Response to ROBROX (Original post)
Mon Oct 29, 2012, 09:51 AM
jeff47 (14,630 posts)
11. They're wrong.
However, amidst the headlines, some media coverage overlooked the key point: the energy efficiency of the process has yet to be demonstrated. This matters because the technique uses electricity for key stages. It should not require more energy input than is gleaned from burning the fuel it produces.
This is wrong.
First, we know the resulting fuel will have less energy than it took to make the fuel. Thermodynamics still works.
Second, it doesn't matter.
The point of this process is energy storage, not energy production. Battery technology has been creeping along for 50 years. With that track record, we're not likely to get a great leap ahead any time soon. And we need a leap for practical electric vehicles - current models work for some people, but a lot of people can't really use them due to range or "refueling" constraints.
Enter "make gasoline from air". That gas lets you capture energy from a fixed location and use it in a mobile platform. Effectively, you can make a "nuclear-powered car" - or wind, or solar, or any other power source. (And it won't be as horrifically bad an idea as the "nuclear-powered car" from the 1950s)
I really don't understand all the people demanding that this process somehow generate energy. We know how to generate energy cleanly, efficiently and cheaply. What we don't know is a practical way to store that energy in a way we can use in vehicles.
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