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BEST-L  January 2008

BEST-L January 2008

Subject:

Re: Biogas to Ethanol

From:

bruderly <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

bruderly <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 7 Jan 2008 19:04:40 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

Gabriel L. Espinosa asks:
I wonder if they could go straight to gasoline type hydrocarbons 
instead of alcohols.

Bruderly replies:
Why? Wrong question; the objective of switching to non-petroleum alternative
fuels from biomass is to reduce carbon loading to the atmosphere from the
use or combustion of those chemical fuels. Using renewable energy to add
more carbon atoms to any refined fuel molecule, especially relatively pure
bio-methane and carbon dioxide, is a huge step in the wrong direction.

Some people, mostly chemical engineers or chemists, argue that low carbon
content renewable fuels, i.e. ethanol, methane and hydrogen, have
performance issues. These issues are grossly overstated and easily solved
with minor adjustments to engines and fuel systems. Efforts to convert
biofuels to mimic gasoline molecules simply because they are liquids that
may be easier to handle than ethanol or a gaseous fuel are irrelevant to
solving the very problems that must be solved to reduce carbon loading.

I question the wisdom of running biogas through a partial oxidation system
to make synthesis gas that is then reacted into ethanol. This is a
fundamentally inefficient approach and again is a step in the wrong
direction. Capture and use the methane and carbon dioxide without consuming
the methane to drive the reactions.

We need research to find more efficient and cheaper ways to process wet
biomethane at ambient temperatures. We need better ways to separate the
methane from the carbon dioxide at low temperatures and pressures so that
both chemicals can be put to the most efficient and productive uses possible
at the source; anaerobic digesters can be designed into integrated
facilities that can processes waste into value-added methane and carbon
dioxide that is used on site. Developing integrated facilities that process
wastes and create value-added byproducts at the source before their
byproduct carbon compounds are released to the atmosphere is the BEST
solution.

Given the evidence that climate change is being accelerated by positive
feedback loops, we must start thinking outside the box to eliminate carbon
from all fuels.

We need more academic research and development to find news ways to REDUCE
carbon emissions to the atmosphere.

dave
 

David E. Bruderly, PE
Bruderly Engineering Associates, Inc.
920 SW 57th Drive
Gainesville, Florida 32607-3838
352-377-0932
www.cleanpowerengineering.com
www.bruderly.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Bioenergy and Sustainable Technology Society
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Espinosa,Gabriel L
Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 2:00 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Biogas to Ethanol

Oxford Catalysts and Novus in Strategic Alliance for 
Biogas-to-Ethanol Processing
7 January 2008
GreenCarCongress.com

link:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2008/01/oxford-catalyst.html#more

"Oxford Catalysts Group PLC has signed a Strategic Alliance 
Agreement with Novus Energy, LLC, to develop technology for the 
conversion of biogas derived from organic wastes to ethanol and 
higher-chain alcohols."

I wonder if they could go straight to gasoline type hydrocarbons 
instead of alcohols.

Best wishes,
---
Gabriel L. Espinosa

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

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