Monday, November 24, 2008

US, Brazil to speed up cellulosic ethanol research with Caribbean partners

Here's the story from Caribbean Net News.

7 comments:

Antonio Joyette said...

I am excited about this alternative fuel. For one I like the fact that it reduces the dependence on carbon fuel - gasoline, and that itself produces less pollution. I am not certain but I suppose the price will be compatible per unit fuel.

Despite this I do have some concerns. I am concerned that the Caribbean maybe convinced that this alternative will is worth getting into big time (there is money to be made in it). Once there are profits to be made, farmers will cease growing the less profitable crops - banana and vegetables etc - and turn to growing these plants for making fuel. The entire counties end up planing these crops on agricultural lands. Now we have a food production crisis on our hands, in territories that are already small, poor and vulnerable. Now they will be even more so.

Forced to import food (beyond what they already do) higher losses of foreign exchange, fewer tourist (because we too many cars and too many fuel making plants around), etc.

Something tells me this will have some serious social costs to it. Hmmmm. I like the alternative fuel and less pollution,...but at what cost? I am ..hmmmm...I dont know....hmmm

William McKinnon said...

I have two comments to make about this article. First is that 4.3 million divided between multiple countries seems to be not enough to significantly help a country start a bio fuel industry. Secondly if the second generation bio fuel will be made of inedible crop waste how I don’t know if it would lead to a food shortage. I would like to know if it is feasible to get enough raw materials for bio fuel from existing food crop waste.

Brad Coffey said...

I wonder the same when it comes to how much is being invested into producing this type of fuel. It seems like a meager amount when it comes to getting something off of the ground. I wouldn't think there would be a food shortage simply because of the market that is already there for these countries. If the resulting "useless" matter from food production would be sufficient for producing this fuel, that sounds like a win/win. Mainly because there will be additional focus on production of fuel, supplemented by leftover materials from an already profitable food industry.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that they are finally speeding up the research for other ways to make ethanol besides corn-based methods

I wonder how efficient this cellulosic ethanol will be
(rachel bisesi)

Antonio Joyette said...

I believe the point is being missed here. Cellulose waste is the entry point. There is not enough waste of that nature on tiny tropical islands to make this viable. The idea to get the islands involve in bio-fuel. Vege-fuel is corn, bananas, potatoes anything-based. Its getting a proverbial foot in the door in the islands. Its not about waste. If there is no waste Crops need to be planted to support the industry! Think about that!

EASON said...

I have visited the Central American country side and seen the ehanol production. Thousands and of acres there are clear cut and planted with jelly palms which are used as the biomass in the production process. Envrionmentally friendly? Plus this stuff will tear your engine up, alcohol holds water and corrodes your headers and pistons. Just say no to alcohol.

BrandonHedrick said...

While greenhouse gases could also be eliminated through this program, it is my understanding that fuels created from biomass rather than specific types of crops are more efficient. This is a great idea, and is where attention needs to be focused in the biofuel industry. Equipment companies have already begun work on equipment to harvest and formulate the pulp of biomass.

Another major advantage to the areas that are being invested in is their growing season. Many African nations, Caribbean nations, and Brazil have great year-round growing climates for trees. This would provide a great opportunity for growing the biomass.

The only draw-back is the investment amount. It seems that money in the billions would be more reasonable for this type of research.