Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a ‘Clean’ Fuel


** Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a ‘Clean’ Fuel**

MOUNDVILLE, Ala. — After residents of the Riverbend Farms subdivision noticed that an oily, fetid substance had begun fouling the Black Warrior River, which runs through their backyards, Mark Storey, a retired petroleum plant worker, hopped into his boat to follow it upstream to its source.
It turned out to be an old chemical factory that had been converted into Alabama’s first biodiesel plant, a refinery that intended to turn soybean oil into earth-friendly fuel.

“I’m all for the plant,” Mr. Storey said. “But I was really amazed that a plant like that would produce anything that could get into the river without taking the necessary precautions.”

But the oily sheen on the water returned again and again, and a laboratory analysis of a sample taken in March 2007 revealed that the ribbon of oil and grease being released by the plant — it resembled Italian salad dressing — was 450 times higher than permit levels typically allow, and that it had drifted at least two miles downstream.

It would be fun to mock the treehuggers but everybody needs to realise that nothing is really “clean” – you have to refine even biodiesel and it’s going to pollute when it burns.

I never counted myself as an environmentalist, but I gravitate towards left-wing causes (although in the 2000 and 2004 elections, I supported Bush, but this person became more liberal when he stopped watching YGO! and used his free time learning about biology and ethics). I think enough empirical evidence has surfaced to demonstrate that biofuels are not ecofriendly. Personally, I am not too worried about global warming, but I am more concerned about an energy crisis. (In other words, Al Gore doesn’t scare me, Matt Savinar does.) I am worried that a shortages in precious metals might halt the proliferation of solar energy as current thin film technologies such CIGS and CdTe. I wonder if there would be enough indium and tellurium for the proliferation of solar. And in the really long run… there is a finite supply of fissile uranium (i.e. the 235 isotope) although one can breed the fissile Pu-239 from U-238. It doesn’t seem that asteroid mining will solve these problems in the coming decadess.

Well, that’s certianly a sound and well reasoned conclusion:thumbsup:

Almost anything you burn is going to pollute to some degree. Some things are dirtier than others, of course. Hydrogen is the only thing that you can burn that won’t put something potentially harmful in the atmosphere.

And anything that you manufacture, involves materials and processes that can be harmful, if you don’t properly handle them.

That’s how it is.

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