sgiitk

Perils of Biofuels

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I was reading that one of the reasons of the recent food price jump is the large scale farming of corn in the US for bio-fuels. So unless the biofuel is coming as a by-product or is a result of excessive production (as is probably teh case of Alcohol in Brazil) the risks may be too great.

At the moment according to the UN bodies the world has only less than 10 weeks of food left!

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At the moment according to the UN bodies the world has only less than 10 weeks of food left!

 

Erm... I seriously doubt this SG.. these guys LOVE to push the panic button for nothing.

But agree with you.. unless Biofuel is produced as a byproduct it's not really going to be econimically viable.

 

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This I would be surprised since in India almost all Ethanol is from Molasses which is a by-product of sugar manufacturing. So if one was to say that booze prices are heading north as a consequence, I am more inclined to agree.

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I must say, I am very surprised, that the article posted in the Hybrid Cars thread on Alcohol Fuelled Fuel Cell buses being put on the road in Iceland has gone largely unnoticed.

I feel that Fuel cells may be the way of the future - far higher efficiency and zero pollution. Also, the Hydrogen Economy has been around the corner for over 25 years, and may remain so. Alcohol powered fuel cells appear to be the way to go, and I was surprised to find that 'They are here'.

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Once the technology is proven, which is what they are trying to do in Iceland, you can trust the Japanese/Koreans/Taiwanese  to manufacture it at reasonable cost.

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Now everyone is making noise about the switch to corn from wheat being responsible for the skyrocketing fuel prices. Corn is used in the US for Biodiesel.

Also, saw that the UP Govt has allowed sugar mills to produce ethanol directly from sugarcane (earlier it was only from Molasses, a bye product of sugar manufacture). Good for the mills, many of whom find sugar production uneconomical. However, expect to pay more fore your sugar in future.

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though i don't know much about this but here is what wiki says

 

Currently the oil from Jatropha curcas seeds is used for making biodiesel fuel in Philippines, promoted by a law authored by Philippine senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Miguel Zubiri. Likewise, jatropha oil is being promoted as an easily grown biofuel crop in hundreds of projects throughout India and other developing countries

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why are these guys using corn???????????? no body told them about jatropha

Probably better yield. Also, possibility of Ethanol for Gasohol. Jathropa (or Ratanjot as it is known in the cow belt) can grow in semi-arid conditions on poor soil. The farmer switching from wheat to corn in the US does not have this handicap.

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though i don't know much about this but here is what wiki says

 

Currently the oil from Jatropha curcas seeds is used for making biodiesel fuel in Philippines' date=' promoted by a law authored by Philippine senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Miguel Zubiri. Likewise, jatropha oil is being promoted as an easily grown biofuel crop in hundreds of projects throughout India and other developing countries
[/quote']

Yes Jatropha is a wild shrub that abundantly grows in the wild.In fact, Mercedes Benz did a trans India run on a brand new, biodiesel fuelled Merc E Class diesel car sometime in 2006 or early 2007, to prove that biofuels are ok for luxury cars too.

The Chhattisgarh State Govt has taken to plantation of the Jatropha plant in non- cultivated land in a big way by encouraging villagers with incentives. the experiment has been a success. Lets hope this alleviates our fuel problems to some extent. Biofuels are best used as additives in fossil fuels .But the real substitute for fossil fuels will have to be fuel cell or hydrogen powered automobiles.

anjan_c20072008-05-02 15:38:27

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