Screw high gas prices - let's use biodiesel!

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by MarketMasher, Mar 11, 2011.


    "On Sunday, a year and a half after its initial announcement, Joule (now Joule Unlimited) announced that its efforts have now synthesized an organism that produces biodiesel as well as ethanol. The Associated Press reported that Joule’s proprietary organism can produce either biofuel or ethanol with just water, sunlight, and CO2. The company claims that its organism can produce 15,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre per year, at the cost of just $30 a barrel."
  2. pspr


    Are they going to make it or just fade into oblivion?

    But there is an engineering challenge, according to one expert. That problem is how to extract the biodiesel from the water where the cyanobacterium will be. There will be a relatively small amount of biodiesel in a large amount of water. To create useable biodiesel on an industrial scale, Joule Unlimited will have to show it can extract the product from the water easily and cheaply.

    The great stumbling block for a lot of alternative energy schemes is not that the technology can do what proponents say it can do. The problem is doing it on a scale and for a price that makes sense in the market. A biodiesel factory would not make economic sense unless it can create its product at a comparable cost to conventional methods that involve refining crude oil that has been pumped out of the ground.
  3. I agree about the economic sense part - but I think a lot of the cost of oil is hidden in the amount of military fire-power we need to devote to protect sources and transport-ways.

    If all that were factored in, devoting some resources to mass-production technology seems like a sensible alternative.
  4. The only thing standing in the way of energy alternatives are the big oil companies.

    They shudder each time an alternative is mentioned.

  5. Right, they specialize in cultivating mob noise, that Pavlovian ringing in their followers heads they keep reinforcing, when we need prioritizing.
  6. Our energy policy as a nation is the most mystifying thing I can think of.

    I talk with lots of people...I've never met a single person, right, left, or center who thinks being energy independent would not be a vital step for the future and positive for America. Not a single person I know is against being energy independent.

    A country that prides itself on independence, ingenuity, etc. can't get it together to break the addiction to oil?

    It makes zero sense.

    I blame Obama for not making energy independence his number one goal for his presidency.

    He had full control of congress for 2 years and accomplished...nothing really on the energy front.

    We pride ourselves in having sent a man to the moon, yet the money we pay to satisfy our addiction to crude ends up in the hands of terrorists who hate us?

    It is insane really.

    Obama should have (I wouldn't expect Texas oil men like Bush and Cheney to do this) told America, "In fours years we will be energy independent."

    It really could have happened, and it would have changed everything about America.

    Going on close to 40 years after the oil embargo, what has actually changed?

    The right will blame the government of course, and I do blame the government for not changing our energy policy and setting a goal of energy independence. However, the big oil companies share the blame as much as anyone.

    Land of the free and home of the brave?

    How can we be free when we depend on Saudia Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, Lybia, and a host of other countries who hate our guts?

    It sickens me to watch big oil sock away record profits, pay no taxes, and spend little money on developing any solution.

    What has OPEC ever done for America?

    I say screw them all, let China and India deal with those countries.

    We have the technology and resources today to get out of this junkie status...but the American people lack the political will to do anything about it but bitch about the price of gas while filling up the Hummer, and Obama screwed the pooch by pushing health care as his "legacy" program over energy independence.

  7. Obama did mention energy independence alot in his early addresses to the nation incl. SOTU speech. It was one of the planks in his campaign. He's stressed tax incentives for wind, solar and other alt. sources but any progress is slow. You always hear of these miraculous methods of alt energy dev. there was even one on fusion but where big oil slows these things specifically I couldn't tell you. Theres a commercial from Chevron thats essentially a PR spot there they tell of how every dime of what they make in profit they ripple thru the economy in all the ways
    you understand it might w/o doing the audit. After watching it I sort of had pause and the thought, they may just be responsible afterall since, if they're not lavishing salaries on their execs in excess the way Untd Health Care gave their CEO a 1.1 billion dollar gld parachute
    I'm all right with them. If the previous is true then one might conclude that they're in fact responsible citizens rippling their profits thru our economy ...afterall what more responsible use could be made of it. If they are in fact spreading the wealth then they're meeting my criterion for reponsible citizens.
  8. Big oil doesn't spend the money on developing anything new. What happened when the oil industry we deregulated is just a kind of "free market" cartel was created, where the big companies just bought out the smaller companies.

    So what do they do now? Exxon is famous for hoarding cash, and only buying "sure things."

    The smaller oil companies are like a high tech firm, that only wants to run a start up to the point that they can be bought out by Intel, Oracle, Microsoft, Google, etc.

    Big only only wants to buy out, not lead the world in developing something new.

    I hoped Pickens could get the natural gas car thing off the ground...but Pickens couldn't break through the oil cartel's power.

    Good article here:

    From that article:

    "The trend of oil companies expanding from buying to also producing biofuels could significantly grow the industry, analysts said. Renewable fuels is certainly a better fit for oil companies than solar power, said Ron Pernick, a principal at research firm Clean Edge. "They didn't know [solar] manufacturing, didn't have the distribution channels for something like a solar panel — it didn't fit their gestalt or their DNA," he said."

    I don't expect the true innovation that will bring energy independence will come from the big 5 oil companies...I only hope that the innovators don't sell out to the big 5 when it does come along...

  9. I'm probably not telling you anything you don't know here, developement of alt. energy isn't necessarily a dynamic where, money in equals saleable results, the science doesn't just respond on command like a pet. Materials have to be developed and tested for their properties and cost to benefit aren't a 1:1 proposition. Like any new developement the costs are highest early on and before scaling gets a foothold. Meantime
    big oil sticks to its knitting. As long as they don't toss obstacles to
    alt. they can stay out of court. Can you cite a specific instance of interference? Something I forgot to include about Chevron was that they've been polluting SF Bay for years ...indefensible.
    #10     Mar 12, 2011