<<  <  Page 5/5
Elizabeth M
User Rank
Re: depends on the cost and the benefit
Elizabeth M   1/17/2013 2:22:16 PM
I am sure your cost argument is valid but I wonder how much of that argument comes from a culture that is entrenched in how things have always been done and doesn't want to branch out and make the effort to do something new with the waste. I suppose it will take efforts like DuPont's (which I applaud, by the way) to see how this can be both environmentally and financially sound for all parties involved. Maybe you're right and it's policy that will change things and support this so it benefits the farmers as well.

User Rank
depends on the cost and the benefit
naperlou   1/17/2013 1:48:22 PM
Ann, don't get me wrong, but I still have to wonder about the economics of this.  After one of your previous articles I was down on a farm here in Illinois.  I asked the fatmer about it.  He had significant corn stubble left in his fields.  He was aware of the opportunity, but pointed out that he would have to bundle the stalks for them to be used.  The indication was that it was not worth the cost.  Costs include fuel, equipment wear and farmer time (and wear). 

Getting the most from a raw material is very attractive from a social and environmental point of view.  The problem comes in the economics.  There was a recent article I saw about ethanol producers trying to get more out of the corn by developing secondary products.  One was a protien that could be used to make plastics.  So, even using the "leftovers" from a process, it turns out that it is cheaper to petroleum based products for the same purpose.  These are the kind of engineering trade studies I have seen in a myriad of businesses. 

It may take tax and environmental policies to tip the scales. 

<<  <  Page 5/5

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
The term “autopilot” is now at the heart of a growing debate between Tesla Motors Inc. and Germany’s Federal Motor Transport Authority.
A make-your-own Star Wars Sith Lightsaber hilt is heftier and better-looking than most others out there, according to its maker, Sean Charlesworth. You can 3D print it from free source files, and there's even a hardware kit available -- not free -- so you can build one just in time for Halloween.
Highly regarded engineer and physicist Ransom Stephens speaks with Design News about his extensive science and engineering background, the serious yet funny study of neuroscience, and how one primes their brain for innovation.
It's your turn to cast your vote for one of these 12 finalists to win the ARM TechCon Reader's Choice Award for the most innovative product of the past year.
While supercapacitors and rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries both store energy, these two technologies are very different in their design and in their performance capabilities.
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Oct 10 - 14, Embedded System Design Techniques™: Getting Started Developing Professional Embedded Software
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6 |  7 | 8 | 9 | 10

Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Course September 27-29:
Sponsored by 3M
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2016 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service