Tuesday, January 29, 2008

bad news for ethanol

good news for humanity.

honestly, ethanol was a boondoggle, little else. from an environmental and economic perspective, the ethanol produced so far has done more bad than good, producing more CO2 than just using petrol would have and increasing the price of corn, causing turmoil amongst the poor in Mexico as tortilla prices increased.

and the long term prospects for the fuel are no better. there are just too many engineering hurdles.

even President Bush has come to understand this fact.

fortunately, other biofuels will succeed where ethanol has failed. butanol has come to make a lot of sense and research on how to best produce it continues to progress. biodiesel will also rock the party at some point, but we Americans have all kinds of weird misconceptions about diesel vehicles, so it'll take a good bit longer for biodiesel to become an important factor here. we have a clear way forward in this department, though. all of the German luxury car makers sell high performance diesels and plan to offer them here. so, maybe diesel power will eventually be seen as a premium luxury option.

in sum, ethanol is clearly going the way of the dodo, but better biofuels are here to stay.

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