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British Engineers Produce Amazing 'petrol From Air' Technology


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Electric cars will never be commercially viaible. The only time they will become comerically viaible is when petrol becomes commercially viaible. But at that point we will be at the end of the period of cheap energy and no fuel will be cheap enough to be viaible. We need to invest in large scale nuclear research, it is the only energy that will be able to generate enough energy cheap enough. The only other energy I can see working is concentrated solar power in desert locations, but that again is in it's infancy and needs proper investment to be viaible.

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This petrol synthesis tech looks potentially useful when attached to the output from(say) a fossil fuels power station - pretty easy to get CO2 there, nice warm reactive CO2 as well.

Let's just assume for a second this fossil fuel power station is burning petrol. So you burn the petrol to make energy and CO2.

Now you take that energy plus the CO2 and add more energy (due to efficiency loss) to get your petrol back, plus some more CO2 (from the extra energy). You just invented a machine that wastes energy and produces CO2.

I think we can all agree how useless that is.

So the twist is we use coal instead.

So the only question we need answer in your scenario is this:

Is it more efficient to make liquid fuel directly from coal, or go through an intermediate stage of making CO2 and energy? Whadda you think?

And by the way, the warmer that CO2 exhaust produced in the fossil fuel plant, the lower the efficiency of your fossil fuel plant. So yeah, it might be, as you say, "more reactive", but you are totally ignoring the reason for its creation in the first place.

Did I hear anyone say 1st law of thermodynamics?

For heaven's sake, let's please concentrate on how this "groundbreaking" tech came into existence: this is not an attempt to make petrol but to sequester CO2. That should give us a clue concerning the energy cost of the whole process.

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Let's just assume for a second this fossil fuel power station is burning petrol. So you burn the petrol to make energy and CO2.

Now you take that energy plus the CO2 and add more energy (due to efficiency loss) to get your petrol back, plus some more CO2 (from the extra energy). You just invented a machine that wastes energy and produces CO2.

I think we can all agree how useless that is.

So the twist is we use coal instead.

So the only question we need answer in your scenario is this:

Is it more efficient to make liquid fuel directly from coal, or go through an intermediate stage of making CO2 and energy? Whadda you think?

And by the way, the warmer that CO2 exhaust produced in the fossil fuel plant, the lower the efficiency of your fossil fuel plant. So yeah, it might be, as you say, "more reactive", but you are totally ignoring the reason for its creation in the first place.

Did I hear anyone say 1st law of thermodynamics?

For heaven's sake, let's please concentrate on how this "groundbreaking" tech came into existence: this is not an attempt to make petrol but to sequester CO2. That should give us a clue concerning the energy cost of the whole process.

You need to stop making assumptions that you're clever and everyone else is stupid.

Siting such technology next to a fossil-fuel power station is not to use the energy from the power station, but to have handy warm CO2 available in large quantities as taking it from normal air is, I assume, slower and more energy-intensive. However to make any sense, the input energy must come from surplus renewables, or any surplus that the grid doesn't need at a given moment, so it'd be helpful if a windfarm is not far away.

It's merely taking advantage of the fact that fossil-fuel power stations aren't going away any time soon, and will be sequestering the CO2 for something at least a bit useful.

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You need to stop making assumptions that you're clever and everyone else is stupid.

Siting such technology next to a fossil-fuel power station is not to use the energy from the power station, but to have handy warm CO2 available in large quantities as taking it from normal air is, I assume, slower and more energy-intensive. However to make any sense, the input energy must come from surplus renewables, or any surplus that the grid doesn't need at a given moment, so it'd be helpful if a windfarm is not far away.

It's merely taking advantage of the fact that fossil-fuel power stations aren't going away any time soon, and will be sequestering the CO2 for something at least a bit useful.

How is it sequestering the CO2 if you take the fuel produced from the CO2 you have "sequestered" and burn it again ?

What is the net squestering ?

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So why has the greatest white goods car manufacturer drooped the electric car? Toyota

Don't know - they're leaders in hybrid and maybe have just decided to go full pelt for that market, they could always scrap the hybird part and go full electric at some stage again.

There's plenty of action elsewhere though. A near 100 mile range is no real issue for many drivers (especially those with access to an IC car as well).

Up front price is the problem. THe technology is getting by every year, it jsut needs to break certain price / volume limits.

25 minute for a fast charge, the limit for fast charging now is not the batteries, it is the mains supply and availability of charging points, only a few years ago anything like this charging rate would cook batteries (or worse). Unlike petrol stations a charging point can be installed pretty much anywhere roadside where there is an electriciaty supply. Again cost is a factor £10K's per point is nowhere near cheap enough.

16.4KW full charge - at 13.7p (standard rate), 4.6 (economy 7) gives a recharge cost of just over £2 or much less on economy 7 minus whatever the charging losses are.

http://recombu.com/cars/articles/news/kia-to-enter-electric-car-market-with-soul

Exact specifications are scarcer than a scarce thing but test vehicles of the Kia Soul EV have been spotted at the company's technical headquarters in Russelsheim, Germany, suggesting the wait for more information won't be an agonising one.

It's sensible to assume the electric motor from the Kia Ray EV will be used as a basis for the Soul EV, so you can expect a minimum of 129lb/ft of torque from a single 50kW (67bhp) unit. The Ray's power came from a 16.4kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged in 25 minutes with fast charging and six hours when plugged into a good old fashioned wall socket.

Kia says the range of the Ray is 86 miles, putting it between the 100 mile Nissan Leaf and the 75 mile Citroen DS3 Electum ranges, ensuring the Soul would be competitive in its field. Just don't expect lightning performance - 0-60mph in the Ray allegedly took 15.9 seconds, which is an age even for electric car

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How is it sequestering the CO2 if you take the fuel produced from the CO2 you have "sequestered" and burn it again ?

What is the net squestering ?

None.

But the CO2 that would otherwise go straight into the atmosphere will spend some time in the form of fuel first and will act as an indirect store for surplus renewable energy.

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None.

But the CO2 that would otherwise go straight into the atmosphere will spend some time in the form of fuel first and will act as an indirect store for surplus renewable energy.

You've burnt more fuel to create the energy to arrange all the components back into a liquid burnable form to burn in an engine/system that has 20% maximum efficiency.

Sheer madness, inefficient and designed to only do one thing - feed off carbon tax and CO2 emission regs/targets and taxpayer money.

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It's sensible to assume the electric motor from the Kia Ray EV will be used as a basis for the Soul EV, so you can expect a minimum of 129lb/ft of torque from a single 50kW (67bhp) unit. The Ray's power came from a 16.4kWh lithium-ion battery that can be charged in 25 minutes with fast charging and six hours when plugged into a good old fashioned wall socket.

Kia says the range of the Ray is 86 miles, putting it between the 100 mile Nissan Leaf and the 75 mile Citroen DS3 Electum ranges, ensuring the Soul would be competitive in its field. Just don't expect lightning performance - 0-60mph in the Ray allegedly took 15.9 seconds, which is an age even for electric car

I think people may have to accept that electric vehicles will never be a drop in replacement for existing four wheeled garden sheds. I can cycle to Manchester on perhaps 1kwh. E-bikes might well replace a lot of second cars. I'm not saying electric cars will be like glorified Sinclair C5's but bear in mind a Citroen 2CV only had a 20kW petrol engine and it was reasonably drivable. (I had a slightly more powerful twin pot Visa and it was a delight).

The electric cars you quote above are just electric versions of current petrol cars. Its not going to work. They are going to have to become lower, sleeker to combat air and rolling resistance. If you were to build a car to cope with average urban speeds you don't need anywhere near a 50kw electric motor.

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I think people may have to accept that electric vehicles will never be a drop in replacement for existing four wheeled garden sheds. I can cycle to Manchester on perhaps 1kwh. E-bikes might well replace a lot of second cars. I'm not saying electric cars will be like glorified Sinclair C5's but bear in mind a Citroen 2CV only had a 20kW petrol engine and it was reasonably drivable. (I had a slightly more powerful twin pot Visa and it was a delight).

The electric cars you quote above are just electric versions of current petrol cars. Its not going to work. They are going to have to become lower, sleeker to combat air and rolling resistance. If you were to build a car to cope with average urban speeds you don't need anywhere near a 50kw electric motor.

I think the motors are rated partly to compensate for the large battery packs, electric drives should be much more efficient kw vs kw for an IC engine. Bit of a vicious circle - larger motor to compensate for battery weight means heavier motor, larger transmission, larger controller, thicker cabling, sturdier brakes.

Ultra-light is the way to go for the really efficient cars, together with continuous improves in motor / controller / regen / battery (higher power density and less overall weight and volume) / regenerative braking. Then the weight / capacity of all the components will reduce and your 20kw engine is now fine for the job (mainly urban runabout). Drag only really becomes a major issue at higher speeds (square law).

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I think people may have to accept that electric vehicles will never be a drop in replacement for existing four wheeled garden sheds. I can cycle to Manchester on perhaps 1kwh. E-bikes might well replace a lot of second cars. I'm not saying electric cars will be like glorified Sinclair C5's but bear in mind a Citroen 2CV only had a 20kW petrol engine and it was reasonably drivable. (I had a slightly more powerful twin pot Visa and it was a delight).

The electric cars you quote above are just electric versions of current petrol cars. Its not going to work. They are going to have to become lower, sleeker to combat air and rolling resistance. If you were to build a car to cope with average urban speeds you don't need anywhere near a 50kw electric motor.

Once we get rid of most of the danger in driving(i.e. when the cars become driverless), the format of them can change as well. If there won't be a collision, then all the heavy collision safety stuff won't be needed. That will extend the range considerably, even without battery improvements.

Google have got licences for driverless cars in the US already, I think, and they've done a lot of miles, so it's not as far off as people think. Problem is, how will we get the petrolheads to give up being the driver?

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You've burnt more fuel to create the energy to arrange all the components back into a liquid burnable form to burn in an engine/system that has 20% maximum efficiency.

Sheer madness, inefficient and designed to only do one thing - feed off carbon tax and CO2 emission regs/targets and taxpayer money.

The key word in my post was "surplus".

Invent a decent battery and this tech goes in the bin, I agree with that point.

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Once we get rid of most of the danger in driving(i.e. when the cars become driverless), the format of them can change as well. If there won't be a collision, then all the heavy collision safety stuff won't be needed. That will extend the range considerably, even without battery improvements.

Google have got licences for driverless cars in the US already, I think, and they've done a lot of miles, so it's not as far off as people think. Problem is, how will we get the petrolheads to give up being the driver?

This is true too. I was watching "New Tricks" the other night and it showed an above shot of Dennis Waterman pulling up in his Triumph Stag and his boss pulled up in her BMW convertible. The BMW dwarfed the Stag and the Stag isn't a small car, A few years back I photographed a 1960's Jaguar 420G parked next to a Ford Focus. The Focus towered over the Jag and was altogether more bulbous in part I'm sure due to all the crash protection stuff.

You would have to do the math, in electric cars. Passengers sitting behind each other, like a bobsleigh to reduce frontal area. Light weight composite materials, low friction tyres, and even (gasp) like cyclists the motorists of the future might even have to loose weight. Perhaps then you could achieve with 10kW with what we currently need 50-60 kwh and more for.

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Driving 1000 miles to Spain is hardly a common car usage scenario, is it ?

No, but it is something I do every year or so, and if I had an electic car, I would need to hire a proper car to go on holiday for three weeks. I don't often drive more than 200 miles in a day, but, I'd need to hire a car if I wanted to do it.

So we have an electic car that costs 30K, that is significantly less useful than a car costing, well, peanuts. That"s a pretty hard sell.

If you reframe the argument by saying "electricity will remain cheap and diesel will be expensive", the calculations change. I don't think that will be the case: if diesel goes to the moon, so will electricity, fuels are pretty fungible to industry.

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From the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/fuel/9619269/British-engineers-produce-amazing-petrol-from-air-technology.html

Can our resident scientists comment on whether this looks kosher?

hardly surprising the big oil companies are none too happy with it.

..but if this is legit,then it's very encouraging.

(of course,being the conspiracy theorist that I am,the name "fuel-air syndicate" has totally different connotations..which is for me to know,and everybody else to find out in a year or two).

a picture tells a thousand words....so I thought of two which might work.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRksGLWKG_wNCYdsTtknmmjBimm3UwWRU6XGpPT-tDETNFaRvvRfQ

tumbleweed.jpg

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No, but it is something I do every year or so, and if I had an electic car, I would need to hire a proper car to go on holiday for three weeks. I don't often drive more than 200 miles in a day, but, I'd need to hire a car if I wanted to do it.

So we have an electic car that costs 30K, that is significantly less useful than a car costing, well, peanuts. That"s a pretty hard sell.

If you reframe the argument by saying "electricity will remain cheap and diesel will be expensive", the calculations change. I don't think that will be the case: if diesel goes to the moon, so will electricity, fuels are pretty fungible to industry.

If you define not being able to drive to Spain once per year in it as "significantly less useful" then I suppose you are right.

Of course we all have different prices we are willing to pay in order to adopt more limited (cheaper) technology.

Personally I'd take the plane and hire one when I got there, or take the boat and sail down. But I am sure we could find some exotic reasons why these solutions are also impractical.

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Of course we all have different prices we are willing to pay in order to adopt more limited (cheaper) technology.

You're trying to persuade me that I should buy a more expensive car that is less capable than my current car. So far, I'm not persuaded.

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You're trying to persuade me that I should buy a more expensive car that is less capable than my current car. So far, I'm not persuaded.

Actually I'm not.

I'm simply trying to say that your specific circumstances are relatively uncommon (or can be accommodated through viable alternatives), and don't constitute a good argument as to why electric cars are impractical for the general population.

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Actually I'm not.

I'm simply trying to say that your specific circumstances are relatively uncommon (or can be accommodated through viable alternatives), and don't constitute a good argument as to why electric cars are impractical for the general population.

well building an infrastucture solely upon electric cars certainly would be...it is actually a security threat.

precisely because they depend on the one fuel source.

better to have a mixture of a dozen or so......technically not the most efficient,but should brown stuff hit rotating blade then you have options.

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well building an infrastucture solely upon electric cars certainly would be...it is actually a security threat.

precisely because they depend on the one fuel source.

better to have a mixture of a dozen or so......technically not the most efficient,but should brown stuff hit rotating blade then you have options.

I agree.

I support renewables because of this, not because they are environmentally friendly.

In some respects though I think battery cars are most useful for the shorter journeys as others point out, rather than the longer ones. And short journeys can always be done on foot/bike rather than by car if absolutely necessary.

The average daily private car mileage in the Uk is 22.8 miles (ONS). This strikes me as being well within the range of electric cars.

Edit, that is private so may exclude business usage.

Edit again, does anyone remember milk floats ? What were the economics behind those considering the battery technology was so dismal then ?

Edit again, oh dear http://www.milkfloats.org.uk/faq.html about 10p per mile.

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Edit again, oh dear http://www.milkfloats.org.uk/faq.html about 10p per mile.

Probably more like 15p a mile now (1 kwh per mile) though milk floats are mostly recharged on off peak electricity, The series wound motors found in milk floats though are more designed for constant stop/start and normally no more than 60-70% efficient,

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I think in effect it's the reverse of the (broad strokes) chemical reaction:

fuel + air => energy + water + carbon dioxide

So effectively rather than releasing energy from fuel, they are locking energy back up in fuel.

(It's more complicated than that, but you get the idea. There's a big thread about it on the main forum with lots of details. EDIT: Ah! We're on it.)

Yep, I started a thread then saw the other one. Gave myself a slap, and did a bit of merging.

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Well of course.

I bet you told your little brothers/sisters that Santa was just mum and dad didn't you ?

I think in effect it's the reverse of the (broad strokes) chemical reaction:

fuel + air => energy + water + carbon dioxide

So effectively rather than releasing energy from fuel, they are locking energy back up in fuel.

(It's more complicated than that, but you get the idea. There's a big thread about it on the main forum with lots of details. EDIT: Ah! We're on it.)

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