Pelletized cellulosic feedstock could be made on site where the raw materials are. The pellets would be much more economically transportable than the raw materials.
The pellets could be used as a feedstock in themselves, or as the basis of further processing to produce other fuels----such as use in Fishcher-Tropsch or enzymatic reduction to liquid fuel.
-------" The energy wasted to make them is non-renewable fossil fuel: "------
Very simple Cliff. Don't use fossil fuels to make them.
Peak Oil and Economic Contraction
-----------" The Importance of Understanding our Renewable Energy Worldview: Why Fossil Fuels Are our Friends"-----------
Crushing a four year old child to death, while asleep in his bed in the middle of the night while engaging in willful and persistent disregard of rules, permits and regulations, on a massive scale is an understatement to say the very least.
The last thing in the world we need is friends like this.
----------" Virginia Strip-Mining Death Brings Reforms"--------
(incidentally----after all the lobbying and political chicanery---the "reforms" did not even amount to a slap on the wrist.)
Cliff C-----------" This article claims that "Brazil has done it — succeeded in that challenge, even with ethanol." What they have done is create a process irreproducible in the United States where cane fields are planted on slash-and-burn forest land,"------------
90% of sugar cane in Brazil is grown in the Mata Grosso plateau----analogous in climate and extent to the US Great Plains. There isn't a forest within 1,000 miles of the main sugar growing areas. It's like claiming to slash and burn forests in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles..
CC---------" the crop is set aflame prior to harvest to burn up the "trash" parts of the plant and partially dehydrate the stalks,"----------
The bagasse[the waste part of the cane plants, including the crushed cane stems the juice comes from] are dried and burned to produce electricity. This produces enough electricity to process the sugar, ferment and distill the ethanol, and still feed about 25 to 30% of the energy produced into the electrical grid. After it is burned, the ash is recovered, mixed into a slurry with water and sprayed back onto the harvested fields as fertilizer----the same process nature has used to enrich the soil in prairie grass regions for millions upon millions of years.
CC------------" the cane is harvested largely by machete-wielding pseudo-slave native Indian laborers,"-----------
The harvesting is fully mechanized using specialized equipment developed in the 1980s and 1990s by the Brazilian government.
CC--------" Even so, the EROI of their process is less than 2:1, not the 8:1 often claiimed."------
This is simply not true. The EROI is about 8 to 10:1, about 2X the EROI of energy produced from the Alberta Tar Sands. If this were not true, they'd be out of business by now. They've been doing this for about 20 years.
CC----------" The Brazilian government has shifted its attention from ethanol (which had a bad crop in the 2011-12 season and forced them to reduce their gasohol blending from 25% to 20% and IMPORT 1.2 billion liters of ethanol)"------------
The Brazilian RFG has always had a provision for fluctuation of 22 to 25%----the exact formulation set for the next year by the Ministry of Agriculture based on the last year crop production. The RFG revision has only been done once.
CC---------" ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and especially Shell (look up Codexis and Alan Shaw) have frittered away hundreds of billions of dollars in a vain pursuit of biofuels. If they are truly energy companies instead of public relations firms and are truly committed to succeed as viable commercial enterprises instead of live by subsidies and corporate welfare, then they need to abandon this foolishness and pursue what works instead of what is politically correct."-------------
Brazil has gone from a petroleum importing country to a major oil exporting country because they have reduced their own use of petroleum over 50%----leaving them plenty of oil to export to the US. Not only are they now a major petroleum exporting country----they are also the #2 ethanol exporting country in the world. They have their cake and are eating it too.
Cliff Clavens---------" But to suggest that cutting managed forests for energy (or pulp or lumber) is wrong is not unlike telling a farmer he cannot cut his wheat or corn."--------
That sounds very much like what you are telling us to do.
All I've ever gotten from all of your posts is to keep right on using coal and petroleum because other options are not perfect.
Non renewable energy sources represent a caveman hunter/gatherer mentality. Hunt for a resource, gather the resource till it is exhausted and then move on to hunt for more resources.
Sooner or later, you run out of places to hunt.
We are running out of places to hunt.
Doctor Nellore, I prefer switch grass to Miscanthus.
While Miscanthus does seem to be in a suitable productivity range, it does have a couple of drawbacks.
It is not a native species(to the US anyway). The ecosystem has not evolved with Miscanthus, it would be an invasive species.
Switch grass however is a native species........and occupies an extremely important ecological niche as the basis of the food chain and habitat. Who knows had many species we would wipe out by habitat destruction introducing a species that grows to 10 ft. tall in our grasslands. At the very least ground dwelling birds, and raptors that depend heavily on sight for protection from predator's and prey location(raptors).
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Tennessee and Dartmouth University observed biomass production rates of 8 to 12 tons per acre.
About the same as Miscanthus. I think we should use the option that has the least environmental impact, switch grass.
When you dig up carbon out of the ground as coal, petroleum and natural gas---then burn it, 100% of the carbon goes into the atmosphere as new carbon.
When you burn a biofuel, 100% of the carbon from the biofuel had first to be taken out of the atmosphere by the plants that the biofuel was made from.
It is impossible to raise atmospheric CO2 using biofuels.
This is called the Carbon Energy Exchange Cycle. It is basic biology.
It is very simple. If you do not take carbon out of the ground, you do not add new carbon to the atmosphere. If you make apple pies using ten apples and you get ten pies, then you reduce the number of apples to six apples, you only get six pies.....no matter how you slice the apples.
-------' For example, while there is some recoverable energy in the dung of a cow, it is not nearly enough to sustain the cow that produced it, let alone to grow enough grass to feed that cow.'----
Unsupported statement. The amount of energy in the dung depends on how much energy was in the original feed, how much energy is required to sustain the organism(cow), and the residual energy that is extractable from the dung.
-------' Claiming to 'produce' urea or ammonia from cultivated agriculture is claiming to have invented perpetual motion.'------
Then nature invented perpetual motion about 1 billion years ago. Plants have been fertilized exclusively by bacterial processes or fire since life first appeared. If not, you would not be here to write anything about it.
The energy in biomass comes from the sun and photosynthesis and not fertilizer.
Well Cliff, Brazil is doing quite well with a biofuel economy.
In fact, Brazil went from bankruptcy to booming economy using ethanol to replace petroleum, and then selling the petroleum they are not using to the stupid gringos in the north.