------" 3.5 billion is 1.2% of 289 billion.
"Fantasy" is still right."--------
The Model T Ford is the basis of our automotive industry and infrastructure today---and set the stage for the mass production system that made this possible.
The Model T Ford when introduced in 1908 produced less than 8,000 vehicles the first year, only 11 vehicles were built the first month. By the end of the model run 19 years later, the Model T represented over 15 million units produced.
It is far more useful to judge importance by the amount of production at the end of a run than at the beginning.
Brian----you really don't know much about corn, ethanol or feeding animals do you?
Ethanol is a cheap replacement for gasoline that can be integrated gradually, and has the possibility to more than double the thermal efficiency of our internal combustion engines.
DuPont, POET-DSM and Abengoa are all opening plants this summer with a cumulative final production output of about 100 million gallons per year of ethanol made from corn stover(all the nongrain parts of the plant) using enzyme process to break down the cellulose.
This does not use any additional grain than is already being grown. The stover is agricultural waste. This gives farmers producing the corn an extra small income stream from what otherwise would have simply been waste.
Studies by the University of Iowa and University of Nebraska have shown that the optimal corn production happens when about 1/4 of total stover is left on the fields for cover. Amounts of detritus(dead plant material) above that level inhibit production.
It is like having mother nature pay you a bonus to have a productive use for about 3/4ths of a corn fields production. Using the grain, we are only using about 8-10% of the corn plant.
Thermal efficiency is the comparison of the amount of potential heat energy in a fuel that is taken out at the wheels in the form of work performed. Thermal energy(of a fuel) is measured in BTUs. A measure of the capacity of a fuel to heat water.
The key to thermal efficiency with Internal Combustion Engines(ICE) is in compression, the higher the compression ratio above ambient, the greater the thermal efficiency that can acheived. Meaning, the greater the amount of work you get out of the engine per BTU of fuel put in.
Octane is a measure of the amount of compression a fuel will withstand before it begins to ignite prematurely(before the cylinder reaches top dead center on the intake stroke, and begins to go down on the power stroke, TDC). Preignition or knock can quickly destroy an engine. The higher the compression ratio, the higher the thermal efficiency. Gasoline has an octane rating of 85-87; ethanol has a comparative octane rating of ~115. This translates into a functional compression limit of about 10.5 for gasoline; and about 24:1 for ethanol. Using gasoline, the limit of TE is about 20%, about 20% of the energy that goes into the tank is actually translated into work. An engine properly tuned and set up to make maximum use of ethanol as a fuel can achieve TEs of up to 2.5 times the amount of work possible with a gasoline engine per BTU.
This is why the fastest, most advanced race cars in the world, The Indy League Racing Circuit, all run on 100% ethanol, and have run exclusively on alcohol base fuels for over 50 years. Ethanol wins races. Ethanol is also much safer in the event of a crash.
The entire Indianapolis 500 Race is run on ethanol, not one drop of petroleum is used.
As are all races in the Indy League.
Considering the amount of money spent each month on energy-----these changes have the potential to make very significant difference to the bottom line.
------" But why not give the grants directly do[to] residents and companies that install their own solar? Seems like a very top down, taxpayer money going to companies instead of the people."--------
Because distributed solar does not require the sale and leasing of public lands and assets for cash to finance political pork barrels. Politicians can be vetted and greased by well funded lobbyists. Lobbyists gain the ability to pay off politicians to give legal sanction to removing vast amounts of natural resources from publically held lands and waters at prices that would be considered theft by any court in the land. Politicians gain the job security and PR clout of being able to come back and claim a land slide of free money and economic prosperity on their constituents as a result of their pork barrel activities.
This system has worked so well for so long, that it has developed its own cloaking devices to the extent that it is impossible to even gain access to the actual amounts of money or amounts of resources removed.
The losers in this system are the taxpayers and the people who actually own the resources----the citizens. When was the last time that you were asked to vote on whether or not minerals leases should be sold and at what price? I can't think of one single instance. EVER.
--------" We need waste to fuels."----------
It is coming online now.
Here you go Ed. you will like these.
Grace----you need to define what you call food. Do you define starch and sugar as "food"? It is possible to eat that is true, however, there is very little to no nutritional value.
Or do you define protein and vitamin content as food?