Monday, April 9, 2007

Biofuel infrastructure...what's the problem?

Ray Hackett's column in the Norwich Bulletin claims that:
"There are better sources for biofuels, but the bigger problem is we lack the infrastructure to distribute it."
I agree that corn is probably a poor feedstock in the long term, but I don't see where the perceived problem with infrastructure comes from. As far as I know, it can be distributed with the same oil trucks tanks we use today. There may be some material compatibility issues in some cases (long-term storage, for example), but this is not an issue with the low blends that today's market calls for. This is not the same level of difficulty as, say, a Hydrogen distribution infrastructure would entail.


Anonymous said...

I agree, big changes are not required for small percentages of biofuels.
MAny countries have 2 - 5% biodiesel or vegetable oil blended into all diesel fuel, and they use the same infrastructure.
The USA should be running 2 or 3% biodiesel nationwide, like France and many other countries. Brazil runs 5% vegetable oil in all their diesel.
And they've been doing it for many years.

FWIR, the only problem B2 had in Minnesota was it flushed diesel crud out of truckers tanks and into their filters, causing them to plug prematurely.

Anonymous said...

That Norwich Bullentine article was terrible:

1. You're lucky to get a 20% return on corn ethanol. It'more like 1:1.

2. Most of the worthwhile hydro sites in the USA have been exploited. There may be a place for micro-hydro.

3. Nuclear is not safe, efficient or cost effective. There's no place to put the waste. the entire industry has relied on energy any financial subsidies since it's inception.

The only answer is a dramatic change in expectations and lifestiles.