Bioenergy plan in works

May 22, 2008 Read more: Honolulu Star-Bulletin 103
Biofuels, criticized by some as contributing to worldwide food shortages by diverting crops from grocery stores, are getting a closer look in Hawaii as the state continues searching for ways to curb its ... Read more
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Diver

Aiea, HI

#1 May 22, 2008
Ask your legislator to stop requiring ethanol in gas if the ethanol comes from corn.

And tell your congressman to stop producing ethanol from corn as a fuel.

With a little research it's soon apparent that it takes two gallons of fuel to produce one gallon of ethanol from corn.

It's absolutely wasteful. The only part of the corn being used is the kernel. All the energy and fertilizer used to grow the rest of the plant is wasted.

That's why there's a push to use switchgrass or sugar cane. Much more of the plant is used.

If the rest of the cellulose is converted into methanol then it's even more efficient. But it takes political will to overcome the lobbyists that force the corn option upon this country.
truthist

Austin, TX

#2 May 22, 2008
Diver wrote:
Ask your legislator to stop requiring ethanol in gas if the ethanol comes from corn.
And tell your congressman to stop producing ethanol from corn as a fuel.
With a little research it's soon apparent that it takes two gallons of fuel to produce one gallon of ethanol from corn.
It's absolutely wasteful. The only part of the corn being used is the kernel. All the energy and fertilizer used to grow the rest of the plant is wasted.
That's why there's a push to use switchgrass or sugar cane. Much more of the plant is used.
If the rest of the cellulose is converted into methanol then it's even more efficient. But it takes political will to overcome the lobbyists that force the corn option upon this country.
Hi. Why did you say methanol? Thanks.
Jim Middlesworth

Lenexa, KS

#3 May 22, 2008
Numerous companies are coming up with techniques to use alternatives to fossil fuels. This is no surprise with fossil fuel prices sky-rocketing, oil supplies running out .demand for fossil fuels is still immense: According to the Energy Information Administration, almost 90% of the world’s primary energy production was reliant on fossil fuels in 2005.

Ethanol production is becoming more popular, but it is still unrealistic to think that it will replace the more efficient fossil fuels.

Algae are the fastest-growing plants in the world. Like other plants, they use photosynthesis to harness sunlight and carbon dioxide, creating high-value compounds in the process. Energy is stored inside the cell as lipids and carbohydrates, and can be converted into fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. Proteins produced by algae make them valuable ingredients for animal feed.

Algae can be converted to transportation fuels and feed ingredients or recycled back to a combustion source as biomass for power generation. Industrial facilities need no internal modifications to host a algae farm. In addition, the system does not require fertile land or potable water. It is technologically feasible to couple algae bioreactors with power plants to remove CO2 from stack gases.

Gallons of Oil per Acre per Year

Corn ....... 15

Soybeans ....48

Safflower..... 83

Sunflower ... 102

Rapeseed... 127

Oil Palm .... 635

Micro Algae ..1850 [based on actual biomass yields]

Micro Algae ..5000-15000 [theoretical laboratory yield]
Dennis

San Francisco, CA

#4 May 22, 2008
It's time to protest at Lindle's doorstep. This is a farce. Ethanol is nothing more than un-fossilized fossil fuel. The production of this fuel, aka alcohol (bathtub gin), is a waste of water, energy, money, offers no saving in carbon, and causes additional water pollution for Hawaii.

Hawaii needs to focus on crops for food. 60% of the food consumed in Hawaii is imported, more wasted energy. That's just nuts.

It saves nothing. The cost of production is subsidized by you and me and every other tax payer in this country. It makes no difference what the price of fuel is, you pay more for ethanol.

Oil is used most extensively for transportation. If you want to reduce your fuel bill, get a better fuel mileage vehicle. Keep you car tuned up. And fix oil leaks.
Lin Wong

Honolulu, HI

#5 May 22, 2008
http://starbulletin.com/2007/12/24/news/story...

We should wait for the results of the UH/Royal Dutch efforts to grow algae on the Big Island for ethanol production.
Algae has the potential to be the most cost-effective method for ethanol production.
molokai citizen

United States

#6 May 22, 2008
Molokai has >30,000 acres of un-utilized agricultural land.

Let's get some bio-diesel crops grown here!

We have the water, workforce, weather and lands.

We're ready!!!
Redline

Honolulu, HI

#7 May 22, 2008
This sounds like lip service. We need to get some alternatives on line ASAP. Algae sounds very interesting, but we should also invest in wind, solar, and wave. The state should offer subsidies and incentives and convert all government buildings. No brainer first step. UH should be a leader in wind, solar, and wave energy research. We also need to fully fund summer school and A+ to get our kids ready to help address our mess. Priorities?
Liberalism isadeathcult

Carmel, CA

#8 May 22, 2008
Yeah, let's starve out the third world so we can drive around in SUV's
Flying Hawaiian

Kahului, HI

#9 May 22, 2008
Jim Middlesworth wrote:
Numerous companies are coming up with techniques to use alternatives to fossil fuels. This is no surprise with fossil fuel prices sky-rocketing, oil supplies running out .demand for fossil fuels is still immense: According to the Energy Information Administration, almost 90% of the world’s primary energy production was reliant on fossil fuels in 2005.
Ethanol production is becoming more popular, but it is still unrealistic to think that it will replace the more efficient fossil fuels.
Algae are the fastest-growing plants in the world. Like other plants, they use photosynthesis to harness sunlight and carbon dioxide, creating high-value compounds in the process. Energy is stored inside the cell as lipids and carbohydrates, and can be converted into fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol. Proteins produced by algae make them valuable ingredients for animal feed.
Algae can be converted to transportation fuels and feed ingredients or recycled back to a combustion source as biomass for power generation. Industrial facilities need no internal modifications to host a algae farm. In addition, the system does not require fertile land or potable water. It is technologically feasible to couple algae bioreactors with power plants to remove CO2 from stack gases.
Gallons of Oil per Acre per Year
Corn ....... 15
Soybeans ....48
Safflower..... 83
Sunflower ... 102
Rapeseed... 127
Oil Palm .... 635
Micro Algae ..1850 [based on actual biomass yields]
Micro Algae ..5000-15000 [theoretical laboratory yield]
Algae, the bain of aquarist because the stuff grows so fast, would be a wonderful fuel source if it could be done profitably. I've always wondered what it would be like if profitable crops grew like weeds! We could use less CO2 and more 02 of which algae is so important.
JUST A THOUGHT

Kailua Kona, HI

#11 May 22, 2008
hawaii has 365 day growing season. enough of the experiments- get moving. BUT it requires ALL of us to do our part, and it seems that the people have and are speaking LINGLE DO YOU HEAR US?. hawaii can become the leader in self sustainability. both food and energy is here at our door step, but we gotta start YO, LINGLE you listening?. and the time was 10 yrs. ago. common GOV. do something good. bumby alls we going remember you was, the one that did nothing good for the people of hawaii.
councilmemberhol mes

Richmond, VA

#12 May 22, 2008
Corn and wheat had record production in the US even factoring out ethanol. Much of this came from increased yields and use of conservation lands held out of production. Blaming biofuels for higher food prices is just plain wrong. Higher oil prices, yes. Speculation in commodities markets, yes. Biodiesel from recycled vegetable oil doesn't compete with food. Ethanol from corn stover, wheat chaff, or wood chips don't either.
Solarman

La Quinta, CA

#13 May 22, 2008
molokai citizen wrote:
Molokai has >30,000 acres of un-utilized agricultural land.
Let's get some bio-diesel crops grown here!
We have the water, workforce, weather and lands.
We're ready!!!
Check out www.valcent.net . They have a verticle hydroponics type growing system with sealed bags that grow a particular algae that makes lipids which can be turned into oil products.
Steven

Portland, OR

#14 May 22, 2008
Ethanol as a fuel source for Hawaii is nothing compared to geo themal. A gallon of ethanol only produces two thirds of the energy of a gallon of gas and the gas miliage of cars decreases by 30% when ethanol is used. The pro ethanol people never talk about that. Hawaii sits on top of the most active volcanic zone in the world and the only geothermal power facility in Hawaii is a small token effort on the Big Island. Geothermal should provide 100% of the electrical needs of all of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the environmental whackos and the stupid politicians will make sure that that never happens. Instead, they sit idly by while the residents get hosed on their electric bills. We in the Pacific Northwest pay 8 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity while Hawaii pays almost 30 cents per kilowatt hour. The difference is that we have hydo power from the dams in the Columbia River. Geothermal could do the same thing for Hawaii.
Geothermal Limits

Kalaheo, HI

#15 May 22, 2008
Steven wrote:
Ethanol as a fuel source for Hawaii is nothing compared to geo themal. A gallon of ethanol only produces two thirds of the energy of a gallon of gas and the gas miliage of cars decreases by 30% when ethanol is used. The pro ethanol people never talk about that. Hawaii sits on top of the most active volcanic zone in the world and the only geothermal power facility in Hawaii is a small token effort on the Big Island. Geothermal should provide 100% of the electrical needs of all of Hawaii.
Unfortunately, the environmental whackos and the stupid politicians will make sure that that never happens. Instead, they sit idly by while the residents get hosed on their electric bills. We in the Pacific Northwest pay 8 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity while Hawaii pays almost 30 cents per kilowatt hour. The difference is that we have hydo power from the dams in the Columbia River. Geothermal could do the same thing for Hawaii.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There's the distance between the islands to consider, and from what we hear, there's no way to transmit that power -- even if it were abundantly developed -- to Oahu, the population center, in a cost-effective manner. Hawaii already pays the highest electric rates in the nation -- 27 cents/kwh on average, compared to the national average of 10 cents. With oil's price above $135/barrel today, all of that increase is passed on to consumers. Something must be done to interrupt that cycle, because it has the islands in a downward spiral. Renewable energy's cost needs to come in below the so-called avoided cost of burning oil. Unless something is done, we're going to be in a mid-Pacific recession, even if the rest of the nation isn't.
PAYING YOUR FRIENDS

Princeville, HI

#16 May 22, 2008
Lawmakers do this all the time...the main benefactors of these new policies are their friends or family who run the business making all the money! WHAT YOU GONNA DO?
Flying Hawaiian

Kahului, HI

#17 May 23, 2008
JUST A THOUGHT wrote:
hawaii has 365 day growing season. enough of the experiments- get moving.
Do you remember how long H-3 took? Arrrrrgh, I wish that young counsilman Djou was in high office. He seems to be the only clear thinking person in the entire political system here.
Dennis

San Francisco, CA

#18 May 24, 2008
The more crops you grow on land, the more pollution you put in your drinking water. GMO's use lot of water and require much more chemical fertilizers than regular corn. The higher ethanol yield corn crops are GMO's. GMO's spread their gene into local crops and create superweeds that damage farm equipment and require MORE chemicals to kill. most all chemicals that hit the ground end up in the water supply.

According to the Hawaii 2050 sustainability study, Hawaiians voted to reduce pollution and grow more food. Think greenhouse hydroponic farming. Virtually no chemicals enter into the ecosystem, 10 to 20 times the yields per acre, cosnsistantly. And better quality food. Also, the work environment for the pickers and packers is greatly improved as the crops are ground at waist level and above and pesticide use is nearly eliminated. The weather in Hawaii is perfect for this type of farming too. Plenty of fresh water (needs less than 1/3 the amount of water needed for field crops), perfect temperature low to mid 60's at night upper 70's to low 80 by day.

Ethanol is a bad joke on us.
truthist

Houston, TX

#19 May 24, 2008
A question: What do you do with your urban and rural trash in HI?

Clue: There lies a potential source for ethanol production.

“Question everything.”

Since: Jan 07

Lookingglass Land

#20 May 24, 2008
Why waste energy and farmland growing fuel for cars when someone has already invented a car that runs on compressed air?
reason

United States

#21 May 24, 2008
Abbey Yoyo wrote:
Why waste energy and farmland growing fuel for cars when someone has already invented a car that runs on compressed air?
what compresses the air?

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