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BaalChatzaf

How to transition from burning hydrocarbons and have all the energy we need

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Here is a lecture about thorium.  Thorium is a little used radioactive element that in slow rate breeder reactors can supply the human race with all the energy it requires and not produce any CO2 overload in the atmosphere.  

 

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29 minutes ago, Wolf DeVoon said:

Right, electric bulldozers, electric 18-wheelers, electric aircraft, electric farm tractors, all electric passenger car fleet.

anything that can be powered by expanding fluids (gases and liquids)  can be powered by electricity.  All we need is something that can turn a wheel.

Electrically powered aircraft may be impractical  so we retain jet propulsion.  Electrical equipment maybe too dense to fly.  But cars, trucks, trains, tractors can be powered electrically.  The are two elements to this scheme:  1.  power generation  and 2: power storage and packaging.   Hydrogen is a great way of storing electrical energy.  Decompose water into H2 and O2.   Burn H2 for  local mechanical energy  and get H2O  as exhaust.,  Or use hydrogen fuel cells as batteries.

With high capacity batteries and fuel cells  we may be able to bring back the steam powered car.  Filling stations need only supply water and electric charge.

One of these days we may learn how to make slow discharge supercapacitors.  That is an item for the Wish List. 

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An 18-wheeler can run on natural gas but don't expect them to be diesel electric like today's locomotives. Trains are already so fuel efficient compared to trucks they'll not soon be replaced by the capital investment of overhead wires. The gas-electric of today loses fuel efficiency on the highway as it's mostly gas. The electric isn't being re-charged by the stop and go of city driving.

--Brant

Bob, you're up there in theory-conjecture land like bomb-shelter Edward Teller who thought defense without offense would work and wrote a book about the shield being better than the sword

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

An 18-wheeler can run on natural gas but don't expect them to be diesel electric like today's locomotives. Trains are already so fuel efficient compared to trucks they'll not soon be replaced by the capital investment of overhead wires. The gas-electric of today loses fuel efficiency on the highway as it's mostly gas. The electric isn't being re-charged by the stop and go of city driving.

--Brant

Bob, you're up there in theory-conjecture land like bomb-shelter Edward Teller who thought defense without offense would work and wrote a book about the shield being better than the sword

Put thorium slow rate breeder reactors on line and we will have so much electrical power capacity, that we will not have to worry about efficiency. The more you have the more you can afford to waste.  As it is  an ideal Carnot Engine cannot exceed 54% efficiency.   If we can average 25 % efficiency over all we will be doing jolly well.  

I am hoping that we will find a means a catalytically decomposing water into H2 and O2  by using solar energy (this would be an analog to photosynthesis).  That way we can get all the free H2 we want.  We can make high capacity fuel cells or we can burn it and power steam engines without producing CO2 overload in the atmosphere.  And don't knock steam engines.  over 80 % of the world's electrical power is produced by steam engines. Burning hydrogen under the best circumstances can produce  heat at 2,800 deg C.  Hot enough to melt steel and hot enough to superheat water to generate power.  

If we can develop  high yield fuel cells  with moderate weight we can bring back steam driven cars and trucks.  At a filling station one would fill up on purified filtered water.   Such a vehicle could ran at 25 to 30 percent efficiency which is plenty jolly good.  And no nasty sulfides or NOx  will be produced.  Just H2O.

If we do things right the only hydrocarbon burning that will be required  is  for aircraft and birthday cake candles. 

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On 6/28/2017 at 7:46 AM, BaalChatzaf said:

Put thorium slow rate breeder reactors on line and we will have so much electrical power capacity, that we will not have to worry about efficiency. The more you have the more you can afford to waste.  As it is  an ideal Carnot Engine cannot exceed 54% efficiency.   If we can average 25 % efficiency over all we will be doing jolly well.  

I am hoping that we will find a means a catalytically decomposing water into H2 and O2  by using solar energy (this would be an analog to photosynthesis).  That way we can get all the free H2 we want.  We can make high capacity fuel cells or we can burn it and power steam engines without producing CO2 overload in the atmosphere.  And don't knock steam engines.  over 80 % of the world's electrical power is produced by steam engines. Burning hydrogen under the best circumstances can produce  heat at 2,800 deg C.  Hot enough to melt steel and hot enough to superheat water to generate power.  

If we can develop  high yield fuel cells  with moderate weight we can bring back steam driven cars and trucks.  At a filling station one would fill up on purified filtered water.   Such a vehicle could ran at 25 to 30 percent efficiency which is plenty jolly good.  And no nasty sulfides or NOx  will be produced.  Just H2O.

If we do things right the only hydrocarbon burning that will be required  is  for aircraft and birthday cake candles. 

Hydrocarbons can only be replaced by things cheaper. Sometimes "cheaper" means subsidies. When the subsidies die so does that cheaper.

Nuclear is good for electricity. Local car and truck traffic may benefit and gas and diesel not. Interstate trucking can use natural gas as an alternative to diesel. I think 20% of the oil use in this country goes to big-trucking diesel. Nuclear should be much cheaper than coal and natural gas, but it is over-regulated resulting in too much capital and time needed to build more plants. The cost to build is 1/3 of U.S. cost in Korea, China and India, I believe.

Hydrocarbons will be with us for a long time to come and CO2 in the atmosphere will continue to increase likely for the rest of the century. The only way to stop this is shut down all coal electricity production in China and India. Good luck with that one.

--Brant

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1 hour ago, Brant Gaede said:

Hydrocarbons can only be replaced by things cheaper. Sometimes "cheaper" means subsidies. When the subsidies die so does that cheaper.

Nuclear is good for electricity. Local car and truck traffic may benefit and gas and diesel not. Interstate trucking can use natural gas as an alternative to diesel. I think 20% of the oil use in this country goes to big-trucking diesel. Nuclear should be much cheaper than coal and natural gas, but it is over-regulated resulting in too much capital and time needed to build more plants. The cost to build is 1/3 of U.S. cost in Korea, China and India, I believe.

Hydrocarbons will be with us for a long time to come and CO2 in the atmosphere will continue to increase likely for the rest of the century. The only way to stop this is shut down all coal electricity production in China and India. Good luck with that one.

--Brant

I expect ICE vehicles to be around for the next hundred years and for flying airplanes it will probably be around forever.  However we can start phasing out heavy use of  hydrocarbon combustion. Actually if we can reduce CO2 overload in the atmosphere sufficiently for  plants to sop it up  we shall be fine.  That means reforesting large areas,  cease destroying the rain forests and make some of the deserts bloom. All we have to do is make sure the plant life on the earth can handle the atmospheric loading of CO2.  It may take a hundred years to replant some of the areas that have become deserts, but it is doable.

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31 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I expect ICE vehicles to be around for the next hundred years and for flying airplanes it will probably be around forever.  However we can start phasing out heavy use of  hydrocarbon combustion. Actually if we can reduce CO2 overload in the atmosphere sufficiently for  plants to sop it up  we shall be fine.  That means reforesting large areas,  cease destroying the rain forests and make some of the deserts bloom. All we have to do is make sure the plant life on the earth can handle the atmospheric loading of CO2.  It may take a hundred years to replant some of the areas that have become deserts, but it is doable.

The economy will determine what "we" will do--that is, the other we(s), the ones who make the economies of the world, all 7 billion of them/us.

Big government is exiting stage right. "We" is obsolete unless "we" want to kick ass, usually the job of the military.

You have a solution in search of a problem.

--Brant

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Since there's been some negative reactions, I'd like to voice my support for this technology. LFTRs are a real solution to all our energy problems.

On 6/28/2017 at 9:55 AM, Wolf DeVoon said:

Right, electric bulldozers, electric 18-wheelers, electric aircraft, electric farm tractors, all electric passenger car fleet.

You can generate hydrocarbon fuel by pulling the CO2 from the atmosphere using the energy produced by the reactor. Since you already pulled it from the atmosphere, there's no net increase of CO2 when you burn it. Economical, locally produced and environmentally neutral.

Just imagine it. Cheap, unlimited carbon-neutral gasoline and diesel without lining the pockets of Putin and the Saudis. And all just based on well understood science, no breakthrough required.

Edit: By the way, the Chinese are gonna do this anyway.

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