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Fuel out of air

This is just a prototype. But there’s a plant in England that has produced a gasoline from CO2 and Water Vapor. Basically engine combustion in reverse.

We can’t get our hopes up too soon. It’s taken them over a month to product a little over a gallon and a half of fuel. But the fuel is ready to be put right into your car. And no one knows how much energy the plant used to product that 1.5 gallons.

This is a prototype plant…just for proof of concept. It still needs a lot more work to make it viable (IF IT CAN BE MADE VIABLE). But I thought it was interesting. If it can be made to work…then it could solve much of our pollution problem and fuel problem at the same time.

But it takes ten times more energy ( including additional fuel sources ) to run the equipment needed to produce a drip of the fuel sought after !

Expending one fuel to make another fuel ?

Like ALL these energy conversion schemes, this process undoubtedly uses FAR more energy than it produces…Only by using so-called “free” energy derived from wind or solar can these things work. But because the amount of free energy is limited, so is production of hydrocarbon fuels through complex chemical processes…

First off…it’s just a prototype. With refinement it could be made viable. Prototype is just a proof of concept. There is very little input into making it efficient. Just that it can be done.

The other thing you have to consider…is ALL energy costs in making a gallon of gas from oil.

How much energy and money is used to drill for oil?

How much energy and money is used to ship the oil to refineries?

How much energy and money is used to refine the oil into gasoline?

When you add all those factors in…the cost is a LOT closer.

Yeah, they’re getting fuel out of pond slime in Minnesota too. Then all of a sudden there will be a paradigm shift and a huge surplus of oil and the Arabs and Mexicans looking for a market for their goo.

Energy from algea driven by the sun is a distinct long term possibility. Reversing a chemical process to get the energy back using existing energy sources is pure nonsense. The laws of thermodynamics (entropy) state that with each energy conversion process energy is LOST and cannot be recovered. All those gadgets generating hydrogen on board to help your car along use MORE energy than they produce.

There are now a number of studies analyzing “well to wheels” energy use and carbon generation , and all have come to some remarkable conclusions. Importing oil from an African country where the associated gas is simply flared off (burned), then have the oil exported to the USA and refined into gasoline to be used in US cars, consumes only 5-10% less energy than gasoline made from Canadian oilsands oil and piped directly to US refineries.

President Obama and the Hollywood media are not aware of these studies, or simply ignore them. Governor Romney IS aware of this secure energy source, and will OK the XL pipeline as soon as he takes office. This 5-10% difference can easily be made up by having US drivers use less gasoline by buying cars with smaller engines. I’m not even counting at this time the huge military expenditure and fuel consumption in “safeguarding” Middle East oil supplies. I do agree with the candidates that North American Energy Independence should be on of the election platforms for both parties. The difference is that Obama wants to susidize the alternative sources with money he does not have!!!

We have discussed at great length the energy and carbon balance in ethanol from corn and the energy to make this stuff uses 75% of the energy it contains as a fuel. Yet the current administration pushes this fuel since it generates a lot of Iowa votes.

Mike is right in stating we have to analyze all the energy inputs when comparing fuels.

Partisan politics requires a great deal of creative schmoozing and both sides are in high gear pointing and attacking and dodging and defending. Like the crew of a sail boat in a regatta, the efforts to steer the boat to victory will require heading into the wind at times. But it is possible to tack across the wind at a speed greater than the wind that you are facing… Politics is such a dirty sport. But consider the alternatives. Roosevelt Knew that we would eventually be drawn into the war with Germany but he reluctantly bided his time until, regretably, Pearl Harbor stirred the masses to jump on board to support the declaration of war. Where would the world be if not for lend-lease and FDR’s efforts to ready us for the war while he nodded in agreement with the mothers who hysterically refused to consider sending their sons to die in another war ‘over there.’ If only Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannety were on the side of working American families we wouldn’t have to face another economic Pearl Harbor.

The hatred of President Obama sure runs deep…Obama didn’t block the XL pipeline project…The governor of Nebraska did, over concerns about river crossings without adequate safeguards to protect Nebraska’s water supply, the Platte river…The Canadian oil, destined for Texas refineries, would have been exported as refined products. Hmmm…

Yes indeed, FDR could never get a declaration of war passed with the deaths of 116,000 killed in the Great War fresh in the minds of most Americans…All that blood for nothing…

Somehow, we have to devise a method where those who declare war would be put in peril first and not last. Or at the very least, members of their immediate family would be subject to a military draft.

Caddyman…you are stepping into a grey area where reason and facts have little to do with politics. There is no such thing as energy independence as your example of the XL pipeline illustrates. Even if we converted all our cars to nat gas, we export enough to still make it suseptable to world pricing. The pipeline is just a way to get Canadian oil refined and shipped overseas. Any discussion of it making us independent is an absolute election fabrication. The best we can hope for is a better world trade balance with these exports.

The future of true independence is the EV being charged on local renewables, not energy company contrivances. When that happens, you can bet your butts some energy company will still find a way of charging us for the sun’s rays.

Thanks Mike good points all.Now as far the energy required there is a process called co generation,a lot of energy in any manufacturing process is simply wasted as radiated heat.Dont have the link but the Navy has divised a process to make Jet Fuel out of seawater(H’mm why has the the Navy have excess energy to burn?)Never say never,we are all aware of the laws of thermodynamics-the energy required will come from somewhere,what an interesting concept -Kevin

Those of you who mention sources of renewable energy being solar and wind should also include geothermal energy. If we find we can make a gasoline-like product, we could do it in a place where we have access to geothermal energy. If we used geothermal energy to produce this product, it wouldn’t matter if it takes more energy to make than it produces because gasoline’s portability is what makes it such a good fuel source, although we would still want to improve the process to be more efficient.

Regarding the XL pipeline, all Obama wanted to do was postpone it to study the environmental impact. In response to the delay, Republicans turned it into a “now or nothing” proposition to exploit it as a political issue. This begs the question: If the XL pipeline is so important, wouldn’t getting it after a delay be preferable to not getting it at all? If it’s so important, wouldn’t it be worth waiting for? Now the project is on perpetual hold, partially as a result of Republicans being inflexible in an effort to score points with hard core Tea Partiers who are against any compromise on any issue.

This sounds like the Navy process where they plan to use excess power on nuclear powered vessels to split water, combine it with co2 and create diesel. Lots more energy used than created but I guess it might make sense if you have a reactor out in the middle of the ocean. I don’t see how it would make sense otherwise.

“This sounds like the Navy process…”

A lot of non-government applications grow out of government programs. This certainly could be one of them.

This sounds like the Navy process where they plan to use excess power on nuclear powered vessels to split water, combine it with co2 and create diesel.

If you don’t compare ALL energy and costs from getting it out of the ground in the middle east to the gas station in North Dakota…then you’re just comparing apples to oranges. You have to compare the total cost…or your analysis is meaningless.

FUEL FROM AIR … does anyone remember a few years back, the cars built in France which ran on compressed air? Standard engines in these vehicles. No fancy technology needed, just a compressor to fill the air tanks. What ever happened to this great idea? -Dave

I can’t imagine the size of the air tanks and the compressor that would be needed to power a car for any distance on compressed air. Also, you would never get as much energy out of the engine as it would take to run the compressor.

Docnick,
Gas flares due to the production of oil are rare not common. Routinely the gaseous portion of the produced oil is condensed and either used on site for power or pumped back into the well feild to prevent premature pore pressure failure. The limited images of ‘flares’ on oil feilds are what is called sour gas. This is at least 75% h2s (hydrogen sulfide). It is flared as opposed to stored because it damages the pipeline equipment. Also H2S is really nasty to store and there are limited options to split the hydrogen off in a cost effective way.

@Caddyman ; There has been a major shift in US oil and gas production. Oil used to come mostly from Texas, and shipped North to refineries in the industrial Mid West. We now have huge refing capacity in the Gulf area and increasing oil production in the North (North Dakota, Minnesota, etc) as well as increasing IMPORTS from Canada.

The XL pipeline is needed to move oil from North to South where most of the refineries are. It will transport Candian crude oil as well as US oil from the Northern states. The state of Nebraska rightfully wanted some changes in the route, and the company has already complied. The main reason for Obama postponing the decision (not necessarily promising the permit) till after the election was all those environmental and other protest groups parading in front of the White House. And, of course the Hollywood/California media.

In fact, the part to be approved was only a few feet; the part that crosses the US-Canadian border. The US section itself was already permitted, and the Canadian government had already approved the Canadian section. The federal government had jurisdiction only because th line crossed an international border.

Older US refineries in the Mid West are gradually being shut down, and refined product is shipped by product pipeline from the South. The US imports about 50% of its oil, mostly from Canada and Mexico, as well as Africa and the Middle East. Venezuela used to be a major supplier. That oil is now going mostly to China. Contrary to popular belief, the US is not an net exporter of refined products, some are shipped to Mexico which has a tight refining situation. That amount dwarfs what the US IMPORTS from Mexico in the form of crude oil. The East Coast also imports large amounts of finished product (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel) from overseas.

Minnesota producers are now shipping oil by RAIL to the Gulf Coast since pipeline capacity is so stretched!

Mike, the numbers I’ve seen put the energy use to refine and ship oil into gasoline at about 20%. That’s also consistent with cost of crude vs gasoline. I’m pretty sure that’s less than the energy needed to reassemble gasoline from water and co2.

Mike, the numbers I've seen put the energy use to refine and ship oil into gasoline at about 20%. That's also consistent with cost of crude vs gasoline. I'm pretty sure that's less than the energy needed to reassemble gasoline from water and co2.

First off those numbers have ALWAYS been skewed. Some figures I’ve seen say its’ closer to 50%.

But I agree right now it’s far more expensive. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be made cheaper. Look at LCD tv’s. They were very very expensive to make. Then a company in Japan figured out a way to do it cheaper…Cost dropped over 75% in less then 2 years.

Is making gas from air TOO expensive…sure it is. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done cheaply. And there’s a very good chance it never will be. But I think it’s way too early to give up on the technology just yet. If we gave up on technology so soon…we’d all still be watching TV on our 27" that suck up huge amounts of electricity.