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Old 10-11-2008, 09:46 PM   #21
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& we're going to leave the opium trade to the Taliban? I'm sure that'll help things (if you're an addict)
Actually, there was not much of an opium trade in Afghanistan under the Taliban. It's amazing what an instantaneous death penalty will do. They are using it now to fund their war with us, but I suspect if we leave them to their own devices eventually they'll ban it again. Just FYI. Afghanistan: Drug War Yields to Terror War as Rumsfeld Glad-Hands Drug Dealing Warlords
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Old 10-11-2008, 10:10 PM   #22
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Actually, there was not much of an opium trade in Afghanistan under the Taliban. It's amazing what an instantaneous death penalty will do. They are using it now to fund their war with us, but I suspect if we leave them to their own devices eventually they'll ban it again. Just FYI. Afghanistan: Drug War Yields to Terror War as Rumsfeld Glad-Hands Drug Dealing Warlords
Oh, Ok - didn't know that.

Well, let's just pack our bags then. If we have any future problems with them, well that's what air/missile power is for.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:02 AM   #23
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Perhaps I'm cynical, but I don't believe the collective memory will last long enough unless it does turn out to be as bad as the 30's, which is highly unlikely. That was enough to impress an entire generation and many of the next one.

Gas prices down to $3.15/gallon at the moment, so some will be sorry (temporarily) that they sold their SUV for a song and got an overpriced scooter. When it rebounds to $5/gallon (and it will, eventually) then they'll call themselves predictive. So I think things will go along as they did in the 90's - slow & steady progress but nothing dramatic. Then another runup in something (biologics?) and another crash. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then will come one that calls for the national debt to be paid. That one's gonna hurt.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #24
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What if, this time, it really is different?

...

One scenario might be as follows:

most new vehicles are hybrids or hydrogen fuel cells. Oil consumption has flattened
Sorry, couldn't let this one pass. Remember the Hydrogen Hoax thread?

It takes ENERGY to put hydrogen in that fuel cell. Hydrogen is not an energy source, it is for energy storage.

Don't think of Hydrogen as ENERGY, but think of an empty Hydrogen tank the same as a discharged battery. You fill it up (or charge it) with energy (hydrogen or electricity). So what it boils down to - is it more efficient to:

1) form the hydrogen (maybe a reformer in your garage or a 'filling station', or electrolysis to convert electricity/water to hydrogen), store it until ready to use
2) pump it into your car's tank,
3) use a fuel cell to convert the hydrogen from chemical to electrical energy, and ....finally...
4) use that electrical energy to drive the motor of the car.

Hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuel (hydro-carbons). It can also be produced by electrolysis (water - H2O and electricity). Of course, you cannot get more energy out than you put in. So....

Compare using that same electrical energy in an all-electric vehicle.

1) Electricity charges battery (electrical to chemical conversion,a pretty eff process)
2) Battery converts chemical changes to electricity to drive the motor of the car. done.

-ERD50
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Sorry, couldn't let this one pass. Remember the Hydrogen Hoax thread?

It takes ENERGY to put hydrogen in that fuel cell. Hydrogen is not an energy source, it is for energy storage.

Don't think of Hydrogen as ENERGY, but think of an empty Hydrogen tank the same as a discharged battery. You fill it up (or charge it) with energy (hydrogen or electricity). So what it boils down to - is it more efficient to:

1) form the hydrogen (maybe a reformer in your garage or a 'filling station', or electrolysis to convert electricity/water to hydrogen), store it until ready to use
2) pump it into your car's tank,
3) use a fuel cell to convert the hydrogen from chemical to electrical energy, and ....finally...
4) use that electrical energy to drive the motor of the car.

Hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuel (hydro-carbons). It can also be produced by electrolysis (water - H2O and electricity). Of course, you cannot get more energy out than you put in. So....

Compare using that same electrical energy in an all-electric vehicle.

1) Electricity charges battery (electrical to chemical conversion,a pretty eff process)
2) Battery converts chemical changes to electricity to drive the motor of the car. done.

-ERD50
ERD50, good explanation. I have told this to at least a dozen hydrogen zealots, and their eyes just glaze over. I think your battery analogy is a good teaching aid.

This whole hydrogen fantasy is a form of religion, a Hail Mary for the Eco-Freaks.

Ha
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:06 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Sorry, couldn't let this one pass. Remember the Hydrogen Hoax thread?

It takes ENERGY to put hydrogen in that fuel cell. Hydrogen is not an energy source, it is for energy storage.

Don't think of Hydrogen as ENERGY, but think of an empty Hydrogen tank the same as a discharged battery. You fill it up (or charge it) with energy (hydrogen or electricity). So what it boils down to - is it more efficient to:

1) form the hydrogen (maybe a reformer in your garage or a 'filling station', or electrolysis to convert electricity/water to hydrogen), store it until ready to use
2) pump it into your car's tank,
3) use a fuel cell to convert the hydrogen from chemical to electrical energy, and ....finally...
4) use that electrical energy to drive the motor of the car.

Hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuel (hydro-carbons). It can also be produced by electrolysis (water - H2O and electricity). Of course, you cannot get more energy out than you put in. So....

Compare using that same electrical energy in an all-electric vehicle.

1) Electricity charges battery (electrical to chemical conversion,a pretty eff process)
2) Battery converts chemical changes to electricity to drive the motor of the car. done.

-ERD50
Well said ERD50!
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Old 10-12-2008, 12:52 PM   #27
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This whole hydrogen fantasy is a form of religion, a Hail Mary for the Eco-Freaks.

Ha
Religion is right - I am just amazed at how often I hear the phrase "hydrogen powered cars" spoken as if it were the Holy Grail of environmental friendliness. "The exhaust is just water vapor!". The world's problems are solved, if only we switched to hydrogen...


Even though I love NPR's Science Friday show/podcasts, the usual host, Ira Flatow, speaks like this. And he should know better. On a recent show, he was saying mockingly, that Fuel Cells were first developed in 1838 - and the technology just "sat on a shelf!". Well, there is a good reason - it wasn't efficient enough! It's not some giant conspiracy.

People forget that oil already had all the energy put into it a long, long time ago. All we have to do is pump it, process it a bit, and burn it. Yes, that has environmental issues - but the energy is almost free for the taking. That is tough to compete with. $200 a barrel oil only seems expensive, until you consider the alternatives.

And for those who don't know or remember from my previous posts - I *am* in favor of alternative energies for environmental reasons. But we have to be realistic about the economics of it.

-ERD50
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Old 10-12-2008, 01:19 PM   #28
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Perhaps I'm cynical, but I don't believe the collective memory will last long enough unless it does turn out to be as bad as the 30's, which is highly unlikely. That was enough to impress an entire generation and many of the next one.
not cynical. quite to the point. i didn't learn a thing from past crashes.

in the 1970s i lived in a beach condo on an island and then in a florida waterfront home with a big boat out back. i'd hear a large engine outside and didn't know if it was a friend with a hot car out front or a quick boat out back and off we'd ride into the sunset, after dinner, smoking a joint out in the ocean (hopefully we took the boat).

looking back, my parents probably had a tough time. not poverty tough, but likely not what they wanted. i didn't realize it then, but for a few years they did cut back on vacations & other spending. probably boating trips were cut short, though fuel was still cheap. i recall mom wrote out on her family-famous 3x5 cards (what we always thought was amazing organizing skills but in retrospect might have been her way of coping with alzheimer's) each week's menu, probably so she'd only purchase requirements and not waste money.

but i still received allowance for doing house chores (clean pool, scrub decks, wash cars, take out the garbage, landscape). also i had a part time job. at the time, i thought i was flush in money. crash? what crash? inflation? who knew? not me.

in the 80s i was working and making a decent living, nothing to brag about but it kept me in a nice condo with swimming pool near beach, i had company car and expenses, i contributed to 401k just as a matter of routine, not with any goal in mind, simply because saving money was a part of making money. i rebalanced unknowingly because i liked the accounts to look neat (we had an option of like 8 or so funds so, not knowing what i was doing, i just kept an equal amount in each). crash? what crash? 1987? i hadn't a clue. didn't affect me, not one bit.

i look at the life of my niece and nephews now. my eldest nephew is away at school in his own apartment on a lake with boats out back and tennis courts in front, just a short walk from the brand new, extremely amazing campus gymnasium. my niece is pushing for her second horse so she can ride western without ruining the training she's put into her english jumper. ya think she's gotta clue? my youngest nephew, all he knows is computer games. just 13, he shouldn't have to know more. enjoy.

listening to some talking tv head the other day i learned that 60% of those who contribute to a 401k never make changes to it. it stays set from where ever it started. what do they know? anyone who hasn't lost a job, what crash?

i'm a news junkie especially now in strange times. i can not understand when i turn on the tv why these lame shows are playing. i should see news about the economy on every channel. not commercials, not sitcoms, not poorly conceived drama, just news about this crash. what crash?

food lines. we aren't even following food trucks to the supermarkets yet like those in the southeast after ike followed fuel trucks to their next dispensary. so maybe we won't be on line for bread & soup. our shelves are stocked. where are the food lines? what do they mean that there's no money?

though i always saved money, i never thought in terms of retirement until i retired. and now that i'm experiencing the very first crash (as far as i was ever aware) of my lifetime, i'm seriously considering going back to work and i am taking immediate steps to reduce or halt reductions of principal where that is within my ready control.

this is not the life i thought i'd have. having no market to sell to, i can't sell out now and vagabond like i had planned. though i didn't learn from past crashes, i still have some skills.

what i learned so far from this fire sale (& i am hoping there are not too many lessons but i am afraid there will be) is how quickly exits can be blocked. what i have learned not from past crashes, but from past experience of simply living my life is that no matter what happens, no matter where i am, it matters less what is happening to me and more what i do and how i think about it. live and learn.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
Hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuel (hydro-carbons). It can also be produced by electrolysis (water - H2O and electricity). Of course, you cannot get more energy out than you put in. So....

-ERD50
You can't get any more energy out of anything than was put in. At least not in this universe. Hydrogen is currently expensive but many people would like to see where we could go with fuel cells and similar technologies to work toward a different future. Don't you think that over the next decades solar powered electrolysis could be cheaply producing hydrogen? Who knows, maybe advances in other solar powered technologies would make hydrogen a dead end but until it proves to be so I don't thinks we should ignore it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:28 PM   #30
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You can't get any more energy out of anything than was put in. At least not in this universe. Hydrogen is currently expensive but many people would like to see where we could go with fuel cells and similar technologies to work toward a different future. Don't you think that over the next decades solar powered electrolysis could be cheaply producing hydrogen? Who knows, maybe advances in other solar powered technologies would make hydrogen a dead end but until it proves to be so I don't thinks we should ignore it.
Hydrogen may be produced sometime, by solar or nuclear. But it will not be cheap because these power sources will not be cheap. And since it is only a storage medium, and a dangerous and difficult to handle one at that, why not look at more promising storage media? Given the power to produce it (and no more power is required than to produce H2, methanol is a safe, liquid, easily handled transportation fuel that is proven in IC engines, that can power fuel cells, and that can be handled by current gasoline handling infrastructure- pipelines, service stations, etc. It can be blended with gasoline for ICE fuel, or used straight up as generations of hot-rodders know well.

It can be produced by sequestering carbon from power plant exhaust gases, and reacting with modest amounts of H2. Eventually it could even be produced form the air and seawater, again like the H2 case, via energy consuming reactions. These are not energy producing reactions, they are ways to transform static power into transportation fuel. Which is the main problem now and for a good long time.

Although it would mess up the future for some of the people who are looking forward to a long brutish descent into depression and pre-industrial life.

ha
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:44 PM   #31
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Hydrogen may be produced sometime, by solar or nuclear. But it will not be cheap because these power sources will not be cheap.

Given the power to produce it (and no more power is required than to produce H2, methanol is a safe...


Eventually it could even be produced form the air and seawater, again like the H2 case, via energy consuming reactions. These are not energy producing reactions, they are ways to transform static power into transportation fuel. Which is the main problem now and for a good long time.
This is not an area I am very knowledgeable about. I worry a bit about methanol today because I wonder how much we can realistically grow. I wasn't aware of techniques that could lead to synthetic production from seawater -- that sounds great, if possible, and worth some research bucks. In general I think we should be exploring anything that can wean us away from Mideast oil, including nuclear, solar, wind, ethanol, hydrogen, at al. I was a proponent of taxing the sh** out of gas in the 70s so we could head in a different direction. If we had gone in that direction then there is no telling where we would be today. Yeah, yeah, I know how some of you feel about such a Gov intervention - broke and third world But I see this a more of a national security issue than anything else.
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:51 PM   #32
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Hydrogen may be produced sometime, by solar or nuclear. But it will not be cheap because these power sources will not be cheap. And since it is only a storage medium, and a dangerous and difficult to handle one at that, why not look at more promising storage media? Given the power to produce it (and no more power is required than to produce H2, methanol is a safe, liquid, easily handled transportation fuel that is proven in IC engines, that can power fuel cells, and that can be handled by current gasoline handling infrastructure- pipelines, service stations, etc. It can be blended with gasoline for ICE fuel, or used straight up as generations of hot-rodders know well.
I'm all for this solution as long as you can assure me that it won't significantly decrease production or increase the price of ethanol (booze). Given the choice of driving long distances cheaply vs. a short but expensive drive to a nearby bar for high-quality but inexpensive booze, I choose option B.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:51 PM   #33
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I worry a bit about methanol today because I wonder how much we can realistically grow.
I think you may be thinking of ethanol. Methanol has been produced from wood waste and biomass- hence its old term "wood alcohol". But it is mostly produced by synthetic industrail processes.

Methanol has been produced from coal, via the production of Syn-Gas, which contains both H2 and CO, giving both the carbon and the hydrogen necessary to make methanol through the Fischer-Tropsch process. The Germans used this in WW2 to make gasoline and diesel when they were cut off from oil supplies in North Africa and Romania. The South Africans used it until the collapse of apartheid and the re-opening of their markets. There are however much more efficient chemical reaction sequences being tested in pilot plants and there is considerable commercial production which is entirely synthetic.

ha
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:01 PM   #34
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I think you may be thinking of ethanol. Methanol has been produced from wood waste and biomass- hence its old term "wood alcohol". But it is mostly produced by synthetic industrail processes.
Based on this thread the reasonable conclusion is that I have been using methanol.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:08 AM   #35
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Based on this thread the reasonable conclusion is that I have been using methanol.
Well, that explains the brain damage!

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Old 10-13-2008, 09:04 AM   #36
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:11 AM   #37
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Given the choice of driving long distances cheaply vs. a short but expensive drive to a nearby bar for high-quality but inexpensive booze, I choose option B.
What harley said!
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