Brazil and Ethanol and Multi-fuel Cars

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Ethanol: Is it the answer? http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/17/Worldandnation/Ethanol__Is_it_the_an.shtml
Chrysler to expand ethanol lineup http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060425/BUSINESS01/604250327/1014
DCX to add three cars to flex-fuel lineup http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060425/AUTO01/604250381/1148
With Big Boost From Sugar Cane, Brazil Is Satisfying Its Fuel Needs http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/10/world/americas/10brazil.html?ex 44987200&en 02fb8da8d9ffe0&eiP87%0A
http://tinyurl.com/kjxmv
Brazil's Four-fuel Vehicle Ready for the Road http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/1801/49 /
Brazil Flex-Fuel Ethanol Cars to Stay in Top Gear http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/27916/story.htm
A model alternative-fuel strategy for U.S. http://www.energybulletin.net/5021.html
Can Big 3 go green this time? http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosinsider/0509/22/A01-323747.htm
Here is a link to a vehicle in production that runs on gas, alcohol and compressed natural gas 08/16/2004: http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/adv_tech/100_news/brazil_adv_eng_081304.html
U.S. Versus The World: In Europe, biodiesel's king. In Brazil, ethanol rules. http://www.cornandsoybeandigest.com/mag/soybean_us_versus_world /
Ethanol Molecule http://www.worldofmolecules.com/fuels/ethanol.htm
Homegrown Fuel Supply Helps Brazil Breathe Easy http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ethanol15jun15,0,3313642.story?track=tothtml
When Is Ethanol Not Ethanol? http://www.greencarcongress.com/2004/07/when_is_ethanol.html
ETHANOL'S POTENTIAL: Looking Beyond Corn http://www.earth-policy.org/Updates/2005/Update49.htm -- "A democracy is a sheep and two wolves deciding on what to have for lunch. Freedom is a well armed sheep contesting the results of the decision." Benjamin Franklin
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There was a good documentary on TV a week or two ago about the ethanol controversy.
Surprisingly, there is considerable economic support for ethanol as fuel, as well as there being environmental plusses, such as environmental carbon loading.
Ethanol can be a pretty good fuel.
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I'm sure we're going to see plenty of "documentaries."

Economic support like government subsidies?

Burning natural gas doesn't produce CO2?

Maybe, someday...
I'll believe it when ethanol can stand on it's own profits and losses.
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That'll only happen after the sugar and corn industries put aside their own self-interest, and stop buying legislation that inhibits development..... <rj>
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."

fuel,
carbon loading.

Of course burning natural gas produces CO2. That is not what the carbon loading is all about.
Coal, oil, etc is based on fixed carbon. That carbon is out of the environment until we mine or pump it and burn it.
The more coal or oil we burn, the more we push the atmosphere toward the composition it had, perhaps, in prehistoric times.
Ethanol based on plant fermentation does not put new CO2 into the atmosphere. It just recycles what is already there.
A fine point, agreed, but environmentally significant.
Popular Mechanics had an article on the various fuels in the last month edition. Of course, nothing is as cheap as fossil hydrocarbons, even with today's prices. It is tomorrow's prices that may be a problem.
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I suppose, if you choose to believe their creative accounting.

Understood.

Totally ignores the CO2 generated by [choose the fuel] during the fermentation process. Or do you know of a way to remove the 92% water from Ethanol crude without using heat?

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Any discussion about ethanol should take into account there is no way it will replace the amount of gasoline currently consumed in the US. We would need to grow in half the country to do that.
Better to convert coal to diesel fuel and us methanol, made for the excess NG we must now burn off because there is no way to distribute the stuff.
mike hunt
wrote:

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wrote:

The CO2 generated in the distillation process is not necessarily a part of the carbon balance that we have to worry about. For example, if we use bagasse to generate the heat for distillation, that carbon is part of the circulating carbon, not part of the carbon that was fixed in fossil fuel beds.
Just three days ago, I read that a two mile long core of ice was taken from the arctic regions and the gases were analyzed representing the past 650,000 years.
We are now 27% higher in CO2, a KNOWN greenhouse gas, that at any time during that past history.
Man, as we view him from Neanderthal through Cro-Magnon, has been here on the order of a hundred thousand years. We have seriously changed the atmosphere, and nobody really knows how serious it can be.
For those of us living now, we will be dead before the extreme effects will be known. Our children, and their children, may survive through a harsher and more difficult environment due to the policies we have undertaken.
Do we care what we pass on to them, either in ecology or in attitudes? Wouldnt seem that we do.
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"If"
How many ethanol plants are currently burning bagasse to generate heat?

There have been more naturally occurring CO2 producing events as of right now than there has in any time during that past history. Certainly more than there was 650,000 years ago.

Brazil keeps cutting down rain forest so they can plant more sugar cane in order to produce more ethanol. Which do you suppose is better at converting CO2, cane or rain forest?

So we go back to living in caves?
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In Brazil..ALL PLANTS burn bagasse. Actualy the plants are so energy efficient that it has a positive balance, meaning the plant generates surplus of eletric power which is re-directed to the local towns around the plant.

NOT TRUE. The soil that is perfect for sugar cane is located at the southeast of the country not even close to the amazon and the rain forest (although the forest REALLY is in danger for many other reasons). And we have enough land to increase ethanol production a few times without any deforestation (is that a word? forgive my english).
There is too many mis-conceptions about ethanol on the web today, so here comes a few facts from a brazilian that knows "alcool" since long ago.
1) It works for us. Even though our economy is around 20% (if I'm not mistaken) the size of the USA economy, still means A LOT of money we save. A lot of money that stays inside Brazil. But if you think, how many economies in the world can be compared to the USA economy? So cheap ethanol can help a lot of countries around the world.
2) We are now Energy Self-Sufficient. Ethanol is NOT responsable for that, but is part of it. Today about 40% of our car fleet is Flex-fuel, but by the rate they sell it will account for 100% in the next few years. Bio-Diesels will also account more and more. (check the web for H-BIO the new bio-diesel developed by PETROBRAS).
3) The Flex-Fuel Cars cost no more than a regular car and you need around 15% (not 30% as most people say) more ethanol to go the same distance as gasoline.
4) In Brazil ethanol IS NOT subsized by the government.
5) As of today ethanol in REAIS costs between R$1,20 and R$1,40 per liter at the pump. So it would cost around U$2.29 a gallon, way cheaper than U$3.15 for a gallon of unleaded gas (that's how much I paid yesterday in LA). Dont you think? But wait there is more!!!! Sometimes price at the pump goes below R$1.00. Ethanol is economicaly viable until the barrel of crude oil stays above U$35.00
6) The ethanol (and all bio-fuels industry) is re-vitalizing poor country areas all over Brazil.
Ethanol is a GOOD solution, but NOT FROM CORN. The american people are being lied about that.
The world must find a way to reduce the carbon emission before the damage reaches a point of no return. Global warming is a FACT and the USA is the biggest responsable for it. In a way or another the problem finally reached the the pocket of the USA citizen, the problem is america is waiting for the government to come up with a solution. IT WONT HAPPEN.
aarcuda69062 wrote:

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Are you suggesting the US could fuel it motor vehicles with Ethanol? It should be pointed out Brazil has around 9,000,000 vehicles, the US has 230,000,000. The US could not produce enough Ethanol to replace that much gasoline, the best it could do is take up the increase in demand Brazil has an in place distribution system for that many vehicles. In the US the ONLY distribution system for Ethanol and that is by truck. Current US environmental laws will not allow for yet another fuel distribution system and does not allow Ethanol to be added to the current gasoline pumping system
Gasoline averages around $2.90 in the rest of the country. California created it own fuel problems with all of the environmental restrictions on oil in that state. If the gasoline for all of the vehicles in that state needs to be truck in form other states, of course it will cost more. In addition California has one of the highest gas taxes in the country, around 40 cents
mike hunt

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No, I'm not suggesting that. I was just trying to clear some wrong information people has about ethanol in Brazil, especialy about the rain forest.
I known that it's almost impossible to replace all gas with ethanol right now. But I think you agree that something must be done to replace fossil fuels. Ethanol is part of the solution. In Brazil every liter of gasoline is 75% gas and 25% ethanol by law. It's mandatory. It doesnt need any distribution system, it is mixed in the refinery. It requires no engine modifications. The car makers are the same as here (ford, chrysler, chevrolet...), the oil companies are the same as here Shell, Exxon (we call it Esso). And they all follow the rules. If USA could replace 10 or maybe 15% (I dont know who much ethanol is required for that) that only it would help a lot for start.
Mike, this is the country I choosed to live and really bothers me how hostages this country has become of middle east oil. THIS MUST CHANGE. America still is the world leader therefore you MUST LEAD, not follow as you are doing on this matter. By lead I mean invest in technology to find a solution not invade other countries to guarantee supply.
Mike Hunter wrote:

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I'm am merely pointing out that ethanol,at best can take up some of the increase in demand for crude. Crude is used for more than power vehicles.
Current environmental laws are what limit our ability to obtain domestic crude. Production, refining, storing and transportation crude and it produces is what is forcing the US to import crude. The same laws make it a crime to mix ethanol with the gasoline that is pumped throughout the US. Nuclear power is overly restricted in the US by our current laws. Changing some of those laws can reduce our dependency on imported crude over time.
mike hunt

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Good post, Ricardo. Gasoline in Brasil is now not as expensive as it is in Europe.
Ethanol IS a good solution, but I doubt America can make it work. We just like to bitch and buy SUVs.
I was in Brasil week before last. Has been a long time, BUT the same things that used to be good there are STILL very good.
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In many foreign countries, including Brasil and Bolivia, all of them do.

At no time in the last 650,000 has the atmospheric CO2 level been as high as it is now. Events mean little. The concentration now is 27% higher than it has been in almost a million years.

The loss of rainforest is a serious issue. But it is not the rain forest that is the primary convertor of CO2 back to oxygen. It is the oceans.

Of course not. We should give responsible and thoughtful attention to our environment. If we don't, we are serving up a death sentence to life on earth. Some, perhaps you are one of them, dont really care what happens to future generations. Not all of us feel this way.
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What the environuts do not tell you is CO2 level was much higher during the 165,000,000 years the dinosaurs roamed the earth, up until 65,000,000 years ago. Musta been the farts from eating all the vegetation that thrived back then on all of the CO2
Some paleontologist theorize it was the loss of CO2 that led to the loss of vegetation, that resulted in the percentage of oxygen in the air dropping, that caused the dinosaur to die off, for lack of a diaphragm to help them breath.. That was the point in time when the manuals, with a diaphragm, started to emerge. Who knows for sure, not I, not you, or anybody else. It is all conjecture and theory.
mike hunt

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I meant here in the U.S.

Why stop at 650,000 years? CO2 levels were enormous millions of years ago, and if one looks at the levels over the last 500,000 years, the CO2 level has been cycling up and down by a significant amount.

Funny, just a few nights ago I was watching one of the science channels on TV, they referred to the Amazon rain forest as the "lungs of the planet."

So, as the ice caps melt, the oceans will get bigger and convert more CO2, the ice caps will re-freeze and things will cycle back to where they're supposed to be. Where's the problem? ;-)

And there is the paradox; as internal combustion engines were forced to become more efficient, the amount of CO2 they produced went up. IOWs, each cure produces its own set of problems. Do we really know what new set of problems ethanol as a fuel will produce, or more accurately, is the general public being accurately informed of them?

On the contrary, I care. I know for a fact that my 1970 Plymouth AAR 'cuda produces half of the CO2 that my wifes late model Intrepid does and that is with the Intrepids' engine being 3/5 the size. I feel good every time I drive it.
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high
than
Maybe, but we don't have proof about what went on past the 650,000 year marker yet. This is data that has been obtained from ice coring. Anything older than that is still speculation.
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Im sure the rain forests are important for many reasons.
You and I probably wont live to see an ice age, but with the temperatures here in Texas at the moment, it isn't a totally unwelcome thought;>)
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Indeed. I just think it's funny that they're being chopped down in the name of energy conservation and CO2 reduction.

It was 101* (in Wisconsin) today when I went to lunch, and by 2 pm, it felt a bit warmer... More of the same tomorrow. This summer is looking a lot like 1995 when we had 100*+ weather for a week straight.
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