Grass As An Alternative Energy Source

Discussion in 'Economy' started by Adam's Apple, May 4, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Cornell U. News Release
    FOR RELEASE: March 31, 2005 - Media contact: Nicola Pytell
    Office: 607-255-6074 - E-Mail: nwp2@cornell.edu

    Don't let grass grow under your feet -- burn it as economical, environmentally friendly biofuel, Cornell expert urges

    ITHACA, N.Y. -- Grow grass, not for fun but for fuel. Burning grass for energy has been a well-accepted technology in Europe for decades. But not in the United States. Yet burning grass pellets as a biofuel is economical, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable, says a Cornell University forage crop expert.

    This alternative fuel easily could be produced and pelleted by farmers and burned in modified stoves built to burn wood pellets or corn, says Jerry Cherney, the E.V. Baker Professor of Agriculture. Burning grass pellets hasn't caught on in the United States, however, Cherney says, primarily because Washington has made no effort to support the technology with subsidies or research dollars.

    "Burning grass pellets makes sense; after all, it takes 70 days to grow a crop of grass for pellets, but it takes 70 million years to make fossil fuels," says Cherney, who notes that a grass-for-fuel crop could help supplement farmers' incomes. Cherney presented the case for grass biofuel at a U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored conference, Greenhouse Gases and Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture and Forestry, held March 21-24 in Baltimore.

    "Grass pellets have great potential as a low-tech, small-scale, renewable energy system that can be locally produced, locally processed and locally consumed, while having a positive impact on rural communities," Cherney told the conference.

    www.news.Cornell.edu/stories/March05/grass.fuel.ssl.html
     
  2. manu1959
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    manu1959 Left Coast Isolationist

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    ok this is the part that gets me.......every year that goes by ticks off another 70 million year cycle so oli is constantly being made....is therefore renewable and will therfore never run out...
     
  3. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Regardless of whether or not oil will ever run out, the U.S. needs to fix its energy crisis now by finding other reliable energy sources. Apparently there are many alternative sources available just waiting to be researched and developed.

    Too many countries are now putting in their bids for the available sources of oil, so, in my opinion, the U.S. should find a way to extricate itself from this "rat race" and become energy independent. A country that can send a man to the moon and back and do what we have done in exploring space has the brain power and know-how to accomplish this. A fire just needs to be lit under the power brokers in Washington, D.C.

    If we just keep going along like we have been, we will continue to pay higher and higher prices for everything we buy because of our dependance on oil. Personally, I am getting tired of paying more every week for whatever I buy because the vendors are passing along their higher fuel costs to the consumer in increased costs for goods.
     
  4. GotZoom
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    GotZoom Senior Member

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    Oh....that grass.
     
  5. dmp
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    dmp Senior Member

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    :bs: The planet hasn't been AROUND that long...lol! :)
     
  6. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    I don't believe the planet has been around that long either, but then no one really knows for sure. If the Earth was made up of materials already floating around in space, who know how old those materials could have been when they were assembled to make Planet Earth? This could easily give us a false reading on the age of the Earth itself.

    But to get back to the topic of our need to find alternative sources of fuel that can break our current dependance on fossil fuels, I continually run across articles on research being done that need to be given serious consideration. Heck, if grass can alleviate our dependance on fossil fuel, why make fun of the idea? How is it any different from cooking oil, corn, electricity, solar energy, or wind power, some of the other alternative energy sources currently being given a try?
     
  7. archangel
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    archangel Guest

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    Are we talking about fermenting grass to make alcohol bi products or just grass pellets to put in our woodstoves to curl up by...... :huh:
     
  8. Comrade
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    Comrade Senior Member

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    On the topic of havesting grass a crop for what would still be only local heating in most practical aspects, I have to wonder first how much gasolene would be required to power the tractors which cut it, the machinery which processed it, and the trailers which deliver it.
     
  9. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Since the whole point is to wean ourselves away from the use of fossil fuel, the tractors would probably be run by ethanol. If it were my farm, they would be anyway. :)
     
  10. JayW
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    JayW Member

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    My Pathfinder is a modified hybrid, running on grass:

    [​IMG]
     

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