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#76 2023-01-01 05:48:05

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For Calliban re #75

Your post is a welcome addition to the topic!

I have decided to revise the Topic Title to include natural fuel in addition to synthetic.  The common thread is use of solar power to produce the fuel.

Your post about the benefits of use of wood tipped the balance.

Just an Earth day or two ago, I was led to ask Google about the history of diesel fuel, while the discussion in this or nearby topics was running strong.

There was a dispute between two Internet correspondents about the first fuel mixture used by Dr. Diesel in Germany, to invent and perfect the diesel engine.

The dispute was between powdered coal floating in water, and peanut oil.  Wikipedia came to the rescue.  Both were right!  Dr. Diesel experimented with coal powder in water before changing to peanut oil, and he perfected his engine design using peanut oil just in time for (I believe) the 1900 World's Fair.

I'm looking for a solution that is scalable to the entire human race.  It is understandable that each individual thinks about his or her individual family needs, and that is in fact how the economy works in a capitalist system.  Wood is definitely a practical heating option, but like coal, it ** does ** have the disadvantage of creating solid waste that has to be disposed of.

Regarding the thermal store you were considering .... in a very recent scan of Internet articles, I ran across a report of a vertical energy storage system. That particular application was storage of hydrogen, in a vertical storage system that drops to 3000 feet below the surface, and where the actual storage component starts 1000 feet below the surface.  These depths might not be needed for a home energy storage system.  The advantage of using the vertical facility to store hydrogen is that there is little concern about temperature or loss due to migration of the hydrogen into the regolity.  In the facility cited, the regolith was a salt layer left over from ancient seas.  A practical energy storage systemfor a home would (presumably) need to line the cavity with something to limit or reduce energy flow to the regolith.  On the ** other ** hand, if you drill deep enough, the Earth itself solves the problem by at least matching the temperature of your stored material.

SearchTerm:Wood as a practical over-winter home heating option for some locations on Earth

(th)

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#77 2023-01-01 06:03:16

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

The title of this topic has been revised as of 2023/01/01:

Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

Over 100 years ago, coal powder suspended in water was considered as a possible energy carrier for the diesel engine.

In 2023, wood remains a viable alternative fuel for home heating, in many parts of the world.  Wood has some definite advantages, and it also has some disadvantages, due to the non-burnable material that is part of the mix.  A wood burning heating system requires more periodic maintenance than is the case for a gas or even an oil powered system

The Sun provides more than enough energy so that the material needs of every human living on Earth could be met, if we (humans) could organize ourselves to achieve that state.  The driving force of Capitalism is Selfishness, and often it's close cousin, Greed.   The idea of providing the Sun's (free) energy to people who haven't "earned" it goes against the Capitalist dogma.

If someone can think of a way to enlist Capitalism to meet the needs of everyone on Earth, I'd be quite surprised.  The Earth's population includes billions of children, and billions of retired persons.  The Earth's population includes billions of care givers whose contributions are not valued, but which are in fact vital to the continued existence of the race.

Update a bit later: A related subtopic is how to best use waste from production of oil from plants.

This resource is about the waste from production of peanut oil: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550843/

An issue of concern with mass production of a single plant is monoculture vulnerability.  If peanuts (or any plant) are encouraged for production of oil for heating or other non-food purposes, there is a risk of disease rapidly spreading in large commercial operations.  Examples include threats to oranges in the United States, and threats to olives in Italy.  These are non-trivial challenges to biologists and to farm managers.

(th)

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#78 2023-01-01 10:50:55

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,621

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

With limited space or acreage to make what we need it does come back to the reality of cost versus sustainability of income to allow for the choices in life.

The hillside behind my house could provide the wood for the future by managing to cut what is there and grooming the slope to allow for a tree management forest to begin so as to be able to grow and use what I have on that acreage for fast growth types.

Here in NH we go through possibly as low as 2 cords to 4 of wood depending on severity of the winter cold and the size of the homes heating requirement. So have gone the low work route of wood purchased in pellet form for burning as its cleaning to handle and less work to take care of since you are not cutting or splitting in the future to allow it to dry before being useable.

That said we are starting to cross topics once more.

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#79 2023-01-01 11:51:27

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For SpaceNut re #78

The principles of Specialization and Division of Labor lead to a recommendation to NOT try to grow plants for home heating on your own property.

Instead, trade for what you need by doing something you enjoy, that you are good at, and which is valued in the marketplace.

Vast tracts of land exist on Earth, where fuel producing plants could be grown, by simply adding fresh water from a nearby ocean, and fertilizer.

Here is a list that Google assembled, of snippets and links in case a NewMars member has time to do a bit of research.

I'd like to see a report showing how many barrels/gallons of peanut oil (or any comparable plant oil) would be required to keep an average home comfortably warm for the six month heating season in the Northern latitudes.

Whatever that number is can then be used to determine how many holding tanks would be required for the stash, and how many acres would be required to produce the material.

Ultimately, an outcome of this investigation ** should ** be a firm estimate of the number of homes that could be heated using this particular resource.

[PDF] Alternative Fuels Data Center Fuel Properties Comparison
afdc.energy.gov › files › publication › fuel_comparison_chart
cooking oil, animal fats, and rapeseed. A by-product of petroleum refining or ... 33.3 kWh/kg. 3,414 Btu/kWh. Energy Content. (higher heating value).

Energy units and calculators explained - EIA
www.eia.gov › energyexplained › units-and-calculators
You can convert the natural gas and heating oil consumption data into Btu to determine which home used more energy for heating.

Peanut Oil - an overview | ScienceDirect Topics
www.sciencedirect.com › topics › agricultural-and-biological-sciences › pe...
From a sensory standpoint, the ideal fatty acid composition for a frying oil has been reported to be 60% oleic, 20% linoleic, and less than 3% linolenic acid.

People also ask
What is the cheapest fuel to heat a house?
Which fuel has the highest BTU output by volume?
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How does the energy of natural gas compare to the energy of oil?
Comparing Heating Oil, Natural Gas, Propane & Electricity
www.fchaab.com › fuels › how-compare-oilheat
The best way to compare energy prices in your market is to look at the price per unit of heat value. · Heating Oil has 138,690 BTUs per gallon. · Natural Gas has ...

Peanut Oil Could be New Fuel Source - Advanced BioFuels USA
advancedbiofuelsusa.info › peanut-oil-could-be-new-fuel-source
AgWired.com) Providing a new jet fuel source could be a new market for the peanut industry, ... “We've got an oil content of roughly 50 percent,” he said, ...

Peanut oil - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Peanut_oil
Peanut oil, also known as groundnut oil or arachis oil, is a vegetable oil derived from peanuts. The oil usually has a mild or neutral flavor but, ...
Vegetable oils as alternative energy - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Vegetable_oils_as_alternative_energy

Vegetable oils are increasingly used as a substitute for fossil fuels. Vegetable oils are the basis of biodiesel, which can be used like conventional diesel ...
Fuel Oil Combustion Values - The Engineering ToolBox
www.engineeringtoolbox.com › fuel-oil-combustion-values-d_509

Combustion - Boiler house topics, fuels like oil, gas, coal, wood - chimneys, safety valves, tanks - combustion efficiency. Related Documents. Energy Content in ...

Is Peanut Oil Healthy? The Surprising Truth - Healthline
www.healthline.com › Wellness Topics › Nutrition
Nov 10, 2017 · It has also been linked to some health benefits, including reducing certain risk factors for heart disease and lowering blood sugar levels in ...

[PDF] Diesel Fuels Technical Review - Chevron Corporation
www.chevron.com › operations › documents › diesel-fuel-tech-review
made good lamp oil, refiners had to figure out what to do with the rest of the barrel. ... Residential – 9.6% ... energy content) of diesel fuel is its heat.
Related searches
Fuel BTU comparison chart
Energy content of gasoline per gallon
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Diesel energy density per liter
Ethanol energy density vs gasoline
Natural gas energy density
Gasoline energy density per liter

(th)

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#80 2023-01-01 13:14:07

Void
Member
Registered: 2011-12-29
Posts: 6,849

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

tahanson43206,

I am very excited about your last post.  In my parallel topic, I hope you don't mind if I use it with attributions to you.

I am going to modify it with this query however: "Land plants that can be watered with sea water".

General response:  I am not getting a good response.

Here a bypass: https://www.euronews.com/green/2022/05/ … g-billions  Quote:

Growing vegetables in seawater could be the answer to feeding billions

https://nowcomment.com/documents/253912
Quote:

With its partners at the SalFar project, the Salt Farm Foundation has set up 16 fields in seven countries on the North Sea to test the salt tolerance of various crops. The researchers found that certain varieties of potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, beetroots and strawberries have high salt tolerance. Brackish water was also found to be suitable for irrigating oats, barley, onions and sugar beet.

OK, this looks really good: https://www.sciencefocus.com/nature/are … alt-water/
Quote:

Asked by: Sarah Tawton, Liverpool

Most plants would be killed by salt water irrigation, but there are a few that would thrive. One, which has the potential to become a cash crop, is the pink-flowering seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica), which grows wild in the coastal marshlands of the southeastern United States. Researchers from the University of Delaware are calling it “the saltwater soybean”, because its seeds contain oils that are similar in composition and quantity to those produced by soybean plants.

ADVERTISEMENT
Researchers in China have now introduced it to the heavy saline soils of Jiangsu Province, where the area of saline mudflats has been increasing year by year. They believe it has the potential to improve the soil, as well as to form a basis for the development of ecologically sound saline agriculture. Another plant with similar potential is the dwarf glasswort (Salicornia bigelovii), which has been evaluated for growth with seawater irrigation in a harsh desert environment – and with great success, producing at least as much nutritious edible oil as conventional soybean and sunflower crops.

Well, what are the anti-humans going to do about that.  I am headed back to my own topic with this.

Done

Last edited by Void (2023-01-01 14:30:42)


Done.

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#81 2023-01-01 14:38:07

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For Void re Post #80

I am delighted by your discoveries as reported in Post #80.

My reference to drawing sea water for crops was intended to be understood as requiring desalination.

Your fortunate reading of my text, and your subsequent discoveries of research in this area, caught me completely by surprise.

I had thought that only Mangrove trees could grow directly in sea water!

Google found a web site with pictures and text describing 7 tree types that have adapted to salt water conditions.

The web site also asserts that there are scientific studies under way to try to improve salt tolerance for plants.

https://treejourney.com/trees-that-grow … -they-can/

I am particularly interested in your report of:

a cash crop, is the pink-flowering seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica),

Google came up with this set of snippets:

Kosteletzkya virginica (Seashore Mallow) - Gardenia.net

www.gardenia.net › plant › kosteletzkya-virginica
is an erect, branching perennial or subshrub boasting an abundance of hibiscus-like rosy pink flowers, 3 in. across (7 cm), adorned with a central column of ...

Kosteletzkya virginica (Virginia saltmarsh mallow) | Native Plants of ...
www.wildflower.org › plants › result
Sep 30, 2015 · A large plant with pink, terminal or axillary, stalked flowers with yellow stamens. It grows 3-5 ft. tall and spreads to 4 ft. in width. Its ...

Kosteletzkya virginica - Plant Finder - Missouri Botanical Garden
www.missouribotanicalgarden.org › PlantFinder › PlantFinderDetails
Stalked, five-petaled, pink flowers (2.5” diameter) appear solitary in leaf axils or in terminal panicles. Numerous stamens form a distinctive tubular column ...

2004 Seashore Mallow (Kosteletzkya Virginica)
vnps.org › 2004-seashore-mallow-kosteletzkya-virginica
Seashore mallow lights up the salt and brackish marshes of the Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay shores of Virginia in summer with its rosy pink parade of ...

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Seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya pentacarpos) as a salt-tolerant ...
www.researchgate.net › publication › 262486968_Seashore_mallow_Koste...

Jul 5, 2022 · Fatty acid composition of fourteen seashore mallow (Kosteletzkya ... K. virginica has great potential to be grown as a grain crop in saline ...
Kosteletzkya pentacarpos (Coastal Mallow, Seashore Mallow)

plants.ces.ncsu.edu › plants › kosteletzkya-pentacarpos
Also known as sweat weed, Virginia saltmarsh mallow, and salt marsh mallow, ... The beautiful hibiscus-like pink flowers appear from July to October with ...

Please note in particular, the hint that the plant might be grown as a grain crop.

If anyone has a few minutes to investigate, here is a link to the July, 2022 report:

The webpage at https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio … nd_ethanol

Update a bit later:
Here is another link that might be worth exploring on a modern computer:
https://fba.org.au/natural-desalination … ry-future/

(th)

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#82 2023-01-01 16:57:51

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,284

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

We have discussed this before, but I bring it up again.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/ch … -pyrolysis

'Flash pyrolysis (sometimes called very fast pyrolysis), characterized by rapid heating rates (>1000 °C/s) and high reaction temperatures (900–1300 °C), has been shown to afford high yields of bio-oil with low resulting water content and conversion efficiencies of up to 70% [29,30]. The residence times used are even shorter than those of fast pyrolysis, typically less than 0.5 s. To obtain such high heating and heat transfer rates, the biomass feedstock particle size must be as small as is practically possible, usually around 105–250 μm (60–140 mesh size)'

Fast pyrolysis may convert any woody biomass into oil.  However, the oil must then be hydrogenated to remove oxygen.  If this is not done, the oil polymerises and becomes a sticky tar.  So this is a process that requires a supplemental energy source.  Wind power would work well, because biomass will be harvested in late summer or early autumn.  Wind power provides most energy in autumn, winter and early spring.  It arrives at the right time of year to be useful.  Harvested biomass will be stored in sheds or large piles.  We would feed it into a chipper that would grind it into pieces no larger than a 0.1-0.25mm (1/100").  It is then tipped into a hopper with recycled char and passes through a hot zone where it is rapidly heated via induction.  Most of the mass of the biomass forms oil vapours which are collected.  The harvested oil then enters a chemical reactor, where hydrogen is passed through it.  This removes oxygen from the oil, producing a lighter saturated oil that seperates by gravity.  Water is continuously removed from the bottom of the reactor.

Wind power provides the energy for handling of the biomass and grinding (mechanical), fast pyrolysis (electrical heating) and hydrogenation (electrolytic hydrogen).  The resulting oil can be burned for heat or blended with other oils to produce diesel.  As a light saturated oil, it is also suitable for underground storage and transportation by pipeline.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-01-01 17:05:27)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#83 2023-01-01 21:37:55

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For Calliban re #82

First, thank you for your patience in taking the time to present (again) information about pyrolysis as a way of preparing biological inputs for practical use.

I have limited preconceptions in this area, so hope my questions are useful for present and (hopefully) future forum readers.

Would I be correct in thinking that since biological inputs are in themselves an energy source, they should be able to provide the energy needed for subsequent processing of input after the first batch has been prepared for sale.

There should be no need for continuous supplement by outside energy sources, once the first batch is completed.

The answer you provide ** may ** be that the energy available from the processed biological input is ** less ** than the energy needed to prepare it.

If that is the case, then the energy delivered to the customer would combine solar power invested in the plants themselves, ** plus ** the supplementary energy from wind or solar panels or other devices.

***

A related question I have (and this may something that needs further study )....

If the goal is to place a supply of vegetable oil / biodiesel in the home of the customer at the lowest possible cost per acre of land, then is there a plant and processing combination that is superior to competition. A related factor for evaluation is the BTU yield per gallon of product.

It is quite possible (and perhaps even likely) that government funded studies (at universities or at private companies) have evaluated all sorts of plant and processing methods.

This topic has the potential to become a repository for decision making by customers and providers alike.

(th)

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#84 2023-01-02 12:49:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,621

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

SYNTHETIC FUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES:
A PRELIMINARY OVERVIEW OF THE MAJOR LEGISLATIVE ISSUES
https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files … bo-014.pdf

Porsche begins production of ‘e-fuel’ that could provide gas alternative amid EV push

https://www.hagerty.com/media/news/pors … d-running/

Porsche-eFuels-pilot-plant-1.jpg?auto=format%2Ccompress&ixlib=php-3.3.0

In this pilot phase at Haru Oni, synthetic fuel production of around 130,000 liters (34,342 gallons) per year is planned.

https://diysolarforum.com/

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#85 2023-01-02 15:48:37

kbd512
Administrator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,268

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

tahanson43206,

We already have a massive army of trained personnel.  Those people would be all the petrochemical engineers designing and operating oil refineries or drilling rigs and the like.  We're swapping out one production plant for another.  We can capture CO2 from existing sources (burned trash / wood / plastics / oil / gas) or the atmosphere.  We require zeolite-based CO2 capture and gas-to-liquid conversion- lengthening the hydrocarbon chains to the point where they store easily at room temperature.  Propane is the shortest that's truly storable that doesn't degrade over time the way gasoline / diesel / kerosene do.

The army of people to maintain a mostly mechanical solar-thermal trough collector array can come from all those illegal immigrants that the Democrats allowed into our country that they refused to grant citizenship to.  If they're going to stay here, then they need gainful employment.  Keeping the lights on is exceptionally good gainful employment.  Assembly of steel structures, pouring concrete, inspecting for leaks, and washing panels doesn't require a college degree or advanced technical training.  The Republicans can do a deal with them, whereby they're granted US citizenship for 10 years of work at the plant.  That's a better deal than the Democrats will ever give them, and it takes another toy away from the Democrats- one less make-believe issue to use to pit brother against brother.

The technical challenge, as near as I can tell, is convincing people that dwindling per-well output could be replaced with near-constant output solar thermal CO2 capture and recycling to feed into synthetic fuel production, which doesn't require upgrading or massively increasing the output capabilities of the electric grid, orders of magnitude increases in virgin metals mining, or much of anything else far above and beyond existing industrial capabilities.  After the plant is up and running, it's a cash-generating machine.  Sunlight / CO2 / water goes in one side of the plant, fuel and sales revenue plus improved national economic output come out the other end.

We're convincing stupid and wrong people that their beliefs about the necessity for scarcity are stupid and wrong, but doing it in a way that doesn't make it obvious to them that they're stupid and wrong.  We already know that the electric-everything people are almost entirely ego-driven, most of them are ignorant beyond belief because the university indoctrination camps never taught them otherwise, and they think they're virtuous because they went out and bought something that most people can't afford.  Believing that you're accomplishing something by buying something is a very American problem.  My Irish father and grandfather would call this, "the art of telling a man to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to making the journey".  At the end of the day, they've chanced upon someone who has their best economic interests at heart, because I find starving people to be a revolting idea.  I would rather give them a practical and affordable alternatives to impossible tasks that do the opposite of what they think they're doing.  Nations that withstood the test of time were not built on short-term thinking.  It's time we return to bigger picture thinking that looks beyond the next quarterly statement that behaves as if there will be a tomorrow.

Heck, even the people who "prime movers" within the automotive industry are now admitting that there's not enough Lithium on the planet to convert everything over to using Lithium-ion batteries.  Whether or not other reactive metals such as Sodium and Silicon could replace Lithium remains to be seen.  Those metals are much more abundant, but no less energy-intensive to process into batteries.  Thus far, nobody is doing it at any significant scale.  There are better battery cell architectures like those from Enovix could replace the traditional "jelly roll" and do a much better job with reducing fires, but those inherently take more time to produce, thus they're more expensive.  Rolling a jelly roll is the fastest way to make the internal contents of a battery, bar none.  It's a "reel-to-reel" process, which is why Tesla uses it.  I brought up Enovix because they're actually shipping commercial products with new architecture and cell chemistry.

None of the other "wonder batteries" have made it to market, so there must be a fly in the ointment somewhere.  We don't hear anything about those low-cost Iron-Air batteries these days, because nothing is happening, apart from money being squandered.  That means grid-storage will not be battery-based, because there's not much in the way of cell chemistry that could ever be cheaper than that.  Sodium-ion could one day supplant Lithium-ion, but that's probably another 20 years away.  It took Lithium-ion 30 years to achieve significant market penetration, but as a percentage of all batteries made, after the first conceptualization began in 1973.  The total global battery market is 50 billion USD, with all types of rechargeable / secondary batteries representing 5.5 billion USD.  By dollar figure, 10% of all batteries is not that much of a market, so we can expect another 40 years to pass by before any type of newer / better / cheaper cell chemistry to become available in significant volume.  Meanwhile, Lithium supply can't keep up with Lithium demand.

Apart from that very real problem, no batteries can charge efficiently in deep winter, or at all in certain cases, so large swaths of the population of the US / Europe / Russia are SOL if they're pinning their hopes to radically better batteries.  On top of that, most of the world's electrical power comes from burning something.  Apart from centralizing the sources of emissions, little has been accomplished.  20% of the power is lost in transmission, so under the most ideal circumstances we could realize a 20% efficiency improvement over gasoline, well-to-wheels.

My bottom line is, compromise, compromise, compromise!  Compromise is not a dirty word in engineering.  Compromise is why aircraft fly and it's why electric vehicles exist at all.  100 miles of range is plenty and 200 miles is the practical upper limit, after which the car becomes more costly and less sustainable than a gasoline powered car.  Stop trying to duplicate what an internal combustion engine does, because no batteries will ever be able to do that within our lifetimes.  Chemical reaction is 1.5 orders of magnitude more energy dense, per unit weight.  No amount of efficiency increase, as compared to a combustion engine, can overcome that gravimetric and volumetric energy density issue.  That's what physics and known materials science says.  No real physical battery approaches theoretical energy density, just as no combustion engine approaches maximum theoretical efficiency.

The very last thing we need to do is turn more food into fuel.  There are going to be food shortages this year.  Those shortages are going to get worse by next year.  Hundreds of millions of people will die if we don't reverse course on that insanity.  There is nothing "totally green" about about any source of energy, least of all industrial agriculture.  A barrel of diesel fuel and some change are required to convert field corn into Ethanol.  The world needs food a lot more than it needs another gallon of fuel.

America devotes a land area of approximately 90 million acres / 140,625mi^2 (375 miles by 375 miles) to corn production.  We get 37 billion gallons of Ethanol from what we do grow each year, or approximately 411 gallons per acre.  Algae yields 6,000 gallons per acre on the low end and 14,000 gallons on the high end.  540 billion gallons to 1.26 trillion gallons of fuel from 90 million acres of algae.

In 2021, America consumed 134.83 billion gallons of motor gasoline, 46.82 billion gallons of diesel, 57 billion gallons of kerosene (2019's all-time high was 95 billion gallons), and 2.6 billion gallons of heating oil.  On the low-end, algae biofuel production would be America's total annual gasoline / diesel / kerosene consumption X2.  On the high-end, America X5.  Even that much is not equal to total global consumption, but it's rapidly approaching 100% of global demand.  If most of total global demand for liquid hydrocarbon fuels can be sourced from the US alone, whether through mechanical (solar thermal trough collectors) or biological means (farming algae), then there's no good reason to devote food to fuel production.  Most of the field corn (fuel / feed corn) should be converted to sweet corn for human consumption in places where they're going to be desperately short of food this year.  The remaining feed corn should be devoted to chicken and pigs so that other people have an adequate source of protein.

Wood only works at all because so few people use it, relative to the number of people using natural gas and heating oil.  If everyone started burning wood for energy, we wouldn't have any trees left a few years later.  That seems like an undesirable outcome, assuming your goal is not to destroy the environment while you're busy "saving the planet".  As long as our lemmingship is mentally trapped in this artificial scarcity mindset, we'll keep winning stupid prizes.  The real question is how long ordinary people will allow this infantile worldview to wreak havoc on civilized society before they've finally had enough and put these morons back in their place.

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#86 2023-01-02 16:35:13

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,284

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

One way of economically capturing CO2 is through compressed air energy storage.  Compress air to about 40bar and the 0.04% CO2 will condense as liquid on the intercooling coils of the compressor if they have temperature no greater than 0°C.  Liquid CO2 could then be collected in a drip tray, drained into a tank and piped to our facility.  Each cubic metre of air compressed, should yield about 0.75 grams of liquid CO2.

nHjWtfySV6T7ogKMlx8O_2000px-Carbon_dioxide_pressure-temperature_phase_diagram.svg.png

Nitrogen is something that is endlessly abundant in air, everywhere on the planet.  And the world has a severe shortage of fixed nitrogen as present.  Ammonia as an energy carrier may be more efficient than carbon synfuels, because we don't have to use up half our hydrogen removing the oxygen that is chemically bound to CO2.  I am inclined to think that the best way forward is to focus on ammonia production for agriculture and then look at expanding that to meet fuel needs.  Then again, ammonia is irritant and toxic and has poorer energy density than hydrocarbons.  Simple aesthetics tell me that people may not want to fill their tanks with something that makes their eyes stream and stinks of stale piss.  Time will tell.

Regarding the use of wood for heating: It is true that this is not something that could realistically meet all heating needs for all buildings everywhere.  But it doesn't have to.  If you are out in the sticks and are miles from the gas main, this something you can use.  If you want a supplemental heat source for those really cold nights, then wood is good, because you can store it easily in a log pile.  It wouldn't be suitable in urban areas anyway because of air pollution.  Something does not have to solve 100% of a problem to be a useful part of the overall solution.  If you are in a densely populated town or city, then district heating substituted by gas, might be the best thing.  If you are out in the suburbs with a decent sized garden, then a ground source heat pump may be a good option.  I think the right solution depends specifically on where you are and what your circumstances are.  There are no general solutions that suit all people, everywhere.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-01-02 17:21:47)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#87 2023-01-04 03:24:23

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 7,268

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

I will keep revisiting the fundamentals of the problem we're solving here until it sinks in and we quit chasing after impossibilities.

50 years after the first cars were produced, so-called "advanced industrialized nations" (America, France, Germany, and Britain, for example) were still using millions of horses in wars of all places.  We had aircraft that could fly between continents and nuclear weapons, yet we still used farm animals in maneuver warfare.  The notion that we will wave a magic wand to affect wholesale change in less than 50 years is ludicrous at best, deeply delusional at worst.  I would place most of the people who think this is possible into the latter category.  It's not simply an outlandish claim backed by nothing (throwing stuff at the wall to see if it sticks), they actually believe that it's going to happen.  They think they can force a technology change using immature technologies that are woefully inadequate to do what they want them to do (replicate what fossil fuels do).  Political beliefs may be declarative in nature, but technology is not (physics is agnostic about our belief systems).  Declaring that you can travel faster than the speed of light has zero effect on your actual ability to do so.

These goofballs want something to replace gasoline / kerosene / diesel with "something shiny and new".  Well, guess what?  There's nothing that can do that.  Hydrogen is at least technically feasible if all its other drawbacks are ignored.  Ammonia would be a tough sell unless far more of the world was made from glass.  Batteries are a non-starter, except for modest-range / low-power devices, where they excel.  Exponentially more electronics are also a non-starter.  The Russians nuked our ability to make lots more chips from orbit.  You can thank them for that later.  The Russian and Ukrainian inputs into the advanced semi-conductor industry, namely the gases like neon that are used to produce high-tech chips, have already gone bye-bye.  If the Chinese have another "little" revolution, the rest of the low-tech chip manufacturing industry goes bye-bye after that kicks off.  Taiwan engages in deeply delusional thinking about their ability to recover chip making capacity.  Sound familiar?  If there are far fewer chips to make advanced control electronics, then there are no advanced electronic cars, electronics-based power plants (wind turbines and photovoltaics), or "smart grids", etc.  The people who wish to control every aspect of our lives are being stymied by their own lack of foresight.  Spying requires electronics to make spy equipment, unless everyone works for the state.  The Gestapo went out of fashion years ago.

Re-creating those industrial inputs is another one of those 10 year processes.  Meanwhile, we need a lot more food, we need to completely re-create all the stuff the Chinese were doing, either here in America or elsewhere in the industrialized world.  That's a 20 to 30 year process of its own.  No other country has access to coal and slave labor, so photovoltaics and wind turbine blades will become much more expensive.  When last I checked all those mining machines still made the same noises that old tractors make, so they need fuel if you want any new batteries.  There's not enough Copper on this planet to run power cables out to everything, so the absurd amounts of Copper and Aluminum in wind turbine and photovoltaic plants and grid upgrades to try to make absurdly heavy vehicles electrically-powered, could instead be used to make more smaller commuter-class EVs since we're so intent on making more EVs.  Gas turbines at least centralize fuel consumption points, so maybe we can make those a little cleaner by recapturing the CO2 to make new synthetic fuel, but this will be very costly to do.

We're not going to simultaneously upgrade the electric grid to throughput at least quadruple the electric power it presently does, replace the 70% to 80% of machinery that presently generates electricity by burning something, start making all the cars and semi-trucks and mining equipment use batteries, all at the same time.  That will not happen.  Something has to give.  We can do synthetic fuel for applications where no practical substitute exists, plus EV commuter vehicles only.  That would mean no batteries wasted on powering semi-trucks or national electric grids or aircraft or similar nonsense.  Alternatively, we can do photovoltaics and wind turbines.  There's not enough raw resources or money to do both at the same time.  I guess you can pin your hopes to fusion, but that's a crap shoot at best, and also 25 years away, assuming ITER does everything it's supposed to do and no Russian or Chinese government-induced problems arise.  That's an even worse bet.

At its core, the reason none of that will happen starts and ends with alternative power storage capabilities.  There are no practical and affordable replacements for gasoline / diesel / kerosene.  There's a reason we started using them to begin with.  Nothing else that we knew / know of does a better job at what those products do for us.  We can spend more money on more exotic products like Hydrogen, or bankrupt ourselves trying to ignore the physics of electro-chemical batteries (applied to everything, regardless of practicality), but a suitable like-kind replacement for gasoline is called "gasoline".

The greatest utility to transportation that any current technology battery can hope to provide, is to start a real engine- something that burns gasoline or diesel or kerosene or Hydrogen, and then makes power over a significant period of time, at reasonable cost and weight, and without requiring absurd quantities of metal that we don't have and can't get without burning absurd quantities of diesel fuel.  Practical EVs could move the combustion engine to centralized locations, but it must still exist and burn gas to make power.

If you make vehicles light, as well you should since it takes less power to move a lighter vehicle, then a little bit of gasoline goes a really long way.  60mpg is perfectly doable with carbureters, not that we should use carbs IF we still have access to electronic direct-injection.  A single microchip of modest cost can control an entire engine for 5 to 10 years before it malfunctions.  These battery-based systems have microchips devoted to charge / discharge control over single batteries, which makes them exceptionally efficient, or vastly more costly / powerful / therefore expensive chips devoted to management of sophisticated centralized control electronics (a pack-level battery management system capable of individual cell management).

$10 a gallon gasoline is perfectly doable if affordable passenger vehicles get 100mpg+, as the newest engines are capable of.  Per-mile cost is 10¢.  Weekly out-of-pocket cost for a driver who drives 15,000 miles per year is $28.85.  At $15/hr, which is now less than what McDonald's pays, that equates to 2 hours of work out of 40 per week.

If we can commit to practical EVs, then they're still doable and would eventually be lower-cost if a suitable Lithium substitute becomes available.

A more practical battery pack:
Dakota Lithium 48V 96AH LiFePO4 Marine Deep cycle Batteries

If your vehicle weighs 1,000lbs and consumes 62.5Wh per mile (1/4 what a Tesla Model S or Model 3 consumes), then these sorts of drastically simplified EVs are perfectly doable.  Two such batteries weigh 144lbs / 70kg and provide 9,216Wh of energy, maximum.  That's literally written on the top of the battery in the link shown above.  Their text says 2,000 cycles at 100% Depth-of-Discharge (DoD), 4,000 cycles at 80% DoD, and 6,000 cyles at 50% DoD.  To maximize the number of cycles you get, as a young person of limited means who has purchased their first car and is working their way through college or an apprenticeship position to obtain a higher paying job to start a family with, then your "money is real" travel range, before recharge, is 74 miles under ideal conditions.  In winter conditions, your range is cut in half, so you must be mindful of that.  Technically, the car is capable of longer trips, but you don't want to make a habit of doing that.

Each battery costs $2,700 USD, so $5,400 USD for the batteries alone.

This is what happens when you allow ridiculous feature bloat ($23,900 for a golf cart):
NEW IN STOCK 2022 GEM e2 AGM Electric Vehicle Commercial Golf Cart LSV, Gloss White
maxresdefault.jpg

Some "bling" for the kiddos, but still reasonably priced ($6,995):
2021 ICON i20 Electric Golf Cart Golfer, Purple
20211202_095216__38529.1638552458.jpg?c=2

Based upon the type of vehicle I had in mind (all-plastic chassis with embedded steel inserts, no doors, front-opening-hatch, reclined seating- "F-16 style"), I have seen EV golf cart chassis, less batteries, go for about $2,000.  These could be fully functional / street-legal EV cars with serious chassis reinforcement (thick molded PET or ABS plastic with embedded fiber content to add strength and stiffness).  5-point harnesses instead of airbags, no dash cluster, apart from simple speed / range / battery temperature digital readout built into steering wheel, manual steering / brakes / windows, window defrost heating only, fan-based AC (possibly including an evaporative cooling unit).  It'll have a roof-mounted solar panel to power the AC unit.  Charging will be via regular 120V AC wall outlet only.  Nice-to-have features like "fast charging" need to be omitted at this price point.

Anything beyond that is moving into the realm of impracticality.  A golf cart is a very practical electric vehicle because it accepts range limitations in return for being a very practical car that doesn't make noise or stink in places (golf courses) where the patrons don't want that.  The goal here is to sell lots of practical cars at affordable prices.  This is part of a "planned foreverance" economic strategy, wherein vehicles are built to last for at least 15 years.  They don't rust because they're plastic.  A single man can lift all the components of the car except the chassis itself by hand, as well as take the car apart using hand tools.  This is perfectly doable.  It doesn't require technology we don't have.  It still permits significant personal mobility.

That is a practical EV that actually costs less than a gasoline powered vehicle to own and operate, from Day #1 forward.  That is what would cause someone like me to switch over to using an EV.  I will not pay a ridiculous amount of money for a significantly less-capable facsimile of a gasoline powered car.  I could care less about how fast it does 0 to 60.  It either gets me from Point A to Point B for less cost, or it's useless to me.  It's a commuter car.  It's not intended for street racing.  15,000 miles per year equates to 937.5kWh of electricity consumed, or $140.63 per year to fuel the car, at 15¢/kWh (Texas prices).  European prices are nearing 45¢/kWh, but they do a better-than-average job of making everything less affordable (somehow).

Let's say a young person gets a 5 year car loan (standard) and their EV costs $10,000 and they ultimately pay around $15,000 with interest, so $3,000 per year.  Their monthly car payment is $250 and fuel is $11.72 per month.  They work for 18hrs or 2.25 days, at $15/hr, and their transportation for the month is covered.  That is both affordable and practical, even if you work at Mickey Ds.  If they earn $30,000 per year, that leaves plenty of money for rent and food, assuming we stop turning perfectly good food into fuel and other asinine garbage like that.

If most of the new cars are not directly burning fuel, then the synthetic fuel plants can power all the gas turbines to provide power at night to recharge all these new EVs.  The juice clearly won't come from batteries since we can't make enough of them.  At least we won't need so many microchips to keep these simplified EVs running, which is good since there won't be nearly as many available in the near future.

So...  Maybe some combination of practical EVs with synthetic fuel production?

I like the concept behind street legal electric golf carts, but we have to stop trying to turn EVs into gasoline-equivalents first.  They're not equal and everyone knows it.  If you want mass-adoption of EVs, then stop squandering batteries on a handful of luxury toys for the rich and start mass-producing affordable cars.  Make the value proposition too high to pass on.  That's how draft horses lost their jobs.

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#88 2023-01-04 06:47:44

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,284

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

Kbd512, Peter Zeihan has produced a youtube video saying pretty much the same things.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Qf85EuQKWeQ

My own opinion is that Tesla could sell a more sustainable product by focusing on hybrid vehicles with braking energy recovery.  Given that short range trips account for a large proportion of lifetime milage, this allows a vehicle to achieve perhaps a 50% reduction in fuel consumption over life, using a battery only 10% the capacity and weight of a Tesla battery.  That would make the transition to cleaner vehicles more achievable from a resource perspective.

A 50% reduction in fuel consumption would stretch out oil reserves a lot longer, by allowing more expensive deposits to become affordable.  Oil production growth has been weak in most of the world for two decades now, because consumers cannot afford a price that make new investments profitable.  It also makes synthetic fuels a more practical proposition, because it makes more expensive fuel affordable.  So a hybrid could be just as sustainable and environmentally friendly as a full EV.

There has been a lot of speculation about improved battery technology leading to long range BEV trucks.  But railways in the US already provide just shy of 40% of all ton-miles in the US.  The fuel consumption of passenger trains, freight trains and buses in the US, is just 2% of all liquid fuel consumption.  Rail freight is some fraction of that 2%.  Diesel-electric rail freight is so superbly energy efficient that trying to replace it with BEVs is just insane.  The good thing about rail is that all the tech is fully developed and proven for decades.  It needs to be extended to reduce reliance on trucks.  But there is nothing needed that isn't COTS.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rail_tr … ted_States
https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/use … -depth.php

Last edited by Calliban (2023-01-04 07:17:09)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#89 2023-01-04 20:09:21

SpaceNut
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

I think that both of us have talked about that low tech car for the masses before kbd512.
As we talked about the cost of it new being within reach to aid oneself to get out of being with no job, homeless ect... such that you do not need a mortgage or large loan to buy one.

The total workdays used versus the weekends and holidays 122 leave out of 365 for workday is 243 to budge the total 15,000 miles and power consumption being approximate daily use of 41 miles round trip with a 2.6kwhr average power usage of 64 watts a mile. It seems low since an e-bike is regulated to just 28 mph with pedal assist using a 250w motor. So, unless you are really stomping on the throttle one should be able make use of solar to aid in mileage use. You could also augment it with human pedal generation power as well if you did outfit, it with that option. Of course, there are other class of the e-bike with the wattage of the motors in use and with that speed still will not allow unless it gets classes as a motorcycle for highway use.

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#90 2023-01-05 06:50:37

Calliban
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From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,284

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

Can Global Oil Production Climb If The U.S. Shale Boom Is Over?
https://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-Gene … -Over.html

In spite of the global recession, oil prices are likely to be trending upwards over the next few years due to shortage.  This provides a prime window of opportunity to launch the solar synfuel business.

Last edited by Calliban (2023-01-05 06:56:35)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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#91 2023-01-05 16:30:38

kbd512
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

If we don't bring synthetic fuel production online, then there is no practical source of long-term sustainable energy storage.  To start with, we don't have viable chip production for all of the computer control systems for batteries and photovoltaics.  TSMC's estimates about how long it would take for production to resume on chips for cars were so wildly off the mark as to be laughable.  Two years after they predicted they'd be caught-up on orders within a couple of months, milions of vehicles are still very expensive paperweights without chips.  There are more than a thousand chips in a Tesla EV or Cadillac, according to their manufacturers.  It's easy to understand why we're still waiting.  Hundreds of millions to low billions of chips cannot be turned out in a few months time.  Since that's already a non-viable proposition, making hundreds of millions of additional vehicles with similar chip counts is not possible.  Given that production of chips will not recover any time soon, we need alternatives.  We were pushing limits with a fully functional global supply chain, but now that doesn't exist.

A battery-powered golf cart does not contain 1,000+ chips, which is reflected in the very modest chassis price of around $2,000.  I've seen chassis weights, less batteries, of approximately 600lbs (mostly tubular steel and plastics).  This squares pretty well with my own estimates of vehicle weights.  Keeping curb weight at or below 1,000lbs is important for acceleration and braking performance, along with the ability to use much more modest battery packs that more closely resemble the traditional Lead-acid car and truck batteries than highly specialized and expensive EV-specific battery packs with special cooling and chassis integration requirements (structural chassis members).

A company like Enovix could produce their improved cells, which reduce puncture or internal damage to a non-event that very slowly releases heat and doesn't melt anything, let alone set fire to the vehicle.  The only other workable mitigation strategies I've seen require increased use of Cobalt for cell stabilization.  More importantly, the design of their cells enables fewer control chips to adequately regulate charge / discharge.

A practical upper limit of 10kWh should be placed on entry level 2-seater vehicles by manufacturers who want to sell more cars.  100+ miles of range is suitable for almost all commuting.  A 4-seater will cost about $20,000 and a 6-seater will cost about $30,000.  This squares rather well with 2-seat vs 4-seat or 6-seat golf cart prices, per my link above.  Doubling the vehicle weight also requires a rough doubling of battery capacity, which would be where that extra $10,000 went.  The additional plastic and steel to support the weight of 2 extra people is of nominal value.  The power plant is where the real money happens to be.  Adding $10K to the price for every 2 additional seats is still much better than a rough doubling of the cost, which is exactly what happens to light aircraft.  In either case, it should be quite clear that cost is tied to weight which is tied to power requirements, even for over-glorified battery powered golf carts turned road-legal cars.

The synthetic fuel plant comes into play to provide night time recharging power.  Having hundreds of millions of individual combustion engines is not a hard requirement for city mobility, but a combustion engine must exist somewhere to supply the power, on-demand.  Any batteries produced need to be for light vehicles, maximizing the number of conversions while minimizing marginal cost.  Producing millions of EVs is the only way to actually replace millions of gas powered vehicles.  People still require transportation and we cannot do a real-world transition without making enough cars to actually do that.  There are not enough batteries to power vehicles, store power from unreliable sources (photovoltaics and wind turbines) that shouldn't be powering grids, and store power for individual homes, all at the same time.  That's unlikely to change in the near future.  Throwing 10X as many batteries into a single unaffordable and ridiculously heavy / expensive vehicle is not a viable solution, assuming transition to electricity is the goal.  Wealthier people can afford gasoline at higher prices, whereas poorer people cannot.  They were only made wealthy to begin with, because energy and capital were both plentiful.  Now they are not, so the word "economy" needs to be treated as if it means something.

Every Tesla produced consumes the batteries that could power 10 practical cars for people who increasingly cannot afford gasoline.  A Tesla sells for $60K to $100K.  10 practical EVs would sell for a total of $100K.  Your per-vehicle profit is higher on much simpler / lower cost vehicles sold for equal money, as is the profit of banks from the interest collected.  Tesla could sell 10X as many cars to 10X as many customers, which means a transition to EVs requires 10X less time to complete.  Elon Musk himself said that our rate of innovation needed to increase by orders of magnitude.  Well, there's your first order of magnitude, free of charge.  All you had to do is change your thinking about what "practical" means.  100+ miles is a LOT of driving time for a daily commute.  You could spend it in a brand new car, retaining or renting an old gas or diesel powered truck or SUV for those infrequent trips between cities or states.  I can name off 3 or 4 times per year when I require the full capacity of our Cadillac Escalade (4th of July or Memorial Day weekend, summer travels to the national parks, Thanksgiving, Christmas).  I would rather own a small plane to fly the family to my parents' house, which would mean 4 more hours spent with them instead of driving.

To that point, I would much rather own four EVs at $10K a crack, than one $40K SUV that is almost never filled to capacity, yet less available when I need it, and almost never driven more than 40 miles per day regardless of what type of car I own.  That's a car for my wife, myself, my son, and my daughter.  If everyone owns a low-cost car that is very good on energy consumption, then more cars are not necessarily a bad thing.  If I own one $60K Tesla Model 3, no problems have been solved.  I don't have a meaningfully better vehicle and I will never save a dime in total ownership costs over an equivalent gasoline powered vehicle.  Most pragmatic people, who are not particularly ideological in nature, won't own an EV because it's not solving any existing problems for them.  If it's not any cheaper or easier to use, then there's no point to it.  My end goal behind owning a car is practical on-demand transportation.  If someone else's ideology is satisfied or not satisfied, I don't care either way.

As far as traffic congestion is concerned, a family owning a pair of practical EVs, or much smaller gas powered cars for that matter, has effectively doubled the number of butts in seats during normal driving, despite carrying a single occupant most of the time.  Even if all 4 were being driven at the same time, then energy consumption is not significantly greater than if 1 much larger and heavier vehicle like a Tesla was being driven.  That is the airline industry's "butts in seats effect" in action.  The effect works to reduce operating expenses, whether it means a greater number of modestly smaller jets (747s and A380s with 50 to 75 empty seats vs 777s and A330s filled to capacity) with more seats filled.  It also applies to a greater number of smaller cars with more seats filled.  The greater the seat fill percentage, the less wasted space.  Far less roadway area is clogged by large 4 to 6 seat SUVs, which are also normally carrying one person, despite having more smaller cars on the road.

Anyway, greater utilization rates and acceptance of practical vehicles need to be an intentional feature of future transportation, regardless of what the power source is.  Cars are useful when they're taking people places, same as commercial aircraft.  The rest of the time, they merely cost a lot of money.

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#92 2023-01-06 19:19:50

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,621

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

The chip problem like most of the others is due to targeting change that is hyped to say we got the most bits, instructions, faster flops ect with the best glossy finish to boot. Keeping up with that means planned obsolesces of these things that still work just fine.

Plants move to slow to do the work at the lowest energy cost since we are consuming them to fast to be able to convert them quick enough.

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#93 2023-01-07 12:51:46

kbd512
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

SpaceNut,

You're most likely correct, but we're still short on chips and supply seems to lag far behind demand.  EVs require chips and lots of them, as do all other modern cars.  The entire point behind not having computerized door handles was that I don't think it adds anything to the utility of a car, apart from the "whiz-bang factor".  Is it cool?  Yeah, it's pretty cool that Teslas have "smart handles".  Would not having them take anything away from their product without them?  I don't think so.  Their car is just as functional without them.

The more stuff your power plant or car needs to run, the more brittle its supply chain becomes.  We're having issues sourcing steel and Aluminum at the moment.  Requiring several trips around the world to get the electronics sourced is rapidly becoming untenable.  Maybe that new Samsung plant in Austin will help bridge part of the chip gap, but if not, then the car makers need to go back to the drawing board.

That's why I suggested using a single cell phone chip to control everything.  I know for a fact that cell phones and cell phone chips get consumed at rates that make automotive chips look like specialty products by way of comparison.  The chip makers are clearly set up to churn out vast numbers of those chips, so I asked some people at Cadillac why they couldn't use them.  They said it wasn't a technical issue, but they'd have to re-write a lot of software and possibly change some sensors used, in order to implement cell phone chips.  Well, if the master plan is to computerize everything, then maybe we need to use the most powerful bleeding edge chips available to reduce the total chip count to something the car makers can live with.

I've heard that most modern cars have more lines of code running than a stealth fighter or airliner.  The Space Shuttle's computer is a tinker toy compared to a Mercedes-Benz or Cadillac or Tesla.  Maybe all that software adds enough value to make it worth it, but if so then the hardware needs to be simplified to the point where we can at least source the chips and software for all the new cars to replace the old cars.  The control chip can be more complex while still drastically simplifying the overall electronics design of the car.  That's why a cell phone has more power than a Cray Super Computer, but fits in your pocket a lot easier than the Sony Walkman radios that were so popular when I was a kid.

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#94 2023-01-07 18:26:41

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,621

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

The door stuff is part of the anti-theft keyless entry stuff that anybody with a cell phone or corresponding fob is able to get by it. What is the worse is when the circuit is defective and deprives the owner of the ability to use his own vehicle. Other ability is for cops and others to locate and disable the vehicle since its stolen.

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#95 2023-01-07 18:48:56

tahanson43206
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For SpaceNut re #94

The post #94 would appear to go well in a topic about cars.

This topic is about synthetic or natural fuel produced using solar power.

(th)

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#96 2023-01-07 19:16:38

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 28,621

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

post 89 seems to be a bit light on the amount of electrical one would need to move a vehicle at highway speeds.

I did see another article telling the readers about a NEV which is a neighborhood Electrical Vehicle class that includes modified golf cart shape with a solar panel roof. Its claims for the panel were just 19 km of distance and with a fully charged battery it would be able to travel 60 km I think all for the grand total of just under $7,000. Its max speed was less than 30 km made by a Dutch company.

We can do better for less in my opinion.

The EPA wants more 'renewable' fuel. But what does that actually mean?

The proposal, released last month, calls for an increase in the mandatory requirements set forth by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS. The program, created in 2005, dictates how much renewable fuels — products like corn-based ethanol, manure-based biogas, and wood pellets — are used to reduce the use of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil, or jet fuel and cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The new requirements have sparked a heated debate between industry leaders, who say the recent proposal will help stabilize the market in the coming years, and green groups, which argue that the favored fuels come at steep environmental costs.

Renewable fuel is an umbrella term for the bio-based fuels mandated by the EPA to be mixed into the nation’s fuel supply. The category includes fuel produced from planted crops, planted trees, animal waste and byproducts, and wood debris from non-ecological sensitive areas and not from federal forestland.

Advanced biofuel, a type of renewable fuel, includes fuel created from crop waste, animal waste, food waste, and yard waste. This also includes biogas, a natural gas produced from the methane created by animal and human waste. Advanced biofuel can also include fuels created from sugars and starches, apart from ethanol.

Nestled inside of the advanced biofuel category is biomass-based diesel, a fuel source created from vegetable oils and animal fats. This fuel can also be created from oils, waste, and sludge created in municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Cellulosic biofuel, another type of renewable fuel, is a liquid fuel created by “crops, trees, forest residues, and agricultural residues not specifically grown for food, including from barley grain, grapeseed, rice bran, rice hulls, rice straw, soybean matter,” as well as sugarcane byproducts, according to the 2005 law.

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#97 2023-01-09 19:50:46

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

Here is a link to a report on research that (apparently) uses solar power to input CO2 and plastic to make useful molecules.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technolo … c13125c9b4

Another link to the same story:

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/scientis … 32920.html

(th)

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#98 2023-01-09 23:44:09

kbd512
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Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

tahanson43206,

The article from your Post #97 mentions that the "miracle material" used is better known as "perovskite".

Here is what Energy.gov says about perovskites:

Perovskite Solar Cells - Solar Energy Technologies Office

...

Perovskite solar cells have demonstrated competitive power conversion efficiencies (PCE) with potential for higher performance, but their stability is limited compared to leading photovoltaic (PV) technologies. Perovskites can decompose when they react with moisture and oxygen or when they spend extended time exposed to light, heat, or applied voltage. To increase stability, researchers are studying degradation in both the perovskite material itself and the surrounding device layers. Improved cell durability is critical for the development of commercial perovskite solar products.

Despite significant progress in understanding the stability and degradation of perovskite solar cells, they are not currently commercially viable because of their limited operational lifetimes. Commercial applications outside the power sector may tolerate a shorter operational life, but even these would require improvements in factors such as device stability during storage. For mainstream solar power generation, technologies that cannot operate for more than two decades are unlikely to succeed, regardless of other benefits.

Early perovskite devices degraded rapidly, becoming non-functional within minutes or hours. Now, multiple research groups have demonstrated lifetimes of several months of operation. For commercial, grid-level electricity production, SETO is targeting an operational lifetime of at least 20 years, and preferably more than 30 years.

The perovskite PV research and development (R&D) community is heavily focused on operational lifetime and is considering multiple approaches to understand and improve stability and degradation. Efforts include improved treatments to decrease the reactivity of the perovskite surface, alternative materials and formulations for perovskite materials, alternative surrounding device layers and electrical contacts, advanced encapsulation materials, and approaches that mitigate degradation sources during fabrication and operation.

One issue with assessing degradation in perovskites is developing consistent testing and validation methods. Research groups report performance results based on highly varied test conditions, including different encapsulation approaches, atmospheric compositions, illumination, electrical bias, and other parameters. While such varied test conditions can provide insights and valuable data, the lack of standardization makes it challenging to directly compare results and difficult to predict field performance from test results.

...

In small-area lab devices, perovskite PV cells have exceeded almost all thin-film technologies (except III-V technologies) in power conversion efficiency, showing rapid improvements over the past five years. However, high-efficiency devices have not necessarily been stable or possible to fabricate at large scale. For widespread deployment of perovskites, maintaining these high efficiencies while achieving stability in large-area modules will be necessary. Continued improvement in efficiency in medium-area modules could be valuable for mobile, disaster response, or operational energy markets where lightweight, high-power devices are critical.

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Many of these methods used to produce lab-scale perovskite devices are not easy to scale up, but there are significant efforts to apply scalable approaches to perovskite fabrication.

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Additional barriers to commercialization are the potential environmental impacts of perovskite materials, which are primarily lead-based. As such, alternative materials are being studied to evaluate, reduce, mitigate, and potentially eliminate toxicity and environmental concerns.

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Validation, performance verification, and bankability—ensuring the willingness of financial institutions to finance a project or proposal at reasonable interest rates—are essential to the commercialization of perovskite technologies. Variability in testing protocols and lack of sufficient field data have limited the ability to compare performance across perovskite devices and to develop confidence in long-term operational behavior.

Current testing protocols for solar PV devices were developed for the existing mainstream PV technologies. These involve indoor testing using protocols that could also accurately predict outdoor performance in silicon and CdTe solar cells, which degrade very differently than perovskite technologies. Objective, trusted validation using test protocols that can adequately screen for real-world failure modes is critical to boost confidence in perovskite technologies, which is necessary to enable investment in production scale-up and deployment. The rapidly changing material and device compositions of perovskite solar cells make this standardized validation particularly challenging and important.

All the surface-level thinking in the world won't lead to any better outcomes.  We'll keep spending money on electronic gadgets because they superficially look like "miracle technologies" to those who don't know what they're observing, so there will never be a shortage of PhD candidates with their hands out who are willing to spend research grants on tasks that more closely resemble milling about than applying all that knowledge we spent so much money to impart to them, in hopes it would be put to good use.  Thus far they haven't delivered anything approaching an actual solution to our energy problems.

There's an endless variety scientifically interesting things to study.  Perovskites are one of them.  I sincerely doubt we're going to improve their operational lifespan by 2 orders of magnitude in the near future.  Anything is possible, but business and economy operates on probabilities rather than possibilities.  We would go broke if we tried funding all of them.

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#99 2023-01-10 07:48:09

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 16,450

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

For kbd512 re #98

Thanks for taking a look at that report....

I'd hoped the research might have been about an improved way to process CO2 and plastics to make useful molecules.

Your report in #98 seems (as I read it) to indicate that the hype is about the solar cells.


Can you (would you) confirm there is nothing new in the process to take CO2 and plastics to make useful molecules.

I would not have posted the story link if I had realized it was only about solar cells.

Improvements of solar cells would NOT have been appropriate for this topic.

(th)

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#100 2023-01-10 07:58:28

Calliban
Member
From: Northern England, UK
Registered: 2019-08-18
Posts: 3,284

Re: Synthetic or Natural Fuel Produced using Solar Power

Porsche produces first synthetic methanol, using recycled CO2 and solar power in Chile.
https://techcrunch.com/2022/12/20/porsc … producing/

'Porsche’s initial plans were for 130,000 liters of the stuff by the end of 2022. Given the date, and the size of that 911’s tank (67 liters at the most), it seems clear that goal will come later. Porsche’s next target is 55 million liters per year within the next three years. At that volume, Porsche’s Michael Steiner says the production cost will drop to roughly $2 per liter.'

If solar power is used to produce hydrogen, another potential product that can be produced by solar plants is iron metal powder.  The US imports most of its pig iron, which is upgraded to steel in electric arc furnaces.  The Russia - Ukraine conflict has cut off most of this supply.  Iron powder could be produced by passing hot hydrogen gas through crushed iron ore.  The reduced iron can be removed from the ore using a magnet and then upgraded to steel in arc furnaces.
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10. … .201900108

Last edited by Calliban (2023-01-10 08:14:22)


"Plan and prepare for every possibility, and you will never act. It is nobler to have courage as we stumble into half the things we fear than to analyse every possible obstacle and begin nothing. Great things are achieved by embracing great dangers."

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