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Microbes can provide sustainable hydrocarbons for the petrochemical industry

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  https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/935863

This is one procedure for getting rid of the carboxyl and making an olefin:

Direct conversion of carboxylic acids (Cn) to alkenes (C2n − 1) over titanium oxide in absence of noble metals

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S138111691630019X

Sucrose is basically a glucose molecule tacked together with a fructose molecule. Fructose, in turn, is only mildly different from glucose. It might be possible to extract the sucrose from a living tree (without killing it), making it technically possible to 'grow' an 'oil well' in your back yard (or garden, for the Brits). This presumes you aren't living in a high-rise.

One would need about 24 pounds of sugar to make 6 pounds (one gallon) of gasoline. Wood is made up of cellulose. Cellulose is a polymer of starches. Starches are a polymer of glucose. Cellulose can be broken down into sugars with various common acids, including sulfuric and hydrochloric.

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My microbiology prof likes to go on about schemes like this. Reality is that microbial processes will never be commercialized because of scale and efficiency issues. Few exceptions include ethanol production. 
 

Nitrogen fixation by microbes has been all the rage in this field, but the industrial routes already beat the race to the practical efficiency limit. The same applies for organic synthesis. 

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7 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Biofuels from various waste streams are quite successful and should continue to be. They have a green claim and they also dispose of a waste product. 

Biogas https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N-TLMeHsKYBCirxS0vbqMGHpU2SmyLuCc7bqp8eYXVM/edit

 

These schemes are typically fraudulent, because the microbes they use come from gut flora of conventional livestock. There is barely anything left for those to extract from human or livestock "waste streams" effectively produced by their "colleagues". To do better, they need to look into digestion of things like vultures and dung beetles and awful genetically engineered things. Don't think anybody is doing it for real. Till that happens, does biogas production really tap into fodder streams for livestock, like perfectly fine hey, instead of real waste.

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Please look at my topic and get back to me Andrei. Biogas is a big deal. There is a gap in your knowledge. Biogas is only one biofuel too. Surprised to find a gap, you are a very well informed and smart person. 

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29 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Please look at my topic and get back to me Andrei. Biogas is a big deal. There is a gap in your knowledge. Biogas is only one biofuel too. Surprised to find a gap, you are a very well informed and smart person. 

No gap. The nail in the coffin of the "1st generation" liquid biofuels was hammered by this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neste_Renewable_Diesel

It can produce something that is indistinguishable from mineral diesel (if you want low temperature resistance) or something like regular biodiesel (if you want the extra oxygen to combat smog) The feedstock is absolutely any fatty substance, which in practice means the usual palm oil.

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6 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

My microbiology prof likes to go on about schemes like this. Reality is that microbial processes will never be commercialized because of scale and efficiency issues. Few exceptions include ethanol production.

Not convinced about ethanol either. Plants used for massive production thereof (corn, sugarcane, etc), tend to generate massive amounts of straw-like cellulose-rich waste, which takes a lot longer than one season to "biodegrade" (rot) Therefore, the only practical means of getting rid of it quick is to burn it.

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6 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

No gap. The nail in the coffin of the "1st generation" liquid biofuels was hammered by this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neste_Renewable_Diesel

It can produce something that is indistinguishable from mineral diesel (if you want low temperature resistance) or something like regular biodiesel (if you want the extra oxygen to combat smog) The feedstock is absolutely any fatty substance, which in practice means the usual palm oil.

That is only one approach and is "unsustainable." So they say. Biogas is sustainable and acceptable. It allows palm oil to remain as a cheap food product, the residue after use can be used to make biogas or fertilizer. Biogas uses waste streams which are abundant and thereby helps clean up the environment. 

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3 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Not convinced about ethanol either. Plants used for massive production thereof (corn, sugarcane, etc), tend to generate massive amounts of straw-like cellulose-rich waste, which takes a lot longer than one season to "biodegrade" (rot) Therefore, the only practical means of getting rid of it quick is to burn it.

The residue is mainly high quality protein which is used as a very saleable feed component. You may be referring to some residue I am unaware of but even the corn cobs are sometimes ground and used for certain purposes. 

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3 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

That is only one approach and is "unsustainable." So they say. Biogas is sustainable and acceptable. It allows palm oil to remain as a cheap food product, the residue after use can be used to make biogas or fertilizer. Biogas uses waste streams which are abundant and thereby helps clean up the environment. 

Nothing unsustainable about the process itself. If only weren't oil and gas companies who license it so cheap and went after the cheapest feedstock they could find. Which happens to be palm oil right now.

Biogas does not really use "waste streams" like you think they do. In reality, do they use misc. plant matter that you could also feed to livestock. The German nickname for a biogas digester plant is Betonkuh (concrete cow) It really is an emulation of ruminant digestion system at the moment. Possibly it may eat what pigs would, but that's about it. So, there is no way to get it to digest what a similar process inside a real cow or pig already did. I presume that to be the basis of the whole "cow fart greenhouse effect" scare.

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22 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

No gap. The nail in the coffin of the "1st generation" liquid biofuels was hammered by this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neste_Renewable_Diesel

It can produce something that is indistinguishable from mineral diesel (if you want low temperature resistance) or something like regular biodiesel (if you want the extra oxygen to combat smog) The feedstock is absolutely any fatty substance, which in practice means the usual palm oil.

Soylent Green, anyone??

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2 minutes ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Nothing unsustainable about the process itself. If only weren't oil and gas companies who license it so cheap and went after the cheapest feedstock they could find. Which happens to be palm oil right now.

Biogas does not really use "waste streams" like you think they do. In reality, do they use misc. plant matter that you could also feed to livestock. The German nickname for a biogas digester plant is Betonkuh (concrete cow) It really is an emulation of ruminant digestion system at the moment. Possibly it may eat what pigs would, but that's about it. So, there is no way to get it to digest what a similar process inside a real cow or pig already did. I presume that to be the basis of the whole "cow fart greenhouse effect" scare.

https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/industry-reports/biogas-market-100910

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11 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

The residue is mainly high quality protein which is used as a very saleable feed component. You may be referring to some residue I am unaware of but even the corn cobs are sometimes ground and used for certain purposes. 

What about the stalks? The dirty little secret left behind by Brasil's ethanol fuel success story is called

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagasse

They do burn most of it. (Contrary to what Wiki claims, are extra tall & tough grasses tend to be crap feedstocks for pulp, due to high silicate content. Culminating with mother of all grasses - bamboo. Which is effectively covered by a nanoscale layer of quartz glass, a mineral harder than any steel, which destroys conventional woodchipping machinery. The Chinese have a special research institute dedicated to the problem of pulping bamboo)

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Part of bamboo fields have always been burned, to my knowledge. Sugar is the main product and is what is used to make ethanol in parts of South America. It is very cost effective for that purpose and is often used in automobiles. American ethanol is roughly the same mpg as gasoline in appropriate engines but is mainly used as 10% additive which boosts octane safely. 

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(edited)

39 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

European biogas? Entirely fraudulent. They are tapping into the livestock fodder, which is very plentiful. Up to a point, where the meat prices are going to go up. I am all for outsourcing the meat production to Argentines, who do it right, but the free trade deal between the EU and Mercasur appears to be on the rocks right now.

You can allegedly raise the output by throwing the leftover glycerin left over from conventional biodiesel production into the reactor, but EU does not even allow that, because it does not consider it a renewable resource! This is based on observing actual operational biogas plants and talking to their operators from before 2008. On the other hand, the European glycerin glut appears to still be with us, so nothing changed. (Conventional biodiesel production removes the glycerine skeleton all veggie- and animal-sourced oil have (these are called triglycerides; and replaces them with methanol, which tends to be sourced from good old Russian natural gas. So, is traditional European 1st gen biofuel actually 11% "fossil" by weight and produces an equivalent amount of glycerine byproduct nobody wants)

You will be very hard pressed to find any technical merit to any of the Eurofag renewable fuel activity. The only purpose of it is to "carbon tax" the heck out of "emerging economies" for being dirty, while changing jack. Neocolonialism at work. Neste process is a major exception here, BTW. The original Finish renewable plan was to burn peat, which the rest of EU vehemently objected to :)

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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14 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Part of bamboo fields have always been burned, to my knowledge. Sugar is the main product and is what is used to make ethanol in parts of South America. It is very cost effective for that purpose and is often used in automobiles. American ethanol is roughly the same mpg as gasoline in appropriate engines but is mainly used as 10% additive which boosts octane safely. 

The effect of burning all this straw on carbon credits appears to be TBD, as the drivers of "energy transition" tend to be the "1st world" economies unfamiliar with either bamboo or sugar cane ;)

Yes and no. Higher octane number makes fuel actually less energetic (it adds "anti-knock" properties, i.e. suppresses detonations) The cetane numbers for diesel-like fuels work in the opposite direction. Higher cetane means more energetic and volatile fuel, but also likely more detonation prone.

In order to get back the power you lose, you can run the engine with higher compression, which results in a more expensive car. Think the "funny fuel" American quarter mile racing uses. That stuff is the same small RC racing cars use. Mostly methanol, with a bit of nitromethane mixed in. Equivalent to something like 130? octane gas.

The primary benefit of adding a bit of ethanol to gasoline is combating smog in places like LA (so it's mandatory for California) For diesel fuel, adding some plant-based biodiesel has the same effect. Both admixtures work on the principle of carrying a bit of additional oxidizer into the mix.

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33 minutes ago, ronwagn said:

Part of bamboo fields have always been burned, to my knowledge. Sugar is the main product and is what is used to make ethanol in parts of South America. It is very cost effective for that purpose and is often used in automobiles. American ethanol is roughly the same mpg as gasoline in appropriate engines but is mainly used as 10% additive which boosts octane safely. 

Aha, found the secret keyword for your nasty straw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_stover

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(edited)

2 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Biogas is sustainable and acceptable.

In US, there seems to be an upside to Brandon passing wind. He appears to be accelerating!

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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10 hours ago, turbguy said:

Soylent Green, anyone??

 

10 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

European biogas? Entirely fraudulent. They are tapping into the livestock fodder, which is very plentiful. Up to a point, where the meat prices are going to go up. I am all for outsourcing the meat production to Argentines, who do it right, but the free trade deal between the EU and Mercasur appears to be on the rocks right now.

You can allegedly raise the output by throwing the leftover glycerin left over from conventional biodiesel production into the reactor, but EU does not even allow that, because it does not consider it a renewable resource! This is based on observing actual operational biogas plants and talking to their operators from before 2008. On the other hand, the European glycerin glut appears to still be with us, so nothing changed. (Conventional biodiesel production removes the glycerine skeleton all veggie- and animal-sourced oil have (these are called triglycerides; and replaces them with methanol, which tends to be sourced from good old Russian natural gas. So, is traditional European 1st gen biofuel actually 11% "fossil" by weight and produces an equivalent amount of glycerine byproduct nobody wants)

You will be very hard pressed to find any technical merit to any of the Eurofag renewable fuel activity. The only purpose of it is to "carbon tax" the heck out of "emerging economies" for being dirty, while changing jack. Neocolonialism at work. Neste process is a major exception here, BTW. The original Finish renewable plan was to burn peat, which the rest of EU vehemently objected to :)

Interesting but you are totally missing the point. Andrei, you are talking about diesel, the product produced is bio gas. Not diesel or bio gasoline. Those can be produced from coal, as you well know. 

Glycerine can easily be burned for combined heat and power, so should be fully used. Didn't you already know this?

https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~bibeauel/research/undergrad_student/2009_Epp.pdf

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10 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

The effect of burning all this straw on carbon credits appears to be TBD, as the drivers of "energy transition" tend to be the "1st world" economies unfamiliar with either bamboo or sugar cane ;)

Yes and no. Higher octane number makes fuel actually less energetic (it adds "anti-knock" properties, i.e. suppresses detonations) The cetane numbers for diesel-like fuels work in the opposite direction. Higher cetane means more energetic and volatile fuel, but also likely more detonation prone.

In order to get back the power you lose, you can run the engine with higher compression, which results in a more expensive car. Think the "funny fuel" American quarter mile racing uses. That stuff is the same small RC racing cars use. Mostly methanol, with a bit of nitromethane mixed in. Equivalent to something like 130? octane gas.

The primary benefit of adding a bit of ethanol to gasoline is combating smog in places like LA (so it's mandatory for California) For diesel fuel, adding some plant-based biodiesel has the same effect. Both admixtures work on the principle of carrying a bit of additional oxidizer into the mix.

Very good. Please reply to my whole point which is bio gas, not bio gasoline or bio diesel. I realize that Americans are very fond of calling gasoline "gas" but it is very unfortunate. They could be using actual natural gas, but that is now being used in natural gas fueled ships, trucks, etc. worldwide. Either as CNG which is easy or as LNG which is a bit more complicated. 

There is an abundance of natural gas on the land and in the ocean. If it is not used it is the fault of green activists who are destroying western economies, much to the delight of Putin, XI and others. Without investment support, we are hobbling our economies through inflation. 

Green biogas can only be a very valuable and green supplement of large scale. The waste streams that can be used are enormous, and part can also be used for fertilizer. 

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10 hours ago, Andrei Moutchkine said:

Aha, found the secret keyword for your nasty straw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_stover

That is a very good reference and shows how valuable that product is. It is mainly tilled into the soil to keep the soil natural, but can be used to make ethanol if corn is too expensive. During our last so called energy crisis President George W. Bush smartly pointed this out. I am not a fan of his due to his fondness for crony capitalism though. He also amplified spying on Americans rather than foreigners. 

Corn and soybeans are main base products for much of the food that is eaten worldwide. Archer Daniels Midland and Tate and Lyle are two of the main processors. I am in Decatur, Illinois which calls itself the "soybean capitol of the world." They have huge plants right here. Interestingly, we have a new plant, almost completed, that will produce and process fly grubs which are a high value protein supplement used for livestock. Almost as good as Soylent Green 😉

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(edited)

18 hours ago, KeyboardWarrior said:

My microbiology prof likes to go on about schemes like this. Reality is that microbial processes will never be commercialized because of scale and efficiency issues. Few exceptions include ethanol production. 
 

Nitrogen fixation by microbes has been all the rage in this field, but the industrial routes already beat the race to the practical efficiency limit. The same applies for organic synthesis. 

Biogas production uses microbes that flourish without O2 (anaerobic). https://byjus.com/biology/microbes-in-production-of-biogas/ This is a growing source of green energy that is  still mostly untapped. It serves a dual purpose be eliminating material that would otherwise have to go to landfills or sewage plants. The potential is enormous. 

Edited by ronwagn
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(edited)

5 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Biogas production uses microbes that flourish without O2 (anaerobic). https://byjus.com/biology/microbes-in-production-of-biogas/ This is a growing source of green energy that is  still mostly untapped. It serves a dual purpose be eliminating material that would otherwise have to go to landfills or sewage plants. The potential is enormous. 

Great potential for the botulinum toxin for affordable Botox injections for the peoples! :)

By that I mean that novel microbes are scary.

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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6 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Very good. Please reply to my whole point which is bio gas, not bio gasoline or bio diesel. I realize that Americans are very fond of calling gasoline "gas" but it is very unfortunate. They could be using actual natural gas, but that is now being used in natural gas fueled ships, trucks, etc. worldwide. Either as CNG which is easy or as LNG which is a bit more complicated.

I already did, in several posts. To summarize, there is still potential for liquid biofuels, but not for biogas (as in methane) the way it is done now.

There is also unlikely to be a LNG on a scale of a car or truck, because it is a cryogenic liquid that cannot be stored without evaporative loss. Converting to DME (dimethyl ether) or methanol is a better idea.

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(edited)

8 hours ago, ronwagn said:

Glycerine can easily be burned for combined heat and power, so should be fully used. Didn't you already know this?

https://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~bibeauel/research/undergrad_student/2009_Epp.pdf

"Can" does not translate to "should" in the EU. AFAIK, there is still a glut of glycerine the "1st gen" biodiesel works produce.

I only started talking about liquid biofuels after you said my knowledge about them has a gap.

Edited by Andrei Moutchkine
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