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Passions in Poetry

New Energy Solutions?

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Fade
Junior Member
since 03-06-2006
Posts 38
on a (temporall) plane


0 posted 03-17-2006 11:09 PM       View Profile for Fade   Email Fade   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Fade

We really need new energy sources for all sorts of things. Gasoline is taking a terrible toll on our atmosphere, with global warming and all. I wonder what kind of alternatives exist. We have got to do something. We are actually destroying our planet.

I like to imagine electrically powered automobiles , and instead of gas pumps, electrical chargers where one could pull up and plug in.

What other ideas are out there now, and what ideas does anyone wanna share on this thread?
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


1 posted 03-17-2006 11:40 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

There's many things out there, and all have pros and cons.

Saline power: Almost impractical due to output compared to cost.
Wind:  Doable, but requires enormous windmills and are expensive to maintain.
Solar:  Very expensive and requires a roughly 14x70 feet solar array just to power a normal house.
Hydrogen:  Inexpensive, but is a heavy CO2 polluter.
Hydro:  Most common renewable energy resource, but requires flooding canyons and everything inside that canyon.

Electric vehicles are rather silent, but the energy needs to come from somewhere.  Most innovative vehicle I've seen runs on frying oil and grease.  There's also natural gas vehicles as well as propane.  The nat gas ones, like the electric, can be refueled at home.  Like others, I've heard about vegetable oils being refined, but I'm afraid the Oil Lobby will do everything in their power to block any such initiative by use of the House Ways and Means (budgets and funding for everything) and Energy Committees, irrespective of who's holding office.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


2 posted 03-18-2006 02:40 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

www.carfree.com
scorpio
Member Ascendant
since 10-02-2002
Posts 5709
right...there


3 posted 03-18-2006 09:44 AM       View Profile for scorpio   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for scorpio

Ethanol is another option. If we increase the ethanol in our gas or run cars on pure ethanol we could drastically reduce our need for foreign oil.  We would be growing our fuel.  And expanding wind generation of electricity is a definite direction for us.  
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


4 posted 03-18-2006 10:45 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

In west Texas along Interstate 10 there's hundreds of acres used for wind turbines.  Those suckers are huge!  Problem is that the land can't really be used for anything else.  Even cattle shy away due to the vibration.  Of course, I still remember the fellow up north who used his acreage for a wind farm for green power.  He was vehemently protested by green groups for despoiling the landscape and view.  And then there's the wind farms off Cape Cod in Nantucket Sound that do provide clean power but are protested by some land owners and eco-activists for ruining the view.

Ethanol has been proposed for decades.  I can still recall the debates of the late 70's.  Pressure from OPEC and the Oil Lobby has been successful thus far in stifling wholesale implementation.  Perhaps if Congress limits or removes Lobbyist activity within Congress, things just might change.  But I'm not that optimistic.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


5 posted 03-18-2006 11:34 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Throughout much of the Midwest, and I think especially in Michigan with its dual focus on agriculture and cars. ethanol fuel is already big business and rapidly growing bigger. A new production plant is going in something like an hour's drive from where I live, and local farmers are excited about an alternative market for their corn. This area grows a LOT of corn!

However, in conventional automobiles, ethanol can comprise at most only ten percent of a viable fuel, making it little more than a stop-gap measure as we continue to struggle to dig the other 90 percent out of the ground. The article I just linked to talks about Flexible Fuel Vehicles, though, which can accept up to an 85 percent ethanol mix.

At that point, I think shoving cobs of field corn into your gas tank starts to make a lot of sense.


Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


6 posted 03-18-2006 02:19 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

When you burn hydrogen (which is called oxidation) all that is happening is that you're combining oxygen atoms with hydrogen atoms -- very quickly.  This does not produce any CO2 -- it produces another very dangerous substance called water!

The thing to remember about fuel is that it is just STORED energy.  Hydrogen is an inexpensive way to STORE energy and distribute energy but it has to be produced because it tends to combine with oxygen atoms very readily.  Hence -- about 70% of the Earth's surface is covered with hydrogen atoms combined with oxygen atoms.

Somehow we have to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen.  

The Bush administration and Republican Congress noticed that hydrocarbons (oil) have hydrogen in them.  So, they thought -- hey -- alternative fuel from OIL!!! Let's subsidize that!!!  

Of course when you remove Hydrogen from hydrocarbons this leaves behind Carbon and Oxygen... CO2 or just CO... bad things to have all around.

Not to mention the fact that we would still just be addicted to oil (or in some instances coal).  Are these guys visionaries or what?

But, over that 70% of the surface of dihydrogen oxide -- guess what happens?  The WIND blows.

Funny thing about dihydrogen oxide too -- when you boil it -- it turns into a very powerfully pressured gas called STEAM!!!  You can boil it with a FREE energy source called the SUN!! No expensive chemical-based solar panels required.
stargal
Senior Member
since 03-06-2006
Posts 1350
OR USA


7 posted 03-25-2006 12:56 PM       View Profile for stargal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for stargal

Idk if this has been mentioned yet but biodiesel?

@-->---

Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


8 posted 03-25-2006 03:20 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Biodeisel is a renewable fuel and it will help reduce dependency on fossil fuels -- but it still does produce carbon dioxide which is bad..

so does ethanol -- and ethanol takes almost as much energy to make as it produces so it only actually saves about 10 to 15 percent over petroleum fuels -- but.. that's at least a start
 
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