Which all seems very well and good until you read the quote from Argent's
"When blended with mineral diesel at 5%, as Argent intends, it falls under
the normal mineral diesel standard as well as complying with the mineral
diesel standard (BS EN 590)."
So when you read between the lines you get...
"Stick in 5% of stuff from the ground and it is 'officially' just normal
diesel and you can charge the same price as normal stuff - or more because
people will want to do their bit for the environment..."
Surely the whole point is that this stuff (when they are up and running) is
piss-cheap to produce and can therefore be flogged off way below the price
of normal diesel thus creating more demand for biofuel and less for
Surely the point is to flog it at production cost + sensible margin + road
fuel duty = nice and cheap?
Am I being really stupid here? Are Argent totally "in bed with" the
government and the oil companies? Is this just another rip-off for the
vaguely environmentally conscious?
CAS ( firstname.lastname@example.org) gurgled happily, sounding much
like they were saying :
<Cross-posted to uk.transport and uk.rec.cars.misc, as this is a bit
more general than just Cits>
I'm not sure the economics work quite like that...
The BBC's talking about "up to 25,000 tonnes" of biodiesel. Let's assume
1 litre = 1 kg, like water. (I've never weighed diesel, and I don't
intend to start now.) - so 25 million litres.
Argent's website's talking about "45,000 tonnes" and "up to 50 million
Diesel's currently (rough numbers) 85p/litre, which is 72.5p/litre
before VAT, with 48.5p/litre of that being road fuel duty.
So, after Gordon's chunk, that leaves 24p/litre for the actual fuel.
From that, you've got to take the retailer's margin, the distribution
costs, marketing (which'll be high for this) etc etc etc.
Let's make another wild assumption, and assume that leaves us with
15p/litre. Even at Argent's higher production figure, that's only
£7.5million turnover per year. That's not a heck of a lot. Not when the
plant itself is quoted at costing £15 million, with half of that going
to Mowlem just to build it. If you go with the Beeb's lower estimates of
the output, the sums *really* don't add up.
Biodiesel's "only" 20p/litre duty, but I read the "falls under the
mineral diesel standard" as meaning they have to pay full dead-dino-
duty. Still, better that than vast PR and liability insurance disasters
if higher percentages turn out not to lubricate expensive common rail
diesel pumps properly...
This little gem kind of backs up that assumption...
"Biodiesel can be easily blended with mineral diesel with no need to alter
either the logistics of sale".
and this one...
"When biodiesel is blended with mineral diesel at 5%, as Argent intends, it
falls under the normal mineral diesel standard (BS EN 590) and thus
"becomes" mineral diesel"
The thing that I don't get is this (and I'm perhaps quoting hearsay in
places so feel free to correct)...
The whole point of this is to make biodiesel a viable alternative to
"dead-dino-diesel" and in fact make it a preferable alternative to
"dead-dino-diesel". That isn't going to happen if it is the same price! It
will be seen as well "I can get *proper* diesel 200 yards down the road for
the same price I'll go there instead"!!!
I think I'm just really pissed off that this is clearly another scam to play
on the conscience of those who want to do their bit.
Hang on!!! It gets worse! Their marketting is all written to mislead the
punter (either that or I'm having a really thick day...) into thinking that
you get 95% chip-fat, where you actually only get 5%!!!
So the point of this stuff is...???
Ah, yes... The Sunday Herald headline, sadly, says it all - "Argent Energy
turning chip fat into gold".
CAS ( email@example.com) gurgled happily, sounding much
like they were saying :
5% of an absolute shitload is still a helluva lot. Up to 50 million litres.
In Scotland alone. Per year. Apparently.
Each barrel's 42 US gallons or 159 litres, so if you ignore any refining
losses and burn-off of unwanted products, you're saving 315,000 barrels of
crude per year, just in Scotland.
I'm not disputing the fact that it has to be better for (well, OK...)
...I just hate it when people don't just go "Well this is what it is, this
is what it's going to do for you, for HMG, for the environment and by the
way we are making a f**king killing..."
I'd be much more open to the idea than I am with the "multi-faceted"
attitude they are current;y displaying!
Oh and the percentages - I want the opportunity to make a 100% (or failing
that a 95%) commitment to an environmental issue - only being given the
option of being 5% greener sounds like a total waste of time to me. You
either do it or you don't - people won't go out of their way to get a 5%
greener fill, I know I would for a 95% greener one! And now wouldn't be a
good time to mention my choice of vehicle, Adrian, I'm on my high-horse and
intend to stay on it until at least tomorrow when no doubt something else
will p*ss me off...
It isn't. Calculate the amount of diesel that is currently used.
Calculate that amount of diesel into area required to produce bio
You will see a tiny problem.
The world isn't big enough to produce bio-diesel.
If it were, the world wouldn't have enough fertilizer to produce bio
It there were, there would not be any fertilizer left to produce
something basic like lettuce or beans.
One day we'll have to choose. Drive or eat.
d:Johan; Certifiable me
Sponsored Message at http://shorterlink.com/?R95GLQ
Apparently on date Tue, 5 Apr 2005 18:56:41 +0200, "2Rowdy"
Not really. There isn't any point in growing beans when you can't transport
them to / from the supermarkets.
Basically, some form of fuel will always be needed so fixating on one sort is
missing the way the world works.
Apparently on date Wed, 06 Apr 2005 13:15:43 +0100, Ian Dalziel
I can't eat them if I'm in London and the beans are in Canada, no. Nor would I
walk from Central London to a farm shop in Lincolnshire because there's no way
to transport them to me and the rest of the borough. Nor is anyone going to set
up a bean farm in Carnaby Street capable of feeding Camden. Etc.
But this is all irrelevant because there'll just be some other fuel along to
replace petrol in due course. I guess hydrogen. Similar, the energy needs of
society will be met in some other way instead of fossil fuel, I guess nuclear
fusion. Time will tell what it actually is.
While there will be changes, we aren't going to return to a medieval feudal
society so the car is here to stay in some form or another, and it won't be
back to the horse and cart.
Apparently on date Wed, 06 Apr 2005 20:57:11 +0100, Ian Dalziel
Well I suppose one of the solutions is to move some of the people out of london
into the sticks and let about 95% of the national population starve.
The other is to keep using cars and trucks and things but you know, maybe
change what fuel they use, gradually.
I suspect I know which will be adopted.
Apparently on date Wed, 6 Apr 2005 19:12:41 +0200, "2Rowdy"
There was bio-diesel mentioned recently ;)
That's my guess, but of course the actual technology often turns out to be
something unexpected in practice. We'll see.
There's no reason why the surface area of earth needs to be a limit for solar
power, although I think the quantity of energy available is absolutely enormous
if the solar panel technology is to be improved significantly.
The other method is just to get hydrogen from space, there's virtually
unlimited amounts up there, although it would alter the balance of things on
earth a bit (dunno if that matters).
Apparently on date Wed, 6 Apr 2005 22:27:35 +0200, "2Rowdy"
Easier still, do it on the Moon or Mars, etc, drop the (excess) water into the
dry, lifeless environment up there and export just the energy to earth.
Store the energy as, say, highly refined fuels that are made using this
external energy and atmospheric ingredients and when you burn the fuel you
release these ingredients back into the atmosphere. Totally sustainable, and
has the result of terraforming your place of industry e.g. by creating a
biosphere on Mars.
This is all overkill at the moment, of course. With our present energy use I
think we could just burn space hydrogen and the reduction in global warming
would somewhat balance the extra water produced, which would be rather
irrelevant anyway until things were greatly scaled up.
Hydrogen isn't a fuel source, it's a storage mechanism, at least the way we
have to get it. It's also incredibly messy stuff to keep and transport -
to the point which almost makes it unviable.
In any case you still need a power source. Fusion is the way to go -
breakeven has been demonstrated, but Japan/America are still arguing with
everyone else about where to put the next big accelerator. Looks like it's
gonna be at least 2050 before we make any more significant steps, which
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