Lack of Renewable Biofuel is reason for American decline
as Super Power!
By: Alan Anderson
One of the major reasons opponents use to not reduce fossil-fuel use is that China and India use more than we do and their
populations are growing faster than ours. Well after the news in May that China has started a Cap-n-Trade policy
and that both China and India have implemented policy to reduce Fossil-Fuel consumption by half by the year 2025. What new
excuse will the anti-Green Energy people use now? If China has committed to reduce carbon fuels and become an earth friendly Energy Power that will clearly make them the world’s only Green Super Power. Then finally we can go back to the days when we had no real importance in the world. We will no longer be a leader driving policy in the world.
So as we here in California see things, China has just done what we should have done in the late 70’s. America had the chance to move the world away from carbon fuels and to a renewable and sustainable fuels future that would have anchored us as a true world leader. I understand this is all very depressing to us who believe in American Progress and care about our future generations of children. However,
those who care more about corporate profits of the Oil Barons that fund our legislative arm of government should be starting to see the errors in their ways. But there is still time to keep our status as Super Power and World Heroes. We have an American University system that is hard at work discovering the best ways to convert our current broken system of transportation and fuels used to keep it
flowing. But we the American people as a whole must commit to a few things. First, we must fund Education from daycare to Advanced Postgraduate programs to give our children today and in the future to better educate the future workforce. Second, we must work
to get the current unemployed and underemployed back to work this need to be done NOW! Lastly, is a two part approach to the transportation system, 1. Infrastructure and the modernization of our crumbling roads, bridges, airports, tunnels, railways and etc… 2. The fuels we power this system needs modernization to meet environmental concerns and those of a national security nature. National Security nature might have you a bit confused so let me explain. After graduating from High School in the mid 80’s I joined the Navy. From my first year in till today has been nearly 30 years. In those 30 years America has been involved in many world conflicts. My first introduction to war was the Iranian/Iraqi war that lasted from 1980 to 1988. Although we weren’t officially involved in the combat we were heavily involved with supporting one side and the other. Confusing huh? Well we backed Saddam Hussein and we sold arms to Iran during that same time period. But why did we even care about the region? One short word describes any involvement in the Middle East; OIL. Since then every conflict we’ve been in has something to do with OIL, except one Bosnia. I can think of many reasons not to use oil but the biggest is the young Americans lives that we’ve spent and the money we’ve gambled for our so called National Security. Want some National Security? Grow our own fuel right here in America, that hasn’t cost us any lives.
Now I know most of you have all seen the lovely commercials on TV the past few years telling us how good the Oil industry is to America and just how bad ethanol is for us. Well I’m here to tell you that nice lady in the API commercials is a paid actor. She is just saying the lies the API is paying her to say. Oh yes the oil industry had been good to us in the beginning of the industrial revolution and getting us off whale oils. But times have changed, killing for oil isn’t good policy for any country not to mention the environmental impact we’d discovered that the fossil-fuel carbon causes. The oil industry says some of the most outrages things to make American believe ethanol is bad for America. It raises food costs; not true, the number one cause of higher food cost is transportation cost, oh wait that’s powered by fossil-fuels. Some say it causes engine damage; another not true, most engine problems that had been reported have resulted from poor maintenance on the vehicle and bad gas. There those that use the excuse that ethanol will give you 1/3 less power and fuel economy; now this is true sort of, all modern cars and light trucks are managed by an OBC or Onboard Computer. This is tuned by the manufacture to optimize fuel economy based on gasoline. Ethanol and gasoline are different in chemical make-up; ethanol needs higher compression to burn at its real potential. So if you had an engine tuned to burn ethanol and not gas it would get as if not better power and MPG. Ever watch drag race and wonder why they use Alcohol dragsters? MORE POWER! One last lie the oil industry uses is a land use vs. food argument; this one is a 2/3 lie. Here’s why: they use it to say fuel made from “corn” takes away food from Americans, this only happens when droughts happen and just because of shortages across the board. The truth is that even last year’s drought America ended up with a surplus of corn in reserve. And in the next paragraph I will explain how the University system has solved this so called problem once and for all. So you see the Oil Industry has tried every trick in the book to keep their “Monopoly” on the fuels market as some would say by “hook or by crook” I say by “Hook and by Crook”.
Now we come to the solutions part of this article. Remember above where I talked about the importance of our University System? Well here is what we’ve learned from them at least 5 Universities from all point from around the United States. The University of California, Davis and Penn State plus North Dakota State Univ., University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research and the University of Georgia are all involved with research on what has been described as the world’s cure for Oil. Energy Beets have proven time and time again that even the best arguments for oil against ethanol don’t have a chance against “Energy Beets”. This crop is an industrial use only version of a sugar beet which in its own right has out preformed any other crop for the making of Biofuel.
Corn at its best can produce 425 gallons of ethanol per acre. Sugarcane runs between 650-725 gallons per acre. And one crop we haven’t discussed yet is Sugar Beet, traditional sugar beets produce between 700-750 gallons per acre. But wait, there is a new Sugar Beet on the market now, known as the Energy Sugar Beet. It produces between 795-850 gallons of ethanol per acre. All of these numbers come from varies reports from the USDA and DOE within the past year, so none of these statistics are from old research or data sources.
The Energy Sugar Beet even out performs the EPA and DOE standards mandating crops to be considered for advanced biofuels meet a 50% reduction in GHG threshold. The new beet far out reached that 50% and comes in at 70% GHG reduction and that is using traditional farm practices. But in studies, using non-traditional practices such as low-till and the use of biodiesel on the farms this number has moved to over 80% GHG reduction range.
With corn at an all time high, food vs. fuel issues still being debated and the price of gas going up daily. What is stopping us from moving to this Energy Beet and changing of our nation’s future to one of Oil Independence and creating a renewable resource that helps create jobs in a Green Energy revolution throughout America. At the same time we will have a fuel that even the oil industry couldn’t compete with as far as cost. Sugar ethanol from Energy Beets will be the lowest priced fuel on the market.
But wait you say, most of you have never heard of Sugar Beets let alone Energy Sugar Beets. One little known fact to Americans is that 60% of all the sugar consumed by Americans comes from sugar beets produced here in America and they aren’t subsidized by the government. Standard sugar beets are currently being grown in at least 14 states. The one big benefit of the new Energy beets is that they can be grown in almost any climate in 40 states in the U.S. In the states that can produce crops year round like California, Energy beets and be grown in rotation with other crops to boost continuous year round production of ethanol.
Why Energy Beets for Advanced Biofuels
-Water Neutral – one gallon of water produces one gallon of ethanol
-Energy beets --produce 3 times the ethanol per acre compared to corn
-Plant energy neutral – facility would produce 75% of processing energy
-Advanced Biofuel – reduces carbon emissions in excess of +50%
-Co-products – brewer’s yeast, beet pulp and potash fertilizer
-Net Energy – one unit of input energy provides 9.28 units
of energy as ethanol compared to 4.52 unit return for crude oil
The Ethanol projects of the past were a great start to awareness and development of biofuels but they have not been able to hit the mandate target for production. What Energy Crops have shown is not only is it possible but it can be quicker and with less acres. The western states are begging for the chance to show the world we can do it and do it better and cheaper than ever before. Today, we need to decide who will win the future of Trans. Energy, us or the dwindling Oil Industry.
There has been many crops studied to be considered an Energy Crops but not many have made the grade. Only 2 crops make the grade for Top of the list. The one factor that makes both of these crops better than any of their competitors was the fact they can be grown on most of America’s non-arable land. This one factor keeps land-use out of any discussion the Oil industry want to try to paint as a negative reason to keep using dwindling natural resources. The U.S. has 300-500 million of unused non-arable acres of land useable to the Energy Crop Industry for no cost to American Taxpayers. The fact of the matter is leasing of such land will be a large resource of new revenue, much more than the oil industry leases from the U.S. Gov.. The 2 crops that win top honors are “Energy Beets” and “Energy Soy”.
We may soon see sugar beets being planted outside of the traditional production area as a new ethanol industry develops from processing what proponents call energy beets.
Studies currently underway are looking at the cultural practices and varieties of beets that would be a fit for ethanol production, rather than resulting in high quality sugar.
Making ethanol from sugar beets is a very efficient process. It takes less energy than (converting) corn and produces twice the ethanol per acre than corn.
As far as net energy from energy beets, one unit of input energy provides 9.28 units of energy as ethanol compared to a 4.52 unit return from crude oil. Since new plant designs would reduce carbon emissions in excess of 50 percent the resulting ethanol would be labeled as an advanced biofuel, which means more government incentives, compared to regular corn-based ethanol.
By drying and then burning the stillage from the beets - (the waste material remaining after fermentation), the facility would actually provide 75 percent of its energy needs and the water usage of the plant would be significantly lower than that of a corn-based ethanol facility, with one gallon of water needed to make one gallon of ethanol from energy beets.
So with all this fact!
Why is it that California and the rest of the nation still continue to
support the dying Oil Industry and their bolstering claims of an Energy Boom which they still have no evidence of? Fuel prices continue to rise and everyone knows even the most expensive ethanol is at least a dollar cheaper than gas. California needs to standup for the nation and put America back in the lead as a Super Power by opening BLM lands for Energy Crop growth and ban and outlaw carbon expansion.
Americans need to send a clear message to their Congressional and Senate representatives that we don’t support Big Oil anymore
here in America.