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Old 03-30-2008, 03:03 PM #1
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Switch grass the new fuel.

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The grass stretched as far as the eye could see, and hundreds more miles beyond that. An ocean of grass—deep enough to swallow a horse and rider—swaying and singing in the steady wind of the Great Plains. § The American prairie—tens of millions of acres— once looked like this. But that was centuries ago, before the coming of the white man, the railroad, and the steel plow. Today, corn and beans hold sway, and the remnants of America's tallgrass prairie are confined mostly to parks and preserves. § Now, though, in research plots and laboratories in the Plains states and even in the Deep South the seeds of change are germinating. The tall, native grasses of the prairie, so vital to our land's ecological past, may prove equally vital to its economic future. Such grasses once fed millions of bison. Soon, grown as energy crops, they may help fuel millions of cars and trucks, spin power turbines, and supply chemicals to American industries.
http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/misc/switgrs.html


The main difference between Corn and this stuff is that corn uses. the same amount of energy as it makes, while switch-grass makes 5 times the amount of energy as it uses.

It's a pretty interesting read if your interested in this type of stuff.
Ethanol isn't a bad thing, Corn ethanol is though.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:11 PM #2
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The world needs more farming.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:57 PM #3
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After reading that quote I really feel like grass is great
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Old 03-30-2008, 04:20 PM #4
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Well I already know that bio diesel isn't favored by truckers up north because it gels bad in the cold. I'm not sure how switch grass will differ.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:40 PM #5
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Originally Posted by FluffyMumkins View Post
Well I already know that bio diesel isn't favored by truckers up north because it gels bad in the cold. I'm not sure how switch grass will differ.
that's because bio fuels gel at a slightly higher temps than gasoline, but there are anti-gel additives that fix that problem.
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Old 04-01-2008, 03:53 PM #6
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Originally Posted by FluffyMumkins View Post
Well I already know that bio diesel isn't favored by truckers up north because it gels bad in the cold. I'm not sure how switch grass will differ.
Switch grass will be used to make ethanol, not biodiesel. Ethanol doesn't gel. I doubt that spark-ignition ethanol engines will be used in heavy trucks for a while at least, they don't last as long as diesel and their fuel economy sucks in comparison.
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:30 AM #7
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109 octane, thats all I care about. i don't care that its good for the enviroment. I don't care its renewable. I care because I can pump 13:1 compression in my vette no problem!
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Old 04-02-2008, 01:52 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FluffyMumkins View Post
Well I already know that bio diesel isn't favored by truckers up north because it gels bad in the cold. I'm not sure how switch grass will differ.
There are way's to avoid it. Even normal diesel will gel up in cold weather.

I say go for it, I'd get a diesel engine for my bug for cheap fuel.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:22 AM #9
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There's also the $22 odd billion that the railroad industry has invested into upgrading US infrastructure fairly recently. Not everything has to be transported by truck.
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Old 04-02-2008, 09:54 AM #10
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In the mid 90's I tried farming,most expensive hobby that I have ever had in my life,one of the program that I tried was Native Warm Season Grasses.
Contacted local county agent,think Hank Kimball,for help with program.
Was told that if I imported seed,fromTexas,the seeds would be confiscated and checked for noxious weed seed.Did not get a lot of help from county agent.Even got false or misleading information from Ag school at U of Tennessee,which receives large donations from petro chemical industry.
Native warm season grasses are plants that require little or no chemical fertilizer and you burn the field to control weeds.Not much profit in that for petrochemical boys.
Hope it works.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:46 AM #11
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I don't think they've perfected this yet last I heard. This is very different from corn and sugar based ethanol which proccess the natural sugars in the plant for fuel. The idea behind switchgrass is that the cellouse in the cell walls of the plant are broken down for fuel, which is a proccess which yields a dramaticlly better efficiency when it comes to energy conservation, and makes it an actual practical fuel source ( in theory)
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Old 04-02-2008, 02:54 PM #12
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Sounds like garbage. The problem with these fuels is they produce just as many hydrocarbons as normal gasoline. Really, until the technology gets better ethanol is a stupid idea.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:15 PM #13
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Sounds like garbage. The problem with these fuels is they produce just as many hydrocarbons as normal gasoline. Really, until the technology gets better ethanol is a stupid idea.
Ethanol engines do produce hydrocarbons, so what? Anything that burns does. The best thing is that the majority of the waste gases are just H2O and CO2, which means they are almost pollution free engines. Higher compression ratio's mean that the engine is more efficient.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:22 PM #14
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Originally Posted by Jim96SC2 View Post
Ethanol engines do produce hydrocarbons, so what? Anything that burns does. The best thing is that the majority of the waste gases are just H2O and CO2, which means they are almost pollution free engines. Higher compression ratio's mean that the engine is more efficient.
They produce more than that of Gasoline. The thing the left hates so much. Don't hit me with higher compression ratios, that is only if and when they do that. As of now, the E85 is less efficient than gasoline. So it does not make a difference. The technology must improve before this is a viable option.
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:30 PM #15
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hydrogen
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Old 04-02-2008, 03:36 PM #16
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Originally Posted by Jim96SC2 View Post
109 octane, thats all I care about. i don't care that its good for the enviroment. I don't care its renewable. I care because I can pump 13:1 compression in my vette no problem!
WOOOOOOO
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:42 PM #17
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Originally Posted by backright_gethimout View Post
They produce more than that of Gasoline. The thing the left hates so much. Don't hit me with higher compression ratios, that is only if and when they do that. As of now, the E85 is less efficient than gasoline. So it does not make a difference. The technology must improve before this is a viable option.
Not too sure about that in regards to carbon emissions. The chemical equation for combustion is the same whether its C2H6 or C200H202. The volume is dependent on that. You could probably do the mathmatics of it yourself, but they'd be close if not the same.

Again, your still missing the point of that tehy PRODUCE LESS SMOG EMISSIONS THEN REGULAR GAR.

E85 isn't less effecient, who told you that. It carries less energy per gallon, not less effeciency. Effeciency is a function of the engine. With higher compression, effeciency goes up.

Viable? It uses the same technology we use now. What is not viable about that. The only differences are very minor lubrication and fuel delivery tweaks.
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Old 04-02-2008, 06:58 PM #18
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hydrogen
Nope, just isn't a feasible idea right now, google hydrogen cell cars and I am sure you will find articles why hydrogen just ain't happening. If you can't find anything later tonight when I have free time I will read through the books I have and write out why it just won't work, I'm not an engineer so I don't know off the top of my head. It has to do with how much energy it requires to create the hydrogen which uses more energy then we'd be saving, similar argument people use against e85 and corn.
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Old 04-02-2008, 07:24 PM #19
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Nope, just isn't a feasible idea right now, google hydrogen cell cars and I am sure you will find articles why hydrogen just ain't happening. If you can't find anything later tonight when I have free time I will read through the books I have and write out why it just won't work, I'm not an engineer so I don't know off the top of my head. It has to do with how much energy it requires to create the hydrogen which uses more energy then we'd be saving, similar argument people use against e85 and corn.
The Law of Thermodynamics IIRC. Energy required to change something will be greater then the net amount of energy it will give off.
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