Alternative Fuels

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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
When I was managing a small factory almost 20 years ago, I had the guys convert an old Case tractor to propane because it was a pain to fetch gasoline for it, and we had a 1,500 gallon propane tank on the premises. I even joked about converting the lawn mower. Soy diesel seems to be working. Most other vegetable oils would work too. Used oil should only need the French fries fished out. The farmers love it. Hydrogen needs breakthroughs in both storing it, and lowering the cost of electricity. I consider the government program a boondoggle. The one sleeper I see is methanol from plant waste. I think it can be used in fuel cells too. Electricity is still in the real soon now breakthrough in batteries as it has been since the 50's. We need to be looking at things. Eventually oil production will decline. Note, can we combine this thread with the other one on CNG?
 
Messages
250
Location
WV
Need to think outside the box. We need a new Manhatten project for energy. Obviously it isn't even feasible at this point but just think if some type of engine could run off co2
 
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43,670
Location
'Stralia
quote:
Originally posted by labman: Electricity is still in the real soon now breakthrough in batteries as it has been since the 50's.
Labman, the Aussie "Vanadium Redox" battery will improve the lot of the electric vehicle for sure. Ultimately, you will be able to go to a service station, drain of the discharged electrolyte, fill with new electrolyte, and keep going. It's the electrolyte that holds the energy, not the plates in this design.
 
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5,336
Location
London, AR
This forum is here to discuss the alternative fuels such as WVO (waste vegetable oils), SVO (straight vegetable oils), biodiesel, LP, CNG, Hydrogen, electric and other vehicle engine conversions that use alternative fuels and power sources. I have had experience with 3 personal trucks with LP conversions. I have since sold these trucks. Now with the price of fuel, I am starting a project to convert my 95 PSD to use WVO. I am in the very infant stage of it. I am going to do the collection set up first, then the vehicle conversion. At $2+ per gallon, it is time. [Smile] [ October 06, 2004, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: 59 Vetteman ]
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
I took a tour of a lumber mill in Lincoln California Friday. They generate their own electricity from the wood waste and sell the excess to the power company. They generate 15mW on the average and use 6 mW of electricity plus the excess heat for various processes like kiln drying lumber, the rest is sold to the power company. I walked through and around the power generation plant. You couldn't see or smell anything coming out of it. With lumber mill background noise, you couldn't even hear it ouside the building. The exhaust side used big electrostatic percipitators to clean the exhaust and they sell the stuff they get out of the percipitator as a soil adament. Lumber mills burning their waste for power and trucks running on used cooking oil aren't going to make a big dent in the energy problem, but enough litle dents in the problem will make a worth while difference. We need to keep pecking away at the little dents as well as hoping for big breakthroughs.
 

labman

Thread starter
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
It is time to recycle recycling. The glass industry has done a fantastic job of preserving their jobs at the expense of the environment. Recycling glass and other materials is extremely energy intensive. Tremendous amounts of natural gas are burned producing glass containers. The use of diesel fuel starts with environmental harmful sand dredging, and follows the materials to the glass factories, to the packaging plants, to the retailers, home to the consumers, and finally the collection and and transportation back to the factory. Yes, all that glass can be reused, and much of it is, and at considerable less energy usage than the original. Even then, all the diesel and natural gas is gone forever, leaving behind vast amounts of pollution and CO2. What we need is more energy to waste conversion plants like that lumber mill. They can made safe and clean burning. Manufactures could use lightweight, efficient paper and plastic laminates. They could then be collected at far less manpower and fuel usage and incinerated in the production of energy.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by labman: . Manufactures could use lightweight, efficient paper and plastic laminates. They could then be collected at far less manpower and fuel usage and incinerated in the production of energy.
Our friends in the GWN are ahead of us in that area, I think the Australians are even ahead of them. There isn't even much new work required, just start using existing packaging technologies that are already common in other advanced countries. We are going to see a lot more cogeneration in industrial plants as the price of fuel goes up. An electrical generating plant throws off more heat energy than it does electrical energy. In a regular electrical plant that usually goes to waste, in an industrial plant that requires heat for industrial processes, much of the waste heat can be used. The lumber mill I saw was ideal because they were using a former waste product as fuel and doing cogeneration with it, but cogeneration using regular energy sources is a big step in the right direction.
 
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12,385
Location
Northern CA
Photovoltaics are the long term major alternative power source I would have been willing to bet on for a few decades. It look like they are getting to be more viable for a wide range of applications. Here's an economic study on how the tecnology is doing. It's looking better all the time. PV Economics It's all about money, and money isn't a bad way to measure the value of a technology if it's done right. Unfortunately our system presently has strong bias toward rewarding and punishing based on short term financial performance. This makes any developing energy technology program subject to short term (months or a few years) changes in oil prices. Not a good thing if we want to have a long term viable solution to the problem. We need to look at the long term economic effects of our actions, not just quarterly corporate reports.
 

driven2services

Administrator
Messages
0
quote:
Originally posted by XS650: I took a tour of a lumber mill in Lincoln California Friday. They generate their own electricity from the wood waste and sell the excess to the power company. They generate 15mW on the average and use 6 mW of electricity plus the excess heat for various processes like kiln drying lumber, the rest is sold to the power company. I walked through and around the power generation plant. You couldn't see or smell anything coming out of it. With lumber mill background noise, you couldn't even hear it ouside the building. The exhaust side used big electrostatic percipitators to clean the exhaust and they sell the stuff they get out of the percipitator as a soil adament.
I'm currently working on starting a business generating electricity from WVO. I plan to be generating in about a year, about 1 mW. The power company pays aproximately 5c/KWH, so basically I'll be selling them used oil at about $2/gallon. [Big Grin]
 
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47,791
Location
Everson WA - Pacific NW USA
I JUST noticed this new section. I think I'm losing it completely.....anyhow thanks. I'm on the fringe of some alternative energy stuff and am seeking to jump into something....I work with some new PVI designs and have some biodiesel fringe contacts...wide but not deep. I have invested in some newer companies, too. Something is gonna pop. $50/barrel oil sucks too much.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Pablo: Something is gonna pop. $50/barrel oil sucks too much.
New energy programs need some intelligent government (oximoron alert) backing. Remember last time interest perked up in alternative energy, then the price of oil dropped? The programs dried up, so here we go again. Without some stable backing, any new programs will be subject to the same short term whipsaws as oil prices vary.
 
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43,670
Location
'Stralia
zmOz, that's a couple of 44 gallon (55 gallon) drums per hour. Do you have enough oil supply for that ? (BTW, I tired suggesting at our last business planning day that the utility that I work for get into bed with the local frozen spring roll/tempura factory and do similar.........glazed looks.)
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Shannow: zmOz, that's a couple of 44 gallon (55 gallon) drums per hour. Do you have enough oil supply for that ?
That would be roughly all the used vehicle oil from a US town of about 35,000 people. Something to think about. The oil probably has more potential value as a base stock for recycled engine oil, but I don't think the market exists for that.
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by Pablo: Good thread guys. (Funny too) I can't say too much about our new PVI's, but I can in my small way help us come up with a better, lower cost product: Our PVI
Can you make some unofficial but educated projections about where the installed cost per kw hour is going in the next decade or so? What about projected service life and maintenance cost for PVI installations? Once lifetime system cost to generate electricty with PVIs gets down below grid power prices, then things are going to get interesting.
 

driven2services

Administrator
Messages
0
quote:
Originally posted by XS650:
quote:
Originally posted by Shannow: zmOz, that's a couple of 44 gallon (55 gallon) drums per hour. Do you have enough oil supply for that ?
That would be roughly all the used vehicle oil from a US town of about 35,000 people. Something to think about. The oil probably has more potential value as a base stock for recycled engine oil, but I don't think the market exists for that.

It will be waste vegetable oil, not motor oil. Yes, I know it will be alot of oil, but that's where the 'business' part comes in. I will be hiring a few people full time to drive around and collect oil. (hopefully the trucks they drive will be running on WVO too) There are already businesses that live on WVO to make their products, and they charge restaurants to dispose of their oil. I've already talked to several restaurants that will be happy to let me take their oil for free. [Big Grin]
 
Messages
12,385
Location
Northern CA
quote:
Originally posted by ZmOz: .It will be waste vegetable oil, not motor oil. Yes, I know it will be alot of oil, but that's where the 'business' part comes in.
My bad, I misread. Seems like you could make more money selling it as fuel oil. You wouldn't get $2/gallon, but you wouldn't have the expense of running a power plant either. Did you actually mean one mW? Like Shannow said, that's about 90 gallons/hour of oil.
 

driven2services

Administrator
Messages
0
quote:
Originally posted by XS650:
quote:
Originally posted by ZmOz: .It will be waste vegetable oil, not motor oil. Yes, I know it will be alot of oil, but that's where the 'business' part comes in.
My bad, I misread. Seems like you could make more money selling it as fuel oil. You wouldn't get $2/gallon, but you wouldn't have the expense of running a power plant either. Did you actually mean one mW? Like Shannow said, that's about 90 gallons/hour of oil.

Yes, I know it's alot of oil. This is definately more than a garage based business. There will be 5 200kw generators, but they won't all be running 24/7. I will only be making 1mW at peak times.
 
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