Opinions please on Colusa Biomass (CLME), cellulose ethanol plant start-up in California,with a patent on the process. Thanks
I would rate it a risky investment.I think most agree that biomass ethanol has to come into being one day, but right now corn based ethanol in the US and sugar cane based ethanol in Brazil are most practical.When biomass is ready (when all spare corn is fully committed to ethanol) some process will probably be developed. But your company's technology will have to be a winner for them to prosper. That is because big companies will move in or do add ons to corn based plants to handle biomass feed.The question is whether your company's patented technology is so unique that others must license it. That is about a 1 in 100, I would say.So wait on biomass until we have a few successful demo plants out there, and the corn market is saturated.
(when all spare corn is fully committed to ethanol) I think we are well past that point. Lots of corn is grown specifically for ethanol.Mike
I think we are well past that point. Lots of corn is grown specifically for ethanol.Mike Mike, What about the large amount of farmland lying fallow that the government pays a susidy to farmers for? At the right price for corn or soybeans, those acres can be used for more ethanol feedstock. The limiting factor at this point is economic. Ethanol is not a cost effective replacement for gasoline without subsidies. At some point it will be, and more ethanol plants will be built and more feedstock will be produced. The first wave is already underway
What about the large amount of farmland lying fallow that the government pays a susidy to farmers for?Which program is this? I have some farmland lying fallow that I would like to get paid for. The only program that I know of rents farmland that farmers have a right to farm so that wildlife will benefit and so that downstream people have prettier rivers.1HF
I would recommend Googling farm subsidies for a start. One such situation I found. Portland Trailblazers basketball star Scottie Pippen received his annual $26,315 payment not to farm land he owns in Arkansas. The sad reality is that about 65-70% of all subsidies go to mega farms, but they do appear to be more in the form of price guarantees than in the past. This does go back a few years, but I know that my cousins were specifically paid to NOT grow crops on a certain percentage of acreage per year. My point was more that the crops will be grown when the economics are favorable and not before. I think another promising area will be ethanol from cellulose, though it seems much less further along than ethanol from corn JK
Thanks for recommending that I google. I googled on "paid not to farm". It's amazing the disinformation out there. For example, there's this:http://www.environmentalengineering.net/Farmers.phpIn the last 15 years, one might have observed farmers cutting down their hedge rows all throughout the Midwest. Why did this happen these last few years? The simple answer is that farm subsidy programs were cut back. In particular, the soil banking program was eliminated (where the farmer got paid not to farm part of his land).The city dweller imagines that under the Soil Bank program, the farmer selected certain fields for not growing crops, but the fact is that the banked acreage was typically long strips of hedgerow along farm fence lines where wildlife could grow and flourish. When the subsidies disappeared, the hedgerows had to go. Otherwise, the farmer couldn't keep up with the neighbors.Regulations describing minimum requirements for farms, similar to those that govern the behavior of industries, need to be established. Then the farmer can compete with other farmers following the same rules.In the case of farming, it hurts double when the neighbor plows a greater percentage of the fields, because the neighbor's increased crop output lowers the price for all the crops that the farmers are able to produce. Minimum hedgerows should be mandated.Another minimum standard should require buffer strips of un-plowed grass, shrubs, or trees along creeks, streams, and rivers so that soil, fertilizer and pesticides are not washed directly into the waterway during heavy rains. "Riparian buffers" as thin as 14 feet wide are very effective in stopping not only soil sediment from getting into the streams (by 75%), but effective also at removing such noted waterway pollutants as Nitrogen (by 40%), Phosphorous (by 50%), Trace Metals (60 to 70%), and Hydrocarbons (by 75%) according to an article in the March, 2000, issue of Public Works magazine as reported by Patrick Davis <email@example.com> and Ben Hitchings <firstname.lastname@example.org>.Darn, I was hoping to make a killing at public expense.My point was more that the crops will be grown when the economics are favorable and not before.Oh. Getting paid not to farm sounds like a lot less work. I think what will happen is this: all the other crops that are currently grown on prime corn soil will get pushed off as corn prices go up. For example, soybeans for biodiesel and black oil sunflower for oil and bird feeding are centered around Iowa (where the tall corn grows). They will probably get pushed out where it's dryer and/or colder and might become more profitable there as they no longer have to compete with the Iowa farmers. Farmers can buy corn for animal feed in NE MI for about $100/ton, but it can't be grown around here for less than $110/ton, which means it must be getting shipped in. As the price of fuel and fertilizer goes up, it will get worse before it gets better. Is that what you meant?I think another promising area will be ethanol from cellulose,Good, because I have some timberland too and trees basically grow themselves (I'm kinda lazy). I can't wait until somebody offers me big bucks to let them cut all my trees down -- or not if I can get the government to pay me to leave them up.1HF
"Lots of corn is grown specifically for ethanol."I hear that corn prices are usually higher near an ethanol plant. Hence, it depends on what other markets there are for corn and the shipping costs to those markets. I can see ethanol being especially attractive in places like Nebraska.The old Whiskey Rebellion stories from way back (1794) tells us that even then--in the days before modern transportation, ethanol from corn was one crop that could be transported economically.http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17546974History seems to be repeating itself.
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