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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Cebu, Philippines
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Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/07/2007 6:40 PM

A few years ago, when the cost of crude oil was way below the cost of ethanol, there was no frenzy to substitute gasoline with alcohol. Economics play a bigger factor on the present fever to produce more alcohol, rather than the need to reduce the emission of GHG. What would happen if prices were reversed? There is still a chance that a new fuel or a new energy source will be successfully made available. Or if a new oil source is found and developed, what will happen to the large supply of substitute alcohol? Hard to imagine that there will be more alcohol available for humans to splurge on....

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#1

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/08/2007 7:18 PM

Alcohol is a fad that will pass when the oil to produce it runs out.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/08/2007 11:33 PM

Why do you need oil to produce alcohol? Moonshiners have been making alcohol for years without using a drop of oil. (and running their cars on it to) The other statement I have is, Oil is the fad who's time has come and gone.

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Commentator

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 12:40 AM

Sorry no, Just wish to compare as to which fuel is cheaper to produce, gasoline from crude oil or ethanol from corn? Years ago, when gasoline was much cheaper, ethanol was not a viable alternative fuel, but when crude oil shoot up to 60+ dollars a barrel, then did the manufacturers rushed to build new plants for making alcohol. Guest in #3 post says that gas is still much cheaper than alcohol. What would be the price level of gasoline when alcohol becomes a very uneconomic alternative?

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 2:26 AM

Rupertal and Guest,

You both make the most important point. Cost of fuel should be higher to allow us to diversify into more options, BUT the key issue is the non dollar ( sterling) costs in the number of people who starve because we push up the cost of food staples by converting so much corn and rapeseed nto fuel for our unnecessarily thirsty vehicles.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/08/2007 11:50 PM

Gas is still considerably below the cost of ethanol even with the huge subsidies from the US government. Look at how it is affecting the poor in Mexico who are faced with the doubling of their staple food, just to support gas guzzling SUV's north of thier border.

John

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Commentator

Join Date: Apr 2007
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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 2:31 AM

Last go 'round we were covered up in surplus grain. This time around the world was down to 70 day supply of grains last year. It was as high as 400 days worth of grain in the elevator in the 60's and 70's.

The world hasn't grown as much grain as they used in 5 or 6 years. In the last 10 years China & India are increasing the amount of meat they eat by 5 to 10% a year. They make up 40% of the worlds population. If you only use grain takes about 2.5 pounds of grain to make a pound of chicken. Six or eight pounds to make a pound of pork. Nearly 20 pounds to make a pound of beef. Now the third world doesn't raise live stock only on grain but they still need half of that for every pound of meat they raise.

Forty percent of the world eats up a lot of grain by living higher on the hog. The world can increase grain production some but we can't feed all people, animals and cars when the people will double in the next 50 years; half the worlds population or more is fast catching up with the rest; the hungry half of the world is eating better and they will also be were most of the growth comes from. Unless we find crops that grow in sea water we can't get much more production for long by burning down tropical forests and farming them for a few years before they are made into pastures.

I just don't see where the grain for fuel comes from.


If it actualy pays is anoter story.

Gordon

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#7
In reply to #3

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 9:36 AM

"Look at how it is affecting the poor in Mexico who are faced with the doubling of their staple food, just to support gas guzzling SUV's north of thier border." Oh gee golly wow "John" has discovered the reason the Mexico's poor have remained poor and near starvation for at least the past 300 years, i.e., "gas guzzling SUV's".

Dependence on one staple food is acceptable as long as the supply is not interrupted by environmental disruptions, storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity, etc., man's economics and interference with, and impositions on nature. Diversity of food supply allows survival in challenging times.

Well, as they say around these here parts, "th' chickens have come home to roost". The Panda population in China is threatened because of the diminishing supply of their one staple diet. Same goes for the Koala in Australia. And now, the Mexican poor.

No the problem is not "gas guzzling SUV's". The problem is a total failure of these so called "governments" to deal with and correct the social and technological problems of their countries. It's not only Mexico but in every country where there is a gaping chasm between the rich and poor. These governments have failed to protect their citizens from the "rich will always sacrifice the poor to stay rich" syndrome that has been the mantra of mankind since the dawn of time.

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Member

Join Date: Jan 2007
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#8

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 9:46 AM

Corn is very nutrient absorbing of the soil and requires large amounts of fertilizer i.e. petroleum to produce any decent qualities for alcohol. Switch grass has proven be a better alternative. My question is, if we as world citizens are concerned, why not dust off some of the proven alternatives to fossil fuels? Alcohol is a band-aid for a more serious problem.

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Associate

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: San Diego, CA
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#9

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 11:00 AM

There is not a shortage of oil. "Energy" companies that provide gasoline are making huge profits from the high prices they charge and get away with. If alcohol, or some other fuel, becomes a significant threat to the oil "energy" companies, I believe they will get into the business of alcohol (or other fuels) and within a short timeframe, control and jack up the prices so their balance sheets continue to grow. The oil (energy) companies are not going to remain passive if the profits decline. It's all about money and big business. As long as we (willing or not) continue to adjust our life styles such that we can pay an exhorbitant price for energy, the companies that produce it will ensure the prices keep climbing. It won't matter whether it's gasoline, alcohol or some other fuel.

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Participant

Join Date: Feb 2007
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#10

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 12:40 PM

1. It's more efficient to make ethanol from sugar cane than from corn (one step less in the processing)

2. Ethanol producers need to figure out how to combine small units and take advantage of the economy of scale.....

3. Ethanol producers need to figure out how to enable their product to be co-mingled in pipelines (perhaps via ETBE?).

4. We need to carry out research to mitigate (eliminate?) water pollution from corn ethanol manufacture.

5. The US should support alternatives to cap oil prices

6. Above all, USE LESS energy..........now that's a novel thought.

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Anonymous Poster
#11

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 1:22 PM

I get ethanol from Jerusalem artichokes, but any crop containing sugar works just as well. There is absolutely no waste from Jerusalem artichoke ethanol production. The residue is converted into compost and put back into the soil. I never bothered to try ethanol production from other crops because it is so easy to do with Jerusalem artichokes. Nevertheless, I don't make ethanol anymore because gasoline is cheap as long as it stays below $6.00 per gallon. Jerusalem artichoke ethanol production can require much physical labor if it is done on a large scale without mechanical assistance as it is in my situation. It also requires a lot of water for irrigation which isn't available in the desert climate where I live. High production requires fertilizer along with its incidental drawbacks. Three acres of Jerusalem artichokes will give me enough alcohol fuel for two cars a year. My solution to the higher gasoline price was to drive my motorcycle more often. My SUV at 15 miles per gallon and my motorcycle at 90 miles per gallon equals an average of 50 miles per gallon for my driving habits. However, I still maintain a large crop of Jerusalem artichokes every growing season to be used for seeding, just in case.

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Anonymous Poster
#12

Re: Crude Oil Pricing vs Ethanol Cost to produce.

05/09/2007 10:15 PM

it will never happen(ethanol in the east coast) thank goodness as the food supply will collapse otherwise from high prices and the ethanol can't be used in the east as they have to remove all the smog equipment on the cars and change the tanks and spend over 47 billion to change alll the underground tanks for stainless steel ones, no one in theire right mind will be willing to do that as all the double wall buried tanks are brand new per EPA regulations.

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