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Straw Converted to Gasohol in Canada 74

Posted by michael
from the short-straw dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Government of Canada announced that its vehicle fleet is the first in the world to use cellulose-based ethanol. Iogen Corporation produces the ethanol from wheat straw at its leading-edge demonstration facility in Ottawa."
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Straw Converted to Gasohol in Canada

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  • Northern neighbors (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SilverspurG (844751) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:27PM (#11291347) Homepage Journal
    For all the grief the US people give Canada, they're really kicking our butts on the reality checks. The lobbyists and SIGs would have the US tied in knots trying to move any significant bulk of vehicle fleet to something like this.

    At least I think so. I'm sure someone will find some obscure example of some community in CA that does it...
  • by Hamstij (831222) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:37PM (#11291430)
    With the American government completely owned by the governments of oil producing countries and the management of oil producing companies, our dependence on fossil fuels will only be broken by a foreign nation. They at least have the freedom to innovate!

    Good on you Canada, I hope other nations pick this up and help run with it.

  • by Tanktalus (794810) on Friday January 07, 2005 @05:42PM (#11291477) Journal
    Both the US and Canada are oil producers, too. The difference? The US is "led" by Texas (sitting president is from which state?), while Canada's leaders cannot consistantly point out "Alberta" on a Canadian map.
  • by justanyone (308934) on Friday January 07, 2005 @06:57PM (#11292308) Homepage Journal

    There are huge numbers of data points missing from this article:
    • What is the production cost of the ethanol in CDN$/litre (or gallon, whatever);
    • What is the capacity in millions-of-liters/year of a plant of x cost (fixed vs. variable costs);
    • Is there new technology at work here?
    • (advanced)What is the experience curve coefficient for cellulose ethanol?
    • What is total number of gallons (or litres) of gasoline used by Canada per year
    • what is the total number of liters per year of Ethanol?
    • what is the difference between cellulose-based-ethanol and other ethanols in (production cost, production capability, capacity, etc.).

    I know no one here will know this stuff necessarily, but it would be great if science articles like this could give the geeks in the room a nod and give __SOME__ of this info...

    -- Kevin
  • by mmontour (2208) <mail@mmontour.net> on Friday January 07, 2005 @10:15PM (#11293802)
    straw does rot back to its initial components and forms a major source of nutrients for upcoming wheat crops

    Presumably you could put the leftover sludge from the ethanol production back onto the field and get a similar effect. The only elements that end up in the ethanol are hydrogen (which plants get from water), carbon, and oxygen (which they get from atmospheric CO2).
  • by dave1g (680091) on Saturday January 08, 2005 @03:04AM (#11295250) Journal
    I'm all for nuclear, wind, solar, power etc... as well. But its a problem that needs a multipronged attack until we are sure which one is the best economically and ecologically.

"There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know yet." -Ambrose Bierce

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