethanol plants would have the best probability to be successful.  And I wonder alot of these projects that fail was really a failure to plan.  They just hear about solar or renewable fuels, get the investor money rounded up and put the plant next closest to the biggest investor, well that might not be the best choice for a site.

 

I don`t have a dog in the fight for celluosic ethanol, I hope it works though.  But there again, like the Georgia plant you mention that failed...I don`t know enough about Georgia if they have enough of the raw product to make it work.  And if it failed in 2007, the technology is light years beyond that now.  I think that if Bio-mass fuel can work it will be in that Emmetsberg/Nevada, Iowa area where there`s manure to replenish the soil and they raise a heck of alot of corn for the stalks.

 

Here`s a funny clip of man`s early attempts a powered flight.  It`s wasn`t until the Wright Brothers figured it out then the technology really got rolling...and about 60 years after the Wright brothers, we put a man on the Moon! Just think about that for a minute.  We went within a person`s lifetime of powered flight being impossible and believing "the moon is made of green cheese" to actually landing on the Moon.  Also breaking the 4 minute mile, it was 'impossible" for a long time then after the first person did it, now it`s very common to run a mile in the 3`s.   And the same can be applied to Solar and Ethanol and wind energy.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7OJvv4LG9M

 

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roarintiger1
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

Ok......so now ethanol won't be valid until we go back to the moon using ethanol to fuel the rocket.    I see no problems with this.  As Larry the cable guy would say,  "git r done"

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

BA,

I wouldn't say if i didn't know..... I utilize the same trucking firm that hauled the waste water from the plant to a deep disposal well near Perryton, Texas.  about 80 miles one way.  They were not allowed to spread it on land... last spring they had 17K gallons of ethanol and the trucking firm was told they had 1 million gallons of contaminated water to dispose of.  I have not visited with my source since that time.  I do not know how far the trucks got on the project or if it got scrapped.

Locally the first knowledge of the plant shutting down was articles read about the one in Iowa being built, and how it would be different because it would be using a different fermentation process used by tequila producers, since the plant in Kansas had failed to meet expectations......

 

:"A few other cellulosic ethanol refineries have opened across the U.S., but those in Kansas and Mississippi have fallen short of expectations after dealing with production problems."

 

http://www.agweb.com/article/dupont-to-open-225-million-cellulosic-ethanol-plant-in-iowa-naa-associa...

 

I am sure abengoa walked away from way more than a 225 million $ investment...... This one spent more than 90 million before ground was broken..  The initial government involvement...

 

A month after that article came out layoffs  of 80 were rumored......... This plant has never actually functioned 

 

I cannot address the solid waste question... I do not know.  But I do know that there has been no observed consistant delivery of their product.  We also utilize trucks that deliver WDG in the area.....

 

Not my favorite article but check out the loan guarantees to Abengoa by the US government  --- 2.7 billion --- will they bankrupt?  of course they will......... 

This project was nearly all on the taxpayer...

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/nov/25/abengoa-obama-green-energy-project-on-verge-of-ban/

 

 

I would love to track the money on this one....

 

 

 

 

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hardnox
Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

I'm modestly in favor of government seed money to promising renewable sectors. The problem is defining what is promising. Solyndra failed because China massively undercut them on cost- something that ultimately did yileld a general benefit as they drove the cost way down.

 

No such competition problem for cellulosic ETOH but their current cost is way north of the market price for the product.

 

Here's one of the problems with corn ethanol. You basically take NG as gas and NH3, some fuel and other inputs and produce a liquid fuel with a bit of net energy gain. At the height of the mania, NG was at $15, now it is $2. The most efficient thing to do with it would be to turn it into methanol directly but you are pinned in with the blending mandates and a lobby that got there first.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

Thanks for the info SW.  If bio-mass ethanol does utilized the Tequila distilling techniques, perhaps they are on the verge of becoming more sustainable?  If DuPont is getting on board, there must be something to this...the explorers have "taken the arrows" now the "Pioneers will feel safe to settle".  🙂 

 

Nox, it`s like the electric car, you feel good about yourself buying one but you plug it in and the electricity comes from a coal fired electric plant...it`s basically "coal fired cars".  However seriously, a electric car is more economical and usable than an actual coal fired car.

 

And that`s the way with ethanol.  We have a corn based food supply, we need a certain amount of corn to be raised every year and hopefully a cushion supply.  Trouble is that "cushion supply" weighs on the market and makes corn unprofitable to grow at times.  Uses such as ethanol support the corn price so food is reasonably priced and enough is grown to have food security.  The corn going to ethanol isn`t wasted because of the DDG cattle feed byproduct.

 

It`s a win win clean air plus over 10% of the gasoline is replaced with the product.   I think we need to have a long term look at it that oil isn`t always going to be $40, corn isn`t always going to be $3.50.  We need a long term plan so industry can invest without going broke when the "weather vane " spins  and all of a sudden ethanol isn`t profitable this year...but 5 years from now we`ll kick ourselves we didn`t encourage the investment.  If we get a higher world population all with higher living standards, $40 oil wouldn`t last long.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

BA,

I doubt an improvement in the fermentation is going to fix any problems, other than maybe making the byproducts more disposable.

 

The real problem in the whold cellulostic issue is the cost of processing, handling, storing, transporting, keeping it dry, and even if all that goes as cheaply as possible there is tremendous inconsistancy in the condition of the materials depending on the weather at harvest time..

Follow all that with the distribution and disposal of all byproducts  ------- we are just using more fuel than we are producing when we are handling baled fodder...

In the Sw ks "experiment" it was always assumed that the farmers would be happy to give the product to the plant in exchange for getting rid of it.  Minimal cost for the corn stalks and it still was not economical.

more bales burned to spontanious combustion than ever went through the plant... I believe they lost several thousand bales to a fire in one night...

Iowa doesn't have the climate to put up dry grass, let alone dry corn stalks in the fall.  Quality is important.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: What? No bearish spin on EPA's announcement yesterday?

SW, around here there are some stacks that a 13 months old and sitting there, yet around Jewell they baled fresh  bales this fall.  As I understand it, the farmer was paid in increments and pretty soon if not picked up, they will be paid in full of abot $20/bale and they are the farmer`s to keep.  Well every 13 month old stack that you see out in the fields it`s doubled their cost if those stacks go back to the farmer.. 

 

Grain ethanol should be the paramount focus right now for sure. 

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