If biogas was made from biomass, wouldn't the bio-methane used 
(whether or not it was converted to synthetic alcohol) be carbon 

I agree that the partial oxidation step, at least from a net 
energy perspective, seems like a step backwards, especially when 
there are natural gas powered vehicles and their potential future 
seems brighter with the possible use of adsorbed natural gas 

Though I haven't heard of many problems with the performance of 
renewable fuels like ethanol, methane, and hydrogen, I have heard 
of issues with their transportation and storage.  This made me 
wonder why one would go through the trouble of converting methane 
to ethanol, instead of gasoline-like hydrocarbons that would have 
an existing transportation infrastructure.

Best wishes,

On Mon Jan 07 19:04:40 EST 2008, bruderly <[log in to unmask]> 

> 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 
> 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 
> 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
> -----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
> link:
> "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

Gabriel L. Espinosa

> BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society