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Re: [energyresources] Kammen versus Patzek--Ethanol

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  • Milton Maciel
    A correction is needed in this part of the text by Patti Meagher, College of Engineering: Even so, what Kammen likes about corn ethanol is that it is
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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      A correction is needed in this part of the text by
      Patti Meagher, College of Engineering:

      "Even so, what Kammen likes about corn ethanol is that
      it is available now and can begin making a dent in our
      petroleum consumption while research continues on
      better alternatives. Most promising, he says, is
      cellulosic ethanol, made from paper pulp, specially
      designed fuel crops like switchgrass, and many wastes
      that can be diverted from landfill and turned into
      fuel.

      The big success story in CELLULOSIC ethanol comes from
      BRAZIL, which will achieve energy self-sufficiency
      some time this year thanks to a 30-year investment in
      ethanol derived from its native sugar cane."

      Brazil has neither failure nor success story in
      cellulosic ethanol. All Brazilian sugar cane ethanol
      is made from SUGAR, not cellulose.

      Anyway, if cellulosic ethanol process can arrive to an
      EROEI of 6:1, the common sucrose ethanol in Brazil has
      already a 9:1 EROEI and organic sucrose ethanol has a
      13:1 EROEI.

      Yes, it is true that gasoline replacement (~ 50%)by
      ethanol has helped Brazilian oil self-sufficiency, but
      more important has been the large effort done by
      Petrobras, finding, extracting and refining much more
      oil than a mere 5 years ago. All of this summed to the
      relatively small oil consumption in the country,
      exactly 10% of USA's consumption.

      Milton Maciel in Brazil




      --- joedoves <joedoves@...> wrote:

      > Here's an article pitting Patzek versus his Berkeley
      > colleague,
      > Professor Kammen on ethanol.
      >
      >
      http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2006/11/01_biofuels.shtml
      >
      > Here's his article in Science on Ethanol from 1/06.
      > While it gives an EROEI of only anout 1.3 to corn
      > ethanol, it gives an
      > EROEI of about 6 for cellulosic ethanol.
      >
      http://rael.berkeley.edu/ebamm/FarrellEthanolScience012706.pdf
      >
      > ~~~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~
      >
      > Look at the above as a small test of human
      > intelligence applied to dealing with an impending
      > Peak Oil future.
      >
      > A key issue.
      >
      > Kammen et al include the petroleum feed stock as a
      > component in the cost of producing gasoline. This is
      > like using the sun's energy as a cost in producing
      > the corn to produce ethanol.
      >
      > Dishonest or stupid?
      >
      > I just do not know, but I am sure we better find a
      > way to do credible analysis for knowing the relative
      > merit of our energy sources, because the day is
      > rapidly approaching (if not already here) when
      > mistakes in energy production and use have enormous
      > and unrecoverable costs.
      >
      > And we have been messing around with this for some
      > 33 years.
      >
      > ~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >




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    • joedoves
      Look at the above as a small test of human intelligence applied to dealing with an impending Peak Oil future.-tr LOL, Too true! Kammen et al include the
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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        Look at the above as a small test of human intelligence applied to
        dealing with an impending Peak Oil future.-tr

        LOL, Too true!

        Kammen et al include the petroleum feed stock as a component in the
        cost of producing gasoline. This is like using the sun's energy as a
        cost in producing the corn to produce ethanol.-tr

        Even EROEI 'experts' give a different value for oil at the wellhead
        from finished gasoline. All crude oil in the refinery must be heated
        to undergo distillation and that heat is provided by....a large
        amount of crude oil. But anti-ethanuts like Pimental remove the use
        of distiller's grain for distillation heat from his energy equation
        substituting natural gas. You can't have it both ways--Kammen has
        chosen to add distillation heat in both crude oil and ethanol. If you
        do that, then gasoline turns out to be slightly energy negative
        according to the article!!!! Interesting!

        If you noticed the article is not couched in your favorite
        paradigm 'EROEI'( which is quite confusing) but in the better term
        of 'net energy'.

        Dishonest or stupid? [I hope someone asks Patzek why they let
        such 'an idiot' into UC Berkeley or testify to Congress-something I
        doubt Patzek or Pimental have ever done;)]I just do not know, but I
        am sure we better find a way to do credible analysis for knowing the
        relative merit of our energy sources, because the day is rapidly
        approaching (if not already here) when mistakes in energy production
        and use have enormous and unrecoverable costs. And we have been
        messing around with this for some 33 years.-tr

        I suggest that certain folks look at the EROEI of tar sands (and oil
        shale too) for poor net energy process rather than ethanol because
        that whole bonanza seems to be fast running out of gas(literally) and
        they are very big producers of CO2(with not-so-hidden costs). Think
        of that as EROEI in action.

        ----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Curing oil sands fever
        Despite wide-eyed predictions, serious constraints remain in
        developing Alberta's heavy oil.
        By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
        October 7 2006: 12:38 AM EDT


        NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The answer to America's oil addiction lies
        in Canada.

        Or so goes one line of thinking. As oil supplies got tighter and
        crude prices soared over the last few years, tens of billions of
        dollars flowed into an effort to develop the biggest oil reserve
        outside Saudi Arabia: Alberta's oil sands.

        Along with the development rush have come rosy predictions on how
        much this secure, close, proven supply of oil might yield. Four
        million, 6 million, even 10 million barrels a day, which is nearly
        half America's total daily consumption and would easily replace all
        imports from the Middle East.

        The only thing is, those numbers may be far too high.

        Making a barrel of clean, light crude from the thick, dirty oil sand
        uses massive amounts of water, massive amounts of electricity and
        requires a large pool of labor in an otherwise sparsely populated
        area.

        "People jump to the assumption that we can immediately ramp up to 9
        million barrels per day and save the world," said Peter Tertzakian,
        chief energy economist at ARC Financial, a Calgary-based private
        equity firm. "But it's just not going to happen."

        Stuck in the sand
        This isn't to say the oil sands won't be a viable energy source. Two
        hundred miles north of Edmonton, covering an area roughly the size of
        Florida, they already produce more than 1 million barrels a day.

        U.S. majors ConocoPhillips (Charts) and ExxonMobil (Charts), as well
        as Royal Dutch Shell (Charts), have interests in the area, although
        Canadian firm Suncor (Charts) and the consortium Syncrude are the
        biggest players.

        Getting a product similar to light crude usually involves one of two
        methods.

        The first uses a model borrowed from open-pit mining, in which the
        sands are dug out of the ground with heavy equipment, then mixed with
        steam, hot water and caustic soda to create a slurry.

        The slurry then enters a separation tank where bitumen, the valuable
        product in this process, rises to the top and is skimmed off. The
        bitumen is then heated again to remove impurities, resulting in a
        synthetic light, sweet crude that's easy to refine.

        The other method uses a well to inject steam into a seam of oil sand
        deep below the earth's surface. The resulting slurry then drains down
        into a second well drilled below the first, where it's pumped to the
        surface.

        This eliminates the need to strip-mine the area, but creating the
        needed steam uses vast amounts of energy.

        And energy is the first limitation people bring up at the mention of
        the oil sands.

        Tertzakian said it takes the equivalent of 0.7 barrels of oil to
        create one barrel of oil sands product.

        [Tertzakian, the energy economist gives a EROEI of 1.42, I guess but
        does that include everything??]

        What's more, most of the energy needed to make the stuff currently
        comes from natural gas, an energy-rich, clean fossil fuel.

        "It's like using caviar to make fake crab meat," said Marlo Raynolds,
        executive director of the Pembina Institute, a Canadian environmental
        group.

        Experts say most of the natural gas Canada currently exports to the
        United States will be eaten up by the oil sands projects. To fuel
        further expansion, they say, Canada will have to import natural gas
        from Alaska. Some have even suggested going nuclear, although that
        idea has gained little traction so far.

        Another constraint is water. Both extracting methods use huge
        amounts, up to two barrels for every barrel of oil produced.

        Even with production running at one million barrels a year, concerns
        are already being raised over the drawdown from the major rivers that
        flow through the region.

        "At some point it's going to reach a tipping point when people say
        enough is enough," said Raynolds.

        And then there's the labor question.

        If you're looking to make truckloads of money doing mindless work,
        head to Fort McMurray, the biggest town close to the oil sands.

        A quick read of the classifieds at the town's newspaper turns up jobs
        selling concessions at the movie theatre paying the equivalent of
        U.S. $10 an hour. Janitor positions start at $17.

        For more skilled workers, a welder can bring in $80,000 a year, more
        than double the average in the U.S. And that's without overtime.

        "We now have signing bonuses for people who work in coffee shops,"
        said Tertzakian. "We just don't have the labor pool to match $90
        billion in investment."

        Measured steps
        So how much can they pull from the ground in Alberta?

        The Canadian government and many of the companies up there put the
        number somewhere around 4 million barrels per day by 2015, still a
        significant amount roughly equal to America's total crude production.

        "The production levels aren't unrealistic at all, it's just a
        question of time," said Sheraz Mian, a senior oil and natural gas
        analyst at Zacks Investment Research.

        But others are less sanguine.

        The U.S. Energy Information Administration, not generally known for
        issuing bearish reports, puts the number at 2.3 million barrels per
        day by 2015.

        Tertzakian estimates maybe 2.5 to 3 million barrels per day and
        cautions against too much optimism.

        "Nobody should feel comfortable that Canada's oil sands are going to
        single-handedly satisfy the world's energy needs," he said.

        http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/04/news/economy/oil_sands/index.htm
      • Thomas L. Wayburn
        TR, I looked at only one of the energy studues cited; and, as I expected, none of the energy costs of commerce and finance were included nor higher order costs
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 15, 2007
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          TR,

          I looked at only one of the energy studues cited; and, as I expected,
          none of the energy costs of commerce and finance were included nor
          higher order costs associated with the other components of the energy
          input. I knew this would be the case even before I began looking. All
          of the EROIs, then, are on the high side with respect to the parameters
          the analysts have set for themselves such as the inclusion of co-product
          or not and the selection of old or new data. Even Patzek's result is on
          the high side.

          Naturally, no one has read "Energy in a Mark II Economy", but I am not
          interested to play the academic game with its restrictions on what can
          and what cannot be said.



          Tom Wayburn, Houston, Texas
          http://dematerialism.net/ <http://dematerialism.net/>






          --- In energyresources@yahoogroups.com, "joedoves" <joedoves@...> wrote:
          >
          > Here's an article pitting Patzek versus his Berkeley colleague,
          > Professor Kammen on ethanol.
          >
          > http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan/2006/11/01_biofuels.shtml
          >
          > Here's his article in Science on Ethanol from 1/06.
          > While it gives an EROEI of only anout 1.3 to corn ethanol, it gives an
          > EROEI of about 6 for cellulosic ethanol.
          > http://rael.berkeley.edu/ebamm/FarrellEthanolScience012706.pdf
          >
          > ~~~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Comment ~~~~~~~~
          >
          > Look at the above as a small test of human intelligence applied to
          dealing with an impending Peak Oil future.
          >
          > A key issue.
          >
          > Kammen et al include the petroleum feed stock as a component in the
          cost of producing gasoline. This is like using the sun's energy as a
          cost in producing the corn to produce ethanol.
          >
          > Dishonest or stupid?
          >
          > I just do not know, but I am sure we better find a way to do credible
          analysis for knowing the relative merit of our energy sources, because
          the day is rapidly approaching (if not already here) when mistakes in
          energy production and use have enormous and unrecoverable costs.
          >
          > And we have been messing around with this for some 33 years.
          >
          > ~~~~~ EnergyResources Moderator Tom Robertson ~~~~~~
          >




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