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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2008, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
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More promising alternative energy discoveries.

Again, all based on plants or the biological processes they carry out-

New catalysts developed at MIT could change the way we store electricity:
'Major Discovery' Primed To Unleash Solar Revolution: Scientists Mimic Essence Of Plants' Energy Storage System

New biofuel Butanol is developed from "lignocellulosic materials, which are plant biomass parts that range from woody stems and straw to agricultural residues, corn fiber and husks"-
New Techniques Create Butanol, A Superior Biofuel

And the plant that produces more useable biomass than any other on earth- (you know what it is...)
Hemp Produces the Most Biomass of Any Plant on Earth & Paper... - Care2 News Network
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:04 PM
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New biofuel Butanol is developed from "lignocellulosic materials, which are plant biomass parts that range from woody stems and straw to agricultural residues, corn fiber and husks"-
New Techniques Create Butanol, A Superior Biofuel
I believe Sir Richard Branson of Virgin fame is working on this too.

I actually worked on lignocellulosic research when I was at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Many plant materials are potential sources for five carbon sugars.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:12 PM
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but the amount of (for example) corn needed to meet the US's energy needs would cover to much space, and would require a decrease or even deletion in the amount of farms producing crops to feed our bellies rather than our cars etc.

shafting these fields off to 3rd world countries is just as bad an option. besides if you have a country suffering from starvation, how are you going to justify the massive growth of crops so as to fuel our material needs rather than to provide them a basic standard of living, that which we all take for granted.

and hydrogen is a bad option as it requires more energy to be put into it than it puts out.


or so im taught at the evil institution of university.
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:22 PM
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I think cellulosic and lignocellosic products are not well understood by the vast majority of people. They confuse corn starch ethanol with cellulosic ethanol.

Grow your food crops, cellulosic products don't need it.

Grow the corn, grow the wheat, grow the barley, take the food part, cellulosic will take the cellulose from the waste and convert that. Wood chips from lumber waste, switchgrass, plants that grow on land unsuitable for food crops... will we can make fuel from it.


Read more about it at: NREL: Biomass Research Home Page

or you can read one of my bedtime snoozers in this book:

Oxford University Press: Lignocellulose Biodegradation: Badal C. Saha

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:41 PM
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as long as i can use it in my car i am cool with it.

tired of these pussy prius'.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-07-2008, 11:47 PM
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I was shocked this past winter. I saw a Prius going 65 mph up Floyd Hill west of Denver. Amazing I never thought they had the power to do it.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 12:10 AM
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I was shocked this past winter. I saw a Prius going 65 mph up Floyd Hill west of Denver. Amazing I never thought they had the power to do it.
top gear did a test to prove that gas mileage was partly in how you drive.

they took a toyota prius and a BMW M3, two very different cars, and put them on a track. rules were, the prius had to drive as fast as it possibly could and the M3 was not allowed to go infront of the prius. at the end of the run they calculated MPG, the prius got 17 and the M3 got 19. not really a fair comaprison, but i never thought that the prius could get below 17mpg.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-08-2008, 03:38 AM
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haha see the EU is cutting down on its production of bio-fuels as they have found it is radically increasing food prices due to the reallocation of agricultural pastures towards growing corn for fuel rather than food.

and they've also found that in many places bio-fuel is being created in such a way that it is doing more harm to the environment than oil. such as cutting down rainforests to grow sugarcane for biofuel (sounds like an obvious error of judgement but its happening)

this was all on our NZ news tonight. made me laugh since wed just been talking about it.
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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but the amount of (for example) corn needed to meet the US's energy needs would cover to much space, and would require a decrease or even deletion in the amount of farms producing crops to feed our bellies rather than our cars etc.

shafting these fields off to 3rd world countries is just as bad an option. besides if you have a country suffering from starvation, how are you going to justify the massive growth of crops so as to fuel our material needs rather than to provide them a basic standard of living, that which we all take for granted.

and hydrogen is a bad option as it requires more energy to be put into it than it puts out.


or so im taught at the evil institution of university.
I think you need to take a look at those links again. As daysailor1 kindly pointed out, the fuel would not come from edible parts of plants. And the first link pretty clearly shows that we're on the way to making hydrogen a better option.

The arguments you put forth are certainly valid for this point in time, but don't blink or you might miss something. I wouldn't have posted any of those if they didn't have the potential to kick the status quo squarely in the nuts.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 11:07 AM
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top gear did a test to prove that gas mileage was partly in how you drive.

they took a toyota prius and a BMW M3, two very different cars, and put them on a track. rules were, the prius had to drive as fast as it possibly could and the M3 was not allowed to go infront of the prius. at the end of the run they calculated MPG, the prius got 17 and the M3 got 19. not really a fair comaprison, but i never thought that the prius could get below 17mpg.
That's fucking nuts. The Prius sucks, that car is simply a statement and nothing more.
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