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For alternative fuels Forum:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4260296.html?series=19

"Researchers at UMass Amherst recently published a new method of refining hydrocarbons from cellulose, paving the way to turn wood scraps into gasoline, diesel fuel, Tupperware—anything, essentially, that’s normally refined from petroleum."


"If we can get 100 percent yield, we estimate the cost to be about a dollar per gallon,” Huber says. “Right now we’re at 50 percent. Can we get 100 percent? I don’t know. Hopefully we’ll bump those numbers up.”
 

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Awesome! Gas and other products from waste vs. farmed crops makes so much more sense! Oil palm and sugar cane plantations are wreaking further havoc on already plundered and endangered rain forests in Asia and South America, and field corn for ethanol, and soy for biodiesel consume vast amounts of water, so to use the world's abundant cellulose wastes instead seems so much more desirable to me. Plus $1 a gallon would be great for everyone, except perhaps oil company CEOs currently taking home HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually, EACH. But I wonder how hydrocarbons can be made from a complex sugar-based molecule like cellulose, which is a carbohydrate?
 

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Godspeed.
 

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Awesome! Gas and other products from waste vs. farmed crops makes so much more sense! Oil palm and sugar cane plantations are wreaking further havoc on already plundered and endangered rain forests in Asia and South America, and field corn for ethanol, and soy for biodiesel consume vast amounts of water, so to use the world's abundant cellulose wastes instead seems so much more desirable to me. Plus $1 a gallon would be great for everyone, except perhaps oil company CEOs currently taking home HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually, EACH. But I wonder how hydrocarbons can be made from a complex sugar-based molecule like cellulose, which is a carbohydrate?
Just because it costs them $1.00 a gallon to produce it doesn't mean that is what you will pay for it. Believe me it will be about a nickel a gallon less than the current gasoline prices are at the time. Do you think that the oil executives are the only greedy business men?
 

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Just because it costs them $1.00 a gallon to produce it doesn't mean that is what you will pay for it. Believe me it will be about a nickel a gallon less than the current gasoline prices are at the time. Do you think that the oil executives are the only greedy business men?

I realize that $1 is their cost not the retail price. But I have no idea of the current cost to make a gallon of gasoline. Sadly, oil company CEOs don't have a corner on the market for obscene compensation, but they sure have excelled at it while families struggle to buy gas each week. Half a BILLION for one exec in one year seems just a tad much in my view.
 

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I just heard today that currently the price of crude makes up about 60-70% of the pump price of gasoline. If you use 65% X $3.5 per gallon then the cost of the crude making up the gallon of gasoline is about $2.10 per gallon and it isn't even refined yet so if they can even make it for $2.00 per gallon they are ahead of the current cost of gasoline.

Certainly the cost of gasoline will allow them to jack the price up a certain amount but this will also force the current producers of gasoline to compete with another source so prices should come down (from where they are going). More options can't come soon enough.
 

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maybe this will help end the 'speculation' and lower prices a bit. hopefully they get this ramped up and available to people everywhere

Plus I suspect that pre-emptive wars on nations with lots of wood and agricultural waste instead of oil would be less likely. This could truly do wonders to help America and other nations be far less dependent on foreign oil, and stem the flight of cash out of our economy now seemingly out of control. Here in Florida there is a huge amount of waste from the pine lumber, sugar cane and citrus industries....imagine all that being converted into a petroleum substitute. We are fortunate that the world has so many curious and inventive minds addressing this and other challenges!
 

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awesome.
 

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......."If we can get 100 percent yield, we estimate the cost to be about a dollar per gallon,” Huber says. “Right now we’re at 50 percent. Can we get 100 percent? I don’t know. Hopefully we’ll bump those numbers up.”
If the hoped for 100% equals $1.00 a gallon, then I assume that the current 50% works out to $2.00 a gallon. Even with zero improvements, with the process they have NOW, they are more than ready to compete with the $3.65 a gallon price I see RIGHT NOW!!
 

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I read the article...would be cool to learn just how they get the cellulose to release the oxygen yet keep it from re-combining as that temp is way past the combustion point. I would also love to know why and how it becomes a liquid, and if it contain any of the benzenes and other aromatic compounds found in natural petroleum.
 

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I just heard today that currently the price of crude makes up about 60-70% of the pump price of gasoline. If you use 65% X $3.5 per gallon then the cost of the crude making up the gallon of gasoline is about $2.10 per gallon and it isn't even refined yet so if they can even make it for $2.00 per gallon they are ahead of the current cost of gasoline.

Certainly the cost of gasoline will allow them to jack the price up a certain amount but this will also force the current producers of gasoline to compete with another source so prices should come down (from where they are going). More options can't come soon enough.
My father worked for Saudi Aramco back in the late 80s and 90s. Back then, it cost the Saudis ~$5 to bring a barrel of crude (55 gallons) to market, and ~$2 more to refine it. So, ~$7 a barrel of refined Saudi light = ~13 cents per gallon.

I know there are more regualtions in the US, and Saudi crude is supposed to be one of the cleaner crudes (easier to refine), but I don't think it costs American oil companies that much more to refine. Even at 4x the cost, that's 52 cents a gallon. I think crude prices are the major factor, not the refining.

So, $1 to produce the hydorcarbons, 50 cents to refine, plus profit. They could be competitive right now. Then with economy of large scale production, the possibilities are enormous.

Suburbans for everybody!!!
 

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I think it would be an amaing thing that in three to five years, the scrap we put into landfills or compost heaps is used to fuel this country. Even at $2.00 a gallon, think of the economic and environmental improvements that technology like this brings to the table. So now, will the oil companies allow it, or will it be bought our or held up in congress somehow?
 
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