Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?

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Offline Karsten

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« on: 11/03/2009 21:12:29 »
hmm? Why? Can we not make it differently?

And while you are busy answering that, may be you can also answer this: How much land surface do we need to grow enough plant matter (your pick) to create 1 liter of ethanol?
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #1 on: 14/03/2009 09:54:44 »
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Through research performed at Cornell University, we know that 1 acre of land can yield about 7,110 pounds (3,225 kg) of corn, which can be processed into 328 gallons (1240.61 liters) of ethanol. That is about 26.1 pounds (11.84 kg) of corn per gallon.

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/question707.htm

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #2 on: 14/03/2009 10:06:19 »
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The average fuel ethanol yield is about 100 gallons (370 liters) per ton of wheat. In addition the process can yield 1/3 of a ton of high protein livestock feed, and about 1/3 of a ton of carbon dioxide for beverage or refrigeration use.

http://www.circlebio.com/ethanol_faqs.htm

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #3 on: 14/03/2009 10:20:30 »
hmm? Why? Can we not make it differently?
I doubt it.

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You mean making it without organic compounds?
« Last Edit: 14/03/2009 11:08:09 by Chemistry4me »

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lyner

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #4 on: 14/03/2009 11:03:02 »
Does the original question make sense?
I thought that ethanol was obtained from non-fossil sources these days. That's what the subsequent posts are saying, isn't it?

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #5 on: 14/03/2009 11:06:43 »
That's what the subsequent posts are saying, isn't it?
That was what I thought. [???]
Perhaps Karsten couldn't word the thread title as a question any other way?

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Offline JimBob

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #6 on: 14/03/2009 12:34:57 »
It is estimated that it takes 1.3 gallons of fossil fuel to make a gallon of ethanol - (Discovery Channel program on corn usage). The reason fossil fuels are needed is to run the tractors, combines and trucks that plant, fertilize, spray insecticides, & harvest the corn, the diesel in the trucks to get the corn to the distillery, the natural gas used to cook and ferment the mash. Then, when the trucks that get the ethanol to the pump are added in, the energy budget to produce the ethanol is greater than the energy produced. I.E., - it is just plain stupid to think we can use ethanol as a substitute for fossil fuels using corn as the feed stock.

However, if the world went to a Brazilian model - using sugar cane as the feed stock and using the dried cane as the fuel to ferment the sugars, then it would make sense.
The mind is like a parachute. It works best when open.  -- A. Einstein

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lyner

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #7 on: 15/03/2009 00:16:04 »
Well, dang me JB!

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #8 on: 15/03/2009 00:23:03 »
However, if the world went to a Brazilian model - using sugar cane as the feed stock and using the dried cane as the fuel to ferment the sugars, then it would make sense.

This Brazilian model? [???]


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Offline Karsten

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #9 on: 15/03/2009 02:43:24 »
Finally someone is answering this post. I was wondering why this is taking so long.

Yes, I am talking about making Ethanol from materials not based on fossil fuels but rather based on plants. It is often said that fossil fuels are required to make this ethanol and I am wondering how we will do this if we ever run out of fossil fuels (which is to be expected some day). It sounds like several methods of making ethanol from plants are completely useless. I wonder if we can grow plants that could give us sugar and biomass to burn that could be grown in larger amounts in the USA as well. Does sugar cane grow in the USA? How about Europe? Could we run our agricultural machines to create ethanol with bio diesels/fuels while still having enough space to grow plants for ethanol and food? Can we make the bio diesels for the machines without fossil fuels? How the heck will do we do all this?

I love the Brazilian model! My cane has dried though. And, why is she biting her nails?
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lyner

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #10 on: 15/03/2009 10:30:09 »
She could comb her hair too!

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #11 on: 16/03/2009 04:25:00 »
What? [???]
Is this another PUN? [???]

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Offline Raghavendra

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #12 on: 16/03/2009 09:06:52 »
that is not PUN dude it's actually cracking joke !!!

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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #13 on: 16/03/2009 09:16:49 »
Please tell me then, as I am often very slow. [:)]

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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #14 on: 16/03/2009 19:46:39 »
Stuff Brazil, buy it from my hometown of Tully!

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Offline Karsten

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #15 on: 17/03/2009 01:35:48 »
What is supposed to be a pun/joke? Can't help if I don't know what exactly you are referring to.
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Offline Chemistry4me

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Why do we need fossil fuels to make ethanol?
« Reply #16 on: 17/03/2009 03:52:02 »
This:

She could comb her hair too!