The more you know about ethanol as a petroleum substitute, the more there is to dislike. This has been a continuing story in this nanocorner of the ‘Sphere©, as you can see:
We have spent some time in this space on the subject of water, and its scarcity.
Water, water, anywhere?
|mm317: Water, the theme — part two|
|mm269: Water: Accept no substitutes!|
|mm253: Water: casus belli for a new civil war|
|mm206: It’s 10:30pm — Where’s your water been?|
|mm101: Technology / Water — It’s a theme!|
Now, the two concepts: the wrong-headed use for fuel of a key foodstuff; and the menace of the growing shortage of water in the U.S; come together courtesy of a new member of Left-Handed Complement‘s blogroll, fellow WordPress.com blog Optimal Functioning.
Ethanol and Biodiesel the Great Water Wasters
Optimal Functioning | Posted by Hans Rippel on April 27, 2008
The growing demand for ethanol, especially the soaring demand by the U.S., is an important piece of the food crises puzzle. The increasing amount of corn, soy, and cellulosic used for ethanol production are in part causing a scarcity of food supplies, which is threatening the lives of many in third world countries. Researchers have now found that in addition to ethanol production and its planned supply increases are not only a food problem but potentially an even greater cause of a water shortage problem.
Jan F. Kreider from University of Colorado and engeneer Peter S. Curtiss have found that the production of one gallon of corn based ethanol requires 170 gallons of water from growing it to converting it into ethanol and cellulosic ethanol requires 146 gallons of water. Much worse is soybean based biodiesel, which requires 900 gallons of water per gallon of biodiesel. In comparison, one gallon of regular gasoline requires only 5 gallons of water. Actually, the most water efficient fuel has been shown to be natural gas.
This nation’s farmers have a high priority claim on its water supply, but it’s downright catastrophic to pay them subsidies to deflect grain production from food to fuel, when the further processing required is so extravagantly wasteful of the living world’s one, truly finite resource.
[Please click the link below for the complete article — but then please come on back!]
And, Senators McCain and Clinton want to stimulate fuel demand this summer by temporarily suspending the federal tax on gasoline?
How is that not a egregiously bad idea for everyone?
For example, the U.S. government would be deprived of taxes while continuing to conduct a ruinously expensive “war on terror.”
Consumers, who it appears are finally diminishing their purchases of profligate SUV’s in favor of more efficient vehicles, would suddenly be encouraged to prop up the already obscene price of gasoline by stimulating demand.
A stupendously bad idea for everyone, everyone of course excepting George III’s buddies the oil companies, and those utterly pampered Iowa farmers?
The science makes it clear: ethanol and soy based biodiesel are crimes against the globe’s water supply, and their application for vehicular transportation must be terminated soonest.
The planet can figure out ways to deal with the growing cost of petroleum as fuel, for example, by driving less, and converting to renewable energy sources.
But if there’s no water, there’s no life.
Even the cockroaches would have difficulty managing.
It’s it for now. Thanks,
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