I have been complaining about the garbage corn and soy they grow here in Missouri! You can't eat it, and it goes to highly subsidized fuel that rots your engines, starves the world, and uses more fossil fuel to grow than you get out ! (Exaggeration allowed)
Horrid stuff! And McAirplane will be no better.
This sounds like an excellent invention indeed. But how much energy is consumed in the production of this fuel? Currently the ethyl alcohol fuel requires more energy to produce than it delivers, so it is a negative-sum option, aside from taking corn out of the food market. It seems like there must be a fair amount of processing of the raw plants before actual fuel is realized, and not much of that process is free, (I don't think it is free), so there is some sort of cost involved. When will we hear about that side of the story?
Note that I am not attacking this new product, just hoping to understand it quite a bit better.
How soon until this is an option for automobiles? Synthetic fuel is nothing new. WWII say coal based fuel power an entire army. The USA tried to keep research on it going, but gasoline was just so much cheaper. However, now... I think it is time to go back.
I especially like the fact that this plant source can grow in semi-arid regions where regular crops do not compete for finite farmland resource. If I'm reading this correctly, it could not only increase productive land acreage, but could also be a new source of revenue for farmers.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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