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Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48940389) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

they're very initial studies that never scaled up.

Yes, I've read them, I know they only did one decent-sized test.

Excepts it's been decades and no one has been able to do it.

Who has the land? Who has been trying to do it?

I've followed a number of the experiments of people trying and it doesn't seem to be as easy as the NREL papers made it sound. The open raceway ponds get contaminated with lower oil strains and don't produce the oil at the rate the papers hypothesized and the closed systems are expensive and difficult to operate.

Clearly you and all the people you have allegedly been following [citation?] failed to read and understand the report, which specifically says that this will happen if you try to seed the ponds with specific strains, but also that it's a fat waste of time because the strains which are most efficient in the laboratory are not going to be the strains which are most efficient in your pond, year over year. The strains which are most successful in your region will naturally dominate the ponds no matter what you do. The only way to select for strains that produce a lot of oil is to make producing a lot of oil a survival strategy, and it isn't that. Maybe someone will come up with some kind of additive that convinces the algae that it is, and then you can have your even-more-efficient-than-necessary strains.

Think of it this way, if it worked, oil companies would be pouring billions into making it work rather than spending those billions drilling underwater or paying despotic dictators.

They have a system that works. They're not interfering with it. Indeed, BP is suing GE to prevent them from interfering with it.

The thing which prevents biodiesel-from-algae from happening even though it would be profitable now is that you can't get the permits you'd need to do it. Even if you did, by the time you actually got moving, the next administration would come along and quash it. It takes cooperation from government to enact such a massive project, and government is currently cooperating with Big Oil — indeed, it's peopled by it to sufficient degree to permit them undue influence. In the past the federal government has been happy to permit BLM land (for example) to be exploited for coal and oil in extremely destructive ways, to say nothing of the clear-cutting that goes on in the parts which still have soil enough to support trees. But they've been resistant to solar projects, citing concern over environmental impact. Now that is comedy.

There's nothing magical about oil from algae as a feedstock for transportation fuel, and it would make a significant positive difference, and we can do it. We do have the technology. Moving water around between ponds is a well-solved problem. We do more complicated things all the time, and for much more specious reasons than to reduce environmental impact.

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48940307) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

You made the first claim; you show me your resource showing the energy efficiency of algal microbiofuel from sun to tank.

I didn't make a specific claim about algal microbiofuel from sun to tank.

Cite the page, please.

First, you cite the comment which justifies your claim. And, your laziness. I provided a citation. It's a summary, and it contains its own summaries, and you can search it.

Comment: Re:Remove politics from the survey (Score 1) 271

by drinkypoo (#48940289) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

If you honestly don't have a single scientific opinion that isn't political then you don't give a shit about science in the first place and shouldn't even be having this conversation.

I'm speaking in generalities. This was a survey of lots of people, not just slashdotters. You're being obtuse. Is it deliberate, or are you just frothing?

Comment: It depends on the biofuel feedstock (Score 1) 123

by jonwil (#48939561) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Using corn to produce ethanol is about the worst possible way to do it, it actually takes more energy to produce x amount of E85 corn ethanol than you get out of it when you use it.
Using sugar cane to produce ethanol is a little bit better but still inefficient.

Using something like switchgrass on the other hand is much better, you can grow it in places where other stuff wont grow, you dont need anywhere near as much energy inputs or chemicals to produce it and with a little R&D and the right kind of processing plants you could get more output per hectare than either corn OR sugar cane.

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48939531) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

They are not saying it is impossible to convert biomass to diesel, or even that we shouldn't grow biomass. They are saying that with current technology it is better to use biomass for carbon sequestration and food, and use more technological approaches to capturing solar as energy.

In order to come to that conclusion, they only included technologies known to support it, and completely ignored well-known and proven technologies which disprove their point. Therefore, there is no validity whatsoever to the study, and you should summarily ignore it in turn.

Converting biomass to biodiesel, right now, costs more energy than turning solar into charged batteries through PV, wind, or solar furnaces.

[citation needed]

Comment: Re:Hello, the 1980s are calling, they caught your (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48939521) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

I worked in a lab that researched biofuels and turns out that the biggest issue with this setup is that the bacterial populations keep evolving away from the good biofuel-producing genes, [...] That, more than anything else, is the biggest issue with algae and biofuel production.

That might be true for butanol production, and if so, you should say so. But as for Algae grown in open ponds, it's a complete falsehood, and the linked report makes this clear. In a reactor, where it doesn't have to compete with other strains, it might work. But if you put it in a pond, another algae is going to come along and outcompete it, since it's not putting its effort into producing what excessive lipids (for its purposes, anyhow.)

The linked report is especially relevant to the particular point you raised because the goal of the program on which it reports was to study the breeding and application of high-lipid-production algaes for the purpose of production of biodiesel fuel, and what they determined (and indeed the thrust of the summary) is that there was simply no point. You put out the water, the algae shows up, you stir the algae, you achieve peak production with very little effort. The only thing that's really changed is that peak insolation has increased since the report was written, so you might need to shade your ponds.

Comment: Re:Study limited to sugar cane and maize for ethan (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48939439) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

2nd generation biofuels aren't yet economically feasible

That is wrong, and you are either ignorant or lying.

You put the feedstocks in a big bag, basically like the ones they use as water tanks. You run the escaping gases into a system where they're pressurized to appropriate levels, the methane is separated with a membrane, and then compressed. This is already being done at a profitable level on a number of farms across the country. The lowest-hanging fruit is pigshit (what a great sentence) because it is very hot so it cooks quickly, and it is a major environmental problem. The shit is normally just pumped into open ponds where it sits and stinks, and then eventually either flushed into some shitty waterway or flushed out of the pond by flooding.

We're talking about plant materials produced specifically to be completely turned into fuel, so food production is going to be substituted.

Only if the people implementing the system are total assholes. Algae is a plant, and if you put out some water and stir it, you get algae. As it turns out, there's no point in trying to select varieties of it either, which is probably why we aren't spinning up production: nobody has figured out how to profit by patenting the algaes yet. As it turns out, nature has produced more different kinds of algae than we know what to do with, and the most productive algae for your climate just miraculously shows up and colonizes your water for free. What's more, the water can be of any salinity up to oceanic levels, and can contain substantial contaminants.

Comment: Re:Remove politics from the survey (Score 1) 272

by drinkypoo (#48939383) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

The study is purporting to be a study about science when it is in fact focused on politically charged science issues.

People don't have opinions on science issues which aren't politically charged.

I am quite tired of political ploys masquerading as science.

And I am quite tired of people ignoring the language.

Comment: Re:Demand (Score 1) 123

by drinkypoo (#48939309) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

but it is a solution to convert what'd go into landfills and the like

By which what is really meant is "into the air". What part ain't burned and released real quick-like (producing soot in the process, yay cancer!) is set somewhere to rot anaerobically where it produces the maximum possible methane and CO2 and releases it into the air to cause us all problems.

Comment: Re:Remove politics from the survey (Score 1) 272

by drinkypoo (#48939281) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know

Then don't claim your study is measuring anything about science.

From the fine study, entitled Public and Scientistsâ(TM) Views on Science and Society"Opinion Differences Between Public and Scientists". Guess what? The study is measuring opinion, and you are just ranting.

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