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CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Ulenspiegel » Mon 29 Jul 2013, 07:07:32

SeaGypsy wrote:Ever done the maths on what sort of battery it will take to push an 18 wheeler weighing 40 tons at highway speeds all day? Not much room left for anything else but batteries, then there are the materials involved- rare earth metals and lead.



But your argument is a strawman. First you have to check, which percentage of the fuel really goes into long range hauling. All the short range stuff can easily be substituted.

Then the question is, how much of the remaining milage could be substituted by trains. Then we get the percentage that has to be done with methane or P2G. A 40 tons truck with battery will very likely not work, a fuel cell may.

My point is, that the current level of transport with vehicles that have an ICE is not sustainable if we want to replace oil products with P2G or products from biomass.

BTW: Some of the demand that was created in the last decades was a product of cheap oil, i.e. long rang transport became cheaper than local production, and open borders. With higher oil prices I expect that the pendulum swings back and we will see some kind of demand destruction.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby cephalotus » Fri 15 Nov 2013, 09:25:32

pstarr wrote:Yes. Biofuels have additional inputs: free solar and free photosynthesis. The plants take solar, CO2, to synthesize carbohydrates, starch, and sugars, the inputs into fermentation/distillations processes.


Efficiency of photosynthesis (real world) is around 0,5-1%. Efficiency of liquid fuel extraction from biomass is around 30%, so you end up with an efficiency of around 0,2% from sunlight to biofuels. Use this in a combustion engine with an average efficiency (real world) of 20% you have a cobersion rate of less than 0,05% from sunlight to power at your cars wheels.

This would not be aproblem if we would only have few cars in the world or unlimited space. In reality we have neither.

Yes. But the CO1/H20/Energy system requires concrete, steel, fossil fuels, and electricity.

My point is not that one is better than the other, but really both are loosers, not solutions.


Efficiency of a PV solar power plant is 10%. Efficiency of electricity transportation to batter charging to electric drive is 50% or better. So for the solar-electri path you have an efficiency of 5%, a hundred times better than the biofuel conversion process.

If you use your 10% PV power plant and make methane with 50% efficiency and use that in a combustion engine with 20% efficiency you end up with 0,5% efficiency from solar energy to power ta your wheels. 10 times worse than the pure lectric path, but still 10 times better than the biofuel path.

Solar methane or batteries need raw materials, but that imput is not a problem. Solar PV EROEI is now 10:1 to 20:1 and the other systems are irrelevant to the material use of the cars itself (no matter how they are powered)

So a combined solar-electric + solar-methane-combustion engine system will be doable and will provide 10-100 times more power per m² of area.
In a country like Germany without unlimited farmland and lots of energy /fuel needs this is very important.

because either solution has untended consequences such as AGW, ozone depletion, erosion, water depletion, etc. etc.


The solar-electric and solar-methane path is much, much, much better than the biofuel path in that regard. Solar PV in the deserts is no problem. Try that with biofuels... Erosion?Zero problem (solar PV plants even prevent erosion)
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Graeme » Sun 07 Sep 2014, 20:07:22

Solar fuels company Joule looks to partner with Scatec Solar to bring photovoltaic power to Joule production plants

Joule, the developer of a direct, single-step, continuous process for the production of solar hydrocarbon fuels (earlier post), has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Scatec Solar ASA, a leading, independent solar power producer. In the MoU the parties have agreed to initiate a process to reach specific terms for a partnership, to support the roll-out of Joule production plants featuring photovoltaic power.

The terms of the MoU anticipate that Scatec Solar ASA will become preferred supplier and operator of photovoltaic power installations for Joule plants, with an initial deployment goal of up to 25,000 acres (~10,000 hectares) and a power requirement of 2 gigawatts. A deployment of this scale would generate up to 625 million gallons (~15 million barrels) of ethanol or 375 million gallons (~9 million barrels) of diesel per year, while consuming about 4 million tonnes of industrial waste CO2 annually in the process.

We have found an ideal strategic fit with Scatec Solar, who brings a turnkey solution for photovoltaic power along with a shared vision for sustainability. With ever-increasing global attention on the consequences of climate change, we have an opportunity to produce transportation fuels with the lowest-known carbon footprint—using solar energy both as a feedstock and a power source. This relationship exemplifies our approach to building an ecosystem of like-minded partners with complementary expertise, which in turn will fast-track the availability of CO2-neutral fuels to a planet in urgent need of scalable solutions.

—Paul Snaith, President and CEO of Joule


Joule’s proprietary process allows significant reductions in overall carbon footprint by using solar energy to convert waste CO2 directly into infrastructure-ready, carbon-neutral fuels. By closing the carbon cycle, Joule’s fuels enable a sustainable form of combustion. The use of photovoltaic power for plant operations is expected to reduce Joule’s system-level carbon footprint even further, netting more than a 90% improvement over conventional fuel production.


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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Tue 28 Apr 2015, 16:10:06

April 28, 2015
Sunfire, Audi en route to synthetic fuel of future
Namely, sunfire has succeeded in producing synthetic diesel from air, water and "green" electrical energy, and "an independent laboratory confirmed that the outstanding characteristics of the fuel are superior to the properties of fossil fuel." The synthetic sunfire diesel is particularly eco-friendly. As sunfire CTO Christian von Olshausen said, "The engine runs quieter and fewer pollutants are being created." The fuel is promoted as superior partly because the properties are such that the engine runs smoothly with fewer emissions. The fuel is free from sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons,

4 min. video
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Graeme » Mon 29 Jun 2015, 16:05:28

More on the above story:

Audi Makes Synthetic Gasoline Using Zero Petroleum

Researchers at Audi have managed to do something that at first blush sounds impossible, or at least, highly illogical: They’ve created a small batch of synthetic gasoline without using any petroleum whatsoever. And they’re working to tweak the process so they can create the fuel using nothing but water, hydrogen, sunlight, and carbon dioxide.

Audi’s “e-benzin” is a fully synthetic 100-octane gasoline equivalent. Since it’s synthetic, it contains no sulfur or benzene, making it extremely clean-burning. With its research partner Gloabl Bioenergies, Audi has figured out how to create the synthetic fuel from biomass, or plant material, making the fuel carbon-neutral.

An Audi spokesperson tells us that, as of right now, the experiment has only produced a small amount of the fuel—think liters, not tanker trucks—and the next step is to test its performance in internal combustion engines in a lab setting. It’s a line of experimentation that Audi has been particularly focused on, having recently figured out how to synthesize diesel fuel from water and CO2 and operating a production facility that makes synthetic methane out of water, hydrogen, and CO2 to fuel the CNG-powered A3 Sportback g-tron.


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Audi launches next-gen A4 with new Millerized TFSI engine; g-tron model w/ Audi e-gas
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby pstarr » Mon 29 Jun 2015, 16:46:18

Image
From the story above. That thimble-full required thousands of gallons of petroleum for synthesis, distillation and refinement. All embodied in equipment, man-hours, and electricity.

So yes, no petroleum was added to the actual reactor. Just global warming.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Mon 29 Jun 2015, 19:20:07

From:
will-we-ever-discover-an-alternative-to-oil-t71468-20.html#p1255012
StarvingLion wrote:I especially like this one where they show the solar refinery:
https://mitei.mit.edu/system/files/Sola ... r_0805.pdf

Image
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby lpetrich » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 13:08:13

Blue crude: Audi pilot produces diesel fuel from CO2 and water : Renew EconomyAudi has successfully made diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water - ScienceAlert

The process:
  • Electrolysis of water: H2O -> H2 + (1/2) O2
  • Combine with CO2: CO2 + 3H2 -> [CH2] + 2 H2O
The [CH2] is the "blue crude".

It has the nice property of being free from aromatic hydrocarbons (those with benzene rings) and sulfur, so it's relatively clean-burning.

They estimate a cost of 1 to 1.5 euros / liter, about $4 to $6 per gallon.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Subjectivist » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 13:32:06

lpetrich wrote:Blue crude: Audi pilot produces diesel fuel from CO2 and water : Renew EconomyAudi has successfully made diesel fuel from carbon dioxide and water - ScienceAlert

The process:
  • Electrolysis of water: H2O -> H2 + (1/2) O2
  • Combine with CO2: CO2 + 3H2 -> [CH2] + 2 H2O
The [CH2] is the "blue crude".

It has the nice property of being free from aromatic hydrocarbons (those with benzene rings) and sulfur, so it's relatively clean-burning.

They estimate a cost of 1 to 1.5 euros / liter, about $4 to $6 per gallon.


I think this technology or a version of it puts a firm cap on world oil prices. Above something like $125/bbl synthetic fuel is price competitive with oil gotten out of the ground at higher prices.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby hvacman » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 13:57:44

Magical chemistry! Sounds like Audi's engineers discovered the "blue" formula made famous by the renowned (and fictional) chemist Walter White to "power" their design centers.

All kidding aside, this particular process is a variation of the Sabetier reaction and has been around for about a century. Yes, it can be done. Does it make sense? Very likely only if you are really-really-really desperate for a liquid hydrocarbon fuel and don't care to use your limited renewable energy in a more efficient way. I strongly suspect that there is some outrageously optimistic energy accounting going on to come up with $4-$6/gallon. Not that the Audi-VW people have ever tried to fictionalize their engineering when it comes to diesels.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 15:29:59

Are you sure about the "CH2"? CH4 is actually methane. Thanks all the same but I'll let someone else burn the time figuring this one out. LOL.

But this might be a hint as to what they mean by "CH2":

The simplest organic compounds are composed of carbon and hydrogen and are known as hydrocarbons. There are four types, or classes, of hydrocarbons:

Alkanes: contain all C-C single bonds. These are known as saturated hydrocarbons.
Alkenes: contain at least one C=C double bond.
Alkynes: contain at least one C≡C triple bond. Both alkenes and alkynes are known as
unsaturated hydrocarbons
Aromatic hydrocarbons: contain a benzene structure

These are also called structural formulas. Since these take up a lot of space, condensed structural
formulas are used. So a hydrocarbon chain with 10 H's and 4 C's could be written: H3C-CH2-CH2-Ch3.

Beyond that you should take a course in organic chemistry. LOL
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Tanada » Tue 16 Feb 2016, 23:10:03

ROCKMAN wrote:Are you sure about the "CH2"? CH4 is actually methane. Thanks all the same but I'll let someone else burn the time figuring this one out. LOL.

But this might be a hint as to what they mean by "CH2":

The simplest organic compounds are composed of carbon and hydrogen and are known as hydrocarbons. There are four types, or classes, of hydrocarbons:

Alkanes: contain all C-C single bonds. These are known as saturated hydrocarbons.
Alkenes: contain at least one C=C double bond.
Alkynes: contain at least one C≡C triple bond. Both alkenes and alkynes are known as
unsaturated hydrocarbons
Aromatic hydrocarbons: contain a benzene structure

These are also called structural formulas. Since these take up a lot of space, condensed structural
formulas are used. So a hydrocarbon chain with 10 H's and 4 C's could be written: H3C-CH2-CH2-Ch3.

Beyond that you should take a course in organic chemistry. LOL


I imagine they aim for CH2 because you can string them together in arbitrarily long chains and then hydrogenate the two end bits into CH3 for stable straight chain hydrocarbons. As you pointed out everything from CH3-CH2-CH2-CH3 (Butane) on up to CH3-(20)CH2-CH3 are found in gasoline, kerosene and diesel and consequently in jet fuel, fuel oil, locomotive fuel and maritime fuel.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby lpetrich » Wed 17 Feb 2016, 03:11:26

The [CH2] I meant as a shorthand for large hydrocarbons. For instance, octane is C8H18, or 8(CH2)H2.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 11 May 2017, 13:01:02

The US Navy has prototyped a module to use nuclear electricity on aircraft carriers to manufacture jet fuel and eliminate the need for oil tankers.

https://youtu.be/G8zOHZINyG8
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby ROCKMAN » Thu 11 May 2017, 13:08:32

Sub - Outstanding! I assume it costs more then the available fuel from the market place. Maybe a lot more. Fortunately for the Blue shirts it's not their money. LOL.

Just like when I had a company truck and gas card: went with a V8 4WD. Unlike the Kia I that I bought and paid for the fuel out of my pocket. LOL.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 11 May 2017, 14:08:02

ROCKMAN wrote:Sub - Outstanding! I assume it costs more then the available fuel from the market place. Maybe a lot more. Fortunately for the Blue shirts it's not their money. LOL.

Just like when I had a company truck and gas card: went with a V8 4WD. Unlike the Kia I that I bought and paid for the fuel out of my pocket. LOL.


The quoted cost is $2.70/gallon for jet fuel onboard the carrier vs $6.60/gallon for jet fuel delivered from shore to ship via high speed navy tanker ship.

Until they start deploying them on existing aircraft carriers I will take those numbers with a hefty lump of salt.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 11 May 2017, 20:53:43

This is actually something I have been predicting the Navy would do for decades, I guess it took sustained $80/bbl oil prices to get them moving on it. Sounds like now that it is ready it could be a major benefit.

For all those that disparage nuclear power stations on the coast, this could actually be an effective way of using power when 'renewables' are at peak performance to synthesize fuel. That would actually recycle some human CO2 emissions and lower the ocean acidity while also eliminating the need for fossil fuels.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby diemos » Thu 11 May 2017, 21:18:22

Subjectivist wrote:The quoted cost is $2.70/gallon for jet fuel onboard the carrier vs $6.60/gallon for jet fuel delivered from shore to ship via high speed navy tanker ship.

Until they start deploying them on existing aircraft carriers I will take those numbers with a hefty lump of salt.


As you should, that figure assumes that the energy needed is free. As soon as you factor in the conversion efficiency and the unit cost of energy it's a lot higher.
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Re: CO2 + H2O + Energy = synthetic fuel

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 12 May 2017, 10:07:26

diemos wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:The quoted cost is $2.70/gallon for jet fuel onboard the carrier vs $6.60/gallon for jet fuel delivered from shore to ship via high speed navy tanker ship.

Until they start deploying them on existing aircraft carriers I will take those numbers with a hefty lump of salt.


As you should, that figure assumes that the energy needed is free. As soon as you factor in the conversion efficiency and the unit cost of energy it's a lot higher.


On a nuclear reactor powered aircraft carrier the power is effectively free. The concern would be the cost to manufacture and maintain the modules shown in that short video, but in all honesty it is just a variation of Fischer–Tropsch technology developed just over a century ago. The material processes, catalysts and maintenance of those things are mature technology.

The key to the success of this is two-fold, first the bureaucracy of the US Navy has to accept it as a good idea, then they have to find the budget to pay for it. Unfortunately experience has shown many many times that anything new introduced to the bureaucracy is fought tooth and nail unless it is forced along by someone powerful near the top. For example the USA kept building Battleships right through 1945 despite Pearl Harbor in 1941, the navy kept building diesel power submarines for a decade after the first nuclear subs were launched and they built two additional oil fired aircraft carriers after they built the USS Enterprise and waited over a decade before building the second nuclear carrier.

I know the US Navy spends insane amounts of money on jet fuel, they don't just burn it on the aircraft carriers, nearly every smaller ship has one or more helicopters with their own fuel supply and hangar deck and most new ships are powered by gas turbine engines that can go through liquid fuel like nobodies business. I hope this works out because if it does the cost savings to American taxpayers will be significant.
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