SciForums.com > Science > Chemistry > Why not ammonia, NH3, as liquid fuel? PDA View Full Version : Why not ammonia, NH3, as liquid fuel? Post ReplyCreate New Thread Billy T02-26-07, 03:08 PMA jug of ammonia (Not hard to keep liquid at room temperature with modest pressure.) has more hydrogen in it than a jug of pure liquid hydrogen!* (which is very hard to keep liquid even with huge pressures and very cold temperatures) When you decompose ammonia (NH3) you get heat and can throw the N2 formed into the air and even Green Peace’s idiots** know that is OK. The resulting H2 can be burned to H2O, which also is harmless to discharge into the air. Ammonia is relative cheap to make - if it were not farmers would not be injecting solution of it (I think) into the soil of their farms. - I think that is the major commercial use of NH3 today. I am not much of a chemist, but can someone who is tell me why do we not use these facts to make ammonia fuel for cars and trucks, etc? --------------------------- *True because each molecule has 3 atoms of hydrogen, instead of 2 in it. **The ones that have blocked the development of safe nuclear power in US for 30+years with the net result that much more CO2 has been dumped into the air and global warming is now a serious enviromental problem, not to mention all the SO2 that has been released, killing fish in Adrondac and N. European lakes, even killing some forests with the "acid rain" SO2 becomes. etc. Plazma Inferno!02-26-07, 03:43 PMMy contribution, although I'm not chemist. Ammonia fuel cell United States Patent 7157166 This invention refers to generating electrical energy comprising an ammonia fuel cell for generating electrical energy including a catalyst being in contact with a high temperature proton conducting membrane and the catalyst comprising at least one decomposition catalyst which causes NH3 to decompose to N2 and H2 and at least one catalytic anode which dissociates and ionizes H2 into H+ and electrons, the fuel cell further including at least one catalytic cathode for reaction of H+, electrons and oxygen to form H2O, an external circuit from the catalytic anode to the catalytic cathode, an ammonia source for introducing ammonia into the fuel cell, a gas exit for N2, and an oxygen source. Also, Ammonia Cracker has been developed two years ago by Apollo Energy Systems to extract hydrogen from ammonia for fuel. More here (http://pesn.com/2005/05/24/6900101_ZAP_ammonia_cracker/). Roman02-26-07, 04:08 PMCreating the fertilizers (NH3) that farmers use requires a great deal of energy. Energy we get from fossil fuels. MetaKron02-26-07, 04:46 PMRight now, most ammonia is manufactured from hydrogen and nitrogen, using a lot of electricity. Not much use cracking ammonia to get a raw material that it is manufactured from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia Positron02-26-07, 05:48 PMHere are some of the reasons for not using ammonia as opposed to hydrogen 1) It puts off Nitrous Oxide which is very bad for you 2) It smells awful 3) It is more expensive to produce than Hydrogen Billy T02-27-07, 07:54 AMHere are some of the reasons for not using ammonia as opposed to hydrogen 1) It puts off Nitrous Oxide which is very bad for you 2) It smells awful 3) It is more expensive to produce than HydrogenCan yo say a little more on (1)? Are you just referring to the NOx that is made when any fuel is burned in modern high compression / high temperature engine, or something specific to HN3? On (2) THIS IS AN ADVANTAGE. In higher concentration it will kill you. It must be keep under compression at all times and if a small leak does occur, the strong smell can save your life. Contrast this with the oderless CO that kills a few people every year. (Often they were keeping warm with the car's gasoline motor running while stuck in snow drift that blocked the dispersion of the exhaust, helped it seep into the car. That will never happen with ammonia, thanks to the smell and fact neither H2, & N2 nor H2O products of this system (as I understand it) are toxic. On (3) and in answer to Metkron also: Probably true NH3 is more expensive to make (as there is more stored energy stored in each molecule), but againthat is an advantage. Important point to keep in mind is: Both H2 and NH3 are energy transport systems, not energy sources. - Clearly when the cost of transport is included, room temperature NH3 system is much cheaper and much lighter in the car for much better fuel milage performance. Nasor02-27-07, 08:01 AMIt would work great if you could get some kind of catalyst to help you break down the NH3 into N2 and H2. As is, there is no good way to do it. It would take you more energy to get hydrogen from the NH3 than you could hope to get back by burning it. Positron02-27-07, 08:56 AMI suppose the smell could be a good thing but with combustion the products of the reaction must go somewhere. It would not be efficent to "can" it in another part of the car because not all will be used up. As for the NOx put off. Something is put off for all reactions. CO2 is put off from Combustion with gasoline and NOx is just what would be put off burning ammonia. Billy T02-27-07, 09:05 AMI suppose the smell could be a good thing but with combustion the products of the reaction must go somewhere. It would not be efficent to "can" it in another part of the car because not all will be used up. As for the NOx put off. Something is put off for all reactions. CO2 is put off from Combustion with gasoline and NOx is just what would be put off burning ammonia.I do not envision burning NH3,not even sure it will burn. One decomposes it and throws the very low cost, efficient, light-weight (compared to metal hydrides, cryogenic / very high pressure tanks, etc. H2 requires) "transport system" I.e. the nitrogen, as N2, away. Both H2 and decomposed NH3 can be used in fuel cell electric moter car to proproduce zero NOx and in principle as not Carnot limited, more efficiet cars - perhapse more that twice as efficient as the 30 to 35% Carnot limited IC engine cars of today, but practical economic consideration (do not use lot of copper in the motors etc.) may limit the real world efficiency to only twice that of current cars. Nasor I do not remember the details, but a catalytic decomposition system is well developed. - I read about it years ago - why I know the decomposition is exothermic. Probably, Plazma Inferno's patent reference tells at least one also. Positron02-27-07, 09:15 AMOn a small scale in a car, compressed tanks could be dangerous unless properly sheilded and this will hike the price of the car. As for "burning" the ammonia it is just a term I use for using something as energy in casual chemistry speak. MetaKron02-27-07, 12:05 PMMy contribution, although I'm not chemist. Ammonia fuel cell United States Patent 7157166 This invention refers to generating electrical energy comprising an ammonia fuel cell for generating electrical energy including a catalyst being in contact with a high temperature proton conducting membrane and the catalyst comprising at least one decomposition catalyst which causes NH3 to decompose to N2 and H2 and at least one catalytic anode which dissociates and ionizes H2 into H+ and electrons, the fuel cell further including at least one catalytic cathode for reaction of H+, electrons and oxygen to form H2O, an external circuit from the catalytic anode to the catalytic cathode, an ammonia source for introducing ammonia into the fuel cell, a gas exit for N2, and an oxygen source. Also, Ammonia Cracker has been developed two years ago by Apollo Energy Systems to extract hydrogen from ammonia for fuel. More here (http://pesn.com/2005/05/24/6900101_ZAP_ammonia_cracker/). This one might make sense. Couldn't there also be a cycle to use the released hydrogen? Billy T02-27-07, 02:45 PM...As for "burning" the ammonia it is just a term I use for using something as energy in casual chemistry speak.I think you need to keep your thoughts separate to avoid confusion: Burning can mean oxidation in a fuel cell, I admit, but if you want that to be understood, say that. I also think that "burning ammonia" meansjust that - not decomposing ammonia and then either buring one of the decomposition product in an IC engine of a car OR using it as the fuel of fuel cell. Even the discussion of the two catalyist fuel cell (in Plazma's post) keeps it clear that it is a two step process - decomposition followed by fuel cell use of the hydrogen. no one can tell what you ae saying if you fail to distinguish these concptually different process by calling them all "burning" - at least I was not able to tell what you were referring to. As far as your comments about the "ammonia car" - I agree that it would be more expensive, but note that the gasoline IC engine has had more than 100 years of development to bring the cost per horsepower of capacity down. Might be more fair to compare both systems after 10 years of progress in development of each. Billy T02-27-07, 03:04 PMThis one might make sense. Couldn't there also be a cycle to use the released hydrogen?Yes. For example, if nuclear power were used to first produce H2 from electrolysis and also at the power plant, this H2 and N2 from the air were made into NH3, it could be sent long distances with less loss (and in hidden under ground pipes)* to cities and then distributed thru (in some cases existing natural gas pipelines) to individual homes where small fuel cells provide both heat (for making hot water etc) and electricity. Certainly a transform of the existing energy system, more costly at least initially, but with zero release of CO2 and much higher efficiency than the current system which wastes at least 2/3 of the energy by the time it is used in the home. ------------------------------- *Always amazes me how "ugly" many view the graceful aerodynamic wind generators yet say little about power line marching across the landscape, some time even building their homes along these lines. MetaKron02-27-07, 06:04 PMOK, I made a mistake and should have read the link. The ammonia cracker makes sense. Apparently it doesn't even have to use electricity. Too bad it won't generate enough power to actually liquefy the hydrogen. francois02-27-07, 08:19 PMI once had an adjunct teacher in high school physics. He was a real greeny hippy type. You could just tell by his whole attitude and he was only well-dressed and shaven so he could be a teacher. He did Peace Corps and taught classes to kids in Tanzania. He was in class one day expressing in a matter-of-fact tone that we could easily be driving water-powered cars if it weren't for the big oil and the powers that be. He's like, "Water has hydrogen! We can use the hydrogen to power our cars!" "I'm like, but it requires energy to separate the hydrogen from the water. Water, itself as it is, is not a viable fuel. The energy that goes into breaking apart water into its constituent atoms is what make hydrogen and oxygen volatile chemicals. Its constituents atoms are volatile because they can be used as fuel. It's energy potential is often what makes a fuel volatile." The guy was like, "Nope. We could have had water-powered cars in the 70's." My real physics teacher understood what I was saying and knew I was right, but didn't say anything. I guess the main question is, how easily can the hydrogen atoms be stripped off the ammonia molecules? Obviously energy is needed to break the bonds, to separate the hydrogen from the nitrogen, just like energy is needed to break the bonds of hydrogen from oxygen in water. But how much energy is needed to do it? If too much energy is needed, then it might be a completely fruitless endeavor. On the other hand, it might use very little energy, in which case ammonia might be a very good idea. However, just because ammonia contains a lot of hydrogen doesn't make it a good potential fuel. MetaKron02-28-07, 12:34 AMI think we're better off with engines that don't rely on internal explosions to combust the fuel. Hydrocarbons are only a problem because of soot. I have thought for a long time that steam engines are a better choice for powering hybrid electrics for that reason, that they can generate less pollution and the storage battery keeps the driver from having to wait for them to warm up. The creation of ammonia is an endothermic process. Releasing the stored energy is exothermic, so the generation of electricity by cracking ammonia can work, as the article referenced above says. The Wikipedia article says that ammonia has also been used as rocket fuel with liquid oxygen for the oxidizer. Positron02-28-07, 08:42 AMBilly, I apologize for any confusing tones that came off from me and I will try not to do it again. I agree that if ammonia is used extensivley in cars the cost will indeed be much cheaper. Unfortunatley it has been hard to get America on the track to hydrogen as an alternative fuel and any switches on that may confuse people as to think we don't know what we are doing. If the people do not support it the people in Washington will just keep going with something that can fatten their wallet. But, i'm straying from the chemical point of this thread. Ammonia is surely an alternative scource of energy but just about everything is or can be with proper reasearch. Nasor02-28-07, 10:40 AMI guess the main question is, how easily can the hydrogen atoms be stripped off the ammonia molecules? Obviously energy is needed to break the bonds, to separate the hydrogen from the nitrogen, just like energy is needed to break the bonds of hydrogen from oxygen in water. But how much energy is needed to do it? Thermodynamically, you release energy when you go from 2 ammonia molecules and 3 oxygen molecules to 6 water molecules and 2 nitrogen molecules. So from an energy standpoint, it could work. Billy T02-28-07, 12:06 PM....I guess the main question is, how easily can the hydrogen atoms be stripped off the ammonia molecules? Obviously energy is needed to break the bonds, to separate the hydrogen from the nitrogen, just like energy is needed to break the bonds of hydrogen from oxygen in water. But how much energy is needed to do it? If too much energy is needed, then it might be a completely fruitless endeavor. On the other hand, it might use very little energy, in which case ammonia might be a very good idea....I am not a chemist but have read that the catalytic decomposition (at high temperature, I think, but that is not a chronic energy requirement for an exothermic process, if well insulated.) is an exothermic process. You could check this by comparing the binding energy in two molecules of NH3 with that in an N2 and 3 of H2*. I.e. six N-H bonds broken in the two NH3s and four stronger ones formed. I.e. you are forgetting the fact that twice as many new bound molecules are formed for those decomposed. - That is why I do believe what I have read about decomposition being exothermic. by edit - I now see Nasor just said the over all process (water and N2 as final products) is exothermic, but even only the decompositioon stage is exothermic I believe and told above how to check. ---------------------------------- *I do not know if it is correct or not, but as a physicsist, I tend to think of H2 as sort of like deterium in mass and sort of like helium in electronic configuration. I.e. has two protons keeping apart by electo statics and two electron going around this "split He nucleus" in the same n = 1 ground state as one is spin up and the other is spin down and Pauli (exclusion principle) is happy. Thus very strongly bound, I think, H2 is. Nasor02-28-07, 01:05 PMActually it's endothermic to go from 2 NH3 to 1 N2 and 3 H2. So if you use ammonia as a hydrogen source you actually pay an energy penalty when you liberate the hydrogen from the ammonia, but you more than make up for it in the second step where you combine the hydrogen with oxygen. Billy T02-28-07, 03:34 PMActually it's endothermic to go from 2 NH3 to 1 N2 and 3 H2. So if you use ammonia as a hydrogen source you actually pay an energy penalty when you liberate the hydrogen from the ammonia, but you more than make up for it in the second step where you combine the hydrogen with oxygen.Can you show or give reference? as this is not what I remember. Even if true, can fall back on your point that the over all process is exothermic. Most do not realize that a very high percent of the power that a jet engine makes is feed back to drive the compressor, so using part of the output to drive part of the process is not a "show stopper." francois03-01-07, 01:41 PMWhat about Na2B4O7·10H2O? Nasor03-01-07, 04:11 PMCan you show or give reference? as this is not what I remember. Even if true, can fall back on your point that the over all process is exothermic. Most do not realize that a very high percent of the power that a jet engine makes is feed back to drive the compressor, so using part of the output to drive part of the process is not a "show stopper." Just look up the standard enthalpy of formation for NH3. Whatever units you find it in, it will be a negative number, meaning it's exothermic to make NH3 from H2 and N2. So it must be endothermic to make H2 and N2 from NH3. But the reaction where you combine the hydrogen with the oxygen is exothermic enough to make up for it and leave you with an excess of energy. a_ht10-18-07, 01:29 PMJust for the records, the standard entalphy formation information refers to the energy needed to make NH3 from N & H & H & H as opposed to N2 & H2. Nasor10-18-07, 02:01 PMJust for the records, the standard entalphy formation information refers to the energy needed to make NH3 from N & H & H & H as opposed to N2 & H2. No, the standard enthalpy of formation is the energy needed to make a product if you start with elemental reactants in their "standard state". For nitrogen and hydrogen, the standard state is diatomic H2 and N2. Jeff 15210-18-07, 05:48 PMAs far as actually obtaining the ammonia, what about using human urine as a source? I know it contains ammonia, but is it enough such that you could like filter out your own ammonia fuel in your house? Or at least if new plumbing lines were made in homes just for urine and these would lead to a local plant which could filter out the ammonia somehow and then would be just a supplemental supply of ammonia? Maybe people could even get tax breaks or incentives based on how much ammonia they contribute ( I can see it now, ID swipe cards at public toilets to add to your ammonia contribution lol) But in all seriousness, is urine a viable source of ammonia? Sciencelovah10-19-07, 01:12 PMAs far as actually obtaining the ammonia, what about using human urine as a source? I know it contains ammonia, but is it enough such that you could like filter out your own ammonia fuel in your house? Or at least if new plumbing lines were made in homes just for urine and these would lead to a local plant which could filter out the ammonia somehow and then would be just a supplemental supply of ammonia? Maybe people could even get tax breaks or incentives based on how much ammonia they contribute ( I can see it now, ID swipe cards at public toilets to add to your ammonia contribution lol) But in all seriousness, is urine a viable source of ammonia? Are you suggesting that the toilet for light toilet (urinating) and heavy toilet (excretion of faecal matter) is separated :confused: Sciencelovah10-19-07, 01:37 PMWell, as far as I know, so far household wastewater is only separated into greywater and blackwater. Greywater, sometimes spelled graywater, grey water or gray water and also known as sullage, is non-industrial wastewater generated from domestic processes such as washing dishes, laundry and bathing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greywater Blackwater (waste) is a relatively recent term used to describe water containing fecal matter and urine. It is also known as brown water, foul water, or sewage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_%28waste%29 Anyway if you refer to this (http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/publications/freshwater/sb_summary/2.asp): Each person on average excretes about 4 kg N and 0.4 kg P in urine, and 0.55kg N and 0.18 kg P in faeces per year. let say in the city where I live, with nearly 1 million inhabitants, the city can collect 4.55 million kg N per year, or 12.5 ton N per day. Hmm... this isn't really bad.. :D but you have to consider this: population: the city should be at least metropolis (over half a million of inhabitant) the cost to separate ammonia from the blackwater (90% of Nitrogen in blackwater is in form of ammonia)... how much is the fuel demand etc etc.. umm... somebody could make a PhD for that :truce: Billy T10-19-07, 01:47 PMIf you want to recover/ use human produced NH3, I suggest you go piss on the ground near a plant you want to grow faster. Spread it around a little. In winter, with snow, be artistc. (Man, not woman, was first artist - probably why, in general they are better artists. :shrug: - Man's special gift is in their jeans. ;) ) Sciencelovah10-19-07, 01:53 PMhe asked about ammonia for fuel, not for fertilizer :shrug: As far as actually obtaining the ammonia, what about using human urine as a source? I know it contains ammonia, but is it enough such that you could like filter out your own ammonia fuel in your house? Carcano10-20-07, 05:36 AMI have thought for a long time that steam engines are a better choice for powering hybrid electrics for that reason, that they can generate less pollution and the storage battery keeps the driver from having to wait for them to warm up. Me too! :) A small steam turbine to recharge the battery. Carcano10-20-07, 05:41 AMIf you want to recover/ use human produced NH3, I suggest you go piss on the ground near a plant you want to grow faster. Spread it around a little. In winter, with snow, be artistc.Isnt that where Jackson Pollack got his inspiration? :cool: TruthSeeker10-21-07, 01:46 AMA jug of ammonia (Not hard to keep liquid at room temperature with modest pressure.) has more hydrogen in it than a jug of pure liquid hydrogen!* (which is very hard to keep liquid even with huge pressures and very cold temperatures) When you decompose ammonia (NH3) you get heat and can throw the N2 formed into the air and even Green Peace’s idiots** know that is OK. The resulting H2 can be burned to H2O, which also is harmless to discharge into the air. Ammonia is relative cheap to make - if it were not farmers would not be injecting solution of it (I think) into the soil of their farms. - I think that is the major commercial use of NH3 today. I am not much of a chemist, but can someone who is tell me why do we not use these facts to make ammonia fuel for cars and trucks, etc? --------------------------- *True because each molecule has 3 atoms of hydrogen, instead of 2 in it. **The ones that have blocked the development of safe nuclear power in US for 30+years with the net result that much more CO2 has been dumped into the air and global warming is now a serious enviromental problem, not to mention all the SO2 that has been released, killing fish in Adrondac and N. European lakes, even killing some forests with the "acid rain" SO2 becomes. etc. Not that simple. First, to break down molecules and to make molecules require energy. It often also require some other kind of molecule to exchange atoms. Thus, you must think about the energy required to make the chemical transactions and the bi-products that the reaction may produce, not only how easy it is to transport the chemicals. For one thing, breaking down and creating H2O takes quite a bit of energy... So... what substance do you propose to use in order to break down a molecule of NH3? O2? NH3 + O2 + H2 = H2O + NH2 + H + energy.........? Huuumm..... :scratchin: TruthSeeker10-21-07, 01:46 AMDarn... I haven't done chemistry for so long I forgot all the rules....! :bawl: Nasor10-21-07, 09:39 AMSo... what substance do you propose to use in order to break down a molecule of NH3? O2? He was proposing going from NH3 (that you store in your car's tank) and O2 (that you get for free from the air) to make N2 and H2O. Thermodynamically it would work, since you release a lot of energy when you combine ammonia with oxygen to make N2 and water. Most of the energy comes from combining the hydrogen with he oxygen to make water...basically the ammonia is just a better way to store the hydrogen. It might be the only sensible idea about alternative energy to be posted in the history of sciforums. TruthSeeker10-21-07, 01:39 PMHe was proposing going from NH3 (that you store in your car's tank) and O2 (that you get for free from the air) to make N2 and H2O. Thermodynamically it would work, since you release a lot of energy when you combine ammonia with oxygen to make N2 and water. Most of the energy comes from combining the hydrogen with he oxygen to make water...basically the ammonia is just a better way to store the hydrogen. It might be the only sensible idea about alternative energy to be posted in the history of sciforums. So how much energy is required to do the reaction? Nasor10-22-07, 08:26 AMSo how much energy is required to do the reaction? It take 46 kj/mol to turn the ammonia into N2 and H2, then releases 363 kj/mol when you burn the H2. So you get a net energy output of about 317 kj/mol of NH3. TruthSeeker10-22-07, 03:22 PMSounds good to me? So what's stopping it from happening? The smell? :D nh3 fuel01-31-08, 10:30 AMAll-- I just ran across your forum. Most everything you say is true (except an earlier statement that NH3 is mostly made using electrolytic H2--it's actually mostly made using H2 from reforming natural gas). NH3 is a carbon-free clean fuel that has been used in vehicle engines since the 1930s. It can be used in spark-ignited ICEs, diesel (with ~5% high-cetane co-fuel), combustion turbine, and direct-NH3 fuel cells. Perhaps the best thing about ammonia is that it can be synthesized from simply air and water using renewable (or nuclear) energy electricity. E.g. wind or solar to ammonia. There is much going on in the world regarding NH3 fuel. www dot energy.iastate.edu/Renewable/ammonia/ammonia dot htm . Also, look in a few weeks for the new web site of the Ammonia Fuel Network, a non-profit organization promoting NH3 fuel, at www dot ammoniafuelnetwork dot org . Keep up the good work and ideas. decantemix02-01-08, 05:10 PMA jug of ammonia (Not hard to keep liquid at room temperature with modest pressure.) has more hydrogen in it than a jug of pure liquid hydrogen!* (which is very hard to keep liquid even with huge pressures and very cold temperatures) When you decompose ammonia (NH3) you get heat and can throw the N2 formed into the air and even Green Peace’s idiots** know that is OK. The resulting H2 can be burned to H2O, which also is harmless to discharge into the air. Ammonia is relative cheap to make - if it were not farmers would not be injecting solution of it (I think) into the soil of their farms. - I think that is the major commercial use of NH3 today. I am not much of a chemist, but can someone who is tell me why do we not use these facts to make ammonia fuel for cars and trucks, etc? --------------------------- *True because each molecule has 3 atoms of hydrogen, instead of 2 in it. **The ones that have blocked the development of safe nuclear power in US for 30+years with the net result that much more CO2 has been dumped into the air and global warming is now a serious enviromental problem, not to mention all the SO2 that has been released, killing fish in Adrondac and N. European lakes, even killing some forests with the "acid rain" SO2 becomes. etc. It's highly caustic, and has a relative low flash point. Burning is not wise, as it is not clear. Trying to recall, 20% remains unburned. So, anyone behind you, or in front, will Emit DEATH! Not to mention, it trickles with eddy currents. And preventing back-flash could easily be over-ridden. By anyone whom wished with the tap of a hammer. BOOM! Billy T02-02-08, 04:12 AMIt's highly caustic, and has a relative low flash point. Burning is not wise, as it is not clear. Trying to recall, 20% remains unburned. So, anyone behind you, or in front, will Emit DEATH! Not to mention, it trickles with eddy currents. And preventing back-flash could easily be over-ridden. By anyone whom wished with the tap of a hammer. BOOM!It takes considerable energy to decompose NH3. There is net energy release after you get it decomposted by oxidizing the decomposition products, especially the H2 -> H2O reaction. At certain times of the year, tons of NH3 are spread on farms by their owners each day in the USA. That agricultural use is the main market for NH3 in the USA, I think. Yes, NH3 is toxic, but it has such a strong smell that one would leave the area, if a small leak were to develope. Farmers spread it in an water solution, I think. Although one could add energy to each molecule by hitting pure NH3 liquid (which would not be liquid unless inside a presure containiner) I strongly doubt that the energy per molecule possible this way would be even half that necessary to decompose a molecule. You do not seem to understand that the decomposition REQUIRES input of energy. I.e. is an endothermic process. I know little chemisty, but of that I am sure. Can you support ANY of your statements? I bet less than half are correct. decantemix02-02-08, 01:40 PMYeah, I avoid petty squabbles these days. PM me, and post your theories, not contradiction for all to see. Waste of time/effort...<==*Ellipse Billy T02-03-08, 05:10 AMYeah, I avoid petty squabbles these days. PM me, and post your theories, not contradiction for all to see. ...<==*EllipseNot squabbling. I am sort of a self apointed watchdog at sciforums in that I try to correct errors when I can. {later by edit: Even my own -see next paragraph.} Many will confirm this. Quite a few people lurk here and as retired professor (in part) I do not like to see falsehoods spread. Thus, I post and rarely use PMs - that would be squabbling. Also I want to note that my speculation (I said "I think") that one might be able to put fires out with ammonia is wrong.* (So I have removed that error in prior post.) If ammonia molecules are introduced into a flame, for example as in "flash point" testing, then they do get enough energy to decompose. If there is approximately a 20% concentration of these molecules then there can be a explosion, I think. It of course does require that the ammonia be in the gas, not liquid, phase; but at atmospheric pressure that would be the case. Liquids (and solids) normally will not burn but many will vaporize or thermally decompose and their decomposition products will both burn and provide the heat to decompose more of the solid or liquid so wood, coal etc. can serve as fuels, but they do not burn as solids. Thus I continue to think that liquid ammonia will not burn but the gas will within the limited concentration range you gave. --------------------- *For all practical purposes, but not entirely. If one very quickly floods a small flame (such as a candle) even with a stream of liquid gasoline you can put the candle out. - Very dangerous to demonstrate but dramatically shows that liquids do not burn. decantemix02-03-08, 05:43 AMhttp://encyclopedia.airliquide.com/Encyclopedia.asp?GasID=2 ... "Major Hazards * Major hazard : Inhalation and Bodily Contact * Toxicity (Am. Conf. Of Gov. Ind. Hygienists ACGIH 2000 Edition) : 25 ppm * Flammability limits in air (STP conditions) : 15-30 vol% * Odour : Pungent, Irritating * UN Number : UN1005 * EINECS Number : 231-635-3 * DOT Label (USA) : NFG * DOT Hazard class (USA) : Non flammable Gas """ ... Let's stay focused. DEATH Trap. We're not the Venutians. This is ridiculous. But, I feel you may proceed to pursue this, until most are fed up. Then, I'll discontinue my subscription. Build you a little engine bias though, and breath well, of it... Billy T02-03-08, 06:02 AM... "Major Hazards * Major hazard : Inhalation and Bodily Contact * Toxicity (Am. Conf. Of Gov. Ind. Hygienists ACGIH 2000 Edition) : 25 ppm * Flammability limits in air (STP conditions) : 15-30 vol% ... * DOT Hazard class (USA) : Non flammable Gas Let's stay focused. DEATH Trap. ...I tend to agree with your point here. I have (in OP) ONLY suggested that ammonia be used to STORE hydrogen economically, never suggested to burn it in an ICE* as some small fraction would still be unburned in the exhaust, making cities uninhabital. What I imagine may be possible is a very well sealed, (but refillable) ammonia tank that within sealed converter produces hydrogen for a fuel cell but has a high presssure stage** condensing any un decomposed ammonia for recycle to the decomposition stage. I.e. only pure H2 and N2 get to the fuel cell. I started this thread to call attention to the STORAGE advantages of ammonia. I.e. is higher density of hydrogen than pure hydrongen and very easy to store as room temperature liquid at modest pressure. ------------------- *That idea came from others. **Perhaps some "molecular sieve" exists that will pass the N2 but not NH3? It is easy to pass H2 thru a metal wall. For example, H2 can (and sometimes is) purified by passing it thru hot paldium. - goes thru very rapidly almost as if there were no wall! decantemix02-03-08, 10:12 AMAnd another thing:::"DEATH Cloud", many plant workers or laughing their MFA off right now. Being a coolant leak of minute traces leads to an Emergency plan. Where if happenchance or improper course of action is succumbed to: You DIE! Toxic, toxic, toxic... decantemix02-03-08, 10:14 AMFriends: Be merciful on yo' hade. And, pass not these thoughts. We must live another day. If, however, whomever of ill-logic presses the patent to succeed in this: NICE knowin' ya' I guess. MAY God have mercy on all of Our souls!!! Amen-aimen'... Billy T02-03-08, 03:46 PMPerhaps urea, not ammonia, is the way to go for economical, light-weight, mobile storage of hydrogen, but IMHO still, not desirable to use the ammonia one can get from urea as fuel for an ICE. (Small unburnt fraction in exhaust is at least un acceptable irritant if not deadly in urban use. More comments in my last post.(45) Perhaps one needs a cryogentic "cold finger"* in the fuel cell exhaust in addition to the compression and "molecular sieve" preceeding the fuel cell as I suggested in that post to keep the NH3 vapor in the exhaust acceptably low concentration? Crudely put: Drink lots of beer and run your car on piss! Following from http://www.u3kenergy.com/ "...Both ammonia and hydrogen are widely recognized as theoretically attractive alternative fuels. The principal problems they face are safety, storage, transport, and, especially in the case of hydrogen, cost. Urea solves these problems. U3K's technology enables the solution. U3K's patented technology (USPTO 7,140,187) can convert urea to either ammonia or hydrogen for delivery to internal combustion engines and fuel cells in stationary or mobile applications. ... U3K's system can provide internal combustion engines with ammonia or fuel cells with hydrogen "on demand". Urea has many advantages compared to traditional fossil fuels: it is non-toxic, clean burning, non-explosive, and is more economical than refined petroleum products. Urea can fit into the existing liquid based fueling infrastructure. Existing engines can be retrofit cheaply. The capital cost of urea fueling stations is significantly less than the cost of existing gasoline stations. With current urea manufacturing technology, urea has a "well to wheel" efficiency that exceeds gasoline. And urea can be stored as a solid or a liquid. Urea is listed on the FDA's GRAS list, a remarkable fact for a substance which can be converted to clean burning, high octane, and high performance motor fuels with sufficient energy density to match current driving range expectations. Urea engine emissions are principally** nitrogen and water. Greenhouse gas emissions through the entire fuel production/consumption cycle are reduced significantly relative to conventional refined fuels. ..." ------------------- *Some "wiper" continuously collecting the ammonia/water ice that condenses on it for return to the decomposing stage? ** Yes but if that "Minor Component" is NH3, forget it. PS Urea is a white solid. At the self-serve refill station, you buy a bag or two for your car's "hopper" and drop it in and drive off. Faster and safer than a gasoline refill! (Don't forget to save the crumbs for your house plants.) :cool: Echo3Romeo02-04-08, 10:33 PMIt's highly caustic, and has a relative low flash point. Burning is not wise, as it is not clear. Trying to recall, 20% remains unburned. So, anyone behind you, or in front, will Emit DEATH! Not to mention, it trickles with eddy currents. And preventing back-flash could easily be over-ridden. By anyone whom wished with the tap of a hammer. BOOM! What do you mean by "trickles with eddy currents"? decantemix02-05-08, 05:02 AMWhat do you mean by "trickles with eddy currents"? That's due to it not burning completely as most fuels. It was also a lead to the fact highly toxic fumes would result. It's kind of like kerosene when it burns. You can see the different layers burning, according to the flow rate given. However, kerosene is not as toxic, and is pretty much safe, given good ventilation. rwendell03-23-09, 12:52 AMAmmonia fuel cells do NOT produce nitrous oxide. The most advanced ones crack ammonia into N(2) and H(3) and the hydrogen is used to produce electricity just as in a straight hydrogen fuel cell while the nitrogen is simply returned to the atmosphere from which it came. (Unpolluted, historically natural air is approximately 80% nitrogen.) Further, there have been a number of breakthroughs recently that replace platinum as a fuel cell catalyst, which is both too expensive and too rare for producing commercial quantities of vehicles. There is a Danish company, Amminex, that uses porous metal hydride pellets to absorb ammonia and fuel cell heat to release it. The energy density of this storage approach is greater at room temperature than liquid hydrogen at cryogenic temperatures and consumes less energy to implement than liquid hydrogen storage. It is completely safe as well. It is currently by far the safest and most efficient storage approach using hydrogen as an energy carrier. You could throw a match at these pellets with no negative consequences. There is also already a large transportation infrastructure for ammonia. In addition, there are now breakthroughs in more efficient methods using must cheaper catalysts than the Haber-Bosch process uses in producing ammonia from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar. In brief, there are quite a few dogmatic pronouncements being made in this forum that are ill-informed and/or based on very small pieces of the big picture. One statement on another site even boldly proclaimed that hydrogen must come from fossil fuel, so there is no advantage to using it as an energy carrier. This is pure ignorance. Just because most current commercial production comes from natural gas is not any indication at all that ammonia must or should forever come from fossil fuel. A lot of this kind of ignorant dogma comes from listening to "official" media pronouncements from so-called experts with nasty conflicts of interest and googols of disinformation concerning how far away we are from the kind of technologies mentioned here, when in fact they are only a few short years, if that, from commercial implementation on a large scale. We must learn to inform ourselves and to think more scientifically as well as much more independently. That's a tall order for most, I fear. Billy T03-23-09, 07:52 AMHi rwendell and welcome to sciforums. BTW your’s was the best first post I can remember seeing. I looked into your source: Danish Technical University, DTU, is developing: Amminex http://www.greencarcongress.com/images/h2_tablets.gif “…ammonia-based solid-state hydrogen storage solution: a tablet that can be held in your hand. The tablet is a metal ammine complex that stores 9.1% hydrogen by weight in the form of ammonia absorbed efficiently in magnesium chloride: Mg(NH3)6Cl2. The storage is completely reversible, and by adding an ammonia decomposition catalyst, hydrogen can be delivered at temperatures below 347º C (656º F). The tablets can be recharged with additional ammonia. … Should you drive a car 600 km using gaseous hydrogen at normal pressure, it would require a fuel tank with a size of nine cars. With our technology, the same amount of hydrogen can be stored in a normal gasoline tank.—Professor Claus Hviid Christensen, Department of Chemistry at DTU The DTU team is finding that the kinetics of ammonia adsorption and desorption with the metal ammine complexes are reversible and fast, and that the complex is simple to manufacture and easy to handle. {BillyT: there is heat released with recharge - perhaps the car's water cooling system can remove it?) For use in a PEM fuel cell, the ammonia released from the tablet would then need to be decomposed to hydrogen, and the resulting gas cleansed of any remaining ammonia (probably by passing it over a small amount of unsaturated MgCl2). Due to the toxicity of ammonia in its liquid form, most recent work on ammonia as a hydrogen storage solution has focused on solids such as ammonia borane. … and polyammonia borane. This family of molecules demonstrates hydrogen capacities of > 12 wt%. …” From: http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/09/handheld_hydrog.html Another source said: 100 gram block stores 51.7grams of ammonia or about 1/3 is NH3 (at room temp as photo show block held in hand also). Rather than fuel the first use will probably be to clean up NOx in diesel exhaust via: 2NH3 + NO + NO2 → 2N2 + 3H2O The diesel exhaust has much more heat than required to desorb the NH3 from the MgCl2 block, Only small amounts (compared to fuel use) of NH3 are required and system would be a simple addition to the exhaust pipe – no H2 fuel cell needed and no need to crack the NH3 for H2, which is not too hard but is capital cost and complex. For more details, See: http://www.amminex.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=131 Final Billy T comments: DTU makes big deal about the volume advantage compared to other means of H2 fuel storage, but the mass of the MgCl2 block carried around constantly in a car is a concern. Pressurized NH3 in a high strength glass fiber tank may be lighter for same NH3 stored. More than offsetting this is the safety factor. I.e. in an accident that ruptures the tank rapid release of NH3 is likely to kill people, but their adsorbed NH3 would only slowly desorb – wind could safely dissipate it. Their moderate temperature fuel cell ideas with cracking part of the fuel cell looks very attractive to me. Glad I started this thread (and that rwendell came along to revive it). – I have known fact that there is more H2 in a fixed volume of NH3 than liquid H2 for many years and certainly NH3 is much easier and cheaper to store. However, a urea based system may win in the final analysis. Perhaps someone will update the referenced link in my post 48 with a summary as I have here for the MgCl2 block storage approach? rwendell03-27-09, 11:35 PMI can't include links apparently, so I will give some Google key words: Breaking the Boundary - A Connection to a Better Fuel Cell Carbon catalyst could herald cut-price fuel cells Next-Generation Fuel Cells Quantum Sphere Formation of Pt-free Fuel Cell Catalyst with Highly Developed Nano-space by Carbonizing Catalase Algernon03-28-09, 12:16 AMlol... My chemistry is a bit rustry and so is my physiology... but isn't NH3, or ammonia one of the byproducts of breakdown of urea, or the (NH2)2CO? I guess I could go look up the chemical reaction, but I'll be lazy. Urea is a metabolic end product, which is stripped of its energy in the end. We ingest amino acids (which contain N) and glucose (which contains the carbons and the stored energy in form of excited electrons) and the result is production of heat and ATP, allowing us to generate heat and maintain motor functions and metabolic processes with production of the byproducts urea/ammonia. (Stool is the result of undigested fibers/enzymatic byproducts/biliary waste). I'm not sure the exact same principle could be applied to mechanical vehicles here, because it would almost be like taking the Carbon monoxide that is released and trying to pump it back into the car for energy. Gasoline consists of hydrocarbons, from which the hydrogen protons being released/burned allows for the energy to run the car. As to how efficient it would be to release the hydrogens from ammonia? I guess I don't have enough knowledge in the field of chemistry to be able to answer. Billy T03-28-09, 03:16 PMRwendell's first "goolgle link" has sublink: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/321/5889/671 And only the read for free part of the article in 1 August 08 issue, (with bold added by Billy T) is: "The air electrode, which reduces oxygen (O2), is a critical component in energy generation and storage applications such as fuel cells and metal/air batteries. The highest current densities are achieved with platinum (Pt), but in addition to its cost and scarcity, Pt particles in composite electrodes tend to be inactivated by contact with carbon monoxide (CO) or by agglomeration. We describe an air electrode based on a porous material coated with poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) (PEDOT), which acts as an O2 reduction catalyst. Continuous operation for 1500 hours was demonstrated without material degradation or deterioration in performance. O2 conversion rates were comparable with those of Pt-catalyzed electrodes of the same geometry, and the electrode was not sensitive to CO. Operation was demonstrated as an air electrode and as a dissolved O2 electrode in aqueous solution. " This really does seem to be something to get excited about. His other google links, especially the second which uses carbon nanotubes, (read that "more costly than Pt," I think) did not look as promising to me. Last link is quite technical - early stage studies. Rwendell must have more than a passing interest in this field. Do you work in it? or just a student doing a good job on some term paper? Anyway - I am impressed with you. keep positing Nasor03-29-09, 10:16 AMAs to how efficient it would be to release the hydrogens from ammonia? I guess I don't have enough knowledge in the field of chemistry to be able to answer. This was addressed earlier in the thread. You get a net energy release when you break the protons off ammonia and combine them with oxygen to make water. Ammonia is a good fuel, and a good way to store hydrogen. Algernon03-29-09, 11:43 AMSo that water would be released as... steam? That wouldn't be a bad idea if we could manage to do it efficiently, do you know how much energy would be required to produce the ammonia in usable means? Nasor03-29-09, 11:46 AMSo that water would be released as... steam? That wouldn't be a bad idea if we could manage to do it efficiently, do you know how much energy would be required to produce the ammonia in usable means? Whether the product is gas or liquid would probably depend on whether you are actually burning it with oxygen or combining it with oxygen in a fuel cell. The standard enthalpy of formation for ammonia is listed earlier in the thread. ElectricFetus03-29-09, 01:09 PMDisadvantages/Advantages of these as a potential gasoline replacing fuels Liquid Hydrogen - Requires extensive cryogenic storage, extremely combustible, requires energy to make and store. + Burns well in liquid form in ICE: cool engine reducing NOx pollutant levels and increasing performance. Non-polluting in fuel cell. Gaseous hydrogen - Requires extremely high-pressures to store: range is still not comparable to gasoline and may never be. Burns poorly in ICE: requires lean air mixture that produces much NOx pollutants and reduced engine performance. + Is cheaper and safe to store then liquid hydrogen. Non-polluting in fuel cell. Ammonia (as hydrogen source) - Ammonia is noxious, vapor at room temperature and pressure and needs to be cooled or pressurized to about 8x atm pressure to remain liquid, is combustible. Requires high temperature (500C) to catalyze hydrogen from ammonia. Requires energy to make (more so then any other fuel suggested here). Ammonia cannot burn cleanly in ICE produces NOx pollutants + Has massive already existing production infrastructure, though this infrastructure is reliant on natural gas as hydrogen source. Holds more hydrogen per volume then liquid hydrogen (18% hydrogen per mass.) is all around easier to store by far then pure hydrogen. Borax (as hydrogen carrier): - 7% hydrogen per mass in completely liquid form, higher concentrations of (up to 11% max) hydrogen required semi-liquid slurry and water recycling to dissolve. Has small infrastructure (soap/clothing deterrent industry), has non-existent recycling infrastructure. Borax is a hydrogen carrier and must be recycled “new fuel pumped in old used fuel pumped out”. Requires energy to make and recycled (less energy then ammonia though) hydrogen product cannot burn cleanly in ICE produces NOx pollutants and reduce engine power from lean hydrogen burning. + Is non-combustible, no vapor pressure, common deterrent, biodegradable. Less energy expensive to recharge borax with hydrogen then to make ammonia, non-energy expensive catalyze to make hydrogen. Alcohol - Requires biological source and at present small biofuel infrastructure exists, is combustible, addictive toxin (ethanol) highly toxic (methanol or others alcohols) . Burning produces NOx pollutants though lower amounts then gasoline or any other fuel suggested here. Produce CO2 but recycled CO2 as all the carbon is from present biosphere no net increase in CO2 occurs. + Direct Alcohol Fuel Cells are promising simple and cheap fuel cells, requiring no hydrogen reforming stage and simplistic supporting systems, can be used in normal ICE and integrated silently replacing gasoline with minimal change to existing gasoline infrastructure. Can be made energy positive unlike any other fuel suggested here. links: http://sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=23556 http://sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=7362&highlight=borax http://sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=15937 I can think of some more since then, lithium ion has been improving in leaps and bounds, zinc and metal air fuel cells have great potentials but still horribly ignored option. Billy T03-29-09, 06:58 PMTo ElectricFetus: Your comments on NH3 need revision in light of the progress reported in post 52. For example, when "disolved" in their porous MgCl2 the particial pressure is so low you can hold NH3 IN YOUR HAND, assuming you are in a well ventlated space or outdoors. ElectricFetus03-30-09, 04:54 AMTo ElectricFetus: Your comments on NH3 need revision in light of the progress reported in post 52. For example, when "disolved" in their porous MgCl2 the particial pressure is so low you can hold NH3 IN YOUR HAND, assuming you are in a well ventlated space or outdoors. I read of salt brine for ammonia storage before, also assume your hydrogen density has been reduced. joepistole03-30-09, 06:01 AMIt appears a prototype has been developed. http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/861/ ElectricFetus03-30-09, 06:14 AMI saw prototypes years ago. joepistole03-30-09, 07:52 AMIt is an interesting concept, with gasoline at $2.10 per gallon it becomes a viable alternative according to the article. Billy T03-30-09, 09:09 AMI read of salt brine for ammonia storage before, also assume your hydrogen density has been reduced.No, the storage is a solid solution with 9.1% Hydrogen by weight when the MgCl2 is saturated. I suspect that 9.1% is higher fraction of hydrogen by weight than storing Liquid NH3 is a steel tank strong enough to not rupture in any conceivable crash (i.e. 100mph into foot thick brick wall). One cannot tolerate killing many people, even bystanders, when a full tank of liquid NH3 ruptures in a crowed area. (Don't forget to add the weight of the super strong fuel line from tank to motor or fuel cell.) It will be tough to keep the fuel line / tank junction secure in a crash - nothing snapping off, including the pressure regulator. I have seen an oxygen cylinder that flew thru two hospital room walls before coming to rest, lodged in the third. Believe me, you do not want the regulator to snap off in a crash. As you speak of salt water dissolved NH3 you have missed the main point / advance of solid state storage in MgCl2 porous salt and the resulting low (safe) NH3 vapor pressure at room temperature. See post 52 with photo of the SOLID storage pellets again. ElectricFetus03-30-09, 10:34 AMNo, the storage is a solid solution with 9.1% Hydrogen by weight when the MgCl2 is saturated. I suspect that 9.1% is higher fraction of hydrogen by weight than storing Liquid NH3 is a steel tank strong enough to not rupture in any conceivable crash (i.e. 100mph into foot thick brick wall). One cannot tolerate killing many people, even bystanders, when a full tank of liquid NH3 ruptures in a crowed area. (Don't forget to add the weight of the super strong fuel line from tank to motor or fuel cell.) It will be tough to keep the fuel line / tank junction secure in a crash - nothing snapping off, including the pressure regulator. I have seen an oxygen cylinder that flew thru two hospital room walls before coming to rest, lodged in the third. Believe me, you do not want the regulator to snap off in a crash. As you speak of salt water dissolved NH3 you have missed the main point / advance of solid state storage in MgCl2 porous salt and the resulting low (safe) NH3 vapor pressure at room temperature. See post 52 with photo of the SOLID storage pellets again. I'm not really an advocate of ammonia so I don't know why your asking me to consider these things. Solid storage by all means, get ride of mild pressure and mild cryogenic considerations, maybe even the toxicity, still does nothing for the very high energetics penalties of making ammonia and it endothermic conversion to hydrogen. Billy T03-30-09, 10:45 AM... I don't know why your asking me to consider these things. ...I only asked in first post that your revise you post 59 smumary on NH3 to reflect these recent developments. As it stands now it is at best misleading and probably should be called wrong. rwendell03-30-09, 10:59 AMThanks, Billy T. I appreciate your comments. I'm a 65 year-old musician who worked in electronics for years and who majored in physics and mathematics for the first two years of undergraduate school. I follow all things technical as best I can, including the latest thinking in field theory and cosmology, and have a strong interest in alternative energy for what I think should be obvious reasons. Try googling on: Hydrosol Project Greek Solar Reactor Uses Nano-Material to Harvest Hydrogen from Water I think with the earlier links I've referenced we can see that we are not so very far away from solving the major blocks to a hydrogen economy: renewable generation, storage, distribution, efficient conversion to electrical energy. Billy T03-30-09, 05:42 PMTry googling on: Hydrosol Project Greek Solar Reactor Uses Nano-Material to Harvest Hydrogen from Water ...Or on first see: http://www.ekt.gr/content/display?ses_mode=rnd&ses_lang=en&prnbr=73257 which tells of some field test of the idea, which unfortunately seems to be inherently a batch process. Also I am conderned about the tendency for the nano particles to become posioned by impuritite in the water. -Perhaps not a problem if the thermal desorption of the oxygen also "cleans." Saven04-25-09, 10:04 AMAmmonia is highly toxic. Ever smelled it? The fumes may not be safe. Billy T04-25-09, 11:55 AMAmmonia is highly toxic. Ever smelled it? The fumes may not be safe.this is true and has been discussed, perhaps even is a solved problem - See post 52. also as you are new to Sciforums, I will tell you to in the future, prior to posting, look back at least a page to see if you have something new to add is a good policy. Saven04-25-09, 09:42 PMthis is true and has been discussed, perhaps even is a solved problem - See post 52. also as you are new to Sciforums, I will tell you to in the future, prior to posting, look back at least a page to see if you have something new to add is a good policy. Not new. Wading through 52 posts is a little insane though. Nasor04-26-09, 09:45 AMNot new. Wading through 52 posts is a little insane though. Not new? You joined two days ago. Saven04-26-09, 12:10 PMIn fact I joined more than one year ago, on another persona. Billy T04-26-09, 01:29 PMIn fact I joined more than one year ago, on another persona.Who? After a while we get to know people. (I avoid reading posts by some of the idiots that way. Were people not responding to your old persona?) rwendell05-08-09, 11:38 PMBy the way, BillyT, platinum is way more expensive than nanocarbon structures of just about any kind. The technology for producing these structures is pretty advanced and the supply of carbon is, of course, vast. Platinum is not only extremely expensive already, but would become vastly more expensive very quickly if any technology, including fuel cells, were to become high-demand items. In fact, in simple absolute terms, there isn't enough to go around at any price, which ultimately translates to the price tending toward infinity. The good news is that platinum is no longer needed for fuel cells, since Monash University in Australia has discovered that GoreTex(TM) coated with a micro-thin layer of highly conductive plastic works better, is in relatively unlimited supply, and doesn't degrade upon exposure to carbon monoxide. :) dixonmassey05-09-09, 01:18 PMNH3 is disolved in water, it's rarely used compressed, NH3OH is highly prized by meth artisans, NH3 is extremely corrosive (good luck with ya engine), NH3 is not even an energy source, it's an energy hog. Billy T05-09-09, 05:38 PM... NH3 is not even an energy source, it's an energy hog. People should get more life.You have not read much of the thread and taken the title of it too literally. You do NOT inject NH3 into a IC engine, but separate its H2 from the discardable N2 and run a H2/O2 fuel cell with O2 from the air. Like ALL liquid fuels, gasoline included, some energy must be added to NH3 before you can get useful fuel from it. That energy is relatively large in case of NH3 compared to gasoline, which only requires the heat of vaporization be added to make it into a useful fuel. I hesitate to mention it as some idiot may try,* but you can put a fire out with liquid gasoline. I.e. a candle can be extingiushed if large quanity of cold gasoline is dropped on it quickly enough so that no vapor gets to the flame first. NH3 is attract as it stores more hydrogen in the same volume (as a liquid) than even 100% liquid hydrogen does. But to get the hydrogen, you must decompose the NH3 and that requires energy - sort of a small hill you must climb before you can coast down into the deep valley on the other side. Not only does NH3 store H2 more densely than pure H2, it is much easier to liquify. - Just modest pressure will do it at room temperature. ------------------ * If they do, it is likely that the gene pool's average intelligence level will slightly be improved. :eek: :shrug: dixonmassey05-09-09, 05:56 PMYou have not read much of the thread and taken the title of it too literally. You do NOT inject NH3 into a IC engine, but separate its H2 from the discardable N2 and run a H2/O2 fuel cell with O2 from the air. Like ALL liquid fuels, gasoline included, some energy must be added to NH3 before you can get useful fuel from it. That energy is relatively large in case of NH3 compared to gasoline, which only requires the heat of vaporization be added to make it into a useful fuel. I hesitate to mention it as some idiot may try,* but you can put a fire out with liquid gasoline. I.e. a candle can be extingiushed if large quanity of cold gasoline is dropped on it quickly enough so that no vapor gets to the flame first. NH3 is attract as it stores more hydrogen in the same volume (as a liquid) than even 100% liquid hydrogen does. But to get the hydrogen, you must decompose the NH3 and that requires energy - sort of a small hill you must climb before you can coast down into the deep valley on the other side. Not only does NH3 store H2 more densely than pure H2, it is much easier to liquify. - Just modest pressure will do it at room temperature. ------------------ * If they do, it is likely that the gene pool's average intelligence level will slightly be improved. :eek: :shrug: Considering that rare Earth metals will disappear sooner than oil, fuel cells are dead end technology, with NH3 or without. First step would be making a fuel cell out of pure iron or equally available metal, it doesn't seem to be feasible. Rare Earths are goners. Second step would be making sure that NH3 fuel cell engines will not consume more energy and release more emissions (all things considered). Otherwise, what's the point of fuel cells, let's burn oil, at least me and you will be dead before it's going to be thoroughly exhausted. It will last longer this way. Nasor05-09-09, 07:13 PMNH3 is disolved in water, it's rarely used compressed, False. Pure ammonia is commonly used for all sorts of things in industry. NH3OH is highly prized by meth artisansI don't know what NH3OH is. I assume you were tying to write the formula for ammonium hydroxide, NH4OH, but got it wrong. NH3 is extremely corrosive (good luck with ya engine) Yeah, the gaskets etc. in your engine probably wouldn't do well with ammonia, because they were designed to work with gasoline. But people have been making ammonia-powered engines for almost 100 years. NH3 is not even an energy source, it's an energy hog.Going from ammonia and oxygen to nitrogen and water releases energy. Obviously it will take some energy to make the ammonia, but you can do that with non-polluting energy sources like nuclear. Considering that rare Earth metals will disappear sooner than oil, fuel cells are dead end technology, with NH3 or without. First step would be making a fuel cell out of pure iron or equally available metal, it doesn't seem to be feasible. Let me guess, this is based on your vast knowledge of chemistry? Because all of the people publishing new iron-based catalysts in the chemistry journals would sure be surprised to learn that. Here is one of the most recent examples: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/324/5923/71 Second step would be making sure that NH3 fuel cell engines will not consume more energy and release more emissions (all things considered). Gee, we've only been discussing this for the entire thread. dixonmassey05-09-09, 07:55 PMFalse. Pure ammonia is commonly used for all sorts of things in industry. So, what does it have to do with its feasibility as a magic fuel? BTW, zinc no more in just 30 years, no zinc catalysts - no massive production of ammonia as we know it. I don't know what NH3OH is. I assume you were tying to write the formula for ammonium hydroxide, NH4OH, but got it wrong. that was truly perceptive and ahead of the time. Yeah, the gaskets etc. in your engine probably wouldn't do well with ammonia, because they were designed to work with gasoline. Ammonia powered car was made 27+ years ago, so I've read, ammonia is extremely toxic and corrosive. Ammonia car has NO chance to conquer the streets considering litigation possibilities. Heat of ammonia combustion is half of that for diesel. Sounds like a winner evil oil companies keep from eager plebeians. Going from ammonia and oxygen to nitrogen and water releases energy. So does burning shit. Obviously it will take some energy to make the ammonia, but you can do that with non-polluting energy sources like nuclear. First, you'll have to come up with the process transforming nonpolluting (are you crazy?) nuclear energy into ammonia. Good luck. Second genius, you should know that heat required for synthesis of substance X is equal to the heat of dissociation of that substance. Considering all kinds of energy loses and efficiency of the machinery involved, energy released by burning ammonia will unlikely cover even 50% of energy spent to manufacture it. Third, mankind doubled concentration of active nitrogen in the nitrogen cycle which does nasty things to all kind of rivers and estuaries, etc. Burning ammonia is a really smart idea to boost those imbalances. Let me guess, this is based on your vast knowledge of chemistry? Because all of the people publishing new iron-based catalysts in the chemistry journals would sure be surprised to learn that. Please, call back when you invent iron based fuel cells or iron based catalysts for NH3 production. Until then ... The bottom line question, will ammonia engines save fossil fuel or accelerate its consumption. At this time the answer is obvious even for chemically challenged - NH3 substitution will accelerate depletion of oil, gas and rare metals. Trippy05-09-09, 08:02 PM*** Moderator Note*** I've removed some un-neccsarry, and unwanted name calling, if it continues, I'll start deleting posts and warning users. On a side note, and without the Moderator hat on, Arthur C Clarke proposed the idea of using Ammonia as a storage medium for Hydrogen in 2001 A Space Odyssey, and 2010 The Year we make Contact. The reason given, essentially is that the Ammonia has a better density - you can fit more Hydrogen into a tank the same size, than storing liquid hydrogen, it leaks slower, and is easier to maintain at an appropriate temperature. In 2010, the Chinese opt for a system that uses water, instead of Ammonia, because that means that they can land on Europa and refill their tanks, enabling them to take a much higher energy, and much more direct path to Jupiter. And finally, 2061 is (partially) set on a space liner that uses water as it's fuel source, essentially because it's more fun for the passengers, probably becasue its more widely available in the solar system, and can be used for more than one purpose (in the book, they wind up using one of the geysers from Halley's Comet to refill their tanks to make a rescue in the Jovian system). Trippy05-09-09, 08:14 PMAnother point I would like to make is this. The point that adding additional Nitrogen to an already overloaded system leading to increased eutrophication of fresh water and marine environments was made, but, it occurs to me that the conditions under which nitrates may be converted back into ammonia are well known, so, does it not stand to reason that this perhaps represent a way of remediating some of the eutrophication. Observe. First, we can extract the Ammonia directly from the waterways, it's present in many water ways, especially where intensive dairying occurs, in concentrations between 0.1-1 ppm. Secondly, we can use anerobic metabolism to convert nitrates back into ammonia, and extract that directly from the water as well. This ammonia can then be stored, and removed from the environment from which it was extracted, broken down into Nitrogen and Hydrogen, the hydrogen used for power, the nitrogen discharged safely to the atmosphere. cif: C_6H_{12}O_6+3NO_3^-+3H_2O\to6HCO_3^-+3NH_4^+ \Delta G^0=-1796 kJ Trippy05-09-09, 08:44 PMI should also point out his paper: http://aiche.confex.com/aiche/2005/preliminaryprogram/abstract_25627.htm Which says that direct electrolysis of Ammonia into Nitrogen and Hydrogen consumes only 1.55 Wh/g of Hydrogen, where electrolysis of Water into Hydrogen and Oxygen consumes 33 Wh/g of Hydrogen. In otherwords, producing a Kilo of Hydrogen over the course of an hour consumes about the same energy as running a 1 bar heater for an hour and a half. Nasor05-09-09, 08:49 PM*** Moderator Note*** I've removed some un-neccsarry, and unwanted name calling, if it continues, I'll start deleting posts and warning users. While I agree that there was name calling, I'm not sure it was unnecessary. Trippy05-09-09, 09:01 PMSomebody's Masters thesis on the topic: http://www.ohiolink.edu/etd/send-pdf.cgi/Cooper%20Matthew.pdf?acc_num=ohiou1127167561 rwendell05-09-09, 10:53 PMDixonmassey, rag dab it! Read the posts, especially mine at 05-08-09, 11:38 PM. Platinum is a dead end, but there are much cheaper catalysts in vast supply that are better than platinum. Read! Learn! Quit spewing out uninformed garbage! The Monash University discovery is just one of at least two alternatives to platinum in fuel cells. dixonmassey05-10-09, 04:05 PMDixonmassey, rag dab it! Read the posts, especially mine at 05-08-09, 11:38 PM. Platinum is a dead end, but there are much cheaper catalysts in vast supply that are better than platinum. Read! Learn! Quit spewing out uninformed garbage! The Monash University discovery is just one of at least two alternatives to platinum in fuel cells. The rule of a big thumb - NEVER trust a grant hunter, NEVER, even if it's an unrelated subject. Discovery you say, I know how hyping up works, let's wait for a REAL fuel cell made of something really inexhaustible , because it looks like we are heading into exciting times. Don't get so worked up over my posts, save that energy, you'll need it to beat crap out of Monash University researchers who got your hopes way too high, if they'll be around in 20 years :) rwendell05-10-09, 11:26 PMdixonmassey, you're far to cynical for my taste. :bugeye: First, Monash U isn't the only breakthrough scenario for platinum substitutes. I guess you WANT platinum to be the only way to go so you can keep on saying fuel cells are no solution as long as you can possibly get away with repeating it? You make yourself right this way, of course, and can continue doing so until technology develops to the point you can't convince anyone else of it any longer. Making yourself right is not a very laudable goal, by the way. Try finding out what's actually going on as an at least slightly superior substitute. Maybe you could invoke a little historical memory to recall how just about every "sane" person in the world thought heavier-than-air flight was the pipe dream of Utopian fools? This mode of thought is highly counterproductive. It's fundamentally a can't-do attitude. Please forgive me for proposing that this isn't what the world needs right now. rwendell05-10-09, 11:56 PMOh, and on another issue brought up by others in earlier posts, nuclear energy, even if it's theoretically ideal and totally clean fusion energy, is not a long-term solution. I realized this personally decades ago and people thought I was nuts. However, I recently read an article in a scientific journal that corroborated that thinking. It showed that with current economic growth estimates based on the usual, non-thinking, simplistic projections of economic growth from what we've already been doing, we will ruin the planet with straight thermal pollution even if we magically went carbon neutral overnight tonight. Given an unaltered albedo (which would take some serious geo-engineering to change) and the earth's rate of radiating energy back into space, pumping that much energy beyond what comes from the sun into the terrestrial environment will raise the equilibrium temperature enough to send all earthlings into oblivion in fairly short order. Even totally clean nuclear fusion energy is not a solution. This clearly implies that a fully sustainable solution cannot involve any energy that doesn't originate in the sun. Billy T05-11-09, 06:45 AM...Given an unaltered albedo (which would take some serious geo-engineering to change) and the earth's rate of radiating energy back into space, pumping that much energy beyond what comes from the sun into the terrestrial environment will raise the equilibrium temperature ...From the context, I understand you mean increasing Earth's albedo cannot be done. That may be more feasible than you suggest by spraying ocean water into the air to form clouds, at least that has been proposed. (But not near night fall as that would retain IR.) Unfortunately, a much greater change in the albedo, in the wrong direction, is taking place in the arctic with the melting of polar ice. Also to some extent incomplete combustion (soot particles selling on high abeldo lands) are reducing the albedo too, but this is very complex as they can also increase cloud formation. Trippy05-11-09, 01:25 PMChanging the earths albedo is another one of these large scale geo-engineering projects that I think is a bad idea. rwendell05-11-09, 10:31 PMYes, Billy T and Trippy. Never said the albedo can't be changed; just that it takes some major geo-engineering. Most scientists consider that a last-ditch option. BUT, as Billy T says so well, we ARE doing some major geo-engineering...in roughly the same way a 3-year-old with matches might just re-engineer your house. "To be negative about the future you don't have to know anything. To be positive you have to know a great deal." - R.Buckminster Fuller :) Trippy05-11-09, 11:41 PMYes, Billy T and Trippy. Never said the albedo can't be changed; just that it takes some major geo-engineering. Most scientists consider that a last-ditch option. BUT, as Billy T says so well, we ARE doing some major geo-engineering...in roughly the same way a 3-year-old with matches might just re-engineer your house. "To be negative about the future you don't have to know anything. To be positive you have to know a great deal." - R.Buckminster Fuller :) Yes, yes. I get all that, I understand completely what you're saying. My objection has entirely to do with possible versus probable outcomes. My objection has to do with commiting us to a long term solution that may have unexpected side effects. My objection has to do with an apparent lack of accurate knowledge. Yes, I get that we're currently undertaking a Geoengineering project in the sameway a three year old might undertake an engineering project with your house, and a box of matches (see my other posts over in earth science) HOWEVER I don't think that we should nececssarily be going out there and painting the planet white just yet. rwendell05-13-09, 11:09 PMGood, Trippy. So just so you know, we're on exactly the same page on these issues. :) Never recommended geo-engineering. Unexpected consequences can be too easily overlooked and some could easily be irreversible. We're getting close enough to that already with our unwitting contributions to geo-engineering. I'm not at all in favor of adding to that with good intentions that go awry. Trippy05-14-09, 03:22 AMGood, Trippy. So just so you know, we're on exactly the same page on these issues. :) Never recommended geo-engineering. Unexpected consequences can be too easily overlooked and some could easily be irreversible. We're getting close enough to that already with our unwitting contributions to geo-engineering. I'm not at all in favor of adding to that with good intentions that go awry. Exactly, it's happened so many times before? Fuel additives leaching into ground water in california (I forget which one it was - supposed to replace lead. DDT. POP's. CFC's. To name a few examples, okay, they're not geoengineering projects gone wrong, however, unintended large scale environmental consequences. dixonmassey05-16-09, 10:13 PMMaking yourself right is not a very laudable goal, by the way. Try finding out what's actually going on as an at least slightly superior substitute. Maybe you could invoke a little historical memory to recall how just about every "sane" person in the world thought heavier-than-air flight was the pipe dream of Utopian fools? This mode of thought is highly counterproductive. It's fundamentally a can't-do attitude. Please forgive me for proposing that this isn't what the world needs right now. There is a thin line between can do attitude and delusion. Besides "can do" attitude is a crock of BS in the first place. Most technological advances are OPPORTUNISTIC, they are NOT a result of "can do" chanting. "Can do", however, is always used by puppet controllers to keep status quo (i.e. to perpetuate the plunder of environment and labor to make a tiny minority truly blessed). Yup, the mind of a hairless monkey is truly unstoppable, boundless, majestic, holding mysteries of universe in its greasy gray matter. Is that so? Visit freaking Monash University and look in the eyes of the lab rats (human), you'll see the limits (if you don't see them yet). Does heavier than air airplanes prove warp drive, for example, or unified theory of everything? Common. Earth is finite, nonrenewable energy sources are limited in quantity, "renewable" energy consumption is limited by Earth heat balance. More efficient energy converters = higher per capita energy consumption = higher total energy consumption. What's the freaking point? A technological advance as a rule results in a HIGHER energy density of a product/action. Trucks versus rickshaws, spades versus tractors, automated car plants versus Ford's Highland park, and so on. Energy supplies are limited. Looks like a suicidal path. We really got to be sure warp drive is possible before beating in the "can do" drum. Without possibility of a warp drive (or without remaking societies, even more unrealistic) EVERY technological advance is just a step to our early grave. Did I mention First, Second laws of thermodynamics? Shall we try "can do" spirit on those two bastards first? Of course, all of the above has little to do with an engine working on NH3, a silly idea with marginal to nonexistent benefits (in the best case). rwendell05-17-09, 12:14 AMWell, "can-do attitude" in the context I used it referred strictly to the idea of a hydrogen fuel cell without platinum. Is there something wrong with thinking that is a realistic possibility? Is that really just a pipe dream, or do you just want it to be? You sound more like a propagandist for the oil industry than a green energy supporter. More importantly, is there something wrong with deciding a priori that this ISN'T a possibility? My answer to the last question is an unqualified "yes". Motivation is absent when you've decided up front that something is impossible. So poop on that all you want, my friend, but only if, when it happens, you're willing to recycle your waste via your prolific mouth. By the way, unified field theory and the underlying assumption that all the fundamental fields can ultimately be explained as manifestations of a single underlying field represent ideas that have driven development of the most successful, comprehensively powerful theoretical framework in physics that can be found in any branch of science to date. After all, the essential purpose of ANY theory is to discover underlying principles that conceptually unify otherwise isolated data points and thereby allow us to project new data points that experiment accurately confirms. This whole approach to understanding implies an at least tacit if not explicit assumption that nature is fundamentally unified. The intellect and its ability to reason have practical value ONLY as they depart from what is ultimately subjective human experience and return to it successfully in their results. Reason has zero intrinsic value ultimately, unless it is based on unprovable axioms that derive from experimental evidence. Note the intimate relationship between the words "experiment" and "experience". Human experience is by definition ultimately subjective. Yet it by necessity must form the basis for all reason. Scientific method is ultimately nothing more than a method of reducing the social noise in the communication of human subjectivity with nature. We can use all the instrumentation we like, but ultimately the observer who reads the meter or whatever data source and interprets it is still using subjective experience at the end of the chain. Science uses experimental design (noise filtering) and replication (the redundancy necessary in any communications channel to reliably transfer useful information in a noisy environment) to provide what we label "objectivity". This directly implies that we can know nothing that is not a subjective impression, and that what we label as objective is actually no more than the communication of subjective human observation with nature via a social noise reduction technology that provides a superior degree of reliability. Scientists and the meta-science (underlying philosophical orientation) that guides their theoretical interpretations too often tacitly ignore what should be this simple, self-evident fact. Billy T05-17-09, 10:00 AM...Earth is finite, nonrenewable energy sources are limited in quantity, "renewable" energy consumption is limited by Earth heat balance. More efficient energy converters = higher per capita energy consumption = higher total energy consumption. ... A technological advance as a rule results in a HIGHER energy density of a product/action. Trucks versus rickshaws, spades versus tractors, automated car plants versus Ford's Highland park, and so on. Certainly Earth is finite and all energy resources, renewable or not, are limited, but after those truths you are too general to be fully correct. For example, installation of typical photo-voltaic cell now probably does result in decrease in Earth's albedo (more solar heat absorbed) but this need not be the case. They could be designed to have high reflectivity for all wavelengths longer than those equal to the band gap energy. Only photons which have energy greater than the band gap can lift an electron from the valance band to the conduction band. Only those photons produce electrical output. In the case of silicon, (and the spectrum for the star we call the sun) these useful photons are only 22% of the solar energy. Thus in principle 78% of the solar energy could be reflected back into space. In most locations, this is a net negative heating of the Earth for each kWh produced and probably about neutral if located in a desert area (I don't remember the albedo of the typical desert, but doubt it is more than 0.78) In the case of wind power or tidal power it is surely always wrong as their energy will turn to heat and if the process has a detour thru electric power first then that is some fossil fuel not burned for energy. Thus your statement is usually very wrong as too general and for some renewable sources it is ALWAYS WRONG. Compared to burning coal for power, which typically generates two units of heat (not to mention the GHG trapping of solar heat) for every unit of electric energy produced. I cannot think of any renewable source that is not vastly superior when just considering the direct heat release effects. Perhaps you should not be so dogmatic with your ignorance? ...A technological advance as a rule results in a HIGHER energy density of a product/action. Trucks versus rickshaws, spades versus tractors, automated car plants versus Ford's Highland park, and so on.... EVERY technological advance is just a step to our early grave.I doubt this, but it is not easy to demonstrate that it too is false. Certainly, the US energy use per capita is greater than when only Indians were living here so that supports your POV, however, I bet you are wrong with some of your examples. For example are you sure that moving a ton from A to B (say separated by 40 miles) takes less energy if done by rickshaw than if done by truck? Certainly, if done by train (steel wheel on steel rails are very efficient.) the extra food energy the rickshaw pullers would need is greater than the increment of energy in the diesel the train used for that ton. It is not the technology, but the vastly different life styles that make the typical American consume more energy than the Indians his civilization has displaced. Yes, it would be possible to return to that lower energy level per capita of hunting and gathering, but about 99.9% of Americans need to volunteer for executions first. Would you be one of them? ...Of course, all of the above has little to do with an engine working on NH3, a silly idea with marginal to nonexistent benefits (in the best case).No, it may be the best hope that a hydrogen economy is possible. For years I have noted in posts that the major oil companies have promoted H2 cars as a diversion from any serious efforts to reduce oil use. They (and I) were confident that the storage problems of H2 would make an H2 economy only a pipe dream, but with a lot of promotional effort they persuade many ignorant people that we need not worry about the excessive consumption of oil because H2 powered cars would soon be available. It now appears that via NH3, the storage problems may have a practical solution, especially as the vapor pressure of the very toxic gas can be so greatly reduced. See post with photo below of solid solution of NH3 being held in a hand for more details at: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2203128&postcount=52 Danish Technical University, DTU, is developing: Amminex http://www.greencarcongress.com/images/h2_tablets.gif “…ammonia-based solid-state hydrogen storage solution: a tablet that can be held in your hand. The tablet is a metal ammine complex that stores 9.1% hydrogen by weight in the form of ammonia absorbed efficiently in magnesium chloride: Mg(NH3)6Cl2. The storage is completely reversible rwendell05-20-09, 12:23 AM"Danish Technical University, DTU, is developing: Amminex"...Exactly, Billy T. That's precisely what I was trying to point everyone toward in my initial reference to Amminex, but was unable to post any links. Billy T05-20-09, 11:26 AM"Danish Technical University, DTU, is developing: Amminex"...Exactly, Billy T. That's precisely what I was trying to point everyone toward in my initial reference to Amminex, but was unable to post any links.Yes. I learned of them from your efforts, which I called "the best first post" I had ever read (and that includes my own!). Thanks. rwendell05-21-09, 05:22 PMThank you, Billy T. I have become convinced from looking around at what's going on around the world with respect to renewable energy technologies of every sort, including jatropha seeds and algae for biodiesel, cellulosic ethanol, etc., that a hydrogen economy represents the path of least resistance to renewable energy despite the naysayers. I see technological breakthroughs in every critical obstacle to it. The generation problem looks increasingly likely to be on the verge of major improvements in efficiency with photosynthesis-inspired breakthroughs at MIT in electrolysis and direct solar generation from water at 70% efficiency in Europe in the Hydrosol project. Ammonia production from hydrogen looks as though it will soon be liberated from natural gas as a source by another Danish company in tandem with Amminex that has introduced cheap and efficient new catalysts into the picture to dramatically improve the efficiency and economy of the Haber-Bosch process. So now transportation and storage problems seem to be shrinking before our very eyes. Fuel cell technology is experiencing major breakthroughs that potentially make it relatively cheap and widely available for efficient conversion from hydrogen directly to electricity. So every major obstacle to a hydrogen economy seems to be disappearing as we watch, that is, if we bother to look: generation, safe storage and transportation, and efficient conversion to usable energy at the end of the chain. The best part is these advances have occurred without the massive investments from government being proposed by our current U.S. administration. Considering how far we've come without such massive government support, I have a hard time finding any basis for agreement with those who talk about a hydrogen economy (which could use ammonia as a carrier safely absorbed into porous metal hydride pellets) being decades away even with such support. The principal media outlets have paid little attention to these advances and their implications for our future. One has to dig to find pertinent information individually scattered hither and yon in both space and time with only the briefest journalistic glances. Yet the media frequently quote "experts" who repeat ad nauseum that such technology is decades away at best. A look at who actually owns the media at the top of the chain of holding companies takes quite a bit of the mystery out of this apparent irony. However, the growing pressure nature is applying to develop such technology is approaching a point at which everyone is going to have to start yelling "uncle" before very long. Allow me then, please, to boldly predict that by the beginning of 2013 things will look very, very different with regard to this specific issue and all the other hugely important and wide-ranging issues that it will affect. When a major new technology comes online, like electricity and automobiles at the beginning of the twentieth century, things happen much faster than anyone in the media seems to foresee. I'm yelling from the rooftops, and when it happens, I'm definitely going to yell, "I told you so." So relatively soon time will tell who's right. Billy T05-21-09, 06:00 PMTo Rendell: You may be right that in the end H2 with NH3 for transport and storage will win out, but there will be a larger role for sugar cane based alcohol for at least a decade first, IMHO as the existing IC engine cars will not just disappear overnight. - In fact, if I am correct that this recession has high probably of becoming a US & EU depression, make that two decades as capital (with real purchasing power) will be tight and slow the exchange to the "next big automotive thing" (NH3 and fuel cell cars with electric, not IC, motors). It will be sweet irony if the early promotion of H2 cars by oil companies as means to keep drivers hooked on oil (confident that H2 power cars were an impractical pipe dream, but a useful diversion from any public outcry to "do something") turns out in the end to have built public desire for the fuel cell car that bites big oil where the sun don't shine. I have long argued that oil is much too valuable as a chemical feed stock to burn for it heat content. Doing that is a crime against future generations. dixonmassey05-25-09, 05:53 AMTechno optimism is grounded neither in science nor in common sense. Coming up with more efficient engines/fuels to run bankrupt socio economic system will solve exactly nothing. I would share your enthusiasm regarding techno fixes if I was sure that "warp" drive is possible (in fairly near future). No "warp" drive = we better return to the sitting on trees so the next mutation of hairless monkeys could have a shot at it. I'll reply to Billy T objections in more details, but for now let's consider two facts, world's energy consumption is growing exponentially, more efficient engine/fuel - the steeper the growth curve (yes, there are 3 billions of people waiting something affordable). Climate scientists claim that 1% oscillation in sun' energy hitting Earth = significant climatic changes, 10% change is catastrophe. Regardless whether humans will obtain energy equivalent of 1%+ of sun' energy flux through burning fossils or through the use of "renewables" they will notice substantial changes to planet's climate (this has nothing to do with greenhouse emissions, just plain energy balance). At the current rate of growth mankind will reach energy consumption equivalent of 1% sun' energy hitting the Earth in 100 years (and there are greenhouse gases on top of that). The point is - renewable energy we can use is finite too. As for "energy density" of human products/actions let's consider agriculture. Primitive agriculture - lot's of work+low yields = energy surplus (with respect to muscle work spent, what the point of agriculture otherwise?). Modern mechanized/chemically intensive agriculture is a net energy hog, 10 times more energy is spent in growing than the energy content of the grown foods. And there is also global logistics and distribution skewing energy balance even more into the red. And now, please, somebody explain how boosting engine efficiencies twofold (extremely optimistic) will fix that. Rickshaws are more energy efficient than a truck for a simple reason, he and his bycicle weigh much less, it's driven much slower than a truck. Try to push car and to push a bicycle to see what is more energy dense - "backward" bicycle or a state of the art hybrid car (I even don't mention very different energy inputs to build a bicycle or a hybrid) Billy T05-25-09, 10:30 AM... I'll reply to Billy T objections in more details, but for now let's consider two facts, world's energy consumption is growing exponentially, more efficient engine/fuel - the steeper the growth curve ... Regardless whether humans will obtain energy equivalent of 1%+ of sun' energy flux through burning fossils or through the use of "renewables" they will notice substantial changes to planet's climate (this has nothing to do with greenhouse emissions, just plain energy balance). At the current rate of growth mankind will reach energy consumption equivalent of 1% sun' energy hitting the Earth in 100 years (and there are greenhouse gases on top of that). The point is - renewable energy we can use is finite too.Good. I look forward to your more considered reply, but before making it I want to help you over come some conceptual errors you suffer from: Essentially all (> 99.9999%) of the solar energy the Earth absorbs will end up in the lowest quality form of energy, heat. (Very tiny fractions are chemically stored - such as the sugar cane based alcohol in my car's fuel tank.) This thermal energy is reradiated back into space (with a very tiny fraction more, probably most of which is due the still cooling core of the Earth and the energy released by natural radioactive decay, mainly by the heavier unstable isotopes, but K40 does make a significant fraction of this radio-genetic tiny excess. Jupiter is much larger than Earth, (harder for core heat to reach the surface and much more gravitational energy was converted into heat when it formed, so is much hotter in the core still.) and is more distant from the sun so the hot core makes the IR radiation of Jupiter in to space several percent larger than the solar energy absorbed, but for Earth one can consider the Earth to be in thermal balance and I will do so to keep discussion simple. I do not know off hand the total of this balanced energy flux (Solar in = IR out) but am sure it is more than 1000 times greater than all the energy mankind is releasing. (I would actually guess more than 10,000 times greater, but will be conservative.) Thus, your concerns with that are very misguided. For example, if mankind (or any natural cause) were to increase the Earth's effective albedo by 1% (say by melting much of the polar ice) then the increase of energy absorbed and radiated (the increase in the "balanced energy" flux) would be more than 10 times greater than ALL (not just the changes in man's energy use) the energy man is using. That is why I say your focus is "misguided" - looking at a tiny part of the problem while ignoring the major part of it. Also in addition to the much more important abledo effect there is the green house effects. I.e. causing it to be more difficult for IR to leave Earth by returning part that tries to back to Earth surface will cause the surface temperature to rise. To make this point clear assume Earth radiates IR energy as a "black body" at 300K (for simplicity, equal to what it is absorbing form the sun, since man' release, radioactive and core heat are much less than 1%.) then postulate a change in the IR transparency of the Atmosphere so that 4% of the IR outbound from the surface is returned and absorbed by the surface. Then to re-establish the thermal balance the Earth's new temperature is 301K (The 4:1 is due to fact black body radiation increases with the forth power of the absolute temperature.) FIRST SUMMARY: The direct effect of man using more energy is insignificant compared to the indirect effect produced by the changes in albedo and atmospheric IR transparency. It is only a slight exaggeration to say: you are looking at an ant hill and missing the mountain. Probably not any exageration at all, if it is a large Brazilian ant hill and the largest natural hill on earth which doesn not qualify as a "mountain." There is an interesting movie: "The man who went up a hill and came down a mountain" as a town in Wales added dirt to the top of their "mountain" to offset the results of a new survey, which down graded it to only a hill. (Possibly title is: "The boy who went up... man who came down..." as there was a girl with him too.) ---------------------- Your concepts about alternate energy are almost totally wrong. Use of geothermal energy has zero long term effects, but does increase the current flux of core heat insignificantly. The use of wind energy has zero effect as all that kinetic energy will end up as heat anyway so that amount does not increase if man catches some of the kinetic energy in the wind and converts it to electric energy for his use first. (Earth heating would acutally insignificantly DECREASE if that power produces aluminium. I am not sure, but think that over its lifetime a well-located, large, wind machine can more than refine all the Al in it etc. so even counting the energy needed to make the wind machine, the net effect can be an insignificant DECREASE in Earth's heating.) Exactly the same is true of capture of the KE in the tides, either directly with machines in the water or indirectly by basins that flood at high tide and discharge thru turbines at low tide. Exactly the same true for river power (turbines in the flow or dams). Exactly the same true for efforts to extract power from the gulf stream etc. Exactly same for "ocean thermal power." Story is not exactly the same with photovoltaic cells. The cheapest do slightly increase the albedo, but as I discussed in prior post they could be designed to actually increase the albedo by selective coatings which reflect all wavelengths longer than those corresponding to the band gap energy. SECOND SUMMARY: Any objection to "alternate energy" based on the false "fact" that it will increase the man made heating of the earth is worse than nonsense because every kilowatt hour produced by "alternate energy" displaces a kWh of conventional energy. Now for some details: Conventional energy has huge indirect effects (compared to the direct effects - see first summary and associated text) For example digging up coal or uranium to release the energy stored in them converts at least 100% of that safely stored energy (I am not counting the much smaller energy used for their extraction into) into IR that must be radiated to space. I.e. makes Earth's surface temperature increase slightly, as you noted. In coal's case, because of the GHG effects with released of CO2, the release of a safely stored 100kWh of energy is surely more than the same as 400kWh of nuclear energy on the Earth's surface temperature. (I am only guessing, but would not be the least surprised if it is the same as 100,000kWh of nuclear energy released when one also considers not only the "direct" or GHG effect but also then includes the indirect (PERMANENT, & SELF-ACCELERATING) change in Earth's albedo by helping to melt the polar ice (Albedo of ~ 0.85 converted to albedo of less than 0.25, acting for at least 1000 years.) ... Rickshaws are more energy efficient than a truck for a simple reason, he and his bycicle weigh much less, it's driven much slower than a truck. Try to push car and to push a bicycle to see what is more energy dense - "backward" bicycle or a state of the art hybrid car (I even don't mention very different energy inputs to build a bicycle or a hybrid)This too is too simple minded as you do not use the correct measure. It is not the energy only but the energy per ton mile of cargo moved that must be compared. Certainly the rickshaw wins if only delivering a letter across town, but you need a mix of systems and must do the calculation on a weighted on mile basis. I am sure a train (steel wheel on steel rail)* is at least 50 times more efficient than a rickshaw in doing any distant move of significant mass when only considered the energy used to provide the rickshaw man with his food (neglecting energy that made his rubber flip flops, clothes etc.). I also note that modern technology has displaced the rickshaw even for the cross town letter and certainly for the cross USA letter, if the letter goes via the internet. What is your ratio of “letters efficiency” (measured in bits/ mile sent by writing on paper) to internet bit/miles? I bet just one long internet “letter” to me in Brazil (not even counting the 100s other who read it) dominates all your paper letter bit/miles in letters sent in last month. THIRD SUMMARY: Technology is overwhelming increasing efficiency, with rare and insignificant exceptions. So much so that you have not correctly cited even one exception. Again, I look forward to your reply, but hope the above will reduce the nonsense in it. ---- *And that includes (prorated over the life time of the train) the energy that was used to produce the train and the rails if the energy need to produce the rickshaw is likewise included. rwendell05-25-09, 03:40 PMBilly T, as you replied to dixonmassey, there is no net gain in the input with green alternative energy sources, so they have zero effect on the long-term average equilibrium temperature of the earth. Solar energy enters the biosphere as high-quality (low-entropy) energy and leaves it as low-quality infrared re-radiation of energy into space whether or not it does anything useful for human beings or the planet beyond photosynthesis and creating a viable climate. All alternative energy that is truly green does is use some of this flow from high- to low-quality energy to do things like move things around and process natural substances to materially, chemically, and energetically restructure our environment. Nuclear energy, even if it's low-polluting fusion, is not green. At the rate of growth dixonmassey cites, the equilibrium temperature of the planet goes up with those sources even if green house emissions are zero. These sources are even likely to trick us into pretending that we're now living sustainably as we thermally pollute the planet. It is a clear, scientifically certifiable fact that our planet cannot support the level of consumption of the average U.S. citizen if everyone worldwide were to consume anywhere close to our rates. Water seeks its own level and that's what's happening in the world market. Everyone wants what we have. That's just plain impossible and ultimately we have to compete in the world market. The following is central and extremely important to understand, since it is reduces the problems we're discussing to their essential, bare-bones nitty gritty. Human economies just articulate the flow of energy to restructure the environment. That's really all they do. Even taking oil out of the ground is just restructuring the environment. Then we use that energy to restructure it some more. So energy and the intelligence with which we articulate its flow to restructure our personal, social, and natural environments is all economies ultimately boil down to. We're not being very intelligent in the way we do that. Worse, those with the most power to do restructuring are doing it in their own, selfish, short-term interests. We let them manipulate us with politics, their advertising, and finally their marketing influence on our very culture itself. This is not in the interests of people in general and certainly not in those of the planet. So what must happen for things to ultimately go well? Again, worldwide per capita consumption cannot imitate what we're doing. It just physically cannot happen, since we will self-destruct first. So we need to restructure our environment much more intelligently to recycle non-renewable resources and not burn them all up or put them in landfills, rivers, and oceans. Physical resources must be conserved to the highest degree possible because they are clearly not infinite as our past perspective has unwittingly assumed. Also, of course, energy must move ultimately to totally renewable sources. What, then, is the inevitable conclusion? The ultimate, long-term success of the global economic system toward which we cannot help but move depends not on economic growth in our rate of consumption of physical resources, but the intelligence with which we articulate the restructuring of our environment to improve the true quality of our lives while preserving our finite physical resources to the maximum possible degree. This is precisely the opposite direction from that in which we've been going. This is not rocket science. That this is ultimately true is so clearly unarguable that it takes very little, and very uncomplicated thought for all people with an open mind to confirm it for themselves. (See my blog at robert-wendell dot blogspot dot com). Billy T05-25-09, 05:17 PM...Nuclear energy, even if it's low-polluting fusion, is not green. At the rate of growth dixonmassey cites, the equilibrium temperature of the planet goes up with those sources even if green house emissions are zero. These sources are even likely to trick us into pretending that we're now living sustainably as we thermally pollute the planet.I have only read to here but want to immediately note that what you state is true ONLY if you assume that nuclear power is not displacing coal fired power plants (either existing ones or those that would be built to meet the increasing demand.) You will probably be dead, even if young, before nuclear in US makes as much energy as coal does. I.e. you will never live to see this part of your post true. I will read rest later and reply, if needed. Later by edit: not needed as basicaly agree with the rest. PS I have supported nuclear power for more than 40 years, but not the way the US does it with business men designing control rooms for their looks. In the three mile Island accident the experts who came in made some mistakes as they were not familiar with its unique control design and last more than a day before they knew what the gagues were telling. Three mile island was placed on line on 31 December befor many saftey pumps were installed swo it coulbe inclueded in the rate base the public service commision allows the rate of return to be calculated on. Fortunately this did not add to the problem, but it could have. This "profit first" is common in the US with unique designes - very stupid system. The French do nuclear power correctly - Government puts safety first and design all the plants with identical control rooms etc. rwendell05-25-09, 11:06 PMBilly T, I'm talking about the long haul on nuclear, which is a long haul proposition in the first place. I do believe ethanol must play a part, and sugar cane is the best current source, but still competes with food for viable agricultural real estate. On your broad point concerning transition technologies, cellulosic ethanol plants are already starting to go up. For some idea of the current state of transition technologies, look up Range Fuels together with Georgia as key words in Google. They broke ground on 11/6/07, though, so I don't know where they are within the current financial picture. I've seen no update on construction since then during my cursory look around the site, but they're not confessing openly any backpedaling on that, although I wouldn't expect them, too, of course. The point is the technology is ready to roll and someone will do it relatively soon, especially given a significant government boost. Also take a look at Sapphire Energy for a clean, renewable gasoline product that comes from CO(2) and sunlight using genetically engineered algae. The problem I see with conventional nuclear, even French-style, is that by the time we get the plants up and rolling they will either already be obsolete or will be relatively soon afterward. We also need to remember that in addition to any waste problems that remain to be resolved, there is a limited supply of uranium and the rate at which it can continue to come online even with our modern enrichment technologies just as there is with oil when we look at the longer term picture. Better, we can build five solar-thermal plants in the time it takes to get one nuclear plant up and running. The venture capital turnaround is therefore much faster and the longer term picture for those investments much brighter. This is without factoring in government support in terms of subsidies of any kind, whether money, tax breaks, or any additional financial incentives. There is already an elegantly simple example of the solar-thermal approach in Spain that resembles a huge, upside-down funnel that spreads out over a large area of ground using inexpensive greenhouse plastic. There is a wind turbine near the bottom of the towering cylindrical upper part of the funnel. The ground is a heat sink that effectively acts as a huge thermal flywheel so that the plant generates electricity most of the night. This is the cheap version. Clearly, there are materials available that could greatly amplify the thermal flywheel effect, both in terms of heat storage capacity and insulation against heat leakage to the non-productive external environment. You might look up Vinod Khosla and solar-thermal, and even just Vinod Khosla alone to find out more about forward-looking venture capital and where it thinks the money is. Ultimately, renewable energy is intrinsically already distributed, so corporate attempts to keep useful energy centrally distributed are ultimately doomed to failure from a strictly economic point of view. All the economic incentives to decentralize are already built into the very nature of renewable sources. Together with the implementation of complementary technologies, the long-term trend toward decentralization looks to be unstoppable. Please bear in mind that I mean very long term. Transition technologies will play a crucial role, but I think sooner than most think. It sure needs to happen that way, and need often is a precursor to satisfaction of the need. Again, the pressure from nature will increase soon enough if we're too stupid to get it without having our metaphorical arms twisted until they almost break. Billy T05-26-09, 08:39 AMBilly T, I'm talking about the long haul on nuclear, which is a long haul proposition in the first place. I do believe ethanol must play a part, and sugar cane is the best current source, but still competes with food for viable agricultural real estate. On your broad point concerning transition technologies, cellulosic ethanol plants are already starting to go up. For some idea of the current state of transition technologies, look up Range Fuels together with Georgia as key words in Google. They broke ground on 11/6/07, though, so I don't know where they are within the current financial picture. I've seen no update on construction since then during my cursory look around the site, but they're not confessing openly any backpedaling on that, although I wouldn't expect them, too, of course. The point is the technology is ready to roll and someone will do it relatively soon, especially given a significant government boost. ...Cost, not technology is the problem. Man has had the technology for thousands of years. Thanks for post, but I am well aware of all you posted and much more. This reply limited to only Celulosic alcohol. I own stock in the leading cellulose alcohol company, Verenium, which has world largest pilot plant scale operating for more than a year. It generated the design data for the commercial scale plant. I bought VRNM sort as insurance as I do not think it will ever be competitive with tropical sugar cane alcohol, but could be wrong. Here is why: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1716603&postcount=311 Here are some recent notes from my file on them: 21Feb09: Verenium & BP have made 50/50 joint venture company based in Cambridge, Mass. which plans to break ground on commercial-scale cellulosic plant by 2010 in Highlands County with production starting in 2012. Committing$45 million to the joint venture company's Highlands County plant and another commercial project site in early stages in the Gulf Coast region. The estimated construction cost for the 36-million gallon per year plant is between $250 million and$300 million. Cellulose ethanol {only via the “bug route,” not via thermal chem. route} has three times higher energy gain than corn ethanol and emits a low net level of greenhouse gases. One proposed crop, Miscanthus, can grow up to eight feet in six weeks. See: http://www.physorg.com/news78069543.html & http://bioenergy.ornl.gov/papers/miscanthus/miscan... . Note the comparsion is to corn ETOH but cane ETOH has about 8 times greater gain than corn based - I.e. even via bugs, the celulose gain is much less than cane ETOH - mainly because the crushed cane, alraedy at the plant, if burned supplies all distilation heat and still generates a great deal of electric for the grid. 15Jan09 Highlands Ethanol project got$7 million grant from Florida's "Farm to Fuel" initiative…. Agreement with Lykes Bros. provides feedstock from ~20,000 adjacent acres and includes a facility site option and a long-term farm lease. Verenium was also got additional incentive package from the State of Florida. Here is concise discussion of cellulosic alcohol & other "liquid fuels from grass" etc.: http://www.forbes.com/2009/04/28/biofuels-ethanol-virent-technology-breakthroughs-biofuels.html Here is a possible important different approach: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1843394&postcount=320 From my notes on them: Mascoma hopes to break ground this year and open in late 2011 or early 2012, slightly behind schedule in the race for the country's first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant. Also you may find interesting from my notes: 14May08DuPont and Genencor, the enzymes unit of Danish Danisco, forming a cellulosic ethanol joint venture 50/50 spending$140e6 in next 3yrs on US pilot plant % planning demo/ commercial facility by 2012. Vinod Khosla, has price goal for all his ethanol companies of $1.25 a gallon. This venture capitalist has funded cellulosic ethanol companies Coskata, Mascoma, and Range Fuels. Range Fuels LLC of Broomfield, Colo., making first commercial-scale (20 million gallons in first phase to be completed in 2009) cellulosic ethanol plant in Soperton, Ga to use forest wastes. Builds GA’s Savannah port as entry point for Brazilian ethanol. Both Mascoma and Coskata have alliances with General Motors. Co-founder of Mascoma, Charles Wyman, a environmental engineering professor of University of California at Riverside states: “It takes a quarter-pound of enzymes to make a gallon of ethanol.”* Genencor’s Rochester unit has reduced the cost of corn stover to sugars enzymes 30-fold in last 5 years. Danisco’s animal division markets VRNM’s Phyzyme XP. Competitor (therma/chem. route) See: http://www.forbes.com/2007/11/03/energy-khosla-fuels-tech-cz_kd_1105fuels.html?partner=daily_newsletter ----------- *I'm not sure that is always true. He has commercial reaon tpo knock bug approach, but obviously good for the thermal/ chemical approach but “bug approach” avoids the thermal energy and pressure reactors they require. Here is a progress review (but seems to be ignorant of Verenium’s leading position.): http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/consumers-to-pick-up-tab-for-off-target-cellulosic-ethanol-industry-5384/ BTW butanol has gas's energy density, current cars can run on it and it can go thru exisiting pipelines, but is not likely to be the winner. See my old post on it at: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1073534&postcount=170 Billy T05-26-09, 02:25 PM....The problem I see with conventional nuclear, even French-style, is that by the time we get the plants up and rolling they will either already be obsolete or will be relatively soon afterward. We also need to remember that in addition to any waste problems that remain to be resolved, there is a limited supply of uranium ....Nuclear power, even from first generation French designs is much cheaper than any other source. Thus, "growing obsolete" is a FALSE concern. U235 is less than 1% but deposits are known that will run standard reactors for 100s of years. Consequently only about 8% of Brazil has even been explored for uranium deposits, yet most of the bottled water is radioactive and that 8% yields uranium for domestic use and export. – Here, in Brazil still, like much of the world earlier, radioactive waters are thought to promote health. Before going to Hungary I found a tour guide in JHU library which was written after just as WWII ended. It told that the Budapest zoo was only a shadow of its former self as most animals had been killed and eaten. The next text section rated the natural hot water resorts by telling which had the most radioactive waters! But I digress. Point is that breeders reactors and the heavy water "CANDU" (used in Canada) can use natural uranium (and produce more plutonium than they burn U) so we will probably have at least 50,000 years of nuclear fuel when most of the earth's deposits have been found. - I doubt humans will survive that long. But now to the main objection: waste storage: The nuclear waste problem is easy to solve. The Swedish solution is good for countries with their geology. See it at: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=934414&postcount=4 For 5 more ways to store the nuclear waste, see: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=927916&postcount=181 Number (2) there is very similar to my solution. There is some discussion of my suggestion (I respond to questions) in the short thread at: http://www.sciforums.com/showthread.php?t=50995 By using every legal, and some illegal, means to delay nuclear power Green Peace has been a disaster for humanity. It has greatly increased both the global warming and man’s release of radioactivity into the air and water. Per kWh generated coal power plants produce very much more air and water born radioactivity. (Coal is the main source of man-made radioactivity release.). To learn more about the real nature and motives of Green Peace leaders, see: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=928105&postcount=184 For my POV about waste storage, H2 cars (pre the DNU storage approach) and why nuclear is costly in the US but cheap in France is at: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=927765&postcount=176 The damage Green Peace’s well intended ignorance has done is global, not just in the US: Walter Marshall, Lord Marshall of Goring and chairman of Britain’s Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) said (in 1988, when coal use was much less) in the House of Commons: “Earlier this year, British Nuclear Fuels released into the Irish Sea some 400 kg of uranium, with the full knowledge of the regulators. This attracted considerable media attention and, I believe, some 14 parliamentary questions. I have to inform you that yesterday the CEGB released about 300 kg of radioactive uranium, together with all of its radioactive decay products, into the environment. Furthermore, we released some 300 kg of uranium the day before that. We shall be releasing the same amount of uranium today, and we plan to do the same tomorrow. In fact, we do it every day of every year so long as we burn coal in our power stations. And we do not call that “radioactive waste”. We call it coal ash.” From: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=932474&postcount=196 but go there to see how silly the regulations are about nuclear medicine . Also note that the typical can of beer / day give you more radiation from K40 than you can be exposed to (from the nuclear power plant) by standing all day all YEAR at the nuclear plant gate. Some US nuclear power plants must process their cooling tower water, which never comes near the reactor, with ion exchange filters to remove natural isotopes BEFORE it goes to the cooling tower as without that processing, it cannot legally come FROM the cooling tower! Green Peace (and public ignorance in general) has made nuclear power uneconomical, instead of the “too cheap to meter” as in the original cost projections. Almost all of the cost is in the nuclear power is in the capital cost. None of that is recovered until production starts, which Green Peace has typically been able to delay at least 20 years in the US. This is why nuclear power in US is not built and your electric bills are much higher than they need be. Excepting militaries, IMHO, Green Peace is THE organization which has caused the greatest harm to humanity and the environment. They should have concerned themselves with protecting whales only, instead of damaging humans as they have. The same thing happens in the USA and the rest of the world. As Dr. Dixie Lee Ray {head of US's AEC} said once: “Of all industries, the nuclear industry alone has taken responsibility for its wastes from the beginning. Yet, ironically, it is the one industry most often criticized for its waste management practices.” To close less tragically, here is my humorous (I hope) way to support nuclear power: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=1016814&postcount=8 Or my sarcastic, but legally feasible, solution to nuclear power's political problem with waste disposal at: http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=932699&postcount=199 rwendell05-27-09, 09:28 PMHi again, Billy T. Even if we accept that nuclear waste disposal and uranium supply are not problems, we still have the thermal pollution problem. Nuclear power, as I stated earlier, even or ESPECIALLY if it were clean fusion power, would create a DISENCENTIVE to limit power usage from sources other than the sun. This must automatically raise the equilibrium temperature of the planet over time. According to the usual projections based on past growth, we would frightenly soon raise the long-term average temperature without any greenhouse gases whatsoever to a point at which the planet would be in dire straits. I used to be an enthusiast for nuclear fusion, but am not any longer precisely for this reason. It has also been an intractable problem so far to implement it, which in my view is very fortunate. Once we've hatched from the planetary egg and quit consuming the albumen (egg white or metaphorically, fossil fuels), then nuclear power becomes an interesting option for space travel. That's it's only legitimate long-term application as I see it. Quoting myself from an earlier post, "The ultimate, long-term success of the global economic system toward which we cannot help but move depends not on economic growth in our rate of consumption of physical resources, but the intelligence with which we articulate the restructuring of our environment to improve the true quality of our lives while preserving our finite physical resources to the maximum possible degree. "This is precisely the opposite direction from that in which we've been going...." I do not consider it moral to use up finite resources and leave later generations to languish in despair and gradually disappear, no matter how far into the future that may be. Of course, the sun will eventually turn into a red giant, but we have about five billion years before that happens and that is just a natural death on a planetary scale. I do not subscribe to suicide as a legitimate way to die, whether on an individual human or worldwide societal scale. The way I approach problem solving is to look at the really big picture and then boil things down to the absolutely essential, bottom-line factors that affect that picture. This cuts away all the chaff and brings clarity to whatever the issue happens to be. rwendell05-27-09, 09:30 PM"That's it's only legitimate long-term application as I see it." Sorry. The beginning should have read, "That's its..." rwendell05-27-09, 09:54 PMArtificial photosynthesis: greencarcongress (dot) com/2008/07/researchers-at (dot) html ElectricFetus05-27-09, 10:01 PMAccording to the usual projections based on past growth, we would frightenly soon raise the long-term average temperature without any greenhouse gases whatsoever to a point at which the planet would be in dire straits. Hole motherfucker your claims is so insane its right: Consequently, the total amount of heat generated by fossil fuels is 1014 kWh. By distributing this energy over the total area of the Earth, an additional 0.02 W m^2 is heating the planet. Here, it was found that one third of current thermal pollution is emitted to space and that a further global temperature increase of 1.8 jC is required until Earth is again in thermal equilibrium. http://www.ltu.se/polopoly_fs/1.5035!nordell%20gpc%20vol%2038%20issue%203-4.pdf But there is a problem with solar, it changes the earth albedo for the worst, although asphalt does even more harm. No matter what we are going to have to consider geo-engineering some where down the line. rwendell05-27-09, 11:42 PMITDAFC (Intermediate Temperature Direct Ammonia Fuel Cell): energy.iastate.edu/renewable/ammonia/ammonia/2006/HowardUniv2.pdf rwendell05-27-09, 11:46 PM"But there is a problem with solar, it changes the earth albedo for the worst, although asphalt does even more harm." - ElectricFetus So we paint an equivalent area white, like part of your roof. Billy T05-28-09, 07:42 AMHi again, Billy T. Even if we accept that nuclear waste disposal and uranium supply are not problems, we still have the thermal pollution problem. ...Until we stop using coal you too, as I said in bold text in post 105 "are looking at an ant hill and missing the mountain." I.e. decreasing Earth's atmospheric transparency by even 1% in the IR (of approximately 300K black body) is very much more important than doubling man's energy use. Coal's CO2 (and other GHG man is releasing) can do that. SUMMARY: Every nuclear plant added that closes a fossil fuel fired power plant helps COOL THE EARTH, NOT HEAT IT. Perhaps in a 100+ years your argument will make some sense, but a lot will happen between now and then so we cannot be sure it will even then. For example, after several hundred more nuclear plants have terminated the criminal burning of irreplaceable fossil chemical feed stocks for the heat content, are reaching the end of their useful live, they may be replaced by solar IR reflecting (all solar wavelengths greater than the band gap energy, but not reflectors of 300K long wave length IR, as that would make them very poor emitters of heat leaving earth.) photo-voltaic cells and sugar cane based alcohol fuel for some transport needs but 95+ % of that should be stored electrical energy from recent solar energy flux. The rapid promotion of nuclear power to close most fossil fuel power plants may be the only way to keep Earth from switching to the other (very hot) stable state. (A slightly cooler version of Venus, with the oceans boiling away into space and zero life on Earth.) That is very possible if the methane hydrates begin to decompose with greater than unity positive feedback. If you do not know about this danger, I will try to find some of my old posts on it. Again: divert your attention from the ant hill and see the mountain! I think it a tragedy if the end achieved by the million year development of "intelligent" life is a completely sterile Earth. ...Consequently, the total amount of heat generated by fossil fuels is 1014 kWh. By distributing this energy over the total area of the Earth, an additional 0.02 W m^2 is heating the planet....Thanks for the number. At Earth's distance from the sun the solar flux is ~1000W /m^2. Let's be very silly and assume only 200W /m^2 is absorbed by Earth (at least double that is) and then 200.02W /m^2 must be radiated as IR back to space but assume that 220W /m^2 leaves the surface trying to leave. (I am too lazy to find the correct fraction of surface radiation which is returned to Earth, so I have assumed 10% is now.) Now postulate the continued release of GHG increase that returned fraction to 11%, which is the same as a 1% incease in earth's average albedo so the earth is now absorbing 202W /m^2 and the temperature has increased so it can radiate to space 202.02W /m^2 Thus, in this conservative numerical illustration, man's release of Thermal energy from fossil fuels, wood fires, nuclear etc. directly causes a slight temperature increase (The extra 0.02W /m^2 to be radiated) but man's GHG effect indirectly causes a temperature increase about 25 times larger. (It is not 100 times larger even though the increase in GHG returned radiation is 2W /m^2 or 100 times larger than man's 0.02W /m^2, because black body radiation goes as T^4) None the less to be concerned with the direct effect of heating by man and ignore the indirect effect which raises the temperature much more is at best silly ignorance.*) ---------------- *At worst, it will convert Earth into a sterile Venus like planet. People like you and rwendell, who can understand, need to use your intelligence to understand what the real danger is and what must be done, not oppose it. rwendell05-28-09, 12:18 PMBilly T, you're argument makes a lot of sense. I frankly had not looked at that part of the picture, referring to the ratio of respective effects of green house gases and purely thermal pollution. I think the reason for this is a somewhat tacit assumption on my part that renewable technologies are not nearly as far away from replacing coal as you seem to assume. I am convinced that in a much shorter time frame than most project, energy will be locally available everywhere at competitive costs. There are two sides to the competitive costs picture, of course. One is how rapidly renewable source costs will decrease with both some of the new discoveries (and future ones) coming on line and hugely expanded markets for them. When the media talk about costs, they mostly focus on current costs of renewables and ignore the future cost of fossil fuels. Increased cost of fossil fuels is the other side of the picture. During the last huge price increase of gasoline and diesel, the oil industry attempted to justify their enormous profit taking referring to the mounting need for exploration and more efficient means of extraction from older, waning fields. However, as with anyone we have no reason to trust, we should not listen to what they say, but watch what they do. What have they been doing with that money? They have spent very little on what they talk about and spent huge sums buying back their own shares. Why? The reason should be obvious. They understand peak oil as well as anyone or better. They know its prices are going to go through the ceiling and they want to own as much of it as they can. I rest my case on that issue. So, with renewable costs going down and fossil fuel costs going way up in the not very distant future, including the nominal cost of coal (which fails to include the intolerable loss of environmental assets its mining inevitably involves and the increasing political will to oppose this as world population increases), I see a much more rapid demise of coal-fired plants than you apparently do. There is another factor none of this takes into account. People LOVE the idea of energy independence as a matter of principle and are willing to pay more to get it than the price picture alone would predict. Combine this with the already intrinsic local distribution of renewable energy and you get a scenario in which people eventually don't need the grid any more. Nanosolar already has a nanotech ink and with a single modern printing press can manufacture a gigawatt per year of thin film solar cells at under a dollar per watt. They are looking at eventually painting houses and commercial buildings with this stuff. Put that together with the huge strides being made in efficient electrolysis and ammonia production and you have total energy independence at the local level. I don't think we're very far away from that at all if we choose to go there. Heaven help us if we don't. rwendell05-28-09, 12:19 PMOops, It should have been "...your argument..." ElectricFetus05-28-09, 12:44 PMWe will still need the grid, alternative energy from most renewable sources is intermediate, we need the grid to dump power in when its in over supply and pull back out when the sun don't shin, we will need distributed power, smart griding and grid storage (either huge batteries or utilizing electric vehicles plug into the gird) to make renewables able to produce more then the 30% of our electric needed (30% being the maximum renewables can do without energy storage) Billy T05-28-09, 03:09 PMBilly T, your argument makes a lot of sense. … renewable technologies are not nearly as far away from replacing coal as you seem to assume. I am convinced that in a much shorter time frame than most project, energy will be locally available everywhere at competitive costs. ...I do not assume that. I assume it can already displace SOME fossil power now and in the case of SUGAR CANE based alcohol, that renewable energy is already about 40% CHEAPER than the fossil fuel it replaces (gasoline) and it can replace 100% of it, not only economically but with significant saving for the population. (More mass transit, more working from home, smaller cars, etc. and more tropical land growing cane are also required.) Wind energy is competitive too in some locations for electric power generation, but as ElectricFetus notes in post 120, it needs the currently fossil power grid to solve the storage problem so cannot economically make 1/3 of the electric power needed even in strong wind locations. (Non-grid storage for worst calm period cost all the time even if used only once per year.) Globally, I doubt wind power can provide even 20% of the power required economically. (I.e. no subsidies. - They can let Alaska grow oranges, but are always a net needless lowering of living standards.) Properly done nuclear power can provide 100% of the power man requires at less than half the current cost. France gets 80% of its power from nuclear and exports a lot to Germany, as it is cheaper to buy than burn coal. Germany is the sad victim of the green movement’s stupidity and political power. To reduce coal burning, ONLY nuclear power can be brought on line as fast as energy demand is growing. Consider just China and India’s growing populations and their growing per capita demand. It is little wonder that China is now building new power plants at the rate of one every 8 or 9 days! (Most of them are still coal fired, but they are switching to super critical steam which is 44% efficient, not the typical 33% or less.) Neither, I nor anyone else, knows how close we are to flipping Earth into the hot stable state. It is not actually “stable” as eventually the oceans will boil away and then Earth will begin to cool back down, but that will take a long time. No multi-cellular life will survive to even see the first bubble of ocean boiling steam. Nuclear power may be the only way to avoid this fate for the Earth, short of some terrible plague or most dying in atomic war etc. Energy demand is simply growing too fast for renewable to even keep up with it. The real choice mankind has is coal or nuclear – which is better is obvious (assuming you do not want a drastic limit, much lower than current, on human populations). BTW: Because of the need for non-grid economical storage I support the super flywheel approach where pumped hydro and or compressed air in caverns storage is not feasible.* I also strongly support solar thermal power as it can be economically competitive in many locations too as economical, non-grid, storage is possible. In fact long ago, I solved its fundamental problem, which is that Carnot law requires high absorber temperature for good conversion efficiency but then the re-radiation losses are large. See my long expired US patent, 4033118. That patent also includes a non-thermal chemical storage system. -------- *I have even pointed out that very large super conductive magnetic storage may be economical as the cost is proportional to the coil diameter (circumference) but the energy stored to the cube of the diameter as the energy is stored in the 3D field, not the 1D coil. rwendell05-28-09, 10:26 PMBilly T, so you may be right. As I said in a previous post, since my bold prediction is only about three and a half years away, it won't be long before we know whether I am. I'm an incurable optimist, but I am also a well-reasoned optimist. You can try to cure me, but again, I said I'm an incurable optimist. There can also coexist well-reasoned pessimists. Time will tell. What chaps mine is when either one is poorly reasoned. You definitely DO NOT fit in THAT category. P.S. Thanks for the editing tip. I hadn't noticed. Nice feature. BTW, did you follow the link to the ITDAFC site? rwendell05-30-09, 02:46 PMI just went back and read some of the earliest posts in responsed to Billy T's question about the viability of using ammonia as a hydrogen carrier, which hydrogen is in turn an energy carrier. Most of the objections are way off base in the context of current developments, many of which have already been discussed in this thread. Intermediate Temperature Direct Ammonia Fuel Cells (ITDAFCs) inherently crack NH(3) to release the hydrogen without any external cracking, hence the term "direct ammonia fuel cell". Please follow this link for more information: http://www.energy.iastate.edu/renewable/ammonia/ammonia/2006/HowardUniv2.pdf Here is a quote from an article on a superior catalyst for the Haber-Bosch ammonia production process. There are two angles to this approach, the vastly improved catalyst and the process itself, known as the Kellogg Advanced Ammonia Process (KAAP). The full article is available gratis at http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~ceng403/nh3syn97.html#catalyst Here's the quote: "The proposed system utilizes a promoted ruthenium catalyst deposited on thermally modified active carbon, forming porous cylindrical pellets about 0.8 mm in diameter and 3-5 mm long, which has been available to industry relatively recently.(4) This catalyst is up to twenty times more active than fused iron catalyst at relatively high conversion degrees. More importantly, although temperature variations have similar effects on the two catalysts, the effects of ammonia concentration are significantly different. Iron-based catalyst activity depends strongly on PNH3 (partial pressure of ammonia). As PNH3 increases from 1 mol% to 10 mol% the rate of the process decreases 10 to 25-fold. In contrast, the activity of ruthenium-based catalysts is only slightly affected by changes in PNH3, as well as changes in total pressure. Promoted ruthenium catalyst deposited on active graphite therefore has been found to have excellent low pressure and low temperature performance.(5) This is of great importance to industrial practice, taking into account contemporary tendencies to lower the applied pressure and thus reduce energy consumption. "Further benefits of using the ruthenium-based catalyst are found in capital cost savings. As lower pressures are used in the process, there is greater flexibility in process compressor driver selection. Thinner-walled and lighter vessels, piping, and fittings can be employed safely, all of which are equipment more commonly fabricated world-wide and therefore cheaper. This new catalyst opens a world of possibilities for industrial ammonia synthesis optimization, maintaining high ammonia conversion and safety standards at significantly reduced costs and increased profit." It should be noted that although the process described here refers to hydrogen from the steam reformation of fossil fuels, it can be used with hydrogen from any source, including renewables. Another even more promising and very elegant approach is still in the research stage, however. It is from ETH Zurich Institute of Energy Technology in Switzerland. The technology is described in English complete with schematics at: http://www.pre.ethz.ch/research/projects/?id=ammonia Here is a quote of the most significant part: "The proposed 2-step process offers the following four-fold advantages: 1. it eliminates the need for high pressure, minimizing costs and safety concerns; 2. it eliminates the need for catalysts; minimizing costs associated with their production and recycling; 3. it eliminates the need for hydrogen as feedstock, reducing energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions. 4. It eliminates concomitant CO2 emissions derived from fossil-fueled endothermic processes." This is an especially elegant solution if and when it reaches commercial use. The hydrogen source is the steam used in the second stage of the process, so no electrolysis is required. It also appears that this process could conceivably store solar energy as well, since the exothermic process is effectively giving back stored solar energy. It consequently seems possible that this could either be used to increase the efficiency of the first stage by feeding some heat back into it or to supply energy for heat or other energy needs as a co-production strategy. Some combination of these approaches, including the MIT electrolysis breakthrough, the Amminex ammonia storage technology, and the ITDAFC seems destined to eliminate all the obstacles to a hydrogen economy, namely hydrogen generation, storage, distribution, and direct conversion to electrical energy without burning. It seems even possible that both burning and electrolysis are potentially unnecessary in the final analysis. Pronatalist06-02-09, 10:37 AMHere are some of the reasons for not using ammonia as opposed to hydrogen 1) It puts off Nitrous Oxide which is very bad for you 2) It smells awful 3) It is more expensive to produce than Hydrogen It smells awful? So what? If it has enough good properties, what's really wrong with a "stinky" fuel? I used to live out in the country, as a child, among the farms, and the stench of farmers' manure would often waft in through the open summertime windows. I don't think anybody cared, because that's just the natural smells of the countryside, so easy to get used to. Of course ammonia may not smell so "natural" or be so easy to get used to, so try not to get too much a whiff of it while refueling, or just think how much money you are saving, refueling with ammonia, if they ever figure out how to make it a good fuel for cars? It could be a good idea, as hydrogen just doesn't at all appear practical for cars, and the enviro-radicals won't let us drill our own oil. There are other chemical formulations that might work okay or better for high energy-density, portable, stable fuels. People in India and China are getting cars, and so far, nothing works so well as gasoline. Might it be smart to stop talking all the "green" propaganda, and get busy and find some REAL ALTERNATIVE fuels? And there may be cheap ways to get it to burn cleaner? rwendell06-02-09, 11:33 PMPronatalist, you can apparently write, so I assume you can also read. Why has it not reached the inside of your head that we are NOT talking here about BURNING ammonia? We ARE talking about: 1) storing ammonia safely in pellets of metal hydride at densities that exceed that of liquid hydrogen, but at room temperature and normal atmospheric pressure. 2) There ALREADY EXIST fuel cells called Intermediate Temperature Direct Ammonia Fuel Cells (ITDAFCs) that can convert ammonia directly into nitrogen, water, and electricity. (Follow the first link in my previous post for more information.) 3) There very likely exist processes that can produce ammonia from renewable resources efficiently and at competitive cost in the not very distant future if we have the guts to go in that direction. We're already getting close without any huge government subsidies. 4) There is even a very real possibility that we can produce ammonia directly from solar heat without electrolysis and even use the waste heat and syngas output for energy co-production in the bargain. (See the last link in my previous post for more information.) None of these processes produces nitrous oxide, and your attempt at making that point duplicates earlier posts here that have already been more than adequately addressed. Regarding this quote from your post, "Might it be smart to stop talking all the "green" propaganda, and get busy and find some REAL ALTERNATIVE fuels?" You don't seem to think there are any "REAL ALTERNATIVE fuels" judging from your insistence on simply finding cleaner ways to burn gasoline and your rhetoric above about "green propanda". Who do you work for, anyway? If you really do have a problem with any of the technologies we're referring to in our posts here, why don't you state them? That's what most of us here have been doing. Simply ranting about a dogmatic perspective you hold and seem to be trying to sell us doesn't provide you with a very convincing resume on salesmanship, much less on sensible debating skills, or even an ability to reason, which you don't even attempt to do at all in your post. You simply make dogmatic statements that are, to put it politely, quite ill-informed. Some semblance of gentility might help, too. If you really think all this is just "green propaganda", you must think peak oil is s hoax and that domestic oil production will be a significant contributor to our energy economy for more than a very brief time if at all. Either belief represents an uncanny ability to overlook the obvious. Ask yourself these questions: 1) Why did the oil companies justify their huge profits during the last hefty price surge with a need to invest in further exploration and technologies for extracting the last ounce of oil from older fields, when in fact they didn't do that at all? 2) Why did they instead actually invest almost none of it in exploration or advanced extraction technologies, but invested the huge bulk of it in buying back their own shares from stockholders? 3) Why would they want to suck up their own shares from their stockholders if they didn't know better than anyone about the reality of peak oil and are therefore jockeying for position so they will own most of it themselves when the price goes through the ceiling? 3) Why are you such a fan of domestic oil production in our few remaining natural habitats when all you have to do is look at the numbers to notice how pitifully small and ultimately much worse than useless considering the costs to the environment such contributions would be? 4) Why do you think those oil companies that are lobbying so hard for the rights to drill in these areas are not big oil, but relatively small oil companies for whom these rights would be a significant windfall while doing virtually nothing to ease energy costs? So the bottom line is that is totally unhelpful to repeat dogma again and again without addressing what we have said. If you differ, then why not state WHY you differ with some supporting evidence and a coherent and logically valid line of reasoning. So please, if you find anything wrong with points I or anyone else here has made, 1) State each point with which you disagree. 2) Cite valid evidence that you believe contradicts each point. 3) Use valid reasoning processes based on this evidence to refute each point. If you're not capable of doing this, I would like to request that you retire from the discussion. Ranting about dogmatic viewpoints that simply contradict what we've said without supporting your points or refuting ours by citing facts we can investigate and reasoning we can inspect for ourselves just muddies the waters. This is not a snowball fight or a yelling contest. Billy T06-03-09, 11:40 AMPronatalist, you can apparently write, so I assume you can also read. ...Probably, but he rarely does with comprehension if that would conflict with his bibical POV. rwendell06-03-09, 07:32 PMOh, OK. Got it! I was raised in a fundamentalist environment, so I'm intimately familiar with the mindset: All dogma and no observation or reasoning that would contradict the dogma, resulting in eternal blind spots, omnipotent irrationality, and omnipresent inconsistency with observation. : ) Rogerg06-06-09, 10:19 AMThere is a group in Canada using green NH3 made from wind electric presently. They say zero emissions.They make their own fuel cheaper than fossil at refuel locations rather than transport it in large tankers. decentralize To me that is safer, though ammonia is not explosive but at least they save the cost of transport. This fuel looks like it will probably be the one to take over from oil. They have every size vehicle and tractors running clean. They are having some trouble with canada government not allowing it. Canada government still in bed with big oil like our last one. Maybe if someone knows how to get thru government we could grab it for our side. They are GreenNH3.com We looked at hydrogen,, too much problems storage, safety, sitting on 10,000 psi tank hoping if it ruptures there will be no spark in the neighborhood. Big trucks , no way. Biofuels, now 10 guys are bidding on every deepfryer waste in town, Still makes carbon ect. competes with food. Need 10 trillion acres crops to supply enough to replace oil. ethanol . there are 100 plants for sale dosent work even with subsidies competes with food. cellulose may work but lots of chemistry problems. electric. maybe for small cars around town < 100 miles . Big trucks noway. One company betterplace.com raised 200 million to set up battery system,,,change batteries on the interstate, you pull in and change batteries then go another so far, you dont own the battery, they rent it to you,,and you thought Bernie Madoff was a good talker. Billy T06-06-09, 11:58 AMFantastic first post Rogerg. Welcome. Thanks for the very interesting and important link to work at Un. of Michigan on the NH3 power IC engine. Here are a few quotes from your link and its sub links and some comments on them in a footnote: " ...During the NH3 car’s trip across America, gasoline was more than$2.25/gallon and Ammonia was approximately $450/ton. This scenario represented a cost savings over operating on straight gasoline.* The test vehicle can be run either on 100% gasoline or on an 80% ammonia/20% gasoline mixture, and can be switched from one to the other at any time. … A new on-board tank holds liquid ammonia at only about 150 PSI. Regulators, valves and an electronic control system meter the flow of ammonia to the engine as needed after the engine is started and warmed up on gasoline, ethanol etc. A small amount of gasoline is used to idle the engine, then as the load is increased the additional energy is provided by adding ammonia. This is all handled automatically by the engine control electronic module. Ammonia when liquefied contains roughly half of the energy of gasoline by volume. This means that an ammonia tank the size of your current gas tank will carry you more than 2/3rds of the distance of operating on gasoline alone, between fill ups when the contribution of the gasoline’s energy is considered. ..." ----------------- *The cost of conversion is about$1000 so with present interest rates and these prices, it would probably take the lifetime of the car to break even; however (1) cost of gasoline will be much higher during the car’s life time; (2) the cost of system as original equipment, mass produced would be much smaller – perhaps on $300 more than the gas only car. (3) given the huge role imported oil plays in the US trade deficit (likely to grow greatly as oil prices increase) and the impact lack of a trade balance has on the cost of financing the deficit, the US government could pay all extra costs and save a great deal of money. ---------- ---------- Norway has just launched the world's first floating wind power system. It could have NH3 generation and storage tanks with periodic transfer to small tankers circulating among a field of these units, which either transfer to large tankers for distant shipment or go themselves to nearby ports to discharge the NH3. The only cost of such a fuel system would be the capital, transport and insurance cost as land costs would be zero and no energy is fossil input energy is required. The potential "green fuel" generation capacity staggers the mind: All of the world's annual energy from fossil fuels in a year could be produced in about 3 hours, even during the night! The wind power in the hot desserts alone can supply ~750 more than the annual fossil fuels do: "The hot deserts cover around 36 Million km² (UNEP, 2006) of the 149 Million km² of the earths land surface. The solar energy arriving per 1 year on 1 km² desert is on average 2.2 Terawatt hours (TWh), yielding 80 Terawatt hours/year. This is a factor of 750 more than the fossil energy consumption of 2005 ..." From page 19 of: www.desertec.org/downloads/articles/trec_white_paper.pdf which is collection of chapters by various experts with an introduction by the king of Jordan. (Well worth at least a skim.) ----- ----- One minor correction to Rogerg's comments: Batteries are practical in some special use trucks, like a mail truck in a neighborhood where it makes more about 100s of stops after traveling only a few meters between them - regenerative breaking is very attractive in this case. Are you a student /professor at U of M? What is the empty weight and full weights of the UofM truck (or car) fuel tank? Or how large is the safe 150spi tank when its weight is 81% of the total, if the tank weight used is more than 81% of total? (The solid state storge system has ~9% NH3 by weight - is safer but probably much more costly. See earlier post with photo of had holding NH3 in the solid salt pelets.) rwendell06-14-09, 04:58 PMBurning ammonia, especially mixed with other fuels, better if second-generation biofuels, is a good interim or transition technology. As some have already pointed out, it's going to be a while before combustion engines disappear. However, I believe that once we have a truly viable vehicle that converts ammonia directly to electricity to drive a fully electric vehicle, it won't be very long at all before combustion engines are gone, kaput, caduco, doomed as a popular mode of transportation. Horses still haven't disappeared, but how long did horse and buggy transportation last once the automobile appeared? It didn't take very long at all. Let's not forget that once a truly superior technology comes online, it replaces its predecessors pretty darn fast. How many prop planes, excluding prop jets and helicopters, are flying commercially now? How long did that transition take? I was born way before that one happened, and from my perspective, it hardly took three blinks from when I first saw a friend board a Boeing 707 as we stared at it and later watched in wondrous awe as it took off to when we just didn't see anything else around and took commercial jets completely for granted. >:}06-25-09, 06:06 AMammonia is super easy to produce, all you need is biomass/organic material of a suitably predigested nature and bacteria....just ask anyone who has ever owned an aquarium, they typically have more than they can handle. so why do people keep going on and on about how difficult it is to procure ammonia from fossil fuels?:shrug: i imagine that a well fed colony of bacteria would be just about the most efficient NH3 production method out there... ***i did just see trippys post regarding the production of ammonia from nitrates...however i still feel like using NATURALLY occurring bacteria for fuel production is a major selling point for NH3 based fuel not often discussed rwendell07-03-09, 11:22 PM>:}, are you recommending getting ammonia from fossil fuels? Sounds like you want to get it from biomass, which is, of course, renewable. If so, great! However, in one sentence you talk about others complaining about how hard it is to get it from fossil fuels, which would defeat the entire purpose of this discussion. Did you check out my posts about the aluminum oxide/nitrogen/ammonia cycle using direct solar energy? It consists of an endothermic and an exothermic stage. In the first stage, two reactions are concurrent. The reaction sequence follows: 1st stage: 1a. Al2O3 + 3C + N2 → 2AlN + 3CO 1b. Al2O3 + 3CH4 + N2 → 2AlN + 6H2+ 3CO 2nd stage: 2. 2AlN + 3H2O → Al2O3 + 2NH3 So you get ammonia and aluminum oxide out. The Al2O3 is then recycled to the first step. Source: http://www.pre.ethz.ch/research/projects/?id=ammonia This looks very enticing to me. It simultaneously solves the problem of solar energy storage and the problem otherwise arising from intermittent supply while also solving the problem of a safe, dense hydrogen carrier that can be absorbed by porous metal hydride pellets and released by the heat from a intermediate temperature direct ammonia fuel cell (ITDAFC) that cracks the ammonia internally without a separate stage. The storage density in hydride pellets is greater than liquid hydrogen and is stable at room temperature. Sources: http://www.amminex.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=61&Itemid=132 http://www.energy.iastate.edu/Renewable/ammonia/ammonia/2006/HowardUniv2.pdf rwendell07-10-09, 04:23 PMI just ran into this: http://www.energy.iastate.edu/Renewable/ammonia/ammonia/2007/SSAS_Oct2007_Final.pdf SSAS means Solid State Ammonia Synthesis and looks very interesting. It also seems to be closer commercial implementation that the research I pointed to in my previous post. The following is from Longshot City: "It’s basically an ammonia-powered fuel cell driven in reverse. Nitrogen + water + electricity in –> Ammonia and Oxygen out. "This is a big deal for many reasons: "R1: It uses about 40% less electricity than an electrically-driven Haber-Bosch process (look up Haber-Bosch in Wikipedia). Quoted/estimated numbers are about 60% efficient when compared to the (unattainable) ideal, which is great because I was hand-waving/hoping for 50% efficient above. This savings mostly has to do with the fact that SSAS doesn’t make hydrogen gas as an intermediate step. That’s good, because otherwise, in Haber-Bosch, the reaction of Hydrogen and Nitrogen to make Ammonia is a [sic] exothermic one, thus blowing some of the energy it took to make that pure Hydrogen gas in the first place. "From what some experts have estimated, 2 cent/kilowatt-hour electricity feeding SSAS would produce ammonia at about$220/ton = $1.75/equivalent gallon as a motor fuel, which would rock the house!" Source: http://longshotcity.com/2008/11/11/armageddon-calculation-revised/ Billy T07-10-09, 05:07 PM...http://www.energy.iastate.edu/Renewable/ammonia/ammonia/2007/SSAS_Oct2007_Final.pdf SSAS means Solid State Ammonia Synthesis and looks very interesting...I agree. It is done at 550C temperature and 15 atmosphere pressure, which sounds reasonable, but do you know what pure H2O/ steam temperature is for 15 atmosphere? Should not be hard to find, but I am lazy and don't search much. (That data is called "steam tables" I think.) Also as they want the N2 and produce O2, why can they not just feed in air? I.e. just pass thru some O2 and take out more? They show a ASU (air separation unit, I assue) that takes power so must be a simple answer to this question. Perhaps it is cheaper to separate than to compress ~20% more gas? Perhaps because the N2 stays on the NH3 side of some divider and they don't want O2 in the output? Again I'm to lazy to work thru the details. I assume the O2 they do produce is at 15 bar also. If they feed thru some them perhaps need to do "pressure recovery" (motor / pump) also? Your thoughts (or facts?) If a feasible small unit were reversible (Nh3 generator & fuel cell) that would permit regenerative braking. (Needs reversible motor / generators too.) Maybe for busses and trucks at least. I really wish them well. rwendell07-11-09, 03:55 PMCritical temperature of water is 374 C, Billy T, so no matter what the pressure, it remains a gas at 550 C. It's not clear from the SSAS Primary Components schematic on page 8 how the O2/H2O Mix and the NH3/N2 Mix remain separate, since they're both shown as coming out of the same Tube Module, which is of necessity physically integrated with the furnace as shown in the Tubular Geometry graphic on page 11. As you can see, the chemical conduits alternate with the furnace tubes. Obviously, at least some of the steam (H2O) and N2 streams have to come into contact within the reverse cell to produce NH3, so the internal structure of the reverse fuel cell and its electrodes are the natural and only means to explain their separation at the output of the SSAS Tube Module. This all implies to me that a normal atmospheric mixture of oxygen and nitrogen at the N2 input would compromise the inputs to the SSAS Module sufficiently to degrade its function. I can see no other reason for the ASU, which is, as you assume, an Air Separation Unit. rwendell07-11-09, 04:06 PMEfficiency is also clearly at a premium in any approach, as in this one. With the careful attention to heat recovery at every possible opportunity here, I cannot imagine that energy would be wasted in an ASU if it were not essential to the overall function. That would be a pretty darn obvious oversight in the context of the care taken in every other respect. dixonmassey08-23-09, 12:41 AMGood. I look forward to your more considered reply, but before making it I want to help you over come some conceptual errors you suffer from: better later than never:) Essentially all (> 99.9999%) of the solar energy the Earth absorbs will end up in the lowest quality form of energy, heat. Not so, photosynthesis traps (very roughly) 0.5 % of sun' energy, unknown % of sun' energy is being transformed into work of erosion, animal movement, etc. Note, modern agrarians—along with engineers, foresters and consumers—directly control 23.8 percent of all the world's photosynthesis, according to a new analysis (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=humans-gobble-one-quarter-of-food-chain-foundation). That's WAY WAY WAY more a single specie could use without major global repercussions. Essentially, humans starve non humans, keep that in mind when you are filling your car with alcohol. We could only guess about biosphere breaking point. Mankind should drastically decrease consumption of biosynthetic forms of energy to give biosphere a chance. Developing bio fuels to power suicidal global economy of absurd is a crime against future generations (if any). dixonmassey08-23-09, 02:10 AMFor example, installation of typical photo-voltaic cell now probably does result in decrease in Earth's albedo (more solar heat absorbed) but this need not be the case. They could be designed to have high reflectivity for all wavelengths longer than those equal to the band gap energy. Irrelevant, humans need certain amount of energy to run things, 7 billions of them. Wavelength tweaking is helpful but ultimately irrelevant. Humans may consume energy equivalent 1% and up of Sun' energy in 100 years. Let's assume it's all solar at the optimal wavelengths. Some of that energy will be wasted/used as heat. OK, let's wait 20 years longer to get 1% of Sun' energy transformed into work (or things that release energy back over long, long time). According to modern level of knowledge, 1% of Sun' energy fluctuation = major climatic changes. The point is - humans should not mess with the Energy Balances until they will come up with Warp Drives to spread and screw up other Planets. It's just common sense. Practically speaking, mankind keep on burning things and playing Russian Roulette. However, why would I care, hmmm..., I'll be dead before reckoning days. I cannot think of any renewable source that is not vastly superior when just considering the direct heat release effects. Perhaps you should not be so dogmatic with your ignorance? Of course, my ignorance regarding nuts and bolts of solar energy and NH3 is undeniable. However, I'm writing from standpoint of common sense and not as an amateur solar expert. Common sense suggests that it does not matter how you run exponentially growing things, fossils or solar, you'll hit "the wall". Thus, if "the wall" is inevitable, why keep on tweaking the engine of a car racing towards the wall? I doubt this, but it is not easy to demonstrate that it too is false. Certainly, the US energy use per capita is greater than when only Indians were living here Much, much greater. For example are you sure that moving a ton from A to B (say separated by 40 miles) takes less energy if done by rickshaw than if done by truck? OK, let's get numerical. US weight limit for tractor-trailer 80,000lbs (let it be roughly 40 tonnes), on the average empty tractor trailer weighs 32,000lbs (let it be 16 tonnes). Average mpg - 5 miles/gallon. Maximum legal payload 24 tonnes. Let's say distance is 10 miles = 2 gallons of diesel=76 MJ OR 3167 J/kg. It's much harder to make a learned guess for a rickshaw. Let's be nice to a poor guy. Let's assume he's taking a fat arsed American tourist weighing 300lbs (I guess, it should be manageable, but I'm not sure). Let's assume rickshaw contraption weighs 100 lbs and rickshaw himself is 200 lbs (a big strong rickshaw). Total 600 lbs, "payload" 300lbs. Let's assume a rickshaw spent 20% of daily human energy consumption on this 10 mile trip, roughly 1 MJ (just a guess). 10e6/150= 6667 J/kg. Let's not forget about energy spent to manufacture tractor/trailer, diesels, oils, etc., which is not a small number as well as deadhead empty miles to a pick up point. Since calculations are rough I would assume that rickshaw and max loaded truck spend commensurable amount of energy per kg of payload. A train is 4 times more energy efficient than a truck, therefore it would beats rickshaw in joule/kg game. Just for a reference, a modest car weighs 4000 lbs, let's be generous with mpg, 40 miles/gallon. 0.25 gallons per 10 mile trip, 9 MJ roughly or, for 300lbs guy, 60000 J/kg, roughly 10 times of that for rickshaw and probably 20 times for self-rickshaws. So, you are correct about max payload transportation. However, that was not my point. I did not claim that universal substitution of engines for muscle power would result in universal energy savings. Muscle power in many cases is more efficient, but muscle power is limited in more than one way, it's the limitation of the muscle power were the source of low energy consumption of Indians, not overall superb efficiency of it. Muscle powered society cannot (physically) run like highly industrialized ones. Muscle power deficiencies limit energy appetites. Enmos08-23-09, 02:39 AMI don't know if it has been pointed out already, but burning NH3 results in nitrous oxide (N2O). Nitrous oxide is a major greenhouse gas! Trippy08-23-09, 02:57 AMI don't know if it has been pointed out already, but burning NH3 results in nitrous oxide (N2O). Nitrous oxide is a major greenhouse gas! The thread isn't discussing the direct combustion of Ammonia for energy, but as a method for storing Hydrogen in a readily extractable way, at a useful density. Enmos08-23-09, 02:59 AMThe thread isn't discussing the direct combustion of Ammonia for energy, but as a method for storing Hydrogen in a readily extractable way, at a useful density. Oh, my bad.. :o dixonmassey08-23-09, 03:41 AMthe Book Renewable Energy Cannot Sustain a Consumer Society Trainer, Ted 2007, VIII, 200 p., Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4020-5548-5 It is widely assumed that our consumer society can move from using fossil fuels to using renewable energy sources while maintaining the high levels of energy use to which we have become accustomed. This book details the reasons why this almost unquestioned assumption is seriously mistaken. Chapters on wind, photovoltaic and solar thermal sources argue that these are not able to meet present electricity demands, let alone future demands. Even more impossible will be meeting the demand for liquid fuel. The planet’s capacity to produce biomass is far below what would be required. Chapter 6 explains why it is not likely that there will ever be a hydrogen economy, in view of the difficulties in generating sufficient hydrogen and especially considering the losses and inefficiencies in distributing it. Chapter 9 explains why nuclear energy is not the answer. The discussion is then extended beyond energy to deal with the ways in which our consumer society is grossly unsustainable and unjust. Its fundamental twin commitments to affluent living standards and economic growth have inevitably generated a range of alarming and accelerating global problems. These can only be solved by a transition to The Simpler Way, a society based more on simpler, self-sufficient and cooperative ways, within a zero-growth economy. The role renewable energy might play in enabling such a society is outlined. Written for: Specialists in all energy fields, including renewable energy technology, environmentalists, economists, social theorists, policy specialists, futurologists Quote: If we take the above capital cost and efficiency figures for PV panels, along with Sydney’s 34 degrees south annual average solar incidence of 4.6 kWh/m/d, what would be the cost of electricity supplied at a rate equal to a 1000 MW coal-fired plant operating at 0.8 capacity? To generate this amount of electricity at 13% efficiency, 6.154 million kWh of solar energy would have to be collected per day, and if solar incidence is 4.6 kWh/m/d this would require 32.1 million square metres of panels. At$1,500 per metre the cost would be $(A)48.2 billion, some 13 times the cost of the coal-fired plant plus coal. Let's be optimistic and assume that in 40 years it will take 20 millions square meters of panels to replace a 1000 MW coal fired plant. There are some 50,000 coal power stations worldwide. OK, let's use 30,000 number. 30,000*20,000,000 m2=600,000 km2. Roughly, it's an area of Texas. Since an estimate is deliberately "optimistic" practically it's gonna take 2 Texas areas to substitute just coal fired powerplants. BTW, Texas is not as good as Australia photovoltaic vise. In two words, there is a little chance to power current (not speaking the future) way of life using renewable energy. Don't forget that renewable energy will kill/starve plants and critters albeit in different ways. Nasor08-23-09, 09:22 AMLet's be optimistic and assume that in 40 years it will take 20 millions square meters of panels to replace a 1000 MW coal fired plant. There are some 50,000 coal power stations worldwide. OK, let's use 30,000 number. 30,000*20,000,000 m2=600,000 km2. Roughly, it's an area of Texas. Since an estimate is deliberately "optimistic" practically it's gonna take 2 Texas areas to substitute just coal fired powerplants. BTW, Texas is not as good as Australia photovoltaic vise. What a load of bullshit. You think the world uses 30 TW of electricity??? Try 2 TW. http://www.indexmundi.com/world/electricity_consumption.html As of 2009, we can produce panels that are 22% efficient at a cost of less than$1/W. The average solar flux on the earth's surface is 160 W. Average world electricity production is about 2 TW. To replace all electricity production in the world with solar panels at 22% efficiency would require about 57,000 km^2. The price of $1500/meter^2 that your source quoted is looooong outdated. Today it's more like$35/m^2 (for a panel that has 22% efficiency, rather than the 13% efficiency of the panel referred to in your book). And of course, the technology continues to advance; it will only get cheaper and more efficient was time goes on. dixonmassey08-23-09, 10:19 AMWhat a load of bullshit. You think the world uses 30 TW of electricity??? Try 2 TW. http://www.indexmundi.com/world/electricity_consumption.html 18.58 Trillion KWH (2005 Est.) According to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html . World electricity generation increases by 77 percent from 2006 to 2030 in the IEO2009 reference case. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/ieo/electricity.html. I was wildly guessing 40 years ahead. 30 terrawatt is a fairly good guess. As of 2009, we can produce panels that are 22% efficient at a cost of less than $1/W. Efficient where? In the lab? Practical efficiency of solar panels remains somewhere between 6 and 13%. Well, your numbers are fantastic, as of 2006 it costs something like$7-10 per 1 W for residential solar (all gadgets and wires included). OK, let it be $4/W for Mega commercial projects. Still, 4 fold cost decrease in just 3 years is something out of this world. The average solar flux on the earth's surface is 160 W. Average world electricity production is about 2 TW. To replace all electricity production in the world with solar panels at 22% efficiency would require about 57,000 km^2. 550MW California plant requires 9.5 square miles, let's be optimistic and think that in 40 years 1000 MW plant would require 10 square miles. (30TW/1000MW)*10=300,000 square miles or 750,000 km2. The price of$1500/meter^2 that your source quoted is looooong outdated. Today it's more like $35/m^2 (for a panel that has 22% efficiency, rather than the 13% efficiency of the panel referred to in your book). Don't forget all the wires and gadgets, it's not just panel. Don't forget about energy input /energy output ratio. It's still unclear (for me) whether solar panels are energy source or energy sinks, all things included. Nasor08-23-09, 10:33 AM18.58 Trillion KWH (2005 Est.) ...which is equal to 2 TW average consumption for the year. Do you know how to convert from units of power to units of energy? According to https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/print/xx.html . World electricity generation increases by 77 percent from 2006 to 2030 in the IEO2009 reference case. Uh...you realize, I hope, that if you increase 2 TW by 77% you get 3.54 TW? Using your own numbers of of 1 GW/10 square miles, that would mean you need about 35k square miles (an order of magnitude less than the figure you calculated). Efficient where? In the lab? Practical efficiency of solar panels remains somewhere between 6 and 13%. At least two companies, Nanosolar and Firstsolar, are manufacturing panels that are 16-22% efficient at a production cost of$1/watt. They currently sell them at about $3 watt, because at that price they're already selling the panels as fast at they can make them, so for the moment they have little incentive to lower the price. dixonmassey08-23-09, 11:21 AM...which is equal to 2 TW average consumption for the year. Do you know how to convert from units of power to units of energy? There is no need to converts from units of power to units of energy since all power generation is customarily measured in units of power. As for now, USA alone roughly consumes 7 terawatts of electric energy/year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption. I don't know how you come up with 2 TW. At least two companies, Nanosolar and Firstsolar, are manufacturing panels that are 16-22% efficient at a production cost of$1/watt. They currently sell them at about $3 watt, because at that price they're already selling the panels as fast at they can make them, so for the moment they have little incentive to lower the price. I repeat there is more to solar power than solar panels; wires, circuitry, electronics, installation, maintenance etc. are also included and they cost pretty penny. In a statement — seen by Green Inc. on Tuesday — First Solar, which has produced modules for solar installations in several countries in Europe, said it had brought costs down to$1 from $3 over the past four years through economies of scale by increasing its production capacity by 50 times, and by passing on those savings to consumers. So, yes, production costs for solar panel dropped thanks to economy of scale , otherwise there is nothing revolutionary. Again, there is more to solar energy than solar panels. However, I would not focus on costs per watt, human monetary systems are artificial and have little to do with environment and energy balances. What is more (much more) important is Energy Input/Energy output ratio. What energy is spent per 1W of solar electric power generation is way more important than how much$ is spent per 1W (and it's better be less than 1, otherwise there is no point). Nasor08-23-09, 11:28 AMThere is no need to converts from units of power to units of energy since all power generation is customarily measured in units of power. You quoted a source saying the world consumed 18.58 Trillion KWH (which is a unit of energy) in one year. If you convert 18.58 kwH/year into watts, you get 2 TW. As for now, USA alone roughly consumes 7 terawatts of electric energy/year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_energy_resources_and_consumption. I was unable to find such a claim on that wikipedia page. I don't know how you come up with 2 TW. Again, I will ask - do you know how to convert units of energy to units of power? Because I got the 2 TW figure from your own source! dixonmassey08-23-09, 11:30 AMThe energy events of the 1970’s raised the issue of whether economic measures such as price or cost accurately captured all the relevant features of an energy supply process. Economists generally argue that, by definition, the price of a fuel automatically captures all such relevant features. Yet, a strong case can be made that the standard economic approach to measuring the economic usefulness of a fuel yields one type of information and only partially informs us about all relevant aspects of resource quality. Net energy analysis, through the calculation of EROI, informs us about some of those other qualities, such as the potential for a fuel source to yield useful energy to the rest of the economy. Such qualities may or may not be reflected in a fuel’s price. As Peet et al, 1987, stated: ...we believe the conventional economic perception of the ‘value’ of primary energy resources is incomplete and potentially misleading, in that it does not adequately take account of the factors which constrain a society’s ability to obtain useful consumer energy from such sources. http://www.eoearth.org/article/Net_energy_analysis Nasor08-23-09, 11:36 AMThe entire electricity generating capacity for the US is only about 1 TW. Actual consumption is far less than that, because we don't run every power plant at 100% output all the time. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epates.html Again, you 7 TW (or 30, or whatever the hell you're imagining it to be) figure is absurd. dixonmassey08-23-09, 11:39 AMThe entire electricity generating capacity for the US is only about 1 TW. Actual consumption is far less than that, because we don't run every power plant at 100% output all the time. http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epates.html Again, you 7 TW (or 30, or whatever the hell you're imagining it to be) figure is absurd. OK, Here is info you could not find on the page. The United States Energy Information Administration regularly publishes a report on world consumption for most types of primary energy resources. Fuel type Average power in TW[12] 2006 Oil 5.74 Gas 3.61 Coal 4.27 Hydroelectric 0.995 Nuclear 0.929 Geothermal, wind, solar, wood 0.158 Total 15.8 TW Nasor08-23-09, 11:42 AMOK, Here is info you could not find on the page. The United States Energy Information Administration regularly publishes a report on world consumption for most types of primary energy resources. Fuel type Average power in TW[12] 2006 Oil 5.74 Gas 3.61 Coal 4.27 Hydroelectric 0.995 Nuclear 0.929 Geothermal, wind, solar, wood 0.158 Total 15.8 TW That's TOTAL energy consumption, including things like fuels burnt to power cars/trains/aircraft/whatever, not electricity consumption, dumbass. The US has less than 1 TW of electrical production capacity. You yourself posted a link earlier saying that the world uses 18 trillion kwh/year of electricity, which I agree with, because 18 trillion kwh/year is equal to only 2 TW average consumption over the year. So you are now apparently trying to argue against your own sources. But hey, who needs to know how to convert units, right? Edit: Sorry, it's not less than 1 TW, it's about 1.1 TW. dixonmassey08-23-09, 11:56 AMLet's go one more time World Total Net Electricity Generation (Billion Kilowatthours), 1980-2006 http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/elec.html For 2006 total = 18,014.67 billion (Giga) KWhrs or roughly 18TW 1000 MW power plant produces 1000 MW x 24hours x 365.25 days in an average year, or about 8,760 Giga KWattHours. Let's make it 8 G. So, in 40 years (77% increase) it would take roughly 30,000/8 = 3750 1000MW power stations to produce all that electricity. The question is how many square miles of solar panels it would take to generate all that power. Even larger question - what is Energy Input/Energy output for solar, are they any better than coal? Do you know? dixonmassey08-23-09, 11:58 AMThat's TOTAL energy consumption, including things like fuels burnt to power cars/trains/aircraft/whatever, not electricity consumption, dumbass. The US has less than 1 TW of electrical production capacity. Can you add? Coal +Hydroelectric+Nuclear, those are used mostly to generate electricity. 4+1+1=? Well, according to http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/elec.html USA generates 4TW/year. It's not 7TW but it's not 1TW either. Nasor08-23-09, 12:10 PMFor 2006 total = 18,014.67 billion (Giga) KWhrs or roughly 18TW No it doesn't, dumbass. KWhrs is a unit of energy, and TW is a unit of power. To convert watt hours (energy) to watts (power), you divide the number of watt hours by the number of hours over which the energy was produced. The 18,000 billion kWhrs number you quoted was for an entire year of production. There are 8760 hours in a year. 18,000 billion kWhrs / 8760 hours = 2 billion kW = 2 TW. This is why I asked you if you knew how to convert units. Obviously now I have my answer. Nasor08-23-09, 12:15 PMCan you add? Coal +Hydroelectric+Nuclear, those are used mostly to generate electricity. 4+1+1=? Yes, but they are not used efficiently. If you release 1 joule of heat energy from coal or oil, you get far less than 1 joule of electrical energy out of it, because most of it will end up as waste heat. The number to look at is how much electrical energy comes out of the plant. When people talk about a plant being some number of MW, they mean the output. They aren't talking about the fuel energy that it consumes to make the electricity. Well, according to http://www.eia.doe.gov/iea/elec.html USA generates 4TW/year. It's not 7TW but it's not 1TW either. Yes, I can add, but apparently you can't read. From your own source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat2p2.html Generator Nameplate Capacity: 1,087,791 MW. Net Summer Capacity: 994,888 MW Net Winter Capacity: 1,031,978 MW Since I know units aren't really your thing, I'll give you a hint and tell you that 1 million MW = 1 TW. dixonmassey08-23-09, 12:17 PMNo it doesn't, dumbass. KWhrs is a unit of energy, and TW is a unit of power. To concert watt hours (energy) to watts (power), you divide the number of watt hours by the number of hours over which the energy was produced. The 18,000 billion kWhrs number you quoted was for an entire year of production. There are 8760 hours in a year. 18,000 billion kWhrs / 8760 hours = 2 billion kW = 2 TW. Man, if you want to see a dumbass look in the mirror. What in the hell you are dividing, OK, it's not academic paper so I abbreviated 18,000 billions KWhrs as 18TW, it's just simply obvious that I meant 18TWhrs. Me omitting hrs at the end shall not tempt you to divide energy by hours to get what, what you are getting if you divide energy by the number of hours, genius, just stop and think about it. dixonmassey08-23-09, 12:19 PMYes, I can add, but apparently you can't read. From your own source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epa/epat2p2.html Generator Nameplate Capacity: 1,087,791 MW. Net Summer Capacity: 994,888 MW Net Winter Capacity: 1,031,978 Again, Capacity in what Units? Obviously MW is units of power. Look, look carefully in a mirror before calling names :) Nasor08-23-09, 12:30 PMMan, if you want to see a dumbass look in the mirror. What in the hell you are dividing, OK, it's not academic paper so I abbreviated 18,000 billions KWhrs as 18TW, it's just simply obvious that I meant 18TWhrs. Me omitting hrs at the end shall not tempt you to divide energy by hours to get what, what you are getting if you divide energy by the number of hours, genius, just stop and think about it. This all started because you tried to claim the world would need 30 TW of generating capacity (generating capacity is measured in watts). I said that was bullshit, and that it was more like 2 TW. You then tried to refute me in post # 144 by posting a link to a source saying the world uses 18 TWhours/year and that usage would grow 77%, apparently not knowing that 18 TWhrs/year = 2 TW. So no, it's not obvious that by "18 TW" you meant "18 TWhrs," because that's not how you were trying to argue a minute ago. You were treating "18 TWhrs" as "18 TW" when you calculated the area needed for a solar plant. Here is an exact quote from you: 550MW California plant requires 9.5 square miles, let's be optimistic and think that in 40 years 1000 MW plant would require 10 square miles. (30TW/1000MW)*10=300,000 square miles or 750,000 km2. Obviously you were confused about consumption being in TWhours and the solar pant's capacity being in MW, which is why you divided 30TW by 1000MW. ..., what you are getting if you divide energy by the number of hours, genius, just stop and think about it. When you divide energy by hours, you get power. Which is what generating capacity is measured in. Trippy08-23-09, 04:27 PMMan, if you want to see a dumbass look in the mirror. What in the hell you are dividing, OK, it's not academic paper so I abbreviated 18,000 billions KWhrs as 18TW, it's just simply obvious that I meant 18TWhrs. Me omitting hrs at the end shall not tempt you to divide energy by hours to get what, what you are getting if you divide energy by the number of hours, genius, just stop and think about it. What Nasor did was correct. http://www.tpub.com/neets/book1/chapter3/1-9.htm A simple dimensional analysis should have been enough to indicate this. kW≠kWh However \frac{kWh}{h}=kW dixonmassey08-23-09, 05:34 PMWhat Nasor did was correct. http://www.tpub.com/neets/book1/chapter3/1-9.htm A simple dimensional analysis should have been enough to indicate this. kW≠kWh However \frac{kWh}{h}=kW It doesn't look either of us got it right all the time. I got it wrong with area of solar panels. However, I don't see mistake in the text you quote. World' electricity production per year (2006) 18TW*hr, yup I missed hr in the end. TW*hr is a unit of energy NOT power. Nasor said: What a load of bullshit. You think the world uses 30 TW of electricity??? Try 2 TW. http://www.indexmundi.com/world/elec...nsumption.html First, world uses electric energy not electricity. Electric energy is measured in TW*hrs (hrs missing after 30). As for 2006, world uses 18TW*hrs of electric energy. It's projected to grow 77% by 2030, therefore 30TW*hr. Therefore, if one divides 30TW*hrs by the number of hours in a year he'll get unit of power (watt). World is using energy not power in watts. Citing the indexmundi Nasor quoted, USA alone consumes 3.892 trillion kWh (2007 est.) http://www.indexmundi.com/united_states/electricity_consumption.html. 18TW*hr/(365*24) = 2GW, it's the average energy world's power station generate in an hour, as far I understand. Nasor08-23-09, 05:36 PMA simple dimensional analysis should have been enough to indicate this. kW≠kWh However \frac{kWh}{h}=kW Haha, didn't you read his post 146? There's no need to know how to convert units. That's why he says nonsensical things like "USA alone roughly consumes 7 terawatts of electric energy/year." dixonmassey08-23-09, 05:40 PMWhat Nasor did was correct. http://www.tpub.com/neets/book1/chapter3/1-9.htm A simple dimensional analysis should have been enough to indicate this. kW≠kWh However \frac{kWh}{h}=kW Haha, didn't you read his post 146? There's no need to know how to convert units. That's why he says nonsensical things like "USA alone roughly consumes 7 terawatts of electric energy/year." As I said, I have a good company. What a load of bullshit. You think the world uses 30 TW of electricity??? Try 2 TW. http://www.indexmundi.com/world/elec...nsumption.html Nasor08-23-09, 05:51 PMIt doesn't look either of us got it right all the time. I got it wrong with area of solar panels. However, I don't see mistake in the text you quote. World' electricity production per year (2006) 18TW*hr, yup I missed hr in the end. TW*hr is a unit of energy NOT power. The mistake was that you tried to divide 30 TW by 500 (or 1000) MW to try to figure out the area needed. You didn't understand that you were dividing TWhours (a unit of energy) with 500 MW (a unit of power). I tried to point out that if you convert 18 trillion kWh ours/year to power you get only 2 TW. in fact, here is my exact quote: You quoted a source saying the world consumed 18.58 Trillion KWH (which is a unit of energy) in one year. If you convert 18.58 kwH/year into watts, you get 2 TW. But you STILL didn't seem to see the difference, and said "I don't know how you come up with 2 TW." even though I had clearly explained it. Nasor08-23-09, 05:55 PMAs I said, I have a good company. In the text you quoted I was correctly giving the world's average power consumption. You, on the other hand, said "7 terawatts of electric energy/year" which is gibebrish because 7 terrawatts is a unit of power, not energy. Saying "7 terawatts of electric energy/year" is nonsensical. dixonmassey08-23-09, 06:08 PMIn the text you quoted I was correctly giving the world's average power consumption. You, on the other hand, said "7 terawatts of electric energy/year" which is gibebrish because 7 terrawatts is a unit of power, not energy. Saying "7 terawatts of electric energy/year" is nonsensical. What a load of bullshit. You think the world uses 30 TW of electricity??? Try 2 TW. http://www.indexmundi.com/world/elec...nsumption.html That's little bit esoteric way to say that "world's average power consumption"as for my taste. Again world consumes energy not power. Besides your link gives world's electricity consumption as 16.88TW*hr/year. It would be OK if you said 16.88*10^12/(365*24)=1.93GW (G not T) is an average hourly world's energy consumption. How do you consume power? What is world's average power consumption exactly? Nasor08-23-09, 06:30 PMChrist, you really still don't get this do you... you know what, I'm not really in the mood to hold your hand and walk you though the ways in which you've been a dumbass. I'll leave it to everyone else here to decide which of us is the stupid one. Since I underatnd the difference between units of power and energy, I'm guessing it won't be me, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see... dixonmassey08-23-09, 06:31 PMI think I'm missing something, cant figure it out. If world's energy generation is roughly 18TW*hr/year. A 1000 MW power station produces on the average 1000*10^6*24*365*0.8=7 TW*hrs of electricity. It takes only three 1000MWatters to cover World' energy needs. This is obvious nonsense, there are dozens if not hundreds of 1000 MW power stations. Here is the list of the largest ones in the USA. http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/rankings/plantsbycapacity.htm The Grand Coulee alone has capacity of 7,000 MW. Any suggestions? dixonmassey08-23-09, 06:39 PMChrist, you really still don't get this do you... you know what, I'm not really in the mood to hold your hand and walk you though the ways in which you've been a dumbass. I'll leave it to everyone else here to decide which of us is the stupid one. Since I underatnd the difference between units of power and energy, I'm guessing it won't be me, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see... As long as you are sure you understand, I'm not so sure about that, your last answers don't instill confidence. However, strong ego should make up for the lack of just about anything. Seriously, man, if you think you are an English queen or the sharpest knife in a drawer, it doesn't bother me, enjoy. Equally, I don't really care what you think of my intelligence. Have you read Feynman' "Why would you care what other people think?". This is not to imply that my intelligence is on par with Feynmans, however I like the philosophy of it and I would not really have given a rat' ass what Feynman had thought of me. And you, as far I can guess, are not Feynman reincarnate :)? Nasor08-23-09, 06:41 PMI think I'm missing something, cant figure it out. If world's energy generation is roughly 18TW*hr/year. It would be 18 thousand billion kilowatt hours/year. dixonmassey08-23-09, 10:46 PMYup, mixed . with ,; OK, to end this fruitful discussion I'll make a corrected ( extremely optimistic) estimate of the total solar panel area needed to make up for the entire world's electrical energy generation. 1000 MW power station generates 1000*10^6*365*24*0.8=7 TW*hrs. If global energy stands at 18,000 TW*hr/year, it would take 18,000/7=2571 power stations rated at 1000 MW. According to Ted Trainer at Sydney’s 34 degrees, solar incidence of 4.6 kWh/m2/day, a 1000 MW coal-fired plant operating at 0.8 capacity produces 19.2*10^9 W*hrs/day, to generate this amount of electricity at 13 % (practical) efficiency, (19.2/0.13)*10^9=147.7*(10^6) KW*hrs of solar energy would have to be collected per day. If solar incidence is 4.6 kWh/m2/day this would require 32.1 million square meters of panels, or 32.1 km2. It would take 2571 (1000 MW) power stations X 32.1 km2= 82,530 km2. Since world at large is not Australia, let's make it 160,000 km2 (and up, up). Let's buy into a promise of $1/watt of solar panel and mix with circuitry and installation to get$2/watt (wholesale). 1 m2 = 160 Watt = $320. Or,$320*160*10^9=$51.2 Trillions. Since it's an enormous investment, the question "How much waste is generated in the production/disposal of solar panels that last 30 years versus 30 years worth of grid energy? " What is the energy required to manufacture/install/maintain 1m2 of solar panels, what is a realistic amount of energy 1m2 of solar panels could produce over its life time. Solar panel is a toxic thing btw. I was looking hard and I could not find much of the useful info on those subjects. Real studies are needed not some industry sponsored BS. One thing I found is this: While many of the manufacturing techniques used by heavy industries have been widely criticised by environmentalists for their inefficiency, the MIT study found that new manufacturing systems are anywhere from 1,000 to one million times bigger consumers of energy, per pound of output, than more traditional industries. In other words - don't hold your breath. TBodillia08-23-09, 11:48 PMI crunched some numbers a few months back on the question if covering 10,000 square miles of desert with solar panels would be enough to meet the USA's electrical needs. I think I used this company www .sunwize.com/products/sitebuilt-solar-systems.php as the model. Surprisingly, the answer was Yes. But, it was still impossible to carry out because of the cost. Using their most efficient systems, it would cost over$17 trillion (not counting any discounts for such a large order!) to cover an area 100 miles x 100 miles. You still had to add in labor, construction supplies, land... The GDP of the USA is only $14 trillion. Billy T08-24-09, 06:39 AMI crunched some numbers a few months back on the question if covering 10,000 square miles of desert with solar panels would be enough to meet the USA's electrical needs. ...Assuming you are correct and noting that Brazil is > 3,300,000 square miles and noting that sugar cane and PV cells convert sunlight at about the same efficiency, means less than 1/3 of 1% of Brazil could supply ALREADY STORED ENERGY* for the US needs even if the cane is just burned for heat in a steam electric plant (More than 33% efficient easily) Thus, 1% of Brazil could meet US electric needs. Now Brazil is large but the tropics suitable for growing sugar cane is much larger. I.e. Sugar cane on ~1% of the sun rich tropics could supply the world's energy needs and is easily converted into liquid fuel (Alcohol). This energy system is "carbon neutral" and does not supply a steady stream of funds for the terroists like Mid Eastern oil does. It does not cost 17 trillion dollars to buy sugar cane - it grows wild even. Both energy systems need about the same amount of land but in the tropic that cost less than 10% of what it would in the USA. Labor there is much cheaper also and many low skill jobs would be created. Thus US could save all of the cost of foreign aid as well as reduce anti-terroists cost and of course eliminate the cost to taxpayers of corn and alcohol from it subsidies. ----------- *Storage cost for PV cells is greater than the cost of the PV cells, but sun-dried cane could be very cheaply stored in large "quansit hut" type structures and of course alcohol could use the same storage tanks tha gasoline now uses, etc. Those quansit huts could be in the US near ports (bulk carriers used for ocean transport) for "energy security" and many more nations would be competing to keep price down compared to the few who export oil; however I suspect it is cheaper to convert the cane into alcohol for transport and storage as the energy density is higher. If celullosic alcohol is not economic (only the cane's sugar is used for alcohol production) then the crushed cane can be burned near the fields for electric power and used in energy intensive industries, like aluminium production. I.e. the energy in the crushed cane is exported in the form of aluminium etc. (Brazil, one of the world's leading producer of aluminium, currently gets ~10% of its electrical energy as well as all the heat needed for the distillation of the alcohol from burning crushed cane.) dixonmassey08-24-09, 07:43 AMBilly_T, I didn't know you don't like Brazil so much as to destroy it piece by piece by sugar cane so Americans could chill their fat asses etc. How you are going to grow cane , industrially or chain gangs working the fields? Are you going to use chemical fertilizers or slash and burn? What about soils, for how long poor jungle soils would last before a field is transformed into deserts? What about jungle, global oxygen it produce, what about a few remaining Indians? What the point/rush? Just to prove viability of bio? No it's not viable in the long run. We'll be lucky to get fed. I doubt chain gangs would earn much more than a bowl of soup or two. Nasor08-24-09, 08:57 AM1000 MW power station generates 1000*10^6*365*24*0.8=7 TW*hrs. If global energy stands at 18,000 TW*hr/year, it would take 18,000/7=2571 power stations rated at 1000 MW. According to Ted Trainer... Let's buy into a promise of$1/watt of solar panel and mix with circuitry and installation to get $2/watt (wholesale). 1 m2 = 160 Watt =$320. Or, $320*160*10^9=$51.2 Trillions. You should just give up on math forever. If you have 2571 power stations that are each 1 GW, and the solar cost is $2/watt, the total price would be$5.14 trillion, not $51.2 trillion. Edit: For the US alone, you would need about 1 TW of capacity, which would be about$2 trillion. Which is a lot of money, but not that much compared to some of the things we've been spending money on recently... Billy T08-24-09, 09:39 AMBilly_T, I didn't know you don't like Brazil so much as to destroy it piece by piece by sugar cane so Americans could chill their fat asses etc. How you are going to grow cane , industrially or chain gangs working the fields? Are you going to use chemical fertilizers or slash and burn? What about soils, for how long poor jungle soils would last before a field is transformed into deserts? What about jungle, global oxygen it produce, what about a few remaining Indians? What the point/rush? Just to prove viability of bio? No it's not viable in the long run. We'll be lucky to get fed. I doubt chain gangs would earn much more than a bowl of soup or two.About 10% of Brazil's agriculture land is now abandoned pasture - over grown with weeds. (I bought ~100 acres of one farm for $23,000 USD about 15 years ago.* I invested a few thousand dollars more in plowing and seeding it. It had a dozen scrawny cows on it trying to find good grass to eat (lots of walking up and down the hills) when I bought it. Ten years later when I sold it I had 50 fat steers on it. I did buy a little lime, but no fertilizer. A well managed cattle farm will let the cows provide the fertilizer.) As far as labor is concerned: In about 5 years (not sure by memory) the exsiting law requires only land too steep for machine harvesting will have cane cutters working it. I think more than half is now harvested by machines. (Some of my farm's hillsides were too steep for tractor plowing but man with four oxen had no trouble - They only plow when going downhill then climb back up for next run down hill. It was amazing to watch him, a small man with a little stick, ordering those huge beasts around.) I am sure you could grow cane on my farm for several years, and doing so would probably be more profitable if there were a sugar/ alcohol plant near by not more than ~30 miles away, but putting it into another crop or back as pasture would be required periodically to avoid excessive monoculture use of the land. "No it's not viable in the long run." You got to be kidding! It is based on the sun, not finite petroleum. You will painfully learn in less than a decade that only this system is viable. ---------------- *It had lake of a couple of acres, and two 2-BR simple houses. - I used one on weekends and my hired man (who killed the weeds with his hoe) lived in the smaller one with wife and child. His pay back then was ~100 USD / month and he worked 44hours / week. Minimum wage now under Lula is about$300 USD (or more when the dollar is weak as it is now). Some of my absentee neighbors were mad at me as I over paid my help. Trippy08-24-09, 01:18 PM18TW*hr/(365*24) = 2GW, it's the average energy world's power station generate in an hour, as far I understand. No. 1W=1J/s Hours doesn't enter into it - period, you've divided them out,so there's no need to consider them. If the power stations of the USA generate 2 GW of electrical energy, then they're generating 2 GJ of electrical energy every second. Personally, i've never liked kWh as a unit, I find them annoying for a number of reasons. The only advantage I can really seeto them is that the numbers themselves may be less cumbersome for engineers and consumers to work with. I'm sure most people would prefer to get a bill for consuming 875 kWh of electrical energy than 3,150,000 kJ of energy. If you're wondering how I worked that out. W=J/s Therefore: kWh=\frac{Jh}{s} 1h=3600s so 1kWh=3600J Trippy08-24-09, 01:33 PMA 1000 MW power station produces on the average 1000*10^6*24*365*0.8=7 TW*hrs of electricity. It takes only three 1000MWatters to cover World' energy needs. This is obvious nonsense, there are dozens if not hundreds of 1000 MW power stations. Yes. You appear to have multiplied by 0.8,which is un-neccessary. You appear to be comparing TWh with TW. If you want to do this calculation, the easiest way to do so would be to use the 2TW figure which has already been calculated. 1TW=1,000,000 MW (Tera- =10^12 according to the SI system of units). So, 2TW would require 2,000 1,000 MW power stations. Trippy08-24-09, 01:41 PMTen years later when I sold it I had 50 fat steers on it. I did buy a little lime, but no fertilizer. A well managed cattle farm will let the cows provide the fertilizer.) I like your attitude - too many farmers i've encountered (especially bad among dairy farmers) view effluent as a liability to be disposed of, not an asset to be used. dixonmassey08-24-09, 08:25 PMAbout 10% of Brazil's agriculture land is now abandoned pasture - over grown with weeds. (I bought ~100 acres of one farm for $23,000 USD about 15 years ago.* I invested a few thousand dollars more in plowing and seeding it. Plowing and seeding is little bit different than plowing, seeding, cutting, plowing seeding, cutting, fertilizing season after season. From what I've read Amazonian soils are poor and not suitable for intensive agriculture. They are not even well suited for pastures. In the tropical forests, because of the fast nutrient cycling, almost all the nutrients are locked up in trees' biomass. Once trees are removed poor, vulnerable soils remains behind. A well managed cattle farm will let the cows provide the fertilizer.) Not quite, since cows are sold out and with them all the minerals they've collected up to build their bones and tissues. As far as labor is concerned: In about 5 years (not sure by memory) the exsiting law requires only land too steep for machine harvesting will have cane cutters working it. I've mentioned labor because "manual" agriculture, as a rule, produce energy surpluses while industrial, mechanized agriculture is an energy hog. I am sure you could grow cane on my farm for several years, and doing so would probably be more profitable if there were a sugar/ alcohol plant near by not more than ~30 miles away, but putting it into another crop or back as pasture would be required periodically to avoid excessive monoculture use of the land. Don't forget fertilizers, lime, etc. Yup, Brazilians greatly boosted production of the commodities like soy grown on poor soils. I took enormous amounts of lime and fertilizer. "No it's not viable in the long run." You got to be kidding! It is based on the sun, not finite petroleum. You will painfully learn in less than a decade that only this system is viable. You've forgotten soil. You must don't realize all the vulnerability of the soils. Wasting soils to grow fuel is shortsighted. Since energy output/energy input ratio for biofuels is hovering around 1 (in the best case) it does not make much sense energy wise. OK, this ratio for Brazilian bio fuels most likely is greater than 1 (by little bit), but energy gains nevertheless are marginal. dixonmassey08-24-09, 08:50 PMYes. You appear to have multiplied by 0.8,which is un-neccessary. You appear to be comparing TWh with TW. No, 0.8 is standard multiplier since no power station works 365 days/year. I don't compare TW with TW*h, at some point I made mistake like that but I've corrected it later. If you want to do this calculation, the easiest way to do so would be to use the 2TW figure which has already been calculated. 2TW (power units) is obtained by dividing world's energy production/yer = 18000TW*hrs/(365*24) = 2.054TW = world' average power generating capability. 1TW=1,000,000 MW (Tera- =10^12 according to the SI system of units). So, 2TW would require 2,000 1,000 MW power stations. Again, since no power station works 365 days; 2000/0.8= 2500 1GW power stations are needed. Billy T08-24-09, 08:59 PMPlowing and seeding is little bit different than plowing, seeding, cutting, plowing seeding, cutting, fertilizing season after season. From what I've read Amazonian soils are poor and not suitable for intensive agriculture. ...You know next to nothing about Brazil or sugar cane economy. It must be grown relatively near the markets and even closer to the fermentation/ distillation plants to be economically attractive. (Cane is too bulky to haul more than about 3o miles.) Thus most of Brazils more than 100 fermentation / distillation plants are more than 500 miles from the Amazon. More than half are in the state of Sao Paulo as that is the main market. Soil in Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso (nearer to Rio) states is fertile and where most of the agriculture activity of Brazil is concentrated or in more southern states, 1000 miles from the Amazon. (Amazon soil does tend to be poor.) After the best trees of the Amazon are illegally cut to convert into fancy Mahoney etc. furniture for export mainly the wealthy of wealthy nations, the woods is set fire to hid the crime. (One good tree is equal to a year’s pays at the minimum wage - and Amazon is very large, so hard to stop this activity - only feasible way would be for rich people to stop buying mahogany furniture.) After a few years some absentee land owner may clear the burnt stumps, fertilize it, seed it with grass and raise cattle on it - they can economically be transported 500 miles if need be, but new slaughter houses are being built closer to the Amazon now. dixonmassey08-24-09, 09:38 PMYou should just give up on math forever. If you have 2571 power stations that are each 1 GW, and the solar cost is$2/watt, the total price would be $5.14 trillion, not$51.2 trillion. Edit: For the US alone, you would need about 1 TW of capacity, which would be about $2 trillion. Which is a lot of money, but not that much compared to some of the things we've been spending money on recently... No, you cannot calculate it like that. You got to calculate the area required for a solar equivalent of 1000 MW conventional power station. Even though power output remains the same 1000MW it's quite obvious that 10km2 solar station is less expensive than 32km2 power station. Ok, let's use numbers of Ted Trainer data I've cited, if my numbers are too pessimistic (he published a book, I guess he triplechecked his math). Trainer estimate costs of a solar equivalent of a 1000 MW conventional power stations at 48*10^9. It takes 2571 power stations like that tho generate all world's electricity.$48*(10^9)*2571 = $123 trillions. Of course, you can play with better efficiencies (he used 0.13) and less expensive panels (he used$1500 per meter square), all costs included. However, it takes mighty tweaking to go from $123 trillions to$5 trillions. Trippy08-25-09, 04:28 AMNo, 0.8 is standard multiplier since no power station works 365 days/year. I don't compare TW with TW*h, at some point I made mistake like that but I've corrected it later. The mistake you made was a little bit like talking about tomatoes in a conversation where everyone else is talking about apples, and then later claiming it's a typo. 2TW (power units) is obtained by dividing world's energy production/yer = 18000TW*hrs/(365*24) = 2.054TW = world' average power generating capability. I'm well aware of how the 2 TW is calculated. I explained it already, and elaborated with a dimensional analysis, you even replied to one of the posts I made on the subject. Besides which, you're not paying attention here, I was discussing Joules in my post, you're converting to watts. Learn the difference. You don't need to explain to me how to calculate it. Also, quoting 4 significant figures when your least accurate data is only two significant figures is simply wrong. Again, since no power station works 365 days; 2000/0.8= 2500 1GW power stations are needed. Ooh, you got me. Then again are we talking about Base load capacity or the name plate capacity? (And yes, yes, don't bother, I know). I also feel compelled to point out that the capacity factor (what you're referring to) varies widely depending on the kind of power plant being considered, and the location of the power plant. According to the US DOE, Capacity Factor varies between 22-97%. Even among Hydro stations (for example) vary between 25% in France, and 59% in Canada. According to the world association of nuclear operators, between 2004 and 2005, Nuclear power stations only had a capacity factor of about 86% Besides which, the 18000 TWh you keep bandying about (at least according to the IEA report at least) is the fossil fuels alone. So, unless you've got some sources to back these claims up... But if you wanna keep picking at nits... Nasor08-25-09, 08:52 AMNo, you cannot calculate it like that. You got to calculate the area required for a solar equivalent of 1000 MW conventional power station. Even though power output remains the same 1000MW it's quite obvious that 10km2 solar station is less expensive than 32km2 power station. Dude, look again at your own post. You're the one who decided to base your calculation on $2/watt. If you know it costs$2 per watt generated and you spend $51 trillion, you just bought 25 TW of generating capacity, which is an order of magnitude more than the world uses. You obviously screwed up the math somewhere, although I don't really feel like scrutinizing your post to figure out where. Ok, let's use numbers of Ted Trainer data I've cited, if my numbers are too pessimistic (he published a book, I guess he triplechecked his math). Trainer estimate costs of a solar equivalent of a 1000 MW conventional power stations at 48*10^9. It takes 2571 power stations like that tho generate all world's electricity.The Moura power station in Portugal is 62 MW at a cost of E250 million, which is about$5 per watt. The Waldpolenz solar power station in Germany produces 40 MW and cost E130 million, about $4.50 per watt. California is building a$550 MW solar farm for about $1 billion using the latest (cheapest) thin-film solar cell technology, so$2/watt is about right with the latest technology (in California, anyway). The $48 per watt figure from Ted Trainer is absurd, as demonstrated by the cost of real-world solar plants that are actually being built. Interestingly, the$4.5 per watt solar station in Germany was being built in 2007 when Trainer's book was published, which seems to indicate that he didn't make any effort to check his estimated costs against demonstrated real-world costs. This makes it appear that he either had an agenda, or was simply incompetent. dixonmassey08-25-09, 11:02 AMDude, look again at your own post. You're the one who decided to base your calculation on $2/watt. If you know it costs$2 per watt generated and you spend $51 trillion, you just bought 25 TW of generating capacity, which is an order of magnitude more than the world uses. You obviously screwed up the math somewhere, although I don't really feel like scrutinizing your post to figure out where. No, I repeat, you straight forwardly multiply generation power times$2 to get costs. You cannot do that as I wrote above, you need to calculate the area of a solar installation, area number takes into account efficiency. The roughest you could do is to divide your number by efficiency of you liking. The Moura power station in Portugal is 62 MW at a cost of E250 million, which is about $5 per watt. OK, I repeat, cost should be calculated like this (cost per watt)*(solar energy density per m2)*(Total Area of station)= Total costs. That's the way most people estimates it. The Waldpolenz solar power station in Germany produces 40 MW and cost E130 million, about$4.50 per watt. California is building a $550 MW solar farm for about$1 billion (First Solar spokesman Alan Bernheimer declined to comment on the potential cost of the project) using the latest (cheapest) thin-film solar cell technology, so $2/watt is about right with the latest technology (in California, anyway) wait until 2015 and see . [quote] The$48 per watt figure from Ted Trainer is absurd, as demonstrated by the cost of real-world solar plants that are actually being built. Have 1000 MW solar been built? Interestingly, the $4.5 per watt solar station in Germany was being built in 2007 when Trainer's book was published, which seems to indicate that he didn't make any effort to check his estimated costs against demonstrated real-world costs. This makes it appear that he either had an agenda, or was simply incompetent. YOu are being unfare to the guy. he used power density 340W/m2 for Sydney and he sets cost per m2 of panels at$1500, it implies cost per W to be roughly $4.5. Nasor08-25-09, 12:23 PMNo, I repeat, you straight forwardly multiply generation power times$2 to get costs. You cannot do that as I wrote above, you need to calculate the area of a solar installation, area number takes into account efficiency. The roughest you could do is to divide your number by efficiency of you liking. OK, I repeat, cost should be calculated like this (cost per watt)*(solar energy density per m2)*(Total Area of station)= Total costs. That's the way most people estimates it. I am not exactly sure what you mean by "solar energy density per m^2." If you mean the density of the solar flux striking the surface, then your calculation makes no sense. If you're talking about the solar electricity per m^2 that can be generated, then you are simply multiplying the cost per watt by the plant's total power output, which is what I said. Have 1000 MW solar been built? The costs scale roughly with the power output. If anything, it would probably be cheaper per watt to make a larger station, with economies of scale and all. YOu are being unfare to the guy. he used power density 340W/m2 for Sydney and he sets cost per m2 of panels at $1500, it implies cost per W to be roughly$4.5. Do you even remember your own posts? From your post #182: Trainer estimate costs of a solar equivalent of a 1000 MW conventional power stations at 48*10^9. If the solar plant costs $48 billion and has a capacity of 1 GW, then it's$48/watt, about ten times higher than the cost/watt of the solar plants that were being built when the book was written. But even if we go with these new numbers you just posted, it's still bullshit. If Sydney gets 340 watts/m^2 of solar flux, you will be able to generate at most about 70 or so watts/m^2. If the panel costs $1500/m^2, you would be looking at$20 per watt, roughly four times what has been demonstrated. dixonmassey08-25-09, 10:12 PMOk, Nasor, let's use Portugal's station you've mentioned as an example. First, the numbers you cite are given by newswires. Second, the cost of Euro250 millions was first mentioned in 2006. It would be quite unusual for the actual costs of construction to match the estimates. I could not find exact construction costs. Here is more or less technical report on this station. http://www.skatelescope.org/PDF/090310_moura_power_station_trip_report.pdf quote: The facility consists of 2520 large assemblies (Figure 1) of solar panels (trackers), mounted on towers. The panel assemblies are mounted on a flat frame at a fixed Zenith angle of 45 degrees and track the sun in Azimuth over a range of 240 degrees. Each panel assembly is 142 m2 (13 x 10.9 m) and contains 104 polycrystalline silicon modules, each capable of about 180 W peak. The site occupies 250 hectares of land. The power delivered to the grid by the total of 262080 panels is ~46 MW peak and ~10 MW average (93 million KW-h per year). The plant has been in full operation since Dec. 2008. I think the bolded text explains why we cannot understand each other. I think it's because $/watt installed is NOT very useful unit for calculations of costs, it's rather very misleading. Which watt does$2/Watt installed refer to, peak, average daily, some other watt? Let's calculate what is the approximate price per 1m2 of panels; 142m2*2520=$300,000,000 thus, cost of 1m2 is around$838. OK, let's make it $500/m2 which is within a reach of Ted Trainer's$1500/m2. Therefore, Ted Trainer's approach to calculate cost is much more sound than that using $/watt. You can play with efficiency numbers, you can play with$ per m2 of panels, but his approach is fairly sound otherwise. BTW, I've used $320/m2 of panels in my calculation, of course, the reasoning behind$320/m2 was faulty, but it's quite optimistic number :) dixonmassey08-25-09, 10:37 PMIf the solar plant costs $48 billion and has a capacity of 1 GW, then it's$48/watt, As I said $/Watt is a tricky number. Energy is sold in Kw*hrs. 1GW station produces 0.8*24*365*10^6 Kw*h. Assuming zero operating costs and 20 years life span, it's (48*10^9)/(0.8*24*365*20*10^6)=$.34/Kw*h; Going price for Kw*h in states is around $0.1/Kw*hr. Even if you add$.06 for operating expenses, $0.4/kw*hr is much less scarier amount than$48/watt. You should explain me what manufacturers of solar panels mean if they say "$1/watt". Just think about it in this way, you purchase "$1/watt" solar panels and installed it in Arizona. In a few years you had moved to Minnesota together with your "$1/watt" panels. What would happen? let me guess, you would apply your straightforward way to calculate the costs just to get surprised. BTW, British government stopped subsidizing home solar panels, because British experts came to conclusion that home solar panels will never pay back their costs and it's more wise to spend "solar panel" money to insulate homes. Billy T08-26-09, 08:38 AM... 1GW station produces 0.8*24*365*10^6 Kw*h. Assuming zero operating costs and 20 years life span, it's (48*10^9)/(0.8*24*365*20*10^6)=$.34/Kw*h; ...You exhibt very little understanding of the cost of electricity. I.e. You have totally neglected the main cost, which is the interest paid on the capital during those 20 years. Also a significant part of your electric bill is the interest on the distribution system, transformers etc. capital investment. Then there is the relatively minor fuel and labor costs. Furthermore it is silly to assume that the plant operates at 100% of capacity, 24/365 for 20 years. Even base load plants, like nuclear plants, rarely have more than 85% utilization of their capacity and of course the price of electricity must cover the capital cost of the peaking units, like gas turbines, which may operate only 5% of the time. dixonmassey08-26-09, 09:27 AMYou exhibt very little understanding of the cost of electricity. I.e. You have totally neglected the main cost, which is the interest paid on the capital during those 20 years. Also a significant part of your electric bill is the interest on the distribution system, transformers etc. capital investment. Then there is the relatively minor fuel and labor costs. Furthermore it is silly to assume that the plant operates at 100% of capacity, 24/365 for 20 years. Even base load plants, like nuclear plants, rarely have more than 85% utilization of their capacity and of course the price of electricity must cover the capital cost of the peaking units, like gas turbines, which may operate only 5% of the time. It's just very rough approximation, I've included 0.8 utilization factor, let's assume bankers are environmentally conscious and $0.03 out of 0.06 cents, I've added to calculated$.34, would satisfy them, fat chance but let's assume. Besides, it appears that tax and other government handout finance solar industry to a large extent these days. Billy T08-26-09, 10:17 AMIt's just very rough approximation,...Yes it is - like a home buyer figuring he can afford the house by neglecting the interest payment the bank will collect on the mortgage. dixonmassey08-26-09, 11:48 AMYou exhibt very little understanding of the cost of electricity. I.e. You have totally neglected the main cost, which is the interest paid on the capital during those 20 years. Also a significant part of your electric bill is the interest on the distribution system, transformers etc. capital investment. First, my goal was not to give good estimates for the price of 1kw*hr but to show that there are issues with using $/watt for the straightforward estimation of solar power station costs. Second, that's raises a question does Euro 250 millions supposedly spent to build Portugal station counts in interest to be paid for 20+ years. Billy T08-26-09, 12:26 PMFirst, my goal was not to give good estimates for the price of 1kw*hr but to show that there are issues with using$/watt for the straightforward estimation of solar power station costs. ...If that is your objective, then just point out that even if the solar cells were free, the price of the power would not be reduced by even 1/3. We have free fuel power stations already: hydro-electric power. PV cell power stations require a lot of copper wires to collect the energy difusely spread over a large area. / Structures to hold the cells. / DC to AC converters. / huge storage system costs (if to be more than 15% of the total supply as then "grid storage" IS NOT FOR FREE.) Trippy09-08-09, 08:39 PMChina plans world's biggest solar plant (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/world/73253/china-plans-world039s-biggest-solar-plant) Billy T09-09-09, 08:16 AMChina plans world's biggest solar plant (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/world/73253/china-plans-world039s-biggest-solar-plant)Yes, and here is NYT article on it: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/09/business/energy-environment/09solar.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=chinese%20solar%20plant&st=cse Which includes: "… First Solar, based in Tempe, Ariz., is also likely to build a factory in China to make thin-film solar panels, said Mike Ahearn, the company’s chief executive. “It is significant that a non-Chinese company can land something like this in China,” Mr. Ahearn said in an interview. ..." My local Sao Paulo paper gives even more details some of which follow: Note China is already the world's largest maker of solar cells. - For example, China's SunTech company alone makes* more that the US does, but they are the more efficient silicon based cells, not the cheaper, less efficient cadmium based cells this Manhattan island sized plant will use. - In the US, where labor costs are higher, almost 2/3 of the cost of solar cells power is installation etc. costs. (Called BoS, Balance of System.) Thus, efficiency is more important than in China. (Also note that even if the cells were free, the cost reduction of the power would only be 1/3 in the US.) US based First Solar got the job as they have the cadmium cell technology, but China will soon have that too when the factory is built there. This huge solar cell plant will be installed in Mongolian desert -the first of 6 for 12 GW total using the same transmission lines. In the worthless desert land, efficiency is less important than cost per square mile of collector, if labor is cheap. China has serious pollution problems and is working hard to solve them. (World leader in putting electric cars on the street with about 250,000 added to the fleet in 2009 alone.) Also for example, installing more wind machines (by power capacity) each year, now that the rest of the world combined. This same Mongolian area will have 6.95 GW of wind power using the same distribution system on cloudy but windy days. Likewise near the world's largest hydro electric dam, is being built "three gorges on land" wind power plant of equal capacity. - A clever idea as when there is good wind, no water will be released. I.e. the dam is the storage system for the wind system. - Together they are cheap base load power. There are many other wind power plants of very large size underconstruction. Some are finished and only waiting for the transmission lines to be completed. China is building several "smart grids" China is also bringing on line a new nuclear power plant every three or four weeks. And building 6 super-critical steam coal fired plant which are about 50% more efficient than normal coal plants. China already has 310 mega watts of simple combustion biomass power and is actively exploring cellulosic alcohol as the US is too. By 2020 China, under the original plan of two years ago, which has just been revised upward, China will get 20% of its electric power from renewable sources - the US will get less than 2%, even by 2020. Despite all this effort, because China is growing so rapidly, it will need to continue adding a new coal plant to the grid about every 8 or 9 days for many years. ------------------------ *Most were exported before the current economic crisis – To keep these factories busy, is the main reason China decided to get 20% of its power from solar energy (wind is included). In the Chinese hybrid economic system (State directed expansion of infrastructure and market directed for consumer goods) they do not need to wait for market forces to invest in renewable power. - In more capitalist systems, the lower cost of fossil power (to the electric company producer) makes renewable power less attractive as the producers of power from coal and oil are allowed to ignore much of the total costs - pollution costs, including oil spills, land and river damage with the mines, CO2 & SO2 (acid rain)**, etc. But in China renewable power is more competitive as these "not out of my pocket" costs to society are now charged to oil and coal also in the decision making process. In many ways, IMHO, the Chinese have evolved a better economic system - part of the reason why they have averaged double digit growth for three decades. **For example, American Electric Power, based mainly in Ohio and the near by states, killed the more desirable fish in Adarondack lakes, lessened their value as tourist resorts, and damaged many more Eastern forests, but never paid a cent of this cost. rwendell09-29-09, 09:45 PMWhy are some participants in this discussion confusing units of energy and units of power? There is even talk of CONVERTING (?!?!) one to the other. YOU CANNOT EVER CONVERT UNITS OF ENERGY TO POWER OR VICE VERSA. They are two very different concepts. Power is the rate at which energy is used. If you integrate that over time, you have the total amount of energy used during that period of time. One is not the other and never can be, so why this talk of converting one to the other? The very idea of such a conversion is absurd and implies a total lack of even the most basic understanding of what either is. Power is precisely analogous to the flow rate of the water through a pipe and energy used is exactly analogous the amount in the tub after the period under consideration. Can you convert the rate of water flow through a pipe to a specific quantity of water? Of course not! First, in most practical situations the rate is variable, so a simple calculation of the total amount of water exiting a pipe in a given period is not feasible. The most practical method is simply to measure the resulting amount of water in a receptacle at the end of the given period. So the whole idea of converting kilowatt hours into watts is absurd. It's precisely the same as pretending you can calculate the rate at which water exited the bathtub faucet by simply measuring how much water is in the tub. Nasor09-30-09, 01:50 PMSo the whole idea of converting kilowatt hours into watts is absurd. It's precisely the same as pretending you can calculate the rate at which water exited the bathtub faucet by simply measuring how much water is in the tub. Specifically what posts are you talking about? The energy figures were all for a given unit of time (usually a year, depending on what part of the discussion you're talking about), making it easy to calculate average power consumption (or generation) during the year... Trippy10-02-09, 07:45 PMSo the whole idea of converting kilowatt hours into watts is absurd. It's precisely the same as pretending you can calculate the rate at which water exited the bathtub faucet by simply measuring how much water is in the tub. Incorrect. And your analogy is flawed. Perhaps you should pay attention to the discussion. Larry Johnson10-04-11, 05:11 PMAfter reading this thread, I'm looking for reassurance as to whether it stands to reason that if Hydrogen becomes the fuel of the future, that it will most likely be delivered in the form of Ammonia? Right? Since, the only reason we're interested in Ammonia is because of the Hydrogen content, isn't it basically just an (better) alternative to using pure liquid Hydrogen? It (Ammonia) can be used in the same fuel cells or internal combustion engines that Hydrogen can, correct? Walter L. Wagner10-04-11, 10:57 PMAfter reading this thread, I'm looking for reassurance as to whether it stands to reason that if Hydrogen becomes the fuel of the future, that it will most likely be delivered in the form of Ammonia? Right? Since, the only reason we're interested in Ammonia is because of the Hydrogen content, isn't it basically just an (better) alternative to using pure liquid Hydrogen? It (Ammonia) can be used in the same fuel cells or internal combustion engines that Hydrogen can, correct? Old thread, but yes, NH3 is a good storage medium of H, and very reactive. However, it is safe enough (and the molecules large enough not to migrate causing brittling of metals) to store in metal tanks. It is stored in metal tanks 'everywhere' on farmland for fertilizer applications. billvon10-04-11, 11:07 PMAfter reading this thread, I'm looking for reassurance as to whether it stands to reason that if Hydrogen becomes the fuel of the future, that it will most likely be delivered in the form of Ammonia? Right? I suspect it will be delivered in the form of methane, since: 1) we already have methane pipelines 2) we already burn methane directly in cars and buses 3) we already have an entire industry that makes natural gas appliances Not too many ammonia buses or cars on the road, and not too many ammonia fueled hot water heaters in the US. ElectricFetus10-05-11, 01:08 AMMaking methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide is even more energy wasteful then making ammonia, Energy usage will become a bigger factor then infrastructure change, its why battery electrics have so much drive: they provide greatly improved efficiency with a fair change of infrastructure. Hydrogen provides less efficiency so much so that making it from natural gas is still the primary means of manufacturing, and now your asking that we make hydrogen back into natural gas? billvon10-05-11, 10:36 AMMaking methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide is even more energy wasteful then making ammonia The Sabatier Process is CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H20. The water can then be reused if desired (say, split back into oxygen and hydrogen.) It is exothermic which means that energy is created. Hydrogen provides less efficiency so much so that making it from natural gas is still the primary means of manufacturing, and now your asking that we make hydrogen back into natural gas? Yes. As you mentioned, hydrogen is currently so scarce that it's actually economically feasible to make it from methane. We will need a much more economical source of hydrogen if it is ever to be usable as a fuel source. The only way I know of to create that much hydrogen that cheaply is through thermal dissociation of water, which in turn requires high temperature gas reactors (HTGR's.) Billy T10-05-11, 11:17 AMThe Sabatier Process is CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H20. The water can then be reused if desired (say, split back into oxygen and hydrogen.) It is exothermic which means that energy is created. ...Making five molecules into three usually requires considerable pressure and I think is done at high temperature, which has thermal loses to the environment. Are you sure the real process is does not require net energy for the pumps, and thermal loses (if economical scale and insulation thickness is assumed)? billvon10-05-11, 11:59 AMMaking five molecules into three usually requires considerable pressure and I think is done at high temperature, which has thermal loses to the environment. Are you sure the real process is does not require net energy for the pumps, and thermal loses (if economical scale and insulation thickness is assumed)? It is fairly high temperature, but since the reaction is exothermic, once the reaction starts it will maintain itself (with sufficient insulation of course.) It requires a nickel or ruthenium catalyst to reduce activation energies. It's been proposed as a very interesting way to get people back from Mars. The process is: 1) Unmanned rocket places a return vehicle on Mars. The return vehicle has almost empty tanks; it lands with only a small amount of hydrogen (8 tons.) It has an RTG or reactor to provide electrical power. 2) The Sabatier process combines the hydrogen and atmospheric carbon dioxide into water and methane: CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H20 3) The methane is stored as fuel. 4) The water is cracked into H2 and O2. 5) The oxygen is stored as oxidizer. 6) The H2 is used to make more methane. Via this process you can transform 8 tons of hydrogen into almost 112 tons of fuel and oxidizer, sufficient to get back from Mars. wlminex10-05-11, 12:47 PM. . .haven't read all previous posts yet, however . . . the concept(s) of chemically "storing" hydrogen makes sense to me . . . a kind of 'hydrogen-battery', if you will. Has anyone toyed with the idea of dissolving hydrogen (under pressure?) into current hydrocarbon fuels . . . as a 'booster'? wlminex Billy T10-05-11, 03:08 PM{post 205's "bottom line"} Via this process you can transform 8 tons of hydrogen into almost 112 tons of fuel and oxidizer, sufficient to get back from Mars.Yes that is very interesting idea. I did a little searching at patent office, google etc. and find that with some catalyst, the temperature can be modest (a few hundred degrees C) so even though the process is only "weakly exothermic" that does not seem to be much of a on going cost (after initial start up heating) I saw pressures from one to 1000 atmospheres - As I noted in first post, getting 5 gas molecules to become 3 at any interesting rate will require high pressures. So I still think there will be net energy required (for pressure pumps, especially if the CO2 comes from the very low pressure Mars atmosphere) And of course the only place you find H2 is in stars or cosmic space - From either you will pay one hell of an energy price to get it into high pressure chamber on Mars. None the less with time* and sunlight, energy is available and getting almost 18 fold more "get home" fuel & O2 mass than the H2 one takes to Mars is very attractive. - Perhaps infinite mass gain if done where there is ice on Mars as the source of needed H2. Also fact that process can recover O2 to breath from recycled (exhaled) CO2 for space traveler is interesting. That is a lot more attractive than than just chemically binding /absorbing it to keep the CO2 level below the lethal 5%. This might be applied to maned submarines too. Thanks for making me aware of this process, which seems to be still being perfected. (Lots of related patents already.) *Scrap anything left of the "man to Mars" expenses as US is broke - can not afford it, but plan for sending the unmanned "return vessel" / "Fuel & O2 maker" later, if US ever recovers economically even a couple of decades before men go. (Those men will no doubt speak Chinese, but perhaps the US can sell the technology to them.) ElectricFetus10-06-11, 09:46 AMThe Sabatier Process is CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H20. The water can then be reused if desired (say, split back into oxygen and hydrogen.) It is exothermic which means that energy is created. Don't be silly: 4 hydrogen molecules had to be manufacture first from water, your losing energy manufacturing methane and water byproduct, where do you think that heat product comes from, fairy farts? Yes. As you mentioned, hydrogen is currently so scarce that it's actually economically feasible to make it from methane. We will need a much more economical source of hydrogen if it is ever to be usable as a fuel source. The only way I know of to create that much hydrogen that cheaply is through thermal dissociation of water, which in turn requires high temperature gas reactors (HTGR's.) No thermal cracking can be down with any kind of high temperature heat sources like solar thermal. There is of course electrolysis which not include the efficiencies of making electricity can get up to 75% efficiency. Lithium ion batteries though generally achieve charge discharged cycle efficiency beyond 90% by the way. Believe10-06-11, 12:19 PMA jug of ammonia (Not hard to keep liquid at room temperature with modest pressure.) has more hydrogen in it than a jug of pure liquid hydrogen!* (which is very hard to keep liquid even with huge pressures and very cold temperatures) When you decompose ammonia (NH3) you get heat and can throw the N2 formed into the air and even Green Peace’s idiots** know that is OK. The resulting H2 can be burned to H2O, which also is harmless to discharge into the air. Ammonia is relative cheap to make - if it were not farmers would not be injecting solution of it (I think) into the soil of their farms. - I think that is the major commercial use of NH3 today. I am not much of a chemist, but can someone who is tell me why do we not use these facts to make ammonia fuel for cars and trucks, etc? --------------------------- *True because each molecule has 3 atoms of hydrogen, instead of 2 in it. **The ones that have blocked the development of safe nuclear power in US for 30+years with the net result that much more CO2 has been dumped into the air and global warming is now a serious enviromental problem, not to mention all the SO2 that has been released, killing fish in Adrondac and N. European lakes, even killing some forests with the "acid rain" SO2 becomes. etc. Seems like alot of wasted effort. You take the Hydrogen from H20 first, then use it to make ammonia to then remove it from the ammonia to use as fuel later? Why not just use the H2 straight off the water in the first place? You would waste much less energy then. Billy T10-06-11, 01:08 PMSeems like alot of wasted effort. You take the Hydrogen from H20 first, then use it to make ammonia to then remove it from the ammonia to use as fuel later? Why not just use the H2 straight off the water in the first place? You would waste much less energy then.Storing it how if not used as it is produced? If it is used as it is produced, why bother to produce it? - Just use the electricity running the H2 production. billvon10-06-11, 01:33 PMDon't be silly: 4 hydrogen molecules had to be manufacture first from water, your losing energy manufacturing methane and water byproduct, where do you think that heat product comes from, fairy farts? From the chemical energy contained in the hydrogen. Since it is only slightly exothermic, not much energy is lost. The trick is to use the minimal amount of energy possible to generate and transport the fuel. Pure hydrogen is much easier to make - but how to transport it? You can compress it which uses a lot of energy, since its atomic weight is so low. You can liquefy it which uses a truly obscene amount of energy. You can convert it to ammonia, which is much easier to transport - but then you have to convert it back to a usable fuel on the other end. (NH3 is burnable directly but it is hard to do it cleanly due to NOx production.) You can convert it to methane which is also easier to transport, and we already have distribution and storage systems in place - and we already have both fuel cells and production vehicles that will run on it. No thermal cracking can be down with any kind of high temperature heat sources like solar thermal. Yes, but the temperatures required (over 2000C!) mean you need a high concentrating power solar thermal system (i.e. we're talking a large array of accurate, individually steered mirrors - not panels.) HTGR's are a much more compact way to do it. There is of course electrolysis which not include the efficiencies of making electricity can get up to 75% efficiency. Lithium ion batteries though generally achieve charge discharged cycle efficiency beyond 90% by the way. Agreed. Believe10-06-11, 01:55 PMStoring it how if not used as it is produced? If it is used as it is produced, why bother to produce it? - Just use the electricity running the H2 production. Exactly! Ammonia would be even worse off because you do this first, then make ammonia out of it. In otherwords you use large amounts of energy to get H2 out of H20 and you also use large amounts of energy break up nitrogen. Then, after you liquify it, you have to use more energy to re-break it to make hydrogen. Yes it takes alot of energy to compress and cool hydrogen, but I doubt it's more then all that added up. It is a also a ready to use fuel requiring no more work once it gets to where its going. With the ammonia you have to have extra systems set up and a way to get energy to break it up to get the H2 back out. wlminex10-07-11, 06:14 AM. . . jug of ammonia? . . . perhaps you mean a jug of ammonium hydroxide . . . ammonia is a gas . . . ammoniim hydroxide is a liquid. Billy T10-07-11, 06:30 AMIt is hard to understand how you can be wrong about every thing in one post, but perhaps you did not understand the point of using ammonia to easily and economically store H2. Exactly! Ammonia would be even worse off because you do this first, then make ammonia out of it. No, the ammonia is made where the H2 is produced so no need to store H2 and then later make NH3 from it. The whole point of making H2 into Ammonia is to avoid storing the H2. And yes there is less electric power needed if the electrolysis is done at higher temperature (which of course with water means higher pressure). In fact you will need both the higher pressure and higher temperature to make NH3 from N2 and H2, quite the opposite of what you are speaking of below: In otherwords you use large amounts of energy to get H2 out of H20 and you also use large amounts of energy break up nitrogen. Then, after you liquify it, you have to use more energy to re-break it to make hydrogen. Yes it takes alot of energy to compress and cool hydrogen, but I doubt it's more then all that added up. It is a also a ready to use fuel requiring no more work once it gets to where its going. With the ammonia you have to have extra systems set up and a way to get energy to break it up to get the H2 back out.You have zero understanding of how NH3 is made. The N2 is not separately broken up to 2N, nor is the H2 cooled, as making NH3 is done at high temperature and pressure. It is true that splitting H2O to get H2 is energy intensive but as I noted above, cheaper thermal energy (which you will need in the NH3 production anyway) can be used to reduce the amount of electrical energy required in H2 production. Here is how NH3 is made: "... In 1909 Fritz Haber established the conditions under which nitrogen, N2(g), and hydrogen, H2(g), would combine using • medium temperature (~500 C) • very high pressure (~250 atmospheres, ~25,500 kPa) • a catalyst (a porous iron catalyst prepared by reducing magnetite, Fe3O4). Osmium is a much better catalyst for the reaction but is very expensive. This process produces an ammonia, NH3(g), yield of approximately 10-20%. The Haber synthesis was developed into an industrial process by Carl Bosch. The reaction between nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas to produce ammonia gas is anexothermic equilibrium reaction, releasing 92.4kJ/mol of energy at 298K (25 C). N2(g) nitrogen + 3H2(g) hydrogen --->heat, pressure, catalyst --->2NH3(g) ammonia with H = -92.4 kJ mol-1 By Le Chetalier's Principle: • increasing the pressure causes the equilibrium position to move to the right resulting in a higher yeild of ammonia since there are more gas molecules on the left hand side of the equation (4 in total) than there are on the right hand side of the equation (2). ..." Quote from: http://www.ausetute.com.au/haberpro.html The last paragraph explains why I have twice told you that The Sabatier Process is CO2 + 4H2 -> CH4 + 2H20. and the above Haber process must be done at high pressure to get any economically significant yields because there are less product molecules than reacting molecules. Billy T10-07-11, 06:34 AM. . . jug of ammonia? . . . perhaps you mean a jug of ammonium hydroxide . . . ammonia is a gas . . . ammoniim hydroxide is a liquid.Ammonia is a liquid, even at room temperature, at quite modest pressures. Many thousands of steel tanks holding liquid NH3 are found on larger farms all over the world. Walter L. Wagner10-07-11, 09:10 AMMany thousands of steel tanks holding liquid NH3 are found on larger farms all over the world. Hey, that's what I said in my post #200 (though I did not mention that when it is pressurized it turns to a liquid-- I thought that was obvious, but maybe not). Good to see you're an old farmhand too. Reminds me of my tractor-driving days! Billy T10-07-11, 11:17 AMHey, that's what I said in my post #200 (though I did not mention that when it is pressurized it turns to a liquid-- I thought that was obvious, but maybe not). Good to see you're an old farmhand too. Reminds me of my tractor-driving days!Yes, I spent year of my early life on farm so far up in the hills of (West?) Virginia that I did not go to any school that year, but we were too poor to use Ammonia - only had sheep and horse shit for fertilizer.* (One of my jobs was to collect it - not a bad one if it has had a few dry days in the sun.) "Tractor"? What is that?** I rode on top of the triangular shaped "harrow" (big spikes on bottom side) to give it more weight breaking up dirt clods and kept my balance while steering the horse pulling us. (A grown man doing that was too much weight for the horse to pull.) ------------- * and at least a dozen or so crows. For why & how I used crows with extreme satisfaction for fertilizer. See http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2341632&postcount=9 ** I heard back then that they use something called "gasoline" but did not know what it was either. wlminex10-07-11, 01:07 PM. . .me too . . . old farm boy . . . maybe we need to start an 'old farts' forum? wellwisher10-11-11, 09:32 AMAmonina could work as a fuel, but there are some practical problems. For one thing unlike gasoline, ammonia will absorb water. This could cause a performance loss, unless you add dehydration devices, at added cost, all along the supply chain and into each car. Burning ammonia will also create NOX, which, in conjunction with water, will make nitric acid. This is nasty on steel and aluminum. You would need to make many engine parts out of stainless steel, with is inert to nitric acid. Or you could use ceramic engine parts. The nitric acid would help keep the stainless steel or ceramic cylinders clean of gunk. Billy T10-11-11, 09:54 AMAmonina could work as a fuel, but there are some practical problems. For one thing unlike gasoline, ammonia will absorb water. This could cause a performance loss, unless you add dehydration devices, at added cost, all along the supply chain and into each car. Burning ammonia will also create NOX, which, in conjunction with water, will make nitric acid. This is nasty on steel and aluminum. You would need to make many engine parts out of stainless steel, with is inert to nitric acid. Or you could use ceramic engine parts. The nitric acid would help keep the stainless steel or ceramic cylinders clean of gunk.Most advocates of NH3 for use in cars don't want to burn it as fuel, but extract H2 from it for fuel cells. NH3 is just a better storage system for H2 (Best I know of by far.) Also NH3 can be distributed by tank trucks like gasoline is, no need to make new, expensive, H2 pipelines. Not only can it be held without a cryogenic insulated tank on hot summer day, but each gallon / liter has more hydrogen in it than the same volume of liquid H2, which would need to bee very very cold - much colder than for example liquid nitrogen which you may have freeze rubber balls so they shatter when dropped instead of bounce. PS You point about NH3 absorbing H2O is true, but less of a problem than the fact ETOH (alcohol) absorbs more and more rapidly but has functioned just fine as a fuel for many cars in Brazil for 35+ years. Some H2O in the fuel is a benefit - Pure fuel burns hotter and is harder on the IC engine and makes the exhaust heat thrown away greater - more energy lost. The steam is expanding and pushing on the piston too. IC engines make more heat than they can use - Some steam in the combustion gas is like internal cooling but unlike the external water cooling, you get force on the piston with this "internal cooling." H2O injection was used in WWII fighters to get more power when in deep trouble but of course too much H2O in the fuel is bad and can cause serious corrosion problems in simple steel fuel tanks etc. Aqueous Id10-25-11, 01:22 PMjust found this thread. read about half of it. would like to offer my perspective. the first thing I noticed was a sort of misunderstanding of the question itself. this question really asks if a nitrogen based fuel is feasible. implicit in the question is the understanding that carbon based fuels are harmful to the climate and petroleum itself has become a nightmare. also implicit more in the answers than in the question is the assumption that burning hydrogen exclusively is desirable because the byproduct is clean. I see a hole in this reasoning which I would like to fill. my opinion of the question is that it is a good question because it has a noble purpose. my opinion of the answers is that some of them are good, some are faulty in fact or logic or even just bogus. I have thought about this question before so I would like to share how I approached it. I think I stumbled onto it maybe the same way billy t did. I was thinking about a hydrogen engine and what might happen if the tank exploded. I was thinking about other ways of transporting hydrogen. it immediately occurred to me that while ammonia has a benefit of transporting more hydrogen than water it has another very important benefit because it is not a carbon based compound. at this point my mind took one more leap. also at this time I was comparing the hazards of gasoline, hydrogen and ammonia. what occurred to me next is at the crux of the question. and I don't see that any of you made this connection so I will offer it for you as brain food. nitrogen has an interesting property. nitrogen atoms readily bond with themselves in an unusual bond which is called a triple bond. the reason this is relevant is that chemical energy released in a reaction is released in an amount according to the strength of the bond. nitrogen is the lightest element having this strongest bond. so now my mind arrived at the realization that there was something optimal about ammonia. in a controlled reaction 2 molecules of ammonia would produce 1 triple bond plus 6 hydrogen bonds. my recent focus had been on water which yields 4 hydrogen bonds for every 2 molecules. I am comparing the same number of molecules because ultimately I will want to know how much energy is available per gallon. It struck me then that ammonia is the first compound you will encounter, as you contemplate the periodic table, which yields so much energy. what I mean by that is that it is the simplest and lightest of compounds that yields the triple bond so there will be a tendency in nature to exploit this. indeed it does seem that the nitrogen in our atmosphere was built by cyanobacteria that were the primordial factories of amino acid production and that they evolved out of an environment that was rich in methane and ammonia. my point is that nature found ammonia and exploited it for a reason and that reason is abundance of nitrogen therefore abundance of the triple bond. a good exercise to do to test your basic skills is to calculate the size of a tank of ammonia to get you down the road. it is discouraging because although ammonia is energetic it is not nearly as energetic as gasoline. this is the perennial problem for every kind of alternative fuel until you start considering crazy ideas like explosives or rocket fuel, which give us more atoms of nitrogen per molecule to boost the energy to the levels we have grown accustomed to with gasoline. so do not completely abandon this idea. people like the professor from denmark are inventing solutions to problems with energy density and hazards. I would recommend that those of you who are interested in chemistry might want to read up on bond energy, the triple bond, and how to compare an alternative fuel to gasoline in terms of energy density so you can get to the point of calculating the size of a tank because the results will give you some religion, so to speak. I mentioned in passing that the ammonia reaction would have to be a controlled reaction. what I mean by this is that the liberated nitrogen atoms should not be allowed to mix with air because the result will produce harmful products and probably reduce efficiency. I offer this idea for those of you who were only considering burning ammonia in the air. consider instead a reactor that is sealed to the environment during the reaction then when the reaction is finished purges clean nitrogen gas out the tailpipe. yes there are some valid objections. but, if at first all objections must be overcome then nothing would ever be attempted. solarbobky12-17-11, 01:16 PMgoogle "Ammonia Fuel Network" Aqueous Id12-17-11, 05:49 PMI did, a found a dearth of practical information, except: (1) A risk analysis (http://www.energy.iastate.edu/renewable/ammonia/downloads/NH3_RiskAnalysis_final.pdf), leaving ammonia more risky than gasoline, and less risky than LPG. (2) A comparison to hydrogen (http://www.energy.iastate.edu/renewable/ammonia/downloads/NHA%202009v7%20(1)%20JHH%202.pdf), showing greater energy yield, but showing only conclusions (Figure 1). (3) Several studies (http://www.energy.iastate.edu/renewable/ammonia/cs/index.htm), but only as vague abstracts, no details. Thanks for posting this and welcome to Sciforums. chimpkin12-18-11, 06:57 AMUm... Ok...There's a process to turn hydrogen into methane: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/renewable-energy/articles/78303.aspx Admittedly not a terribly efficient conversion, I believe I read it's about 50%. Now, we already have a natural gas infrastructure. Too, cars need about a \$500 conversion to run on natural gas...change the tank, alter the jets on the fuel injectors, and I believe that is that. Can you link to where it says we can produce ammonia from renewables in this thread? it's a heck of a long thread. Ammonia is currently produced from fossil fuels, as far as I know...this is one of the ways our agriculture is so fossil-fuel dependent. So...if we can synthesize ammonia, we need to be able to do that anyway to keep our happy butts fed. Aqueous Id12-18-11, 09:33 AMI think the impetus is to extract hydrogen from methane. Its by-product is CO so there has to be a carbon sequestration to go with that, or it defeats the environmental purpose of using an alternative fuel. For maybe twice the energy content per volume, you can apply the hydrogen you get from the above process and take it one step further, by combining it with atmospheric nitogen, in the presence of an iron catalyst, to produce ammonia. This is called the Haber Process (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haber_process). And this is also the main way to produce anhydrous ammonia for farm fertilizer use. I'm not sure if that cite from solarbobky ever got off the ground. There are several vague abstracts from a couple of years ago. Maybe they never got funded. The most detailed thing I could find, that looked like someone spent a little money on, was the risk analysis. DIAGONES07-14-12, 08:38 PMI am late to this thread- but it appears that nobody has bothered to look up a bit of history re our space program http://www.astronautix.com/props/loxmonia.htm In the 50's and 60,s aero rocket powered planes used Liquid Oxygen/Ammonia as a relatively safe rocket propellent - It would seem for landcar use, a equivalent fuel cell or similar ( avoiding the liquid oxygen issue ) might well be practical - since an oxygen rich environment generated by ?? mixed with liquid ammonia could be harnessed somehow. Anhydrous ammonia is relatively cheap - but corosive and hazardous - However mixed with certain sodium compounds might just be possible to get a exothermic reaction ???? Aqueous Id07-15-12, 01:25 AMThe first nitrogen-based rocket fuel that comes to mind is not ammonia, but hydrazine. One of the appealing aspects of ammonia synfuel is its existing infrastructure for production and distribution. This fuel issue is plagued by the consumer expectation for energy density, set by the best all-around contender, gasoline. So far only hydrogen surpasses that, but it's not easily stored in liquid form, and no one wants to drive a Hindenberg. I think the general goals are as follows. First, a liquid fuel can be loaded fairly quickly. So that's an advantage over batteries which need time to recharge. The alternative is a system that swaps out the battery at the station. Assuming this is not around the corner, it leaves the demand for liquid fuel. The huge issue is the products of combustion. Nitrogen based compounds offer some hope of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions altogether, but only provided that NOx emissions can be prevented. Sequestering nitrogen is a little less problematic, since ideally it's disposed of as harmless N2. Ammonia can be thought of as a storage medium for hydrogen. Here is an example of work done using ammonia borane as the medium. It gives up hydrogen and polymerizes. Hydrazine can regenerate the ammonium borate. http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/News/2011/March/17031104.asp Billy T07-17-12, 12:39 PM... Ammonia can be thought of as a storage medium for hydrogen. ...Yes, a denser storage. In a gallon of NH3 there is more hydrogen than in a gallon of liquid H2. Basically this is because H2 molecule has only two but NH3 has three and crudely speaking, a gallon of any liquid has about the same number of molecules in it. DaS Energy07-24-12, 03:18 PMWhilst I agree you get more bang for your buck using Ammonia rather then Petrol, a problem arises in it eats out just about every metal known to man. However that may be overcome by conversion to materials unafected by Ammonia. Leaving only the problem of fuel spillage. Ethanol, Petrol and Diesel are basicaly seen as skin irritant whilst Ammonia will eat you alive. Billy T07-24-12, 04:10 PMWhilst I agree you get more bang for your buck using Ammonia rather then Petrol, a problem arises in it eats out just about every metal known to man. ...That is somewhat true or at least not totally false if speaking of NH3 gas in high humidity air,* but most large farms have liquid NH3 stored for many years in simple steel tanks. * I´m not sure, but think the NH3 somehow accelerates the corrosion water vapor makes as NH3 is a very stable molecule - quite hard to make it react with other molecules. DaS Energy07-24-12, 05:51 PMHello Billy T, I'm not sure simple steel tanks is correct. However fully agree reguarding farm storage, its a very good fertiliser. EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE: Eye: lacrimation, edema, or blindness may occur. Skin: irritation, corrosive burns, blister formation may result. Contact with liquid will freeze the tissue and produce a caustic burn. Inhalation: acute exposure may result in severe irritation of the respiratory tract, bronchospasm, edema or respiratory arrest. Ingestion: Symptoms similar to Inhalation. Lung irritation and pulmonary edema may occur. Chronic effects: None. Extreme exposure may result in death from spasm, inflammation or edema. Metals Aluminium Satisfactory Brass Non recommended (first found that out watching the brass valves corrode away in DaS Valve) Copper Non recommended Ferritic Steels (e.g. Carbon steels)Satisfactory (first found that out watching ordinary steel casing corrode) Stainless Steel Satisfactory Only wish I had found web site before completing first construction of new energy conversion device. Cheers Peter Aqueous Id07-24-12, 10:32 PMI'm not sure simple steel tanks is correct. Steel tanks are common. In early ammonia based refrigeration they used iron castings, pipe, etc. I can think of one antique in a museum which is probably at least 80 years old, and it still works. EFFECTS OF OVEREXPOSURE: Eye: lacrimation, edema, or blindness may occur. Skin: irritation, corrosive burns, blister formation may result. Contact with liquid will freeze the tissue and produce a caustic burn. Inhalation: acute exposure may result in severe irritation of the respiratory tract, bronchospasm, edema or respiratory arrest. Ingestion: Symptoms similar to Inhalation. Lung irritation and pulmonary edema may occur. Chronic effects: None. Extreme exposure may result in death from spasm, inflammation or edema. It can burn the corneas causing blindness, and the lungs, causing serious illness or death. The toxicity of ammonia is certainly an issue in contemplating using it as a fuel. It's hard to accept the risk of spilling a toxic chemical, like in a collision, as a liability for gaining a synthetic fuel source. On the other hand, it's probably less risky than having your tank of hydrogen rupture and explode. (Some of this was covered in earlier posts.) The alternative might be to place the fuel in cartridges, so, in the event of a accident, they can simply fall away, with little or no release. The only amount that would pose a hazard would be the few cartridges that happen to rupture, plus all the injuries associated with its manufacture and delivery. Such an idea (cartridges) has been proposed for storing liquid hydrogen. Here the problem is somewhat reduced, insofar as the pressure needed to store liquid ammonia is so much easier to achieve. Metals Aluminium Satisfactory Brass Non recommended (first found that out watching the brass valves corrode away in DaS Valve) Copper Non recommended Ferritic Steels (e.g. Carbon steels)Satisfactory (first found that out watching ordinary steel casing corrode) Stainless Steel Satisfactory Definitely no copper or copper alloys around ammonia. Only wish I had found web site before completing first construction of new energy conversion device. Cheers Peter Does it work? DaS Energy07-25-12, 12:03 AMHello Aqueous Id, " Does it work? " Yes it works on any condensible liquid (liquid- gas- Liquid) it also works on any gas (hot gas- cold gas). Gas only requires a gas turbine. Liquid-gas-liquid requires a hydro turbine. Which oddly enough is its greatest problem. To quote Ford Motors Pty Ltd, "we can put your engine on the shelf and take all others off" Cheers Peter The device in fact is a cross converted gas and electric electric fridge. (see web How things work) The boiler of a gas fridge brings the liquid to temperature of high pressure gas. However instead of putting high pressure against a restrictor plate, which is the same thing the compressor in your electric fridge does, it puts that pressure against a turbine. Cooling is completed in same manner as enjoyed by both fridge type, in that after the gas/liquid is forced through the tiny hole of the restrictor plate it enters an expansion chamber held at vacuum in compressor models. In the case of turbine generator the restrictor plate is replaced by a turbine. Please note change in workings between CO2 Critical at temperature below plus 31.2* Celsius and Supercrcritical at temperature above plus 31.2* Celius. http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee397/DaSEnergy/DAS.png http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee397/DaSEnergy/CO2Critical.png http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee397/DaSEnergy/290px-Carbon_dioxide_pressure-temperature_phase_diagram_svg.png new year09-29-12, 07:21 PMAmmonia Powered Car http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0hBAz6MxC4 Billy T10-01-12, 10:36 AMAmmonia Powered Car http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0hBAz6MxC4Yes here is same, but with better arguments for it stated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6HzP84KhoY&feature=related Mars Rover10-04-12, 08:44 PMI have read where in the past when commercial and domestic fridges used the Ammonia Absorption method many people died or were hospitalized with serious permanent damage over the years due to Ammonia leaks in confined spaces. Is that true? Billy T10-05-12, 10:50 AMI have read where in the past when commercial and domestic fridges used the Ammonia Absorption method many people died or were hospitalized with serious permanent damage over the years due to Ammonia leaks in confined spaces. Is that true?I of course don´t know, but the leak would need to be a sudden rupture, not thru a tiny crack. NH3 far below lethal levels will drive anyone who can move from the kitchen (the leak area). I am speaking of brief exposures. I don´t think chronic exposure, which could be fatal in a few weeks, would be tolerated either, but not so sure of this. Summary: I doubt the report you read. billvon10-05-12, 10:56 AMI have read where in the past when commercial and domestic fridges used the Ammonia Absorption method many people died or were hospitalized with serious permanent damage over the years due to Ammonia leaks in confined spaces. Is that true? The opposite is true. The ammonia refrigerator was developed to overcome the problems with refrigerators of the time, which used mechanical seals to retain very toxic refrigerants. Several people died when the shaft seals failed and the refrigerant leaked out. Einstein and Szilard developed a sealed refrigerator with a less toxic refrigerant to overcome this. X-Man210-05-12, 02:03 PMI ran across this BBC article on Liquid Air Energy.Although their discussing it for energy storage for renewable energies,would it work for powering your vehicle? The video at link does show a Man using LAE for powering a car but what are the negatives? There is always negatives huh. "The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says liquid air can compete with batteries and hydrogen" http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-19785689 Billy T10-05-12, 06:40 PM... "The Institution of Mechanical Engineers says liquid air can compete with batteries and hydrogen"...I doubt that on cost basis and efficienct basis also. I was surprised to find this claim: "".Reduced cost of liquid air production is indicated by an article in the London "Times." Recent experiments in England of an invention by Mr. Kundsen, a Dane, furnished liquid air at one sixth of the present market price, and give promise of an ultimate low price of a fraction over 2 cents per gallon. The result is secured by purely mechanical means, without an atom of added chemicals. Atmospheric air is first purified and then compressed by 2500 pounds to the square inch. It is finally reduced to 135 pounds to the square inch, which then cools and liquefies the high-pressure air. .."Certainly compressing to 2500 PSI will make heat that can be dumped to the air and then expanded back to 135PSI will cool. (Joule -Thomson coefficient of both O2 & N2 is positive but not as good as as CO2.) However, all the heat you dumped was high quality electric power that drove the compressor and you will get only tiny part back by "air fuel" expanding from 135 PSI Batteries can give 80% of the input energy back to drive efficient motor Or generator when recoveing braking energy - not going to recover any of that with the liquid air car. I.e. I don´t think they have a winner here. Mars Rover10-05-12, 08:11 PMBilly T. If the compression can be done in a system where the heat produced can be used for space heating or for heating a steam generator for piston or turbine engine to run a mill or electricity generator, a lot more of the air compression input energy can be recovered and used that way. And the simple and cheap on board liquid storage and handling makes it even more competitive with more dangerous , complex and costly on-board storage and handling (fuel cells) and expensive Lithium Ion batteries. I wouldn't be so hasty as to rule out compressed/liquid air "battery" systems just yet. Billy T10-05-12, 08:41 PMBilly T. If the compression can be done in a system where the heat produced can be used for space heating or for heating a steam generator for piston or turbine engine to run a mill or electricity generator, a lot more of the air compression input energy can be recovered and used that way. And the simple and cheap on board liquid storage and handling makes it even more competitive with more dangerous , complex and costly on-board storage and handling (fuel cells) and expensive Lithium Ion batteries. I wouldn't be so hasty as to rule out compressed/liquid air "battery" systems just yet.Well heat recovery would sort of imply small home units in most case and in all cases is direct conversion of electric energy that could have run a heat pump to get several times more home heating with much less complexity than handling liquid air. Further more all the energy that runs the car is disguised electric energy - not like say a car running on Natural gas, of other fuel with chemical energy released. Effectively you have an electric car with at best the energy efficiency of ~1/2, probably less than 1/3 that of the all electric cars now on the road now. Tero11-11-12, 02:44 PMHere are some of the reasons for not using ammonia as opposed to hydrogen 1) It puts off Nitrous Oxide which is very bad for you 2) It smells awful 3) It is more expensive to produce than Hydrogen that sums it up Billy T11-11-12, 06:21 PMthat sums it upYou quote positorn as satating; "3) It is more expensive to produce than Hydrogen" I went back three pages but could not find that. I want to know on what basis that is true. I.e. producion energy required to later get set amount of releasable energy? OR dollars to do same OR per H2 molecule vs NH3 molecule OR per Km etc. I also consider "it smells auful" an advantage in that yoj can notice a very tiny leak. On 1) it is true that soild bacteria do make more green house damage via production of NOx when NH3 is used as fertilizer to grow corn more rapdly in cold, short growing season, Iowa than the CO2 the corn based ETOH will release as fuel does, but is that the NOx being discussed? We need some comparison releases of NOx if speaking of the release by various fuels. Gasoline , especially in high compression engines makes NOx too. Which would make more, is sort of thing that would be used full to know. Fact that gasoline or ammonia fueled engine makes NOx with no statement about their relative NOx production per mile driven is nearly useless. Post ReplyCreate New Thread