Sustaining Future

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Ethanol Debate

In my last post, I speculated that the future of land transportation (car) will likely be electric-based. However, the storage capacity of battery is still a limiting factor to the distance.

There is an existing huge infra-structure based on distribution of liquid fuel for car. The most obvious move to conserve the envirnoment and to move away on the dependence of fossil fuel (petroleum) would be a form a liquid fuel, such as ethanol.

Here is a summary of the recent debate of the efficiency of ethanol production by Carl Bialik looking at the debate raised by David Pimentel and Tad Patzek's paper. They look at corn as the plant from which ethanol is produced. The conclusion by Pimentel and Patzek is contradicted by other data.

I believe Australia has another potential solution to this problem - production of hydrogen directly from solar cells. More on that later.


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