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Archive for June 6th, 2008

Now That The Republicans Are Suddenly Eager To Inject Sex Into The 2008 Minnesota Senatorial Campaign…

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2008

…does that mean we get to talk about all the stories the local media’s been sitting on for years concerning Norm “Pay No Attention To The Blonde Behind The Curtain” Coleman? Or is he still off limits to you all?

Just wondering.

Posted in 2008, Al Franken, Minnesota, Norm Coleman, Republicans, rightwing moral cripples | 2 Comments »

Is West Virginia In Play For Obama?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2008

On the face of it, one would say ‘no’. That’s a state that emphatically rejected Kerry in 2004.

But guess what? McCain’s dumping 7.5% of his ad buy money for May and June into West Virginia.

Which is itself good, even if Obama doesn’t win the state (and the latest Rasmussen has him within single digits). The more McCain spends on what should be an easy state for him, the less he has for states like Ohio.

Posted in 2008, Barack Obama, John McCain, WTF? | 6 Comments »

Solving Ethanol’s Water-Wastage Problem?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on June 6, 2008

The biggest problem with ethanol, in my mind, is its acceleration of the drying up of our already-stressed aquifers. Making corn-based ethanol leaves six gallons of waste liquid, or stillage, for every gallon of fuel, and while much of the organic solids can be removed and used for animal feed as “distillers dried grains”, only about half of the liquid that’s left, the “thin stillage”, can currently be reused.

That could be changing soon:

The researchers added a fungus, Rhizopus microsporus, to the thin stillage and found it would feed and grow. The fungus removes about 80 percent of the organic material and all of the solids in the thin stillage, allowing the water and enzymes in the thin stillage to be recycled back into production.

The fungus can also be harvested. It’s a food-grade organism that’s rich in protein, certain essential amino acids and other nutrients. It can be dried and sold as a livestock feed supplement. Or it can be blended with distillers dried grains to boost its value as a livestock feed and make it more suitable for feeding hogs and chickens.

Van Leeuwen said all of that can save United States ethanol producers a lot of energy and money at current production levels:

  • Eliminating the need to evaporate thin stillage would save ethanol plants up to $800 million a year in energy costs.
  • Allowing more water recycling would reduce the industry’s water consumption by as much as 10 billion gallons per year. And it allows producers to recycle enzymes in the thin stillage, saving about $60 million per year.
  • Adding value and nutrients to the livestock feed produced by ethanol plants would grow the market for that feed by about $400 million per year.
  • And the researchers’ fungal process would improve the energy balance of ethanol production by reducing energy inputs so there is more of an energy gain.

Van Leeuwen estimated it would cost $11 million to start using the process in an ethanol plant that produces 100 million gallons of fuel per year. But, he said the cost savings at such a plant could pay off that investment in about six months.

Similar processes are being used to reclaim the liquid waste at hog farms, keeping polluting waste out of the water supply and providing fuel and manure at the same time. And I imagine that this fungal process would work with switchgrass and other non-edible raw materials.

Posted in energy, environment, farming, Good Things | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on June 6, 2008

You can probably guess what happened next.

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging, Lady Lightfoot | 3 Comments »

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