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Author Topic: Ethanol  (Read 5867 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Ethanol
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2016, 08:28:06 pm »
When the Abengoa process is taken in isolation, the Abengoa business might make sense, but you have to look at the Full Life Cycle, which includes it making sense for the farmer, the harvesters and the road maintainers (usually local authorities, backed by the local people's taxes).  Downstream the fuel has to meet quality standards if it is to meet user expectations - without regulation, gas stations would be selling us all kinds of crap.  Farmers in the early days would put dirty ethanol in their tractors without caring about the long-term consequences for the engine.  Nowadays the machines cost so much money that you really can't afford to do that.

The process itself is in several phases - digesting the cellulose into sugars, fermenting the sugars into alcohol, distilling the water/alcohol mix into "pure" alcohol, and finally polishing the alcohol into ultra-pure alcohol.  Each requires careful temperature control, and the distilling phase requires lots of energy to be input to reverse the "entropy of mixing".  The resulting fuel has a high tendency to undergo that entropy again, which you acknowledge, but you failed to mention that the atmospheric water vapour which enters the fuel, has to be turned to steam in the engine, using the heat of the burning alcohol itself, and is then dumped out the exhaust without that energy (latent heat) being recovered.  That is all a drag on the useful work that the alcohol can do for you.

Australia's CSIRO did a Full Life Cycle study on turning molasses from sugar cane processing (and some other sources) into ethanol, and its use as E10 fuel.  Bear in mind that molasses doesn't need the extra cellulose digestion stage, and the energy cost of molasses is subsidised by the main co-product of sugar cane processing, crystallized sugar.

So E10 has a GHG saving of 5.1%, and E100 would have a 51% saving.  In other words, half the energy of ethanol is actually the energy of the fossil fuels to make it, mostly in the form of diesel fuel for heavy machinery, but also transport, pesticides, fertilisers, and processing.  Ethanol can only be made at these efficiencies while embedded in a fossil fuel-powered economy.

As for bio-gas, you passed quickly over the bit about "methane can be separated out".  Bio-gas is a mixture of lots of things, depending on the feedstock and the degree of digestion.  It contains a lot of water vapour, which is a drag on the heating value of the fuel, like water in alcohol.  It also contains a lot of CO2, which if removed takes energy to reverse the entropy of mixing, and if not removed simply dilutes the heating effect. There will also be some Hydrogen and some Ethane, which can remain in there as they are fuels themselves, but not if you are selling the gas by energy/litre.  It may also contain Hydrogen sulphide, which is poisonous if inhaled, or produces Sulphur Dioxide if burnt - SO2 produces acid rain. 

If the feedstock is human sewage, then you also have the problem of Fluorides from medicinal compounds, hormones from contraceptive pills, and anti-biotics that may poison the digestion process.  They all have technical solutions, but fixing inherent problems with technical fixes after the event, eats away at the economic and energy budgets.

None of this matters in third world India, where they have been producing bio-gas for centuries, but in the first world with planning regulations and opposition from residents who don't want to live next door to a sewage treatment plant, this will be hard to get off the ground.



Palloy said,
Quote
So E10 has a GHG saving of 5.1%, and E100 would have a 51% saving.  In other words, half the energy of ethanol is actually the energy of the fossil fuels to make it,

Shame on you for spouting such bold faced mendacity! Have you not read ANYTHING I have posted here on ethanol? Don't you GET the fact that ethanol EROI is lowballed (while the GHG output is EXAGGERATED!) because of the enthalpy fun and games of TWISTED energy output thermodynamics by the fossil fuel industry? Do you NOT understand what WASTE heat does to mechanical output? Do you not understand that ethanol, as compared with gasoline, DOES NOT HAVE WASTE HEAT!!? Your Australian molasses/sugarcane/etc. numbers for E10 are mostly irrelevant, both in GHG emission output and processing costs BECAUSE 90% of that is gasoline!   

Your negative assumptions about E100 are grossly in error.

Brazil does not use ANY fossil fuels to grow their sugarcane, decorticate it and process it into ethanol! They burn PLANT MATTER and run their farming and processing equipment on ETHANOL!  It's ALL renewable because it is ALL grown. The GHG output is in balance! And when solar panels are used to help in the processing (electrical power demands), there will be a REDUCTION in GHG output overall.

But it is a waste of time to try to get you to see that. And DON'T quote any more stats from Australia on this channel. That government is so in the thrall of fossil fuels that ANYTHING they publish is suspect, PERIOD.
 
And on biogas, Have you not read about what Grand Junction, Colorado is doing with biogas? You want hair split about processes of biogas and ethanol production while BLATANTLY ignoring the COST of the HIGHLY POLLUTING CHEMICAL PROCESSES involved in refining fossil fuels! Your lack of objectivity is breathtaking. You are, once again, exposing your bias for fossil fuels.   


In your clever dissertation you left QUITE A BIT out of your VERSION of the "full life cycle". When I see you talk about the FULL LIFE CYCLE of fossil fuels INCLUDING the BIO-REMEDIATION costs and pollution cleanup costs, I'll begin to take your "full life cycle" assessments seriously.

You do not seem to understand decortication as a function of lignin presence. You do not seem to understand that there is a lignin tradeoff in cellulose product processing associated with costs; MORE lignin = MORE costs while LESS lignin and more starches = LESS costs.

You do not seem to understand that there are a PLETHORA of plant species (e.g. Lemna minor) out there, available and easily grown WITHOUT chemical fertilizers, pesticides or plowing (in the case of duckweed, shallow ponds on non-arable land work quite nicely for the fastest growing angiosperm on earth), that have LOW lignin, thereby changing RADICALLY (i.e. much lower processing costs) the ENTIRE "life cycle cost" calculations you seem to be STUCK on.

What Abengoa is doing is making a go of one of the WORST POSSIBLE products (corn, corn stalks and roots) for ethanol production. Good for them. Bad for you that you don't see that corn is a horrendous choice for ethanol production costs. Bad for you that you do not see that is QUITE DELIBERATE in the USA because of the fossil fuel industry influence.

Furthermore, MANY of these plants (that are even better than sugarcane and beets!) do not need to be processed into ethanol at all, thereby eliminating a lot of your "life cycle" costs. they can be sun dried and pelleted for use as fuel or animal feed! But you just cannot see the VASTLY superior energy REsource that plant matter is and the TREMENDOUSLY DAMAGING effect the fossil fuel based economy is having on our biosphere.   

 
Until then, WHAT PART OF the following reality do you not understand? 


Porter Ranch Methane Leak Spreads Across LA’s San Fernando Valley  :P
Lorraine Chow | January 15, 2016 9:36 am

It now looks like the catastrophic Porter Ranch gas leak, which has spewed more than 83,000 metric tons of noxious methane for nearly three months, has spread across Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander called on the Southern California Gas Co. to extend residential relocation assistance to residents in Granada Hills, Chatsworth and Northridge who live near the Aliso Canyon gas leak above Porter Ranch. These residents reported symptoms related to the exposure of natural gas such as nausea, vomiting, headaches and respiratory problems.

The researchers have developed the Valley’s first comprehensive map of methane exposure. Photo credit: HEET

This latest development compounds with a new analysis from Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET). The Cambridge-based nonprofit sent Boston University Professor Nathan Phillips and Bob Ackley of Gas Safety to take methane measurements around the San Fernando Valley for several days and their findings were disturbing.

As the Los Angeles Daily News wrote, “the researchers recorded elevated levels of the main ingredient in natural gas—10 miles away from the nation’s largest gas leak.”

Quote
“It’s not just in Porter Ranch, it’s going all the way across the [San Fernando] Valley,” Ackley told Inside Climate News.
According to HEET, the researchers drove a high precision GIS-enabled natural gas analyzer down the roads around the gas leak to create a comprehensive map of the leak around San Fernando Valley. The red on the map indicates where they drove and the levels of methane they found is shown by the height of the peaks.

Their monitors showed methane levels at 3.4 parts per billion, about twice the level of natural clean air, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. Another measurement showed 127 ppm, or an astounding 67 times above normal.

“Whatever else may be in the gas—benzene , toluene , xylene that is what people may be breathing,” Phillips told Inside Climate News. “Even though we’re not measuring things other than methane  ;), there is a legitimate concern that there is that other nasty stuff in there.”

As Inside Climate News observed: “The findings challenge assurances from the  South Coast Air Quality Management District , the regional air pollution control agency, and the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that the leak hasn’t increased residents’ exposure to toxic gases.”    

Dozens of public health and environmental advocates and experts will rally at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency headquarters in Washington, DC tomorrow to press for federal action on the Porter Ranch leak.

http://ecowatch.com/2016/01/15/porter-ranch-methane-leak-spreads/

Agelbert NOTE: The is something you should know that you will not hear about in the six o'clock news:

"The millennial atmospheric lifetime of anthropogenic CO2" by Archer and Brovkin .

"The notion is pervasive in the climate science community and in the public at large that the climate impacts of fossil fuel CO2 release will only persist for a few centuries. This conclusion has no basis in theory or models of the atmosphere/ocean carbon cycle, which we review here.

The largest fraction of the CO2 recovery will take place on time scales of centuries, as CO2 invades the ocean, but a significant fraction of the fossil fuel CO2, ranging in published models in the literature from 20–60%, remains airborne for a thousand years or longer.

Ultimate recovery takes place on time scales of hundreds of thousands of years, a geologic longevity typically associated in public perceptions with nuclear waste.

The glacial/interglacial climate cycles demonstrate that ice sheets and sea level respond dramatically to millennial-timescale changes in climate forcing. There are also potential positive feedbacks in the carbon cycle, including methane hydrates in the ocean, and peat frozen in permafrost, that are most sensitive to the long tail of the fossil fuel CO2 in the atmosphere."
http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10584-008-9413-1#/page-1

  The prolonged existence of atmospheric CO2

The Fossil Fuelers   DID THE Climate Trashing, human health depleteing CRIME,   but since they have ALWAYS BEEN liars and conscience free crooks, they are trying to AVOID   DOING THE TIME or     PAYING THE FINE!     Don't let them get away with it! Pass it on!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 03:41:05 pm by AGelbert »
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life. Pr. 13:12

 

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