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Message Icon Topic: Will the Rush for Biofuels Lead to Starvation? Post Reply Post New Topic
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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Topic: Will the Rush for Biofuels Lead to Starvation?
    Posted: 13 March 2008 at 1:36am
This article of last Friday is from The Times newspaper:
 
Rush for biofuels threatens starvation on a global scale

The rush towards biofuels is theatening world food production and the lives of billions of people, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser said yesterday

“It’s very hard to imagine how we can see the world growing enough crops to produce renewable energy and at the same time meet the enormous demand for food,” he told a conference on sustainability in London
 
 
As the price of oil reaches a record level of $110/barrel, a serious energy shortage looks to be ahead.
 
A number of alternatives in the area of renewable energy are being sought, but are biofuels the right answer?
 
What do you think?
 
 
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Honu  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Honu Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2008 at 3:58am
Biofuels can only be a supplement, not a total replacement.  One potential source of biofuel, rather than using foodstock like corn, is in biomass from other plant sources including agricultural byproducts and algae. 
We need to increase the use of other energy sources, such as solar, to reduce the dependance on petroleum products.
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Traveller  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Traveller Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2008 at 4:42am
Enter Jatropha Curcas. It's a wonder plant.
 
"The clear oil expressed from the seed has been used for illumination and lubricating, and more recently has been suggested for energetic purposes, one ton of nuts yielding 70 kg refined petroleum, 40 kg "gasoil leger" (light fuel oil), 40 kg regular fuel oil, 34 kg dry tar/pitch/rosin, 270 kg coke-like char, and 200 kg ammoniacal water, natural gas, creosote, etc."
 
The oil can only be used for fuel, not for human consumption. Anybody wanna invest in it, please contact me.
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Aviatrix  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Aviatrix Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2008 at 4:36pm
Honu did you hear that special on NPR about producing oil from algae?
 
I know most of the gas statiosn now are carrying 10-20% ethanol. It's kind of a pain, really, with prices over $3/gallon and the fuel efficiency about 10% less because of the ethanol.
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IssaRaheem  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote IssaRaheem Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2008 at 8:52pm
Salaam,
 
In my home state of Texas, the Pilgrim pride company will lay off over 1,100 workers;
 
Chief Executive Clint Rivers says feed costs have increased because of federal subsidies for ethanol blenders.
 
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote MedGirl Replybullet Posted: 13 March 2008 at 11:22pm

Last year the U.S. produced just under 4 billion gallons of ethanol, serving just 1 percent of U.S. fuel needs. Academics say production can’t go much higher. 

“If we used all the corn produced in the United States to produce ethanol, it would provide only 7 percent of our total vehicle fuel use,” said Cornell agriculture professor David Pimental.

Here’s another sober way of looking at it: if every car in America was fully powered by ethanol, it would take 97 percent of U.S. soil to grow enough corn to support it.

And that's not all. It turns out that it takes more energy to make ethanol than it could ever generate.

“About 30 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than you actually get out in ethanol,” said Pimental.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12934470


Edited by MedGirl - 13 March 2008 at 11:26pm
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Bill2702  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Bill2702 Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2008 at 4:56am
What we need is an efficient battery. There are many sources of energy but they cant deliver the energy when it is needed. The answer is the storage, not the generation of energy.
Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
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Honu  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Honu Replybullet Posted: 14 March 2008 at 5:37am
Bill you are half right, but, you can't store what you don't generate.  We need to generate more power from cleaner, more renewable sources like solar, wind, geothermal, and nuclear.  While all this will not replace oil-based power sources it will diminish the use of oil.
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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 15 March 2008 at 1:56am
Originally posted by MedGirl

Last year the U.S. produced just under 4 billion gallons of ethanol, serving just 1 percent of U.S. fuel needs. Academics say production can’t go much higher. 

“If we used all the corn produced in the United States to produce ethanol, it would provide only 7 percent of our total vehicle fuel use,” said Cornell agriculture professor David Pimental.

Here’s another sober way of looking at it: if every car in America was fully powered by ethanol, it would take 97 percent of U.S. soil to grow enough corn to support it.

And that's not all. It turns out that it takes more energy to make ethanol than it could ever generate.

“About 30 percent more fossil energy is required to produce a gallon of ethanol than you actually get out in ethanol,” said Pimental.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12934470
 

Could we really run out of food?

Biofuel production, poor harvests and emerging nations' growing appetites are emptying the world's pantry, sending prices soaring. It's a good time to invest in agricultural stocks ...
 
Wheat futures prices have tripled since 2004, corn prices have almost tripled since 2005, and soybeans have tripled since 2006 ...
 
Joseph R. Dancy, who teaches law at Southern Methodist University and runs a small hedge fund, lays the immediacy of the crisis directly on ethanol-production mandates in an energy bill recently passed in the U.S. The bill, intended to boost America's energy independence, is expected to push as much as 31% of the U.S. corn crop into biofuels production, up from 24% last year. In other words, at the exact moment we most need corn on our plates, it is being funnelled into cars. A full tank of gas requires the equivalent of a quarter of a ton of raw foodstuffs, enough to feed one person bread for a year.

Coxe's solution: As a first step, shut down all ethanol plants immediately. "It's criminal to burn corn for fuel when we are out of food," he said. In a particularly pernicious development, he noted that a big boost in demand for soybeans for use as biodiesel in Europe has driven up the price of palm oil in Southeast Asia, where it is the main source of protein for the poor

 
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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 16 March 2008 at 1:40am
Originally posted by Bill2702

What we need is an efficient battery. There are many sources of energy but they cant deliver the energy when it is needed. The answer is the storage, not the generation of energy.
 
I agree Bill, though both sides of the equation are important. Wind power for example could power all UK homes
 
Wind 'could power all UK homes'

All UK homes could be powered by offshore wind farms by 2020 as part of the fight against climate change, under plans unveiled by John Hutton.

Up to 7,000 turbines could be installed to boost wind produced energy 60-fold by 2020.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/7135930.stm

The technology for energy storage is advancing and has a good potential, especially with the current oil prices
 
However, some big players in the auto industry it seems are against it
 
 
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Al-Cordoby  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Al-Cordoby Replybullet Posted: 24 March 2008 at 1:49am
Call for delay to biofuels policy
 
The UK's chief environment scientist has called for a delay to a policy demanding inclusion of biofuels into fuel at pumps across the UK
 
Serious concern

But others fear the impact of biofuels on food prices. And recent articles from US scientists argue that the carbon debt incurred from carbon released from ploughing virgin soil often outweighed any potential carbon saving from the biofuels

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7309099.stm
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Challa  
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Rating: 0 of 0 votes Quote Challa Replybullet Posted: 25 March 2008 at 4:02pm
Maybe more people should get bicycles.. better for the environment and better for you health..
 
Though you'll need to eat more food...
 
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