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Thread: Alternate fuels?

  1. #1
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    Obviously gasoline/deisel are not going to be around forever, and with technology is advancing research more and more, what are your thoughts as to realistic alternative fuels in the future?

    Some say corn is possibly the solution as it can be turned into ethanol, but all I see is that skyrocketing the price of corn. Hydrogen is another one of the suggested fuels, but again, I see the price being driven up.

    To me, the only logical solution is electric or water powered vehicles. Even electricity has it's limitations though.

    Long distance trips are currently not a possibility with those vehicles as most need recharging after 100 or miles or so. But they seem great for most day-to-day commuting.

    I found a video on YouTube about water powered vehicles and it seems fantastic. The video shows one of the concepts explained on a vehicle that reportedly gets 100 miles from 4 ounces of nothing but water.

    Thoughts?



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  2. The Drawing Room   -   #2
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    For electric cars to be a solution first they need to find some kind of alternative to the national grid to charge them. Our grids struggle with hot days when everyone is running their air conditioning, what effect would mass switching to electric cars have?
    Plus, as already mentioned with corn, the extra demand would have the effect of pricing household electric out of reach
    Perhaps the solution would be to build more power plants, but then all that would be doing is switching the problem from cars to the power station.

    Circle circle circle.

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  3. The Drawing Room   -   #3
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    Right now, some of the hybrid cars use the friction when braking to build an electrical charge that helps to recharge the vehicles batteries. Perhaps in a few years the cars will be made so that the spinning of the wheels will create the charge, thus allowing the vehicle to charge itself and eliminate the power plant issue.



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  4. The Drawing Room   -   #4
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    I don't understand why oil won't be around forever.

    The oil we are using now is what, decomposing rainforest from millions of years ago or whatever, so why isn't more being created all the time, from the decomposing rainforest from like thousands of years ago? There should be a steady stream of new oil being created all the time shouldn't there, otherwise what happens to all the decomposing rainforest?

    I'd like someone to explain this properly to me please.

  5. The Drawing Room   -   #5
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    I suppose the simplest explanation is that we're using the stuff far quicker than mother nature can produce it.

    A current barrel measurement is "42 US gallons, 158.9873 litres"

    The average daily world consumption in 2007 was 83,607,000 barrels.

    Or...

    3,511,494,000 gallons/day

    13,292,451,191.1 litres/day

    There's no way nature is producing that much on a daily basis to keep oil fields replenished. I have no sources to back that up, but I can't imagine it being false. I suppose if someone wanted to debate it I could poke around for some concrete answers.



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  6. The Drawing Room   -   #6
    bblogs's Avatar Damn Straight. BT Rep: +10BT Rep +10
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    I've heard about plenty of solutions like that, but the reality is they're not as good as they sound. My guess is it's way too expensive to make the machines, at least at this point in time. We may reach a point where it becomes viable, but if it's not as viable than what we're doing now then we haven't got anywhere at all..

    It's always nice to think soon we'll be doing 100 miles on 4 ounces of water...but if it was as good as that move suggests then this thread wouldn't exist.

  7. The Drawing Room   -   #7
    Barbarossa's Avatar mostly harmless
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    Does anyone believe that the oil companies have been suppressing research into alternative fuels?

  8. The Drawing Room   -   #8
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bblogs View Post
    I've heard about plenty of solutions like that, but the reality is they're not as good as they sound. My guess is it's way too expensive to make the machines, at least at this point in time. We may reach a point where it becomes viable, but if it's not as viable than what we're doing now then we haven't got anywhere at all..

    It's always nice to think soon we'll be doing 100 miles on 4 ounces of water...but if it was as good as that move suggests then this thread wouldn't exist.
    Too expensive? I'm paying approx. $10K on gasoline annually at the current pump prices. I'd say whatever the cost is, the public would recoup it rather quickly. The problem it seems is getting the industry standard auto manufacturers to make the switch.

    The technology may not have been perfected, but it is here.

    IMO, a new manufacturer is going to emerge in the coming years with either electric or water vehicles and set the standard.
    Last edited by Skizo; 07-29-2008 at 01:38 PM.



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  9. The Drawing Room   -   #9
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarossa View Post
    Does anyone believe that the oil companies have been suppressing research into alternative fuels?
    I do.

    There's a great documentary that came out a few years back called "Who Killed the Electric Car" (Usenet link) which details how California was setting the bar here in the US to be the first zero emissions state by something like 2020. They began setting strict emissions laws and companies began using California as their test markets for zero emission vehicles, all the while fighting the new laws tooth and nail. One of the more popular makes was the EV1, but it was offered to customers as a lease only. While it didn't look too spiffy, it was a great car. 100% electric and was even faster than a corvette in acceleration. But when the auto makers finally got some tough laws barely overturned, they demanded that the EV1 owners turn in their cars. General Motors then destroyed every single car and ceased production, regardless of the exploding popularity. I highly recommend watching it.... some startling truths.



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  10. The Drawing Room   -   #10
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    The so called "water-powered" car is a con, and it's not even a new con.

    The simple fact is that you can't get energy from nowhere. You'll notice that he's having to burn a mixture of gasoline and HHO, that's because he's using some of the energy produced by burning the gasoline to produce electricity, which in turn electrolyses the water into hydrogen and oxygen (or as he calls it HHO). You'll hear him say that if you listen carefully. He subsequently feeds the HHO back into the engine.

    In actual fact all the energy comes from the gasoline, and some energy is wasted in the inefficiency of electrolysing the water and then burning the products. Without the gasoline there would be a net energy loss, which means he can't keep up a sustained reaction.

    I suspect that he's not actually doing any of that, but simply trickle feeding water into the inlet manifold. Water droplets in small quantities can actually improve the efficiency of an internal combustion engine by increasing the pressure in the cylinder as the droplets turn to water vapour. Put too much in though and you lose efficiency. You effectively "drown" the engine by reducing the burn temperature.

    As for the water powered flame, that's simply a oxy-hydrogen torch, and he's using a standard electrolysis cell to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen. And of course an electrolysis cell is powered by electricity.

    I hope to god that he'd feeding the oxygen and hydrogen to the torch separately, because if he's mixing them and feeding the product through a single tube there's going to be a big bang before too long.

    At the rate we need fuels, biofuel is really a no hoper. We are already seeing massively inflated food prices because of a shortage of grain, if it continues we will soon see starvation on a massive scale, followed by riots and wars. This is a direct consequence of the actions of the "homogenic global warming" theorists, you know, the ones who say there is no downside to following their theories.

    The only real options are hydrogen and electricity. Both currently have problems with storage, but the chances look more hopeful for long range hydrogen powered vehicles, simply because of the ability to perform a comparatively quick refill. The downside is that you have to use electricity to make the hydrogen and the conversion process therefore makes it less efficient.

    Assuming we can get the electricity from renewable sources that shouldn't be much of a problem. It also shouldn't be any more expensive because we would use the excess capacity available at periods of low electricity demand, and at the same time allow the generating stations to work at peak efficiency at all times.
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