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Ethanol;Patzak critical paper

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  • Ted Trainer
    Patzak replies to recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycles-Web.pdf --
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 5, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      Patzak replies to recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in

      http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycles-Web.pdf
      --
      Ted Trainer
      School of Social Work,
      University of New South Wales,
      Kensington. 2052. Australia.
      02.93851871
      Fax: 02 96628991
      Email: F.Trainer@...
      Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/

      UNSW CRICOS provider code number 00098G
    • Milton Maciel
      Thank you very much, Ted, for posting this link for us. I began to study this new Patzek’s report in depth, something I believe everyone interested in the
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 6, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        Thank you very much, Ted, for posting this link for us. I began to study this new Patzek’s report in depth, something I believe everyone interested in the ethanol debate should also do.

        Best,

        Milton Maciel in Brazil

        Ted Trainer <F.Trainer@...> wrote: Patzak replies to recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in

        http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycles-Web.pdf
        --
        Ted Trainer
        School of Social Work,
        University of New South Wales,
        Kensington. 2052. Australia.
        02.93851871
        Fax: 02 96628991
        Email: F.Trainer@...
        Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/

        UNSW CRICOS provider code number 00098G






        ---------------------------------
        Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • joedoves
        Just read the summary. He says it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol to replace one gallon of gasoline(6.2 gallons without the tax credit). Truly amazing, no? Is
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 7, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          Just read the summary.
          He says it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol to replace one gallon of
          gasoline(6.2 gallons without the tax credit). Truly amazing, no? Is
          this true in Brazil(where the laws of thermodynamics evidently don't
          apply)?

          However he then says that our use of bio-ethanol should not be zero?!

          Patzek says he's right, the rest are wrong. His (many) critics are
          building perpetual motion machines.

          He worries about the soil and contends that he is REALLY concerned
          about the crop ecology(the USDA does care!).
          His data sources are old, his calculations are buried.

          This paper is not critical, it's a rehash and defense against his
          recent critics.

          Here's something I don't get. Corn,etc. is carbohydrates-cellulose
          plus lignin plus ash( about 6% by weight) and nitrogen. Nitrogen
          comes from the air. Ash is by product of burning biomass because all
          we want is the carbohydrate(if necessary why not return the ash to
          the field plus a little fertillizer, potash,etc?). Carbohydrates(
          carbon dioxide and water) are broken into sugar which are fermented.
          Carbon dioxide and water are not nutrients and that's all we want
          from bio-ethanol. Lignin(10-30% by weight) are aromatic alcohols
          which are broken down by fungi or separated by the kraft process(
          alkali). The advantage of corn or switchgrass is that it is almost
          all cellulose with very little lignin. Cellulosic enzymes can turn
          any cellulose or hemicellulose into glucose which is fermentable.
          In the case of sugar cane, fermentable sucrose is a direct product
          of the plant, leaving a huge amount of unused cellulose to begin
          with. If US agriculture is destroying the soil so much why are
          yields climbing? Ever hear of the Green Revolution?






          --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Milton Maciel
          <delphos09@...> wrote:
          >
          > Thank you very much, Ted, for posting this link for us. I began to
          study this new Patzek?s report in depth, something I believe
          everyone interested in the ethanol debate should also do.
          >
          > Best,
          >
          > Milton Maciel in Brazil
          >
          > Ted Trainer <F.Trainer@...> wrote: Patzak replies to
          recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in
          >
          >
          http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycl
          es-Web.pdf
          > --
          > Ted Trainer
          > School of Social Work,
          > University of New South Wales,
          > Kensington. 2052. Australia.
          > 02.93851871
          > Fax: 02 96628991
          > Email: F.Trainer@...
          > Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/
          >
          > UNSW CRICOS provider code number 00098G
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Want to be your own boss? Learn how on Yahoo! Small Business.
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Milton Maciel
          Joe, For the sake of this debate, it is not correct to compare ethanol and gasoline in terms of calorific capacity only. These are only sound logic numbers.
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 8, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            Joe,
            For the sake of this debate, it is not correct to compare ethanol and gasoline in terms of calorific capacity only. These are only sound logic numbers. The correct comparison is between yields at the MOTOR shaft. As motors themselves have been engineered for more than 30 years to suit to alcohol, with a series of adaptations learned through practice, the only difference that accounts in practical terms is a 27% reduced yield in miles per gallon (MPG) when you decide to employ ethanol in the MOTOR.

            And that is totally compensated by the alcohol’s lower price (annual average: in Brazil ethanol is 45% cheaper than gasoline produced by Petrobras from locally extracted oil). For running through the same distance, you have to put 27% more ethanol in your tank than gasoline, but you expend less money and you keep working a whole industry that involves more than 3 million people active in the fields, factories, roads and cities. To these, you bring a reduction of 80% of polluting exhaust gases from the cars’ motors, what means less health aggression and less atmosphere WARMING and pollution. And you decree that no more imports of oil are needed, making oil self-sufficiency possible.

            With evident thermodynamics laws ruling also over Brazilian sugar cane ethanol (minimum EROEI 8.3 : 1, standard 8.7 : 1; best conventional 9.4 : 1; Organic 10 : 2 and Zero Oil Organic 12 : 1) ethanol as fuel motor is a huge money saver/money maker for the country.


            As for USA ethanol, I have some personal opinions endorsed by my 30 years experience in alcohol production/use in cars nationwide.

            1 – Comparing with Brazilian situation at the onset of our Pro-Alcohol Program, 30 years ago, USA is in a similar position now: it is pressed by an unsustainable condition for its oil supply. In the seventies we had neither enough distilleries, nor enough sugar cane or good technologies, so we were in a crossroads for facing the sudden Arab Oil Embargo. Large subsidies started the ethanol business and the academic and industry researches have made the whole thing economically so viable that all subsidies have been reduced to zero after some years.

            In 1975 we got 3 450 liters of ethanol from a hectare of sugar cane. In 2005 we get 7 200 liters/ha (767 gallons/acre), average. New cane varieties are now being implanted that will yield, by 2008, 20% more saccharose, then 20% more alcohol. Cane productivity is still growing, from a mere 55 tons/hectare, national average, in 1975, to an 87.5 tons/hectare average for conventional and 109 tons/hectare for Organic in 2005. Cane yields are now increasing, in average, 3%/year.

            I see a similar thing happening now with USA corn ethanol. Starting with a much less yielding product – corn – under much more severe soil, water, oil and fertility consuming conditions, receiving large subsidies, USA corn ethanol industries resembles Brazilian sugar cane ethanol of the seventies.

            Nitrogen comes from the air: that holds true for sugar cane, that absorbs a large portion of its needed Nitrogen by means of Biological Nitrogen Fixation (through Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus). For corn, Nitrogen comes from chemical ammonia produced from natural gas. Because of this and because corn culture is ANNUAL and uses much more pesticides than sugar cane (a SEMI-PERENNIAL culture), it is more erosion prone and oil dependent. And oil, for USA, is much more expensive than a mere US$ 75.00/bbl, when you realistically compute all the subsidies and oil WARS expenses (armies of soldiers, mercenaries, spies, diplomats and bureaucrats, not forgetting Halliburton-like ‘contracts’ and ‘missing’ oil accounts).

            But for the agriculture of corn there is a silver bullet: Organic Corn. Same yields and only a fraction of the oil needed. The honorable David Pimentel has recently published a work on that, comparing conventional an organic grain production in USA.

            2 – USA ethanol industry is now a REALITY. All the economic and political pressure of Corn Belt producers, politicians, distilleries, ADMs and the like, of all the billions already invested, of all the billions being invested in the coming years – all of that make it irreversible. Guys as Bill Gates or Vinod Koshla have not become famous because they like to burn dollars notes for fun. Of course, they know very well what they are doing and they are ready to defend their investments with more money or more pressure, any time they are needed.

            Then we have that real problem of the very LOW – less than 1, Patzek affirms – EROEI for corn ethanol. It may be disputed that this EROEI may be less than 1, but, for the moment, it is indisputable that, if a little larger than 1, it is still TOO small. There are basically two causes for that: agricultural and industrial. For agriculture, Organic Corn may be an EROEI improver; However, the fight with the oil/chemical/agribusiness System is not an easy one and, for me, only Peak Oil itself may define the winner. I don’t think we can expect much more productivity gains for conventional corn in USA, as we can still expect for sugar cane worldwide. But organic corn and organic sugar cane (South, Hawaii) may still be of invaluable importance for USA energetic future.

            Heath generation for the distilleries is the other great problem for efficiency of conversion. Here, for sugar cane, we just have to burn only a PART of the available bagasse. So I consider this - heating energy at distilleries - the great front for American academic and industrial research concentrate funds and efforts.

            Anyway, as the USA corn ethanol industry is now a present and ever-growing undeniable reality, I think that:

            - As it has happened in Brazil before, also the USA ethanol may evolve from an energetic deficient and highly subsidized industry to a more rational and efficient enterprise. This is no ‘techofix’, but the natural evolution of a whole industry complex, along day-to-day routines and experiences. Higher oil prices, lower production costs as industry learns to be more efficient and less oil dependent, more profits for alcohol and farm, fewer subsidies needed, until they are all phased out.

            - As USA gets to make vehicles much more efficient and reduce/reshape its car dependency, ethanol won’t be such a ‘low profile’, insignificant alternative fuel.

            - AS USA stops to squander millions of barrels of oil everyday in war machines, less oil will need to be imported and the country may embark in a more soft and fair market competition for the remaining oil it needs still to bring from other countries, in this transition ‘end of times’ for oil. When USA learns to be less aggressive and more commercially fair, maybe it will recover as friends many of the nations that now have to beware of its American “allies” or commercial partners.

            In résumé, ethanol industry has been imposed in USA by a goliath irresistible force. In Brazil there is disgusting ‘macho’ joke, of very bad taste (please, ladies in the List, forgive me for writing it, but it is only for the sake of comparison), that says: “When rape is unavoidable, relax and enjoy.” Well, corn ethanol in USA is now unavoidable…

            Or it becomes much more efficient and helps to fight Peak Oil or it is going to be killed by Peak Oil. I think the first hypothesis will prove possible and we’ll see USA by far as the biggest ethanol producer and consumer of the world. But that depends on evolving in agriculture and industrial technology, something similar to what has happened before in Brazil.

            Milton Maciel in Brazil

            joedoves <joedoves@...> wrote:


            Just read the summary.
            He says it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol to replace one gallon of
            gasoline(6.2 gallons without the tax credit). Truly amazing, no? Is
            this true in Brazil(where the laws of thermodynamics evidently don't
            apply)?

            However he then says that our use of bio-ethanol should not be zero?!

            Patzek says he's right, the rest are wrong. His (many) critics are
            building perpetual motion machines.

            He worries about the soil and contends that he is REALLY concerned
            about the crop ecology(the USDA does care!).
            His data sources are old, his calculations are buried.

            This paper is not critical, it's a rehash and defense against his
            recent critics.

            Here's something I don't get. Corn,etc. is carbohydrates-cellulose
            plus lignin plus ash( about 6% by weight) and nitrogen. Nitrogen
            comes from the air. Ash is by product of burning biomass because all
            we want is the carbohydrate(if necessary why not return the ash to
            the field plus a little fertillizer, potash,etc?). Carbohydrates(
            carbon dioxide and water) are broken into sugar which are fermented.
            Carbon dioxide and water are not nutrients and that's all we want
            from bio-ethanol. Lignin(10-30% by weight) are aromatic alcohols
            which are broken down by fungi or separated by the kraft process(
            alkali). The advantage of corn or switchgrass is that it is almost
            all cellulose with very little lignin. Cellulosic enzymes can turn
            any cellulose or hemicellulose into glucose which is fermentable.
            In the case of sugar cane, fermentable sucrose is a direct product
            of the plant, leaving a huge amount of unused cellulose to begin
            with. If US agriculture is destroying the soil so much why are
            yields climbing? Ever hear of the Green Revolution?

            --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, Milton Maciel
            <delphos09@...> wrote:
            >
            > Thank you very much, Ted, for posting this link for us. I began to
            study this new Patzek?s report in depth, something I believe
            everyone interested in the ethanol debate should also do.
            >
            > Best,
            >
            > Milton Maciel in Brazil
            >
            > Ted Trainer <F.Trainer@...> wrote: Patzak replies to
            recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in
            >
            >
            http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycl
            es-Web.pdf
            > --
            > Ted Trainer
            > School of Social Work,
            > University of New South Wales,
            > Kensington. 2052. Australia.
            > 02.93851871
            > Fax: 02 96628991
            > Email: F.Trainer@...
            > Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/
            >
            > UNSW CRICOS provider code number 00098G
            >
            >


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          • Ben Kenney
            Here s a recorded phone conversation that I had with Tad Patzek talking about ethanol: http://www.thewatt.com/article-1166-nested-1-0.html It was recorded as
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 8, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Here's a recorded phone conversation that I had with Tad Patzek talking
              about ethanol:

              http://www.thewatt.com/article-1166-nested-1-0.html

              It was recorded as an audio mp3. We spoke a lot about the problems with
              ethanol (although I'm sure everybody here knows them already). Tad also
              spoke about how coal is now being used to power the ethanol refineries and
              that ethanol production requires a heck of a lot of water.

              Ben

              On 7/8/06, Milton Maciel <delphos09@...> wrote:
              >
              > Joe,
              > For the sake of this debate, it is not correct to compare ethanol and
              > gasoline in terms of calorific capacity only. These are only sound logic
              > numbers. The correct comparison is between yields at the MOTOR shaft. As
              > motors themselves have been engineered for more than 30 years to suit to
              > alcohol, with a series of adaptations learned through practice, the only
              > difference that accounts in practical terms is a 27% reduced yield in miles
              > per gallon (MPG) when you decide to employ ethanol in the MOTOR.
              >
              > And that is totally compensated by the alcohol's lower price (annual
              > average: in Brazil ethanol is 45% cheaper than gasoline produced by
              > Petrobras from locally extracted oil). For running through the same
              > distance, you have to put 27% more ethanol in your tank than gasoline, but
              > you expend less money and you keep working a whole industry that involves
              > more than 3 million people active in the fields, factories, roads and
              > cities. To these, you bring a reduction of 80% of polluting exhaust gases
              > from the cars' motors, what means less health aggression and less atmosphere
              > WARMING and pollution. And you decree that no more imports of oil are
              > needed, making oil self-sufficiency possible.
              >
              > With evident thermodynamics laws ruling also over Brazilian sugar cane
              > ethanol (minimum EROEI 8.3 : 1, standard 8.7 : 1; best conventional 9.4 :
              > 1; Organic 10 : 2 and Zero Oil Organic 12 : 1) ethanol as fuel motor is a
              > huge money saver/money maker for the country.
              >
              >
              > As for USA ethanol, I have some personal opinions endorsed by my 30 years
              > experience in alcohol production/use in cars nationwide.
              >
              > 1 � Comparing with Brazilian situation at the onset of our Pro-Alcohol
              > Program, 30 years ago, USA is in a similar position now: it is pressed by an
              > unsustainable condition for its oil supply. In the seventies we had neither
              > enough distilleries, nor enough sugar cane or good technologies, so we were
              > in a crossroads for facing the sudden Arab Oil Embargo. Large subsidies
              > started the ethanol business and the academic and industry researches have
              > made the whole thing economically so viable that all subsidies have been
              > reduced to zero after some years.
              >
              > In 1975 we got 3 450 liters of ethanol from a hectare of sugar cane. In
              > 2005 we get 7 200 liters/ha (767 gallons/acre), average. New cane varieties
              > are now being implanted that will yield, by 2008, 20% more saccharose, then
              > 20% more alcohol. Cane productivity is still growing, from a mere 55
              > tons/hectare, national average, in 1975, to an 87.5 tons/hectare average
              > for conventional and 109 tons/hectare for Organic in 2005. Cane yields are
              > now increasing, in average, 3%/year.
              >
              > I see a similar thing happening now with USA corn ethanol. Starting with a
              > much less yielding product � corn � under much more severe soil, water, oil
              > and fertility consuming conditions, receiving large subsidies, USA corn
              > ethanol industries resembles Brazilian sugar cane ethanol of the seventies.
              >
              > Nitrogen comes from the air: that holds true for sugar cane, that absorbs
              > a large portion of its needed Nitrogen by means of Biological Nitrogen
              > Fixation (through Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus). For corn, Nitrogen
              > comes from chemical ammonia produced from natural gas. Because of this and
              > because corn culture is ANNUAL and uses much more pesticides than sugar cane
              > (a SEMI-PERENNIAL culture), it is more erosion prone and oil dependent. And
              > oil, for USA, is much more expensive than a mere US$ 75.00/bbl, when you
              > realistically compute all the subsidies and oil WARS expenses (armies of
              > soldiers, mercenaries, spies, diplomats and bureaucrats, not forgetting
              > Halliburton-like 'contracts' and 'missing' oil accounts).
              >
              > But for the agriculture of corn there is a silver bullet: Organic Corn.
              > Same yields and only a fraction of the oil needed. The honorable David
              > Pimentel has recently published a work on that, comparing conventional an
              > organic grain production in USA.
              >
              > 2 � USA ethanol industry is now a REALITY. All the economic and political
              > pressure of Corn Belt producers, politicians, distilleries, ADMs and the
              > like, of all the billions already invested, of all the billions being
              > invested in the coming years � all of that make it irreversible. Guys as
              > Bill Gates or Vinod Koshla have not become famous because they like to burn
              > dollars notes for fun. Of course, they know very well what they are doing
              > and they are ready to defend their investments with more money or more
              > pressure, any time they are needed.
              >
              > Then we have that real problem of the very LOW � less than 1, Patzek
              > affirms � EROEI for corn ethanol. It may be disputed that this EROEI may be
              > less than 1, but, for the moment, it is indisputable that, if a little
              > larger than 1, it is still TOO small. There are basically two causes for
              > that: agricultural and industrial. For agriculture, Organic Corn may be an
              > EROEI improver; However, the fight with the oil/chemical/agribusiness System
              > is not an easy one and, for me, only Peak Oil itself may define the winner.
              > I don't think we can expect much more productivity gains for conventional
              > corn in USA, as we can still expect for sugar cane worldwide. But organic
              > corn and organic sugar cane (South, Hawaii) may still be of invaluable
              > importance for USA energetic future.
              >
              > Heath generation for the distilleries is the other great problem for
              > efficiency of conversion. Here, for sugar cane, we just have to burn only a
              > PART of the available bagasse. So I consider this - heating energy at
              > distilleries - the great front for American academic and industrial research
              > concentrate funds and efforts.
              >
              > Anyway, as the USA corn ethanol industry is now a present and ever-growing
              > undeniable reality, I think that:
              >
              > - As it has happened in Brazil before, also the USA ethanol may evolve
              > from an energetic deficient and highly subsidized industry to a more
              > rational and efficient enterprise. This is no 'techofix', but the natural
              > evolution of a whole industry complex, along day-to-day routines and
              > experiences. Higher oil prices, lower production costs as industry learns to
              > be more efficient and less oil dependent, more profits for alcohol and farm,
              > fewer subsidies needed, until they are all phased out.
              >
              > - As USA gets to make vehicles much more efficient and reduce/reshape its
              > car dependency, ethanol won't be such a 'low profile', insignificant
              > alternative fuel.
              >
              > - AS USA stops to squander millions of barrels of oil everyday in war
              > machines, less oil will need to be imported and the country may embark in a
              > more soft and fair market competition for the remaining oil it needs still
              > to bring from other countries, in this transition 'end of times' for oil.
              > When USA learns to be less aggressive and more commercially fair, maybe it
              > will recover as friends many of the nations that now have to beware of its
              > American "allies" or commercial partners.
              >
              > In r�sum�, ethanol industry has been imposed in USA by a goliath
              > irresistible force. In Brazil there is disgusting 'macho' joke, of very bad
              > taste (please, ladies in the List, forgive me for writing it, but it is only
              > for the sake of comparison), that says: "When rape is unavoidable, relax and
              > enjoy." Well, corn ethanol in USA is now unavoidable�
              >
              > Or it becomes much more efficient and helps to fight Peak Oil or it is
              > going to be killed by Peak Oil. I think the first hypothesis will prove
              > possible and we'll see USA by far as the biggest ethanol producer and
              > consumer of the world. But that depends on evolving in agriculture and
              > industrial technology, something similar to what has happened before in
              > Brazil.
              >
              > Milton Maciel in Brazil
              >
              >
              > joedoves <joedoves@... <joedoves%40hotmail.com>> wrote:
              >
              >
              > Just read the summary.
              > He says it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol to replace one gallon of
              > gasoline(6.2 gallons without the tax credit). Truly amazing, no? Is
              > this true in Brazil(where the laws of thermodynamics evidently don't
              > apply)?
              >
              > However he then says that our use of bio-ethanol should not be zero?!
              >
              > Patzek says he's right, the rest are wrong. His (many) critics are
              > building perpetual motion machines.
              >
              > He worries about the soil and contends that he is REALLY concerned
              > about the crop ecology(the USDA does care!).
              > His data sources are old, his calculations are buried.
              >
              > This paper is not critical, it's a rehash and defense against his
              > recent critics.
              >
              > Here's something I don't get. Corn,etc. is carbohydrates-cellulose
              > plus lignin plus ash( about 6% by weight) and nitrogen. Nitrogen
              > comes from the air. Ash is by product of burning biomass because all
              > we want is the carbohydrate(if necessary why not return the ash to
              > the field plus a little fertillizer, potash,etc?). Carbohydrates(
              > carbon dioxide and water) are broken into sugar which are fermented.
              > Carbon dioxide and water are not nutrients and that's all we want
              > from bio-ethanol. Lignin(10-30% by weight) are aromatic alcohols
              > which are broken down by fungi or separated by the kraft process(
              > alkali). The advantage of corn or switchgrass is that it is almost
              > all cellulose with very little lignin. Cellulosic enzymes can turn
              > any cellulose or hemicellulose into glucose which is fermentable.
              > In the case of sugar cane, fermentable sucrose is a direct product
              > of the plant, leaving a huge amount of unused cellulose to begin
              > with. If US agriculture is destroying the soil so much why are
              > yields climbing? Ever hear of the Green Revolution?
              >
              > --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com <energyresources%40yahoogroups.com>,
              > Milton Maciel
              > <delphos09@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > Thank you very much, Ted, for posting this link for us. I began to
              > study this new Patzek?s report in depth, something I believe
              > everyone interested in the ethanol debate should also do.
              > >
              > > Best,
              > >
              > > Milton Maciel in Brazil
              > >
              > > Ted Trainer <F.Trainer@...> wrote: Patzak replies to
              > recent critics re potential for ethanol from biomass, in
              > >
              > >
              > http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/patzek/BiofuelQA/Materials/RealFuelCycl
              > es-Web.pdf
              > > --
              > > Ted Trainer
              > > School of Social Work,
              > > University of New South Wales,
              > > Kensington. 2052. Australia.
              > > 02.93851871
              > > Fax: 02 96628991
              > > Email: F.Trainer@...
              > > Website: http://www.arts.unsw.edu.au/tsw/
              > >
              > > UNSW CRICOS provider code number 00098G
              > >
              > >
              >
              > New Message Search
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              > message search.
              >
              >
              > Share feedback on the new changes to Groups
              >
              > Recent Activity
              >
              > 11
              > New Members
              >
              > Visit Your Group
              >
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            • Robert Mueller
              Sorry Folks, This is all just rearranging deck chairs-and worse, misleading garbage! There s no real difference between the different ways of powering cars,
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 8, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Sorry Folks,
                This is all just rearranging deck chairs-and
                worse, misleading garbage! There's no real difference
                between the different ways of powering cars, since
                they all ignore comprehensive energy inventories that
                take the societal infrastructure into account. To
                reverse global warming and other ecological
                catastrophes we need to reduce energy consumption by
                at least 90% and really suffer.We also need to consult
                the Second Law that tells us that every time we use
                energy we lose control rather than gaining any, and
                that, as a consequence, there's no clean technological
                energy.So the real issue is life style and the
                pervasive pandering to the existing one. So tell us
                how to live in much smaller dwellings on a vegie diet,
                drop virtually all car and air travel, convert lawns
                to gardens etc. etc.
                R.F. Mueller
                Virginians for Wilderness

                --- Milton Maciel <delphos09@...> wrote:

                > Joe,
                > For the sake of this debate, it is not correct to
                > compare ethanol and gasoline in terms of calorific
                > capacity only. These are only sound logic numbers.
                > The correct comparison is between yields at the
                > MOTOR shaft. As motors themselves have been
                > engineered for more than 30 years to suit to
                > alcohol, with a series of adaptations learned
                > through practice, the only difference that accounts
                > in practical terms is a 27% reduced yield in miles
                > per gallon (MPG) when you decide to employ ethanol
                > in the MOTOR.
                >
                > And that is totally compensated by the
                > alcohol’s lower price (annual average: in Brazil
                > ethanol is 45% cheaper than gasoline produced by
                > Petrobras from locally extracted oil). For running
                > through the same distance, you have to put 27% more
                > ethanol in your tank than gasoline, but you expend
                > less money and you keep working a whole industry
                > that involves more than 3 million people active in
                > the fields, factories, roads and cities. To these,
                > you bring a reduction of 80% of polluting exhaust
                > gases from the cars’ motors, what means less health
                > aggression and less atmosphere WARMING and
                > pollution. And you decree that no more imports of
                > oil are needed, making oil self-sufficiency
                > possible.
                >
                > With evident thermodynamics laws ruling also
                > over Brazilian sugar cane ethanol (minimum EROEI 8.3
                > : 1, standard 8.7 : 1; best conventional 9.4 : 1;
                > Organic 10 : 2 and Zero Oil Organic 12 : 1) ethanol
                > as fuel motor is a huge money saver/money maker for
                > the country.
                >
                >
                > As for USA ethanol, I have some personal
                > opinions endorsed by my 30 years experience in
                > alcohol production/use in cars nationwide.
                >
                > 1 – Comparing with Brazilian situation at the
                > onset of our Pro-Alcohol Program, 30 years ago, USA
                > is in a similar position now: it is pressed by an
                > unsustainable condition for its oil supply. In the
                > seventies we had neither enough distilleries, nor
                > enough sugar cane or good technologies, so we were
                > in a crossroads for facing the sudden Arab Oil
                > Embargo. Large subsidies started the ethanol
                > business and the academic and industry researches
                > have made the whole thing economically so viable
                > that all subsidies have been reduced to zero after
                > some years.
                >
                > In 1975 we got 3 450 liters of ethanol from a
                > hectare of sugar cane. In 2005 we get 7 200
                > liters/ha (767 gallons/acre), average. New cane
                > varieties are now being implanted that will yield,
                > by 2008, 20% more saccharose, then 20% more alcohol.
                > Cane productivity is still growing, from a mere 55
                > tons/hectare, national average, in 1975, to an 87.5
                > tons/hectare average for conventional and 109
                > tons/hectare for Organic in 2005. Cane yields are
                > now increasing, in average, 3%/year.
                >
                > I see a similar thing happening now with USA
                > corn ethanol. Starting with a much less yielding
                > product – corn – under much more severe soil, water,
                > oil and fertility consuming conditions, receiving
                > large subsidies, USA corn ethanol industries
                > resembles Brazilian sugar cane ethanol of the
                > seventies.
                >
                > Nitrogen comes from the air: that holds true for
                > sugar cane, that absorbs a large portion of its
                > needed Nitrogen by means of Biological Nitrogen
                > Fixation (through Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus).
                > For corn, Nitrogen comes from chemical ammonia
                > produced from natural gas. Because of this and
                > because corn culture is ANNUAL and uses much more
                > pesticides than sugar cane (a SEMI-PERENNIAL
                > culture), it is more erosion prone and oil
                > dependent. And oil, for USA, is much more expensive
                > than a mere US$ 75.00/bbl, when you realistically
                > compute all the subsidies and oil WARS expenses
                > (armies of soldiers, mercenaries, spies, diplomats
                > and bureaucrats, not forgetting Halliburton-like
                > ‘contracts’ and ‘missing’ oil accounts).
                >
                > But for the agriculture of corn there is a
                > silver bullet: Organic Corn. Same yields and only a
                > fraction of the oil needed. The honorable David
                > Pimentel has recently published a work on that,
                > comparing conventional an organic grain production
                > in USA.
                >
                > 2 – USA ethanol industry is now a REALITY. All the
                > economic and political pressure of Corn Belt
                > producers, politicians, distilleries, ADMs and the
                > like, of all the billions already invested, of all
                > the billions being invested in the coming years –
                > all of that make it irreversible. Guys as Bill Gates
                > or Vinod Koshla have not become famous because they
                > like to burn dollars notes for fun. Of course, they
                > know very well what they are doing and they are
                > ready to defend their investments with more money or
                > more pressure, any time they are needed.
                >
                > Then we have that real problem of the very LOW –
                > less than 1, Patzek affirms – EROEI for corn
                > ethanol. It may be disputed that this EROEI may be
                > less than 1, but, for the moment, it is indisputable
                > that, if a little larger than 1, it is still TOO
                > small. There are basically two causes for that:
                > agricultural and industrial. For agriculture,
                > Organic Corn may be an EROEI improver; However, the
                > fight with the oil/chemical/agribusiness System is
                > not an easy one and, for me, only Peak Oil itself
                > may define the winner. I don’t think we can expect
                > much more productivity gains for conventional corn
                > in USA, as we can still expect for sugar cane
                > worldwide. But organic corn and organic sugar cane
                > (South, Hawaii) may still be of invaluable
                > importance for USA energetic future.
                >
                > Heath generation for the distilleries is the
                > other great problem for efficiency of conversion.
                > Here, for sugar cane, we just have to burn only a
                > PART of the available bagasse. So I consider this -
                > heating energy at distilleries - the great front for
                > American academic and industrial research
                > concentrate funds and efforts.
                >
                > Anyway, as the USA corn ethanol industry is now a
                > present and ever-growing undeniable reality, I think
                > that:
                >
                > - As it has happened in Brazil before, also the
                > USA ethanol may evolve from an energetic deficient
                > and highly subsidized industry to a more rational
                > and efficient enterprise. This is no ‘techofix’, but
                > the natural evolution of a whole industry complex,
                > along day-to-day routines and experiences. Higher
                > oil prices, lower production costs as industry
                > learns to be more efficient and less oil dependent,
                > more profits for alcohol and farm, fewer subsidies
                > needed, until they are all phased out.
                >
                > - As USA gets to make vehicles much more efficient
                > and reduce/reshape its car dependency, ethanol won’t
                > be such a ‘low profile’, insignificant alternative
                > fuel.
                >
                > - AS USA stops to squander millions of barrels of
                > oil everyday in war machines, less oil will need to
                > be imported and the country may embark in a more
                > soft and fair market competition for the remaining
                > oil it needs still to bring from other countries, in
                > this transition ‘end of times’ for oil. When USA
                > learns to be less aggressive and more commercially
                > fair, maybe it will recover as friends many of the
                > nations that now have to beware of its American
                > “allies” or commercial partners.
                >
                > In résumé, ethanol industry has been imposed in
                > USA by a goliath irresistible force. In Brazil there
                > is disgusting ‘macho’ joke, of very bad taste
                > (please, ladies in the List, forgive me for writing
                > it, but it is only for the sake of comparison), that
                > says: “When rape is unavoidable, relax and enjoy.”
                > Well, corn ethanol in USA is now unavoidable…
                >
                > Or it becomes much more efficient and helps to
                > fight Peak Oil or it is going to be killed by Peak
                > Oil. I think the first hypothesis will prove
                > possible and we’ll see USA by far as the biggest
                > ethanol producer and consumer of the world. But that
                > depends on evolving in agriculture and industrial
                > technology, something similar to what has happened
                > before in Brazil.
                >
                > Milton Maciel in Brazil
                >
                > joedoves <joedoves@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > Just read the summary.
                > He says it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol to replace
                > one gallon of
                > gasoline(6.2 gallons without the tax credit). Truly
                > amazing, no? Is
                > this true in Brazil(where the laws of thermodynamics
                > evidently don't
                > apply)?
                >
                > However he then says that our use of bio-ethanol
                > should not be zero?!
                >
                > Patzek says he's right, the rest are wrong. His
                > (many) critics are
                > building perpetual motion machines.
                >
                === message truncated ===


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              • joedoves
                Milton, I am still reeling from Patzek s contention that it takes 3.9 gallons of ethanol( 84000 btu heating value per gallon)to displace 1 gallon of gasoline
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 8, 2006
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                  Milton,
                  I am still reeling from Patzek's contention that it takes 3.9
                  gallons of ethanol( 84000 btu heating value per gallon)to displace 1
                  gallon of gasoline (110000 btu per gallon) WITH tax credits.
                  This cannot be true.
                  What I really like about carbon neutral ethanol is that it can be
                  efficiently converted to electricity in a fuel cell-thru avoiding
                  the heat(wasting)engine cycle.
                  I really looking forward to cellulosic enzymes being able to convert
                  not 20%( pure sucrose) but 70% of sugar cane mass( all the
                  cellulose) to ethanol but the US DOE says thats 2-10 years away.

                  Unfortunately the US will always have far less biomass potential
                  than tropical countries like Brazil and India but North America has
                  LOTS of wind and solar energy as well as dirty coal. But nothing can
                  save us from our own gluttony.
                  With evident thermodynamics laws ruling also over Brazilian sugar
                  cane ethanol (minimum EROEI 8.3 : 1, standard 8.7 : 1; best
                  conventional 9.4 : 1; Organic 10 : 2 and Zero Oil Organic 12 : 1)
                  ethanol as fuel motor is a huge money saver/money maker for the
                  country.-MM
                  I doubt a current EROEI of 8.3:1 for sucrose ethanol, but there is
                  little doubt that you will exceed 12:1 with cellulosic sugarcane
                  ethanol. In the US, corn is integrated with price support programs
                  for cattle. When feed corn prices drop farmers make ethanol,etc.
                  Ethanol for fuel independence is a totally different game.

                  Nobody here(except Patzek and Pimental) is talking about corn
                  providing fuel in the long run but the technology for other non-
                  sugarcane feedstocks is not available yet. The thing everyone likes
                  about switchgrass and miscanthus is that they are perrenials. We
                  have nitrogen fixing bacteria for those crops too. Farmers like
                  fertilizer because they can boost their yields. Nitrogen in the form
                  of ammonia comes from hydrogen and air. We can make hydrogen easily
                  with wind turbine/electrolysers if we want.

                  The US economic system is very far from our real resources and needs.

                  Bush's Iraq Adventure is probably going to turn off the US public
                  from future oil based follies for the next few decades. However
                  Chavez's antics( does he have a deathwish?) and $100+ prices could
                  justify a 'splendid little war'. Even bloodlessly adding Venezula's
                  reserves to the US would prove insufficient to our addiction.
                  Personally, I would like us to stop importing all oil and gas
                  completely and put all our effort into renewable energy like biomass-
                  -but that would demand too much of the National Character.


                  Heat generation for the distilleries is the other great problem for
                  efficiency of conversion. Here, for sugar cane, we just have to burn
                  only a PART of the available bagasse. So I consider this - heating
                  energy at distilleries - the great front for American academic and
                  industrial research concentrate funds and efforts.--MM

                  I find it amusing that they talk about the energy required for
                  distillation for ethanol(80 degrees C) but ignore the distillition
                  required for petroleum(370 degrees C)!

                  Even Patzek says that the ethanol level for transport should not be
                  zero! HA!

                  The first tiny step has been the adoption of ethanol instead of
                  petroleum based dimethylether( which has been poisoning US
                  groundwater) to meet our Clean Air Act. This hopeflly has broken the
                  stranglehold of Big Oil on transportation. We have just began
                  ramping up ethanol-but we do need those damn cellulose enzymes
                  (Iogen,etc.)! Archer Daniels Midland says they want the US taxpayer
                  to pay for the cellulose ethanol plant of future---so be it (costs
                  only a month of the Iraq occupation!)!

                  The ideology of the current government also frowns on government
                  initiative of any kind instead favoring 'free-enterprise' even
                  though the private sector hasn't the financial reserves required for
                  such huge projects. So we have a kind of dancing around gigantic
                  issues like Peak Oil.

                  Peak Oil still isn't on the screens here in the USA. But Americans
                  don't like oil sands, oil shale, offshore oil platforms or dirty
                  coal. They want to try ethanol first. Will Big Oil and Big Coal let
                  them?
                • ella veritas
                  In Ms. Huffington s latest blog, she wrote the following from her experience and observations at the Aspen Institute Conference: Then there was Alan Greenspan.
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jul 8, 2006
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                    In Ms. Huffington's latest blog, she wrote the
                    following from her experience and observations at the
                    Aspen Institute Conference:

                    Then there was Alan Greenspan. During a discussion on
                    "Oil and Gas: The Next 50 Years," the former Fed head
                    said he believes the energy future will belong to
                    cellulosic ethanol, made from switchgrass, and plug-in
                    hybrid vehicles. He said while many people think this
                    is nonsense, he thinks it's inevitable -- and would
                    happen "when gas gets to 'X' dollars a gallon." But he
                    wouldn't say what 'X' was.

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington/powell-on-iraq-couric-on_b_24599.html

                    Also, from the Denver Post:
                    http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_4021400#


                    Article Launched: 7/07/2006 01:00 AM
                    business
                    Greenspan raises red flag on energy
                    The former Fed chief, speaking at the Aspen Institute,
                    warns of the economic consequences from unfriendly
                    nations and terrorists.
                    By David Frey
                    Special to The Denver Post
                    DenverPost.com
                    Aspen - Amid soaring fuel costs and diminishing world
                    oil supplies, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan
                    Greenspan warned Thursday that the nation needs to
                    develop alternative energy sources or risk dire
                    economic consequences.

                    Greenspan called for a mixture of solutions, from
                    plug-in hybrid cars to ethanol to nuclear power, to
                    diminish the country's reliance on foreign oil.

                    "If the world oil industry were to get into very
                    serious difficulty, its impact on the world economic
                    system would be very difficult to absorb," said
                    Greenspan, addressing a crowd at the Aspen Institute's
                    Aspen Ideas Festival.

                    The annual festival draws luminaries to the Aspen
                    campus of the Washington-based think tank, headed by
                    Walter Isaacson, former chief executive of CNN.

                    Greenspan's comments came a day after oil prices
                    reached a record high, pushing above $75 a barrel on
                    the New York Mercantile Exchange.

                    His comments largely echoed testimony he made to the
                    Senate Foreign Relations Committee a month ago in his
                    first Capitol Hill appearance since stepping down
                    after nearly 19 years as Fed chief.

                    In that speech, he warned that the nation's reliance
                    on foreign oil could have damaging economic
                    consequences because of U.S. reliance on unfriendly
                    nations and vulnerability to terrorists.

                    Greenspan underscored those fears Thursday, warning
                    that many oil-rich countries seem too preoccupied with
                    their oil profits to worry about the impact of surging
                    prices or diminishing supplies.

                    But high prices have helped reduce demand for crude
                    oil, which Greenspan characterized as a positive.

                    Worse than the price at the gas pump is the price the
                    country has paid in its foreign policy to protect oil
                    reserves, said Greenspan, adding that he supported the
                    Iraq war because of the role it played in preventing
                    Saddam Hussein from controlling a key oil shipping
                    route.

                    Greenspan also sounded alarms about dwindling
                    natural-gas supplies and the dangers posed by global
                    warming.

                    He called for a range of solutions, including
                    developing hybrid-fuel cars with rechargeable plug-in
                    batteries and developing crops of switchgrass as a
                    rich source of ethanol, a solution President Bush
                    mentioned in his State of the Union address.

                    Greenspan said the nation may also need to develop
                    more nuclear facilities and import more natural gas.

                    Pacing like a college professor as he spoke to
                    hundreds gathered under the Benedict Music Tent, and
                    introduced by his wife, NBC journalist Andrea
                    Mitchell, Greenspan struck chords long shared by
                    conservationists wary of depleting world oil reserves.

                    But some feared his reliance on market solutions
                    wouldn't address the problems quickly enough.

                    "Frankly, I was disappointed," said Randy Udall,
                    director of the Aspen-based Community Office on
                    Resource Efficiency, which focuses on renewable energy
                    issues. "I would never say this about him in the
                    economic arena, but I think in the energy arena he is
                    Pollyanna-ish and clueless."
                  • doggydogworld
                    ... I agree with little of what Patzek writes, but it s clear here that he s talking about net displacement. Using your number, 3.9 gallons of ethanol are
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
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                      --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Milton,
                      > I am still reeling from Patzek's contention that it takes 3.9
                      > gallons of ethanol( 84000 btu heating value per gallon)to
                      > displace 1 gallon of gasoline (110000 btu per gallon) WITH
                      > tax credits. This cannot be true.

                      I agree with little of what Patzek writes, but it's clear here that
                      he's talking about net displacement. Using your number, 3.9 gallons
                      of ethanol are energetically equivalent to 3.0 gallons of gasoline
                      (3.9 * 84000/110000 = 3.0). But if you burn 2.0 gallons of gasoline
                      producing that ethanol then, on a net basis, your 3.9 gallons of
                      ethanol have only displaced only one gallon of gas.

                      Of course in reality corn ethanol production mostly uses natural
                      gas, not gasoline. Patzek equalizes all fuels by working in joules,
                      but then he speaks in gallons of gas. This language switcheroo
                      better supports his agenda, and is one of many reasons I distrust
                      his work.

                      > Nobody here(except Patzek and Pimental) is talking about corn
                      > providing fuel in the long run

                      The corn lobby sure talks that way.

                      > I find it amusing that they talk about the energy required for
                      > distillation for ethanol(80 degrees C) but ignore the distillition
                      > required for petroleum(370 degrees C)!

                      Patzek does not ignore distillation energy for petroleum, though he
                      uses 3rd party numbers instead of developing his own. Despite lower
                      temperatures, I believe ethanol distillation requires much more
                      energy than petroleum because the mixture is something like 92%
                      water/8% ethanol and water's heat of vaporization is very high.

                      --ddw
                    • Christopher Lauinger
                      ... In this case it does not matter what the energy input for the refining of petrol into liquid fuels. Petrol comes to the distillery process with an ERoEI
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
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                        --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...> wrote:

                        >
                        > I find it amusing that they talk about the energy required for
                        > distillation for ethanol(80 degrees C) but ignore the distillition
                        > required for petroleum(370 degrees C)!

                        In this case it does not matter what the energy input for the refining
                        of petrol into liquid fuels. Petrol comes to the distillery process with
                        an ERoEI that is way, way, way higher than ethanol could ever in your
                        wildest dreams. Patzak is correct to focus on these inputs because
                        ethanol stratels the energy profit line so close. Petrol doesn't so
                        nobody needs to bother paying that much attention to the energy
                        input into gasoline.
                      • joedoves
                        3.9 WITH TAX CREDIT, doggy! It s ridiculous on the face of it. 3.9 gallons of ethanol is thermally equal to 3 gallons of gasoline not one gallon of gasoline
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
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                          3.9 WITH TAX CREDIT, doggy!
                          It's ridiculous on the face of it.
                          3.9 gallons of ethanol is thermally equal to 3 gallons of gasoline
                          not one gallon of gasoline and he goes on to state that 6.2 gallons
                          of ethanol(without tax credits) is equal to one gallon of gasoline.
                          Perhaps that makes more sense to you?

                          I can't imagine far less affluent Brazilians turning down cheap
                          gasoline to convert to ethanol a few years ago. They must have been
                          out of their minds, right?

                          Patzek equalizes all fuels by working in joules,
                          but then he speaks in gallons of gas.--ddw

                          Yeah, it don't look quite right..do it?

                          The corn lobby sure talks that way.--ddw
                          Nope--the renewable fuel standard is mandating an increasing amount
                          of ethanoil should be made from cellulose(250 million by 2013).
                          Frankly, I don't have a problem with making ethanol from corn in the
                          short run as it will obviously be less economic once
                          switchgrass/miscanthus biomass crops get going-its yield will be far
                          higher than corn. The obese US citizens should eat less meat and
                          drink less milk anyways. What's more important to get the domestic
                          ethanol production system going big time.

                          Please spare me your paranoia that this is a 'con' by Big Corn. The
                          fact is the science/technology is coming on (much)slower then we
                          would like.

                          http://www.ethanolrfa.org/resource/standard/

                          Despite lower temperatures, I believe ethanol distillation requires
                          much more energy than petroleum because the mixture is something
                          like 92% water/8% ethanol and water's heat of vaporization is very
                          high.--ddw

                          Excellent! Do you know what distillation is?

                          Definition: A process by which components in a chemical mixture are
                          separated according to their different boiling points. Vapors from a
                          boiling solution are passed along a column. The temperature of the
                          column gradually decreases along its length. Components with a
                          higher boiling point condense on the column and return to the
                          solution; components with a lower boiling point pass through the
                          column and are collected.

                          Example: Gasoline is produced from crude oil using fractional
                          distillation.

                          You don't vaporize the water,doggie, you vaporize the ethanol.
                          Latent heat of vaporization of gasoline=350 KJ/kg plus
                          370*2.4KJ/kg=1238KJ/kg
                          Latent heat of vaporization of ethanol=904KJ/kg plus
                          79*2.02KJ/kg=1064KJ/kg
                          This indicates that the amount of energy required to distill
                          gasoline is 16% higher than ethanol per pound. Actually, crude oil
                          contains heavy oils,etc. mixed in as well and that has to be removed
                          at the refinery. No way the distillation of ethanol requires more
                          energy than oil.

                          It is true that you need to dry the animal feed by-product. This can
                          be done with natural gas or coal, but should be done with lignin
                          separated from cellulose which has the same heating value of coal.
                        • doggydogworld
                          ... I m learning. ... A reasonable definition for fractional distillation. ... Read your definition again: Vapors from a boiling solution are passed along a
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                            --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > Excellent! Do you know what distillation is?

                            I'm learning.

                            > Definition: A process by which components in a chemical
                            > mixture are separated according to their different boiling
                            > points. Vapors from a
                            > boiling solution are passed along a column. The temperature of the
                            > column gradually decreases along its length. Components with a
                            > higher boiling point condense on the column and return to the
                            > solution; components with a lower boiling point pass through the
                            > column and are collected.

                            A reasonable definition for fractional distillation.

                            > You don't vaporize the water,doggie, you vaporize the ethanol.

                            Read your definition again:

                            "Vapors from a boiling solution are passed along a column."

                            It's the solution that boils -- BOTH the ethanol and the water.

                            "Components with a higher boiling point condense on the column and
                            return to the solution"

                            The water vapor condenses out first. But how did the water become a
                            vapor? Answer: it boiled.

                            > Latent heat of vaporization of ethanol=904KJ/kg plus
                            > 79*2.02KJ/kg=1064KJ/kg

                            Ignoring the water gives you this silly result.

                            The actual calculations are beyond my ability. The boiling point of
                            the solution is not 78 deg C, but depends on the ratio of ethanol to
                            water. The ethanol to water ratio is higher in the vapor than the
                            liquid, but this effect decreases with purity. Modern ethanol plants
                            recycle some process heat, making the calculation more difficult.
                            Finally, distillation can't remove the last 5% of water due to the
                            azeotropic limit, and most processes stop around 10-15%. Remaining
                            water is removed via other means, such as molecular sieve, which
                            requires additional energy.

                            Put it all together and a modern plant can produce ethanol at about
                            12000 KJ/kg (an order of magnitude higher than your number!). An
                            average plant today runs closer to 16000 KJ/kg. This compares to
                            petroleum refining of around 5000 KJ/kg.

                            --ddw
                          • Brent Eubanks
                            Milton, I was reading a response from you to joedoves, and I was struck by your offhanded comment that sugarcane fixes nitrogen. That s news to me, and very
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                              Milton,

                              I was reading a response from you to joedoves, and I was struck by
                              your offhanded comment that sugarcane fixes nitrogen. That's news to
                              me, and very interesting indeed. Can you tell me more, and maybe
                              give me some reference links?

                              Thanks

                              Brent



                              On Jul 8, 2006, at 9:24 AM, Milton Maciel wrote:

                              > Joe,
                              >
                              > Nitrogen comes from the air: that holds true for sugar cane, that
                              > absorbs a large portion of its needed Nitrogen by means of
                              > Biological Nitrogen Fixation (through Gluconacetobacter
                              > diazotrophicus). For corn, Nitrogen comes from chemical ammonia
                              > produced from natural gas. Because of this and because corn culture
                              > is ANNUAL and uses much more pesticides than sugar cane (a SEMI-
                              > PERENNIAL culture), it is more erosion prone and oil dependent. And
                              > oil, for USA, is much more expensive than a mere US$ 75.00/bbl,
                              > when you realistically compute all the subsidies and oil WARS
                              > expenses (armies of soldiers, mercenaries, spies, diplomats and
                              > bureaucrats, not forgetting Halliburton-like �contracts� and
                              > �missing� oil accounts).
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > .
                              >
                              >



                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • joedoves
                              Vapors from a boiling solution are passed along a column. It s the solution that boils -- BOTH the ethanol and the water. Components with a higher boiling
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                                "Vapors from a boiling solution are passed along a column."
                                It's the solution that boils -- BOTH the ethanol and the water.
                                "Components with a higher boiling point condense on the column and
                                return to the solution"

                                The water vapor condenses out first. But how did the water become a
                                vapor? Answer: it boiled.

                                Not in this case,doggy!

                                It is true that ethanol and water mix as an 'azeotrope'( 94.8%
                                ethanol and 5.2% water) which vaporizes at 78 degrees C.
                                This is what boils at 78 degrees. They cannot be separated by
                                fractional distillation no matter how hot you heat this mixture(so
                                there is no need to heat this mixture to the boiling point of water).
                                This WAS actually a problem for people who wanted 100% ethanol.
                                The solution WAS to treat the 95% ethanol/5% water mix with
                                quicklime which would 'dry out the water'. The way a modern chemist
                                dewaters the alcohol is by a molecular sieve (some people call it a
                                zeolite) (which funnily is made out of corn) which 'dries' out the
                                water vapor from the azeotrope vapor and is regenerated by hot
                                carbon dioxide gas every so often. Molecular sieves don't require
                                energy except for the intermittent regeneration-does your water
                                softener require a lot of energy?

                                > Ignoring the water gives you this silly result.-ddw

                                Looking at the heating required for ethanol- you have the cooking of
                                the mash to over 80 degree C followed by the cooling to 35degree C
                                for fermentation followed by fractional distillation of the mash
                                (which is about 13% ethanol)to 80 degrees C and drying of the by-
                                product of the process(animal feed). Yes, you have to heat to 80 ,
                                cool to 35 and reheat to 80 but this is ideal for heat recovery
                                methods-i.e. simply move the heat to where its needed rather than
                                make more heating and cold.

                                Again, you need only vaporize the azeotrope and let the water
                                simmer at 80 degrees C- any extra heat will boil water which is not
                                the objective unless you personally feel the need. You don't want to
                                overfire your brew, dude.

                                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azeotropic_distillation

                                Unfortunately, IC engines need their ethanol to be dried to <1%.
                                OTH, ethanol fuel cells are quite happy to chow down on the 96%
                                ethanol/4%water mix!

                                'Ethanol made from corn has already been used to power some car
                                engines, but the process is only 20% efficient. Moreover, all traces
                                of water must be removed before the ethanol can be used as a fuel,
                                which adds to processing costs. Now, the Minnesota-Patras team says
                                that if ethanol was used to make hydrogen for fuel cells, the
                                process would be 60% efficient and the ethanol would not need to be
                                pure.'
                                http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/8/2/6

                                Ethanol and 60% efficient fuel cells..now that's what I'm talking
                                about! Toss that crummy bio-diesel fantasy of yours! The government
                                needs to OUTLAW dirty, low efficiency IC engines.

                                Put it all together and a modern plant can produce ethanol at about
                                12000 KJ/kg (an order of magnitude higher than your number!). An
                                average plant today runs closer to 16000 KJ/kg. This compares to
                                petroleum refining of around 5000 KJ/kg.--ddw

                                Hmm..I'll guess have to take your word on that(or not), doogydoo (as
                                you provide no references(is it Patzek?) or calculations). Like I
                                took your word on the cost of natural gas for extracting tar sands
                                (yeah, right).

                                Here it says that 13# of steam per gallon of ethanol(from a 12%
                                mash) is required for the ethanol distillation process(4400KJ/kg).
                                I found an anonymous source that says it takes 2263 KJ/kg to distill
                                gasoline from crude oil. That means that the heat input distillation
                                process is about 100% higher for ethanol. So the gasoline number is
                                twice my 'silly result', and the ethanol number is about 4 times
                                higher than I guessed- the difference probably due to the dilute
                                (12%) product of the fermentation process. But my silly guessing is
                                really not so far off! I am certain that as time goes by energy
                                efficient technical advances will be found to separate the water
                                from the ethanol.

                                What's even sillier is to think that the heat balance is very
                                important. There is plenty of fuel in the form of useless corn
                                cobbs, straw, etc. on site to make up this small difference, just as
                                there is plenty of bunker oil and gassified petroleum coke at the
                                oil refinery mixed in that crude oil feedstock to fire its furnaces.

                                http://ethanol.org/technicalconnections.htm
                              • mcbmcb2002
                                Based on the recent exchange here, I found a good reference on how continuous distillation of ethanol really works:
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                                  Based on the recent exchange here, I found a good reference on how
                                  continuous distillation of ethanol really works:

                                  http://www.ces.purdue.edu/extmedia/AE/AE-117.html

                                  The energy consumption of the process is a complex function of the
                                  alcohol content of the incoming mash, the desired purity of the
                                  product, reflux ratios, etc. The required energy does indeed range
                                  over almost an order of magnitude, depending on these factors.

                                  The authors reference-case distillation process using 12% alcohol
                                  mash and 90% alcohol output requires about 15% of the energy content
                                  of the output alcohol to fuel the distillation energy requirement.
                                  Raising the output concentration to 95% raises the distillation
                                  energy fraction to about 25%. See Table 2.

                                  IC engines will in fact run on 90% ethanol with appropriate
                                  modifications. However, this purity will not mix with gasoline. It
                                  must be much purer to make gasohol.

                                  Petroleum refining typically uses about 4-5% of the input crude (by
                                  volume) to run the refinery, which includes not only distillation,
                                  but hydrotreating, cracking, cokeing, etc.

                                  Mark (Pacific NW)
                                • hugh spencer
                                  Sorry I can t do the research... too many students at the moment.. BUT Temperature of a reaction (in an industrial situation) does NOT necessarily equate to
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                    Sorry I can't do the research... too many students at the moment..

                                    BUT

                                    Temperature of a reaction (in an industrial situation) does NOT necessarily
                                    equate to energy use. It depends on the degree to which
                                    cracking/catalytic/distillation columns use heat recovery - many industrial
                                    systems now use counter-current techniques to cool these columns, and use
                                    the heat collected to heat up the incoming process streams.

                                    Heat costs money ... and some (though NOT all industries) are using heat
                                    recovery proceesses. - this reduces heat costs AND conserves energy.

                                    Can someone (with broadband) PLEASE check this out!

                                    Cheers

                                    Hugh Spencer











                                    >--- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...>
                                    >wrote:
                                    >>
                                    >> Milton,
                                    >> I am still reeling from Patzek's contention that it takes 3.9
                                    >> gallons of ethanol( 84000 btu heating value per gallon)to
                                    >> displace 1 gallon of gasoline (110000 btu per gallon) WITH
                                    >> tax credits. This cannot be true.
                                    >
                                    >I agree with little of what Patzek writes, but it's clear here that
                                    >he's talking about net displacement. Using your number, 3.9 gallons
                                    >of ethanol are energetically equivalent to 3.0 gallons of gasoline
                                    >(3.9 * 84000/110000 = 3.0). But if you burn 2.0 gallons of gasoline
                                    >producing that ethanol then, on a net basis, your 3.9 gallons of
                                    >ethanol have only displaced only one gallon of gas.
                                    >
                                    >Of course in reality corn ethanol production mostly uses natural
                                    >gas, not gasoline. Patzek equalizes all fuels by working in joules,
                                    >but then he speaks in gallons of gas. This language switcheroo
                                    >better supports his agenda, and is one of many reasons I distrust
                                    >his work.
                                    >
                                    >> Nobody here(except Patzek and Pimental) is talking about corn
                                    >> providing fuel in the long run
                                    >
                                    >The corn lobby sure talks that way.
                                    >
                                    >> I find it amusing that they talk about the energy required for
                                    >> distillation for ethanol(80 degrees C) but ignore the distillition
                                    >> required for petroleum(370 degrees C)!
                                    >
                                    >Patzek does not ignore distillation energy for petroleum, though he
                                    >uses 3rd party numbers instead of developing his own. Despite lower
                                    >temperatures, I believe ethanol distillation requires much more
                                    >energy than petroleum because the mixture is something like 92%
                                    >water/8% ethanol and water's heat of vaporization is very high.
                                    >
                                    >--ddw


                                    and....



                                    --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...>
                                    wrote:
                                    >
                                    > Excellent! Do you know what distillation is?

                                    I'm learning.

                                    > Definition: A process by which components in a chemical
                                    > mixture are separated according to their different boiling
                                    > points. Vapors from a
                                    > boiling solution are passed along a column. The temperature of the
                                    > column gradually decreases along its length. Components with a
                                    > higher boiling point condense on the column and return to the
                                    > solution; components with a lower boiling point pass through the
                                    > column and are collected.

                                    A reasonable definition for fractional distillation.

                                    > You don't vaporize the water,doggie, you vaporize the ethanol.

                                    Read your definition again:

                                    "Vapors from a boiling solution are passed along a column."

                                    It's the solution that boils -- BOTH the ethanol and the water.

                                    "Components with a higher boiling point condense on the column and
                                    return to the solution"

                                    The water vapor condenses out first. But how did the water become a
                                    vapor? Answer: it boiled.

                                    > Latent heat of vaporization of ethanol=904KJ/kg plus
                                    > 79*2.02KJ/kg=1064KJ/kg

                                    Ignoring the water gives you this silly result.

                                    The actual calculations are beyond my ability. The boiling point of
                                    the solution is not 78 deg C, but depends on the ratio of ethanol to
                                    water. The ethanol to water ratio is higher in the vapor than the
                                    liquid, but this effect decreases with purity. Modern ethanol plants
                                    recycle some process heat, making the calculation more difficult.
                                    Finally, distillation can't remove the last 5% of water due to the
                                    azeotropic limit, and most processes stop around 10-15%. Remaining
                                    water is removed via other means, such as molecular sieve, which
                                    requires additional energy.

                                    Put it all together and a modern plant can produce ethanol at about
                                    12000 KJ/kg (an order of magnitude higher than your number!). An
                                    average plant today runs closer to 16000 KJ/kg. This compares to
                                    petroleum refining of around 5000 KJ/kg.

                                    --ddw
                                  • doggydogworld
                                    ... Yes in this case. Read your own article: http://ethanol.org/documents/Ethanol101.6.pdf Page 36: In a more realistic system, proportions of both materials
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                      --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...>
                                      wrote:
                                      >
                                      >> The water vapor condenses out first. But how did the water
                                      >> become a vapor? Answer: it boiled. --ddw
                                      >
                                      > Not in this case,doggy!

                                      Yes in this case. Read your own article:

                                      http://ethanol.org/documents/Ethanol101.6.pdf

                                      Page 36: "In a more realistic system, proportions of both materials
                                      co-distil during distillation...". It then describes how heating a
                                      beer solution with 10% ethanol (by volume) produces vapor that is
                                      53% ethanol and 47% water. Water and ethanol BOTH boil out of the
                                      solution.

                                      > It is true that ethanol and water mix as an 'azeotrope'( 94.8%
                                      > ethanol and 5.2% water) which vaporizes at 78 degrees C.

                                      Azeotropes are not the issue. As I noted, modern ethanol plants do
                                      not distill to the azeotropic limit.

                                      >> a modern plant can produce ethanol at about
                                      >> 12000 KJ/kg (an order of magnitude higher than your number!). An
                                      >> average plant today runs closer to 16000 KJ/kg. This compares to
                                      >> petroleum refining of around 5000 KJ/kg.--ddw
                                      >
                                      > Hmm..I'll guess have to take your word on that(or not),
                                      > doogydoo (as you provide no references(is it Patzek?) or
                                      > calculations).

                                      You seem to favor ethanol.org, so here's one of their "ethanol is
                                      glorious" propaganda pieces. The table at the top of page 11 gives
                                      average energy use in ethanol plants today:

                                      http://tinyurl.com/qdbfo

                                      > Here it says that 13# of steam per gallon of ethanol(from a 12%
                                      > mash) is required for the ethanol distillation process
                                      > (4400KJ/kg).

                                      Steam? Hmmm, I thought you said the water didn't boil?

                                      Anyway, this 13 lbs of steam applies to preheated beer. A beer
                                      solution of 13% ethanol by volume contains 10% ethanol by weight, so
                                      you have to pre-heat 10kg of liquid for each 1kg of ethanol.
                                      (Actually you can't extract all the ethanol so you need more than
                                      10kg of beer to produce 1kg of ethanol). Anyway, heating this 10kg
                                      once for cooking and again for preheating involves about 130 deg C
                                      of total temperature rise (70 to cook, 60 to preheat):

                                      10 kg * 130 deg C * 4.18 KJ/kg C = 5434 KJ for each kg of ethanol

                                      This specific heat is a little too high since the solution is only
                                      90% water (by mass), but as I noted one must actually start with
                                      more than 10kg of solution so if anything my result is too low.
                                      Recycling some of this heat reduces net input energy. 3600 KJ/kg for
                                      cook/pre-heat plus your 4400 KJ/kg for separation steam gives us
                                      8000 KJ/kg total.

                                      Why do 'good' plants require 12,000 KJ/kg and average ones even
                                      more? The molecular sieve takes 1000+ KJ/kg (ref:
                                      http://www.biomass.govtools.us/pdfs/drymill_ethanol_industry.pdf
                                      page 3). Grinding, solid separation and other steps take some
                                      energy. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable could educate us on the
                                      other energy sinks. The average plant requires 17,000 KJ/kg because
                                      some older plants use a benzene azeotrope process instead of
                                      molecular sieves, some start with less than 13% (by volume) ethanol
                                      solutions, some don't recycle heat very well, some are wet-mill
                                      plants and so on.

                                      > I found an anonymous source that says it takes 2263 KJ/kg
                                      > to distill gasoline from crude oil.

                                      Sounds about right. Total refinery energy, which includes more than
                                      distillation, is 4-5000 KJ/kg.

                                      > What's even sillier is to think that the heat balance is very
                                      > important. There is plenty of fuel in the form of useless corn
                                      > cobbs, straw, etc. on site to make up this small difference

                                      Then why do ethanol plant owners spend all that money on natural gas
                                      and coal? Last I checked ADM was intensely interested in maximizing
                                      their profits.

                                      --ddw
                                    • Milton Maciel
                                      Yes, Brent, There are at least four diazotrophic bacteria, that are all endophytic (once they live inside plants and not in symbiosis at root nodules, as
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                        Yes, Brent,

                                        There are at least four diazotrophic bacteria, that are all endophytic (once they live inside plants and not in symbiosis at root nodules, as happen to symbiotic diazotrophs as Rhizobia) and help sugar cane to fix nitrogen from air. They are:

                                        Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus, by far the most important
                                        Herbaspirillum seropedicae
                                        Herbaspirillum rubrisubalbicans
                                        Burkholderia brasiliensis

                                        These bacteria may help to fix until 70% of all the plant Nitrogen needs, when under conventional chemical cultivation. When cultivation is organic, 100% of all needs are easily surpassed by the most intense development of any of those four bacteria and the remaining Nitrogen conservation/recycling techniques. The great tip here is an adequate supply of micronutrients, mainly molybdenum. And, of course, enough water. Nitrogen fixation also depends on the cane cultivar. The best suited, in Brazil, are RB72454 and SP 801842.

                                        Researches on the BNF of Nitrogen in sugar cane was developd by scientists at Embrapa Agrobiology, leadeed by Johana Döbereiner, most in the eighties and since then they have helped to save many million dollars in Nitrogen fertilizers. I have a lot of reference papers, but they are almost all in Portuguese. I quote two in English, from books printed in Germany.

                                        Döbereiner, J and Pedrosa, J.O. – Nitrogen-fixing bacteria in non-leguminous crop plants – Madison: Springer-Verlag, 1987 (155 pages)

                                        Döbereiner, J. Reis, V. M. Lazarini, A. C. – New N2 fixing bacteria in association with cereals and sugar cane – in: Nitrogen Fixation: Hundred Years After. Stuttgart: Gustav Fisher – from pg. 717 on, 1988

                                        Anyway, I recomend you to google Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus or "diazotroficus + sugar cane"

                                        Milton Maciel in Brazil

                                        Brent Eubanks <greenengineer@...> wrote: Milton,

                                        I was reading a response from you to joedoves, and I was struck by
                                        your offhanded comment that sugarcane fixes nitrogen. That's news to
                                        me, and very interesting indeed. Can you tell me more, and maybe
                                        give me some reference links?

                                        Thanks

                                        Brent

                                        On Jul 8, 2006, at 9:24 AM, Milton Maciel wrote:

                                        Joe,
                                        >
                                        > Nitrogen comes from the air: that holds true for sugar cane, that
                                        > absorbs a large portion of its needed Nitrogen by means of
                                        > Biological Nitrogen Fixation (through Gluconacetobacter
                                        > diazotrophicus). For corn, Nitrogen comes from chemical ammonia
                                        > produced from natural gas. Because of this and because corn culture
                                        > is ANNUAL and uses much more pesticides than sugar cane (a SEMI-
                                        > PERENNIAL culture), it is more erosion prone and oil dependent. And
                                        > oil, for USA, is much more expensive than a mere US$ 75.00/bbl,
                                        > when you realistically compute all the subsidies and oil WARS
                                        > expenses (armies of soldiers, mercenaries, spies, diplomats and
                                        > bureaucrats, not forgetting Halliburton-like ‘contracts’ and
                                        > ‘missing’ oil accounts).



                                        ---------------------------------
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                                      • joedoves
                                        Yes in this case. Read your own article:--ddw Yes, in the industrial ethanol distillation process, the incoming 13% ethanol-water mix is heated from 35 degrees
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                          Yes in this case. Read your own article:--ddw

                                          Yes, in the industrial ethanol distillation process, the incoming
                                          13% ethanol-water mix is heated from 35 degrees C to 105 degrees C.

                                          Hmm..but you don't need to boil water to make moonshine at 78
                                          degrees C.

                                          So on another industrial site I read.
                                          http://209.248.163.44/drymill.aspx
                                          "The beer is about 10% alcohol by volume, and is not completely
                                          liquid. It also contains all the solids from the original feedstock
                                          (corn, milo, etc.) and from the added yeast. It is pumped from the
                                          beer well into a multi-column distillation system, which removes the
                                          alcohol from the beer by distillation. Basically, distillation
                                          utilizes the differences in the evaporating points of ethanol and
                                          water. Ethanol has a boiling, or evaporation, point of 178.4° F, so
                                          as long as the temperature of the columns ranges above that
                                          temperature and below 212° F, the boiling point of water, ethanol in
                                          a gaseous form, will rise to the top of the distillation column,
                                          where the gas is cooled to below 178° F. This causes the gas to
                                          condense back to liquid form, and contains a much higher percentage
                                          of ethanol than the original beer. This liquid condensate is then
                                          passed to the next distillation column in the series, where the
                                          process is repeated. By the time the product reaches the final
                                          distillation column, it is 96% ethanol, or 190 proof."

                                          That what I said!

                                          The amount of heat for distillation would be 9*4.184*70+
                                          9*2260+2.8*33+855=23923 KJ/kg of ethanol? That doesn't make sense.
                                          All the water in the mash must be recirculated to the feedstock or
                                          else you'd have water coming out of your butt. You mix say water
                                          from the bottom with corn to make more mash, cool it down to 35
                                          degree C and heat it up. Forget the heat for cooking mash.
                                          Where does the heat go? It's being recovered.

                                          However, I admit to being out of my element and in need
                                          of 'education' also.

                                          Azeotropes are not the issue. As I noted, modern ethanol plants do
                                          not distill to the azeotropic limit.

                                          I agree that the majority of the heat is already spent by the
                                          industrial process. However nobody needs 85% ethanol, except drunks).
                                          They produce 90% ethanol which is an azeotrope and does need to be
                                          dried to 1% to make gasahol.

                                          You seem to favor ethanol.org, so here's one of their "ethanol is
                                          glorious" propaganda pieces. The table at the top of page 11 gives
                                          average energy use in ethanol plants today:--ddw

                                          Ethanol.org gives 72,000 BTU/gallon without energy credit of which
                                          65% is for the ethanol plant process. Thats about 15600 KJ/kg.

                                          Steam? Hmmm, I thought you said the water didn't boil?--doggie

                                          They use steam in the reboiler to heat the distillation column, not
                                          boiling the mash to steam.
                                          But I concede that apparently they do boil it away(wastefully) as
                                          you said in the beginning. I have no idea why.

                                          Anyway, this 13 lbs of steam applies to preheated beer. A beer
                                          solution of 13% ethanol by volume contains 10% ethanol by weight, so
                                          3600 KJ/kg for cook/pre-heat plus your 4400 KJ/kg for separation
                                          steam gives us 8000 KJ/kg total. --ddw

                                          Now your padding it, they can use hot water from the bottom of the
                                          column that to cook the mash. The sieve that gets the water down
                                          below 1% requires about 2800 KJ/kg of ethanol for regeneration.

                                          Why do 'good' plants require 12,000 KJ/kg and average ones even
                                          more? -ddw

                                          In the age of cheap energy, why should they? These plants were never
                                          designed to save energy. Who cares that you can save a btu here and
                                          there, they only care about producing a pure product and a high
                                          price, but that will change.

                                          Then why do ethanol plant owners spend all that money on natural gas
                                          and coal? Last I checked ADM was intensely interested in maximizing
                                          their profits. --ddw

                                          Because the coal mines, railroads and gas pipelines are there, the
                                          legacy of 100 years of fossil fuels. There is no market for biomass
                                          and there won't be as long as old habits are encouraged. A massive
                                          conversion to renewable bio-ethanol and all that it entails will
                                          create a demand. Unfortunately we need fossil fuels to get the
                                          process moving, but what should that be a serious objection?
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