• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Biodiesel: The answer to foreign oil dependency.

LaMidRighter

Klattu Verata Nicto
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
30,534
Reaction score
10,682
Location
Louisiana
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
The simple answer is because it takes more fossil fuel energy to produce biodiesel than the energy output from straight usage of fossil fuel puts out in the first place.
 

Arch Enemy

Familiaist
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
7,466
Reaction score
2,083
Location
North Carolina
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
One word, Ethanol.

Could you imagine how many farms it would take to produce enough ethanol to destory America's dependency on foreign oil?
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
LaMidRighter said:
The simple answer is because it takes more fossil fuel energy to produce biodiesel than the energy output from straight usage of fossil fuel puts out in the first place.

How do you figure that?

Wouldn't We use biodiesel to produce biodiesel?
 

ILikeDubyah

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
172
Reaction score
0
Location
Phx
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Cars already run on this, right? They're the ones with the little corn field sticker next to a road on the back, right?...I was watching something, can't remember what, but a bunch of hippies in a commune somewhere have a car that runs on pure vegetable oil. It looked like it ran like a normal car, they just said that it smelled alot like french fries while driving.
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
ILikeDubyah said:
Cars already run on this, right? They're the ones with the little corn field sticker next to a road on the back, right?...I was watching something, can't remember what, but a bunch of hippies in a commune somewhere have a car that runs on pure vegetable oil. It looked like it ran like a normal car, they just said that it smelled alot like french fries while driving.

biobeetlerentalcarsm.JPG


Can you imagine the shot in the arm this new industry would give our farmers?
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
Arch Enemy said:
One word, Ethanol.

Could you imagine how many farms it would take to produce enough ethanol to destory America's dependency on foreign oil?

And of course since ADM is a big bad boogyman corporation it would all have to be grown by communal family farms.
 

Stinger

DP Veteran
Joined
May 3, 2005
Messages
15,097
Reaction score
537
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
ILikeDubyah said:
Cars already run on this, right? They're the ones with the little corn field sticker next to a road on the back, right?...I was watching something, can't remember what, but a bunch of hippies in a commune somewhere have a car that runs on pure vegetable oil. It looked like it ran like a normal car, they just said that it smelled alot like french fries while driving.

Lou Ana Pure Vegetable Oil 1 Gallon - 128 oz
LouAna® Pure Vegetable Oil With only two grams of saturated fat...
Cajun Supermarket
This store is not yet rated. Why?
$6.49

$2.50 a gallon for gas don't sound too bad.
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
Stinger said:

-You are comparing an individually packaged edible oil to something that will be pumped into the tank of your car (No Warehouse, no pallet, no box, no plastic container, no label, less middlemen, no FDA regulation, lower distribution cost)

-No OPEC to restrict production and raise prices.

I don't know where you live, but down here gas is already $2.73
 

ILikeDubyah

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
172
Reaction score
0
Location
Phx
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
MiamiFlorida said:
-You are comparing an individually packaged edible oil to something that will be pumped into the tank of your car (No Warehouse, no pallet, no box, no plastic container, no label, less middlemen, no FDA regulation, lower distribution cost)

-No OPEC to restrict production and raise prices.

I don't know where you live, but down here gas is already $2.73


Not to mention that the car I saw was powered by vegetable oil that had already been in the food service industry. They emptied the friers at a McDonalds into their car & drove away.

We're lucky our cars don't run on Starbucks, or we'd be paying about $40 dollars a gallon! =)
 

128shot

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
31
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Untill we can make this a "recycle process" it'll be nothing more than using less oil to make a different fuel.
 

LaMidRighter

Klattu Verata Nicto
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
30,534
Reaction score
10,682
Location
Louisiana
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
MiamiFlorida said:
How do you figure that?

Wouldn't We use biodiesel to produce biodiesel?
I read it in my local paper which is not conservative in any concievable way. The answer came from an independent scientific study which showed the efficiencies of producing energy from certain fuels, to produce bio-diesel you have to manufacture it which requires energy and most energy in the U.S. is produced by burning fossil fuels, since nuclear plants aren't being built at a fast rate in this country that means the only efficient forms of energy right now are fossil fuels and the less available nuclear energy.
 

Arch Enemy

Familiaist
DP Veteran
Joined
Mar 27, 2005
Messages
7,466
Reaction score
2,083
Location
North Carolina
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Conservative
Its practically impossible.

I'd rather have my produce to eat, then to put in my car. Since when did "alternative fuels" become higher then that of Food? I'd say we'd live for at LEAST 1 month without gas (depends on what kind of laziness you are) but we could barely go 1 week without food.
 

asmith555

New member
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
The biggect problem with alternative fuels is the required infrastructure. Its simply not in place. Biodesiel works in desiel engines but must me started with regular desiel. Ethanol blends will run in some vehicals but not all. Ethanol would probably be easier to impliment but would require modification in alot of vehicals. Ethanol also still requires some gasoline.

But these option would never work because the government needs the farmland to build walmarts and subsidized housing for illegal aliens.
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
LaMidRighter said:
I read it in my local paper which is not conservative in any concievable way. The answer came from an independent scientific study which showed the efficiencies of producing energy from certain fuels, to produce bio-diesel you have to manufacture it which requires energy and most energy in the U.S. is produced by burning fossil fuels, since nuclear plants aren't being built at a fast rate in this country that means the only efficient forms of energy right now are fossil fuels and the less available nuclear energy.

Isn't it logical that if we can convert automotive engines from burning gasoline to burning biodiesel we can likewise convert power plants and all other engines which burn fossil fuels.

The hardest part of using an alternative fuel is distribution. For example, converting to hydrogen cell technology would mean drastic changes in the nation's gas stations and fuel transportation, whereas biodiesel could be delivered with minor changes.

We should slow down building more nuclear plants, whose radioactive byproducts last thousands of years.
 

LaMidRighter

Klattu Verata Nicto
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
30,534
Reaction score
10,682
Location
Louisiana
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
MiamiFlorida said:
Isn't it logical that if we can convert automotive engines from burning gasoline to burning biodiesel we can likewise convert power plants and all other engines which burn fossil fuels.
The problem, as explained to me by a college friend involved in this field is the loss of energy through inefficiency, all fuel sources lose a certain amount of energy in transit, so the double digit lag in biodiesel efficiency as compared to petroleum products would translate into a huge loss of energy, it would actually take more biodiesel to create usable biodiesel than would benefit consumers, likewise, if all automotive products ran on biodiesel, it would actually waste more gas to create a ready supply of biodiesel than would be consumed as fossil fuel power.
The hardest part of using an alternative fuel is distribution. For example, converting to hydrogen cell technology would mean drastic changes in the nation's gas stations and fuel transportation, whereas biodiesel could be delivered with minor changes.
That is actually a tossup between getting the distribution and looking at ways to either increase efficiency(if possible) and if not make a viable solution with available efficiency.

We should slow down building more nuclear plants, whose radioactive byproducts last thousands of years.
I don't know, to me you choose your poison when it comes to energy sources, nuclear is the superior source we have currently, but as fossil fuels, it has it's drawbacks. I would like to see "cold-fusion" technology become viable, fusion produces virtually no waste, but the biggest drawback is the intense heat it produces which is basically beyond containment, if we could find a way to harness that it would be perfect(this is actually being researched just a courtesy FYI in case you haven't seen it).

On a final note, I would love to see Hyrogen fuel technology ASAP, but unfortunately, the efficiency problem and containment are still issues to be dealt with, hopefully though this will be a good transition to future energy consumption.
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
LaMidRighter said:
The problem, as explained to me by a college friend involved in this field is the loss of energy through inefficiency, all fuel sources lose a certain amount of energy in transit, so the double digit lag in biodiesel efficiency as compared to petroleum products would translate into a huge loss of energy, it would actually take more biodiesel to create usable biodiesel than would benefit consumers, likewise, if all automotive products ran on biodiesel, it would actually waste more gas to create a ready supply of biodiesel than would be consumed as fossil fuel power.
That is actually a tossup between getting the distribution and looking at ways to either increase efficiency(if possible) and if not make a viable solution with available efficiency.

I don't know, to me you choose your poison when it comes to energy sources, nuclear is the superior source we have currently, but as fossil fuels, it has it's drawbacks. I would like to see "cold-fusion" technology become viable, fusion produces virtually no waste, but the biggest drawback is the intense heat it produces which is basically beyond containment, if we could find a way to harness that it would be perfect(this is actually being researched just a courtesy FYI in case you haven't seen it).

On a final note, I would love to see Hyrogen fuel technology ASAP, but unfortunately, the efficiency problem and containment are still issues to be dealt with, hopefully though this will be a good transition to future energy consumption.

Cost

The cost of biodiesel is dependent on the choice of feedstock. According to a recent market analysis, if soybeans are used the fuel will cost approximately $0.66/liter ($2.50/gallon) on a small-market scale. However, large-scale commercial use of biodiesel produced using today's technology could reduce biodiesel cost to $0.40 to $0.45/liter ($1.50 to $1.60/gallon). Additional research advances using existing feedstock technologies or innovative feedstocks such as microalgae could further reduce costs. The goal of the DOE/NREL program is to produce biodiesel from microalgae at a cost of $ 0.26/liter ($1.00/gallon).

"First, we need to understand exactly how much biodiesel would be needed to replace all petroleum transportation fuels. So, we need to start with how much petroleum is currently used for that purpose. Per the Department of Energy's statistics, each year the US consumes roughly 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline. First, we need to realize that spark-ignition engines that run on gasoline are generally about 40% less efficient than diesel engines. So, if all spark-ignition engines are gradually replaced with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines for running biodiesel, we wouldn't need 120 billion gallons of biodiesel to replace that 120 billion gallons of gasoline. To be conservative, we will assume that the average Diesel engine is 35% more efficient, so we'd need 35% less diesel fuel to replace that gasoline. That would work out to 78 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Combine that with the 60 billion gallons of diesel already used, for a total of 138 billion gallons. Now, biodiesel is about 5-8% less energy dense than petroleum diesel, but its greater lubricity and more complete combustion offset that somewhat, leading to an overall fuel efficiency about 2% less than petroleum diesel. So, we'd need about 2% more than that 138 billion gallons, or 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel. So, this figure is based on vehicles equivalent to those in use today, but with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines running on biodiesel, rather than a mix of petroleum diesel and gasoline. Combined diesel-electric hybrids in wide use would of course bring this number down considerably, but for now we'll just stick with this figure."
 

LaMidRighter

Klattu Verata Nicto
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
30,534
Reaction score
10,682
Location
Louisiana
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
MiamiFlorida said:
Cost

The cost of biodiesel is dependent on the choice of feedstock. According to a recent market analysis, if soybeans are used the fuel will cost approximately $0.66/liter ($2.50/gallon) on a small-market scale. However, large-scale commercial use of biodiesel produced using today's technology could reduce biodiesel cost to $0.40 to $0.45/liter ($1.50 to $1.60/gallon). Additional research advances using existing feedstock technologies or innovative feedstocks such as microalgae could further reduce costs. The goal of the DOE/NREL program is to produce biodiesel from microalgae at a cost of $ 0.26/liter ($1.00/gallon).
I wasn't necessarily adressing cost, more over I meant that production of this fuel will take more of the replaceable fuel, in my own opinion it doesn't make sense.

"First, we need to understand exactly how much biodiesel would be needed to replace all petroleum transportation fuels. So, we need to start with how much petroleum is currently used for that purpose. Per the Department of Energy's statistics, each year the US consumes roughly 60 billion gallons of petroleum diesel and 120 billion gallons of gasoline. First, we need to realize that spark-ignition engines that run on gasoline are generally about 40% less efficient than diesel engines. So, if all spark-ignition engines are gradually replaced with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines for running biodiesel, we wouldn't need 120 billion gallons of biodiesel to replace that 120 billion gallons of gasoline. To be conservative, we will assume that the average Diesel engine is 35% more efficient, so we'd need 35% less diesel fuel to replace that gasoline. That would work out to 78 billion gallons of diesel fuel. Combine that with the 60 billion gallons of diesel already used, for a total of 138 billion gallons. Now, biodiesel is about 5-8% less energy dense than petroleum diesel, but its greater lubricity and more complete combustion offset that somewhat, leading to an overall fuel efficiency about 2% less than petroleum diesel. So, we'd need about 2% more than that 138 billion gallons, or 140.8 billion gallons of biodiesel. So, this figure is based on vehicles equivalent to those in use today, but with compression-ignition (Diesel) engines running on biodiesel, rather than a mix of petroleum diesel and gasoline. Combined diesel-electric hybrids in wide use would of course bring this number down considerably, but for now we'll just stick with this figure."
I think gasoline is more efficient than diesel, but maybe you got it right. As far as the math, I'm horrible at it so I'll just trust your figures on that.
 

ILikeDubyah

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
172
Reaction score
0
Location
Phx
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
How about this for an "alternative" to alternative fuel....There's a company in Europe that is supposed to be beginning mass production of a car that runs on compressed air. According to their website, the car runs up to 50 km/hr on compressed air only, and travles about the equivilant of 200 miles before the air needs to be re-charged. If you go above 50 km/hr, or run out of air, the engine switches back over to regular fuel. If they're able to raise the speed at which you can travel on just air, and distance as well, wouldn't this be the way to go? Also, why is it that all futuristic prototype cars look so incredibly stupid?
 

LaMidRighter

Klattu Verata Nicto
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
30,534
Reaction score
10,682
Location
Louisiana
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
ILikeDubyah said:
Also, why is it that all futuristic prototype cars look so incredibly stupid?
I think it's the "star trek syndrome", that is, whatever the present thinks the future should look like is presented in the now, without regard to trend changes, form, or common sense.
 

Burnasty

New member
Joined
Jul 10, 2005
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Location
Portland, OR
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
There is a biodiesel gas station in downtown Portland. You get better gas mileage than you do with typical diesel fuel. When I sold VW, Tdi owners would get somewhere between 700-800 miles to the tank. 14.5 gallon tanks. What I got from the mechanics at the dealership was (paraphrased for I am not a mechanic) basic fuel has lubricants that help keep your engine running smoother, bio-diesel does not have these lubricants and thus you will have more maintance problems.
Interestingly I live near a guy who own an '88 honda civic that he converted to run off propane.
 

128shot

DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Messages
1,258
Reaction score
31
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
Why didn't we research this technology in the 60s when US supply peaked?

why do we have to be so screwed. Man, i don't really have a future
 

ILikeDubyah

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
172
Reaction score
0
Location
Phx
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
I find it very hard to believe that in the past 150 years or so that we've been using massive amounts of oil, that we've almost run through, or significantly lessened, most of what's on this earth. It just doesn't seem possible to run through what took millions of years to create (from every being on the planet) in such a short period of time. Any thoughts?
 

MiamiFlorida

Active member
Joined
Aug 4, 2005
Messages
434
Reaction score
1
Location
Miami
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
ILikeDubyah said:
I find it very hard to believe that in the past 150 years or so that we've been using massive amounts of oil, that we've almost run through, or significantly lessened, most of what's on this earth. It just doesn't seem possible to run through what took millions of years to create (from every being on the planet) in such a short period of time. Any thoughts?

During that same period of time we've also depleted 90% of our forests, rainforests, mangroves and jungles, punched a massive hole in the ozone layer, and sent countless species into oblivion.

We are is like spoiled children living off a limited inheritance. Sooner or later it's going to run out.

We'd better find a renewable energy source...and soon...or we're in big trouble.
 

ILikeDubyah

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
172
Reaction score
0
Location
Phx
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Very Conservative
MiamiFlorida said:
During that same period of time we've also depleted 90% of our forests, rainforests, mangroves and jungles, punched a massive hole in the ozone layer, and sent countless species into oblivion.

We are is like spoiled children living off a limited inheritance. Sooner or later it's going to run out.

We'd better find a renewable energy source...and soon...or we're in big trouble.

All of the things you mentioned (except for extinct species (survival of the fittest) and the Ozone layer, which is actually less important than it was originally made out to be) were renewable. You can always plant tree.
 
Top Bottom