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Morning CC...

Thought I would put this into another thread to make it a clearer topic.

In the Canjet thread, you were talking about alternate fuels. I find it amazing that when we live in a country where the government pays farmers to keep land fallow, that they don't grow crops to feed an alternative fuel system.

I know that ethanol is almost energy neutral, but how about biodiesel? They have mega acres where they could be growing canola, or other "oil" crops (hell, even utilise the infields of airports) and it doesn't take much to process it. In Burlinton Ont. there is a plant where a truck with a 45,000kg load of veg oil can come in, offload, have the oil "cracked" and within an hour is back on the road with a full load of "biodiesel".

No need to make a different infrastructure, lower emissions, and a renewable resource all in one.

Trouble is, too many corporations making too much money on oil.

One step further is a system in Japan that I have read about. It consists of solar panels on the roof of a house, and a water line in. The electricity from the solar panels is used to power a system to crack the water into Hydrogen and Oxygen. The hydrogen is stored to power a fuel cell that provides the house with electricity. As well, the excess is used to fuel up a hydrogen powered car in the garage.

Think this will be developed for general use in our lifetimes?????

We have to elect officials that will pursue these initiatives as well as voting with out wallets. As long as we drive gas guzzlers, and use electricity without a thought, our kids future is doomed.


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Perhaps a good use for the present Ontario Tobacco fields.  biggrin.gif

Ah ha!! Finally, perhaps a sensible use for tobacco plants, but are their seeds oily enough? Of course, there are some smoke-able plant seeds that are oily enough, but what a waste... biggrin.gif


Read this post in the morning but got too busy today to answer it. Then, of course, spent a wee bit of time tonight surfing for info on biodiesel. (Ok, I actually got side-tracked and spent scads of time surfing the links to the biodiesel sites as well, and off on various tangents as other links popped up... tongue.gif ) Did you know that you can make your own biodiesel? I have a chemist visiting at the moment and so asked him about biodiesel and why it isn't more available. First thing out of his mouth... cost. Producing vegetable oils is more costly than refining fuel oil. At what price per barrel of oil, I ask? Well, anything less than $50/bl he responded, if we don't subsidize the production. Hmmm said I, we're getting to the break even point then aren't we?

But cost is still a big factor when it comes to the regular use of renewable energies. There is an option in Alberta to get a portion of one's electricity from a renewable energy source, but it costs $5.00/mo extra if you want that option. (I think it is mostly from wind turbine energy.) The other significant factor is availablity. If we want people to fill their tanks with, say bio-blends, they have to be as acccessible as the unleaded gasoline at their corner gas station. I try to look for methanol blended gasoline whenever possible, and usually I can find it, but not always.

Most people who try to be energy efficient end up doing it on their own, and the cost is stratospheric, and rarely recoupable. Some years ago I designed and built a home that tried to use as much energy efficiency as I could, without getting into solar panels and fuel cells etc. (These were very costly then.) So, what I built was a passive solar house with a solid brick thermal mass wall that was designed for circulation of the warmed air throughout the house. Also, an underfloor heating system (thermal mass heat again) with a very fuel efficient natural gas boiler, heated air exchanger (because the house was quite airtight) and a wood burning stove on the basement level that could warm up the entire house and keep it warm for hours with the burning of 3-4 logs. Bottom line: even in the absence of power generating units (micro-hydro, wind turbine or hydrogen fuel cells) this ended up as a very expensive project and incurred a large mortgage. Do you think I got the investment back when the house was eventually sold? Not on your life. And, honestly, it is still quite expensive to "go it alone" today.

Aside from cost, the two biggest disadvantages to biodiesel are:

1. increased use of pesticides and herbicides (that have there own negative environmental impact) to increase yield (read profit...), and

2. poor performance at low temperatures, due to high viscosity (which could be ameliorated if blended with regular diesel fuel, but I think the % is rather low, so less environmental impact).

So, your statement:

We have to elect officials that will pursue these initiatives as well as voting with out wallets.

is right on, but unfortunately the people with the drive to "pursue these initiatives" are often people with very poor business sense, and you end up with the likes of the NDP tanking (more than once) a province like B.C., that has so much natural resource it should be able to subsidize half the country. However, I think there are (I hope there are...) some forwared thinking business people with their finger on the pulse of energy management, who might be able to bring renewable energy into the mainstream of utility usage.

All that aside, I now have this vision of living on a hectare or so of fertile land, growing bushels and bushels of "oily seeds" (for fuel purposes only, of course....)and converting my little single engine piston airplane to a light weight diesel and flying around the countryside using my own "cracked" fuel... wink.gif


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Maybe you will get help from the Europeans. The following article is from "Flight International" 9 Nov. :

Airlines and airport operators in Europe could be included in a new carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme within five years, despite opposition to any such move from the USA.

Flight International has learned that the European Commission is set to launch a study this week into extending the European Union's emission trading scheme, which starts on 1 January, to aviation. At the moment, non-stationary sources of emission are exempt from the programme, under which companies earn credits for reducing emissions that can be swapped with or sold to heavier polluters.

The EC says the study will "complement previous studies on other instruments to control aviation pollution" that have included kerosene taxes and standard emission charges.

The report is due to be published in the middle of next year, the EC says, and "will help the Commission to draw policy conclusions on how to address aviation's impact on the climate". If adopted, aviation could be included in the scheme by 2009.

The EC legalised a fuel tax for internal EU flights last November, but as yet no country has implemented it, as bilateral air service agreements, notably with the USA, proscribe kerosene taxes.

The EC also fears airlines "tankering", or taking extra on-board fuel outside the EU, producing a market distortion. EC studies point to aviation being the fastest-growing single source of greenhouse gas emissions, increasing at a rate of 3% a year and the EC is understood to be keen to reduce emissions from aircraft, identifying emission trading as a less politically fraught way of controlling aviation pollution.

The study comes weeks after the European Parliament adopted a resolution rejecting US-led moves to exempt aviation from emissions charges in all International Civil Aviation Organisation member states.

Despite lobbying from the US government, which this week has again challenged the impact of carbon dioxide on the environment, the ICAO council has not adopted the resolution, and has instead requested "additional guidance on the subject".


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