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View Diary: Big oil getting desperate: Making oil with nuclear energy (163 comments)

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  •  biodiesel MPG (none)

    I was reading earlier today that while biodiesel has about 10% lower energy density that petrodiesel, the supperior combustion and lubrication of biodiesel almost make up the difference, leaving only a 2% difference.

    As for the doubling, I don't know what the previous author was thinking but if you are replacing cars with diesels to run biodiesel, you would be stupid not to use diesel hybrids. Except that auto makers don't make diesel hybrids, yet. But every "diesel" locomotive you see on the rails is, and always has been (with perhaps very rare exceptions) throughout the history of diesel locomotives, is actually a diesel hybrid. Either that or a "slug" - an electric only locomotive that is coupled to a diesel-electric; more wheels, more traction (at least when you use concrete to add weight). And unlike the crappy parallel hybrids the auto industry sells, the locomotives are series hybrids.

    I would love to design a decent hybrid car (1 motor per wheel, no tranny, no differential). I have the experience in designing motor controls (larger than cars). And if you wanted to switch from petrol/ethanol to diesel/biodiesel, it would only require replacing a small engine (around $1K); of course, I would prefer a multifuel engine. Unfortunately, I don't have the money for it.

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