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Results for: “methanol versus ethanol technical merits and political favoritism”

The Unintended Consequences of Government Mandated Biofuel Consumption

Thanks to a growing demand for food driven by an increasing population and improving standards of living, along with the conversion of grains into fuel, the world has to break harvest records every year to keep up.

The Potential of Methanol

Last week I received an email from John Bockris, a retired Distinguished Professor from Texas A&M University. I presume Professor Bockris had come across some of my writings on methanol, as that was the topic of his correspondence. I don’t think Professor Bockris realized that we had met when I was a first year chemistry graduate student at Texas A&M. At that time he was one of the most well-known professors in the chemistry department. (See also: Methanol versus Ethanol: Technical Merits and Political Favoritism) I asked for permission to publish our correspondence, and permission was granted. My reply to him is in blue. Just one correction. He referred to me as Dr. Rapier. When I was halfway through my… Continue»

Why U.S. Energy Policy is Poised for a Fundamental Shift

As I wrote yesterday, I believe that the U.S. is moving fundamentally towards a point where it will be a major net exporter of energy, especially of refined oil products. Everything we’re hearing now in the political sphere and in the press is about how bad the spike in gas prices is for the American economy. But – if we are to become a major energy producer – that cannot be true. It is no longer the case that high oil prices are unrelentingly bad for our economy: they’re only bad for oil consumers. Here in DC, we’re pounded by API’s ad campaign that three are over 9 million people directly employed by the oil and natural gas industry. In… Continue»

Why Might Novazymes Oppose My Biofuel Incentive Proposal?

Rewards for Performance, Not Over-Hyped Promises I recently wrote a post detailing some steps that I believe should be taken to improve the nature of how we provide incentives for biofuels: How to Fix the Broken Cellulosic Ethanol Incentive System. My proposal is like a feed-in-tariff for next generation biofuels. The highlights are that we should reward companies that deliver, and not those that make promises. We shouldn’t put the taxpayer on the hook for broken promises, and we should create a more level playing field for advanced biofuels. At present that playing field is tilted heavily in the direction of cellulosic ethanol. The original article was edited a bit and also published at Forbes: Fixing A Broken Biofuel Incentive… Continue»

Final Thoughts on Methanol

The previous essay on methanol versus ethanol resulted in a number of interesting comments. It was one of the best discussions we have had around here in a long time. Many issues were raised in the resulting discussions that warrant some clarification. So I thought I would make some final comments regarding some of the issues that were raised. Conflicts of Interest In a story at BiofuelsDigest – Methanol: Biofuel to love or hate? – it was suggested that I might have a conflict of interest here in my defense of methanol. That is certainly a legitimate question to ask, and I don’t mind answering it. The fact is that I have zero financial interests in methanol. My company has… Continue»

Methanol versus Ethanol: Technical Merits and Political Favoritism

The previous essay sparked a lively discussion about the potential of methanol as a fuel, so I decided to write an essay particularly devoted to methanol. I was especially motivated to write this because of hypocrites who profess to be all about renewable energy and weaning the U.S. off of foreign oil – which explains their rabid support for corn ethanol – and then when the conversation turns to methanol they start to bad mouth it. When talking about methanol, hypocrites will tell you that “it is toxic.” But these people have never raised that issue over highly toxic denatured ethanol. They speculate that capital costs will be low for cellulosic ethanol but high for methanol. They complain about the… Continue»