Friday, April 12, 2013

Bio Fuels From Bio Fools

Folks the Department of Entropy published 1,100 peer reviewed papers on Bio Fools in the last 6 years.  They managed to get 20,000 gallons of cellulosic ethanol produced in all that time.  I guess each peer reviewed paper generated about 20 gallons of cellulosic ethanol.  This only cost several billion dollars and has been an unmitigated flop brought to you by Dr. Chu Chu and Mr. Obama but don’t fret the Department of Entropy will continue to waste your money and hit their heads against the wall by continuing the same folly.  Here is the press release they sent out on Wednesday.

Energy Department Renews Funding for Bioenergy Research Centers
The Energy Department announced on April 4 that it would fund its three Bioenergy Research Centers for an additional five-year period, subject to continued congressional appropriations. The three centers were established by the Department's Office of Science in 2007 as an innovative program to accelerate fundamental research breakthroughs toward the development of advanced next-generation biofuels. The centers include the BioEnergy Research Center, led by the Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University; and the Joint BioEnergy Institute, led by the Department's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Each center is designed to be a large, integrated, multidisciplinary research effort, funded at the rate of $25 million per year, and they have consistently received high marks from outside reviewers for both their scientific productivity and the effective management and integration of their research efforts.
In their first five years of operation, the Bioenergy Research Centers have produced more than 1,100 peer-reviewed publications and more than 400 inventions, as recorded in invention disclosures or patent applications. Among the breakthroughs are new approaches for engineering non-food crops for biofuel production; reengineering of microbes to produce advanced biofuels such as "green" gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel precursors from biomass; and the development of methods to grow non-food biofuel crops on marginal lands so as not to compete with food production. In the next five years, emphasis will be on bringing new methods and discoveries to maturity, developing new lines of research, and accelerating the transformation of scientific breakthroughs into new technologies that can transition to the marketplace. See the Energy Department press release, and for more information on the centers, visit the Genomic Science Program website.


  1. Ok, I am all for affording technologies time to mature. It is my understanding that it typically takes new prime movers, innovation clusters and long wave business cycles 15 years to mature. And, altho I think we need to quit emitting carbon altogether, I think if done properly, biofuels can serve a transitional, supplementary role while we figure out how to change our consumption behavior. Overall, the way I see if, if we don't reduce our energy consumption/use, there is not much hope for the future anyway. But it's highly unlikely our species is going to be willing to change their consumerism-bent, consumptive lifestyles--that is, until the infrastructure breaks REALLY hard.

    NB: Some folks outside of the USA have produced some reasonable result propagating multi-use, multi-application Jatropha Trees used for electricity generation, deliver transportation fuels and processed materials used as fertilizers. A versatile plant that grows in arid, infertile and idle land as a primary and secondary crop as undergrowth in tree plantations, shade for leguminouse like crops, promoting biodiversity and improving soil quality.

    Right, Lindsay you incessantly bash this current administration for their short-sightedness on not understanding thermodynamics--and most of the time, I tend to agree with you on many points. But if I may flip the coin on wasteful spending by the USA gov't I think requires a similar amount of criticism; the ~12+ year old F-35 program funding vortex suck. Talk about greedy.
    But it would also add from $1 billion to $4 billion to the eventual price of the F-35 program, already at a record-setting $396 billion. Seven years behind schedule and 70 percent over early cost estimates, the stealthy F-35 "Lightning II" appears to have overcome myriad early technical problems only to face a daunting new question: is it affordable in an era of shrinking defense budgets? According to a congressional watchdog agency, the average price per plane has already almost doubled from $69 million to as much as $137 million since the F-35 program began in 2001.

    1. Kim

      It is all about the "Complex" DOD spending and now DOE and USDA spending. The little person gets screwed and the Complex extracts the wealth. I am not an expert on airplanes and I am sure the DOD has wasted hundreds of billions to make a few rich. I have some knowledge on energy and Dr Chu Chu has more. He could have stopped the crap very easily. Chuck Hagel was hardly my choice to head the DOD but Obama thinks the guy is a great war hero who will clean up the waste there. I hope he is better than Chu and I know he is not worse as nothing can be worse than Chu who should not be given the chance to ruin any young minds at Stanford. Chu is not capable of managing a piggy bank.

      Don't worry the F35 will fly with bio jet fuel that cost the DOD 20 dollars a gallon

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