Originally Posted by TehStone
It is perfectly feasible to dedicate 8.58 million acres of farm land to this sort of energy production.
Let's call it an even 10 million acres needed, accounting for waste & buffer. The US has 922,095,840 acres of total farmland and 406,424,909 of that are dedicated to crops. That means a dedication of about 2.5% of us cropland to US oil consumption. Assuming your numbers are correct, that's an ok trade-off. Of course that's 2.5% of US cropland to meet one day
of consumption. If I'm getting this right, that's pretty intimidating.
Now consider this:
About 49 million acres of US farmland are dedicated to making ethanol from corn for the purpose of blending with gasoline (this is a very conservative estimate, other estimates peg it at nearly double this figure, or 78 million acres). That doesn't even come close to meeting our consumption of gasoline, and further, many studies believe that this process actually increases our annual oil consumption. So compare this 50-80 million acres to the 10 million or so acres needed by this new fuel making process and we can see that we're already dedicating a much larger amount of cropland to fuel here in the US. This doesn't account for other crops and waste material used to make ethanol for fuel, nor does it take into consideration that less arable land may be used for fuel production.
Ethanol from corn has seen advances over the past several decades increasing economic and yield efficiencies. It is not a new process. We can expect this new process to evolve and become more efficient over time and gain in importance. Now if I understand the new process, it in fact doesn't require the use of cropland at all!
They plan on using this in the MIDDLE OF THE DESERT! It's an area quite inhospitable to cattle or corn production. Certainly we could spare a little wasteland for the production of fuel... already we create wasteland in the production of fuel so it shouldn't be in short supply.
The 2.5% figure is to meet annual crude oil consumption of the US, (23,512.5125 acres if they want to reach an annual production of daily consumption) which is A LOT less intimidating when you put in those terms, and for that I thank you. I thank you as well for you added information to my post, I think them both combined add a lot of knowledge to what is actually going on with this company, and their possibilities.
Originally Posted by SamuelL421
Obviously not a solution, but 8,582,067.0625 acres isn't completely unfeasible. That's less than 13,500 sq miles which, granted, is a lot. But divided throughout the states, and on undeveloped tracts of land I could foresee us one day getting 1/3 to half our oil from a source like this.
In any case it all sounds good on paper at least. In all honesty, it would probably just serve to prolong our dependence on oil and cause prices to stay reasonable as we continue to suck the planet dry.
On the upside, creation and usage of massive Joule plants would equate to jobs and some degree of energy independence (something that obviously cripples the US currently)...[/url]
If you see the other post I quoted, he makes a good point to it actually being feasible. And yes, the economic impact, apart from crude oil dependency minimalization, jobs will be created, which is HUGELY beneficial.Edited by SI51 - 6/4/11 at 8:42pm