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Posts tagged “Michael Wang”

By Robert Rapier on Mar 31, 2008 with no responses

LCA on Renewable Diesel

Thanks to a reader for this tip. Argonne National Laboratory has just published a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) of biogasoline, biodiesel, green diesel, and petroleum diesel: Life-Cycle Assessment of Energy and Greenhouse Gas Effects of Soybean-Derived Biodiesel and Renewable Fuels I have just skimmed the report so far, but noted a few items of interest. Table 2-1 shows “Current and Planned Renewable Diesel Facilities.” If I had time, I would convert to a table, but I don’t: Company Size (bpd) Location Online Date ConocoPhillips 1,000 Ireland 2006ConocoPhillips 12,000 United States To be determinedBritish Petroleum (BP) 1,900 Australia 2007Neste 3,400 Finland 2007Neste 3,400 Finland 2009Petrobras 4 × 4,000 Brazil 2007UOP/Eni 6,500 Italy 2009 In Table 3.3, they list the energy inputs into… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 8, 2007 with no responses

The Handy-Dandy Khosla Refuter

The web site Seeking Alpha has just published a new article on ethanol: Ethanol: A Few Myths Debunked To be honest, there are so many misconceptions and myths in the article that a better name for it would have been Ethanol: A Few Myths Repeated. I think all of these “myths” have been covered at one time or another in this blog, but he does quote Vinod Khosla at length. So, this might be a good time to re-debunk Khosla, given that he has repeated this claims many times since the first debunking. So, once again, here are Vinod Khosla’s claims, repeated from the above article, dissected and debunked. VK: Energy balance is not even the right question to answer…. Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Sep 2, 2006 with no responses

Postscript with Wang and Khosla

I think the thread on efficiency of ethanol versus gasoline left a lot of things hanging, and there have been some communications with Dr. Wang and Mr. Khosla since then. So, I wanted to more or less close the book on this and share those communications. I don’t want to spend another 300+ posts arguing about efficiency, but I do want to let the readers know how this all turned out. Dr. Wang was clearly miffed about my usage of “sleight of hand.” While I do not consider usage of this phrase insulting, I felt like the right thing to do was to apologize since Dr. Wang took offense. So, I e-mailed back to Dr. Wang, Tom (who never again… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Aug 25, 2006 with no responses

Battling with the Critics

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. I am trying to spend more time writing on topics other than ethanol. But I get a lot of e-mails on that subject, and often have 3 or 4 mini-debates going on at a time via e-mail. I just finished a debate involving a government official and some big names over the energy balance of gasoline versus ethanol. There still seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this issue, so I asked for permission to publish the exchanges. I was reluctantly given permission, provided I deleted the personal information from the government official (name and government agency). The exchange involved myself, a government official that I will… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 12, 2006 with no responses

Challenge to Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture’s Ethanol Claims

Disclaimer First, I want to make a little disclaimer. In this essay, I will again be discussing the energy balance of gasoline versus ethanol. I am not doing this to suggest that gasoline is a great fuel of choice, but merely to show that grain ethanol is not. Gasoline has its own set of baggage, most notably that it is not sustainable. But the purpose of this essay is merely to examine claims from ethanol advocates who would have us believe that ethanol is actually more energy efficient to produce than gasoline. Correspondence With Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture Following my last posting on the energy balance of corn ethanol versus gasoline, I got into an e-mail exchange with an official… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 8, 2006 with 12 responses

Energy Balance For Ethanol Better Than For Gasoline?

Surely you have heard the claim. Proponents of ethanol will claim that it takes less fossil fuels to produce a BTU of ethanol than to produce a BTU of gasoline. Here is the claim from a Minnesota Department of Agriculture site (1): A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Economic Research Service Report number 814 titled “Estimating The Net Energy Balance Of Corn Ethanol: An Update” was published in July of 2002. The Conclusion states in part: “Corn ethanol is energy efficient, as indicated by an energy ratio of 1.34; that is, for every Btu dedicated to producing ethanol, there is a 34-percent energy gain.” A similar study done in 1995 indicated only a 1.24 energy ratio. The concept of… Continue»