This source says: "But ethanol's green image has faded of late. Diesel tractors plant, fertilize, and harvest the corn used to make ethanol, and substantial coal-fired electricity is used to process the grain. Cornell University scientist David Pimentel, author of a study showing ethanol consumes more energy than it produces, calls it "unsustainable, subsidized food burning." Federal and state governments spend about $1 billion a year to support ethanol, most of which goes to agribusiness giants like Archer Daniels Midland, which owns 35 percent of the market."
The case isn't as strong against biodiesel, but it's still subsidized food burning if it's produced from from raw soy bean oil stocks. It's a great way to recycle waste cooking grease, though.
I can't see any good reason for Diesel motorcycles except for the military application we discussed earlier.
I agree with you on the "subsidized food burning issue" seems stupid to go into an energy deficiet to produce this fuel.
I read that folks in some fomer soviet states were getting busted for fueling up with used cooking oil and avoiding the high fuel taxes. Seems they smell like a big vat of supersize fries going down the road, and that is how they get caught.
I would love to see a real basic commuter bike with a diesel thumper in it. My favorite bike to ride in town is my single as it can idle along at a walking pace and I have good torque from almost idle.
Just think about having a bike that would get 500 mile range.. that would be sort of interesting.
Read the Brit Mag "Ride" from a month or so ago it has some pretty interesting stuff in it regarding diesel as a possible future bike fuel.
It's a win-win. Lots of corporate welfare to spread around which turns into campaign cash and the idiot-enviros get to hug their trees that much harder thinking they're doing soemthing good for the world.
It's the same thing with fuel cells. We have to burn a fossil-fuel to separate the hydrogen.
Diesel engines have made great strides in power output, smoothness and emissions. VW's TDI system is a great example. If my calculations are correct, the TDI motor produces about 47 hp per liter & 79 ft- lb of torque per liter. These numbers pale in comparison to modern bike output. They are similar to the numbers reported for cruisers.
The Technology used to tame the diesel (Computer controlled hi pressure direct fuel injection, turbo & intercooling ) might be difficult to squeeze into a bike sized package.
The idea of using non fossil fuels to power diesel engines is something that should be seriously considered. If it's economically & environmentally viable, Go for it!
As for motorcycles, some hurdles remain.
I've never heard a diesel powered bike, but I'll bet the exhaust note isn't as pleasing as any modern bike.
Reduce Dependance on imported oil. Create more demand for farmed goods. Use a potentially hazzardous waste for fuel.
My father is a crop farmer and he is subsidized every year by the fedral government to plant, not plant, or just given money in general.
If we had more support for bio diesel, you could fill up those dirty desiels with cleaner (not zero emmisions mind you) burning bio diesel. At the same time we could push up the price farmers get paid for their crops and possibly reduce the subsidies they recieve from the governement.
BioDiesel does have a pit fall. It gels at a higher temprature than petro diesel. You can get around that buy making blends of the two.
There is a catch on older diesel cars. many of the rubber parts need to be replaced so the biodiesel doesn't eat through them. Probably a good idea on an older car anyway though.
I was almost ready to buy a VW Golf TDI, but VW said that using US version of BioDiesel in it would void the warranty.
Well here's hopeing Big Oil doesn't try to bury yet another potential competitor.
My guess is that bio-fuels can only make environmental sense (economic sense is an even higher hurdle) if they are produced from byproducts or other waste. As soon as you start growing plants specifically for fuel, the amount of petro-fuel consumed in planting, cultivating and harvesting would likely offset a large portion of the petro-fuel being replaced.
I think you guys are missing the point with the whole, it costs more energy to make than to use argument. The point is that the oils can come from anywhere, and they are a renewable resource. Just beause ethanol is an inneficient proccess doesn't mean the same thing applies to producing oils. Also the chemical reaction that is used to create the biodiesle is a passive process that doesn't take any energy, besides the the stirrer(sp?). Plus as a bonus the byproduct of the whole process is very strong soap, to clean off the dirty hippies
Another big point that seems to be missing from the discussion is the fact that Bio-diesel is the ONLY fuel that you can make for yourself. You don't have to give any money to any evil coorporations, and if you do it yourself it costs not even half as much as gas at the pump.
Very cool! I think we should send Sean or Johnny over to Germany to test that GPZ/VW hybrid. Pretty clever engineering solution to a question nobody asked! Germans obviously have too much time on their hands!
No, I get the point, but if, for example, it takes 1 gallon of diesel fuel for tractors etc to grow enough corn to produce 1 gallon of bio-diesel, that is not exactly gonna make much of a dent in our use of non-renuable energy. I don't know what the figures actually are -- probably not as bad as my example -- but there certainly is a significant non-renuable energy consumption required to produce bio-fuels. Maybe someone here has some figures?
If we use byproducts or other waste, that is a very different matter.
Oh, i definitely agree with the use of byproducts making it more efficient(and will make you smell more like a Mcdonalds driving down the street [hey, note to McDondalds marketing staff...]), but you CAN run a tractor on biodiesel unlike ethanol. plus just the mere process of creating the bio fuel is far less energy consuming and overall a much more simple process (it's the same chemical reaction as used in making soap) than processing ethanol.