24 June 2009

The future of liquid fuel-based cars is... "Grass"???

So, I'm sitting here after a long day of work -- made more difficult as with each passing hour, the little voice inside my head going: "You're thaaaaaaaat much closer to getting your Mini-E...." (Needless to say, concentrating on any one particular work task was just... ahhh... "slightly affected!" ;-))

It also didn't help that through-out the day, I'd get the "Hey, so I hear you're getting a Mini tomorrow...??" from several co-workers (fellow "car buffs" and "techies"like me) and office mates -- the "gang" that I hang out and go out to lunch with and "do stuff" with cuz, ya know, we're really all good buds and actually like each other's company. :-) 

Of course, when you get stopped and asked that, ya can't help but stop and go, "Oh no... It's not just a 'Mini Cooper,' it's a Mini-E which means its a..." (And I wonder "Where did the day go?"  ;-))

Anyway... I'm home, "rewarding" myself with some Popeye's fried chicken (my fav... Mmmmmm...) after having completed a fun -- but very "demanding" -- task yesterday. I then turn to some reading material and see the latest issue of Scientific American. And lo, what's on the cover?

The headline: "Grassoline"
The cover language: "Forget ethanol from corn. New fuels made from weeds and waste could halve U.S. oil needs.

Hmmmm... Turning to the article, the deck (the stuff after the article's headline) says: 

Scientist are turning agricultural leftovers, wood and fast-growing grasses into a huge variety of biofuels -- even jet fuel. But before these next-generation biofuels go mainstream, they have to compete with oil at $60 a barrel.

Among the article's key points:
  • Second-generation biofuels made from the inedible parts of plants are the most environmentally friendly and technologically promising near-term alternatives to oil.
  • Most of this "grassoline" will come from agricultural residues such as cornstalks, weedlike energy crops and wood waste.
  • The U.S. can grow enough of these feedstocks to replace about half the country's total consumption of oil without affect food supplies.
Hmmmm... The second bullet caught my eye as I munched on the delicious, golden-fried, crunchy, goodness of a juicy, meaty Popeye's drumstick. (Mmmmmm...)

"Wait a sec... So, if we all demand and eat more chicken, farmers will have to have to raise more chickens to be butchered... Which means, there will be more demand for "feed corn" to "feed" (duh!) the increased number of chicken... Which means that other farmers will have to grow more feedcorn... which leads to more "agricultural residues" (like cornstalks)... which leads to more source material for cheaper, clean biofuel!!! (Not to mention, an increased amount of "fry oil" from all those fried Popeye's chickens, which can be used as a clean bio-diesel!)"

Hmmm... More fried chicken = more "agricultural residue" and more used fry oil = more "U.S.-made," clean "grassoline" and bio-diesel (AND) = LESS money for petroleum from foreign countries that hate us and would use our own money to buy more weapons and sponsor those that would kill us!!! 

WoW!!!! A win-win-win-win situation!!!

C'mon people! Smell the grease!! Eat more fried chicken! The environment as well as the security of America depends on it!!!

Just kidding...(But still, check out the SciAm story! Good stuff!)

And OBVIOUSLY this is proof that I need to stop eating greasy fried food late at night and get some sleep!! But can I?? In less than 14-hours or so, I'll be behind the wheel of my very own Mini-E!!! How can I sleep?? (Especially if there's still some Popeye's left in the house?? ;-))

1 comment:

  1. Hi Paul! Can't wait to read your thoughts about the car, and yeah it's pretty funny how similar our blog names are! I will be interested in knowing if you get more comments driving in the city than I do driving in the suburbs (I get none!) Enjoy!