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Old 02-14-2008, 02:28 PM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Latest Findings Show Widespread Use Of E-85 Fuel Can Double Green House Gases




Quote:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1202...googlenews_wsj

While the U.S. and others race to expand the use and production of biofuels, two new studies suggest these gasoline alternatives actually will increase carbon-dioxide levels.


A study published in the latest issue of Science finds that corn-based ethanol, a type of biofuel pushed heavily in the U.S., will nearly double the output of greenhouse-gas emissions instead of reducing them by about one-fifth by some estimates. A separate paper in Science concludes that clearing native habitats to grow crops for biofuel generally will lead to more carbon emissions.

The findings are the latest to take aim at biofuels, which have already been blamed for pushing up prices of corn and other food crops, as well as straining water supplies. The Energy Department expects U.S. ethanol production to reach about 7.5 billion gallons this year from 3.9 billion in 2005, encouraged by high prices and government support. The European Union has proposed that 10% of all fuel used in transportation should come from biofuels by 2020.


Some scientists have praised biofuels because growing biofuel feedstock would remove gases that trap the sun's heat from the air, while gasoline and diesel fuel take carbon from the ground and put it in the air. However, some earlier studies didn't account for one hard-to-measure factor: the decision by farmers world-wide to convert forest and grasslands to grow feedstock for the new biofuels.


The Renewable Fuels Association in the U.S. said that "biofuels alone are not the silver bullet" for the world's energy or environmental challenges. It said earlier analyses of greenhouse-gas reductions show corn-derived ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 22% on average, though those studies didn't include the effect of changing land use.


We absolutely assert that ethanol production and use is a responsible way to address the environmental, energy and economic challenges the world faces today," spokesman Matt Hartwig said. He said the group's researchers will study the papers and formulate a response.


Land-use changes can have big and unintended consequences, such as food shortages and reduced biodiversity. For example, when forests or grasslands are converted for agricultural use, it leads to a large, quick release of carbon when the existing plant life is destroyed and the soil is tilled. Even if biofuels are grown on cropland previously used to grow food, farmers tend to then clear other forests and grasslands and grow the food elsewhere.


"Even if we're dramatically wrong, it's hard to get to a result that says you get a benefit over 50 years," said Timothy Searchinger, a researcher at Princeton University and a co-author of the paper on corn-based ethanol.


In the second study, researchers found that the effect of biofuels varied hugely, depending on where and how they were produced. For example, an increasing amount of land in Brazil is being used to grow sugarcane for ethanol.


Converting the undeveloped land into sugarcane fields releases CO2. It would take 17 years for the positive effect of using sugarcane ethanol from those fields instead of petroleum-based fuels to overcome the CO2 farming the land put into the air. Draining and clearing peatlands in Malaysia and Indonesia to grow palm oil emits so much CO2 that palm biodiesel from those fields would have to be burned for more than 420 years to counteract it.


David Tilman, an ecologist at the University of Minnesota and co-author of the second paper, said the biofuel industry needs to seek more efficient sources for biofuels, such as various kinds of waste and nonfood crops such as switchgrass grown on degraded land. A researcher from the Nature Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group, was also a co-author.


Their study's funding came from the National Science Foundation and the University of Minnesota's Initiative on Renewable Energy and the Environment, according to Mr. Tilman. The other paper relied on funding from various indirect sources, including the Hewlett Foundation and the Agriculture Department.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:51 PM   #2
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brilliant
So GM is in the wrong business again
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:20 PM   #3
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Awesome...
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:28 PM   #4
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As if GM could use another potential fail
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Old 02-14-2008, 04:38 PM   #5
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These anti-ethanol articles all point out the shortcomings of CORN based ethanol. Corn based ethanol does not have a bright future. However, cellulosic ethanol does.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by scott_gunn View Post
These anti-ethanol articles all point out the shortcomings of CORN based ethanol. Corn based ethanol does not have a bright future. However, cellulosic ethanol does.
yep. too bad everyone things that ethanol can only come from corn (even though my favorite incarnation of the stuff comes from cactus)
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:48 PM   #7
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GM, you're the Charlie Brown of the automotive world. That football just wont' stay put, will it?

Luckily anyone with a reasonably functional brain is learning that corn-based ethanol is a monumental sham, too bad those types seem to be in short supply these days.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:09 PM   #8
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Hey Brazil!

Si?

Can we borrow some sugar cane?

Porque?

Cause our ethanol gas is teh fail!

No! Wanna play some futbol?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:41 PM   #9
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Funny there was a similar article on BBC News about this 2 weeks ago. Somehow I don't think the big wigs in Government car, nor will GM since they have way too much invested in corn based Ethanol.
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:12 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
Funny there was a similar article on BBC News about this 2 weeks ago. Somehow I don't think the big wigs in Government car, nor will GM since they have way too much invested in corn based Ethanol.
I don't think an E85 Avalanche cares what the ethanol was made from.
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