Re: Kyoto, Driving our car

Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin (
Tue, 9 Dec 1997 21:17:36 -0800

> From: Michael Lorrey <>

> James Rogers wrote:
> >
> > At 09:38 PM 12/8/97 -0800, Warrl kyree Tale'sedrin wrote:
> > [...snip...]
> > >Probability near zero. We HAVE, today, a passable SUBSTITUTE for
> > >gasoline that can be made by relatively low-tech, low-energy
> > >means, strictly from an extremely renewable resource --
> > >agricultural wastes. (It's ethanol. Not gasohol -- just
> > >ethanol. About 180 proof. We know how to make solar-powered
> > >distillers that deliver this purity, out of ordinary construction
> > >materials. Your carburetor must be adjusted because you'll
> > >consume about twice as much of the stuff per mile as you do
> > >gasoline.) We also have a number of non-fossil sources of oils.
> > >The hypothesis that we cannot come up with satisfactory
> > >artificial petrochemicals is untenable.
> >
> > When I lived in Nebraska, all the gas contained at least 10%
> > ethanol

Gasohol is fundamentally a waste. Sure, it probably makes cars run
cleaner than with pure gasoline... but to make gasohol, you need
alcohol in excess of 98% pure. Whereas if you decide to leave out
the gasoline, 90% pure alcohol is good enough. The energy cost of
going from 90% pure to 99% pure exceeds the energy value of the
alcohol, and is a rather demanding high-tech process. And in most
cases the production of the energy for *that* will release some
pollutants into the air.

(Hm... to produce 90% pure alcohol you need something that looks a
lot like a hot-box; that's backyard technology. To produce 99% pure
alcohol you need a sophisticated industrial facility. I detect a
possible reason why some prefer gasohol...).

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