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CO2 Pipelines and Ethanol – Entropy Factories

By Energy Rant No Comments
Now and then, a seemingly dumb idea flies through my neocortex like a bat at dusk. Bats have Mr. Magoovian eyesight and rely on radar technology to catch bugs. They are silent in flight. A few weeks ago, one such metaphorical flying rodent got too close for me to ignore. That bat was carbon dioxide pipelines used to sequester CO2. This could be the dumbest idea I have investigated. The pipeline would carry liquid CO2 from ethanol, fertilizer, and “other agricultural industrial plants” from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas, to be sequestered under North Dakota or Illinois. Developers…
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Percent GHG Savings

Ethanol – Where Physics, Politics, and Emission Limits Collide

By Energy Rant One Comment
I recently researched many attributes and market effects for liquid fuels for a project we are working on, and like my digging into the wind and climate studies, this research results in several findings. This post covers ethanol and gasoline blends. A future post will cover fuel cost and impacts on electric vehicles and utilities. My journey began with the ethanol market. We produce a lot of corn-derived ethanol here in the northern plains. By 2020 there may be a big demand for Midwest ethanol as California caps the carbon intensity of its liquid fuels. The cap, part of their…
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Alternative Fuels – ET Says, “What’s the Matter with You?”

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant No Comments
I was reading this opinion piece by the Rolling Stones keyboardist and forestry nut, and it didn’t take long for an age-old rant topic to emerge.  This one is about misguided allocation of resources, particularly for alternative fuels, to achieve desired ends.  If an alien (say, ET, although I’ve never watched the movie) landed in the US and evaluated our alternative fuel feed stocks and end use fuels (e.g. ethanol), it would say, “What are you doing man?  This is insane!”But first, let me begin with how the pursuit of wealth, which happens to be the force behind a growing economy…
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Occupying Ignorance

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Sustainability No Comments
Have you had your fill of Occupy Wall Street, (OWS) which has spilled over into dinky, surrounding, wannabe towns including one nearby with a population of a whopping 4,000?  Apparently, these in-duh-viduals are protesting rich people and the fact that the rich keep getting richer and the poor, well, are the poor.  My response: that’s life.  Life isn’t fair.  I don’t like the word “fair”.  Rather, I like “not cheating”.  “Fair” is too often used by whiners.  Some of these OWSers are self described anarchists and communists.  Oh yeah, there you go.  That’s what we need is communism.  There’s a…
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Dow Chemical Finds Free-Market Religion

By Energy Efficiency, Energy Rant, Government, Stimulus, Sustainability, Tax Stuff No Comments
I was going to talk about sane solutions for ground transportation this week and I was going to lead with a tidbit, but that snowballed into the entire rant of its own. Last week I was reading The Wall Street Journal on my 1994 organic cotton-stuffed futon when I had a “Ha!  You scheming, scamming, shysters!” moment.    In Law of Gravity Repealed, I accused for-profit corporations who are in favor of carbon caps of essentially getting in bed with the political hacks in Washington to form the rules of the game such that they come out ahead of their competitors. …
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