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 The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology

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Robin Banks

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PostSubject: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/19/2009, 12:02 pm

Now that ethanol and biodiesel are relatively commonplace, what will be next? Hydrogen is showing more promise than ever. Northwest Indiana has some start-up companies and entrepreneurs that are working in this field unbeknownst to many.
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/19/2009, 1:15 pm

Quote :
Hydrogen is showing more promise than ever.
Yeah, if you've got half a million to spend on a this
Quote :
Northwest Indiana has some start-up companies and entrepreneurs that are working in this field unbeknownst to many.
Really? How do you know this?
And are these the same people that invented that new secret carburetor 30 years ago that was supposed to get 50 mpg?

Problems with and Disadvantages of Biodiesel
http://www.bdpedia.com/biodiesel/alt/alt.html
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/19/2009, 2:50 pm

Robin Banks wrote:
Now that ethanol and biodiesel are relatively commonplace, what will be next?

The development of battery technology:
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stimulus Big Winner: Battery Manufacturing
The Congressional stimulus bill could help create a new, advanced battery industry in the United States.
http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/22188/
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/19/2009, 6:06 pm

OOPPS, the U.S. Department of Energy didn't get the memo that you nay-sayers apparently got. They are actually investigating source, manufacture, dispersion, and costs. This doesn't sound to me like it is like a dog chasing his tail....
Quote :
U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program – Fuel Cells

Fuel cells are an important enabling technology for the hydrogen economy and have the potential to revolutionize the way we power our nation, offering cleaner, more-efficient alternatives to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels. Fuel cells have the potential to replace the internal-combustion engine in vehicles and provide power in stationary and portable power applications because they are energy-efficient, clean, and fuel-flexible. Hydrogen or any hydrogen-rich fuel can be used by this emerging technology.

DOE is working closely with its national laboratories, universities, and industry partners to overcome critical technical barriers to fuel cell commercialization. Current R&D focuses on the development of reliable, low-cost, high-performance fuel cell system components for transportation and buildings applications.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/fuelcells/

Quote :
U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and Infrastructure Technologies Program – Hydrogen Production
Photo of hydrogen researcher.

Hydrogen can be produced using diverse, domestic resources including fossil fuels, such as natural gas and coal (with carbon sequestration); nuclear; biomass; and other renewable energy technologies, such as wind, solar, geothermal, and hydro-electric power.

The overall challenge to hydrogen production is cost reduction. For cost-competitive transportation, a key driver for energy independence and therefore the hydrogen economy, hydrogen must be comparable to conventional fuels and technologies on a per-mile basis in order to succeed in the commercial marketplace. Learn more about DOE's hydrogen cost goal.

The U.S. Department of Energy supports the research and development of a wide range of technologies to produce hydrogen economically and in environmentally friendly ways.
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/production/
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/19/2009, 10:13 pm

I have to post this again...?

Future of the Car: Honda FCX Clarity

...The car itself is impressive, but, in our opinion, costs too much. Currently, each car is estimated to cost about half a million dollars. And without subsidies, hydrogen costs more than twice as much as gasoline today.

Plus, just obtaining the hydrogen is a problem. It either comes from natural gas or from electricity, a process that consumes more energy than the hydrogen provides.

As good as the FCX Clarity is, it will still be many years before hydrogen is a mainstream fuel. Consider the FCX Clarity a car of tomorrow.
http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2008/10/hondafcxclarity.html
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:00 am

edge540 wrote:
I have to post this again...?

Future of the Car: Honda FCX Clarity

...The car itself is impressive, but, in our opinion, costs too much. Currently, each car is estimated to cost about half a million dollars. And without subsidies, hydrogen costs more than twice as much as gasoline today.

Plus, just obtaining the hydrogen is a problem. It either comes from natural gas or from electricity, a process that consumes more energy than the hydrogen provides.

As good as the FCX Clarity is, it will still be many years before hydrogen is a mainstream fuel. Consider the FCX Clarity a car of tomorrow.
http://blogs.consumerreports.org/cars/2008/10/hondafcxclarity.html
And they didn't have gasoline and oil until they sank a few wells. Get a grip. Of course there is going to be initial costs. You like send in money to those rag heads?
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Robin Banks

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:03 am

BWG -

There are some interesting developments for stationary generation. There is a new process at the demonstration stage that can take various refinery by-product gases that are currently burned in flares and convert them to hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used to generate power. The carbon is captured and recycled back into the refinery or used elsewhere.

Many refineries have cogen stations but this new technology substantially reduces overall emissions. Plus, there are almost no limitations on the feed to the system.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:08 am

What people don't realize is that eventually you can manufacture hydrogen from hydrogen fuel cell equipped electric generating stations, which was one of the things that intrigued me.
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Robin Banks

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:15 am

Imagine having a small fuel cell generator, the size of a central air conditioner unit, powering your house. No more electrical grid, no more transmission power losses.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:18 am

What's sad is people only think of fuel cells for cars. You can power your home and "plug your car in".
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:28 am

[quote="BigWhiteGuy"]OOPPS, the U.S. Department of Energy didn't get the memo that you nay-sayers apparently got. They are actually investigating source, manufacture, dispersion, and costs. This doesn't sound to me like it is like a dog chasing his tail....

They researched ethanol, too... It's still a bust. They're investigating everything, simply because we have zero alternatives that work. There's simply no amount of investing that will make hydrogen an energy source instead of the energy carrier that it is, in which case electric and hybrid plugins will be far more efficient.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:35 am

Heretic wrote:
They researched ethanol, too... It's still a bust. They're investigating everything, simply because we have zero alternatives that work. There's simply no amount of investing that will make hydrogen an energy source instead of the energy carrier that it is, in which case electric and hybrid plugins will be far more efficient.
Sorry, but the Dept. of Energy still has hydrogen cells on the table....it hasn't been dismissed.
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Robin Banks

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:35 am

You're right. I guess it's easier to be a skeptic than to be open minded and imaginative. Unfortunately these days it seems there are more people who want to shoot down good ideas than come up with their own.
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:52 am

BigWhiteGuy wrote:

Get a grip.

No actually people that are devoid of reality should "get a grip"

Quote :
You like send in money to those rag heads?
No I don't.
That's why I don't feel the need to drive a 6,000lb, 12 mpg, dick extending giant truck or SUV.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:52 am

Heretic wrote:
They researched ethanol, too... It's still a bust. They're investigating everything, simply because we have zero alternatives that work. There's simply no amount of investing that will make hydrogen an energy source instead of the energy carrier that it is, in which case electric and hybrid plugins will be far more efficient.
...and which efficient means are we using to produce the electricity? What fuel?
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:56 am

edge540 wrote:
BigWhiteGuy wrote:

Get a grip.

No actually people that are devoid of reality should "get a grip"

Quote :
You like send in money to those rag heads?
No I don't.
That's why I don't feel the need to drive a 6,000lb, 12 mpg, dick extending giant truck or SUV.
Not everyone does. What's your point? The price of crude oil is way down from last year, but the price of gasoline is creeping up. Do you know why? Hint: It has to do with benchmark pricing of crude oil in Texas. What? That's right. Just another excuse.
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 8:56 am

BigWhiteGuy wrote:
Heretic wrote:
They researched ethanol, too... It's still a bust. They're investigating everything, simply because we have zero alternatives that work. There's simply no amount of investing that will make hydrogen an energy source instead of the energy carrier that it is, in which case electric and hybrid plugins will be far more efficient.
Sorry, but the Dept. of Energy still has hydrogen cells on the table....it hasn't been dismissed.

So let us know when the automotive engineers at the Dept. of Energy design & start producing a hydrogen cell car that costs around 20 grand.
I'll buy one.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 9:05 am

edge540 wrote:

So let us know when the automotive engineers at the Dept. of Energy design & start producing a hydrogen cell car that costs around 20 grand.
I'll buy one.
My God! I'm surprised you aren't still lighting your house with whale oil lamps! And still putting your priorities centered around your car. Gotta start thinking outside the box, dude.
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 9:30 am

BigWhiteGuy wrote:
edge540 wrote:
BigWhiteGuy wrote:

Get a grip.

No actually people that are devoid of reality should "get a grip"

Quote :
You like send in money to those rag heads?
No I don't.
That's why I don't feel the need to drive a 6,000lb, 12 mpg, dick extending giant truck or SUV.
Not everyone does. What's your point?

Point is, since I drive a Honda Accord I "send in" a lot less money to those rag heads then the guy that drives a Ford F150 or Chevy Suburban.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 9:53 am

Quote :
Sorry, but the Dept. of Energy still has hydrogen cells on the table....it hasn't been dismissed.

I didn't say they wouldn't work, I said they'd would be ineffective:

Quote :
More than 95 percent of U.S. hydrogen is made from natural gas, so running a car on hydrogen doesn't reduce net carbon dioxide emissions compared with a hybrid like the Prius running on gasoline. Okay, you say, can't hydrogen be made from carbon-free sources of power, like wind energy or nuclear? Sure, but so can electricity for electric cars. And this gets to the heart of why hydrogen cars would be the last car you would ever want to buy: they are wildly inefficient compared with electric cars.

Electric cars--and plug-in hybrid cars--have an enormous advantage over hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles in utilizing low-carbon electricity. That is because of the inherent inefficiency of the entire hydrogen fueling process, from generating the hydrogen with that electricity to transporting this diffuse gas long distances, getting the hydrogen in the car, and then running it through a fuel cell--all for the purpose of converting the hydrogen back into electricity to drive the same exact electric motor you'll find in an electric car.

The total power-plant-to-wheels efficiency with which a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle is likely to utilize low-carbon electricity is 20 to 25 percent--and the process requires purchasing several expensive pieces of hardware, including the electrolyzer and delivery infrastructure. The total efficiency of simply charging an onboard battery with the original low-carbon electricity, and then discharging the battery to run the electric motor in an electric car or plug-in, however, is 75 to 80 percent. That is, an electric car will travel three to four times farther on a kilowatt-hour of renewable or nuclear power than a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle will.


And there's plenty of other hurdles, too.

BigWhiteGuy wrote:
...and which efficient means are we using to produce the electricity? What fuel?

Anything other than hydrogen, obviously.
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BigWhiteGuy

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 10:00 am

Heretic wrote:


BigWhiteGuy wrote:
...and which efficient means are we using to produce the electricity? What fuel?

Anything other than hydrogen, obviously.
Oil? Coal? Still fossil fuels... Nuclear? Still no nuclear plants in Indiana... Solar? Wind? Not dependable...
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 10:28 am

Which is why I rank electric vehicles only slightly higher on the list than hydrogen.
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Robin Banks

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 11:32 am

[quote="Heretic"]
BigWhiteGuy wrote:
OOPPS, the U.S. Department of Energy didn't get the memo that you nay-sayers apparently got. They are actually investigating source, manufacture, dispersion, and costs. This doesn't sound to me like it is like a dog chasing his tail....

They researched ethanol, too... It's still a bust. They're investigating everything, simply because we have zero alternatives that work. There's simply no amount of investing that will make hydrogen an energy source instead of the energy carrier that it is, in which case electric and hybrid plugins will be far more efficient.

I wouldn't write off ethanol as a bust yet. Are you familiar with what Brazil has done with ethanol?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 11:48 am

Quote :
Are you familiar with what Brazil has done with ethanol?
Why yes, we are.

They make it out of sugar cane.
Can't do that here, we use corn:

Problems associated with corn-derived ethanol
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_ethanol

Ethanol myth blasted in new Science mag
http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/archive/2008/02/10/ethanol-myth-blasted-in-new-science-mag.aspx
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: The Future of Fuel and Energy Technology   2/20/2009, 11:57 am

Robin Banks wrote:
Are you familiar with what Brazil has done with ethanol?

Exactly my point. We simply don't have enough land to use for growing our energy and our food.
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