BioFuels vs. Hydrogen economy

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by ElectricFetus, Jun 9, 2003.

?

Which is the fuel of the future

  1. Hydogen

    20 vote(s)
    48.8%
  2. Biofuels

    21 vote(s)
    51.2%
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  1. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    1,624
    From what I've read (not much I admit) the biomass for biofuels cost as much power - or more - to gather/grow/harvest as they return in energy.

    I live in a rural area so everyone is happy about this concept but the math doesn't really make sense to me. Acquiring hydrogen seems much easier and far less messy than biofuels (by messy I mean the complex and varied retrieval processes needed to efficiently use biomass as an energy). I'm very interested in this area because it would mean a new revenue for my province but it just doesn't add up from what I can tell.
     
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  3. philocrazy Banned Banned

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    hmmm
    oxygen

    Philosopher Philocrazy.
     
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  5. philocrazy Banned Banned

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    234
    you see
    i run on oxygen
    you?

    Philosopher Philocrazy.
     
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  7. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

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    1,624
    lol!

    now you're getting it philocrazy, less is more. Seriously, I got more from that post than anything you've posted so far.
     
  8. RawThinkTank Banned Banned

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    429
    Who said anything about series of dams ?
     
  9. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    well then explain again how you make dam more efficent?
     
  10. apendrapew Oral defecator Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    577
    He was talking about using turbines not just at the bottom of the dam, but at regular intervals along the drop to maximize the energy gained by the water's potential energy. As the water keeps falling at terminal velocity, it loses its potential energy, but doesn't gain kinetic energy.

    One dam, multiple generators. What's so damn difficult to understand?
     
  11. RawThinkTank Banned Banned

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    429
    Thanks apendrapew , You made my day, U r the hope of humankind, Just get Urself a good name.
     
  12. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    The problem is as the water drops though each generator it slowed down. Let me give you an example: gas turbine do not extend much longer then they are, why? You think the more layers of blades and the more levels of individual turbines in a row would give you more energy. Well in fact no they don't, the longer the turbine the more it slows down the burning fuel and at a eventual point the blades are spinning up the air rather then slowing it down, energy waste. Multiple levels to turbines have the same problems each one slows down the air (or water in a dams case) so the next one has less pressure to deal with, eventually back pressures builds up and the turbines stops spinning.
     
  13. RawThinkTank Banned Banned

    Messages:
    429
    WellCookedFetus

    U forgot a thing called gravity. In gas turbine gravity is not at work, but in water turbine gravity is at work all the way until the river reaches the sea.
     
  14. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    then your dam would have the bee very huge to support such a drop, no matter what back pressure will build up if you have to many stages.
     
  15. RawThinkTank Banned Banned

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    429
    There is no requirenment of any drops as the turbines are going 2b inside the pipes which will be running down parallel to the river as it leaves the dam towards the sea.
     
  16. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    so then a pipe hundred of km long?
     
  17. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,083
    not really an engineering problem
     
  18. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    18,140
    Sure it is it has to withstand great pressure and be 10 of meters wide, and then it has to be done cheaper then building a dam.
     
  19. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    882
    one uses waste.

    for example, put a biodiesel plant next to a corn processng plant. use the husks and stalks to make the fuel. saves the plant money on disposition of waste, and saves transport costs of the wastes to make fuel. byproduct is glycerin, a windfall but expensive commodity.

    ever wonder where all the used cooking oil goes from all those fast food french fries restaurants. there're companies that collect it, and it gets burned, but, put a biodiesel plant next to the collection place, and make the fuel from waste oil.
     
  20. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,624
    thats the thing though, it's not the waste they're talking about using. In my area for example where wheat is the primary crop, it's not the stalks and other leftovers they plan to use for biofuels but the whole product because the majority of the energy is in the seed not the waste (that's why we eat that and not the rest). So, we will be growing entire fields of wheat for use in biofuels only. All the energy and effort that goes into the seeding, growing, cultivation and gathering of a crop negates much of the return as fuel.

    It's a way farmers might get a bit more money for there crop (an under paid sector if ever there was one) but not really great either ecologically or on a large scale because every field for fuel use is one less for human consumption.

    I love the idea of using organic waste as an energy source but things like the husks of corn are extremely low in energy value. There are a few ideas like using energy from decomposition in city dumps but this is also incredibly hard to do efficiently. If you know of links to truly viable biofuel set-ups (that can be done on a large scale) please link them because I can't find any.

    If you're going to devote a field to energy production it might as well be wind or solar because once the initial power and financial investment is made you just leave it and it produces, biofuels require continuous power input to work and that contradicts the whole point.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2004
  21. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    882
    yes, i agree with you then. sounds like a farm subsidy when you put it that way.

    the company i'm invested in makes biodiesel and they're interested in building lots of little plants (diffuse manufacturing) near where waste is generated and can be used with a minimum of transportation costs.

    well, how is 'energy value' being defined. i think for most biofuels, it's sugar (carbs), i.e. for making ethanols. but what biodiesel wants is oil. i don't know what the oil distribution in plants is. bottom line is, even if the energy level is low, it's waste and it's either free, or sometimes you get paid to remove it, then you can do what you want with it. i can tell you that the energy cost making biodiesel is less by many times of what's produced.

    There are some small farms that are now running all their diesel equipment on biodiesel that they make themselves from their own plant waste.
     
  22. buffys Registered Loser Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,624
    now that makes sense, do you have a link? It reminds me of how some cars use wasted heat from the breaking process as an additional power source (it's not a huge input but it's wasted anyway so why not use it?).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2004
  23. paulsamuel Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    882
    i'm kind of embarassed to give you the link cause the company has done so poorly, and i've lost a lot, but i'm convinced it's a good idea. the company is southern states power company; http://www.sspowerco.net/

    you might do better with your own biodiesel google search

    i've heard of that energy storage from breaking, and I'd heard that Ford was interested and had made some prototypes, i've been following the company but it hasn't done that well, it's Shep Technologies (STLOF). good idea, that.
     
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