Energy Sec: US 'Off Oil' in 4 Years

ALS

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I'll believe it when I see it Al Monday, May 1, 2006 12:24 a.m. EDT Energy Sec: US 'Off Oil' in 4 Years Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman said Sunday that the U.S. was just "three or four years" away from perfecting the process that would allow American motorists to fuel their vehicles with ethanol instead of gasoline. Asked, "how long before you think that we will be off of oil and onto ethanol?," Bodman told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert: "We will be in a position over the next three or four years . . . where we will have designed the enzymes and we will be in a position that we can then start the conversion." Bodman said that besides additional research, the U.S. would need to "build these [ethanol] plants all over America." "[It's] going to be something that would not just be in the Midwest, but would be in the East Coast and the West Coast where these grasses are, are available," he said. Bodman estimated that by 2025, ethanol production would replace about 20 percent of total U.S. gasoline consumption.
 
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quote:
"three or four years" away from perfecting the process that would allow American motorists to fuel their vehicles with ethanol instead of gasoline.
....at a cost that I would rather fuel my car with gasoline.
 
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The only reason we have the current price of E-85 is because its subsidized by taxes. Expensive to build and run Ethanol production, at least as far as startup costs go, I don't know much about the costs when things are in place and more efficient.
 
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However once the price of gasoline reaches the price to produce ethanol, even though ethanol is a waste fuel (takes more energy to make it than you get out of it currently) then we will see non greenies buying the stuff. It might always be subsidized considering tax rates.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Dominic: (takes more energy to make it than you get out of it currently)
Got any links that prove this ?
 
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Bodman estimated that by 2025, ethanol production would replace about 20 percent of total U.S. gasoline consumption. A lot will happen in 2 years. This may seem far fetched to say the least but its possible.
 

crw

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I say that if Brazil can do it, we can too. 20 years ago, you could pull up to any station in Brazil and fill up with pure alcohol. This reminds me, we ought to be importing alcohol from Brazil. It's made from sugarcane and very cheap. But, the same politicians who are going to make this happen in our country are beholden to the mid-west farmer's interests.... It's also a problem that once you remove the 20 percent of gasoline from the demand, the price of oil is going to plummet, making it cheaper again to use oil... and the *ONLY* way this is going to work in the long run is if it's economically feasible.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by simple_gifts: Hopefully efforts like http://capewind.org/ will help reduce the need for coal/oil powered electric generation
Problem is that it's total annual generation is equivalent to 2.5 hours of the recent U.S. summer peak load.
 

jct

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Something you gentlemen may have overlooked in production of ethanol is the U.S. paper industry. I recently attended a conference that talked about this. New technology is being developed (already being used in a couple of plants) to turn papermills into biorefinerys. By extracting acetic acid and fermenting the hemi-cellulose in wood to ethanol. Production from all U.S. Kraft mills could be 2 billion gallons of ethanol, 6 million gallons of acetic acid, 140 million gallons of bio-diesel and by adding a Fisher-Tropsch unit you can convert the hydrogen rich "off gas" to sulfur free, multi-molecular weight feedstock (more valuable than crude), annual U.S. potential is 5 billion gallons. This will be gotten from running the same amount of wood we currently consume. This will be the papermill of the future (within the next decade). Instead of putting in wood and getting paper, turpentine and tall oil there will be the multiple products mentioned above with fewer inputs (no fossil energy) and cleaner emissions. Now I don't have a clue what multi-molecular weight feed stock is, maybe some of you do but it sure sounds good. Anyway the paper industry is going to be a player in the alternative fuel market of the future.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by jct: Something you gentlemen may have overlooked in production of ethanol is the U.S. paper industry. I recently attended a conference that talked about this. New technology is being developed (already being used in a couple of plants) to turn papermills into biorefinerys. By extracting acetic acid and fermenting the hemi-cellulose in wood to ethanol. Production from all U.S. Kraft mills could be 2 billion gallons of ethanol, 6 million gallons of acetic acid, 140 million gallons of bio-diesel and ....
That's a step in the right direction. But, assuming the 2B gallons is 2B gallons/year, that's about 6 gallons per person per year for the US. Not a major dent in the fuel supply problem.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by ALS: I'll believe it when I see it Al Monday, May 1, 2006 12:24 a.m. EDT Energy Sec: US 'Off Oil' in 4 Years Snip.... Bodman estimated that by 2025, ethanol production would replace about 20 percent of total U.S. gasoline consumption.
I think that last statement is quite achievable, but in no way approches getting us off oil in 4 years. I am waiting in the chair next to Al.
 
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