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Old 05-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #76
TheMercenary
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We need to get the Chinese and Indian governments on board with the same standards for reducing CO2 emissions before we talk. It does not mean we can't do things here in the US, because there is certainly enough that we can do at home. Just don't tell me I have to be constrained when some of the worst polluters get a pass.
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:05 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by bluesdave View Post
...People who push ethanol think that it somehow magically emerges from sugarcane, and can be simply syphoned off into their car. No way.
bluesdave - you can burn pure sugar in your car right now. And to prove it, I just poured a bag in my wife's gas tank.
[What's that? Your car won't start? That's very strange. ]

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... We cannot give up. Don't you care about what future generations will say about us? I know we will not be around to hear the criticism, but I do not want to be tarred with that brush, thank you all the same.
Someday our kids or grandkids will come to us and say, "You knew this was happening? Why didn't you do something about it while there was still time?"

And what will we tell them?
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Old 05-26-2007, 04:19 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
Just don't tell me I have to be constrained when some of the worst polluters get a pass.
Notice how constrained TheMercenary is because he cannot burn leaded gas. But when hyping fear, TheMercenary forgets previous examples of innovation and resulting jobs created by addressing environmental and energy problems. Instead he promotes fear of a 2 year old - "They won't let me do that ... wa-a-a-a-a-h."

Meanwhile countries who address global warming early will be getting rich selling those products to other nations who will eventually also have to use that technology. Those who are patriotic American - love to innovate - understand the resulting rewards. Those who are wacko conservative - fear any change - instead fear they might have to change; might have to use innovations.

What TheMercenary posts were exact same 1970 reasons for removing pollution control laws from all cars. I tired of those fools then and the silly TheMercenary today who never learned why those 1970 2year olds were also fools. It’s called being a good extremist conservative - fears innovation - fear being a patriotic American. Smart people instead will advance mankind by innovating - developing new products that all others will have to consume.

TheMercenary - you again ignore the repeatedly posted example - oxygen senors. Or why Germans earn profits from cars all over the world because the Germans innovated - addressed pollution and energy problems.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:36 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by HLJ View Post
Someday our kids or grandkids will come to us and say, "You knew this was happening? Why didn't you do something about it while there was still time?"

And what will we tell them?
I thought that I had already made that same point.

You obviously have not read my posts on what my project is doing. We are not finding solutions. We are trying to assist land users in Australia to better handle our changing climate. We are not engineers, nor designers. Never claimed to be.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:51 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by HLJ View Post
Someday our kids or grandkids will come to us and say, "You knew this was happening? Why didn't you do something about it while there was still time?"

And what will we tell them?
I will tell your grandchildren, I did more for them than your grandfather did for me.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:56 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by bluesdave View Post
I thought that I had already made that same point.

You obviously have not read my posts on what my project is doing. We are not finding solutions. We are trying to assist land users in Australia to better handle our changing climate. We are not engineers, nor designers. Never claimed to be.
Unlike an offical document or scientific report, points are fleeting here. That must be why tw repeats himself so much.
You aren't engineers or designers but you understand their speak, as well or better than most.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:01 AM   #82
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tw, when you mentioned GWB I assumed that you were singing your usual song about misspent government funds. I apologise if I took your comments out of context - although it is interesting that you then sang that song in your next post.

I knew later last night that I should not have used the compression of hydrogen as an example. I agree that it is a poor example. I was simply trying to say that hydrogen can be produced relatively cheaply, utilising the output from recycling systems. I should have mentioned solar cells. Sure, they are not suitable for all locations, but down here we have plenty of sunshine. Some fellow Aussies are involved in this research, and also here. Here is a press release from a few years back that summarises some of their research.

The CSIRO is also involved in hydrogen research.

And then of course there is this link that I posted a few days ago, and you guys chose to dismiss as nonsense.

So guys, you surely can see that there are people out there trying to find some answers, and it seems to me that they are making progress. It is going to take many years of research before we see really solid results.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:09 AM   #83
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I think it's important to keep in mind there is and never will be a magic bullet. There has to be many parallel solutions, tailored to the local, for energy conservation/production.
Looking for a one cure fits all is the surest way to kill progress because as soon as they find a solution that's economically viable, research money starts to dry up.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:16 AM   #84
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Thanks Bruce. I could not have put it better myself.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:46 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by bluesdave View Post
Robert Zubrin is relying on the readers of his article to be untrained in chemistry. It sounds impressive to those readers. His costings do not reflect potential savings in mass production if hydrogen was widely used in our day to day lives. Do not forget that plasma televisions were several times their current price, only a few years ago. The same economic principle applies to nearly all manufacturing.

Every means of providing energy is going to involve the use of energy in the production of the base materials. Until we find some magic energy cell, that will always be the case. Some of the waste recycling prototypes that I have seen, produce hydrogen as a byproduct. This could be compressed and marketed. Obviously these methods would only produce large quantities of hydrogen if they were implemented on a large scale. I am simply saying that it does not have to be an expensive exercise.
wait, for an answer you simply character attack zubrin? No, i dont think zubrins trying to fool people and i dont rely on him for my information. Its a simple reasoning and all the information is elsewhere. I just pointed out the article because he puts it all together in an easy to understand essay. Since you did not read the article i will restate the point.

Hydrogen is not and energy source!!
Hydrogen is simply an energy storage and transmission method and a very inefficient one.
Hydrogen is made from steam reforming natural gas or from electrolysis. The current cheapest and most efficient method is through reforming natural gas but that does not solve anything. You are still have more energy wasted and produce more carbon than just simply burning the natural gas. Using electrolysis is much more expensive and you can only get about 50% of the energy converted.

The reason people think hydrogen is the fuel of the future is that they see a fuel cell, you put hydrogen in it and you get out water and energy. No wast and no carbon. But considering the whole problem including production of hydrogen and its the worst and most inefficient method. The only way to get a hydrogen economy is to massively increase electricity production and the only reasonable way to do that is to start building 100's of nuclear fuel plants now. If you do build the excess electricity production hydrogen still does not make sense. Its more efficient just to have a pure electric car and just charge it.

Here is the information from a nuclear industry paper May 2007. The whole paper is worth reading its very clear and not to technical.

Quote:
Nuclear power already produces electricity as a major energy carrier. It is well placed to produce hydrogen if this becomes a major energy carrier also.

The evolution of nuclear energy's role in hydrogen production over perhaps three decades is seen to be:

* electrolysis of water, using off-peak capacity,
* use of nuclear heat to assist steam reforming of natural gas,
* high-temperature electrolysis of steam, using heat and electricity from nuclear reactors, then
* high-temperature thermochemical production using nuclear heat.

Efficiency of the whole process (primary heat to hydrogen) then moves from about 25% with today's reactors driving electrolysis (33% for reactor x 75% for cell) to 36% with more efficient reactors doing so, to 45% for high-temperature electrolysis of steam, to about 50% or more with direct thermochemical production.*

* From hydrogen to electric drive is only 30-40% efficient at this stage, giving 15-20% overall primary heat to wheels, compared with 25-30% for PHEV.

Low-temperature electrolysis using nuclear electricity is undertaken on a fairly small scale today, but the cost of hydrogen from it is higher (one source says: $4-6 per kg, compared with $1.00-1.50 from natural gas, but another source says cost will be same as electricity @ 4c/kWh when natural gas is US$ 9.50/GJ - cf $7 in July 2005).

High-temperature electrolysis (at 800°C or more) has been demonstrated, and shows considerable promise. US research is at Idaho National Laboratory in conjunction with Ceramatec.
So for alternative fuels there are really 2 choices, hydrogen which will take decades to implement, hundreds of nuclear power plants, and a whole new infrastructure plus some break through in storage. Or you can use biofuels which can be done now, use all the same infrastructure and combustion engines and be close to carbon neutral. The only reason hydrogen is pushed is because big energy companies would control the production of power plants and and the infrastructure. With biofuels entry costs are much lower and small players could compete with big energy so there is little interest. Ethanol from corn is probably not a very good idea but the farm industry supports it so its popular in the US.

I dont know how you could have missed to problems with a hydrogen economy. Just look anywhere on the internet for information. Even wiki has picked it up.

This is a good place to read about it here and here. It explains better than i can and in a very short format. Please read it before answering.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:11 PM   #86
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snip~ Its more efficient just to have a pure electric car and just charge it.~snip
Nope, you won't make mileage, refueling time, or performance targets to make them acceptable to the public. That said, they should keep trying.
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snip~ With biofuels entry costs are much lower and small players could compete with big energy so there is little interest. Ethanol from corn is probably not a very good idea but the farm industry supports it so its popular in the US. ~snip
The problem there is they have yet to discover how to do the biofuels, anywhere near efficiently or economically without using corn, cane or some other high sugar plant. High sugar plants are energy intensive to produce and end up being energy storage/transfer systems rather than an energy source.
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:05 PM   #87
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Nope, you won't make mileage, refueling time, or performance targets to make them acceptable to the public. That said, they should keep trying.
Pure electric car yes, you are right, they not ready yet. I was saying given 30 years and unlimited electricity, you might just want to electrify everything, i was comparing that to the hydrogen car option. I think what makes sense now and for the foreseeable future is hybrid electric/ethanol. That car would be electric for short drives around town and you would use the ethanol for between city driving. They already have user modified cars that will do this.

Quote:
The problem there is they have yet to discover how to do the biofuels, anywhere near efficiently or economically without using corn, cane or some other high sugar plant. High sugar plants are energy intensive to produce and end up being energy storage/transfer systems rather than an energy source.
There's a place for ethanol produced by corn, sugar crops are better. I think the corn gets more support than it deserves for political reasons and its probably not the best way to make biofuel but certainly doable for now. There are going to be lots of ways to make biofuel. Food crops for now, in the long run maybe algae and bacterial digestion of cellulose.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:20 PM   #88
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We should never say something(hydrogen) will never be feasible and we're wasting resources by continuing to work on that. Innovations can't be scheduled, and not only a breakthrough in the direction your going, but an entirely new avenue to pursue might be discovered.
Look how many things have been discovered accidentally.

Further, the research should be open, reports published, then peer reviewed. That way no hanky panky, or suppression of discoveries. If peer review picks it apart, there may be others that feel the bad review is not justified, or even agree with the review but spot a nugget in the report that jibes with something they found themselves and sets them off in a new direction.

Now keep in mind, I'm coming up with this as an outsider, just from the bitches I've read, from researchers, about the system. The politics and egos involved in funding keeps them from being too daring in their requests or conclusions.
How far do you think $2 billion a week would go to solve that problem?
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:24 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by bluesdave View Post
I thought that I had already made that same point.

You obviously have not read my posts on what my project is doing. We are not finding solutions. We are trying to assist land users in Australia to better handle our changing climate. We are not engineers, nor designers. Never claimed to be.
bluesdave - I was actually reinforcing what you said. I was just trying to express it from a different point of view.

(I don't even plan to have kids, much less grandkids. I think that that is the single most environmentally damaging thing that the average person does or can do.)
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:55 PM   #90
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Eschaton, I provided links to university departments, and well respected academic research institutions, and you supply web sites written by individuals. Now before you go off in a huff, just hear me out. For a start the people who argue against hydrogen cells are basing their arguments on existing production methods of hydrogen. I have said several times in this thread that people are working on extracting the hydrogen from waste recycling plants, ideally using solar cells as the power source. Yes, the initial building of the plants will be expensive, but once they are up and running, they are relatively cheap to operate.

Electric cars are a great innovation, but what people forget is that if you live in a country that relies on coal powered electricity generation, you are not using clean energy to top up the batteries. Also, if your country or state uses hydroelectricity, and you are in a drought, that is also a problem.

I am glad that you said sugar crops, rather than sugarcane, because sugarcane is a lousy method of producing ethanol. It is a lousy method to produce sugar. Sugarcane strips the soil of all nutrients, and requires huge volumes of water, and fertiliser. Because it is typically grown on the coastal strip, the excess fertiliser is washed into rivers, then into the sea. This is causing a tremendous problem here, in our Great Barrier Reef.

If you are prepared to wait 30 years for the perfect electric car to be produced, why are you not prepared to wait that long for hydrogen research?

I agree with both you and tw, that today, using current technology, hydrogen cells are not going to be common place. I am putting my faith in the researchers I have cited, and others, and hope that they will find a solution. You say that you are looking to the future. Well, try it. I don't want to fight with you, because we both have the same goal. To clean up our environment.

As Bruce said, maybe one day a researcher will find something new that will cancel out all of our arguments. I will not be unhappy if this is the case. I want a workable solution. I do not own shares in a hydrogen cell production company. If hydrogen loses out to something much better, that is great. So be it. Let's be friends, and not enemies.
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