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View Diary: WTF with Diesel! (94 comments)

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  •  Unified theory of fuel (6+ / 0-)

    I could make a pretty good argument that we should be transitioning vehicles to diesel and bio-diesel, vs gasoline/ethanol/methanol.

    The basis of this argument would be the capability to run diesel/JetA/stove oil, bunker oil, biodiesel in any transportation segment, from commercial jets, helicopters, light aircraft, farm equipment, heavy equipment, tractor trailers, boats, ships, trains, cars and light trucks, and well as backup generators. There are minors differences in additives, but otherwise, these are easy to refine and are the the first results of the cracking process at the refinery.

    Diesel also has more energy per unit volume and weight than either gasoline, ethanol, or methanol, which is why diesels, all else being equal, get better mileage than gasoline fueled vehicles.

    I often read comments to the effect that a diesel is superior to hybrids, which ignores the benefits of regenerative braking, and electrically augmented acceleration. Ideally, we will have diesel hybrid pluggables which incorporates all three technologies synergistically.

    Assuming that we have switched to a full diesel infrastructure, what should be done with economically available ethanol/methanol? My belief is that it is best utilized for local and regional track based transportation systems, subways, light rail, buses and Super Trains, and the refueling infrastructure would be very easy to build, and have no effect on performance or schedule.

    •  When you refine oil... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you get lower fractions and higher fractions. So, if you get diesel, you get gasoline. If the diesel comes from, I dunno, dead cats, that's another story.

      •  you are correct, not likely (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kalmoth, 1Eco, WattleBreakfast

        European refineries are producing in the range of 25% gasoline /25% diesel (balance as heating oil, lubricants etc) and they are shipping the U.S. gasoline that is surplus, which lowers our prices nicely.

        U.S. refineries on the other hand, are designed to produce significantly more gasoline than diesel fuel.

        I would suppose that a process could be envisioned and developed to maximize diesel production, but most likely, diesel blends of biofuels will stretch the supply, electric/pluggable vehicles will mitigate some of the need for fuels entirely, and gasoline vehicles will continue to remain on the road and be manufactured for quite some time, maybe even decades.

        •  EU uses less for shipping. (1+ / 0-)
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          They have a much higher utilization of rail, where the US is largely dependant on trucking.

          Ask me about my daughter's future - Ko

          by koNko on Fri Nov 21, 2008 at 12:03:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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