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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 01:57 PM
Original message
Hydrogen Economy vs. Biodiesel
Edited on Sun May-30-04 02:00 PM by mot78
If we are to drop Petrol from our economy, then what would be the better source of fuel.

Hydrogen seems like the ideal fuel, but greenhouse gases that would be released from extracting it would result in more global warming since it would be extracted from plants powered by Petrol, and there is the potential of loose Hydrogen hurting the ozone layer (although that was just one stud from CalTech) and the lack of infrastructure.

Biodiesel is truly a renewable source of fuel. It can be extracted from vegetable oil, grease, canola and sunflower oil, and even hemp oil. The problem with biodiesel is the amount of arable land we need for growing crops. Hemp would be the most efficient, since it can be used for crop rotation, but the fact that it's illegal prevents the best biodiesel crop from being taken seriously. In terms of global warming, I think it depends on which crop releasing different amounts of CO2. Unlike Hydrogen, a biodiesel infrastructure could be set up easily. All we'd have to do is replace our spark-ignition engines with diesel engines.
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kalian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Only thing about biodiesel....
is that you have to give up farming land for food....to use to
cultivate crops for fuel. We, the human species, still need to eat...
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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Note what I said about rotation crops
I think Hemp would be the best biodiesel crop, since it can thrive in almost every state, and in depleted soil.
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TexasMexican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. The US still overproduces food
Edited on Sun May-30-04 02:06 PM by TexasMexican
we have farmers on subsidies to not grow anything because if they did it would depress market prices even more.

I say we take farmers off of subsidies and let them grow fuel.

Additionally foriegn farmers are always complaining that they cant compete with us because of the subisdies our farmers get well they could try growing some fuel too, or if we switch over to growing fuel they could grow food.
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Leprechan29 Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. But...
Alot of plant material is left over from farming though - just thing of a corn plant - we eat the seeds, most of the rest of the plant remains.
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Leprechan29 Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:04 PM
Response to Original message
3. Hydrogen
Hydrogen doesn't have to be extracted from fossil fuels, but rather from water supplies, eliminating pollution from extraction and solving the supply problem (Fossil fuels are supposed to disappear in roughly 50 years according to some estimates).

Bush just doesn't want to do anything that might make oil companies change their sources of profit (Fos. Fuels), and in doing so, hurt the environment AND our wallets. If Water extraction was given half of the attention that FF extraction was, the system would be up to par in a few years.
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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. What about storage and compression of the gas?
There are some who are proposing making hydrogen into a soild form for consumers.
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Leprechan29 Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. That might be an idea, though I don't know how they could do it
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rfjockey Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. Agree with you 100% regarding biodiesel
I currently drive a VW Jetta running on 100% soy diesel.
Hemp could be a part of the solution, but there are other possibilities as well... here's a link.

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alge.html

The hydrogen economy is a red herring IMHO. It will do nothing to deal with the CO2 problem because it will likely all be produced from fossil fuels. The overall (in)efficiencies of creating hydrogen through electrolysis from renewable energy will prevent that from becoming a viable alternative.

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mot78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I used to be in the Hydrogen camp until I read about the need for more Fossil
fossil fuels, and the inefficiencies of a hydrogen economy. Switching over to biodiesel would be a lot cheaper as well, since all we have to do is encourage farmers to grow soy or hemp, and switch all of our cars over to diesel engines, which already get decent gas mileage as it is.
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lanparty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #8
24. The beauty of hemp.

It doesn't have to be grown. It grows all by itself without fertilizer or pesticides.

The agri-chemical business is 100% AGAINST hemp. Lumber companies are almost 100% against hemp (it can make a replacement for cut lumber). Oil is 100% against hemp because hemp has many applications that would compete against plastics (like ROPE, synthetic fibers (polyester/nylon).

There are so many shadow conspiracies out there. But the conspiracy against industrial hemp is real.

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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #24
32. Plus it can be made into bio-diesel or cellulose ethanol
and the ethanol can additionally could be turned into hydrogen.

So no matter what route you choose hemp can play a big part in the post oil economy.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Hemp already plays a great part in the economy
--IMM
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
11. Respectfully disagree.
Bio-diesel contains carbon, and yields CO2. No way around this. When you consider the inefficiencies of agriculture, transporting, watering, byproducts, and other objections mentioned on this thread, you're talking net loss.

Extracting hydrogen from water takes energy too, but the technology has not been developed. It need not be from fossil fuels. Direct electrolysis from solar is most ideal, but wind, hydro, and geothermal can all be used.

I recommend reading "The Hydrogen Economy" by Jeremy Rifkin.

--IMM
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rfjockey Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-04 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #11
38. Burning biodiesel does release carbon, but....
the carbon has been recently extracted from the atmosphere (as the plants grow). Biofuels are part of a sustainable cycle that doesn't net more carbon into the atmosphere, as opposed to fossil fuels.

The energy balance of biodiesel is also much better than other fuels. Biodiesel from soybeans has an energy balance of about 3.2 (and can be higher for other plant materials). That means that you get 3 times as much energy produced as what is put into making it. Ethanol and fossil fuels by comparison are somewhere around break even... so biodiesel is a minimum of about 3 times more efficient. The extra energy obtained from biodiesel comes from the sun, through photosynthesis, so it is really a form of solar energy. (Ethanol is too, but the energy needed to produce corn and make ethanol from it is much higher than that needed for biodiesel).

Burning biodiesel also still produces some other pollutants (although much less than fossil fuels), but it would be a big step forward from where we are today, and it would be possible to switch at a reasonable cost in a very short time span.

Here's a good summary comparing biodiesel and hydrogen.

http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_biodiesel_vs_hy...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. Soy diesel, how much per gallon?
Given that soy burgers cost $4 for four patties constituting 12 ounces, and every product with soy in it costs rather a lot, soy doesn't appear to be much of a viable alternative in our profit-driven society...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Lose-lose
Hydrogen - highly explosive in the presence of oxygen. It's also rather difficult to collect despite it being an abundant element.

Biodiesel - tell the farmers selling their land to homebuilders because of profitability to grow more sunflowers to make fuel out of. Not to mention the cost of having to grow the plants all the time in order to make enough fuel for our rabidly increasing needs.

Neither of these is PROFITABLE. And that's why neither of them will get any development.

Change our society from profit to long-term sustenance and that's when alternative fuels will be seriously considered.
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liberalron Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. Here in the "Eat Out" Nation,
just think of the cooking oil used, and discarded. We don't have to just produce more, there are a multitude of ways that we could/can better use what we have.
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. Some problems with hydrogen.
are described in the two following articles.

For all practical purposes, hydrogen does not exist in a natural state on Earth. It is highly reactive, so free hydrogen in the atmosphere normally bonds with nitrogen (to produce ammonia) or oxygen (to produce water or hydrogen peroxide). If the hydrogen actually manages to reach the upper atmosphere without reacting, it simply leaves the planetary atmosphere and moves into space. So, if we want to have hydrogen, we have to make it, and then store it and handle it and transport it so that it cannot come in contact with air or any of a large number of other substances so that it will remain sufficiently pure to be used. Given hydrogen's affinity for bonding with other elements, it typically takes a lot of energy to break those bonds to make and capture the hydrogen.

<snip>

Making hydrogen and using it is a complex and multi-step process - with energy losses at every step. While it is possible to make hydrogen from renewable and sustainable sources, it is simply a bad idea relative to other options such as using the produced energy directly (e.g. as electricity) while powering transportation by other means (human powered vehicles, biofuels, electric vehicles, biofuel-electric hybrids).

<snip>

The hydrogen economy as postulated by North American governments, the mainstream media and the existing energy industry is at best hyperbole and wishful thinking, and more likely, a cynical hoax being perpetrated on the majority of the residents of planet Earth. None of this should come as news to us. The hydrogen fuel cell is an older technology than the internal combustion engine or the rechargeable battery; being created in 1837. Modern research on the hydrogen fuel cell dates back to at least the 1950's. General Motors developed a hydrogen fuel cell powered van prototype by 1966. It was not pursued because of economics. Technology almost 40 years later is not significantly more robust or efficient than this 1966 vehicle. Hydrogen was championed by Dr. Roger E. Billings in the 1970's, and then by Dr. David Scott in the 1980's, and then Dr. Geoffrey Ballard in the 1990's. Fuel cell vehicles were produced as early as the 1950's (Allis-Chalmers). A major breakthrough is still required to make the hydrogen economy viable on basic efficiency grounds. The hazards of working with hydrogen are well-documented, if not well publicized by the clique in power today who are steering the debate (or lack thereof) according to their own desires. Hydrogen gas had its day (as city gas - used for gas streetlights and heating), and lost out to superior technologies (notably zero-emissions electricity). Basic historical research on city gas works of the 1800's and 1900's will give you a slight sense of the hazards implicit in the widespread use of hydrogen gas.

Hydrogen does not make an efficient transportation fuel. Methanol and ethanol are more effective hydrogen carriers than pure hydrogen; for that matter, so is gasoline. But on-board reforming coupled with poor combustion or mobile fuel cells lead to a losing formula. We are definitely better off focusing our efforts on telecommuting, human powered vehicles, biofuels, battery electrics, hybrid drives, better traffic planning and control, increased use of mass transit as part of a multi-modal transportation system, and mass transit based on electric drive (subways, streetcars, trolley-buses, electrified inter-urban rail).


The Hydrogen Economy - An Idea Whose Time Hasn't Come

And in this article at fromthewilderness.com

Several processes are being explored to derive hydrogen from water, most notably electrolysis of water and thermal decomposition of water. But the basic chemistry mentioned above requires major energy investments from all of these processes, rendering them unprofitable in terms of EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested).


Much thought has been given to harnessing sunlight through photovoltaic cells and using the resulting energy to split water in order to derive hydrogen. The energy required to produce 1 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of hydrogen is 1.3 billion kWh of electricity.38 Even with recent advances in photovoltaic technology, the solar cell arrays would be enormous, and would have to be placed in areas with adequate sunlight.

<snip>

The basic problem of hydrogen fuel cells is that the second law of thermodynamics dictates that we will always have to expend more energy deriving the hydrogen than we will receive from the usage of that hydrogen. The common misconception is that hydrogen fuel cells are an alternative energy source when they are not.

In reality, hydrogen fuel cells are a storage battery for energy derived from other sources. In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are fed to the anode and cathode, respectively, of each cell. Electrons stripped from the hydrogen produce direct current electricity which can be used in a DC electric motor or converted to alternating current.41



Why Hydrogen is No Solution
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. This is no slam-dunk
Edited on Sun May-30-04 05:22 PM by IMModerate
Of course hydrogen has an affinity to combine with other substances. That's what makes it a fuel. And sure it is not an energy source, but a carrier. It needs energy input to work.

BUT...

Other systems mentioned here also require energy input to work. The second law applies to other fuels as well. A wash. And if the objection to other fuels is their production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses than biodiesel gets you nothing. The production of biofuels requires input every step along the way, from plant construction to distribution. What about water resources to grow this stuff? Irrigation doesn't take energy?

The problem is finding realistic ways to electrolyse water by direct means. And I agree that the technology is not there yet. But I have also seen nothing definitive that proves that this is not possible.

I did a rough calculation (Fermi math) a few years ago, that showed that the energy consumption of the United States is roughly equal to the energy output of a solar array that is about equal to the area of all the roof tops in the U.S. Add in other renewable sources and it is indeed conceivable.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the famous editorial (in the '30s) in the NYT criticizing the work of Dr. Van Allen, because outer space is a vacuum, and a rocket would have nothing to push against, so therefore we couldn't send rockets to other planets. I think the viability of hydrogen remains to be seen.

Absent ongoing science and development I'll concede to the nay-sayers. But I'm not convinced.

Think about other advantages. Distributed production. Less need for security forces for geo-political reasons. No handy terrorist targets like nuclear plants. Many benefits if we can pull this off.

--IMM
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 06:19 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. People have too much faith that hydrogen will come to the rescue
and our energy guzzling lifestyles can continue as normal.

This is somewhat reminiscent of the famous editorial (in the '30s) in the NYT criticizing the work of Dr. Van Allen, because outer space is a vacuum, and a rocket would have nothing to push against, so therefore we couldn't send rockets to other planets. I think the viability of hydrogen remains to be seen

That's a false analogy as a rocket doesn't work by pushing against air. The NYT editorial therefore was based on a false premise. However the people with concerns about the hype over hydrogen do have a valid scientific case behind them. Currently it does take more energy to liberate hydrogen from natural gas or water than can be obtained from the energy stored in the hydrogen that has been liberated. This is according to the laws of Chemistry and Physics and not likely to change soon. That is a limiting factor that currently does not affect gasoline. We get more energy from a gallon of gasoline than is expended in producing that gasoline.

Up to now gasoline has been relatively easily and cheaply obtainable. As we get past the Peak Oil phase gasoline and other petroleum products will become more expensive as they are less readily available and they become harder to extract from their reservoirs. I think too many people are expecting that they will just pull up the hummer to the pumps and fill up with hydrogen instead of gasoline and life will continue pretty much as normal. However, it appears unlikely that hydrogen will ever be as easily and cheaply available as oil based products were in the 20th century. Therefore we must be planning for significant changes in our transportation systems and urban development and design as well and not just relying on hydrogen to pull our fat out of the fire at the last minute.
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. Actually petroleum has a negative energy balance
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. I have started
to investigate biodiesel. I need to see if I have to change anything in my truck or my tractor, both use diesel now. Most likely I will have to find a way to have it delivered and build a holding tank on the farm because the only source is a little too far from the farm. Not too bad though, if I could just plan better it might be OK.

Hemp would be a great crop for this.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. You'll probably need to change your fuel lines
Unless your engines are relatively new, the lines on them are probably too old to reliably carry biodiesel--the stuff can break down many rubber types.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. Thanks
I started reading about it the other day. My truck may be new enough but the tractor probably is not. I was excited to see that I could get it here. Another project for me I guess but one I can feel pretty good about doing.
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
29. Find a Cat dealer to help you
I know it's un-politically correct to recommend Caterpillar to anyone on this board--they are seriously anti-union, they supply bulldozers to the Israeli Defence Force, and lots of other things we hate.

But they're seriously pro-biodiesel. They're the first ones out of the gate with an official manufacturers' statement (check http://www.biodiesel.org ) approving the use of biodiesel in their engines. Pretty much everyone else is either "well, we guess you can use it but don't blame us if your fuel choice fucks up your engine" or "do not put biodiesel in our engine." (Isuzu is in the latter camp.) Cat says "go for it."

I used to deal with a Cat dealer--Gregory Poole used to service my forklift when I worked in a place that had a Cat forklift--and they sold parts for all brands of engines. They will have the fuel line you need.

Alternately, try calling the local John Deere dealer. I would imagine (shrugging) that JD is supporting biodiesel.

After more research: if you don't have some Sar-Gel Water Detection Paste, get some. Biodiesel attracts water from the air; water and fuel react differently when shoved through a fuel injector. The results are not pretty. You also want a water separator for your fuel system.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. It Won't Be Hydrogen
No rational analysis of hydrogen as fuel ever has it comming up a winner anywhere any time. I love the romantic idea that we'll just get it from sea water. And where, pray tell, will the energy come from the separate that precious hydrogen from the oxygen it will someday reunite with to return that energy for our use? They make hydrogen, in the limited quantities its now required in, mostly from the sludge at refinerys. Were we to go to a 'hydrogen economy' we'd be getting our hydrogen fix from coal (one fossil fuel we certainly are not going to be running out of in the next 50 years) and simply put the loss from the primary source, be it the mine or the well, to the point of end use, lets say a hybird car, is immense so that by the time you are tooling down the highway you are acutally making productive use of less than 20% of the energy held in the original fuel. Then think of this little problem the silly notion of fuel cells powering hydrogen driven cars has - what do you use for a fuel tank? Did you know that a tanker full of compressed hydrogen doen't have as much energy as 300 gallons of regular unleaded? Oh, and then there is the problem of leakage. Boys and Girls, if its a hydrogen economy you have your hopes pinned on you might want to start looking around for a new plan.
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iamtechus Donating Member (868 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thermal Depolymerization
Con-Agra, the U.S. Government and certain well-known, wealthy investors are placing
their bets on Thermal depolymerization to solve mankind's energy problems.

http://www.spiritofmaat.com/announce/newoil.htm

This company holds key patents and is developing the technology:

http://www.changingworldtech.com /
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 02:51 PM
Response to Original message
18. Bio-Diesel comes from oils, grease and fatty waste
Edited on Sun May-30-04 03:12 PM by wuushew
while and excellent fuel how much can we expect to produce from waste recycling and agricultural production? The vast majority of biomass would be more easily converted to ethanol which might get you 70-80% of the vehicle ranger per tank vs. gasoline. I am for both fuels but a hemp based ethanol economy utilizing hybrid car technology is the way to go. Buses, trains and construction equipment can use bio-diesel.


Here is the Department of Energy's alternative fuel site.

http://www.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/afdc /

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Touchdown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 03:58 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. Fatty waste? Would they subsidize liposucktion treatments...
in an effort to buy human fat for this fuel too? 60% of overweight Americans can get behind this technology if that's the case! :evilgrin:
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lanparty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. Why choose ????

Why not use all the energy sources you can???? We need DIVERSITY in our energy economy.

No energy source is 100% reliable. Each has it's downsides. More diversification means less interruption and more opportunities for advancement and better efficiencies.

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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 03:18 PM
Response to Original message
21. Biofuels should be used.
Edited on Sun May-30-04 03:19 PM by Massacure
They could easily be used to run Americas energy needs if city planners just better incorporated mass transit, and the fuel economy of cars was raised.

Btw, the Depolymerization makes light crude oil. Last time I checked turkies breath out CO2, and the burning of it causes CO2, that is going to put out just as much CO2 as the stuff we use right now. We need something plant based.
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lanparty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
23. Hydrogen is NOT a fuel ...

The only fuel we have on earth is the sun. Many things can store that energy for later use.

The EASIEST battery is petro-chemical that has been stored for many millions of years.

Hydrogen will make an effective battery for storing all kinds of earth friendly power sources whether that be solar, wind or pig-shit. Hydrogen can effectively be derived from coal (which we have bountiful domestic supplies of). Even hemp could effectively be converted into hydrogen for use off grid.

Whats also great about Hydrogen is that it can also be used for small portable devices like laptops and cell phones.

We DO have to ween ourselves off of foreign oil sources. There are MANY source of energy to choose from. Hydrogen could effectively transport that to MANY different destinations and applications.

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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #23
27. Geo-thermal and nuclear are non-solar fuels
Though I'm not recommending nuclear.

There's also tidal energy, that's lunar fuel. I wonder if that could have orbital effects--wouldn't want the moon tumbling down prematurely.

--IMM
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. Whats wrong with nuclear?
It produces no greenhouse emissions and provides massive amounts of electricity. The waste problem is mostly the result of flawed governmental policy stances.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Nuclear energy creates severe security problems
Edited on Sun May-30-04 05:20 PM by IMModerate
Nuclear plants are prime targets for terrorist attacks. An incident can lead to contamination of huge tracts of territory.

The radiation is insidious. Once in the environment it cannot be removed. It has already created many cancers worldwide by raising the background radiation. Linus Pauling demonstrated this.

By-products of nuclear power include plutonium, a material that does not exist in nature, which can be used to create nuclear devices. Remember, 51 countries have nuclear plants that could be used to make bombs. Do you trust all of them?

The waste problem has NOT been solved. Yucca Mountain total capacity will only hold a fraction of the nuclear waste. It still has to "cool" for years at its point of production. Another security risk. And then it has to be transported.

It doesn't produce greenhouse gasses (except as a result of construction of plants) but it does creat thermal pollution which is a danger to marine life.

After their useful life, the entire nuclear plant is radioactive. The decommission problems have not been confronted yet.

How much more do you want?

--IMM
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wuushew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. I will address you concerns
Edited on Sun May-30-04 05:48 PM by wuushew
Terrorism is caused by Imperialistic US policies and perceived unfairness in Middle Eastern affairs. Address these underlying problems and you will lessen the threat. Secondly how are these terrorists supposed to damage a nuclear plant? The amount of concrete used is more than adequate to survive a full bore impact of a passenger jet into the structure. In the event of damage to the cooling system the system is designed to shut down an American Chernobyl is not possible.

Nuclear by-products can be recycled to produce more energy. Remaining material will decay or can be transmuted into non-hazardous material.

There is nothing that says Yucca mountain needs to be the "permanent" waste repository for high level nuclear waste. I do acknowledge the numerous geological problems with the site. The waste however needs to go somewhere as on site storage space is getting scarcer and scarcer. In regards to choosing a location for the disposal of nuclear waste it only makes sense to locate these sites in sparsely populated western states. Much of the west is over populated as it is. Drinking water is being supplied by over pumping declining ground water aquifers. Harsh temperatures are dealt with by energy intensive air conditioning. No true environmentalist would advocate maintaing large population centers in such marginal areas especially with the coming crisis of peak oil approaching.

Finally massive amounts of radiation is released by simply burning coal. Is this larger amount of pollution more acceptable just because it is diffuse? Surely the smaller net environmental impact of nuclear should appeal to those who care.
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immoderate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. That doesn't quite do it
You propose political solutions to problems that will exist for geological time periods. Transmutation requires more energy than is originally produced, and itself produces radiation. It is after all, a nuclear process.

I have heard other opinions on whether reactors can withstand a full attack. Did you think the towers would collapse from a plane impact?

You have "addressed" some of the issues without providing solutions. Sparsely populated though they be the western states are still part of the global environment and I am not persuaded by those answers.

But thanks for trying.

--IMM
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maggrwaggr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-04 06:53 PM
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37. what makes you think burning bio-diesel won't be as bad as now?
We need to quit burning carbohydrates for fuel. That's the bottom line.

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