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View Diary: A Better Battery Changes The World, Crossing The Alt-E Threshold (175 comments)

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  •  The game was already over when the Navy announced (3+ / 0-)

    their breakthrough in generating oil from Sea water ... at commercial levels for $3/gal of gasoline.

    That already puts traditional oil production from any of the difficult sources out of business.... tar sands, shale, fracking, deep sea and arctic drilling, etc. They all cost more than $3/gal without including hidden environmental costs of the act of harvesting.

    The Navy process can be applied as an exhaust processing system for Coal power plants, that would allow us to use the vast 1,000+ year supply of coal, and also fulfill the oil needs of chemical, agricultural, and aircraft uses.

    Convert most ground transport to electric. Change our agriculture sequester,reuse animal/plant CH4 release. Convert most homes/businesses to Solar, Wind, and Geothermal. and leave only certain industrial processes and aircraft fuel as our output of CO2 into the atmosphere. ... aiming for a 80-90% reduction worldwide in CO2 release.

    Real solutions and technologies exist now and only need be commercialized and implemented on a mass scale. It becomes simply a matter of MONEY not science, to save our world.

    •  that's a terrible idea (0+ / 0-)

      The last thing we need is cheap petroleum.

      Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

      by Visceral on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:33:01 AM PDT

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    •  What the Navy announces, and what they do (0+ / 0-)

      could be 2 completely different things.  It would be great if it's real, but I haven't seen anything but their announcement.  They've been working on this for some time, so it wouldn't surprise me if they've got a budget that needs to be approved.

    •  There are *immense* practical difficulties (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher, RiveroftheWest, BYw

      with that tech.

      For starters, the volume of seawater required is 100s of times the volume of fuel produced. Just pumping the seawater is a massive problem.

      "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

      by nosleep4u on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 11:58:00 AM PDT

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    •  There's at least 2 reasons (0+ / 0-)

      Why that comment is wrong.

      For one, they cannot turn water into oil for $3/gallon commercially.  The navy did using waste heat from their reactor.  If you want to do the same thing commercially it will cost you a lot more.

      And then you suggest burn coal to make oil from seawater?  How inefficient can you get?  And you realize this increases atmospheric CO2?

      Really, I almost wish what you wrote was snark.  Think about it.  It makes no sense.  It doesn't solve anything.

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 12:39:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And this is an example of how things dont get done (0+ / 0-)

        Apparently "vision" isn't as obvious as one might wish.

        We have an enormous need for electricity generation. This will only increase AND if we convert most ground transportation to it.... which we must for Earth to survive ... then we will need many TIMES more production.

        Coal is an excellent source of raw energy as is the Sun.

        We need to implement Solar as quickly as possible in all practical ways. But we will be relying on Coal and oil/gas for a long time still. So starting from the frame of reference that we already have a huge Coal infrastructure and are already relying on it, let us see what we can do quickly to make it SAFE and not continuing to contribute to the problems.

        We NEED to do something with the CO2 produced, as continuing to release it into the atmosphere will also kill us. As will continuing to burn gasoline in cars/trucks.

        So we need to sequester the CO2 exhaust from power plants. Remember that at this point we are merely talking about CAPITAL INVESTMENT into the facilities, no more fundamental breakthroughs in science are required, just some straight forward engineering work.

        We run the CO2 exhaust into what is "fake" seawater of our own making, by dissolving the CO2 into water. We then on an industrial level implement the techniques Navy Research has developed to extract the Carbon in the form of synthetic oil/gasoline.

        There is considerable waste heat available from the Coal power plant to equal the level of waste heat the nuclear reactor was providing. If it can provide product at a cost under $4/gal it becomes MORE practical then the tar sands and shale oil, and the oil from the deep sea and arctic ocean. Making those efforts MOOT.

        If we can contain and reprocess the coal CO2 we can burn coal freely, and we have 1,000+ YEARS worth, easily accessible. This SOLVES two problems ... providing more OIL without further environmental damage AND removing coal power as a source of CO2 pollution while allowing electricity production to meet future demands .... something that, if un-sequestered, would contribute more CO2 than Earth can hope to handle.

        We can also use the same Navy method to extract carbon from the Oceans, which we also need to do to stop and reverse the acidification humans are responsible for.

        Recap, solving nothing:

        1) Stop coal burning as a CO2 source.
        2) Provide the electrical needs of the future
        3) Remove the need to extend drilling for oil beyond the reserves of sweet crude we already have access to.
        4) Facilitate the conversion of ground transportation to electric by making the required GW's available.
        5) We make the Keystone pipelines of the world pointless.

        If you cannot see how these changes can have profound effects on improving our power system, reducing pollution, creating jobs, and facilitating a revolution in transportation ... then there is nothing else I can say to you.

        •  It doesn't work that way (0+ / 0-)

          The gas the navy made from seawater requires more energy inputs that it outputs because of the law of conservation of energy.

          Burning coal puts CO2 into the atmosphere and tell me why it isn't already being sequestered?  If it's so easy to sequester the CO2 then why isn't already being done?

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:10:32 PM PDT

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          •  The reason it isn't currently is ... (0+ / 0-)

            .... we have not FORCED the industry to sequester the CO2.

            Just as with Sulfur and Hydrogen Sulfide .... ie: Acid Rain, we will have to force the industry to spend the money to clean up their pollution. We have been 100% effective in ending Acid Rain from our power plants, there is no reason we cannot be just as effective with CO2.

            Starting with the EPA declaring CO2 pollution. The exhaust of the power plants is already heavily treated to remove sulfur and particulates, CO2 just needs to be the next step in what we process out of the exhaust.

            At max efficiency, CO2 and H2O are the only results of burning (burning any hydrocarbon) and we then have to sequester the CO2. There are other choices, we can turn it into Lime for cement production, or to feed Algae to make gasoline using the other process, but the Navy's new process is more efficient than the Algae (which Pres. Carter funded in the 70's and has been being researched continuously ever since).

            No one is saying you get some miracle result. Yes it takes energy to convert the CO2 into gasoline, but the point is to do something constructive with the CO2. That gasoline or oil output can then go on, at the $4/gal level to displace ALL the oil that would need to be obtained from Tar Sands, Shale, Deep Ocean, and the Arctic THEREBY eliminating those efforts forever.

            We will always need some amount of liquid oil/gasoline/kerosene and this is a way to sequester the CO2 from Coal that will be burned anyways, leverage that carbon to eliminate other carbon we would have had to obtain from undesirable efforts.

            Overall, the REDUCTION in total of CO2 release by converting most ground transport to electric, and converting most home/business heating/air conditioning to solar electric and geothermal. will pull 80-90% of ALL CO2 release out of our system.

            The 10-20% remaining will not prevent Earth from recovering, natural processes will continue to remove carbon from the atmosphere and return the planet to pre-industrial CO2 levels eventually.

            I keep coming back to our burning coal because we will need 5 TIMES our current electric production and solar won't be able to meet all that demand 24/7 and will take 20-30 years to meet most of the demand.

            In other words, I am being PRACTICAL.

        •  WRONG. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW
          If we can contain and reprocess the coal CO2 we can burn coal freely, and we have 1,000+ YEARS worth, easily accessible. This SOLVES two problems ... providing more OIL without further environmental damage AND removing coal power as a source of CO2 pollution while allowing electricity production to meet future demands .... something that, if un-sequestered, would contribute more CO2 than Earth can hope to handle.
          Coal burning must STOP.  If coal is burned, that will put fossil carbon in the air eventually.  Even if it's captured from the coal plant's smokestack and made into synthetic oil, when that oil is burned (in an airplane for example) the carbon goes into the air.  And even if the carbon could be kept out of the air, there's still the problems of land destruction by mining and the disposal of coal ash.

          "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

          by Calamity Jean on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:33:49 AM PDT

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          •  We will never eliminate 100% of Carbon burning. (0+ / 0-)

            There will likely never be "electric" aircraft. There will always be industrial processes that burn methane. But we can reduce these as much as possible to a level that Earth can handle it.

            Our problem is that we long since blew past what Earth could "handle".

            We also use fossil carbon from applications that don't involve burning it, and we will continue with these for centuries to come. This is about leveraging the carbon being burned and then sequestered to meet those needs, rather than drilling for more. Plastics, chemicals, roads, etc, etc. You drive on asphalt roads, you drive on rubber tires, you wear synthetic clothes ... you have to understand just how much of human existence uses oil/gas. But those other uses are de-facto sequestering. Recycling can reduce further the need for more drilling, but leveraging the waste carbon of massive power plants could replace most new oil/gas production in the future, forever.

            That's all I'm proposing.

      •  No, sorry. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW
        For one, they cannot turn water into oil for $3/gallon commercially.  The navy did using waste heat from their reactor.
        The Navy's process doesn't use "waste heat".  It uses electrical power from the ship's nuclear reactor to drive the process.

        "My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right." -- Sen Carl Schurz 1872

        by Calamity Jean on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:25:58 AM PDT

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