[extropy-chat] FW: greenpeace doesn't like ethanol either

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Mar 9 09:19:53 UTC 2007

On Thu, Mar 08, 2007 at 03:44:56PM -0800, spike wrote:

> They don't like oil, 
> they don't like coal, 
> oh god, no nukes, 
> and no ethanol.
> ...
> ...do these folks have a suggestion?  ...spike
> Oops my information was out of date.  Greenpeace likes nukes now:

Isn't it fun to tear down self-erected strawmen? The environmentally
minded folks are not necessarily all of the lefty neoluddite variety.
But you already knew that.
> http://www.terrapass.com/terrablog/posts/2006/04/greenpeace-founder-goes-nuc
> lear.html
> I have long been an ethanol fan, but in the long run I actually think the

I'm always posting my standard Patzek URL when anyone mentions
bioethanol http://petroleum.berkeley.edu/papers/patzek/CRPS416-Patzek-Web.pdf

Please read it. It's not that long, or at least skip the data,
and read the conclusion.

Summary: energetically, it doesn't work. Environmentally, it doesn't work
at all. The cellulose bioethanol scam you're hearing peddled lately is
not much better, energetically. I don't know what the story with algae
in brakish ponds is, at least some algae are reasonably efficient, and
generate oil which doesn't need to be destilled. They also might or
might not produce utilizable protein (and also, a large range of toxins,
but that might be managable). 

As to alternatives, do buy 
and read it. It's really cheap Wiley VCH books go. You might like
it, especially since they're uncritically in favor of nuclear energy
(I presume it's because one of the authors is from France).

> nuke people are right on.

There is this widespread understanding about the uranium fuel cycle.
People look at elemental abundancies in the crust, rejoice, and never
look for total high-grade ore resources (no, granite is not an ore, and even
through the fuel price currently doesn't have much effect, it doesn't
mean a few orders of magnitude price hikes won't have an effect), 
geographic ore distribution, isotope enrichment, and
similiar. There are alternatives
but there is sure no commercial reactor product based on them.

If you look at how much resources you need to make a reactor product
(look at France how it's being done), then immediately ought to think
what that kind of money spent in synfuels and renewables is going to

This is not much of an analysis, but at least it's a start. You people
can take it from here, and bring it up to a level from which we all
can learn something.  

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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