LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.0

Help for BEST-L Archives


BEST-L Archives

BEST-L Archives


BEST-L@LISTS.UFL.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

BEST-L Home

BEST-L Home

BEST-L  December 2006

BEST-L December 2006

Subject:

Re: Question about Biofuels overall effects

From:

Jason Evans <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jason Evans <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 21 Dec 2006 09:27:17 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (112 lines)

These are great questions. Perhaps we should try to work through 
these as a group in more detail during the spring semester. Here's 
my two cents:

I think it is probably fair to conclude that familiar industrial 
agriculture crops are not a sustainable alternative energy answer 
for many of the reasons you suggest. Plants that are naturally 
productive and do not require such intensive irrigation and 
fertilizer inputs (most of these plants are often thought of as 
"weeds") would clearly seem to be a more promising alternative. 
Also, as a recent posting suggested, technological and/or 
regulatory advances that significantly ratchet down consumption of 
fuels (i.e., greatly improved fuel mileage for cars) are an 
absolute necessity if we're serious about reducing greenhouse gas 
emissions or just about anything else having to do with 
sustainability.

I think one issue you raise that I can address in some detail is 
the carbon effect associated with the utilization of bio-waste 
material. While it is true that CO2 is released through 
combustion, the carbon released through this process was, in 
principle, fixed in recent times through biological activity. 
Thus, no "new" carbon is being introduced into the atmosphere 
through this process - in essence, carbon that is already part of 
the global cycle is being recycled. Of course, carbon is not being 
permananently sequestered out of the global cycle through this 
process, either.  Therefore, bio-waste utilization is often 
referred to as a "carbon neutral" process.

By contrast, the burning of fossil fuels literally introduces new 
"fossil" carbon into the atmosphere. The advantage of bio-waste 
utilization over fossil fuels in terms of greenhouse gas emissions 
fundamentally boils down to the idea that it is a carbon neutral 
process, as opposed to a carbon loading process. The advantages 
are even higher when dealing with human and/or animal wastes, 
principally because large amounts of fossil fuels are often used 
in traditional wastewater treatment. Utilization of these wastes 
not only produces carbon neutral energy, but also eliminates most 
of the fossil fuel energy used for wastewater treatment. In 
addition, efficient recycling of nutrients such as nitrogen and 
phosphorus contained in these wastes has further greenhouse gas 
benefits because less fossil energy has to be expended for 
production of fertilizers.

Hope this is at least somewhat helpful. Happy holidays to 
everyone!

Jason

--
Jason Evans
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ecology
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Florida
(352) 466-4549 - home office
(352) 328-1199 - cell

BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society
http://grove.ufl.edu/~bests/



On Thu Dec 21 01:18:47 EST 2006, "MARTIN,ELIZABETH J" 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> To anyone willing to address my question:
> 
> I was wondering if someone would mind directing me to some 
> information regarding the pros and cons of biofuel vs. petroleum 
> in terms of land use and water consumption.
> 
> While I fully agree that there is a dire need to reduce reliance 
> on petroleum and other non-renewable resources, I am concerned as 
> to how it balances out on the other end of the spectrum.  
> Currently over 1 billion people do not have access to safe 
> drinking water, resulting in millions deaths every year due to 
> unsafe and unsanitary water conditions.  The main problem is the 
> agricultural techniques used to produce crops such as corn, 
> wheat, soybeans, etc.  The largest problem is the net loss of 
> water and the destruction of land due to irrigation.  From what 
> I?ve been reading, it appears that the main alternatives to 
> petroleum lie in the use of these organic materials as potential 
> fuels.  So my main point is this, even if biofuels replace 
> petroleum and reduce green house gases and air pollution, won?t 
> the result be an even bigger problem due to water scarcity?  I 
> understand that no one can know if this will even be a problem, 
> but I can?t help but wondering if biofuels are the answer, or if 
> they are a catch 22.
> 
> I also have a slight problem with the burning of natural and 
> human wastes.  While this does eliminate the growing problem of 
> landfills and the release of methane gas into the atmosphere, 
> isn?t it still slightly retroactive because combustion of any 
> material releases carbon dioxide?
> 
> I'm terribly sorry if these questions seem ridiculous or 
> completely off base, but I'm having trouble finding answers.
> 
> Incase anyone was wondering where I got my information on water 
> scarcity:
> www.blueplanetproject.net
> 
> There is also a very informative article available at:
> http://www.qmw.ac.uk/~ugte133/courses/environs/cuttings/water/
> Click running.pdf
> 
> Thanks.
> Liz
> --
> MARTIN,ELIZABETH J
> 
> 

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTS.UFL.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager