backtop


Print 45 comment(s) - last by Jeff7181.. on Jul 6 at 1:30 PM


Associated Press
This marks the third year in a row the mandated levels have been reduced

All across the country today, most of the gasoline that is sold at the pumps by all major fueling stations has 10 percent ethanol in it. Some station may sell fuel that has no ethanol, but 10 percent is usually the norm. Some automakers feel that ethanol needs to be eliminated to hit future fuel economy standards.

Supporters point to the claims that the use of ethanol reduces the amount of fuel we need from imported crude oil and creates jobs for farmers who grow corn. It’s estimated that about 40 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. goes into ethanol production. Corn, however, isn't the only plant material that we can get ethanol from.

Cellulosic ethanol comes from non-food crops and the EPA had expected the use of this sort of ethanol produced from plants like switchgrass, waste products, and woody pulp to increase significantly. The problem is that the mass production of cellulosic ethanol hasn’t happened the way the EPA envisioned. An energy law passed in 2007 mandated that the U.S. was to use 500 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in fuel by 2012. The fuel hasn’t been made in significant enough quantities to meet that goal and the EPA is now proposing a cut back on the goal. 

The EPA wants to cut the goal back to no more than 12.9 million gallons of the cellulosic ethanol in fuel next year and based on market availability of the fuel that number could be far less. The Detroit News reports that this is the third year in a row that estimates for cellulosic ethanol use have been slashed. Previously the target for 2012 and 2011 for cellulosic ethanol use were 100 million gallons each year, which was cut to 6.5 million gallons for each year.

The EPA said, "[We will] continue to evaluate the market as it works to finalize the cellulosic standard in the coming months. The agency remains optimistic that the commercial availability of cellulosic biofuel will continue to grow in the years ahead."

To reach the future goals for cellulosic ethanol production, the government is looking to help companies break ground on new refineries to produce cellulosic ethanol. President Obama said in March, "Over the next two years, we'll help entrepreneurs break ground for four next-generation biorefineries — each with a capacity of more than 20 million gallons per year."

The reason for the big push to move from corn-based ethanol to cellulosic ethanol is that some claim the high use of corn for fuel is driving up the price of some food products.

The U.S. Senate recently voted to repeal the subsidy on ethanol of $0.45 cents per gallon.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

You forgot the truer side?
By superstition on 6/22/2011 5:24:36 PM , Rating: 2
"Supporters point to the claims that the use of ethanol reduces the amount of fuel we need from imported crude oil and creates jobs for farmers who grow corn. It’s estimated that about 40 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. goes into ethanol production. Corn, however, isn't the only plant material that we can get ethanol from."

And ethanol's critics claim what? That it's an energy-negative product? That it causes water collection and corrosion? That burning crops is pretty crazy, given that it increases water pollution from runoff, uses some of the world's best soils -- not for food, causes soil depletion, et cetera? Photosynthesis is very inefficient at capturing solar energy and alcohols like ethanol are not good molecules to be used for fuel due to the alcohol group.

Ethanol from corn is a losing proposition. It only makes sense for politicians since they can use it to get the big farming vote and support companies like Monsanto.

It would be a lot better to get more efficient diesel vehicles here, as are available elsewhere like in the UK, and create biodiesel. Biodiesel, when blending with USLD, improves its lubricity to meet the standard of Bosch and an engine manufacturer's association (wear scar of no more than 460). Our current fuel standard, with a maximum wear scar of 520, is not adequate for modern passenger car diesel usage. Further, our cetane standard of a minimum of 40 isn't good enough. So, we need to improve the quality of our diesel and biodiesel in small amounts (1-2%) will really help with that -- without placing too heavy a burden on our cropland.

There are diesels in all sizes available in the UK that make our "fuel efficient" gasoline vehicles look rather ridiculous:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3443649&p...




"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki