As it is right now, I do not believe we have sufficient space to
harvest/refine corn, beets or sugar to relieve the US's demand for oil,
however, I do believe that when we start utilizing this cellulose
technology that our need for oil will be greatly reduced.
Alot of great ideas have spawned off this thread and alot of great
calculations have been made to counter each opinion. There is one
proposition I have welcome for criticism. We all know that anyone with
simple mechanical skills can make an ethanol still producing say 190%
proof ethanol. Say for example, Joe Schmoe gets restaurant scraps, old
discarded produce form Hannaford, and grows a couple bushels of beets
per year. He than ferments and distills the mash with a solar water
heater and on the cloudy days uses an electric heater. I dont know the
true calculations for the output of ethanol would be, but Im guessing
he would have enough to fill the lawnmower and produce 85% of his
automobile useage of gas for the time that he is able to have access to
So, in other words, if Joe Schmoe is self sufficient, why cant most of
us be? Of course there are those that are not mechanicly inclined and
the inner city folks, which is why Joe Schmoe could get some friends
and grow more and make bigger and better stills to supply his neighbors
with ethanol. (ATF permit says no more than 10,000 gallons per
individual per year. Thats alot comparitively speaking).
Another idea but Im sure governments, taxes, politics, imports, exports
etc.. would somehow flush this idea down the crapper. Take some under
developed countries with warm climates, plenty of land and hard working
people. Give them sugar and beet seeds to farm. Take an oil barge
used to carry oil from the middle east to the US and fill it up with
crops to be distilled in the US. (I love the irony)
1. How much crop can an oil tanker hold?
2. How much oil is needed to fuel the barge?
3. How much ethanol is yielded from such oil barge?
so on and so on.....