Anyone For Ethanol Cars?

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed BBC Newsline’s series this week tracing the recycling process for many materials we dispose of into our new green/ brown/ blue Council bins. Continuing with the Green theme, in Brazil they are successfully mass-producing cars capable of being fuelled by ethanol and/ or petrol, making the most of the country’s sugar cane supplies.

  • eranu

    i saw it too. i think it was cars running on vegetable oil or maybe i saw a different report. pretty impressive considering the price of a litre of vegetable oil compared to petrol or diesel. it only works with diesel cars and apparently diesel cars dont need any modification. might try it on the company van some time 🙂
    bio fuels could be a profitable future for farmers if the market is developed properly here.

  • smcgiff

    ‘bio fuels could be a profitable future for farmers if the market is developed properly here.’

    I’m off the same opinion. There needs to be a revolution in Irish farming. They have to think outside the, er… paddock, and get into something like this and other energy crops.

  • Paul

    People should not get carried away with the promise of biofuel. The amount of land that would need to be cultivated to make any significant contribution to reducing greenhouse gases is more than we currently use for food production. Indonesia is already destroying rain forest to plant for the expected biofuel boom, the Amazonian rainforest will follow.

  • smcgiff

    ‘the Amazonian rainforest will follow.’

    That’s definitely a problem, Paul, and it came to my mind when I saw a programme lately focusing on Brazil. They’ve not exactly a great track record in the auld rain forest preservation.

    However, I’d be in favour of turning over huge amounts of land over to biofuel, and I have to admit the environmental reasons are way down on my reasons as to why we should do it.

    Between wave energy (Ireland is the best place in the entire globe for the utilisation of wave energy), and biofuel, Ireland could go a long way to become self sufficient when it comes to energy. And! It would help the environment. Now, all we need is government savy enough to push it.

  • Paul

    George Monbiot has a devastating article on this on the Guardian site, from Tuesday December 6 2005, “The most destructive crop on earth”, sorry, I don’t know how to do links. He blows the biofuel argument out of the water. It’s worth reading, he is a leading environmentalist, unlike many others he applies scientific rigour to his arguments, no soft options with George.

  • Pete Baker

    Here you go Paul

    The most destructive crop on earth is no solution to the energy crisis

    The crop he refers to is the oil palm.. which would produce the cheapest biofuel and, he argues, would therefore become the most heavily cultivated, and traded, crop.

  • eranu

    think i saw a programme a while ago about a type of really tall grass type plant that could be harvested as a fuel crop, cant remember the name unfortunately.
    with conventional farming in tough times a bio crop sounds like a possible good idea. something for the local energy market is about as far as i could see it going at the min. i wonder what the maths are for area of land to produce X amount of fuel? i think one of the problems is the different types of bio fuel. to make it viable one has to be picked and everyone use it.

  • Paul

    Thanks Peter, thank god for the computer literate.

  • Jeremy

    Dublin bus are also getting in on the act.

  • If I can’t drink and drive why should my car be allowed to?