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Author Topic: Ethanol  (Read 5714 times)

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AGelbert

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Re: Ethanol
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2016, 03:28:11 pm »
I used to be a fan of Lovins, back when I thought solar panels were a good idea.  But when I realised what the ERoEI of solar panels is, and that the EI is all up front while the ER is a trickle over its lifetime, I stopped promoting solar, and started seeing Lovins as a Techno-Utopian.  He remains popular because Techno-Utopianism is a much more comforting meme to hold on to than Doomerism. 

I guess this is the difference between myself and AG too.  He believes the FF industry will do ANYTHING to preserve their wealth and influence, and I agree, but he also believes that Lovins (et al) would never do the same, while I think that is exactly what they will do.

Anyway, there are many things that mathematical tools can't solve, but ERoEI is one where it can, and it can be life-changing because you discover that there is no solution to the energy problem.

This so-called data dump that AG keeps focussing on wasn't a data dump at all.  It was just a list of factors that have to be quantified before you can work out the ERoEI of bio-mass to ethanol.  It didn't contain any data - that is to be supplied by the scenario writer.  When you cut the crop and take it away, you are taking away nutrients, hence impoverishing the soil.  For sustainability, you must at least replace those nutrients, and it would probably be beneficial to be improving the soil over time. So: how much fertiliser (tonnes/hectare);  how much energy to make fertiliser (MJ/tonne);  how much crop (tonnes/hectare); are all necessary numbers in the calculation.  In fact in the reports Farrel analyses, the N, P, K, Lime, herbicides and pesticides represent about 18.5% of Energy Returned of the ethanol.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.. -- Psalm 34:6

 

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