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World’s first renewable gasoline

06/03/2008 4:18 PM

I don't think I've seen this story here yet. Some radically "out of the box" yet still entirely "in the box" engineering.

http://sapphireenergy.com/press_release/1

Sonoma, California – May 28, 2008 – Sapphire Energy announced today they have produced renewable 91 octane gasoline that conforms to ASTM certification, made from a breakthrough process that produces crude oil directly from sunlight, CO2 and photosynthetic microorganisms, beginning with algae....

... differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms, sunlight and CO2; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; are carbon neutral and renewable; and don't require any food crop or agricultural land.


The final products meet ASTM standards and are completely compatible with the existing petroleum infrastructure, from refinement through distribution and the retail supply chain.

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#1

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/03/2008 7:07 PM

Thank you very interesting, lets hope that going from a break through process to a up and running industry does not run into any biological or engineering problems. Looking to the future.

Regards JD.

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#2

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/03/2008 8:09 PM

Thanks for the post. This is a possibility I can have optimism for. It contains the magic words "photo" and "sun".

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#3

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/03/2008 11:44 PM

How fast can they get this into full production?

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#4

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 12:28 AM

Hope this is not another 'Cold Fusion' scam...

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#5

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 1:27 AM

Very interesting. They should slap this on the desk of your new president. The old one would have not supported it. You know why.

Is it to good to be true? I wish them and us all the best. Their timing is perfect. See what happens on the investor side.

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#6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 4:10 AM

http://sapphireenergy.com/press_release/1 says:

"Developments require new industrial category: Green Crude Production

In fact, Sapphire's processes and science are so radical, the company is at the forefront of an entirely new industrial category called 'Green Crude Production.' Products and processes in this category differ significantly from other forms of biofuel because they are made solely from photosynthetic microorganisms, sunlight and CO2; do not result in biodiesel or ethanol; enhance and replace petroleum-based products; are carbon neutral and renewable; and don't require any food crop or agricultural land."

(my underlining)

Strange that they do not add "water" to their list of essential production elements.

Presumably either extremely large expanses of existing water or converted land will be required. How can this not eat into either arable land or valuable residential/commercial land?

Grown and harvested in the desert?

When algae grow in water they can achieve significantly larger depths (i.e. a higher potential crop per square metre) than on land where they do not grow to any significant height (i.e. low crop per square metre). Also, land-based algae grow very slowly compared with water-based algae.

So grown in water is the only option I can see at the moment, unless I am particularly ignorant about land-based algae.

Taking over existing lakes with all-pervading algae that is harvested by huge trawlers would be devastating for existing fish and wildlife within said lakes. Thus, they cannot be intending to use this route. Politically incorrect!

This presumes that vast tracts of currently dry land (brown-field sites or desert) will be covered with water (surface tanks, excavated lakes, dams etc).

This may be politically possible in deserts, but the amount of water needed for this process will be significant. And where are they going to get water from in a desert? Pipe it of course. Or do a rain dance (maybe the born-againers have a trick or two up their sleeves we don't know about...) Would this eat into valuable water sources for other areas? Water is rather scarce in most desert areas. And since lots and lots of sunshine is needed, there is no point in sticking your algae plant where you have lots of rain (and thereby cloud).

Does this mean that production plants can be set up in the poorest (and often hottest and most desert-like) parts of the world? Could this be a seriously valuable "crop" for Ethiopia etc? Exciting stuff. But I still don't see how they are going to overcome the water problem. It may well not use good farming land, but even desert with piped water can become good farming land. Are we only going to transform the parts of the world where people have insufficient water into flooded petrol-producing plants? If so, there is little difference to the current position where food crops are being produced for fuel while neighbouring communities starve.

I would like to know more about how algae can be cost-effectively grown and harvested in areas of low annual rainfall. This might be the time to invest companies that lay pipes as well as in algae-growing ones!

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 4:57 AM

I like your analysis, I have visions of air born spores etc, and what are the necessary nutrient? This reminds me of a previous post of a modular system where by nutrient could be collected from various areas and processed on a modular system. I'm sure that these concerns have possibly been addressed by developers? It sounds very attractive, and the right way to go. I hope we are not looking at the green blob syndrome.

Regards JD.

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 6:12 AM

Good Answer Joe. The Mojave desert seems like a pretty good candidate (rainfall from about 1½ inches to a foot per year). I believe that there is higher ground nearby(ish) where rainfall could be reasonably collected and piped to the "farm" without the need for pumping.

This still seems like one of the most promising ideas I've seen.

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#9
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 6:21 AM

Lots of tropical area's like Hawaii and Mexico have an abundance of Sun, arid conditions, and large amounts of water.

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 8:48 AM

I think that this is the same company that was recently featured on a History or Discovery Channel segment.

They have recognized that tying up large expanses of land or water for algae generation is not productive. Their manufacturing process is based on very long lengths of transparent tubing with a circulating water/nutrient mix that encourages the growth of algae with continuous recycling and little or no evaporative loss of water.

The plant is built in segments so portions can be consecutively taken down for harvesting without completely stopping production. The videos of the pilot plant reminded me more of an oil processing plant than anything except you could see the product in the pipes during the process.

Very ingenious. I hope they get serious attention.

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#27
In reply to #12

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 3:06 PM

Can you give me the link to this video, please?

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 4:08 PM

Sorry, but I can't find a link anywhere to the video I saw. But you can google "sapphire energy" and get dozens of links to stories about them.

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#14
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:11 AM

I always love a good strawman argument.

From the website:

"An algae farm could be located almost anywhere. It would not require converting cropland from food production to energy production. It could use sea water and could consume pollutants from sewage and power plants."


Most petro chem plants that I know of are on coasts (of course I live in Texas), with a ready supply of seawater. This is where Saffire will want to locate their plants - in order to make use of the already present infrastructure. Co-located with conventional power plants for CO2, and in the sun belt, you have everything you need, and you don't even have to starve out the poor Ethiopians.

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#15
In reply to #6

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:12 AM

Dear Joe,

If I understand you correctly, we have an agressive algae that will synthesis a chemical, that for all intents and purposes, is petrol/gas.

This could be very dangerous. If some of this algae got loose in the wild we could have an oceanic version of Kudzu, a tree-strangling vine.

I still believe that hemp seed oil is the way to go. Hemp seed yields 95% of it's weight as oil.

What do you think?

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:17 AM

But what if that hemp seed gets loose in the wild? We might not even care about gas prices anymore.

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#19
In reply to #17

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:50 AM

But then we would face a shortage of Ho-Hos and Grape NeHi soda!

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#44
In reply to #17

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/10/2008 12:41 PM

Despite the fact that hemp is contraband, I know for a fact that a great deal of 'private' research has been continuing, privately. There are now over 100 distinct varieties of Hemp.

The hemp we are looking for is a fast growing species that produces a great deal of seeds, with very low THC content throughout the plant. No one is going to want to smoke it; but it can produce, acre for acre, more oil than all the other bio-fuels put together.

Even if it gets loose 'in the wild' would you smoke ditch-weed?

Because anyone who would smoke that would also drink Sterno.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#25
In reply to #15

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 1:25 PM

And with the hemp seeds just think about all the neat by-products. We could have really strong rope and such.

pipewelder

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#26
In reply to #25

hemp oil

06/04/2008 2:45 PM

then we could finely get back at DuPont and J.P. Morgan for making it illegal. they did this to protect DuPont from the fact that a hemp gin had just been invented. that would have taken the manual labor out of hemp manufacturing. all of the oil would have been a byproduct and competing with DuPont whose process's were all based on petroleum.

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#30
In reply to #15

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 7:32 PM

Hello again Ari, good to hear from you.

I am no expert in this field but note that comment #22 mentions that the algae concerned is not a created or modified version. It is, presumably, going to be in watery locations where it is surrounded by arid conditions. Its spread would be limited by this environmental factor to some extent.

As with all fuels, there are energy/pollution considerations. Think of the environmental impact of crude oil spills rom sea-going tankers. Even hydrogen fuels will involve energy production and waste products at several stages in the process.

Hemp is something that seems possible, but you still have the risk of the help seed spreading beyond desired boundaries (not that that is a massive problem unless it is genetically modified - as I am sure it would be - and that causes nasty and unanticipated changes to the eco-system. The issue of farmland usage still applies with hemp. I am not aware that it can be produced in long plastic tubes in the middle of a desert, for instance.

Keep happy and hope to hear from you soon.

Joe

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#10

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 8:13 AM

Is it fair to assume the process would be enhanced by warm water? If so, co-location with nuclear power plants would be a natural.

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#11

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 8:47 AM

We in India have sun during 8 months and lot of water too. Hope this technology will succeed.What is cost of production?.Will it not be buried by oil companies as they did in past?. Suresh Sharma.

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#65
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/18/2008 11:16 PM

The only mistake the makers, producers of this "new" technology could make is to attempt to get a subsidization from any government of any country that they are developing it in. If they do that, they will likely go the way of Ev's, Solar Electric and the 3000+ rechargeable Li Ion industries.

This "new" energy source must, must, must stand on its merits in the marketplace if it is to survive against oil and coal (and the emerging bio-fuel industry) energy.

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#13

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 9:42 AM

Does the company claim it is cheaper than other ways of producing gas? I think when and if we ever run out of petroleum and things were starting to shut down then it would probably be ok to pay a little more for a substitute if we can get one. It would be great if we could have a renewable energy source that does not pollute the earth. But to have it and for it to cost less than petroleum would be allot to ask I think. I am sure who ever gets something like this up and into production will probably charge very well for it.

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#16
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:14 AM

Gas is $4 a gallon, and we have plenty of oil. Imagine what the price will shoot to when we actually start to run low. The cost of gas is only going to go up, the cost of producing new fuels will come down as real production starts. The two will meet somewhere in the middle - if we start now.

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#18
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:44 AM

The concern I have is "greed". If the price of gas now is $4 per gallon and they can produce this new fuel at 50¢ per gallon, do you think they would sell it for $2 per gallon? No way!! Probably $3.95 per gallon to make you feel like you are getting a bargain. I want to invest in the company producing it if that is the case.

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#21
In reply to #18

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 11:01 AM

Had I been smart enough to invent this method I would expect the market to pay me for my wisdom. Do you think this kind of innovation would occur in a communist country? Call it greed if you will, but this guy deserves every penny he can milk out of this process and more power to him.

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#33
In reply to #21

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 8:18 AM

Perhaps you are right, but what is the advantage to the rest of the world if the price has no significant reduction from what we have now? I believe his invention or discovery would be well rewarded at a figure that is low enough to allow some relief to the public but high enough to force the oil producing countries to reduce their prices as well as increase their production, not just for the advantage of a motor fuel, but for the myriad of other products that are derived from oil. This would make a very handsome profit for this new venture as well as a very humanitarian jesture . Maybe that's old fashioned thinking, but I, too, am old fashioned.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 9:52 AM

Like most innovation, in a free market economy, after the honeymoon is over and the copies arrive and the economies of scale kick in, the price goes down to an equilibrium point that serves the public just fine. Supply and demand yields just results if the politicians keep their hands out of it. The very act of creating a new "source" of crude is a humanitarian gesture itself, freeing us from the tyranny of OPEC. Let him get filthy rich. Maybe he can use his wealth to fund some other breakthrough.

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 11:35 AM

I fear I have repeated your point, Beriberi. But a good point deserves to be repeated!

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#37
In reply to #34

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 4:07 PM

beriberi, you are absolutely right. I have extended you a "good answer". Thanks.

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#38
In reply to #34

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 4:25 PM

..or maybe, he and his cohorts can form an evil cartel (based in the Bahamas) and exercise control over the whole world!


Dance my puppets, DANCE!!!

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#40
In reply to #34

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 9:44 PM

Beriberi, You have hit the nail on the head, (followed by a string of cliche's): IF THE POLITICIANS WILL KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF OF IT!!.

The only way to keep a politician's hands off of any thing is to take them off at the wrist!

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#35
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 11:33 AM

Oh I love a happy ending!

It would, however, be unlikely that companies will reduce their profit expectation simply out of any altruistic motive. Putting a squeeze on the fossil-based petroleum producers would be enough of itself to make really exciting changes in this awful monopoly that exists at the moment.

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#23
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 11:33 AM

Welcome to capitalism and its marketing model!!!

IIRC, the program about this technology stated that interest in "algae to fuel" began during the 1974 gas crisis. The feds even funded the research for a while. Everyone quickly lost interest when gas prices came back down way below the projected cost of algae fuel.

IMO, technologies like this need to be brought to fruition as quickly as possible. Why? Because it's most likely that the cost of oil and gas will only go up as emerging industrial countries compete for fuels. I think we are now beyond the point of just opening some spigots and watching prices drop as happened in the 70's.

Actually, we should have pursued these types of technology when we had the initial chance. Unfortunately, our gov't, for whatever insidious/non-insidious reason has seen fit to act as dumb as they usually do. (This is an equal-opportunity-bash-all-politicians-rant by an independent )

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#61
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/06/2008 6:13 PM

Hooker,

Welcome to the post solar age realities. As soon as a subsidized alternative shows promise such as electric vehicles, solar energy, hybrid auto jump starting - the fed pulls the plug and that industry strangles on overextension. Pulling the plug is a given for the fed. Only the discovery and private developement of multi-junction thin film solar has breathed life back into any of the above. Not even Toyota, that bought the patent rights to the 3,000 plus recharge cycle ultra-light Li-Ion storage battery wants to go against the feds bloated standards and certifications for vehicles, by deploying that device in vehicles, not yet anyway. The only truely inovative new energy technology in developement that will ever survive is privately funded and heavily protected by legal council businesses with deep pockets to withstand the veting process that inovation now goes through as a given in todays world economy.

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#20

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 10:59 AM

June 4, 2008

In Re: World's First Renewable Gasoline

Gasoline is a hydrocarbon fuel, meaning its formula contains hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. Many U.S. patents describe processes to make ethanol (C2H5OH) and methanol (CH3OH) without using corn or other agricultural products. Water, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide can be combined to make ethanol: 2CO2+3H2O→C2H5OH+3O2. Likewise, 2 CO+3H2O→C2H5OH+O2. Carbon monoxide plus water, or methane plus water, can be combined to make methanol. CO+2H2→CH3OH, or, CH4+H2O→CH3OH+H2. The processes involve expenditure of energy in the form of heat and/or high pressure, and the proper catalysts. If this can be done for alcohols, why not gasoline? But why continue to create more carbon dioxide in the manufacture of these fuels? Why not create onboard systems to dissociate water into hydrogen and oxygen? We need to get rid of the carbon dioxide already in the air, not create carbon-neutral fuels. Honda stated a few years ago that their FCX-V3 concept car had a range of 270 miles, using 8.8 pounds of compressed hydrogen. That is 30.7 miles per pound of hydrogen. Round that down to 30 miles per pound of hydrogen. Eight pounds of oxygen will combine with one pound of hydrogen to make nine pounds of water. Nine pounds of water, containing that one pound of hydrogen, equals 137.83 liquid ounces (round that figure up to 138 liquid ounces), or slightly more than a U.S. gallon, which gallon contains 128 liquid ounces and weighs 8.36 pounds. At 30 miles per pound of hydrogen, each mile traveled would consume 1/30th of 138 liquid ounces of water, or 4.6 ounces per mile—slightly more than half an 8-ounce glass of water. Photocatalysts such as inexpensive titanium dioxide can dissociate water in the presence of light. The carbon nanotubes developed by Dr. Misra of the U. of Nevada/Reno very efficiently and cost effectively dissociate water in the presence of light. Electrolysis is not the only way to dissociate water.

Properly-designed internal combustion engines can use hydrogen as a fuel without creating nitrous oxides, and those engines do not require expensive fuel cells to operate a motor vehicle.

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#24
In reply to #20

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 11:49 AM

The main reason is infrastructure. We have the delivery systems in place to distribute algae gas. We have the automobiles in place to use it. None of that exists with hydrogen, fuel cells, electrical cars, etc.

There will be a place for new technologies to get a foothold - governmental or postal fleets for example, which have their own fuel depots. It's like CNG - it works, but there's no infrastructure to support it.

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#28
In reply to #20

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 3:37 PM

Just for the record, water is a greenhouse gas to at least the same level as CO2. Combustion of H2 and O2 yield water.

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#60
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Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/06/2008 6:01 PM

Dear Guest,

Your comment that water is a greenhouse gas is true. However, greenhouse gases are not only produced in some measure by human activity. They occur in far greater measure in nature without human intervention. The trick - on this planet is whether water emissions from vehicles, industry and personal consumption will cause imbalance in greenhouse gases. I reviewed the sci-fi movie, "Blade-runner" recently and was again reminded of the massive and constant rainstorms predicted in that movie by a society that converted to hydrogen power. Imbalance by making one source of energy is the lesson there, I think. Greenhouse gases will always be a factor in using carbon based energy. Capturing and using the sun without converting that energy to a greenhouse gas is my current favorite interest; you could do worse than looking there, too.

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#22

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 11:04 AM

I was listening on the T.V. last month when they had an episode on the algae fuel. They are using existing algaes not creating new ones. They are trying to figure out which ones are easiest to produce and which will produce the most fuel. If I remember well they said the algae can double their mass in about 24 hours under ideal controlled conditions.

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#31

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/04/2008 8:13 PM

Instead of trying to breed faster oxen to pull our cars I believe we should concentrate our efforts on ultra-small photo-voltaic cell. I'm thinking something the size of your average car roof, covered in these high energy solar cells, should produce enough electricity to recharge your battery cell while you are driving.

I don't know how far away from a solar panel with this efficiency we are, but that is the future; not replacing one gas or liquid with another one.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

Hi, Joe, high tea with scones at your place?

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#32
In reply to #31

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 5:11 AM

Dear Ari

Looking at your comments on solar power I have to disagree that it will ever be possible to achieve a generally usable motorised vehicle via solar panels on the car roof.

My reason for this is simple: average insolation per square metre.

The average solar radiation per square metre is around 250 watts (6 kWh/m²/day).

At its average figure at the top of the atmosphere it is only around 1.3-1.4 Kw/m².

Working on the basis that 1 BHP = roughly 0.74 kW and that a usable small car needs at least 20 BHP (same as the first Ford Model-T!) to operate reasonably well, this would mean that you would need to generate 14.8 kW from your car roof, requiring a surface area of over 59 m²!

I simply cannot see how it could work.

Now, obviously, there are times of the day and places on earth where the insolation is higher, but it still won't hit the mark necessary for powering the vehicle soley by solar power.

Maybe I'm missing something. Please let me know if I am.

Best wishes

Joe

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#42
In reply to #32

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/06/2008 1:55 AM

Joe,

I find it highly improbable that you would miss anything. It's just that we're talking about burning food, or algae, which, as you know, now produces most of out breathable air because we've cut down all the forests and burned those trees 200 years ago.

Sometimes I loose my objectivity, something that no engineer can afford to do; or, to put it more succinctly, I'm getting frustrated with this problem, aggravated at the pump, alarmed at the technical brain-drain in this country, the Indians [Hindus] are recruiting people from the U.S. to go live in India and play with real hi-tech stuff and a mild case of the "I'm driving to work to put gas in my car so I can drive to work" syndrome. I'm sure you're familiar with that little darling.

While I'm on the subject; true or false: there is no way to turn heat directly into electricity?

What about some sort of nano-particle?

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#45
In reply to #42

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/10/2008 10:00 PM

Orpheuse - You asked someone " While I'm on the subject; true or false: there is no way to turn heat directly into electricity?" The answer is false. Certain bimetallic devices produce electricity from heat and also can absorb heat using electricity. My neighbor has built some in his shop and I have seen articles on the devices long ago.

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#47
In reply to #45

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 6:33 AM

I've long since accepted that our best bet for long term electrical needs is a solar farm of immense proportions, coupled with wind-farms and geothermal. I'm speaking about the topography of South Florida That's the advantage of Nuclear energy, it doesn't take up a lot of space when compared to the other forms of electric production.

For those of you coming in late, a solar farm is a series of tracking mirrors, set row upon row, and shines concentrated magnified sunlight to a 'solar' tower, which, if I understand it, is a very large heat exchanger. The exchanged heat goes to run the turbines. I want to get rid of the initial heat exchange. If we charge up the bimetallic devices, collect the the small charge in each bimetallic cell and feed it into a 'mondo' capacitor and, finally, convert that into A/C (as I am assuming that what we get off the solar tower is direct current) and send it down the grid.

The question is, how large an area do we need to produce enough electricity to run, let's say, the city of Miami-Dade?

My other idea is even crazier. If the bimetallic substance is neutral in the human body, then we could power all of our personal gadgets, from iPod's to cell phones, with body heat. Heck, if it can be shown that it accelerates lipid combustion, we could sell it by the barrel. Do you know what people pay to lose weight? Oy!

Or have I been watching too many Science fiction movies?

/Ari

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#48
In reply to #45

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 6:52 AM

There are also semiconductor junctions that convert temperature differences into electricity. Have you seen the peltier food cooler/heaters for you car? Peltier modules use an electric charge to heat one side of the module while cooling the other. (simple heat transfer)

They effect also works in reverse. Heat one side while cooling the other and they produce electricity. They produce considerably more power than thermocouples, but they are still kind of limited. I remember seeing a commercially available unit, somewhere, that produced a few hundred watts of power. Sorry I can't remember the url right now. I will look.

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#46
In reply to #42

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 4:39 AM

Dear Ari

You asked "While I'm on the subject; true or false: there is no way to turn heat directly into electricity? What about some sort of nano-particle?"

Currently we boil water to turn a turbine or burn fuel to turn crankshafts, etc.

These are all indirect methods, as you rightly say.

Basically, in answer to your question, it IS possible but the voltage produced is not useable for running a car. What I am referring to is a thermocouple.

This is where any conductor (like metal) is subjected to a thermal gradient, it will generate a voltage. This was demonstrated back in the 1820's by TJ Seebeck.

You can find out more about this on Wiki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermocouple).

But however much one looks at thermocouples installed on vehicles, they will never be able to generate enough voltage to run a vehicle, since the energy available is still limited by the level of insolation and the surface area of the roof of the vehicle.

My opinion on the above is reinforced by my friend who studied Physics at university. There are, I am sure, more well-read people on this subject who will correct me if I am wrong.

As far as nano-machines are concerned, I would invite comments as I know very little.

Best wishes

Joe

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#63
In reply to #42

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/10/2008 12:26 AM

Orpheus,

Without going into high security clearance areas, I CAN say that there is such a thing as direct conversion of heat to electricity. However one would be disappointed after exhaustive review of periodicals on that area to find that, Yes: "A piezoelectric emitter switch," as was used in early ICBM computers of the 60's era, had prototype diodes comprised of these. They later switched to sandwiched ceramic plates with five way micro channels in their surfaces, powered by air pulses, to switch binary code computations, to resist anti-missile's tipped with nuclear devices, to avoid damage by the EMP.

Because of the ceramic air powed computers and the advent of electronic diodes, from the Japanes electrical engineering industry; when they started producing low voltage diodes in bulk; it had the effect of killing the interest in heat to electric pulse research, one would assume... Oil well, it was the dawn of the computer age.

If one dug deeply, one might still find that research buried somewhere or other.

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#64
In reply to #63

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/13/2008 8:47 PM

Where would one begin to look for something like this? Is it possible that it's been declassified and available via the Freedom of Information act? If so, what am I asking for?

If we can get even a cople of watts we could power our personal electronics and possibly certain prostheses.

I still think that people will never be happy until we learn to grow chloroplasts and then they'll complain because everyone will have a green tinge to them.

Thanks for the intel.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#43
In reply to #32

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/10/2008 5:31 AM

Interesting figures.

If one were to factor in that the car were not in use 24h/7d, and that some storage could be used to collect and capture the insolation while it is idle, to what figure would the roof area drop? Clearly it depends upon the duty/idle ratio.

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#62
In reply to #31

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

07/06/2008 6:20 PM

Spot on! Keep an eye on the new thin film, multi-junction cells coming on stream next spring as I'm given to understand. It's reputed to be ten times more efficient per square foot than current photo voltaic energy producers.

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#39

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 6:32 PM

Found this on You Tube, not specific to sapphire but good back ground.

Regards JD.

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#41

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/05/2008 10:28 PM

I'm sure that Bush would support this as it it is apparently very workable, despite some W-hater's opinions. The water in use could be in huge concrete ditches covered over with a cover that would allow light access to the algae. The algae need only nutrients, CO2 and sunlight, the water could be reused for years with only a little replenishment. There is no need for a constant supply of fresh water. The dried byproducts of sewage plants could provide the nutrients and the exhaust of coal-burning industrial plants could be bubbled through the water to make a CO2 rich environment. The process would give off massive amounts of oxygen which is good for us.

This is a very good possibility for a truly renewable fuel source. Will it replace oil? Probably not, but every little bit helps.

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#49
In reply to #41

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 2:21 PM

methane digesters are a good source of co2. depending on what the feedstock is, it can go as high as 40% of the gas output. it can be seperated. the poor mans method, is to put it in a vertical tank, and let it get real still. methane is heavier and settles to the bottom. i am sure industry has much more sophisticated ways of doing it much more reliably and quickly.

or it might turn out that the raw methane would be the best feedstock for the system, as the methane is already a hydrocarbon.

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#51
In reply to #49

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 3:12 PM

Greetings, Artbyjoe,

Would you be kind enough to tell me what a methane digester is?

/Ari

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#54
In reply to #51

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 7:52 PM

hello,

a methane digester is also known as anaerobic digestion. here is a link to wikipedia.

sorry, i can't make it just click. you will have to cut and paste.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digester

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#50

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 2:56 PM

I saw a cow forty years ago that had a pipe fitting in its side with a small tube that allowed a methane flame to flare off while the cow chewed its cud. It always impressed me that there is enough fuel being generated to maintain a steady flame.

I can visualize farmers fitting their livestock with cow fart collection systems to capture this source of BTUs. C'mon, all you engineers, put your imagination to good use and come up with a "cow power pack".

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#52

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 3:32 PM
IBM claims major boost in solar cell efficiency

John Walko
(05/16/2008 10:57 AM EDT)
URL: http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=207800558

LONDON — IBM has managed to squeeze 230W of power on to a centimeter square of solar panel using concentrator photovoltaics. The energy was then converted to 70W of usable electric power, the best power efficiency yet achieved, the company claims.

The IBM researchers used a very thin layer of a liquid metal made of a gallium and indium compound that they applied between the chip and a cooling block. Such layers, called thermal interface layers, transfer the heat from the chip to the cooling block so that the chip temperature can be kept really low.

They suggest that if the silicon can be cooled effectively, concentrated photovoltaics could take over as the cheapest form of solar energy.

However, IBM admits there is much work to be done to move the research project from the lab to the fab.

By using a much lower number of photovoltaic cells in a solar farm and concentrating more light on to each cell using larger lenses, IBM's system enables a significant cost advantage in terms of a lesser number of total components.

The researchers said that the concentration increases the power of the sun's rays by a factor of ten, allowing cells that normally generate 20W of power to generate 200W instead.

Their initial results were presented at this week's 33rd IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists conference , where the researchers showed how their liquid metal cooling interface is able to transfer heat from the solar cell to a copper cooling plate much more efficiently than anything else available today.

"We believe IBM can bring unique skills from our vast experience in semiconductors and nanotechnology to the important field of alternative energy research," said Dr. Supratik Guha, the scientist leading photovoltaics activities at IBM Research. "This is one of many exploratory research projects incubating in our labs where we can drive big change for an entire industry while advancing the basic underlying science of solar cell technology."

The researchers developed a system that achieved the "breakthrough" results by coupling a commercial solar cell to an IBM liquid metal thermal cooling system using methods developed for the semiconductor industry.

IBM adds that concentrator-based photovoltaics technologies have the potential to offer the lowest-cost solar electricity for large-scale power generation, "provided the temperature of the cells can be kept low, and cheap and efficient optics can be developed for concentrating the light to very high levels."

IBM is not planning to make solar cells itself, but expects to license the technology, and potentially its lens technology as well, to solar equipment manufacturers.

The company is also developing nanotechnology structures, involving nanowires and quantum dot semiconductors, to make photovoltaic cells more efficient.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/11/2008 6:23 PM

I found this at a solar power site. "

Incident Solar Energy on the ground:

  • Average over the entire earth = 164 Watts per square meter over a 24 hour day
  • 8 hour summer day, 40 degree latitude 600 Watts per sq. meter
So over this 8 hour day one receives:
  • 8 hours x 600 watts per sq. m = 4800 watt-hours per sq. m which equals 4.8 kilowatt hours per sq. m
  • This is equivalent to 0.13 gallons of gasoline
  • For 1000 square feet of horizontal area (typical roof area) this is equivalent to 12 gallons of gas or about 450 KWH

But to go from energy received to energy generated requires conversion of solar energy into other forms (heat, electricity) at some reduced level of efficiency."

Try figuring the amount of power used by an entire state, then compute the area needed for the collectors. Using concentrators only makes the PV panel smaller, it doesn't increase the power per square meter of surface. Then compute in additional area to compensate for the PV panels efficiency. It may require covering almost half the state with collectors.

Solar power has a limited use as a supplementary source of power, since you cannot increase the energy coming from the sun. However, I do feel that it should be used wherever appropriate, feasible and economical.

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#55
In reply to #53

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/12/2008 6:38 PM

So that leaves us with the algae farms as the only overall solution?

For some reason, that thought doesn't sit right with me. There has to be more we can do.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/12/2008 7:14 PM

Orpheuse, Of course there is much more we can do. However what will we be allowed to do? (Regulations, environmental litigation, and direct interference by those who control the energy conglomerates are definite impediments to a new energy source)

Not to mention scientists in the engineering fields saying something is impossible.

There is an old saying (1800's) "Science has done it's utmost to prevent what science has done." Unfortunately that is still true today.

What I believe we should be asking ourselves is, how bad do we want it? What are we willing to do to get it?

Just my opinion Dragon

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#58
In reply to #56

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/12/2008 7:39 PM

Thank you, Dragonsfarm, for your response. How do we get past the 'powers that be'?

Can we harvest crops and light on the same field?

I have to leave this alone for now. Talk to you tomorrow, and, thanks again. You are a credit to your avatar.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#57
In reply to #55

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/12/2008 7:28 PM

I know what bothers me about it. It reminds me of "Soylent Green", a Charleton Heston film.

/Ari (Orpheuse)

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#59
In reply to #55

Re: World’s first renewable gasoline

06/12/2008 8:31 PM

Orpheuse- I doubt that there is any one overall solution. It is more likely to become a blend of many different solutions, each doing what it does most economically and dependably. All the alternatives can be tried, some will be better than others. There should be no subsidies, artificial protection or favoritism for any alternative energy source, nor should there be any political bias or favoritism for one type or another be shown by governments. Let them all battle it out on as equal a footing as possible.

As long as people are upset over CO2, then using plants, such as algae, to remove the CO2, release oxygen and create fuel is good. It is carbon neutral.

Two things every engineer knows: "KISS-Keep It Simple Stupid " and "Nothing is ever simple." It applies to energy production too.

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