Alternative Oil Source question

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With oils in the past such as G-Oil, Biosyn, and now Penz Plat made from natural gas, I was wondering. Since these oils are not made from crude, does that effectively mean you are using less crude when using these types of oils? I am all for solar power and electric cars such as the Tesla Model S, but agree that gas/diesel powered vehicles aren't going anywhere for a long time. I'll admit the only reason that I used the PP recently was due to the rebate, but it just hit me that this may be a slightly more "environmental friendly" type oil being as how it is derived.
 
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I'm not sure an oil made from natural gas is better for the environment than one from crude, as they are both fossil fuels and the same amount of carbon is being extracted. Still we have a surplus of natural gas and a deficit of oil. Making fluids from gas is old news and used in large scale during WW2. Creating it from biological waste like G-oil seems like a less mature process. Both increase costs of the final product because the cost of crude is still comparitively low.
 
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The GTL (Gas to liquid) process of taking natural gas and making engine oil makes me wonder if it's not worse off environmentally. We have a surplus of natural gas because of fracking and other technologies for extraction of NG from the ground. In general, this is not a clean process and certainly has it's fair share of environmental costs.
 
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And then there is China with pollution in major cities due to coal. The solution is to create natural gas from coal in the country where they do not care about the pollution and then send the gas to major cities. The net effect to the earth is an increase in pollution.
 
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If you want environmentally friendly motor oil, what about a re - refined oil like America's Choice from Safety-Kleen? It's a good, SN, GF-5 oil.
 
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Originally Posted By: tinmanSC
The GTL (Gas to liquid) process of taking natural gas and making engine oil makes me wonder if it's not worse off environmentally. We have a surplus of natural gas because of fracking and other technologies for extraction of NG from the ground. In general, this is not a clean process and certainly has it's fair share of environmental costs.
Shell's GTL basestock comes from a plant located in Qatar, where natural gas, which is always found with crude, has so little value that Shell gets the feedstock gas for free. Shell's investment in the plant ran well into the tens of billions of dollars, though. In this case, using a resource that would otherwise be flared or simply left in the ground is probably an environmental plus. Until a fleet of LNG tankers is constructed, along with port facilities at both ends capable of handling the product, which looks to be happening sometime around never, LNG technology is a way of using a resource that would otherwise go to waste.
 
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There's a volcano going off in Kilauea Hawaii right now. Anything little ants like us do in our little lives is miniscule in comparision. The polar ice caps are bigger than they have been in many, many years. The polar bears are going to make it. Think about it. Don't be manipulated by fear.
 
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Originally Posted By: SilverC6
There's a volcano going off in Kilauea Hawaii right now. Anything little ants like us do in our little lives is miniscule in comparision. The polar ice caps are bigger than they have been in many, many years. The polar bears are going to make it. Think about it. Don't be manipulated by fear.
I'm not a global warming proponent by any means. Just wanted to point out if you look at the earth from space it's pretty clear there are humans all over the place... and that we've invented the light bulb. I'm honestly not sure if one can see your volcano from space. Ants maybe, but 6 billion and counting. IMO use as much gas as you want, but maybe don't throw a tire in a river and expect it to magically disappear.
 
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Originally Posted By: CTownIntegra
With oils in the past such as G-Oil, Biosyn, and now Penz Plat made from natural gas, I was wondering. Since these oils are not made from crude, does that effectively mean you are using less crude when using these types of oils? I am all for solar power and electric cars such as the Tesla Model S, but agree that gas/diesel powered vehicles aren't going anywhere for a long time. I'll admit the only reason that I used the PP recently was due to the rebate, but it just hit me that this may be a slightly more "environmental friendly" type oil being as how it is derived.
Yes, since it's made from a gas, it uses less crude.
Originally Posted By: tinmanSC
The GTL (Gas to liquid) process of taking natural gas and making engine oil makes me wonder if it's not worse off environmentally. We have a surplus of natural gas because of fracking and other technologies for extraction of NG from the ground. In general, this is not a clean process and certainly has it's fair share of environmental costs.
Very true...and a good "big picture" thought. GTL simply combines lighter, short chain molecules, and makes them into longer heavier chains and is a much better alternative to simply burning off the lighter compounds. IMO fracking is a process that will be very bad in the long run, since poisons are being pumped into the ground and the bedrock is being cracked. (I live 130 miles from Williston, ND where there is a LOT of fracking going on; there have been several documented occasions of rigs that have collapsed into sinkholes). While the "sky is falling" panic is overblown, many of the things they are saying are true, if not in all cases. See "Gasland".
 
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GTL is still a very energy intensive process, there's quite an energy input in the conversion process to build the larger molecules for transportation fuels and lubricants. Production of synthesis gas (syngas) from natural gas is very endothermic, just like production of hydrogen from natural gas. In Mobil was using this type process with natural gas and ZSM-5 catalyst to produce gasoline back in the 80's. The sustained low price of natural gas vs. crude oil has given GTL quite a boost in the last eight years or so. As noted places which would otherwise find flaring of their natural gas to be a 'solution' for dealing with gas that getting to market would otherwise be too expensive / too low ROI now have an alternative. Deposits of what would otherwise be termed "stranded gas" can be developed into liquid transportation fuels and other products. I have a friend / former classmate that's been the lead technical engineer on a GTL plant in the boonies in Nigeria for some time now. I think the production from the Eagle Ford shale will be the driving force in developing domestic GTL plants, as there's quite a bit of existing infrastructure with access to Gulf Coast refining and transportation networks.
 
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That's quite true - consider the volumes of fuels consumed relative to the volumes of lubricants consumed, and there isn't exactly a 'used fuel recycling' system, other than plant life. So that's all based on market demand - except in special cases, the modern petroleum refinery is geared to primarily make fuels and petrochemicals, converting heavier fractions of crude into lower boiling materials until the end products are materials like asphalt and petroleum coke, to maximize the volume of higher valued materials to meet market demands. But on a molecule by molecule basis, lubricating oils are heavier than typical transportation fuels, so as far as GTL lubricants are concerned, more natural gas molecules are required to make a GTL lubricant molecule than a GTL gasoline molecule, a GTL jet fuel molecule, or a GTL diesel molecule.
 
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IMO, and it has been MO for nearly 1/3 of a century is that "recycling" of used oils is a great thing (beats it being tipped down drains, or the tile/gravel hot rod magazine used oil disposal system). But it doesn't have to be recycled into engine oil...it can go as refinery feedstock, bunker oil, and still be recycled. GTL etc. make minimal difference to the world, but can make an additional help by saving a few fractions of a percent in crude oil burned.
 
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