Re: Hydrogen production without fossil fuels

Posted by Uncle Al on Feb 13, 2004 at 19:34

Re: Hydrogen production without fossil fuels (True)

It's grantology. It's an economic tar baby. It's a bunch of crap.

Prof. David Pimentel of Cornell University calculated energy consumed in growing corn, processing the grain, and distilling ethanol versus the energy generated by its combustion. It requires 131,000 British thermal units (Btus) to produce one gallon of ethanol, which yields 77,000 Btus of fuel energy. That's a 70% net energy *loss.* The federal government paid tens of $billions of tax credits and subsidies to ethanol producers like agri-giant Archer-Daniels-Midland.

Photosynthesis is very optimistically equivalent to producing 15 bbl/day-mile^2 of diesel fuel and ignoring all energy inputs.

Fat is so cheap that it makes biodiesel only costing two or three times as much as the real thing. If there were any demand for fat as fuel the price would skyrocket, as waste fat is well used for animal feed.

The most efficient uses of bio-fuel burn corn in a stove designed to burn wood pellets. Heating with corn at $2.50 a bushel is the same as using $(US)0.64/gallon propane. The best deal is to burn the anhydrous ammonia and not bother planting the corn. You must have a way to condense the exhaust and store the nitric acid for resale, and you have to keep it burning so it produces nitric acid and not merely nitrogen oxides. That one makes money.

Uncle Al
(Do something naughty to physics)

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