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October 29, 2008

There is no Zero Energy Future

The zero energy future does not exist. This kind of future is often seriously discussed at peak oil sites, where they say that after say one hundred years there will be no more oil and civilization will revert to a pre-oil status.

Biofuels are already here and can be scaled up. There is already over 1 million barrel per day of oil equivalent in ethanol and biodiesel. The world uses 86-88 million barrels per day of oil or oil equivalent liquids in 2008. [42 gallons in a barrel. 365 days. 15330 gallons/year is one barrel per day.]


The projection shown does not include miscanthus [elephant grass], algae, seaweed or other new biosources.

Unmodified miscanthus has been found to be 2.5 times more efficient than corn and switchgrass. 9.3% of cropland equivalent to grow Miscanthus to offset 20% of fuel. 23.25% to offset 50% of fuel. Genetic modifications can boost Miscanthus efficiency by 300%. Modified Miscanthus 8% of land to offset 50% of fuel.

The first algae biodiesel plant was started in April, 2008

The facility, located in Rio Hondo Texas, will produce an estimated 4.4 million gallons of algal oil and 110 million lbs. of biomass per year off a series of saltwater ponds spanning 1,100 acres.


There are dozens of companies pursuing the goal of large scale biodiesel from algae.

Bill Gates is one of the investors in Sapphire Energy, which will turn algae into biofuel.

Sapphire is working towards a 10,000-barrel-a-day algae-based oil facility [three-five years], and can now concentrate on production and engineering problems. Sapphire Energy, which is working on oil-producing algae, has now raised a total of $100 million.







Algae, fuel from waste, jatropha, seaweed and modified miscanthus should be pushed for biofuels.

National Renewable Energy lab discusses potential of algae biofuel
60 billion gallons per year [4 million barrels per day] of algae biofuel could be grown on 6 million acres.
Therefore, 30 million acres of land would produce 20 million barrels per day and displace current oil usage in the United states. About 3% of current farmland or less than 1.5% of total US land.

The USA has 2.264 billion acres of land and 930 million acres is farmland.

Large amounts of biofuel will also be produced from waste

Coskata is currently developing a 40,000-gallon-per-year cellulosic ethanol demonstration facility in Madison, Pa. China could produce 50 billion gallons [over 3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day] of biofuel from forest and agricultural waste alone, enough to displace its current oil imports. Together with Colwich, Kan.-based ICM Inc., the company plans to have a United States-based commercial-scale plant producing between 50 MMgy to 100 MMgy of cellulosic ethanol by 2011.


Jatropha is a weed that can be turned in to biofuel and can be grown on wasteland.

Japan is pursuing genetically modified seaweed for large scale biofuel.

Uranium and deep burn nuclear power can extend nuclear supplies to tens of thousands of years [using one hundred times more than we use now] and up to 5 billion years at a higher usage rate than we currently have

FURTHER READING
India's plan for jatropha biofuel.

India's jatropha fuel plans

Biofuel at wikipedia

Biodiesel around the world at wikipedia

Biodiesel in Canada
Biofuel in western canada is currently wheat and corn. But Canola and other sources are scaling up.

Canada could also grow camelina (a weed similar to Jatropha)

Camelina has the ability to grow on marginal land, utilizing very little moisture, in cold states as far north as Montana and Canada. Camelina is also an excellent rotational crop and has been shown to enhance the yield of subsequent crops such as wheat by up to 15 percent.

Great Plains has contracted with several crushing partners in North America to produce over 10 million road miles of camelina biodiesel to date, and plans to boost production to 100 million gallons by the year 2012.


Productivity 100 gallons of camelina oil per acre. Canola yields 100 to 200 gallons per acre. Compared to about 30 gallons per acre from corn; 50 gallons from soybeans

Dominion Energy Services, LLC has broken ground for a $400-million integrated biodiesel and ethanol refinery in Innisfail, Alberta, Canada, it will consist of a combined 300 million gallon per year production facility (100 million gallon ethanol, a 100 million gallon canola crush facility and a 100 million gallon biodiesel) on commencement in the third quarter of 2008, and will use about 1 million tonnes of wheat and 900,000 tonnes of canola a year for raw residue.

Canadian Green Fuels Inc. last week announced plans to put up a new plant and upgrade its existing plant in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Proposed production capacity: 63.4 million gallons of biofuel products a year, and will run on energy it creates and is expected to produce biodiesel, biofuels, bio-oil, and bio-additives.


Canola biodiesel

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