Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
GT-Labs

Here we go again...the newsman says "BOO!"

Recommended Posts

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22301669/

 

There we go running clean cars but killing fish and crabs, according to MSNBC.com Not that I doubt fertilizers are playing a role in the Gulf Dead Zone, but what effects is the Mississippi showing or farther upstream? Runoff processing isn't impossible, and could even be profitable with algae processing. It even comes with it's own water! Shipping the algae for processing or installing a small scale processor on the farm is another possibility.

 

Fret not! You're growing two fuels! We're just not harvesting that algae supply yet. Cellulosic is still in its infancy, too. No prairie land has been converted to farmland, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it just goes to show that the farmers are throwing away a crop. They should capture their run off water and use it to grow algae blooms to clean the water of excess nitrogen before it is discharged into local run off streams.

 

Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops!  From the Article:

 

The dead zone typically begins in the spring and persists into the summer. Its size and location vary each year because of currents, weather and other factors, but it is generally near the mouth of the Mississippi.

 

This year, it is the third-biggest on record. It was larger in 2002 and 2001, when it covered 8,500 and 8,006 square miles respectively.

 

Soil erosion, sewage and industrial pollution also contribute to the dead zone, but fertilizer is believed to be the chief factor.

 

I don't know;  It sounds like there's more than just some nitrogen fertilizer at work, here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lot of the problem is over fertilization of lawns and golf courses. Clear Lake, Iowa( of Buddy Holley fame)banned phosphate from lawn fertilizer because their lake was being polluted from the stuff. I can't remember for sure but probably at least 10 years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other interesting and "funny" part is they dont mention that the majority of that corn..is going for Food stuff ..from feedstock to retail. But nope ..not the problem isnt fertilizer used for those tems of millions of acreas ..is the corn for ethanol thats causing the problem  :D

 

 

CLEARLY there IS  a large problem with fertilizers causing huge issues downstream..but this isnt a new issue by any measn..been happing for decades long before any substantial use of ethanol.

 

But again Ethanol takes the full hit

 

 

Not a problem .. just look at it as one more "incentive" to speed up cellulosic ethanol

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After allowing for the "substitution effect" of Distillers Grains we Exported twice as much corn for use as Livestock Feed as we used to produce ethanol.  Perhaps we should Outlaw the "Exportation" of Corn for Cattle Feed. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The dead zone is contributed by many things- whether you let your leaves blow into the street and thus down the storm sewer, your state still allows phosphates in laundry detergent, you wash your car in the driveway, how city sanitation plants treat the nutrients, lawn fertilizers, runoff from cattle feedlots, what nutrients industry are allowed to discharge, and on and on. Certainly all cropping contributes but with the changes in agriculture such as no till, deep fertilizer placement, limitations by govt. on fertilizer use (for example the state of WI. now requires a farm plan which limits fertilizer or manure use and spells out how much, how application will be applied, and how soon it must be tilled in depending on soil slope, crop, soil type, etc)--non point sources should be a decreasing issue, particularly since crop acreage really is unchanged. For farmers fertilization is an economic decision which limits use--lawns are fertilized at a higher rate because this is about looks--tell me that when you spread next to the curb that none goes into the street too.

County govts are also getting into more control by requiring storm ponds to limit spring run-off and requiring silt fences at construction sites. I think some of this dead zone issue is due to increasing paved surfaces that when washed by rain in the spring have no place to go but down river- hopefully the storm pond plans will limit such runoff and allow more infiltration. It may take years for the nutrients in the Gulf to dilute out and this may be the result of past sins rather than present.

So for now-- lets grow some algae ;D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont see the Midwest moving away from corn ethanol before rest of the Country. It appears reasonable to me to that cellulosic ethanol will advance quicker in regions that have no viable corn growing seasons . As these cellulosic plants around the country start firing up then pressure will be relived from midwest corn for ethanol (and the negative attention).  Midwest will probaly bring up the rear in cellulosic simply because corn is so easy to do..when cellulosic reachs a point where you are getting more "bang" for your buck then we'll begin to see the Midwest moving away from corn and into cellulosic.

 

 

Of course I could be wrong simply because the Midwests experiance in Ethanol may make for it prime for faster transformation to cellulosic than other regions ?

 

bottomline though is ethnaol ..no matter it's formation will probbaly always be a target ..simply because it represents a threat to the status quo

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...