Sunday, February 26, 2006

Biofuel Progress...

Over at THE ENERGY BLOG there is a roundup of bullet points from the ETHANOL OUTLOOK 2006 report 9available as a PDF at the link) just released by The Renewable Fuels Association which, while it seems seems to be an ethanol lobby press release, is nevertheless quite encouraging as it covers several recent developments. There does seem to be some hope of replacing fossil fuels with ethanol by 2050. Most encouraging to this laygeek is that 14 ethanol refineries were produced last year. I imagine these were small and got past the Nimby ninnies via fiat or subterfuge but this is a very encouraging number.

Related is this earlier post on the Energyblog regards switchgrass, and more encouraging still is that Thermal Deploymerization (which I blogged on here) is showing sufficent progress that Changing World Technology is advertising the process as a disposal of municipal waste in their info page. According to USA Today (third topic down) the pilot plant has moved into fairly large scale production (considering it is refining the waste from one turkey plant) of a couple of hundred barrels of #4 bunker fuel a day. The company has combined with ConAgra to create Renewable Enviromental Solutions a corporation intended to pursue this proocess on a massive scale! :) This from a company that was nearly sued out of buisness by a moonbat group a few years ago (see here). The USPIRG press release link on my old post link is dead now. That the company still exists after getting hit by the granola-mafia is quite encouraging in and of itself.

This process has real potential to massively reduce sewage pollution and all sorts of organic waste while producing fuel with effectively zero net emissions(as it is not being added to the enviroment, simply moved). Even lefties seem to be on board with this now despite the fact that the POTUS is 4 square behind it.

Ford is unveiling a flexfuel car . :)

The Department of Energy is facilitating the production of 3 biorefineries!

And the company I work for, UPS, is purchasing over 4,000 altifuel trucks including flexfuel models this year. (Sorry, No link this was in a video I saw at work)

All in all pretty impressive progress in all areas.

Note though, that the ethanol/ TCM systems even those that are marginal, would be superproductive if we had a cheap external source of electricity. Yes, like hydrogen the biofuel economy really doesn't meet its full potential without nuclear power as part of the mix. Still there is even suprising progress there!

HatTip: Anonymous PHD

Good news rocks!

Update1: Keeping in mind my stock disclaimer I fail to see a downside to this. I mean unless the organic matter is turned into a super efficient greenhouse gas like methane or something, this shouldn't contribute to global warming as its basically carbon neutral. Am I missing something?

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