Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
fleebut

Retrospect Carbon Studies

Recommended Posts

 

John Decicco's latest study of ethanol is worse than gasoline for carbon intensity has prompted my thoughts on what CI studies often miss or make wrong assumptions. Decicco for example makes an  assumption that corn for ethanol is a displacement of the normal crop. That farmers some place must plant more corn to accommodate the non-ethanol market shortage. He assumes the historical disruptions during the ethanol production years of farming is a direct result of ethanol RFS. That the farm production system is static and the farmland would be merely expand or contract acres per ethanol. Also, that the plantings all do in fact convert CO2, so, that conversion must be subtracted from ethanol. Meaning if they did not plant corn for ethanol they would plant corn for feed or just another crop. These anti ethanol calculations always assume Land Bank is pristine grassland, but per my observation around here the land is sick with sparse weeds and of no value except for federal subsidy. Besides the land is supposed to be “farm land”. Meaning if and when the farmer decides to farm the land, that is just the way it is. Remember the snapshots of space orbit that labeled the highest areas of photosynthesis. It wasn’t temperate jungle, it was the mighty corn fields converting CO2 to starch and fibre.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  •  

    The feed value of corn improved in entirety per the fermentation process, higher protein content, and nutrition. So, it is not a one for one substitution per pound with corn. I would expect distillers grains will become a normal and healthy addition to all livestock and the value of corn will diminish as consumers put a premium on healthy food production.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Farmer decision making skill set is a incredibly honed ability with honed learned management skills that would be impossible to distill to gross assumptions. Decisions are made  and a whole host of complex matters and best guess intuition. Their livelihood depends on being correct most of the time. Professors haven’t a clue upon the profession nor the ability or motivation of the career. So, very dangerous for them to make assumptions in a vacuum. Maybe they should poll farmers to improve their estimates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Agriculture is so incredibly powerful for biofuels as the industry already has in place all the tools to make it more efficient. Biofuels is just another branch of agriculture. Think of the incredible efficiency they have developed for harvest. How does that compare with forestry or setting up solar panels?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Carbon sequestration within soil is best accomplished by the root zone, micobacteria, and fungi.  These forces are just beginning to be exploited as we begin to better understand biology. We should expect great improvements in soil carbon intensity and fertility.  GMO technology is expected to put a premium on improving farm planting to do just this. The Decicco analysis just blows this away with assuming it’s insignificant.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Ethanol’s carbon intensity must be moderated by the huge benefit to improve the efficiency of gasoline. Think of efficiency gains upon ICE in the near future with super premium E30 fuel. Even E15 as reported, the Ford focus suffers no BTU efficiency loss with ethanol. Meaning no MPG loss. This may be typical with modern vehicles? The carbon efficiency gain must be attributed to ethanol fuel. Most studies miss this or merely put an asterisk stating the the benefit, but it will always go uncalculated and untabulated. It’s to hard, yet they can accurately determine indirect land use. Lol!  Ethanol is the octane boost champion. Thermal efficiency formulas are primary based upon air compression. This is the major driving force of the internal combustion engine efficiency. The efficiency gains depend on engine strength and high octane fuel. Need I say more.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • If were to make assumptions, where is the assumption that biofuel is providing more resources for farmers, in general, to improve? To afford modern equipment and to learn to become more efficient. With more resources they can and more motivated to gain education and to learn of from valuable input from our agriculture universities that suddenly have invested interests in the effort due to the high value of biofuel to the nation. This all rubs off upon the farmers general knowledge and abilities to run the farm better with all crops. This, again is a huge factor as well as to attract more talent upon the industry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Ethanol’s carbon intensity review is not a yea or nay nor a success or failure of the entire industry. It’s just a snapshot estimate of overall carbon intensity condition.  Only a fool would make a generalised overall condemnation of ethanol based on such estimates. If the country is not happy with ethanol carbon intensity, make it better. There are 100’s of ways to do that. Most of them common sense, learned, with the requirement of additional investment. If extra low carbon energy is of paramount concern, invest in making it happen. We’re doing that for grid power. Compare that task to making fossil fuel less carbon intense. The potential scale of improvement of ethanol is limited only by our inventiveness. The endeavor has many paths to success. Currently, every participant has a shovel ready  to do list. A real

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...