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LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 19 Nov 2021, 22:15:29

Morgan Stanley just proclaimed that Lithium batteries are the "new oil."

lithium-batteries-are-the-new-oil-says-morgan-stanley

The world economy ran on oil for the last 150 years. Now the world economy is switching to lithium to power a new world EVs, starting with EV cars but expanding to EV planes, boats, helicopters, etc.

Many many people got rich in the past by exploring for oil, developing oil fields, refining oil, selling oil, and manufacturing things that ran on oil.

In the future people will get rich by exploring for lithium, developing lithium mines, refining and selling lithium, and manufacturing all kinds of EVs that run on lithium EV batteries.

Image
Lithium is the new oil.

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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby AdamB » Fri 19 Nov 2021, 22:22:52

Plantagenet wrote:Morgan Stanley just proclaimed that Lithium batteries are the "new oil."


Are you worried your EV will run out? How is it doing in Fairbanks weather this time of year?
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby evilgenius » Sat 20 Nov 2021, 11:18:58

Ski areas are delaying their openings, in Colorado.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sat 20 Nov 2021, 13:31:02

evilgenius wrote:Ski areas are delaying their openings, in Colorado.


Yup.

Climate Change is affecting just about everything in the mountain west.

And they've evacuated parts of Estes Park right outside Rocky Mountain National Park due to a forest fire....in late November.

Thats what is driving the rapid switch from oil to lithium........people hope that embracing EVs will make a big difference in carbon emissions and so help mitigate climate change.

Unfortunately, when you do the math, the payoff isn't as great as people would hope.

If you just look at tailpipe emissions then EVs seem like a no-brainer.

But if you actually think it through and do a detailed analysis of the total carbon footprint of an EV vs an ICE car it turns out that building an EV releases about 70% MORE CO2 than building a comparable ICE vehicle, and running an EV on carbon intensive electricity generated exclusively from burning coal or oil isn't much cleaner then running an ICE car.

As a result some studies even suggest switching to EVs won't have much an effect on the world's carbon footprint and hence won't save us from future greenhouse warming.

the-tough-calculus-of-emissions-and-the-future-of-evs

Image
...the world is now firmly set on the path towards replacing oil with lithium.

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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 20 Nov 2021, 14:42:39

Plantagenet wrote:If you just look at tailpipe emissions then EVs seem like a no-brainer.

But if you actually think it through and do a detailed analysis of the total carbon footprint of an EV vs an ICE car it turns out that building an EV releases about 70% MORE CO2 than building a comparable ICE vehicle, and running an EV on carbon intensive electricity generated exclusively from burning coal or oil isn't much cleaner then running an ICE car.

As a result some studies even suggest switching to EVs won't have much an effect on the world's carbon footprint and hence won't save us from future greenhouse warming.

OTOH, clearly, over time, electricity production will become MUCH more green, which will make the lifetime CO2 footprint strongly favor EV's. Also, we could choose to use fairly efficient BEV's with moderately sized batteries and less weight, instead of making, say, Tesla race-car like performance so much a thing.

Back in the day, when very underpowered cars were common (like in the 70's and even 80's), then more acceleration could be a safety thing, re passing and entering expressways. But now, a perfectly normal baseline sedan with a 4 cylinder engine, like a Camry or a Corolla, accelerates PLENTY fast to safely do those things. (In my experience, a Corolla accelerates like a dog from 0-30 or so, but then accelerates FINE from there, re the speeds used for passing or merging into freeway traffic).

We don't NEED 5000 pound and up cars 90% of the time, for the population in general. We don't NEED 3 and 4 and even 6 second 0-60 times. Last time I checked, my 2017 Camry was about an 8 second 0-60 car, and my 2015 Corolla (which I donated to a family member needing help, which is why I bought the Camry) was about a 9.5 second car.

Also, over time, lithium recycling is clearly improving, and that will help. Between smaller batteries to power smaller more affordable ordinary middle class BEV's and far greener electricity (again, improving a lot over time) plus less mining due to recycling will dramatically change the balance on the overall lifetime CO2 footprint of BEV's.

Which I'm sure you already know, but you have a history on this site of being net negative about BEV's -- not as bad as the AGW deniers, but still negative overall.

And one aspect of how we live will not (and cannot) solve the whole CO2 problem, of course. But each one that chips in to solve over 10% of the problem is a SIGNIFICANT help, especially over the long term.

And as always, the biggest and easiest "fix" would be to greatly reduce the global population (and thus overall resource consumption) over time by having far less children on average, but getting that done is clearly a big problem, especially in democracies.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Tanada » Sat 20 Nov 2021, 23:00:20

Plantagenet wrote:Morgan Stanley just proclaimed that Lithium batteries are the "new oil."

lithium-batteries-are-the-new-oil-says-morgan-stanley

The world economy ran on oil for the last 150 years. Now the world economy is switching to lithium to power a new world EVs, starting with EV cars but expanding to EV planes, boats, helicopters, etc.

Many many people got rich in the past by exploring for oil, developing oil fields, refining oil, selling oil, and manufacturing things that ran on oil.

In the future people will get rich by exploring for lithium, developing lithium mines, refining and selling lithium, and manufacturing all kinds of EVs that run on lithium EV batteries.

Lithium is the new oil.

Cheers!


Ridiculous! Lithium batteries are simply energy storage devices. While we can synthesize petrochemical fuels that are drop in replacements for Diesel Fuel, Jet Fuel or Gasoline these substitutes are al based on an abundant natural fuel set of organic molecules.

There is no analogous Lithium battery supply in nature that we are simply imitating with synthetic production. Lithium batteries are a wholly technological storage system and in point of fact hold far less energy density than an equal volume of synthetic diesel fuel even using that synthetic molecular blend to power a poorly efficient ICE vehicle instead of an electric motor vehicle.

Given the very vast number of ICE motor vehicles already in existence a compelling case for using nuclear and renewable energy supplies to produce synthetic liquid fuels can be easily made. So far the low cost of fossil fuels has made these synthetic liquids redundant and their manufacture price point is currently higher than crude petroleum discovery/production/refining and delivery.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 01:44:03

Outcast_Searcher wrote: clearly, over time, electricity production will become MUCH more green, which will make the lifetime CO2 footprint strongly favor EV's.


That certainly is possible but there isn't much sign of it yet. In fact, global electricity production is currently on track to become LESS GREEN.

For instance:

Here in the United States the decline in coal use has reversed itself since Biden was elected and now the use the of coal for power generation in the USA is going UP for the first time in years under Joe Biden. SO IN THE USA RIGHT NOW WE ARE SEEING AN INCREASE IN COAL USE FOR POWER GENERATION

In the EU coal use jumped up in Germany significantly after they shut down their nuclear power plants. SO IN GERMANY WE"VE RECENTLY SEEN A BIG INCREASE IN COAL USE FOR POWER GENERATION.

In India they are track to build many more coal fired power plants as the country modernizes. SO IN INDIA THERE IS A HUGE INCREASE IN COAL USE FOR POWER GENERATION GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

And in China they are continuing build new coal-fired power plants and they recently accelerated their domestic mining of coal. SO IN CHINA THERE IS AN INCREASE IN COAL USE FOR POWER GENERATION.

And China has made many loans to developing countries to build new coal-fired power plants all over the world. SO IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES THERE IS AN INCREASE IN COAL USE FOR POWER GENERATION GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

I know everyone says we should have phase out coal.......but its always important to look at what is actually happening out there in real world.

AND, in actuality, on a global basis, there is a huge INCREASE in coal use for power generation going on out there in real world right now.

Image
The use of coal for coal fired power plants is currently INCREASING in China, India, Germany, the USA, and many other countries.

Cheers!
Last edited by Plantagenet on Sun 21 Nov 2021, 01:55:41, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 01:53:38

Tanada wrote:
Ridiculous! Lithium batteries are simply energy storage devices. While we can synthesize petrochemical fuels that are drop in replacements for Diesel Fuel, Jet Fuel or Gasoline these substitutes are al based on an abundant natural fuel set of organic molecules.

There is no analogous Lithium battery supply in nature that we are simply imitating with synthetic production. Lithium batteries are a wholly technological storage system and in point of fact hold far less energy density than an equal volume of synthetic diesel fuel even using that synthetic molecular blend to power a poorly efficient ICE vehicle instead of an electric motor vehicle.


I don't think Morgan Stanley is saying that a lithium battery is a precise analogue to oil in the sense of lithium batteries being a power source---- because of course they aren't a power source.

I think the idea is that lithium batteries are the essential limiting factor on developing a new economy without fossil fuels.

Just as you can't have the modern oil-based economy without huge amounts of oil, you can't move to a fossil fuel free economy without a huge supply of lithium batteries.

Image

Morgan Stanley's premise is that if you want to invest in the future fossil fuel free economy you should invest in the lithium battery supply chain.....lithium mines, lithium mining support and technology, lithium battery production, EV cars, etc. etc.

Cheers!
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby theluckycountry » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 03:40:18

Lithium lol. If we were having trouble with energy back in 1980 it would have been NiMH batteries that were going to save the day. Move along folks, move along...
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 08:53:22

Plantagenet wrote:
Tanada wrote:
Ridiculous! Lithium batteries are simply energy storage devices. While we can synthesize petrochemical fuels that are drop in replacements for Diesel Fuel, Jet Fuel or Gasoline these substitutes are al based on an abundant natural fuel set of organic molecules.

There is no analogous Lithium battery supply in nature that we are simply imitating with synthetic production. Lithium batteries are a wholly technological storage system and in point of fact hold far less energy density than an equal volume of synthetic diesel fuel even using that synthetic molecular blend to power a poorly efficient ICE vehicle instead of an electric motor vehicle.


I don't think Morgan Stanley is saying that a lithium battery is a precise analogue to oil in the sense of lithium batteries being a power source---- because of course they aren't a power source.

I think the idea is that lithium batteries are the essential limiting factor on developing a new economy without fossil fuels.

Just as you can't have the modern oil-based economy without huge amounts of oil, you can't move to a fossil fuel free economy without a huge supply of lithium batteries.

Image

Morgan Stanley's premise is that if you want to invest in the future fossil fuel free economy you should invest in the lithium battery supply chain.....lithium mines, lithium mining support and technology, lithium battery production, EV cars, etc. etc.

Cheers!

Are you saying that you distrust the markets, when it comes to the establishment of the lithium based world? That world is very likely to have, at least, one foot in lithium recycling. I like that the markets let me look away from all of those pressing issues, knowing that some other person is working on it. If I had to do everything myself, nothing would ever get done!

As for power generation, a lot of what you say does make sense, given human nature. I can see diesel powered EV chargers at various places in the desert. I can see us cobbling together this thing, until we can make it work. We have the ICE standard to shoot for. Maybe we can even come up with something more life changing and beneficial for humanity, for our sense of who we are? I think it's that sort of potential that means a person shouldn't miss out on investing now. It could mean more than computers because we needed computers to help pull this off.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:09:45

Plantagenet wrote:
Tanada wrote:
Ridiculous! Lithium batteries are simply energy storage devices. While we can synthesize petrochemical fuels that are drop in replacements for Diesel Fuel, Jet Fuel or Gasoline these substitutes are al based on an abundant natural fuel set of organic molecules.

There is no analogous Lithium battery supply in nature that we are simply imitating with synthetic production. Lithium batteries are a wholly technological storage system and in point of fact hold far less energy density than an equal volume of synthetic diesel fuel even using that synthetic molecular blend to power a poorly efficient ICE vehicle instead of an electric motor vehicle.


I don't think Morgan Stanley is saying that a lithium battery is a precise analogue to oil in the sense of lithium batteries being a power source---- because of course they aren't a power source.

I think the idea is that lithium batteries are the essential limiting factor on developing a new economy without fossil fuels.

Just as you can't have the modern oil-based economy without huge amounts of oil, you can't move to a fossil fuel free economy without a huge supply of lithium batteries.


That is exactly the false premise I am talking about Plantagenet! Are lithium batteries useful? Sure are, they can be used to store electricity at a reasonable cost within certain limits.

However as is so often the case in the last few decades people who want to "improve the situation" get tunnel vision focusing on their one and only preferred solution and discounting every other possibility as the enemy of their chosen fixation.

Synthetic diesel/jet fuel is a real world thing that does an excellent job of storing energy in a chemical form that drops straight into our existing infrastructure without requiring new disruptive technology to flourish.

A decade ago the USN prototyped a system for use on nuclear carriers that would make carrier battle groups independent of fossil fuel supplies. Back in the 1960's the USN had a grand plan for moving all carrier task force ships to being independently nuclear powered so they could cruise without need of constantly being tied to the logistic chain of fossil fuel tankers refilling the tanks on all the support vessels every few days. The effort failed for two reasons. When the cost of fossil fuels dropped in 1986 Congress shifted the navy back to burning oil in all their new ships with the exception of the carriers and submarines. There was even a push for fossil powered carriers at the same time. In the 1990's the smaller navy ships with nuclear power along with half the submarine fleet were scrapped decades before they were needing to be scrapped and the number of active nuclear carriers was cut in half. The other related problem was carrier aircraft burn many tons of jet fuel so even in the all nuclear fleet they were still tied to tanker ships providing fossil fuels.

The new synthetic fuel proposal breaks that tanker dependency when or if the Congress decides to get off its inaction and implement it. The way it works is pretty simple, Navy fossil ships are all adjusted to burn the same fuel in their GT engine systems as the aircraft on the carriers burn so there is a unitary fuel type needed. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity, the nuclear carrier uses its excess energy capacity to power up a synthetic fuel manufacturing plant deep inside the ship. It takes in sea water which has large quantities of dissolved CO2. It pulls out CO2 and H2O which go through synthesis steps to form medium chain Hydrocarbons in the same range as the fossil fuels the GT engines on the smaller ships and aircraft burn. The synthetic fuel is continuously pumped into the onboard tanks. As each escorting ship gets down to half a load it pulls along side and gets topped up.

This makes the entire task group independent of fossil fuel tankers which are on the close order of 60% of the logistic chain for ships in combat and closer to 75% for ships on patrol duty. The rest of the logistics chain is food, weapons and spare parts and the weapons and spares use go up substantially in combat conditions.

The system can work for the navy because lawyers and pressure groups are all onshore and I acknowledge for a power station on the Great Lakes or sea coast to divert its excess power into such a fuel plant would be fought tooth and nail by the fossil fuel industry through their "green" proxy groups the same way they have fought every civilian nuclear power station since the 1970's. However the USA is not the world and in many ways we are no longer even the leader of the parade of nations in making policy.

We get platitudes and pipe dreams about hydrogen fuel cells which are effectively just chemical batteries powered by "excess" renewable energy. However whatever excess renewable power we get is just used for lowering use of nuclear power, one carbon free technology pitted against the other for the benefit of the Fossil Fuel industries.

If the government were serious about renewable energy then instead of feed in tariffs that mess up the grid constantly they would have subsidized construction of hydrogen production plants based around "abundant cheap" renewable energy. That they have not done this makes it clear that the goal is not to actually achieve a fossil carbon economy, the goal is to keep fossil fuel companies fat and happy for as long as technologically possible no matter what the climate impacts might be as a result.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby evilgenius » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 11:32:15

You know what's interesting about that proposal, since you are multitasking responsibilities, is that as the need for larger aircraft carriers goes down, the need for the size of the ships would go up, as their purpose as a fuel plant would likely increase. Eventually, all of the carriers will carry drones. Those don't need nearly the same amount of space.

You could put drones on submarines, taking them away from the carriers. You could even launch the equivalent of the US air war on Iraq from submarines. That only takes computers. But you would still have those floating fuel plants. Leadership would want to make sure those were kept afloat by much better reasons than some. They would seek to keep the two purposes together, to help justify the money spent. That, alone, would come with its own kind of risk, that of losing the depth of force penetration. The carriers are having to stand farther and farther off. That's why the F-35, really. But you can get really, really close with submarines.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 15:53:09

evilgenius wrote:
Plantagenet wrote: lithium batteries are the essential limiting factor on developing a new economy without fossil fuels

Are you saying that you distrust the markets, when it comes to the establishment of the lithium based world?


Of course.

IMHO its foolish to blindly place your trust in anything.

You've got to check and verify everything for yourself and then you've got to watch closely to see how things actually operate in the real world.

Free markets are a nice theoretical concept, but in reality most markets are controlled by a few large players or by cartels of players.

Look at the oil markets.....we've had a cartel (OPEC) openly working to control oil prices for decades now.

Almost certainly we are going to see similar things happen in the lithium/EV supply chain. Already China controls most of the world's lithium, and I saw a news story yesterday describing
how China has moved to corner the world supply of cobalt, which is another essential item in the EV supply chain.

Image
So no----the free market is a nice philosophical concept but in reality most markets are dominated by a few large players.....so it behooves us to honestly understand the way the market actually operates.

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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 16:27:09

Tanada wrote:Lithium batteries are a wholly technological storage system and in point of fact hold far less energy density than an equal volume of synthetic diesel fuel even using that synthetic molecular blend to power a poorly efficient ICE vehicle instead of an electric motor vehicle.


Yes, that is true. But governments, banks, businesses etc. are now hugely concerned about global warming, and they have clearly settled on pushing EVs as a strategy to reduce global CO2 emissions. Morgan Stanley has just suggested that if this trend persists, then the oil supply chain will diminish in importance and the lithium battery supply chain will boom, and it would be wise to invest in companies who will profit from this transition to using lithium batteries.

Tanada wrote:
That is exactly the false premise I am talking about Plantagenet! Are lithium batteries useful? Sure are, they can be used to store electricity at a reasonable cost within certain limits.
However as is so often the case in the last few decades people who want to "improve the situation" get tunnel vision focusing on their one and only preferred solution and discounting every other possibility as the enemy of their chosen fixation.Synthetic diesel/jet fuel is a real world thing that does an excellent job of storing energy in a chemical form that drops straight into our existing infrastructure without requiring new disruptive technology to flourish.


I think that ship has sailed....i.e. there has been an ongoing effort to develop synthetic diesel/jet fuel for decades, and while it is possible to do it the data all suggests that is is prohibitively expensive. I know a little bit about this because I hold stock in a company that actually developed and produced synthetic diesel/jet fuel.....they genetically engineered algae to excrete jet fuel. It all worked great....the synthetic jet fuel worked fine, but it was just too expensive to scale up and go into commercial development. As a result my little company has dropped that line of research entirely and switched to genetically engineering algae to excrete covid vaccines and other things.

Tanada wrote:
Back in the 1960's the USN had a grand plan for moving all carrier task force ships to being independently nuclear powered so they could cruise without need of constantly being tied to the logistic chain of fossil fuel tankers refilling the tanks on all the support vessels every few days. The effort failed for two reasons. When the cost of fossil fuels dropped in 1986 Congress shifted the navy back to burning oil in all their new ships with the exception of the carriers and submarines. There was even a push for fossil powered carriers at the same time. In the 1990's the smaller navy ships with nuclear power along with half the submarine fleet were scrapped decades before they were needing to be scrapped and the number of active nuclear carriers was cut in half. The other related problem was carrier aircraft burn many tons of jet fuel so even in the all nuclear fleet they were still tied to tanker ships providing fossil fuels.

The new synthetic fuel proposal breaks that tanker dependency when or if the Congress decides to get off its inaction and implement it. The way it works is pretty simple, Navy fossil ships are all adjusted to burn the same fuel in their GT engine systems as the aircraft on the carriers burn so there is a unitary fuel type needed. The concept is brilliant in its simplicity, the nuclear carrier uses its excess energy capacity to power up a synthetic fuel manufacturing plant deep inside the ship. It takes in sea water which has large quantities of dissolved CO2. It pulls out CO2 and H2O which go through synthesis steps to form medium chain Hydrocarbons in the same range as the fossil fuels the GT engines on the smaller ships and aircraft burn. The synthetic fuel is continuously pumped into the onboard tanks. As each escorting ship gets down to half a load it pulls along side and gets topped up.

This makes the entire task group independent of fossil fuel tankers which are on the close order of 60% of the logistic chain for ships in combat and closer to 75% for ships on patrol duty. The rest of the logistics chain is food, weapons and spare parts and the weapons and spares use go up substantially in combat conditions.


It all sounds very clever, but unfortunately being clever is not something our government is known for.

About 15 years Obama started a "green navy" initiative when he was president that included a switch to bio-diesel, but it was pretty much abandoned by the Trump administration.

AND now that Biden is president, he has directed the military to switch to EVs to reduce CO2 emissions.

I'm a big believer in paying attention to what is going on right now, and if we look at what the US Army is actually doing right now...they are switching to EVs as part of the Biden climate change initiative.

electric-military-vehicles-are-part-of-biden-climate-agenda-pentagon-says

The US Army has a huge number of vehicles, and their switch to EV will be another huge market for EVs....and this will put even more pressure on the lithium battery supply chain, just as Morgan Stanley predicted.

Image
IMHO Morgan Stanley is making a good point......if lithium batteries are the new oil then people should consider investing in the lithium battery supply chain.

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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Pops » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 18:09:48

Tanada wrote:However as is so often the case in the last few decades people who want to "improve the situation" get tunnel vision focusing on their one and only preferred solution and discounting every other possibility as the enemy of their chosen fixation.

Synthetic diesel/jet fuel is a real world thing


Tanada, I may be completely misreading this but I don't see a nuke renaissance, let alone one designed to make artificial diesel to run the same old 20% efficient ICEs. Some poll showed 80% of people in the US are good with more Solar, 70% more wind, but only 40% with more nukes—and that's without tying them to ICEs.

ICEs were great at 100:1 eroei, you could waste 80% at the wheel and still have enough to propel a 3 ton land shark and every economy in the world. Why go to the expense of wasting whatever percent of energy is wasted to make fake diesel just to waste 80% more in an ICE?

The fix for personal driving—14k miles per year— is to not drive 14k miles per year. Whose idea was it to drive 40 miles per day? I've had better customer service with everything from banks to social security to hot water heater warranty, since reps are working from home during the pandemic. Everyone is chill, you can tell the difference in attitude. Of course that is my hobbie horse.

I don't have any problem with nukes as soon as they figure out what to do with the waste but the ICE has gotta go. EVs are simple and efficient as long as we don't try to make them just like a Coup de Ville. In my little town I could drive a golf cart for 90% of my trips if it had a good heater.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Tanada » Sun 21 Nov 2021, 23:34:22

Pops wrote:
Tanada wrote:However as is so often the case in the last few decades people who want to "improve the situation" get tunnel vision focusing on their one and only preferred solution and discounting every other possibility as the enemy of their chosen fixation.

Synthetic diesel/jet fuel is a real world thing


Tanada, I may be completely misreading this but I don't see a nuke renaissance, let alone one designed to make artificial diesel to run the same old 20% efficient ICEs. Some poll showed 80% of people in the US are good with more Solar, 70% more wind, but only 40% with more nukes—and that's without tying them to ICEs.

ICEs were great at 100:1 eroei, you could waste 80% at the wheel and still have enough to propel a 3 ton land shark and every economy in the world. Why go to the expense of wasting whatever percent of energy is wasted to make fake diesel just to waste 80% more in an ICE?

The fix for personal driving—14k miles per year— is to not drive 14k miles per year. Whose idea was it to drive 40 miles per day? I've had better customer service with everything from banks to social security to hot water heater warranty, since reps are working from home during the pandemic. Everyone is chill, you can tell the difference in attitude. Of course that is my hobbie horse.

I don't have any problem with nukes as soon as they figure out what to do with the waste but the ICE has gotta go. EVs are simple and efficient as long as we don't try to make them just like a Coup de Ville. In my little town I could drive a golf cart for 90% of my trips if it had a good heater.


The beauty of it is the synthetic diesel does not require the use of nukes, you can do it with hydroelectricity, Solar PV electricity, Solar Thermal electricity, Windmill electricity, Geothermal electricity etc etc. The key point isn't where you get the electricity, it is that the synthetic fuel is a drop in replacement for the existing infrastructure and 100% carbon neutral because the CO2 and H2O is already part of every large body of water on Earth.

We should IMO be making carbon recycling into synthetic fuel a real force for eliminating CO2 emissions. Heck once we have enough capacity to replace all current liquid fuels demand we could build the excess capacity to make extra long chain hydrocarbons and dump those back into depleted oil fields as the ultimate method of drawing down CO2 already released into the atmosphere.

Unfortunately we keep fiddle-farting around with buzz word solutions that require massive construction of a whole new battery based infrastructure instead of using known methods to reduce the CO2 load in the atmosphere. I love nuclear fission but I have no problem using any of the "renewable" technologies listed and others I don't have on the tip of my typing fingers so long as the technology is carbon neutral and potentially carbon negative.

If anyone wants to seriously prevent further climate change and potentially reverse us back below the 350 ppmv level some scientist believe is necessary then we could do that.

Plantagenet mentioned he invested in a company that genetically engineered algae to do the same trick of converting CO2 and water into bio-jet fuel but the company gave up the project because it was economically not competitive with fossil jet fuel. So long as love of low costs is more important to the vast bulk of humanity than reducing and eliminating CO2 emissions that story will continue to be repeated endlessly.

We have know for generations how to synthesize long chain hydrocarbons but until Fission became a power supply every method of doing so released more CO2 than it captured because the process consumes a heck of a lot of energy. We now have a considerable list of carbon free energy choices to pick and choose from to make synthetic fuel, but we still choose to consume massive volumes of fossil fuels and our government continues to create policies that keep making the situation worse instead of better.

I find this extremely frustrating as Global Warming is IMO a severe disruptive event which once we hit the flip step becomes impossible to reverse on short time scales. It is established by several extensive models that once we hit at most 560 ppmv the Northern Hemisphere will become subtropical. The margin of error for that 560 starts around 480 ppmv plus or minus 80 ppmv. IOW we are already well inside the lower limits of the margin of error and every day that passes we are getting closer and closer to that irrevocable flip.

The climate is a chaotic system with various nodes of stability. Right now the Earth is in the node range where permanent ice exists at both polar extremes year around. The next node in the system is the one where the North Pole is ice free in summer but still has ice cover in the winter months and we are approaching that node on a decadal time scale as permanent northern sea ice has been trending downward for decades. Once we hit the "blue ocean event" where the North Pole is relatively ice free in summer the albedo of the planet is strongly changed and solar energy starts accumulating in the Arctic Ocean and Arctic soils.

That change leads to further polar amplification which rapidly pushes the climate up to a third node, the one where ice no longer forms in the Arctic Ocean even in the depths of winter. When we hit that node the Northern Hemisphere becomes subtropical between 20 North and 60 North latitudes, and we get Alligators and Palm Trees in Anchorage, Alaska. The temperate band shrinks down from its current zone of 35 North to 55 North and shifts north to occupy the 60 to 85 north latitudes and the "Polar" climate disappears completely with the 'Sub-Arctic' either disappearing completely or only existing in winter in the 5 degrees closest to the geographic pole. The kicker is each of these nodes has to be strongly exceeded for the climate to shift from one node to the one on either side. Once we hit the ice free summer Arctic state the albedo change alone will provide that continued forcing which will take from 7 to 12 years depending on which model you pick.

The upshot of all this is A) We are already in the danger zone and getting further into it ever single day we continue to emit fossil carbon and B) human behavior is continuing to increase fossil carbon emissions so C) we need to get our act together or prepare our descendants to live in a very different climate. Once we hit that ice free Arctic summer condition we are over the resistance hump and sliding down into the semi-tropical climate state. Stopping all emissions and starting the process of sequestering a lot of already released CO2 within 7-12 years in that middle node state would require a genuine divine intervention because even with the best of intentions we could not build the necessary capacity to end further fossil fuel emissions and begin the process of sequestration in that short of a time period. Sending men to the moon in a decade was child's play in comparison of the feats of engineering and construction needed, yet here we are still playing around with platitudes and not even starting to do the necessary ground work.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Pops » Mon 22 Nov 2021, 09:42:16

The beauty of it is the synthetic diesel does not require the use of nukes, you can do it with hydroelectricity, Solar PV electricity, Solar Thermal electricity, Windmill electricity, Geothermal electricity etc etc.

What you are talking about is an energy carrier, the problem is we're running out of an energy source not to mention pumping fossil CO2 into the air. And since we are running out mainly because ICEs are so wasteful, ICEs are the thing that needs to be replaced most. Ditto the problem with warming, ICEs are not only the main human culprit, but egregiously so because of their massive inefficiency.

Increasing electricity capacity by whatever magnitude AND building and an entirely new system to synthesize diesel—and I'm sure this industry would be a new— just so you can keep wasting 80% of it in ICEs vehicles doesn't seem ideal.

I think it would be better to increase generation capacity, but build out electrical storage and carrier tech of whatever kind*, then build/retrofit to 60% efficient electric vehicles.

Either way you are increasing generation capacity by magnitudes and building a whole new industry. But consider, an EV has about 20 moving parts vs an ICE at 2,000 parts. EVs could be made very cheaply on that basis alone. Here is one for $900 plus shipping, maybe not quite ready for I-40 but getting there and a heck of a lot cheaper than a $5,000 golf cart.

As far as warming, IIRC oceans have been moderating atmospheric CO2 by absorbing 30% of emissions so far. Seems like they are saving our bacon to some extent, not sure we should negate that reprieve by expending the energy to build a whole new industry to pump that CO2 back into the atmosphere.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby Pops » Mon 22 Nov 2021, 09:55:32

*
I wanted to post this separately. Lithium is great because it is light and has the highest electrical potential. But there are lots of other storage technologies. Gravity storage is one I've been reading about lately because I have fantasy of building a home-sized system. Aside from that, there are several proof of concept projects going, including using mine shafts rather than building something for elevation
Also areliquid air batteries that use all existing, fairly low-tech materials and systems.
Iron-Air may be something too.

I get that a drop-in, change-free, pain-free solution would be nice. No one likes change, especially when the benefits seem intangible and half the body politic seems to doubt if the benefit is even real. But if change is necessary it should be for the better.
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby theluckycountry » Tue 23 Nov 2021, 05:24:57

Pops wrote:
Tanada wrote:Tanada, I may be completely misreading this but I don't see a nuke renaissance, let alone one designed to make artificial diesel to run the same old 20% efficient ICEs.


They cost too much now, it's why they haven't built any in ages.

In the dawn of the nuclear era, cost was expected to be one of the technology's advantages, not one of its drawbacks. The first chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Lewis Strauss, predicted in a 1954 speech that nuclear power would someday make electricity “too cheap to meter.” A half century later, we have learned that nuclear power is, instead, too expensive to finance.

The industry has failed to prove that things will be different this time around: soaring, uncertain costs continue to plague nuclear power in the 21st century. Between 2002 and 2008, for example, cost estimates for new nuclear plant construction rose from between $2 billion and $4 billion per unit to $9 billion per unit, according to a 2009 UCS report, while experience with new construction in Europe has seen costs continue to soar.

Union of concerned scientists https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/nuclear-power-cost


Nuclear power plants, especially compared to other kind of energy plants, have extremely high upfront costs: Stanford http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ ... 2011%25%2C
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Re: LITHIUM IS THE NEW OIL

Unread postby rangerone314 » Tue 23 Nov 2021, 10:10:26

In the US at least, better zoning or less would help.

It'd be nice to be able to drive to a grocery store or clothing store in a golf cart, but for a lot of people that wouldn't work because... zoning.

Have areas with residential areas mixed in with farmer's markets and other merchants. Make things more walkable and bike-able (?), and use small vehicles like EV golf cars on smaller roads (using less asphalt).
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