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View Diary: This May Be The BIG ONE: Gas From Grass (237 comments)

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  •  also (7+ / 0-)

    look at the numbers. a billion gallons of gasoline (i assume per year) sounds like a lot, but that's about 65,000bbl/day. currently we burn through about 9 million bbl/day of the stuff. so by 2015, assuming no growth in gasoline usage, this process replaces 0.72% of our gasoline from fossil fuels.

    with those numbers, it certainly aint 'the big one'. here's another bit - there's no such thing as 'the big one'. no renewable resource is going to reasonably replace oil. never.

    4000 gallons a year per acre sounds like a nice yield, but when you consider the amount of gasoline we go through in a year (roughly 138 billion gallons) we're talking about 35 million acres of production. even if you wanted to only replace 10% of our gasoline with this stuff you're talking about 3.5 million acres of land.

    anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

    by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 07:30:00 AM PST

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    •  not sure I understand your numbers (0+ / 0-)

      you say we burn through about 9 million a day, which is 270 million a month, which is 3.24 billion a year. 1billion divided by 365 is 2.7 million, not 65K.

      This would be a billion per year, which would be 1/3rd of our current output. Even assuming we double our gasoline usage between now and 2015, that's still 1/6th, a lot more than .72%.

      I'd say, if true, a fairly big deal.

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow

        That's 9 million barrels per day.  Multiply by 42 to get gallons.

        So, not really all that big.  Rather puny, as a matter of fact.

      •  barrels and gallons (0+ / 0-)

        You need to divide that 1 billion by another factor of 40 or so to match units.

        With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

        by jrooth on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:54:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raincrow

        9 million bbl/day of gasoline is 378 million gal/day, which is 138 billion gal/year.

        1 billion gal/year of this synthetic gasoline would make up 1/138th of our consumption, assuming consumption stays completely flat until production of this new stuff ramps up to 1 billion gal/year.

        1/138 = .00725 = .725%.

        anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

        by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 08:54:42 AM PST

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    •  I agree with some of this ... (0+ / 0-)

      but 35 million acres really isn't out of this world in terms of US agriculture.  We currently plant about 320 million acres to major crops, 92 million of that to corn alone.

      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

      by jrooth on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:00:06 AM PST

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      •  which means (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TJ, raincrow

        35 million acres is the equivalent of 11% of our ag land. that's a hell of a lot. and that's assuming that the 4000 gal/acre can be replicated on the large scale.

        color me unconvinced.

        anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

        by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:10:23 AM PST

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        •  Also, like switchgrass (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raincrow

          To sustain the high yields you need to treat it like a food crop, with irrigation and chemical fertilizer.  If you grow it as a weed the yields fall off rapidly.

          •  which means (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TJ, raincrow

            if you grow it like a weed you need a lot more land. it's not like we have tons of unused ag land just sitting around.

            at best this system is a more tech-heavy replacement for corn ethanol which is a huge boondoggle. so it's not as big of a boondoggle, which i guess is supposed to be an improvement.

            anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

            by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:27:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  As far as I can see ... (0+ / 0-)

              none of us (and I include you) has anything like adequate information to know what this could be "at best."

              With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

              by jrooth on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 10:55:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                raincrow

                i'm allowed to be skeptical, especially given all of our adventures in biofuels.

                i'm not going to await the estimates of EROEI for this stuff with bated breath.

                anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:04:35 AM PST

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                •  Sure you are. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm skeptical too, having seen more than a few miracle tech solutions in my time.

                  But some of your declarations are a much a reach towards pessimism as the diary is towards optimism.

                  With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                  by jrooth on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:11:53 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    raincrow

                    i'm allowed to be pessimistic for the same reasons. given how dependent our country is on cheap, easy fossil fuels can you blame me? our entire infrastructure is based on cheap easy-flowing fuel and this new shtick aint it.

                    anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                    by chopper on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 11:34:44 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Pessimism is in the eye of the beholder (0+ / 0-)

                    You choose to register chopper's comments -- which I consider spot-on -- as a downer. That may speak more to your state of mind than to the information/thought content of chopper's comments.

                    •  Please explain to me (0+ / 0-)

                      what objective information chopper has to make this categorical declaration:

                      at best this system is a more tech-heavy replacement for corn ethanol which is a huge boondoggle. so it's not as big of a boondoggle, which i guess is supposed to be an improvement.
                      (emphasis mine)

                      With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

                      by jrooth on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 04:38:18 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        raincrow

                        oh noes, a 'categorical declaration'.

                        having seen more than a few miracle tech solutions in my time which have never panned out, and given the lack of real information in this press release (note: when people pushing this sort of tech don't tell you what the EROEI is, it's probably not great), i think i'm more than able to assume that this is, at best, a nominal improvement over our current corn ethanol boondoggle. given our insane thirst for gasoline and the fact that the people pushing this tech say that if things go great they could by 2015 replace .7% of our gasoline usage, i'm more than within the bounds of reason to assume so.

                        just wait til you hear my 'categorical declarations' about the GOP. people better get to the faintin' couch cause they's about as categorical as you can get.

                        anyone born after the McDLT has no business stomping around acting punk rock

                        by chopper on Tue Feb 28, 2012 at 09:37:58 AM PST

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                      •  I think chopper has covered the bases on this (0+ / 0-)
            •  Actually, we do have a ton of unused and fallow (0+ / 0-)

              ag land at the moment. And this can use poor quality soil, so that expands the available land considerably.

              Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

              by FarWestGirl on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 05:08:56 PM PST

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        •  Well ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          I don't think it's an unreasonable amount of land if it can really produce anything close to our entire national consumption of gasoline.

          With all this manure around, there must be a pony in here somewhere. - Count Piotr Vorkosigan

          by jrooth on Mon Feb 27, 2012 at 09:23:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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