Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 11:14 AM   #21
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras

You don't need to wait 15-20 years. Advances in solar are being made all the time. And it certainly doesn't take 2 big square states to supply energy for one car. As for the area it will require, check out this blog for their estimate of how much land is required to supply enough electricity for 50% of the driving miles in the US (using solar panels): http://www.teslamotors.com/blog1/?p=22
Zathras (edited - I thought it was CFB, but it was Zathras quoting/replying to CFB), great link to tesla motors - I've been at the site before but never read that page - he says exactly what I suspected:
Quote:
If you want to use plants most effectively as an energy source for transportation, the best way is to burn them whole (no processing needed!) in a combined cycle biomass electric generator at 60% efficiency and use the output to charge electric vehicles. That requires no technology breakthroughs, uses the full energy content of the plant, and is far more efficient than refining a small part of the plant or even most of the plant, using cellulosic technology, into ethanol to power the 20% efficient internal combustion engines of cars.
Just burn the stuff - I love it, simple, straightforward. His assumptions are probably based on his fancy, expensive, not-shipped-yet lithium battery based car, but I think it is reasonably safe to assume we will have lithium (or some other) battery technology far better than current NIMH in ten years.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 11:25 AM   #22
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

I've heard of another reason to impose a flexible tax on oil: If any alternative fuel starts to gain a foothold, the petroleum industry will cut prices dramatically.
__________________

__________________
Al
TromboneAl is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 12:13 PM   #23
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MooreBonds's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: St. Louis
Posts: 2,091
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zathras
Most plants are actually natural gas plants. However, even if the electricity comes from a coal plant, it is 4-5 times more efficient than gasoline, so you are still way ahead of the game.
If I remember from my Intro to Civil Engineering class correctly....

Efficiency of Electricity Plant, from first burning of fuel to where you flip on the light switch (or plug in your electric vehicle): 35% (1/3 gets lost in heating the water to turn the turbine, and another 1/3 is lost in transmission)

Efficiency of Gasoline Engine in your car: about 25%-30%.
__________________
Dryer sheets Schmyer sheets
MooreBonds is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 12:45 PM   #24
Full time employment: Posting here.
CCdaCE's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 887
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds
If I remember from my Intro to Civil Engineering class correctly....

Efficiency of Electricity Plant, from first burning of fuel to where you flip on the light switch (or plug in your electric vehicle): 35% (1/3 gets lost in heating the water to turn the turbine, and another 1/3 is lost in transmission)

Efficiency of Gasoline Engine in your car: about 25%-30%.
Yep, important to discuss what "efficiencies" we are talking about here. Or, what point they are in the "system".

I mean, why not include the energy efficiency of mining the coal, transporting the coal, etc. And then on the other end, the efficiency of the car "engine" or motor or light bulb or whatever.

Something tells me this is all getting very carried away. On the other hand, thermodynamics is still smoke, mirrors, and magic even after basting myself in the topic for a over a year. Then you mix in the "goofyness" of percentages.

For instance, why does the coal fired power plant cool their water, why don't they just reheat the same water? Well, there's the enthalpy but don't confuse this with entropy.

-CC
__________________
"There's those thinkin' more or less, less is more, but if less is more, how you keepin' score?
It means for every point you make, your level drops. Kinda like you're startin' from the top..." "Society" - Eddie Vedder
CCdaCE is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 12:47 PM   #25
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I've heard of another reason to impose a flexible tax on oil: If any alternative fuel starts to gain a foothold, the petroleum industry will cut prices dramatically.
The 'petroleum industry' is a varied group of companies, cultures and countries. No one group has a majority share in the production of oil. While OPEC is big enough to have some clout, it has shown to be limited - Venezuela, Mexico, Russia and Canada don't always want to play the OPEC game. As far as I can tell, it is a free market. If it isn't a free market, then why is oil $58 a barrel today, instead of still being $78?

If alternate fuels become cost competitive with petroleum, supply/demand will set the price, as it does now. Until then, I pay whatever the sign says on the pump.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 01:10 PM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,026
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Efficiency of Electricity Plant, from first burning of fuel to where you flip on the light switch (or plug in your electric vehicle): 35% (1/3 gets lost in heating the water to turn the turbine, and another 1/3 is lost in transmission)
I think you"re high on the transmission an distribution losses. They are typically around 7% of the actual transmission load, or about 5% of the initial energy content of the fuel. You're about right on the power plant efficiency, though. So with 70% power plant efficiency and 5% transmission losses, that leaves 65% efficiency at the plug in your wall. Then you have to subtract the inefficiency of the battery charging/discharging and the inefficiency of the electric motor that drives the wheels. I would guess you lose another 25% (of the vehicle load, not the original energy in the power plant fuel) there, so the ultimate fuel efficiency of a battery-electric vehicle might be about 45-50%. To be fair you would have to compare this number not just to the fuel efficiency of an internal combustion engine, but also to the efficiency of the fuel delivery system (refining, piping, trucking).
__________________
scrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 01:34 PM   #27
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,616
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by ERD50
Just burn the stuff - I love it, simple, straightforward.
I think that puts us back to the 1930s... now get out there and buy more Hawaiian sugar!


__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 02:21 PM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 1,666
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrinch
To be fair you would have to compare this number not just to the fuel efficiency of an internal combustion engine, but also to the efficiency of the fuel delivery system (refining, piping, trucking).
Good points.
A well referenced white paper on just that subject can be found at http://www.teslamotors.com/display_d...lectricCar.pdf.

The power plant efficiency is based on a natural gas power plant. I am guessing coal is less efficient?
With a number of comparisons, the Tesla Roadster is about twice as efficient (well to wheel) as a Toyota Prius. Using electricity from natural gas it burns about 1/3 the co2. But more importantly, it uses no oil
__________________
"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
(Ancient Indian Proverb)"
Zathras is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 02:36 PM   #29
Full time employment: Posting here.
MikeD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 805
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
Resume deviant behavior.
Okey dokey.

Mike D.

PS - I think it's cool how much other people know about stuff I am ignorant about. I am surprised on a daily basis by people on message boards.
__________________
I just want to celebrate another day of livin'
I just want to celebrate another day of life

- R. Earth
MikeD is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 03:51 PM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
As far as I can tell, it is a free market.
I'll admit I don't know much about this, but I see things that suggest it's not a free market, such as record profits from Exxon, and gas prices that don't seem to drop as oil prices do.

Advances in alternative fuels live or die based on the cost of oil. I'd think that if OPEC felt threatened, it could squelch alternative fuel enthusiasm with a dramatic drop in prices.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 03:53 PM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,194
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Is there any scientific commission, analogous to the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that is looking into solutions to the energy problem?
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is online now   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 05:33 PM   #32
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

ERD50 said:
Quote:
As I understand it, the US does not have big reserves of natural gas, so converting NG to Methane (while it may be the most efficient method) isn't really addressing our energy problem.
Maybe I didn't clarify the right things, ERD (may I call you ERD? ). Natural gas is mostly methane, CH4, plus a few odds and ends that leak past the clean-up plant. Methane can be made into methanol, CH3OH, the lightest of the alcohols.

(Lecture continues. Plug iPod into ears. Select brew of choice.)

Making methanol from methane (AKA natural gas)--the movie:

Natural gas is heated up under pressure with steam, really hot. The mix is passed over a nickel-based catalyst inside a number of large (40 ft long x 6 or 8 inches diameter with a tube wall about half an inch or so thick), basically Ni-Chrome (metal similar to the wires in electric heaters) tubes that look like long cannons. These tubes are hanging straight down in rows in a huge insulated box filled with fire. When I was still in the business, I helped design a single such furnace that burned 1.2 billion BTUs per hour of mostly natural gas for fuel alone--the biggest in the world at that time. (We didn't tell the customer that. He would have panicked.) (As I recall, there were 770 tubes in that furnace. A real forest!)

Inside the tubes, the gases are heated much hotter and the steam reacts with the methane to form hydrogen and carbon monoxide: H2O + CH4 = 3 H2 + CO. We need extra water to push things along (which doesn't react, it just passes through) and we don't convert all the hydrocarbon (methane) to syngas, but that is the basic idea. This reaction absorbs heat, which is being supplied by the furnace-side of the tubes.

We capture all the heat in the flue gas and the hot syngas by making high pressure steam with it. (At about 1,500 psi. Very big medicine.) The steam drives steam turbines which drive big (the main one is ~ 50,000 HP) compressors.

The cold syngas is compressed by our big momma compressor up to around 100 atmospheres of pressure (and this is the modern LOW pressure process!). The syngas (= the make-up gas) is warmed up and passed through a large bed of a different catalyst (copper on zink oxide pellets). Here, the hydrogen and carbon monoxide react to make methanol, a reaction that gives off heat: 2 X H2 + CO = CH3OH. (Maybe you noticed that we only used two of the three hydrogen molecules. The excess H2 is eventually burned in the furnace, unless someone recovers it for some other use.) Only part of the CO is reacted each pass over the catalyst, maybe 4%, because of equilibrium. The effluent from the reactor is cooled until the methanol condenses out of the gases and is drained out of the 'loop' (as we call it). The unreacted gases go through a small compressor to make up for all the pressure drop in the loop and sent back to the reactor, together with the make-up gas.

The crude methanol (this process makes some 'cats and dogs' along with the good stuff) has to be distilled to remove the odds and ends and become pure enough to sell.

Oddly enough, all the monkey-motion is in balance. All of the waste heat is recovered so that generally, no extra fuel need be imported.

A hydrogen plant has the same front end, but the syngas is processed a little differently. Hydrogen plants generally export steam. There is more excess heat than we can use.

Methane is easy to use for feedstock. Other hydrocarbons up through gasoline can be made into syngas basically the same way. Anything heavier, up through coal, has to be gasified. This means partially burning it at high pressure in a bottle with steam and oxygen. The downstream stuff and the loop are the same as above.

End of lecture. Test at 11:00.

Professor Gypsy
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 05:34 PM   #33
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
If you want to use plants most effectively as an energy source for transportation, the best way is to burn them whole (no processing needed!) in a combined cycle biomass electric generator at 60% efficiency and use the output to charge electric vehicles. That requires no technology breakthroughs, uses the full energy content of the plant, and is far more efficient than refining a small part of the plant or even most of the plant, using cellulosic technology, into ethanol to power the 20% efficient internal combustion engines of cars.
I agree with this.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 05:46 PM   #34
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Ed, that was really interesting, thanks for sharing! Boy, a fella could get hurt in that forest!
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 05:56 PM   #35
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

ERD50 quoth thusly:
Quote:
As I understand it, the US does not have big reserves of natural gas, so converting NG to Methane (while it may be the most efficient method) isn't really addressing our energy problem.
There is a lot of natural gas in the world, but most of it is in places where it is hard to collect to be able to send somewhere else. That is why LNG (liquified natural gas) is becoming popular. Natural gas is liquified at VERY low temperatures and shipped as a liquid in big white spheres on ships. The natural gas market used to be all local because we couldn't ship it across the sea. We could only move it as far as the pipelines would take it. Now, it is becoming a world market.

There is a lot of natural gas associated with many crude oil deposits which comes up with the oil (surprise!--it is called 'associated gas'). If the oil well is at sea (off-shore platforms), it used to be simply flared (burned for no good reason except to get rid of it). The astronauts could see the flares in the Middle East from space. People are working very hard to capture this natural gas so it is not wasted. Some countries have rules that an oil company must do something useful with the associated gas or they can't produce the oil. (I once designed a floating methanol plant intended to make it possible for a big oil company to get oil out of the sea in the far east. I think they eventually decided that it couldn't be large enough, so they went with making LNG. LNG plants can be quite large relative to methanol plants as far as processing a given amount of natural gas.)

There is an enormous amount of natural gas tied up at the bottom of the ocean as something called 'hydrates'. At very low temperatures and at high pressures, natural gas forms a crystal with water. People are trying to figure out what to do with this stuff.

There is also a lot of natural gas dissolved in water very deep underground.

I don't think there will be any long-term shortages of natural gas.


[edited by the author becuz he cain't spel.]


__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #36
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

My pleasure, Laurence.

It is quite a firebox.

A fellow once told me a story about when he was starting up a similar plant in India. The operators would buy caged birds at the market. They would then have a little wager. They would open a view port in the wall of this furnace and release the birds into the furnace. They would bet on how many tubes a bird could fly past before getting fried.

Cheers,

Gypsy
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 06:03 PM   #37
Moderator Emeritus
laurence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 5,234
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

AHH!! Poor birds!
__________________
laurence is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 06:12 PM   #38
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Ed_The_Gypsy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: the City of Subdued Excitement
Posts: 5,292
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Yeah. Ugh.
__________________
my bumpersticker:
"I am not in a hurry.
I am retired.
And I don't care how big your truck is."
Ed_The_Gypsy is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 06:16 PM   #39
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
MasterBlaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,359
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
They would bet on how many tubes a bird could fly past before getting fried.
They do the same thing with new hires here at MegaCorp. They bring em in all enthusiastic and work em until the life is sucked right outta them.

We sometimes make bets on how long it takes before they flame out. We call it the caged bird in the furnace syndrome
__________________
MasterBlaster is offline   Reply With Quote
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars
Old 02-13-2007, 08:22 PM   #40
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,255
Re: Hydrogen Hoax and real Alternative Fuels for cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
I'll admit I don't know much about this, but I see things that suggest it's not a free market, such as record profits from Exxon, and gas prices that don't seem to drop as oil prices do.

Advances in alternative fuels live or die based on the cost of oil. I'd think that if OPEC felt threatened, it could squelch alternative fuel enthusiasm with a dramatic drop in prices.
RE: record profits from Exxon - When you are a big company and you sell a product that is in limited supply and high demand, you have an opportunity to make a nice profit. But, if you think it is out of line, better to attack Microsoft and Google first, and Starbucks is close behind:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exxon_Mobil
ExxonMobil's $36 billion in profits came on top of $370.6 billion in revenue, for a profit margin of 9.7%. In other words, Exxon netted 9.7 cents on each dollar of revenue it brought in. By contrast, Microsoft earned 30.8 cents for each dollar of revenue, and Google earned 23.9 cents for each dollar of revenue. Starbucks' profit margin was slightly lower than ExxonMobil's, at 7.8 cents for each dollar of revenue

RE: gas prices that don't seem to drop as oil prices do. - I remember gasoline over $3/gallon around me (northern IL) last summer. It is around $2.15 now. Tracking oil prices fairly well. There are other factors, refineries, seasonal formulation and distribution changes, but it tracks reasonable well, as far as I can see.

more from wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_pri...reases_of_2004




-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:36 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.