Keep promoting the oil sands in Canada. One of my clients is building
pipeline from there all the way down to the refineries in the Chicago area.
[mailto:cpf0000-bounces+nelsonp=speakeasy.net@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 9:06 PM
To: Open discussion among iSeries Users
Subject: Re: [CPF0000] Bread and Butter Issues
rick baird wrote:
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for keeping money at home, and especially,
not sending it to middle east saudi princes.
It's an interesting topic for debate. Since Canada has been right
near being our top supplier for a while ( e.g.,
] and especially
] ), and Mexico is close to Saudi
Arabia in the #3 spot, we've been doing better in relative terms in
diverting funds from the Saudis.
Of course, the rest of the world buys what we don't buy. Major
I'm just saying there's a lot of cost to turning corn into ethanol,
and it's not even close to being our energy savior.
Not to mention that a lot of cost implies the same amount of income,
We import some 10Mbbl/day of crude plus some 400kbbl/day of refined
gasoline (because we can't refine enough to keep up with our own
consumption). E85 would start off by making the gasoline imports
Now, you supplied a note that .75BTU results in 1.0BTU for a net
gain of .25BTU through ethanol production. Far be it from me even to
research that figure, though it doesn't seem right. I'd say that any
net energy production cycle should automatically be used to feed
back into itself. Wherever the first .75BTU comes from, it ought to
be replaced by the first .75BTU that comes out the other end! After
only three rounds, you've got free energy! That is an _incredibly_
efficiently energy producer.
In any case, the argument is pointless on its face. Crude oil also
takes huge amounts of BTUs to create, as well as taking perhaps a
hundred million years or so. Unfortunately, there's no point in
following that line because that energy is already invested.
Ethanol doesn't have that advantage.
Further, ethanol gives some 15% less energy when burned, compared to
gasoline. E85, being 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, works out closer
to 12.75% less output due to the gasoline boost.
But it replaces 85% of the refined gasoline. That not only
eliminates _all_ need for gasoline imports; it also drops our
gasoline refining requirements by around half.
Nor must it be used only as gasoline. It can be burned simply for
heat, if we wish. It can replace a decent chunk of what oil in many
of its forms is used for. It can even replace a number of the energy
components that are used to get to that .75BTU figure that you
started out with in another post.
Assuming we can get enough. Major problem there.
And I've always maintained that until the day comes that the price of
gas is so outrageous that we can't afford to commute from the suburbs,
we'll be petroleum based.
Yeah, I fully agree with that.
Once it really starts hurting, the alternative fuels will start coming
out of the woodwork. Humans (and especially americans) are funny that
And with that.
Regardless, why should that slow down the US DoE? I've long
maintained that the USA needs to formulate long-term policy that
addresses and focuses on two areas -- basic knowledge and food
production. This seems like an ideal starting point.
It isn't corn that we're actually after; it's ethanol (or some as
yet undetermined chemical variant). It just happens that corn is the
current easiest route for us. Sugar cane seems even better as a
source, but not so easy for us.
We need a better route. We need basic knowledge about genetics, for
example, so we can manipulate plants, bacteria or whatever works
best, into producing higher quantities of the sugars that ferment
into ethanol. We know the chemistry; we just don't yet know the
genetics that get there.
So, why is it so hard to get the DoE to fund a few $billion projects
to get this research done NOW? Build a few super-computer farms,
request universities and corporations to form research consortia and
to compete in some number of well-funded projects, dangle a few
long-term licensing agreements out there for incentive, and let the
Ethanol by itself is pretty well understood. All we're really
missing is the fundamental protein-manipulation techniques that will
cause it to be manufactured as we'd like. Maybe it doesn't even need
Why not engineer an organism that produces its own sugars to convert
to ethanol? Both processes happen separately in plenty of ways. Cut
out the middle man.
I'm hard pressed to think of why competitive projects that are
actually well funded, with incentives, wouldn't produce strong
results in very few years. Our computing skills have gotten pretty
We just find it hard to dedicate significant resources on focused
areas. Wish I understood why.