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New study suggest that scientists also give in to magical thinking

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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:31 PM
Original message
New study suggest that scientists also give in to magical thinking
http://www.kth.se/aktuellt/1.43372?l=en_uk



Easier to find oil
Researchers at KTH have been able to prove that the fossils of animals and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas. This result is extremely radical as it means that it will be much easier to find these energy sources and that they may be located all over the world.

With the help of our research we even know where oil could be found in Sweden! says Vladimir Kutcherov, Professor at the KTH Department of Energy Technology in Stockholm.

Together with two research colleagues, Professor Kutcherov has simulated the process of pressure and heat that occurs naturally in the inner strata of the earths crust. This process generates hydrocarbons, the primary elements of oil and natural gas.According to Vladimir Kutcherov, these results are a clear indication that oil supplies are not drying up, which has long been feared by researchers and experts in the field.

He adds that there is no chance that fossil oils, with the help of gravity or other forces, would have been able to seep down to a depth of 10.5 kilometres in, for example the US state of Texas, which is rich in oil deposits. This is, according to Vladimir Kutcherov, in addition to his own research results, further evidence that this energy sources can occur other than via fossils - something which will cause a lively discussion among researchers for a considerable period of time.

There is no doubt that our research has shown that raw oil and natural gas occur without the inclusion of fossils. All types of rock formations can act as hosts for oil deposits, asserts Vladimir and adds that this applies to areas of land that have previously remained unexplored as possible sources of this type of energy.


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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:34 PM
Response to Original message
1. The first sentence makes the entire post a FAIL
"Researchers at KTH have been able to prove that the fossils of animals and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas."


no. maybe there's study supports this conclusion, but unless they are mathematicians, they haven't proven dick.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. That wasn't the phrase that sprang out at me though ...
> "Researchers at KTH have been able to prove that the fossils of animals
> and plants are not necessary to generate raw oil and natural gas."

The fossils of animals and plants have never been necessary to generate
raw oil and natural gas. The unfossilised remains however ...

:shrug:
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. That statement is not an accurate summary from the research article.
It's what happens when non-scientific people try to interpret scientific articles.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. Interesting thread title. Care to explain?
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The conclusion drawn at the end of the article
i.e. that there's plenty of oil down there to be found, is idiotic. EROEI means that while it may be down there, it's never going to be retrieved.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. ah. So, you're not doubting the possibility of the process, just its utility. I'll agree.
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. Don't know about pscot but I'm doubting their phrasing ...
> Together with two research colleagues, Professor Kutcherov has simulated the
> process of pressure and heat that occurs naturally in the inner strata of the
> earths crust. This process generates hydrocarbons, the primary elements of oil
> and natural gas.According to Vladimir Kutcherov, these results are a clear
> indication that oil supplies are not drying up, which has long been feared by
> researchers and experts in the field.

Unfortunately he isn't doing that. He is starting off with natural gas (methane)
and another simple hydrocarbon (ethane) and, by applying heat & pressure,
producing longer chained hydrocarbons ... which (although my organic chemistry
is pretty damn rusty) is something that I'm sure was done a long time ago.

> He adds that there is no chance that fossil oils, with the help of gravity
> or other forces, would have been able to seep down to a depth of 10.5 kilometres

Again, that wasn't a point of contention ... the fluids seep *upwards* due
to pressure from higher strata until they meet an impermeable cap rock.


I have only read the abstract (thanks Kristopher for posting the link) but I'd
appreciate polite correction if I have misunderstood it.

:shrug:
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
3. Even if they're correct,
so what? We can't keep burning oil indefinitely.
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OKIsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
6. Hydrocarbons are present in comets
Google Search: hydrocarbons comets

Once you realize that, you have to question the fundamental assumptions behind the name, fossil fuel. Scientists who said as much decades ago were generally ridiculed. (After all, everyone knows where fossil fuels come from)
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. For the last 20 years
the Swedes have been trying to prove that oil originates deep in earth's mantle. They have drilled some extremely deep dry holes looking for proof. Just Sayin'.
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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. I thought that was the Rooskies?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenic_petroleum_origin

A meteorite crater in Sweden was drilled looking for evidence, but the result was FAIL.
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pscot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. The exploratory wells in the Siljan Ring
were the ones I was referring to. Gold had sold the Swedes on the idea of abiogenic oil, and they started drilling back in the mid-eighties. I was not aware of the Russian provenance of the idea, but that would explain the Russian contributions to this paper as well as the tendentious inferences drawn from it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siljan_ (lake)
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NNadir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Um...um...um...um...
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 07:41 PM by NNadir
Lots of scientists have been ridiculed for things like, N-rays, or cold fusion.

Saying that "scientists have been ridiculed" as a means of attempting to prove a point is hardly a credible approach to making a point.

The formation of methane by biological species is a continuously observed phenomena, as all of the people who keep thinking that the public sewage system is going to save their SUV's never tire of pointing out here over and over and over and over and over in classics of magical thinking.

Stating that the atmosphere of Jupiter contains lots and lots and lots of helium does not support the contention that helium on earth is primordial helium. It is very clear that it is not. All of it - including that found in natural gas deposits - originated from radioactive decay of primordial uranium, thorium - and as is now clearly understood - plutonium (244).

Unquestionably there was a time that nearly all of the carbon on earth was primordial methane, as the atmosphere of many planetary and subplanetary systems clearly shows, most famously the Saturnian moon Titan that all of the anti-nukes were opposed to visiting on the grounds that visiting it was going to wipe life out on earth. This has never been in doubt. This has nothing at all to do with crustal formations of methane however.

There is an awful lot of support for the biogenic origin of industrial methane deposits, involving many branches of science, including but hardly limited to nuclear science. (Hint: This evidence involves isotopic ratios and the presence of radiogenic gases.) The burden of proof for making an extraordinary claim rests not on the people who do not endorse the claim, but on the claimant. I recall having this conversation with a very stupid bourgeois brat here who said, "NNadir!!!!!!! Prove that solar energy cannot provide all of human energy!!!!!!"

I told the little idiot to fuck off as I recall. One does not "prove" negative statements. All experiments that have tried to claim primordial origins of methane thus far have failed. Thus there is no reason to doubt, by Occam's razor, all of the other evidence that supports the biogenic origin of methane theory.

Given the inability of anyone to find a permanent disposal method for dangerous fossil fuel waste, this is incontrovertibly a good thing.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Tired of this "can't prove a negative" stuff.
It's been bandied about way too much here.

Statements like "Prove that solar energy cannot provide all of human energy!" can easily be rewritten to say, "Prove that human energy utilization surpasses the amount of usable solar energy that the Earth receives."

Not too hard, but rhetoric is more important than actual science and logic.

"Prove that methane is not primordial in origin" is easily restated, "prove that methane is biogenic." And we see how well that works.

I do have to credit this forum for really liking alternate theories that hold little weight, though. Makes you think and re-investigate your biases. Rarely results in a change of belief, though.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:37 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. Even with this article, we're still far away from demonstrating abiotic generation of petroleum.
The researchers took methane under high pressure and high temperature and generated saturated hydrocarbons with 2 to 4 carbons, mostly ethane. Ethane subjected to the same conditions reverted to methane. So, it remains possible but purely speculative.
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #6
18. That's Right -- There are a Lot of Hydrocarbons in Outer Space
Whether the amounts are significant and whether any deposits are exploitable is another question, but I hope they find something. Peak oil will happen sometime if it hasn't already, and current technology is not sufficent to bridge the gap yet.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
7. Link to abstract and paper
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
15. Professor "Kutcherov" -- ?
Is that you, Ashton?

Are we about to be "Punkd"?

TV

--d!
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