[Vision2020] cellulosic alcohol (butanol)

Pennsylvania Place penn_place_boise at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 1 05:22:41 PDT 2006

What abouit the notion of using sugar beets for fuel? You can't grow them on the Palouse, of course, but you can all over southern Idaho and central Washington.

Jim Meyer <m1e2y3e4 at moscow.com> wrote:
  Ted and all,
Cellulosic alcohol is great idea. Alan Greenspan thinks it is a good 
idea. I hadn't really known it had come of age before hearing Mr. 
Greenspan talking about it. The big idea with cellulosic alcohol is that 
it can be produced from plants that require very little oil based 
fertilizer input. As I recall, and I might be wrong, corn requires about 
300 pounds of nitrogen/acre. Even with the best legume crop rotation you 
could never produce corn without external fertilizer. Cellulose on the 
hand, can grow without external nitrogen sources. Furthermore, we do 
have plenty of timber slash and marginal lands that can grow sturdy, low 
input cellulosic crops. So I second your suggestion even to the point of 
wanting to start my own plant, if that were even remotely possible. 
Secondly, I would produce cellulosic butanol, not ethanol. See 
http://www.butanol.com/. Supposedly it can replace gasoline directly 
without any engine modifications. What could be better? Currently, if 
you want to run an E85 vehicle, either you have to buy a vehicle so 
designed or you have to do considerable retrofitting. Without the 
necessity of retrofiting, butanol appears to have it all over ethanol, 
not to mention generally better fuel characteristics than ethanol.

Jim Meyer

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 31 Aug 2006 12:00:14 -0700
> From: "Ted Moffett" 
> Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Inconvenient Truth -- What WE REALLY HAVE TO
> DO: " Apollo Project"
> To: "Chris Storhok" , "Vision 2020"
> Message-ID:
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> Chris et. al.
> Yes, that was Donovan's idea about high gas taxes, and of course many think
> gas taxes should be raised, though some call it a "carbon tax" that could be
> used to develop the infrastructure and technology to transition away from
> fossil fuels. It's hard to see how addressing fossil fuel depletion and
> global warming can be economically pain free... However, raising gas taxes a
> lot is almost politically impossible.
> Thanks for the detailed info on the biofuels project you are working on. I
> agree there is good evidence that biofuels can be practical and efficient
> enough in some applications, as your discussion of the biofuels projects in
> Alaska indicate. Wait for the final implementation, though. As they say,
> the devil is in the details. Brazil, it appears, has a self supporting
> biofuels program based on sugar cane, much better than corn for biofuels,
> that supplies a lot of their fuel. From the analyses I have read, however,
> biofuels are not a dominant solution to supplying the USA, not to mention
> India and China, with the fuel we/they need, given current and expected
> future consumption levels, at least not with internal combustion engines.
> I would like to hear more about this wood based biofuels program in Alaska.
> It must be based on what is called "cellulosic" biofuels. I posted to
> Vision2020 the suggestion that the Moscow/Pullman area could have its own
> biofuels plant to produce fuel locally from the forest/agriculture biomass
> resources available in our greater area. I did not get a single response to
> this suggestion, but what the heck, it's only Vision2020.
> I don't think Vision2020 readers should need a "Warning" about your
> discussion of the biofuels projects in Alaska being boring. The same ideas
> might be applied here for affordable renewable biofuels at a local biofuels
> plant... If that's boring, I suppose Vision2020 readers will find 10 dollar
> a gallon fossil fuel gas to be very exciting!
> Ted Moffett
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