Biofuels

By Andy May – Re-Blogged From WUWT

According to Exxon-Mobil, 9% of the world’s energy came from biofuels in 2017. They do not expect this percentage to increase by 2040, and it may go down. For the most part it is a developing world fuel. Primary biofuels include dung, wood, wood chips and pellets. Secondary, or manufactured biofuels include ethanol and biodiesel, which derive from several agricultural products, mainly corn, sugar cane, palm oil, soybeans and canola. The main advantage of using locally sourced wood and dung are their low cost and wide availability.

Using imported wood or wood chips for generating electricity, as is done in Europe, is more problematic. Due to the economic and environmental costs of farming the trees, making the wood pellets or chips and shipping them to the powerplants; wood is not a competitive fuel for most powerplants. The energy density is too low. However, if the source of the wood is within fifty miles of the plant, it can be competitive with coal and it may produce fewer greenhouse gases than coal, estimates vary. Ethanol and biodiesel are also more expensive than fossil fuels and must be subsidized to be competitive.

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No End in Sight for the Biofuel Wars

By Paul Driessen, – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Biofuels are unsustainable in every way, but still demand – and get – preferential treatment

The Big Oil-Big Biofuel wars rage on. From my perch, ethanol, biodiesel and “advanced biofuels” make about zero energy, economic or environmental sense. They make little political sense either, until you recognize that politics is largely driven by crony-capitalism, campaign contributions and vote hustling.

Even now, once again, as you read this, White House, EPA, Energy, Agriculture and corporate factions are battling it out, trying to get President Trump to sign off on their preferred “compromise” – over how much ethanol must be blended into gasoline, how many small refiners should be exempted, et cetera.

This all got started in the 1970s, when publicly spirited citizens persuaded Congress that “growing our own energy” would safeguard the USA against oil embargoes and price gouging by OPEC and other unfriendly nations, especially as our own petroleum reserves rapidly dwindled into oblivion. Congress then instituted the Renewable Fuels Standard in 2005, when the Iraq War triggered renewed fears of global oil supply disruptions. The RFS requires that almost all gasoline sold in the USA must contain 10% ethanol – which gets a third fewer miles per gallon than gasoline and damages small engines.

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Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe

By Paul Homewood – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This is a long, but very readable piece from the New York Times Magazine:

I have only included the opening section, plus a few relevant paragraphs, but I would recommend reading it in full:

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The fields outside Kotawaringin village in Central Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, looked as if they had just been cleared by armies. None of the old growth remained — only charred stumps poking up from murky, dark pools of water. In places, smoke still curled from land that days ago had been covered with lush jungle. Villagers had burned it all down, clearing the way for a lucrative crop whose cultivation now dominates the entire island: the oil-palm tree.

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Carbon Fuels Conquered Famine – But Green Policies Are Inviting It Again

by Viv Forbes – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

The Long War on Famine


Famine has haunted humans for most of their history.

In the days of the Pharaohs, whenever the Nile River failed to flood, Egypt starved. Joseph was called in and he organised stockpiling of grain for famine relief.

Even mighty Rome suffered famines – in 436 BC thousands of starving people threw themselves into the Tiber.

The cold Middle Ages in Europe were haunted by famines. In the 11th and 12th century, famines averaged one in 14 years. Even in England there were 22 recorded famines in the 13th century. In 1235, 20,000 people died in London and people ate horse flesh, bark and grass. There were great famines in India, Bengal, France, China and Russia.

Victims of the Great Famine of 1876–78 in India (British Royal Photography Services)

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Ethanol Gravy Train Rolls On

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Opponents make compelling case but can’t derail or even slow this well-protected industry

Like most people I’ve spoken with, I have no innate, inflexible antipathy to ethanol in gasoline. What upsets me are the deceptive claims used to justify adding mostly corn-based ethanol to this indispensable fuel; the way seriously harmful unintended consequences are brushed aside; and the insidious crony corporatist system the ethanol program has spawned between producers and members of Congress.

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DC Swamp Denizens Strike Back

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

While demand for biodiesel is down, senators and crony corporatists deep-six proposed EPA reductions in biodiesel mandates

Despite what I thought were persuasive articles over the years (here, here and here, for example), corn ethanol and other biofuel mandates remain embedded in US law. As we have learned, once a government program is created, it becomes virtually impossible to eliminate, revise or even trim fat from it.

This year, it looked like this “rule of perpetuity” might finally change. The Trump-Pruitt Environmental Protection Agency proposed to use its “waiver authority” to reduce its 2018 biodiesel requirement by 15% (315 million gallons) and (possibly) lower the 2019 total down to the 1-billion-gallon minimum mandated by Congress. The proposed action would not affect corn or other ethanol production and blending requirements, despite growing problems with incorporating more ethanol into gasoline.

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Biofuel Justifications are Illusory

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

It’s time to really cut, cut, cut ethanol and other renewable fuel mandates – maybe to zero.

The closest thing to earthly eternal life, President Ronald Reagan used to say, is a government program.

Those who benefit from a program actively and vocally defend it, often giving millions in campaign cash to politicians who help perpetuate it, while those who oppose the program or are harmed by it are usually disorganized and distracted by daily life. Legislative inertia and obstruction of the kind so graphically on display in the Senate over the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) also help to perpetuate program life.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), created under the 2005 Energy Policy Act and expanded by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, is a perfect example. It has more lives than Freddy Krueger.

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Five Stages of Climate Grief

By Paul Driessen – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

President Trump could help – and force climate alarmists to answer questions they’ve ignored

climate-grief_scr

Ever since the elections, our media, schools, workplaces and houses of worship have presented stories showcasing the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

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Methane Madness: The Battle for our Grasslands and Livestock

By Viv Forbes, Dr Albrecht Glatzle, et al – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

“The whole purpose of farming is to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into useful products.”
Vincent Gray
New Zealand Scientist and IPCC Reviewer

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Summary
Grasslands, arable lands and the oceans provide all mankind with food and fibre. But the productivity and health of our farms and livestock are under threat from global warming alarmists and green preservationists.

It is poor public policy that condones restrictions on grazing operations, or taxes on grazing animals, based on disputed theories that claim that bodily emissions from farm animals will cause dangerous global warming.

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Serendipity Yields a Process to Convert Carbon Dioxide Directly Into Ethanol

[If this really works – WOW! -Bob]

By Anthony Watts – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.,—In a new twist to waste-to-fuel technology, scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed an electrochemical process that uses tiny spikes of carbon and copper to turn carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into ethanol. Their finding, which involves nanofabrication and catalysis science, was serendipitous. Video follows.

“We discovered somewhat by accident that this material worked,” said ORNL’s Adam Rondinone, lead author of the team’s study published in ChemistrySelect. “We were trying to study the first step of a proposed reaction when we realized that the catalyst was doing the entire reaction on its own.”

ORNL’s Yang Song (seated), Dale Hensley (standing left) and Adam Rondinone examine a carbon nanospike sample with a scanning electron microscope. (hi-res image)

Will 2015 be the Year of Renewable Fuel Standard Reform?

By Marita Noon — Re-Blogged From http://www.CFACT.org

The fact the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is attacking the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) management—er, mismanagement—of the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) is indicative of the growing frustration over both the agency and the RFS itself.
The federal diktat has been late coming and unachievable every year. The EPA Administrator,  was grilled by Senators from both sides of the aisle. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), who chaired the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, opened the hearing by calling the RFS “unworkable in its current form.” In her comments, Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) claimed that the EPA’s management of the RFS ignored “congressional intent,” while creating “uncertainty” and costing “investment.”