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Author: Subject: Future of CO2 free energy production
D4RR3N
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[*] posted on 13-3-2014 at 05:01
Future of CO2 free energy production


Whats your thoughts on the future of energy production (CO2 free) on this planet?

Is it going to be hydrogen through an efficient photocatalyst of water?

Are we going to go to the moon for Helium 3?

Are we finally going to crack hydrogen fusion, on a side note when the hell are they going to scrap the Tokamak reactor design, that thing has been around since I was a school boy and if it hasn't fired up by now its never going to as far as I'm concerned.

Or is it something else?



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gregxy
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[*] posted on 13-3-2014 at 09:51


Most investment these days is in cars with batteries and photovoltaics. People with money are usually smart (or can hire people that are) and normally get it right.

Improved drilling techniques (fracking) has extended the life of gas/oil in the USA for decades. This will delay adoption of green technology in the US.

There are some good discussions of fusion on physicsforums.
Even if they solve the heating and containment problem there are serious issues with materials degradation, and "neutron economy" to be solved. Given the huge potential yet low investment, it appears that it is considered dead end.

Places like Japan with limited solar power will use fission,
(Japan is starting to power up its reactors again after shutting them off after the tsunami).
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/525421/the-numbers-behi...

To make hydrogen work requires solving the storage problem (some form of hydride) and efficient generation, (some direct from sunlight method would be best). These seem more difficult than the photovoltaic/battery solution, so I think
hydrogen is also a dead end. The only advantage that hydrogen offers is a quicker way to "charge the battery".

I just got back from China. The smog in Beijing is "crazy bad" as they say. It will be interesting to see what they do.
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[*] posted on 18-3-2014 at 06:54


People often have these grandiose ideas about CNG or hydrogen fuel cells, but not a whole lot beats the raw simplicity of mechanical engines and hydrocarbon fuel.

I think the next step is just finding carbon-neutral ways to supply ethanol, gasoline, and diesel fuel from (recent) biological origin.

- Organisms are being developed to convert cellulose to ethanol which will vastly improve the process efficiency. Algenol Biofuels already uses algae to produce ethanol quite efficiently.

- Biodiesel/straight vegetable oil has a prominsing future with the development of higher-yielding fatty crops. After harvest, their cellulose could even be converted to ethanol.

- Catalytic reforming of gases from the fluidized bed pyrolosis of cellulose or other waste plant and animal matter can, with processing, yield what is essentially diesel fuel and gasoline, as well as methanol and other chemical feedstocks like BTX and ethylene. The biochar (mostly carbon with some trace metals from the plants) is great fertilizer and is a good way to put carbon back into the earth to reverse what we have taken out and reacted with the air. Alternatively, biochar could be made into charcoal, coal, or coke with further processing.

- Methane and other combustible gas is easily obtainable from biomass and landfills equipped with collection devices. It is better for the environment to burn it anyway because CH4 has a higher greenhouse potential than CO2. Landfill gas to energy using high efficiency, low maintenance gas turbine generators already exists in my area.


All of these technologies are just methods of efficiently harvesting energy from the sun, and are all carbon neutral or negative. The technology is here. It's just more expensive than drilling a hole in the ground. It will also require the reform of possibly the largest industry on the planet. Progress is being made, albeit slowly.

[Edited on 18-3-2014 by Praxichys]




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Antiswat
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[*] posted on 18-3-2014 at 10:39


going close to the sun and harvesting the energy outbursts have been done before of what i recall, but idk if its too far for us still.. would need quite some technology and those outbursts are quite energetic if you consider the size of it



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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 27-3-2014 at 11:22


Quote: Originally posted by Antiswat  
going close to the sun and harvesting the energy outbursts have been done before of what i recall, but idk if its too far for us still.. would need quite some technology and those outbursts are quite energetic if you consider the size of it


Not sure what that is supposed to mean, but you don't need to be close to the sun to use solar power. It is already becoming widely used. But it only works 1/3 of the day. Wind, hydroelectric and others will be useful, but nuclear, coal and nat. gas will be around for a while as they provide a good base load power source.

Hydrogen is only a form of stored energy, not a source of it, as there is no way to mine or collect it. People must realize that you can not make energy from nothing, some other form of energy (or mass in nuclear power) must be converted to a useful form. And that is rarely efficient, so making any intermediate power storage system (batteries, hydrogen, etc) will always use more energy than immediate use.

eg, its far better to create hot water during the day using the sun and store it in a big tank, than to create a complex electrical battery system or hydrogen tank to store sunlight power for use at night. Most storage systems lose 30-50% of the power they process.

If people simply insulated their homes better, drove less or in more efficient cars, turned off lights and TVs, and reduced waste, the US energy consumption could drop by almost 50%. I've seen Vegas and many other places in the US where the amount of wasted electricity is vast. Once the price rises enough, people will conserve it more, but right now people don't have enough incentive. Once we either run out of fossil fuels or create enough smog and other bad emissions to create havok, then people will suddenly be interested in saving energy or the environment.
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[*] posted on 29-3-2014 at 16:47


One-Third of Texas Was Running on Wind Power This Week
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/one-third-of-texas-was-runn...
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Antiswat
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[*] posted on 25-6-2014 at 10:11


thorium would be something that should be considered

but afaik the reason that corporations arent interested in this is because it doesnt give off plutonium like uranium based nuclear reactors does

the US collects many times less energy than germany although germany has more or less same amount of sun as in energy per square metre as alaska




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[*] posted on 17-7-2014 at 18:14


I believe in something more, bio. like some sort of bacteria in a microbial fuel cell on the water waste treatment plants, I mean, with some more research could be possible to turn waste water treatment plants into power plants too. Because, It has already been proved possible, but not with the actual data, technology and methods. But if the research proceed, this may be possible in the future. and also, research new kinds of photovoltaic cells, because these made today have a little efficiency and are expensive to make and deploy. Algae fuel could also be part of this solution some day. and of course, all this would be useles without wise use of the energy, and technologies that use less energy and/or have less losses. This problem doesn't have a homogeneus solution, everything must be considered, there are very variables to be considered.



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[*] posted on 20-7-2014 at 16:28


The only real viable alternative today is fission. This is the only currently available technology with the capability to replace fossile power plants using the current infrastructure.

Thorium should be the optimum fuel as it produces much less high-energy waste, and modern reactors are inherently safer than the 1.gen reactors commonly used today. And we have breeder reactors that not only produces 1/10 the waste, they can even run on todays stockpile of spent fuel. Even if one decided not to dig up any more fissile material the best way to deal with the waste would be breeder reactors, it would extract huge amounts of energy while at the same time reducing the amount of waste.

The future IS nuclear. I there is any truth to global warming we simply have no other choice. Nothing else can replace fossil fuels as a primary energy source today, and we can't avoid acting now in the hope that there will be better alternatives in the future.

[Edited on 21-7-14 by Fulmen]
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[*] posted on 22-7-2014 at 14:11


Was not sure where to post this but - here goes.
http://www.gizmag.com/sponge-structure-steam-solar-energy/33054/

"Sponge-like structure generates steam using lowest concentration of solar energy yet"

"Researchers working at MIT’s Department of Mechanical Engineering claim to have produced a sponge-like substance that helps convert water to steam using sunlight one-hundredth as bright as that required by conventional steam-producing solar generators. A composite of graphite flakes layered on a bed of carbon foam, the new material is reported to convert as much as 85 percent of received solar energy into steam.

In practice, the scientists say that the graphite flakes and carbon foam composite that they've created forms a porous insulating material struc...."

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