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Re: [hreg] ethanol

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  • Roxanne Boyer
    Ooops, sorry Jim, I mistakenly wrote 200 Trillion in the text. Thank you for the correction and the leads to other useful web sites. However, the number I
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 20, 2002
      Ooops, sorry Jim, I mistakenly wrote "200 Trillion" in the text.  Thank you for the correction and the leads to other useful web sites. However, the number I used in the calculation was correct, 200 Billion or 2x10^11, so the point remains the same.  I asked the USDA about the 125 bu/acre figure and they replied that it (actually 127 for 2001) is the average yield of all harvested land in the US.  It does not include land with failed crops, land that was seeded but not harvested, land for buildings, roads, irrigation, etc.  So if you want to know how much land is needed, 100 bu/acre is more realistic.  Also, 2.5 gal/bu is the average number according to the USDA (www.usda.gov), I could only find 1 source out of nine that went has high as 2.69.  Energy content - using your numbers, I calculate ethanol has 78/115 = 2/3 the energy density.   The good news is that corn yields will increase as bioligists improve genetic engineering of the corn (maybe we should give genetic corn another name), and the fermentation process should improve with time; yes, the numbers 125 bu/acre and 2.7 gal/bu will probably be possible in a few years - even better with more time.  I think we are in agreement that our nation would benefit from some form of a Renewable Fuels Standard. 
      -Chris Boyer
      ----- Original Message -----
      To: HREG
      Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 10:35 PM
      Subject: [hreg] ethanol

      Here is some information courtesy of Russel Smith of the Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association.  It seems the main problem with the earlier negative statistics was "U.S. consumption of petroleum (gasoline and diesel) for transportation: 175 - 180 billion gallons, NOT 200 trillion gallons!".
      Here are a few comments garnered from Jim Peeples in response to Roxanne Boyer.

      1) Bushels per acre (corn yield):  about 125 bu/acre or more (not 100)

            Gallons per bushel (ethanol yield):  ~2.7 gals./bu. (not 2.5)

            Ethanol energy content ~78,000 Btu vs. gasoline ~115,000 Btu
            (Ethanol has about 3/4 the energy content of gasoline, not "a little more than half.")

      2) U.S. consumption of petroleum (gasoline and diesel) for transportation: 175 - 180 billion gallons,
      NOT 200 trillion gallons
      !  Where did that number come from???

      3) Already, the U.S. puts fuel ethanol into about 15% of all gasoline, which is about 1.5% of all gasoline sold (U.S. fuel ethanol production is about 2 - 2.5 billion gallons per year).

      4) No one in their right mind is talking about converting the gasoline pool to fuel ethanol, or even getting to 5% out of the 130 billion gallons of gasoline currently being sold in the U.S. in the real near term.  To do that, we're talking about 6.5 billion gallons of fuel ethanol, which is more than double current capacity.  
      That may be possible in the next 5 years, with the Renewable Fuels Standard proposed in the federal energy bill, and with other measures under consideration.
      It would also require more than the traditional corn as a feedstock to get the job done -- we'd then be talking about MSW, biomass, all of the corn stalk (including stover) and more to meet demand.  I am told that the U.S. may have the capacity to produce maybe as much as 10 billion gallons per year without adversely affecting food prices and using big chunks of these other feedstocks
      . This amount of domestic production would displace the crude oil we might get from Iraq and a couple of other places in the Middle East. Then, if you include Canada (the potential Saudi Arabia of ethanol) all bets are off! Ethanol production from there, flowing into U.S. could boost our percentage of consumption significantly.

      Jim Peeples, AAE Technologies, Inc.

      I think you will be well served to visit with him about these topics. He has been in the center of a lot of the key battles on related issues in Washington, DC, and is able to provide ethanol product pretty much any time and any place in the U.S. in the form of E-85 or Oxygentated diesel (ethanol and diesel blend).  E-mail: PEEPLSE95@....

      Jim Conway, Griffin Industries, Inc.

      Jim has been involved in biodiesel for many years and has also been in the middle of the high level policy efforts in D.C. and around the country. Griffin produces biodiesel from waste vegetabel oils and can deliver B-20 (biodiesel and diesel blend), or 100% biodiesel wherever it may be desired.  E-mail: jconway@....

      Also, be sure to visit these web sites:

      Renewabel Fuels Association      www.ethanolrfa.org
      Governor's Ethanol Coalition        www.e85fuel.com
      USDOE Bioenergy Info. Network  http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/
      National Biodiesel Board             www.biodiesel.org
      USDA                                        http://www.usda-biobasedproducts.net
      National Corn Growers Assn.       http://www.ncga.com  
      New Uses Council                      www.newuses.org
      Etanol Eco. Impact Study     http://www.ethanolrfa.org/Ethanol_Local_Community.pdf


      Russel E. Smith
      Texas Renewable Energy Industries Association
      P. O. Box 16469
      Austin, TX 78761-6469
      Ph.: 512-345-5446
      Fax: 512-345-6831
      E-mail: R1346@...

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