Saturday, May 17, 2014

More On Ethane As A Transportation Fuel

My last blog solicited quite a bit of interest.  99% of the emails I received were positive.  Only one naysayer.  The naysayer was involved in several failed biofuel and hydrogen ventures.  He also was a big proponent of KIOR the failed pine tree to diesel alchemic fake out I have so often blogged about.  Hence I kind of dismissed his negativity as sour grapes and jealousy.

The hurdles to getting Ethane to fuel tanks of trains, trucks, and cars are large but are simply logistical hurdles.  With sufficient will and the involvement of dedicated people and organizations it can be done.  It does not need government subsidy it simply needs infrastructure.

I took a look at Ethylene’s thermodynamic properties a couple days ago as I thought it too may have the right properties like ethane and propane to be a liquid fuel under moderate pressure and room temperature.  Surprisingly the critical temperature of ethylene is much lower than ethane.    Ethylene has a critical temperature of 9.2 degrees C and ethane is 32.17 degrees C.  Unfortunately for ethylene, if the ambient temperature is higher than the critical temperature the gas will not condense into liquid phase and as room temperature is around 20 degrees C ethylene will not be stored like ethane and propane and is not a candidate for the Green Machines Idea.  Also ethylene has only two hydrogen atoms for each carbon atom and therefore does not have a carbon intensity lower than gasoline.  Bye bye ethylene!!

For the above reasons as well as cost reasons, Ethane is still the Green Machine’s first choice of the new low carbon, inexpensive, high range liquid transportation fuel.  It simply cannot be beat for simplicity, economics, range, and improved lower carbon emissions.

The next steps for my ethane proposal other than to become a finalist in the MIT competition is to get a demonstration program going of this promising fuel.  I can tell you all I am working on that.  Talking of the MIT competition for those of you who have not yet supported the idea here is the link to do that.  We already have 24 supporters and are leading the competition.

On the KIOR front they announced their first quarter results and the Green Press like Biofuels Digest are now in the Green Machine’s camp that KIOR is on final life support from Vinod Khosla and his adviser Condi Rice.  The missing weapons of mass combustion may simply never be found.

Ethane is the anti-KIOR.  Ethane obeys the laws of thermo while KIOR is the third strike for Vinod Khosla (Range and Cello were his other two strikes).     I just hope that a real promising idea of ethane as a transportation fuel can get a small fraction of the $604,859,000 KIOR has wasted so far on their alchemy.  I probably need less than one million dollars to make ethane a reality.  Wow had Vinod and Condi called the Green Machine before they set out on the fake out, I could have saved $604,859,000 from being burned. 

Ethane trades for approximately 28 cents a gallon.  $604,859,000 will buy 2.16 billion gallons of ethane.  I just need to do a demonstration of perhaps 50,000 gallons to show the viability of ethane as a transportation fuel. 

Before I end this blog I have to say KIOR is not the worst example of lost money in the bio fools arena the title goes to Amyris who have lost $821 million on the far not seen fake out.  KIOR will go bust before they get to last place as Vinod and the Province of Alberta Canada won’t pour another $217 million dollars down the KIOR drain.  Remember I told you all that KIOR in Hebrew was the wash basin sink at the entrance to the temple in Jerusalem.  Condi and Vinod may have to turn to selling holy water made from pine trees after they give up on diesel and gasoline.  

Other big losers in the Bio Fool space are Solazyme with losses of $340,998,000, Gevo with losses of $272,996,000 and Codexis with losses of $263,234,000.   The five bio fools listed above collectively have lost over $2.3 billion.  Add the Oh Bummer money given to these fools and this makes Solyndra look like a success story.  By the way Vinod Khosla had a hand in Amyris and Gevo as well.  Look at the stock charts below.  Vinod is very consistent.

Amyris Stock Chart

Kior Stock Chart

Gevo Stock Chart


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