Ethanol Prices Collapsing

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Ike, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

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    Why It Matters That Ethanol Prices Are Collapsing

    Read more: Why It Matters That Ethanol Prices Are Collapsing - Valero Energy Corp (NYSE:VLO) - 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/energy-busines...-ethanol-prices-are-collapsing/#ixzz3GhPJGXJQ
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    Another bit of fallout from the diving demand for gasoline is just about to hit the front pages. U.S. ethanol producers are approaching the so-called blend wall, a term that describes a situation where the 10% blend of ethanol with gasoline reaches its mandated limit. At that point, the value of ethanol collapses and producers begin agitating for a higher blending limit.
    http://247wallst.com/energy-business/2014/10/19/why-it-matters-that-ethanol-prices-are-collapsing/

    This affects the boating industry. We have spent several years fighting off the EPA proposal to raise the limit to 15%, and now the producers want the EPA to raise it simply so they can sell more ethanol because the prices are dropping. Here we go again.
     
  2. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Wood Butcher

    If the politicians were not on the take this would not happen. If my representative supports ethanol in motor fuel then I don't support him.
     
  3. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    Ethanol is a scam.
    Meanwhile the real energy in the ground like Canada oil sands is blocked from entering by pipe line, although Buffet a friend of the president benefits greatly as they bring it in by rail, companies he owns.

    Canada is going to bypass keystone and build a pipeline to the Atlantic ocean, EU wants their oil, Russia says will sell oil to China.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/canada-s-keystone-xl-workaround-203123058.html
     
  4. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/03/yang-20120316.html

    In many ways Ethanol is a scam and a lie, it is not 'green' energy.
    Ethanol is made by burning Natural gas. It does no lower green house gases.
    It uses diesel cause it takes diesel to grow corn.
    It takes tremendous amounts of fresh water to make it.
    Ethanol has a very high environmental impact.
     
  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    What do we do when the oil reserves start approaching the end?

    But, anyways, I do agree that ethanol is not the solution. Solar energy, coupled with an adequate (although yet to come) chemical energy storage, will be the solution.

    And as much as some of you might not like this guy, his analysis of the ethanol issue was correct, although unheeded for political reasons: http://www.economist.com/node/8960412
     
  6. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    'Peak' oil has been predicted to occur many times in the past; it is still not clear when 'peak' oil will be reached.

    Right now, the US is again the largest crude producer in the world, outstripping the Saudis. How long will this state of affairs last? Who knows?

    When the price of crude went up, a lot of people were unhappy. When the price of crude came back down, even more people were unhappy.
     
  7. idkfa
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    idkfa Senior Member

    Yep and it will stay there too..

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/12/oil-saudi-policy-idUKL2N0S70J720141012


    Which is a good thing, cause...


    "How the tar sands produce dirty coal

    Ever heard of petcoke? It’s nasty climate-destroying stuff, left over from refining tar sands bitumen. It’s sold as coal, but it’s cheaper and dirtier, so it helps keep coal-fired plants running and destroying our atmosphere."

    http://climateandcapitalism.com/2013/01/18/how-the-tar-sands-produce-dirty-coal/
     
  8. Jeremy Harris
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    Jeremy Harris Senior Member

    Hmmmm...........

    Well, I've been making ethanol at home for many, many years now. All it takes is some fruit sugars, yeast, a bit of water and some time. I typically get around 14% ethanol from this process, with the only energy input being the sunlight that enabled the fruit to produce sugars by photosynthesis.

    I usually just drink the stuff, but have (illegally) tried distilling it to get to close to 100% ethanol quite successfully. A friend uses a solar still to do this, so gets near-100% ethanol with no external energy input.

    I did do a few calcs a few years ago and concluded that I could fairly easily make enough bio-ethanol to run a car from a home-brew DIY solar powered system.

    Certainly there's an issue with transporting grain, using large areas of land that could be used for growing food, etc, but other than that ethanol production doesn't need gas or diesel, and certainly doesn't need a great deal of water.
     
  9. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    Jeremy-I've brewed my own hooch as well-none of it ended up in any engine though..

    Ethanol does require a lot of fuel and water,those big tractors use a lot of diesel,how many gallons an acre to till,fertilize,pump water in dry times/areas,run the harvester,transport it a few hundred miles perhaps,grind,and fuel the distiller.


    However they are now taking the waste parts and making diesel out of it.

    Now hemp-that's another topic.
     
  10. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    The peak oil has already been reached and passed. In the US it was reached back in 70's, though it is true that the rest of the world it wasn't reached yet.
    But every new oil deposit we manage to find is deeper and more difficult to reach then the previous ones, just as written in the peak-oil cookbook. The boom of the off-shore oil industry was possible only because of the very high prices of crude in the last 4-5 years, which has allowed the oil companies to invest into very costly extraction machinery with the certainty that the profit margin will allow relatively short payback time. But the trend was recently inverted. The investments in the off-shore extraction are currently declining, because of rising technical difficulties, and because of the recent drop in the price of crude which is due to:
    1) the persistence of the global recession, and particularly in the EU
    2) the onset of the shale extraction by the US
    3) the economic war of the US and EU against the Russia and Iran, made possible (and also encouraged) by the discovery of the US shale-oil deposits.
    4) the war of crude-oil prices, fought by the Saudis against the new US competitor
    5) decreased demand in the EU (maybe even in the US, I should check that), because of growing adoption of renewable sources (mainly PV), low-consumption lights and appliances, and legislation requiring nearly zero-net-energy new buildings.
    The above situations are not separated from each other. They are actually closely tied together, in this global war of everyone against everyone else.

    I am afraid that the shale alone will not be of great help in the long run, because fracking is a costly extraction method, with associated risks which we shall get to know in the near future. It is helping the US in this transitional period where it is trying to disengage from the middle-eastern oil and accompanying wars, but it is imo only a temporary solution. The only true and lasting solution for the energy independence of the US will be the solar energy. The country has so much insulation that it won't need any other source, once a convenient vector for solar energy storage and transportation is devised.

    The EU was not so lucky to have vast insulated deserts for solar plants, so it is very possible that we shall have the energy vectors (either solar or conventional) supplied by the middle-eastern countries and by Russia for many years to come.
     
  11. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    I used to believe in peak oil, but do not anymore.

    I beleive the earth makes oil abiotically, it is always making oil.

    http://www.viewzone.com/abioticoilx.html

    It is made deep in the earth from calcium carbonates, methanes, water, heat, extreme pressure.

    Look into this yourself and it actually makes sense. The drillers keep finding oil, and find it way deeper than fossil layers.

    http://www.rense.com/general54/moreevi.htm
     
  12. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

  13. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Very interesting indeed.

    But, if confirmed, this theory wouldn't invalidate the peak oil theory. It would simply introduce a new variable of oil generation to the math. And it is yet to be seen what is the rate of generation of oil through this process, and what fraction of the global oil consumption it covers.

    The basic point of the peak-oil theory however remains valid: as we consume oil, the available resources get increasingly more difficult and costly to extract from the soil. Hence, it becomes increasingly less economically convenient to continue the extraction. With this new oil-generation mechanism, the peak would become less pronounced, and there might even exist a point where oil generation would equal the global oil consumption. But the question is - will the two points also meet at the economical level? I am pretty sure that it will not be possible without a significant integration of global energy supply with the solar or other non-oil renewable resources.
     
  14. sdowney717
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    sdowney717 Senior Member

    We cant really know if we could pump more than the earth makes.
    My thoughts are we never can.
     

  15. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    This graph shows that the declaration of 'peak oil' for US production may be a tad premature:

    http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=MCRFPUS2&f=A

    The decline in US production from 1973 onward was due to external factors besides physically running out of oil or places to explore for new development. Laws were passed to cap the price of oil from wells drilled before 1973 at 1973 prices. These laws made it uneconomical to continue to produce from these wells when oil prices rose. These price controls were not lifted until 1981. The period 1971-1981 was a time of great economic turmoil in the US and across the world, with periods of recession and temporary recovery. After 1981, the US economy was slowed as monetary policy was changed to put a stop to inflation. The boom/bust cycle in oil prices continued to affect exploration and production depending on where one was in the oil price cycle, and this state of affairs continues to the present.
     
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