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Old 12-23-2008, 08:45 AM   #26
mnavarro
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I don't think fuel cells will ever cut it... they're too susceptible to contamination. If EEstors ultracapacitor technology actually works it could be a game changer. There will probably never be a silver bullet to deal with our energy problem. People talk about how clean wind power is, but do you know how many birds they kill in Livermore, CA. The number is quite astonishing. The reality is that many methods should be looked at to create electricity, including nuclear. Perhaps our government should invest in research for alternatives fuels, but we should not be subsidizing an industry that's not economically or environmentally viable like e85.
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Old 12-23-2008, 08:49 AM   #27
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Yeah it'll take several methods to eventually negate fossil fuels, and a lot more time. I'm sure that we'll eventually have a clean, efficient method, that's also capable of true performance, but who knows what it'll be.
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Old 12-23-2008, 10:12 AM   #28
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I don't think there's anything wrong with E85 or ethanol powered cars but the source of which we get ethanol from is not the best option. There are plenty of other sources to get ethanol from, and corn is quite possibly the worst option.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnavarro View Post
People talk about how clean wind power is, but do you know how many birds they kill in Livermore, CA. The number is quite astonishing.
The wind farm you're talking about was built almost 30 years ago and almost all the turbines deployed there are considered obsolete. Modern wind turbines are much taller and spin much more slowly, largely mitigating the bird problem. The biggest problem with wind is that it is not dispatchable and many sites tend to produce more in off-peak hours. The ultracapacitors you were talking about could help out with that.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:59 PM   #30
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no duh. Ethanol was just a scam for Gm and ford to meet the CAFE requirements. It was quite obvious from the start.
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Old 12-23-2008, 06:52 PM   #31
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no duh. Ethanol was just a scam for Gm and ford to meet the CAFE requirements.
This. Huge truth here.


Ethanol is crap for a lot of reasons. The biggest though, is that when using corn, only about 0.1% to 0.01% of the solar energy hitting the land comes out the other end as energy embodied in ethanol. And that doesn't count the natural gas used to make the fertilizer that goes on the fields, the diesel that tills the land, harvests the corn and moves it to the ethanol plant, and the natural gas that distills the corn liquor.

And then we burn it in vehicles that manage to convert between 1% to 0.3% of the energy in the fuel into moving the driver...

Anyone see a problem in scaling that math up to 100 million vehicles? Going with cellulosic or with algae bumps that 0.1% figure up to 3-5%.

Put a solar cell on 1/10th of that acerage (say, along the fence lines), capture 10-17% of the solar energy. Put a couple wind turbines in too. Charge batteries at 90% efficiency. Discharge in lightweight aerodynamic vehicles at 85% efficiency. That scales...

Ethanol is just bridge. A bridge to full electric.

Algae oils will most likely be end up being used for applications requiring high energy density, like long-haul trucks (which should go intermodal via train anyway), planes and ships. And even that may be just a bridge to hydrogen.
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Old 12-23-2008, 11:50 PM   #32
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and that is a picture of the bio-diesel station at westlake and broad in Seattle
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Old 12-24-2008, 12:32 AM   #33
mrubino83
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VP Import is my alternative fuel.
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Old 12-24-2008, 02:49 AM   #34
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Ethanol is a waste of time, money, and resources. I can't find a gas station anymore that doesn't have "may contain up to 10% ethanol", which stinks because I've lost approx. 2 MPG since the switch.
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Old 12-26-2008, 03:46 PM   #35
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I don't think there's anything wrong with E85 or ethanol powered cars but the source of which we get ethanol from is not the best option. There are plenty of other sources to get ethanol from, and corn is quite possibly the worst option.
I have to agree.

I think that part of the problem is that the government does not invest enough into research, like it used to. The US had such an advantage over the rest of the globe b/c were used public funds to develop new methods and technologies. Now, we leave it all to the private sector (some military spending aside).

Anybody know how much we spent on the Iraq war? Say we put that $$ into researching alternative fuels or investing in alternative fuel plants and infrastructure (ethanol or whatever), we'd probably be foreign oil independant right now and not have lost even one life!
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Old 12-27-2008, 11:08 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by VWGrk1 View Post
Anybody know how much we spent on the Iraq war? Say we put that $$ into researching alternative fuels or investing in alternative fuel plants and infrastructure (ethanol or whatever), we'd probably be foreign oil independant right now and not have lost even one life!
Perhaps, although it may take much more money and would certainly take decades of permitting for transmission projects. No permits required to shock and awe.
The irony is that it is currently MUCH easier to sell the American people on invading a middle eastern country than it is to sell them on R&D for energy independence. We deserve what we get - being passed up by other countries in science, a boat load of debt and nothing to show for it other than animosity from the rest of the world.
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