Saturday, May 10, 2008


I ran into a graph that I rather like. It is a bit small to read below, but you can see it here, or in context here. They did some calculations I once did myself for corn, but for a great many other crops. what "percent of existing U.S. crop land needed to produce enough fuel to meet half of U.S. demand." This is the question that totally kills biofuels in general. It just takes too much land we don't have.

So, that pretty much sums up why I think algae is the only viable biofuel. We can spare the 2-4% of our crop land needed to supply all our fuel needs. Still not convinced it beats using CO2 Chemistry but it has a hope. The only other shock was Canola. That is one plant that never ceases to impress me. Not only is it a healthy oil in comparison to any other cheap one, it is apparently absurdly efficient. Still not efficient enough for me to declare it a good biofuel, but its a huge step up from corn and by some measurements beating the cellulosic ethanol.

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