BoomBoom
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Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 12:38 am

From the Telegraph (UK):

Quote:
Boeing is working on plans to develop a "biofuel blend" derived from plants or algae that could power conventional jets. Executives at the company said a hybrid fuel could be available within five years, using the same engines that currently propel aircraft.

Bill Glover, the managing director of environmental strategy at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: "We could see something within five years." He stressed that any fuel would still be a blend, with between 20 per cent and 40 per cent derived from a plant source.

Boeing has teamed up with BP and Royal Dutch Shell to help launch the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative to explore the viability of alternative fuels.

According to Glover, one of the main questions is "can we find plant sources that don't compete with food sources". One project is testing the viability of bio jet fuel from the Babassu tree in Brazil.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/mai...l=/money/2007/04/22/cnboeing22.xml

Can anyone explain to me why biofuels don't add to greenhouse emissions but coal and oil do? Aren't coal and oil just really old dead plants?
Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
cloudyapple
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:01 am

While you still emit the same amount of CO2 gross, some CO2 would have been absorbed by the plant during photosynthesis for the proportion of plant derived fuel. So the net emission is less.

Now it depends what type of biofuel. If it's a blend of fossil fuel with hydrocarbons derived from plants, you reduce net CO2 emissions. If the fuel is totally derived from plant then you emit zero CO2 net.

Now why is it boeing's business? Sure it has nothing to do with the airframe but the engines?
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khobar
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:20 am

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 1):
While you still emit the same amount of CO2 gross, some CO2 would have been absorbed by the plant during photosynthesis for the proportion of plant derived fuel. So the net emission is less.

The plant waste product releases the rest through eventual decay, so the net emission is not less.
 
777236ER
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:29 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 2):

The plant waste product releases the rest through eventual decay, so the net emission is not less.

What?
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flyabunch
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:17 am

The principle advantage of bio-fuels over prehistoric fuels (petroleum) are that the CO2 release nets out. The carbon was stored by the plant in the present and re-released in the present. This process is much preferred over the release of CO2 that was locked up millions of years ago because it will build up.

If you started out at a zero point and you only used biofuels, there would be no increase in atmospheric CO2 over time. You would be storing it as fast as you were releasing it.

Mike
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:11 am

I Wonder if they can do anything about the smell or taste while they're at it...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
SilverComet
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:19 am

Quoting Flyabunch (Reply 4):
prehistoric fuels (petroleum)

I believe the correct term is fossil fuels.

What is attractive about so called 'bio fuels' is not the CO2 emissions but rather the relatively lower cost of making them available and the fact that using more of them would reduce dependence on the oil cartels.
 
flyabunch
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:17 am

Quoting SilverComet (Reply 6):
I believe the correct term is fossil fuels.

You are quite correct. However, I have been using the term "prehistoric" based on a seminar I attended last year where the speaker felt it was a better way to explain the fact that the CO2 was locked up for a long time and any release was additive to the modern world's total.. I realize that it is a fine point but not a big deal.

Mike
 
cobra27
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 5:39 am

If there would really be a shortage of oil, the first thing airlines would do is put in more seats. Away with first and business class. Algae? Maybe, but you will need a heck of a field (or sear or wherever they grow) to suply even 20% percent blend for even one 747 flight? Around 40 tons!
 
lehpron
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:07 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 8):
If there would really be a shortage of oil, the first thing airlines would do is put in more seats. Away with first and business class. Algae? Maybe, but you will need a heck of a field (or sear or wherever they grow) to suply even 20% percent blend for even one 747 flight? Around 40 tons!

Have you heard of steps? All research projects start out small scale to determine feasibility, practicality, profitability, etc. Your reaction gave me the impression as if the intent is to go into full production afterwards. We do not know the result of Boeing's study, we cannot say either way.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
kaddyuk
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:05 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 8):
but you will need a heck of a field (or sear or wherever they grow) to suply even 20% percent blend for even one 747 flight? Around 40 tons!

40 tonnes of fuel not for one flight... The aircraft can only carry 160 tonnes of fuel... 20% of this is 32 tonnes... You'd only need less than half that for a 20% blend on an average 8hr sector...
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:11 pm

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 8):
If there would really be a shortage of oil, the first thing airlines would do is put in more seats. Away with first and business class.

Airlines would take away Monkey Class first. First and Business would stay since that's where airlines (apart from LCC and charter) make their money. A BA flight LHR-JFK with empty Monkey Class and full Biz and First still makes money.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
SilverComet
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:42 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 11):

The question is would you be able to fill up an aircraft with First and Business Class pax only?
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 9:33 pm

Quoting SilverComet (Reply 12):
The question is would you be able to fill up an aircraft with First and Business Class pax only?

You miss the point. Even with Monkey Class empty on, say, a 777, the airline would make a profit. If nothing else, all that cargo space for Monkey Class bags could be used for much more lucrative freight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
cobra27
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:14 pm

And Boeing claim to research Biofuel and yagidi yakak is only a good advertisement move for all those who have an urgent need to save the planet.......
The 787 is something new cheaper to fly than today, something that airlines like. But with a 20% less fuel burnt it wont save the planet. Infact the fuel burnt per seat would bu roughly equal to 744, only the frequency and maintenance cost would be improved.
And about the fuel, it is more about engine manufactuers than Boeing, RR GE and PW
 
Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:25 am

There's no reason why it wouldn't work, the only issue is getting fuel blends standardized and getting the certification done on the engines. The issues to be addressed would be low temperature fluidity and corrosion potential of biofuel, as well as cleanliness of combustion and combustion byproducts and emission.

Biodiesel is pretty much the same stuff, and a lot of people in this part of the world are cooking it up in garages and small buildings and running diesel pickups on it. I have visited a pilot plant in Nevada, Iowa where biodiesel is made from soya oil, spent fryer grease, yellow grease (slaughterhouse waste) and brown grease (from sewage plants).

Here is an interesting article on making biodiesel.

http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html

http://www.energy.iastate.edu/becon/
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
SilverComet
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 2:43 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 15):
Here is an interesting article on making biodiesel

I have recently read this same article, while looking up alternative sources of energy for road vehicles. If I had a diesel car, that's what I would be doing right now.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:25 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 2):
The plant waste product releases the rest through eventual decay, so the net emission is not less.

Depends on how you dispose of the "slash", or the crop leftovers.

If they are burned, then yes, what you said is more or less true. If however, it is mulched, than most of the carbon is returned to the soil.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
PPVRA
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:32 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 15):
yellow grease (slaughterhouse waste)

ConocoPhillips and Tyson (the frozen chicken company) are partnering up to produce biodiesel out of the fat from Tyson's processing plants. The article I read mentioned something nearly (iirc) 175 million gallons of fuel could be produced.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 15):
There's no reason why it wouldn't work, the only issue is getting fuel blends standardized and getting the certification done on the engines.

At least with ethanol, there is a range/payload reduction. Embraer's subsidiary, NEIVA, has a cropduster running on ethanol. . . hundreds delivered new or converted from AvGas.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
cobra27
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:48 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 15):
There's no reason why it wouldn't work, the only issue is getting fuel blends standardized and getting the certification done on the engines.

Who said it wouldn't work?
Can you please explain how to produce such a vast quantities of biofuel, and consider that photosinthesisi only converts one thousands of the energy it receives
 
777236ER
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:58 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 19):
nd consider that photosinthesisi only converts one thousands of the energy it receives

Photosynthesis is about 6.5% efficienct, not 0.1% efficient.
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PPVRA
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 4:03 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 19):
Can you please explain how to produce such a vast quantities of biofuel, and consider that photosinthesisi only converts one thousands of the energy it receives

The only CO2 release is what the plant contains, which should be the same amount of CO2 needed to grow another plant just like that one. It recycles it. Net change is zero.

Today is not possible to replace all fossil fuels. Nowhere near that. But with R&D we can increase the energy generated per pound of plant significantly.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
cobra27
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:14 am

Quoting 777236ER (Reply 20):
Photosynthesis is about 6.5% efficienct, not 0.1% efficient.

Really, where did you get that info?
 
BoomBoom
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 5:29 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 8):
Algae? Maybe, but you will need a heck of a field (or sear or wherever they grow) to suply even 20% percent blend for even one 747 flight? Around 40 tons!

The article states:

Earlier this year another Boeing executive, Dave Nielson, told the Transportation Research Board that if the US used biofuel for 15 per cent of its average fuel requirements, it would require cultivation of an area the size of Florida, or about 10 per cent of America's total cropland. Similar analysis showed that if airlines used 100 per cent of bio jet fuel from algae, it would require cultivation of an area the size of Maryland.

Our eyes are open, our eyes are open--wide, wide, wide...
 
777236ER
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:00 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 22):
Really, where did you get that info?

Rosati, A., Dejong, T.M.; 'Estimating Photosynthetic Radiation Use Efficiently Using Incident Light and Photosynehtsis of Individual Leaves' Ann. of Botany 91 (2003) pp. 869-877.
Your bone's got a little machine
 
Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:07 am

Quoting Cobra27 (Reply 19):
Can you please explain how to produce such a vast quantities of biofuel, and consider that photosinthesisi only converts one thousands of the energy it receives

I don't recall saying anythig about a vast quantity of fuel, and no, I won't explain how the stuff is made.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
cloudy
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Thu May 10, 2007 3:05 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 21):
The only CO2 release is what the plant contains, which should be the same amount of CO2 needed to grow another plant just like that one. It recycles it. Net change is zero.

The important assumption buried in that statement is this - that if such a plant were not grown for biofuel, it would not grow at all. This is highly questionable. Most likely, another crop would be grown in its place - perhaps tobacco, cotton or a food crop. Or the land would just be left to nature, and natural growth would replace the crops. Whatever grew in that crops place would still take CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Another assumption is that global warming caused by man made CO2 is a real problem with real catastrophic consequences if nothing is done about it. I am not convinced that this is the case.

There are other problems with biofuels.....

Biofuels increase the need for farmland. This has negative consequences....

......First, it increases the price for food. One example.......We here in Illinois want to drive up the price of our corn, which feeds many people in the world, including the poor . So we lobby the federal government to subsidize ethanol production with huge tax incentives. Up goes the price of corn, and even today this has been a hardship for some rural Mexicans - who have to pay a lot more now for their standard diet. In effect, we good ole boy Illinois farmers are using our fellow American's money to drive up food prices and thus exploit the poor.

......Second, it increases the incentive to put more land under cultivation. A lot of land that used to be farmed - especially in places like New England, has now been left to return to natural conditions because it is no longer profitable to farm there. Energy crops could reduce this trend. There are actually proposals to cultivate large areas of the great plains and other land formerly left untouched - with crops like switchgrass, etc. This would undoubtedly have environmental consequences - habitat reduction, fertilizer and pesticide polution, etc.

.....Third, the aim of biofuel advocates is to make the stuff cheaper than petroleum products. When the price of biofuels is subsidized, it keeps the price of portable energy artificially low. Maybe too low. If we were to just let biofuels stand and fall on their own merits, and the price of oil keep going up, people may be more likely to change their behavior. They might think twice about the huge SUV. They might try living closer to work. They might bike or walk on shorter trips. They might consider an electric car despite the limitations, or perhaps a hybrid. Congratulations, biofuel folks. You saved the big SUV. You made sure that our energy use stays up, You made conservation a poor choice. You delayed the transition to electric or hydrogen vehicles. You increased polution overall. That is what we may be saying to the ethanol/biodiesel lobby thirty years from now if current trends continue.

We Illlinoisians are just patriotic down to earth, humble, environmentally aware folks. The oil companies as the big bad guys who get there living from wrecking the environment and steeling from society. That is what our lobbiests would have you believe. Actually, a strong case can be made that the exact opposite is closer to the truth.

IN SHORT.... if, as I suspect, the global warming "catastrophe" and "peak oil" are myths there is no need to subsidize biofuels. But even if the sky really is falling with respect to the oil supply and atmospheric CO2, it seems to me that biofuels are fake solutions. Farmland is NOT a renewable resource. There is a finite supply of it, and from that supply we must get our food. I am skeptical of those who advocate using it for energy instead. It seems to me that doing this causes more problems than it solves - both economically and environmentally. Biofuel may have a legitimate niche as a fuel additive and as a use for waste products - but don't count on it to solve the big problems.
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Thu May 10, 2007 3:28 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 26):
IN SHORT.... if, as I suspect, the global warming "catastrophe" and "peak oil" are myths

I have always been sceptical about global warming. I still am.
I remember when I was a teenager in the 1960s. We learned then that we were approaching the peak oil production and it would start declining in 1980! And it is still growing.

Very well written piece. Cloudy
 
Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Thu May 10, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 26):
Farmland is NOT a renewable resource. There is a finite supply of it, and from that supply we must get our food. I am skeptical of those who advocate using it for energy instead. It seems to me that doing this causes more problems than it solves - both economically and environmentally. Biofuel may have a legitimate niche as a fuel additive and as a use for waste products - but don't count on it to solve the big problems.

Not only is farmland a finite resource, it suffers from continuous corn cropping which is very tough on soil. I suspect a lot of people are going whole hog on this because they don't think the good prices will last and they're deciding to worry about the future when it gets here.

The problem you identify with food prices is true to a certain extent.

If you figure that a bushel of corn sells for about four bucks, that's about seven cents a pound at the elevator. The yield of corn meal and grit is about 95 per cent, so if you are generous you can say that a pound of masa harina has about ten cents worth of corn in it as compared to 5 cents before the big spike. So let's double it for milling and bagging, you're looking at about 20 cents a pound.

Much of the corn that you grow and we grow here in Iowa is not used for human consumption-it's an industrial crop. The stuff for people to eat in the form of corn chips and so on has to be a lot better product than No. 2 yellow corn at the spot price. And after the ethanol's cooked out of it it's animal feed, which lowers the cost of meat because there's a lot of the stuff.

I do some work for a small group of free range pork producers and they're feeling the pinch, no doubt about it.

I think the discussion about the campesinos and the tortillas is a little beside the point. Rising prices here in the US-and the rest of the world be it remembered-are dragging the price of corn upwards, but retail consumers in Mexico have always paid a lot more than market because their farmers are not very efficient corn growers.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
SilverComet
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Thu May 10, 2007 4:53 am

Quoting Tristarsteve (Reply 27):
I have always been sceptical about global warming. I still am.

While I also suspect that the 'peak oil' nightmare might be a bit overrated, I believe that global warming is a very real and present problem. The average temperature of the seas and the atmosphere is rising, that's a known and documented fact. We are already seeing changes in climate all over the world and the climate models used up to now by meteorologists are starting to lose their validity. I find it surprising that one could be skeptical when faced with all the evidence.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Thu May 10, 2007 6:21 am

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 26):
The important assumption buried in that statement is this - that if such a plant were not grown for biofuel, it would not grow at all. This is highly questionable. Most likely, another crop would be grown in its place - perhaps tobacco, cotton or a food crop. Or the land would just be left to nature, and natural growth would replace the crops. Whatever grew in that crops place would still take CO2 out of the atmosphere.

I agree completely. All you are doing, however, is replacing that plant with a different one. I'm not a biologist, but I would assume it's safe to assume that a corn field wouldn't store as much carbon as pine forest (whose wood was likely put to good use), but perhaps other than this initial release, its net emission will continue to be zero. Or even negative with R&D.

In a way it's not much different than oil, except there is a mechanism that recycles the carbon back into useful energy (unlike fossil fuels), instead of constantly accumulating it in the atmosphere as it happens with oil, etc. You are not only using that carbon once.

Quoting Cloudy (Reply 26):

IN SHORT.... if, as I suspect, the global warming "catastrophe" and "peak oil" are myths there is no need to subsidize biofuels. But even if the sky really is falling with respect to the oil supply and atmospheric CO2, it seems to me that biofuels are fake solutions. Farmland is NOT a renewable resource. There is a finite supply of it, and from that supply we must get our food. I am skeptical of those who advocate using it for energy instead. It seems to me that doing this causes more problems than it solves - both economically and environmentally. Biofuel may have a legitimate niche as a fuel additive and as a use for waste products - but don't count on it to solve the big problems.

There's a lot of truth to what you said. However, if you remove this import tariff, you'll drop that corn price significantly. You'll create other problems politically, though. You can also use different crops (not used for food), as well as many other organic materials that often times go to waste. I do agree though - ethanol is only good to offset some of that oil consumption. Its perhaps a medium-term help for many, but IMO a far cry from a definate solution, though.

Btw, sugar cane production in Brazil (probably the largest agriculture exporter in the planet) is only ~1% of total farmland in use (food production not really threatened). There's a potential for much more farmland than already is used. Another popular misconception is that Brazil is cutting down the amazon to grow sugar cane - amazonian soil is highly improper for sugar cane.

[Edited 2007-05-09 23:32:20]
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Fri May 11, 2007 3:32 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 30):
Btw, sugar cane production in Brazil (probably the largest agriculture exporter in the planet) is only ~1% of total farmland in use (food production not really threatened). There's a potential for much more farmland than already is used. Another popular misconception is that Brazil is cutting down the amazon to grow sugar cane - amazonian soil is highly improper for sugar cane.

Would that be the same Brazil that pitched the bitch at the last Doha round with the group of 20 and all that, poor dirt farmers in their loincloths and all that?
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
PPVRA
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Fri May 11, 2007 11:38 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 31):

Would that be the same Brazil that pitched the bitch at the last Doha round with the group of 20 and all that, poor dirt farmers in their loincloths and all that?

I'm confused. Are you trying to hijack the thread or something?
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 2:59 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 32):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 31):

Would that be the same Brazil that pitched the bitch at the last Doha round with the group of 20 and all that, poor dirt farmers in their loincloths and all that?

I'm confused. Are you trying to hijack the thread or something?

Yeah, pretty much. I'm interested in ag exports and ag policy. It sems a little disingenuous for the world's largest agricultural exporter (as you say) to complain that subsidies in other countries are wrecking their business. In fact it doesn't seem to have hurt Brazil a bit.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
PPVRA
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 33):

Yeah, pretty much. I'm interested in ag exports and ag policy. It sems a little disingenuous for the world's largest agricultural exporter (as you say) to complain that subsidies in other countries are wrecking their business. In fact it doesn't seem to have hurt Brazil a bit.

I never said that, nor anything remotely close to that. I'm all for laissez-faire. But there is no point in hiding from the fact that tariffs decrease competition and artificially increase costs.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
stxbohn
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 12:11 pm

Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 1):
If the fuel is totally derived from plant then you emit zero CO2 net.

Not to be too technical; however, this would only really be true if the energy required to derive and process the biofuel was completely generated from biofuel too. Some combustion engine, heat source, or motor is probably running off fossil fuels, other renewable power, or nuclear in all cases of biodiesel, ethanol, bio-distillate, etc. generation.

Chances are we will see a lot more ethanol and biodiesel before bio-Jet A or sister distillates. Jet A has some tough specs to meet as far as quality control - something along the lines of a airborne turbine connected to a oversized, aluminum beer can at sub-freezing temps  Smile. Gasolines and diesel have a little more flexibility when it comes to blending and less catastrophic consequences.


Brooks
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Dougloid
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RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 12:38 pm

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 34):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 33):

Yeah, pretty much. I'm interested in ag exports and ag policy. It sems a little disingenuous for the world's largest agricultural exporter (as you say) to complain that subsidies in other countries are wrecking their business. In fact it doesn't seem to have hurt Brazil a bit.

I never said that, nor anything remotely close to that. I'm all for laissez-faire. But there is no point in hiding from the fact that tariffs decrease competition and artificially increase costs.

I did not mean to suggest that you said that, and for that you deserve a small mea culpa. I follow the WTO pretty closely and Brazil is one of the group of 20 or 18 or whomever that made such a big issue of it at the Doha round. I agree that tariffs decrease competition and raise prices but the subsidies that the group of 19 or 21 were complaining so bitterly about are price supports that guarantee a price floor. If the cost of production drops below a certain level it gets supported. As it happens the corn loan price is about $2 right now so not a dollar of subsidy will be paid with the market price at about $4.50 per bushel.

Brazil grows soya. So does the US. If Brazil can get the price supports tossed, then their cost of production will likely be somewhat less and they'll have eliminated their biggest competitor.

People talk all the time about farm subsidies as if they know something about it. I can't speak for other countries but here they are price supports on wheat, cotton, corn, rice, soya and sorghum that don't kick in unless the world price falls below the price of production. That's the extent of it. We happen to think having an independent agricultural sector is important. That's why we do it and the effect of it is to support the world market price. Take that away and Brazil's growers will have no assurance that their cost won't drop below the price of production and we'll be back where we were before 1916 when they were first thought about.
It is a most interesting topic that has as much to do with politics and posturing from all the members of the WTO as it has to do with reality.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
trent1000
Posts: 592
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:55 pm

RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 5:13 pm

Well, If you can run your car purely on used but filtered cooking oil without engine modification, airlines should also look at how to fuel their engines more cheaply. Perhaps engine efficiency using biofuels creates a potential safety issue and also that vegetable oils are more expensive per gallon than currently used aviation fuel. But also perhaps, near future demand will allow engines to use a blend of fuels or ideally, biofuels produced from say, corn oil or sugar cane. With worldwide aviation contributing to approximately 4% annual CO2 emissions, wouldn't it be effective marketing for airlines to promote themselves as 'green(er)'? Fuel price is perhaps the greatest expense for airlines. In the future, cheaper, more environmentally fuels will at least temper the current volatile nature of fuel price fluctuation and supply security.
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: Boeing Researching Biofuel Blend Jet Fuel

Sat May 12, 2007 11:11 pm

Quoting Trent1000 (Reply 37):
Well, If you can run your car purely on used but filtered cooking oil without engine modification, airlines should also look at how to fuel their engines more cheaply. Perhaps engine efficiency using biofuels creates a potential safety issue and also that vegetable oils are more expensive per gallon than currently used aviation fuel. But also perhaps, near future demand will allow engines to use a blend of fuels or ideally, biofuels produced from say, corn oil or sugar cane. With worldwide aviation contributing to approximately 4% annual CO2 emissions, wouldn't it be effective marketing for airlines to promote themselves as 'green(er)'? Fuel price is perhaps the greatest expense for airlines. In the future, cheaper, more environmentally fuels will at least temper the current volatile nature of fuel price fluctuation and supply security.

You can run a jet engine on anything that'll burn (Union Pacific actually tried powdered coal), but aircraft engines are certified with a particular type of fuel with an ASTM number. You can't just pull your B727 up to the Burger King and start emptying out the bowsers with the spent fry grease. The fuel you use has to conform to the specification.

The long and the short of it is that we use far more fuel than biofuel sources can provide with present technology. Example: sugar cane yields about 750 gallons of ethanol per acre. Assuming that cane is cropped more or less continuously in Brazil, they could get maybe 3 crops per year. So figure each acre maximum production is around 2,000 gallons per year, and a helluva lot of effort goes into planting, cropping, harvesting, and distilling.

If you start looking at vegetable based oils, there simply is not enough acreage to produce the amount of fuel needed.

Some people do run cars on vegetable oil or spent cooking grease, but these are valuable food commodities in their own right and there is a pretty significant social utility question in rich folks burning edible oils in their Benzes. There was a segment on teevee the other night about rich folks in Los Angeles and they followed a guy around who was doing exactly that-dumping new cottonseed cooking oil into his diesel pickup.

Spent fry grease is an important supplement to poultry feed, and ten years ago it was worth 20 cents a pound-about $1.60 per gallon. Some folks have investigated using yellow grease (slaughterhouse waste) and brown grease (sewer gunk) by esterizing it but there simply is not enough of the stuff around to be more than a niche product.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn

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