Post in 'The Green Room' started by firefighterjake, Oct 29, 2011.
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I saw a short piece on tv about "straw board" a couple of years ago and have wondered since if it could be used for a different kind of biobrick. I know that's not what your link looks at, but it reminded me of that.
If it's that easy I need to make one and I could be burning my own fuel oil.
Pretty sweet! Simply always wins........
Right now they are finding so much Natural Gas in PA and surrounding states that it could easily get us off of foreign oil if the government and big oil companies would put a push on to convert cars to run off of it. We have the Saudi Arabia of natural gas right here. We have leased or land and I will not even know when they drill because the well will not be on my property since they can drill laterally now over a mile down. I understand the wells produce for 30 to 40 years.
The ultimate answer is hydrogen, the most plentiful element in the universe. It is everywhere, we have oceans full of it, and when you burn it, it turns back into water. I cannot believe that no one has figured an inexpensive way to convert water into hydrogen. Supposedly people have and some of them have been found dead. You don't think the big oil companies would like us to put water in our tanks do you?
The thing I like about burning wood is that it helps make me self sufficient. If there was a way that I could collect rainwater, grass clippings, twigs, leftover rice-a-roni, whatever, and dump that into my "as seen on TV" processor and then power my house, car, furnace, whatever, then I know we are on the right track. Right now it's the processing of these things into fuels that makes me shrug my shoulders. As long as I have to pay money for the processed fuels, then it's 6 of one half-dozen of the other.
Not to rain on your parade, but ...
"Fracking" to extract gas from Marcellus shale is not all that rosy. The chemicals that are forced into the shale at enormous pressure are a secret. Cheney & friends gave that away years back. There are now serious questions about gross overestimation of gas reserves in deep shales.
Hydrogen is NOT found in elemental or molecular H2 form. Being so reactive, it's found as molecules composed of many different subsances. Meaning, LOTS of energy will have to be input to extract the hydrogen. Water is the byproduct of burning H2 and O2.
Hydrogen gas is extremely difficult to contain- molecule size of H2 is such that it will escape through extremely small brazing imperfections at tube joints.
Hydrogen is also extremely dangerous- concentrations ranging from 5-95% in air can be ignited. This fact really raised the pucker-factor of crew in diesel subs while charging batteries. (Nearing full charge, H2 evolution rate soared.)
Panaceas and conspiracy-theories are stuff for Popular Mechanics vice Scientific American.
Just think Hindenburg
They already have hydrogen cars, it is liquid form, not any more dangerous as other fuels as I understand. My son is working in the gas business here and I can tell you it is booming business. There are problems with extracting any fuel (as we know about oil spills), my experience with gas wells is that once the well is drilled all you have is a few pipes coming out of the ground and they have been drilling wells for over 100 years.
With the right combination of technology and materials, all kinds of "fuel", and even processing their waste by-products (Wood Pellets from furniture manufacturing), can be made.
Considering the need for cheaper fuels and power, Hydrogen has it potential, just like gases of Propane and others. The key is not to "write-off" its future just because the technology isn't ready. With the advent of lightweight and strong carbon fiber storage tanks, progress is being made to even store compressed air for powering air motors....
Maybe a good example of technology and potential is Aluminum. When Aluminum ore was discovered it was so expensive to process, it was worth more than gold; rich people had their wedding rings made from it. When technology caught up with processing the abundance of the metal, and saw its expanding applications, today Aluminum's cost is so low, that even high quality scrap only sells for .71 cents a pound.
How Hydrogen will be use, only Time and Technology will tell.
Good comments Bill. All we have to do is look at the Sun as a hydrogen power source that can burn for billions of years. As I understand it every element came from Hydrogen and that is why it is the most abundant element. As I understand it cars that can burn both Hyrdogen and gasoline are already in production and there is no loss of power with Hydrogen. And enviromentally it does not have the waste products. The whole key is having the oil companies build pumping stations for natural gas and hydrogen. Exxon has already purchased a large natural gas company and they know it is the future as does Boone Pickens (he has a Green Gas Company and pushing hard for government acceptance by both parties).
And as far as natural gas reserves being underestimated I find that absurd. As I understand it, the reserves are like an iceberg. The deeper they drill the more they find. There is no need to go deeper now as they are finding abundunt supplies. As I understand it everywhere they drill they are hitting natural gas around here. Some is dryer than others, but even the wet gas can be used many ways in propane, butane, plastics, etc.
Hmmm, maybe not the best choice of adjective in this context... but very funny none the less. :lol:
I thought the same when I wrote it, Punny.
Assuming the October 28th test went as well as everyone said it went, I prefer Nickel & Hydrogen fuel:
I once mathematically proved that you could solve all the world's energy problems with a simple generator attached to a treadmill pushed by a pair of porcupines and 6 tons of raisins.
But then unfortunately I found out porcupines are allergic to raisins.
The key issue with all that natural gas is the only way to extract it efficiently is by hydrofracking, and the granola crowd is dead set against it over drinking water aquafer concerns. Ironically the only way to get my drinking water at my house was to drill a well down 440 feet and then hydrofrack it.
Hydrogen is a good solution for combustibles, the problem there is there is virtually no free hydrogen on earth. You have to electrolize water to get it (as you noted). The energy cost of splitting water apart, separating the two component elements and storing them usefully is too high right now. Might be a good use for a windfarm or solar plant out in the middle of nowhere though. Lots of companies have been running hydrogen powered car programs for quite some time now, BMW among them I beleive. Thus far its been proven to be impractical from an infrastructure point of view. The car's are easy enough I think...internal combustion is internal combustion, you have to design the fine moving parts around the fuel you're burning but its really relatively simple to do...the hard part is the infrastructure...it would have to be built essentially parallel to the gasoline infrastructure and both would need to be operated side by side for decades before the gasoline cars are sufficiently outnumbered by hydrogen.
Actually, the Hindenburg had a problem because it was painted with the equivalent of solid rocket fuel.
I had to do some research on it back in the day, and the hydrogen bladders were coated in layers of a powdered aluminum mixture that is what goes into rockets today. They threw down the landing ropes that got wet from the storm, and that was enough of a conductor to let some lighting strikes hit it, and then it was all over.
There is the famous picture with the flames coming off of it, and those are reported to be from the diesel fuel that was dumped from the engines (the flames are heading downward, Hydrogen flames would be up near the bladder)
Obviously having a big bag of flammable gas didnt help matters, but that wasnt the main cause of its demise!
The fracking issue gets discussed to death. I dont like it for three reasosn - #1 for the potential groundwater pollution #2 because it just keeps us on fossil fuels that much longer with the resulting GW potential and #3 because a lot of what I read says that frac wells run dry much faster than conventional - a boom and bust.
If you are using hydrogen to burn in combustion or in a fuel cell its basically a net zeroor even energy negative fuel. The reason is that as everyone points out it costs energy to separate it from water - in fact it takes an equal amount of energy to make hydrogen from water via electrolysis as you get back from powering a fuel cell to make electricity (remember - a fuel cell is electrolysis in reverse).
A hydrogen powered fuel cell is really just a battery without the recharge time issues.
Today, the only cheap way to get hydrogen is to manufacture it from natural gas. Which provides less net energy than just burning the NG.
When fusion is no longer "50 years away" then lets talk.
Sorry to be blunt, but people need to stop reading an editorial by a finance guy in the Wall Street Journal that is on the same page as a Texaco ad and assume that there is any scientific validity to it.
It is interesting to hear all the replies. My view is that NG is a stepping stone, and one that is good for at least 100 years, and frankly I or none of us will be around past that. There are lots of protests against it, but frankly farmers are getting way to rich to be against it. I heard of 1 farmer who went from dirt poor to makeing $29,000 a day, and he can still farm! That is hard to pass up. I spoke to another farmer who has 2,000 acres. He told me if he just leased 1,000 acres at $3,000 per acre finders fee, he would get $30 million before they drill and the big money comes in. He said farming would just be for fun then. By the way, I have city water so I have abosultely no fear of water problems.
There have been very few legitimate drinking water problems that I have heard about, they drill and frac way below the water table and they are not permitted to use creeks or other sources of water. It has become big business to bring in waste water and dam up all water used in fracking. I would much rather have this than foreign oil, and by the way, they are finding lots of oil doing this also. I have heard just the opposite about fracked wells running out sooner. I am hearing 30 to 40 years from Range Resources.
As said earlier there is already someone selling Hyrdogen energy plants, it is coming. I agree infrastructue is the key unless someone makes it real easy. I read where Honda bought the rights to a device you could hook up in your house that would make hydrogen, I am assuming from natural gas. It would be nice to fill up your tank at home. Hydrogen is the most plentiful element so I am sure someone will figure a method. It burns clean also.
Saw a sign in a hydrogen generation facility - "If you are going to smoke, please wear a parachute."
And where does the city water come from?
Don't get me wrong. I am all for putting overseas energy out of business. We are funding our own demise as a country by sending money to people who would cut our throats in an instant if they thought they would survive. The sooner we use our own resources and talent to provide for ourselves the better.
The anti-"fracking" nonsense is pretty much unsupported by the facts and is the work of people who are allergic to oil & gas. These wells are way below -- like a mile below -- the water table. Anti-fracking is a "save the underground rocks" movement. We are the Saudi Arabia of natural gas and we should develop that resource.
JimboM the water supply comes from the township they don't seem worried.
I am with you LIJack, many people that are against this are jealous or just tree huggers that are against most anything (don't cut a tree down we will be out of them, I can hardly see the sky where I live, I have more fear of trees falling on my house). The gas is here and more than we can imagine, this is putting alot of people to work and could get us off of foreign oil. Hydrogen and renewal energy is the more distant future, but lets get off of foreign oil
I agree with fracking and drilling for our own resources. We are transferring wealth to people who will kill us in an instant given the chance. Had it not been for Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732, we would all be locked in a medieval theocracy. He stopped the first Islamic expansion into modern Europe and preserved the germs of modern civilization. The second Islamic expansion is underway this century and we are funding it with oil money.
Drinking water in much of the country comes from deep wells. Our municipal wells here in the Ozarks(1150' elevation) go down to sea level. As you pass your fracking infrastructure and materials down through the aquifers and bring the gas up through the aquifers the potential for ruining those aquifers is there. We are smart enough to do it correctly, but for-profit energy development needs to invest the money to insure it is done. It is a cost of doing business and cannot be avoided. There is some actual historical evidence that entrepreneurs looking to succeed in business will sacrifice clean water to make money.
My dream is to own a wood-powered car. Gives "warming up the car" a whole new meaning...
Would have to be a wood gasification unit, I imagine.
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