Replacements for fossil fuel?

Archive of the Sojourn3 General Discussion Forum.
Gort
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Replacements for fossil fuel?

Postby Gort » Wed Oct 09, 2002 8:58 pm

We have some truly brilliant, and oft bored people who play this game. Some as a retreat from the worlds stress, others to open up the right side of their brains, and some just because the idea of it is so cool.

I'd like to solicit your brains to come up with ideas (preferably technologically feasible ones) to replace fossil fuel. I know there are several alternative power/fuel sources, and if you can think of a way to make them economically feasible, please post that too.

I'd like to come together as a group to try to take steps to break the world (and especially the US who uses 95% of the worlds resources) addiction to said energy source.

I know economically, OPEC and the world's auto industries are in collusion on this, but there's got to be a way around them.


Give me a hand people.


Toplack *not a registered member of any environmental organization, just sick of getting oil shoved down his throat*

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Postby Daz » Wed Oct 09, 2002 9:09 pm

I posted something about this long ago, I'll see if I can find it. It is NOT technological limitations that prevent us from using alternative means of fuel - it is economic. Do you realize how lucratively profitable the fossile fuel market it is? And their political influence? *coughmr.presidentcough*

There is no lack of viable alternatives, what we do have is a lack of influence in convincing the wealthy to give up their own power/money in order to help the world a single day sooner than they are forced to.

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Yayaril
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Postby Yayaril » Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:23 pm

Liquid hydrogen used in electric engines is a good alternative. Take a look at Iceland- by 2022 or so, their entire fleet of fishing boats will be run on liquid hydrogen.

Did I mention the only waste products of liquid hydrogen is water and oxygen?

To manufacture liquid hydrogen, we can use plants that employ solar power, hydroelectric or geothermal (what they use in iceland to make liquid Hydrogen).
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-Yayaril

[This message has been edited by Yayaril (edited 10-09-2002).]
Daz
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Postby Daz » Wed Oct 09, 2002 10:25 pm

http://www.sumeria.net/free/evgray.html

This is not the page with the specs and patent numbers on the device, but - here it is. it exists, and people know about it. it's still not being embraced, i can't imagine why.

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Musi
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Postby Musi » Thu Oct 10, 2002 12:21 am

A couple years ago, when I had a geology class in college, we had to do research about a topic dealing with something geological. I chose to do my paper on fossil fuels and possible alternatives. One of the alternatives I read about was having tobacco growers stop production, and plant corn. LOTS AND LOTS of corn. Somehow, they can use corn to produce clean fuel for vehicles (don't remember the process, but I'm sure you can find it on the net). Sounds like a win-win-win situation. (Clean fuel, clean breathing air, less dependency on foreign oil)


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Zoldren
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Postby Zoldren » Thu Oct 10, 2002 12:26 am

there are lots of fesible solutions out there and some cheaper, why we dont use them.. good guess

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Postby Corth » Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:32 am

I'm not scientifically inclined but one piece of technology that I have been following with interest is the Segway scooter. Everything that its inventor, Dean Kamen, has touched has turned to gold in the past. The segway can go about 12mph on sidewalks, for like a couple of hours or so, and use only a few cents worth of electricity. It would do wonders for people in urban areas, imho, because its more efficient than walking, cleaner and cheaper than driving, and would reduce traffic. Of primary concern is its safety, though I've read that it has a sophisticated balancing system and is quite safe. If this thing lives up to its hype, it will probably cut a lot of pollution in urban areas without causing undue expense as other environmental friendly technologies have.

Corth

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Snurgt
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Postby Snurgt » Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:42 am

Those electric-gas hybrids are at least a step in the right direction.

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Kifle
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Postby Kifle » Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:43 am

cold fusion!

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Postby Daz » Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:55 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Corth:
<B>I'm not scientifically inclined but one piece of technology that I have been following with interest is the Segway scooter. Everything that its inventor, Dean Kamen, has touched has turned to gold in the past. The segway can go about 12mph on sidewalks, for like a couple of hours or so, and use only a few cents worth of electricity. It would do wonders for people in urban areas, imho, because its more efficient than walking, cleaner and cheaper than driving, and would reduce traffic. Of primary concern is its safety, though I've read that it has a sophisticated balancing system and is quite safe. If this thing lives up to its hype, it will probably cut a lot of pollution in urban areas without causing undue expense as other environmental friendly technologies have.

Corth

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Have you heard/read the reports that the Segway was not the invention that the inventor had thought it was? Supposedly he was working on several inventions, and one of them was supposed to go big. When the Segway was announced, I have read reports that he was quite surprised.

That being said, the damn things are fugly. Sadly, americans are very much image conscious. Do you ever think some guy is gonna walk out of a bar and hop on a Segway to go home?

Hell no. He is gonna stumble out the door, hop on his Harley, fire up the gas-guzzling hog, and roar his way home, letting the whole damn world know he's coming.



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Sarvis
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Postby Sarvis » Thu Oct 10, 2002 2:05 am

Segway's problem, besides ugliness, is that there's no passenger room, or room to carry things. You couldn't even take it shopping, because you need both hands to steer and there's no place to put even a couple grocery bags.

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rylan
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Postby rylan » Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:03 am

You can distil corn down to make ethonol, a combustable form of alcohol. It has much less hydrocarbon emissions than traditional oil based fuel.
Cold Fusion is a crack dream.. it was publisized a while ago that the team working on it were literally on drugs and their research was all bs. Hot Fusion on the other hand is coming together.. the world's first full scale fusion reactor is already planned and I believe construction started. The trick is creating a sustainable reaction, without causing the magnetic restricting fields to buckle from the plasma.. its really interesting stuff.

As for other promising stuff, fuel cells are the way. Just need to figure out how to store hydrogen more safely, and have fueling stations.. plus get the cost of the fuel cell catalysts down.. platinum is kinda expensive Image
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Postby kragt » Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:09 am

http://www.tilleyfoundation.com/

A very interesting electric car that doesn't need to be recharged as much.

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cherzra
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Postby cherzra » Thu Oct 10, 2002 10:49 am

The motionless electromagnetic generator... "free" energy.

http://jnaudin.free.fr/html/meg.htm

Patented this year... but of course it is being kept quiet and fought by (oil) companies who have no interest in seeing something like this actually take off.
Tuga
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Postby Tuga » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:37 am

The thing is, we the public already can do something about going the right direction.

Alternative 1:
In Europe most ppl go to work in big cities and they dont live more than 50km each way from the place of work. So if the already existing and selling electric cars that have a range between 120-200km and go at about 90kms/h max speed. For those that are metric illiterate 60miles = 100kms.
We dont buy these things because the car manufacturers in europe decided to up the price on these cars even tho they cheaper to build.(Batery technology is no longer expensive, electric motors are very cheap)

Alternative 2 (not as good coz it still uses fossil fuels)
Use the darn public transports.

I aint a greeny so dont flame me that way Image

Cheerz
Tuga the Sunless Troll
Tilsen
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Postby Krogenar » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:38 am

The most interesting concept for energy I've heard of so far is the fusion reactor. They have to use magnetic fields in a a torus shape, called a 'tokamak' - picture a hollowed out doughnut - to magnetically contain a stream of superheated plasma. The idea is that the plasma is so hot, not known metal could hold it without melting away.

So far these tokamaks work, but there's a sort of plateau that the scientists need to reach. Once they reach that plateau (if they can reach it) supposedly the fusion reaction would become self-sustaining. If they achieved that, what they would have essentially created is a very small star, on earth.

http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/

Here's a fusion-related website I found.


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- Krogenar
Xisiqomelir
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Postby Xisiqomelir » Thu Oct 10, 2002 12:10 pm

Hydro/Geotherm=Environmentally BAD
Fusion=!happening
Ground Solar=Wasteful

My personal fave, and life ambition, would be SSP. Here is a link

http://www.ssi.org/energy.html

For people too lazy to click, it involved having a honkin' great satellite with massive solar panelage in orbit, the energy of which gets beamed down to Earth via microwave.

Good Points:

1. The Sun is always there, so the power is also. This is opposed to ground solar, which is fubared by night/clouds/eclipses etc
2. The beam is safe to fly through, and there is/are no fumes/waste heat/residual nuclear gunk
3. This will pay for itself rq, and energy costs will plummet
3a. This means oil will be cheap, if not valueless

Bad Points

1. A satellite that size will cost around a bajillion dollars.
2. Similar to Talenrock, if I don't lead it, people won't go Image

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Musi
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Postby Musi » Thu Oct 10, 2002 12:22 pm

Rylan is smart hehe Image

I couldn't remember the ethanol part



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Musi "Desperate to get ress" Ailis
Corth
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Postby Corth » Thu Oct 10, 2002 1:25 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Sarvis:
<B>Segway's problem, besides ugliness, is that there's no passenger room, or room to carry things. You couldn't even take it shopping, because you need both hands to steer and there's no place to put even a couple grocery bags.

</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think it has a small cargo area where you could put a briefcase if you were going to work, or perhaps some groceries. One of the first field tests on the product was by the postal service which used it to delivery mail. The segway used for that purpose is an industrial model that has more storage space, but this demonstrates that a significant amount of cargo can be carried by the scooter.

Essentially, though, I think it is meant for a local commute within an urban area, or a short drive to get groceries or do other errands. Of course, its not going to be a substitute for a pickup truck, but I'm sure there is a niche for cheap transporation without much cargo.

As for the ugliness factor, I guess that comes down to your own subjective idea of what looks good or not. IMHO, it looks fine. It has a futuristic look to it, but its not overboard and the form seems to blend well with the function.

Corth



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Treladian
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Postby Treladian » Thu Oct 10, 2002 11:38 pm

Fusion has potential, but still needs a lot more work before it can be full realized. It uses an isotope of hydrogen and the waste product is water, neither of which are radioactive. It'll be great, but it has to be realized first.

Ground solar as a primary source of power has problems. But considering how much space is available on top of office buildings to put solar panels, it eventually could be a useful supplement to other power sources.

Electric cars and the electric/gas hybrids are interesting, but have a number of problems. The obvious problem is the issue of fuel capacity. Even the hybrids have severely limited range right now. They're good for places like Japan that are heavily condensed but terrible for the US where many people drive considerable distances from a suburb to work. The less obvious but bigger problem from an ecological standpoint is that they need to be charged and the charging stations pretty much negate all the environmental benefits of the cars with all the pollution they put out to power the things. They'd be a more viable solution when someone finds a way to efficiently charge the batteries without using fossil fuels for the charger . . .

Alcohol is a good stop gap. It burns cleaner than gasoline and has a better energy ratio, but it's still imperfect. There's still a significant amount of waste energy in the process so it's not a permanent solution.

Tons of POSSIBLE ways to lessen reliance on fossil fuels, but most of them still need a lot of improvement or would require a lot of work to implement. There's no silver bullet for the fossil fuel issue yet.

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Postby Yayaril » Fri Oct 11, 2002 12:26 am

Rylan- where fuel cells are concerned, storing liquid hydrogen is no more dangerous than storing gasoline.

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Grungar
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Postby Grungar » Fri Oct 11, 2002 12:43 am

I've got an idea. I'm doing some book research on it now, and yeah. Muahahahahaha! It's amazing what talking shit can do for you. You come up with the weirdest ideas. Yeah. So back to writing up my analytical lab.

- Grungar "Virus > Me" Forgefire
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Postby fildur » Fri Oct 11, 2002 9:14 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Treladian:
<B>Fusion has potential, but still needs a lot more work before it can be full realized. It uses an isotope of hydrogen and the waste product is water, neither of which are radioactive. It'll be great, but it has to be realized first.
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


actually the wasteproduct from fusion using hydrogen would be helium. if the wasteproduct would be water you would take the energy from a chemical reaction, not a nucear hence not fusion./j
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Postby fildur » Fri Oct 11, 2002 9:20 am

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tuga:
<B>
Alternative 2 (not as good coz it still uses fossil fuels)
Use the darn public transports.

I aint a greeny so dont flame me that way Image
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

actually the use of public transportation would decrease the number of veicles in the trafic flow, ie there would be faster communications on the roads of the cities, and then again, theres nothing that says that a public transportation has to use fosile fuel, in stockholm for instance lts of busses run on ethanol, and the subway runs on electricity where the main part comes from water power. /fil
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Postby Gort » Fri Oct 11, 2002 8:14 pm

I'm lovin the input, on the economic front, if I were a fossil fuel mogul (oil baron or sheik type) I would be putting a significant amount of my money into being the person to discover my current income sources replacement, and perfecting the hell out of it. Make it so when my finite source starts running low, and the populations consciousness of alternative sources is peaked, I can release it and still make money hand over fist.

Personally I hope those guys aren't that bright, because I'd love the Mid-East to become de-emphasized economically, as it has such horrible political issues that imho won't ever go away. That, and I'm a bit tired of the stereotypical Texas Oil man...


I think one big step we can take, is to push for more of these alternative sources to be made not only available, but cost effective. And I am a BIG fan of public transportation, works great in Europe, and New England. Unfortunately for me, in Colorado, the vote for regional rail has 2x been voted down. This in spite of the rail already being there, and that the only capitol costs that would be incurred would be buying the land for stations, and building them. The trains could be contracted out to someone like Amtrack.

I'm quite sure it would pay for itself inside 10 years, and someone in Fort Collins, or Colorado Springs would be able to work in Denver, not have to drive, and even go to an Avalanche game, get hammered, and get home safely.


Please, keep up the input!

Thank you!

Toplack

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rylan
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Postby rylan » Sun Oct 13, 2002 10:39 pm

Yaya.. thats correct, but for some reason the pubpic misconception is that hydrogen is more dangerous.. I think its the whole hindenburg thing. Kinda funny, since hydrogen will expand and ignite, while gasoline explodes and is really more volatile.
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Postby thanuk » Mon Oct 14, 2002 6:23 am

I studied about Ethanol in a class i had called Social Problems. Apparently you can distill it from corn in your backyard, and LOTS of it, with some weird filter u make out of 5 coffee cans. If you change 2 filters in your carborator, your car can run on it, as i believe NASCAR cars run on this fuel. There is currently a 5k tax per barrel on ethanol produced, and it is illegal to distill it in your home, for more obvious reasons than the tax. Big Business>big ideas. The only way to replace fossil fuels, would be with something just as lucrative.

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gordex
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Postby gordex » Mon Oct 14, 2002 10:28 am

If you can find a way to have the oil barons make as much or more money off these better solutions, then they will be in the market in full force tomorrow.

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Daz
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Postby Daz » Mon Oct 14, 2002 11:00 am

the day your car runs on water, will be the day before water costs 2 bucks a gallon.

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Gort
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Postby Gort » Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:07 pm

Daz,

How much is a gallon of bottled water?

More than $2... I say we should be able to do it now! Lousy big business..... grumble...




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thanuk
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Postby thanuk » Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:49 pm

water is more expensive than gasoline.
Downgrade water!

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Keran
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Postby Keran » Tue Oct 15, 2002 12:16 am

Evian is already too expensive. F that.

I heard that there was a student at MIT that ran his Jetta on grease from Kentury Fried Chicken for over a year. I'm not sure if it was true or not.

But consider the social dynamics! Fat americans get fatter and go further down the road!

Toarn
Xisiqomelir
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Postby Xisiqomelir » Thu Jan 09, 2003 12:53 pm

Found this while digging through /. archives. Best appreciated if you've already read this book.


Home on LaGrange
Words: Bill Higgins and Barry Gehm c. 1978
Music: "Home on the Range"

Oh, give me a locus where the gravitons focus
And the three-body problem is solved,
Where the microwaves play down at three degrees K
And the cold virus never evolved.

CHORUS: Home, home on LaGrange,
Where the space debris always collects.
We possess, so it seems, two of man's greatest dreams:
Solar power and zero-gee sex.

We eat algae pie, our vacuum is high,
Our ball bearings are perfectly round.
Our horizon is curved, our warheads are MIRVed,
And a kilogram weighs half a pound.

CHORUS

You don't need no oil, nor a tokamak coil,
Solar stations provide Earth with juice.
Power beams are sublime, so nobody will mind
If we cook an occasional goose.

INTERLUDE (to Oh, What A Beautiful Morning)
All the cattle are standing like statues.
All the cattle are standing like statues.
They smell of roast beef every time I ride by,
And the hawks and the falcons are dropping like flies...

I've been feeling quite blue since the crystals I grew
Became too big to fit through the door.
But from slices I sold, Hewlett-Packard, I'm told,
Made a chip that was seven foot four.

CHORUS

If we run out of space for our burgeoning race
No more Lebensraum left for the Mensch,
When we're ready to start, we can take Mars apart
If we just find a big enough wrench.

CHORUS

I'm sick of this place, it's just McDonald's in space
And living up here is a bore.
Tell the shiggies "Don't cry," they can kiss me goodby,
'Cause I'm moving next week to L4!




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Abue
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Postby Abue » Thu Jan 09, 2003 1:28 pm

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Musi:
<B>Somehow, they can use corn to produce clean fuel for vehicles (don't remember the process, but I'm sure you can find it on the net).
</B></font><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I run my truck on E85. This is a mixture of 85% Ethenal and 15% fossile fuel gas as unscientific as I can put it. It is not a total replacement, but it is a bandaid and a step in the right direction. Ford makes several of its models to run on this mixture. It is becoming more popular around where I live and more and more gas stations are starting to carry it. It is also less expensive then Gas.

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