Thursday, December 29, 2011

EPA relying on conjecture-based fantasy?

Note the WSJ article titled New Forms of Biofuel Fall Short which includes the text:

Companies will have to buy credits from the EPA if they can't find enough cellulosic ethanol to purchase—even though the fuel may not be available. "The [EPA's] cellulosic number is still conjecture-based fantasy," said Stephen Brown, vice president for government affairs for refiner Tesoro Corp.

The credits cost about $1.20 per gallon, according to Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. "Once again, refiners are being ordered to use a substance that is not being produced in commercial quantities—cellulosic ethanol—and are being required to pay millions of dollars for failing to use this nonexistent substance. This makes no sense," he said.


According to a National Academy of Sciences report published this year, the latter target won't be met "unless innovative technologies are developed that unexpectedly improve the cellulosic biofuels production process."

**Separately, we have hungry cows at BiofuelsDigest:

That’s right, algae doesn’t have lignin. Shazam, the perfect workaround. Except that micro algae comes with its own problems. Foremost among them – how do you affordably get the water out of the algae or the algae out of the water? And what, then, do you do with all the residual biomass after the lipids are extracted?

Remember, in a 100 million gallon algal biodiesel project based on 25 percent lipids, you get about a million tons of residual biomass. That’s enough to feed, say, about 180,000 cows. A lot of cows, that are currently eating, we suspect, something else.

So, you have enzymatic biofuels – and a lignin problem. Gasification – you get a motherlode of challenge in making the technology affordable. There’s algae – you better know some hungry cows.

[from The Bullseye Fuel: BAL and its macroalgae-based biofuels Is this also conjecture-based fantasy?]


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