Fuel from Sea water?

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LarsMac
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by LarsMac »

This could be a game changer

US Navy Lab Turns Seawater Into Fuel
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by tude dog »

The process requires a lot of electrical energy, which - to be economical - has to come from a cheap source, such as a nuclear power plant.


Back to square one.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by Bryn Mawr »

tude dog;1455523 wrote: Back to square one.


Until we have fusion that's our best hope - the least pollution with the least deaths per megawatt of any of the on-demand energy sources.

The renewables are all very well for up to, maybe, a quarter of the load but the majority of our power requirements need to be available exactly when we want it to be there.

I would say though, a two to one power loss in generating the fuel is uneconomic for anyone other than the military.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by LarsMac »

It the moment, it seems the only practical application would be, say, on a Nuke powered Aircraft carrier. The ship could produce fuel for its planes.

Not really practical for producing fuel for the fleet, itself.

And there is the current mistrust of Nuclear power to deal with, along with solving the spent fuel disposal problems.

But, perhaps a few years down the road, they can solve some of those issues.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by fuzzywuzzy »

They've already worked out how to get electricity from sea waves. fuel seems to be the next step.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by DarrylC1 »

That will be a new innovation when it happens
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by FourPart »

Bryn Mawr;1455536 wrote: Until we have fusion that's our best hope - the least pollution with the least deaths per megawatt of any of the on-demand energy sources.

The renewables are all very well for up to, maybe, a quarter of the load but the majority of our power requirements need to be available exactly when we want it to be there.

I would say though, a two to one power loss in generating the fuel is uneconomic for anyone other than the military.
The key there is to concentrate more on Fuel Efficiency.

If the Renewables are currently enough to provide 25% of what we need at the moment, that should be plenty if we reduce the demand.

For instance, a standard filament light bulb wastes more than 95% of its energy load in heat. Even standard Energy Saving ones waste up to 60%, whereas with LED ones (like I use) only waste about 1%.

Fortunately, with the ever increasing cost of fuel, efficiency has become a major selling point & is steadily being improved with advancing technology. Just look how much advancement has been made over recent years with Electric Cars, for instance. T.V.s / Computer Monitors are no longer the massive, energy hungry Cathode Ray tubes they used to be. Phone lines are using Fibre Optics more & more, instead of losing most of the signal by resistance of Copper Wires.

Each technological step towards an improved level of efficiency means less demand.

Furthermore, it wasn't that long ago that the only type of Solar Panels available were of the Thermal variety - not much good for the U.K., and the Photo Voltaic ones were so expensive & inefficient that it simply wasn't worth the cost. These days they are relatively cheap & so efficient that they more than pay for themselves in a matter of a few years - and these are just the panels on individual homes. The potential for future technological advances are endless, and to give up on them claiming that they're not practical is plain defeatist & irresponsible. It's a FACT that fossil fuels are running out. Turning a blind eye to this fact is not going to help matters. Renewable Resources are the best & safest way to go.

Improve efficiency to lessen Demand.

Improve efficiency to increase Supply.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by LarsMac »

FourPart;1464938 wrote: The key there is to concentrate more on Fuel Efficiency.

If the Renewables are currently enough to provide 25% of what we need at the moment, that should be plenty if we reduce the demand.

For instance, a standard filament light bulb wastes more than 95% of its energy load in heat. Even standard Energy Saving ones waste up to 60%, whereas with LED ones (like I use) only waste about 1%.

Fortunately, with the ever increasing cost of fuel, efficiency has become a major selling point & is steadily being improved with advancing technology. Just look how much advancement has been made over recent years with Electric Cars, for instance. T.V.s / Computer Monitors are no longer the massive, energy hungry Cathode Ray tubes they used to be. Phone lines are using Fibre Optics more & more, instead of losing most of the signal by resistance of Copper Wires.

Each technological step towards an improved level of efficiency means less demand.

Furthermore, it wasn't that long ago that the only type of Solar Panels available were of the Thermal variety - not much good for the U.K., and the Photo Voltaic ones were so expensive & inefficient that it simply wasn't worth the cost. These days they are relatively cheap & so efficient that they more than pay for themselves in a matter of a few years - and these are just the panels on individual homes. The potential for future technological advances are endless, and to give up on them claiming that they're not practical is plain defeatist & irresponsible. It's a FACT that fossil fuels are running out. Turning a blind eye to this fact is not going to help matters. Renewable Resources are the best & safest way to go.

Improve efficiency to lessen Demand.

Improve efficiency to increase Supply.


We will soon discover that petroleum is far too valuable a resource to simply burn up.
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Fuel from Sea water?

Post by High Threshold »

I stand with the conspiracy theorists in that as long as the big guys have their investment in petrol and nuclear, any alternative fuel will go the way of the man in the white suit.
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Post by spot »

FourPart;1464938 wrote: For instance, a standard filament light bulb wastes more than 95% of its energy load in heat.I've never quite understood why this was ever considered a problem. Peak electric usage is in the winter, right? People heat their homes in the winter. If the bulbs contribute to that heating then the heaters get turned down to that extent to compensate. The net difference in power consumption ought to be zero whether you're using inefficient filament bulbs or some newfangled 100%-light-with-no-heat perfect bulb. All you've managed to achieve by buying the efficient bulb is to need a higher-output heating system alongside it and spent more on the hardware, both for heating and for lighting.
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Post by FourPart »

Not me. I use lights all year round. I prefer a colder environment. I prefer to be able to choose when I have my heating on. Even if you were using the light bulbs as a heat source, once again it's an inefficient method. Being at the top of the room it doesn't help much to have all the heat along the ceiling.

In this place we used to have electric underfloor heating, which used to come on, full whack, during the daytime, for 12 hours at a time, until over the past year when refurbishments were made to the building to heat the place using a central gas boiler using radiators in the flats which also provide hot running water. In this way, rather than paying a flat rate for heating, which would be the same rate for everyone in the building, whether they used it or not, it is now metered, so you only pay for what you use, thus encouraging everyone to be more frugal in what they use.

The communal passageways have all been converted to LED lighting, which are powered by Solar Panels on the roof, which also go to supplementing the power used in the lifts.

What about Street Lights & Road Signs. Many of these are switching over to LEDs, and quite a few of those making use of Solar Panels as well. Not only is this more efficient for Roadworks (particularly long term roadworks), by not having to set up remote wiring systems & generators, but a lot more cost efficient & better for the environment.

I use a 6w LED light bulb, which gives off the equivalent light of a standard 100w filament bulb. Just consider the savings made over the year, by me alone. Now imagine that saving made by the entire country. At 6% of the power consumption, just think of the knock on effects of the demand - and that's just where it comes to light bulbs.

Even with today's technology it would, in theory, with a concerted effort easily be possible to reduce power consumption to 25% of what it is now - or even less, which would be within the figures you state for renewable resources. When combined with growing technology, that should be even less.

In the early days of the mobile phone, apart from the cost they were impractical because of the backpack that was required to carry the batteries in because of the amount of energy they used. The development of this technology speaks for itself.

The goal shouldn't be to produce more energy so as to meet the increasing demand, but to reduce the demand so that less energy is required. In this way, supply becomes less of a problem.
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FourPart;1464938 wrote: The key there is to concentrate more on Fuel Efficiency.

If the Renewables are currently enough to provide 25% of what we need at the moment, that should be plenty if we reduce the demand.

For instance, a standard filament light bulb wastes more than 95% of its energy load in heat. Even standard Energy Saving ones waste up to 60%, whereas with LED ones (like I use) only waste about 1%.

Fortunately, with the ever increasing cost of fuel, efficiency has become a major selling point & is steadily being improved with advancing technology. Just look how much advancement has been made over recent years with Electric Cars, for instance. T.V.s / Computer Monitors are no longer the massive, energy hungry Cathode Ray tubes they used to be. Phone lines are using Fibre Optics more & more, instead of losing most of the signal by resistance of Copper Wires.

Each technological step towards an improved level of efficiency means less demand.

Furthermore, it wasn't that long ago that the only type of Solar Panels available were of the Thermal variety - not much good for the U.K., and the Photo Voltaic ones were so expensive & inefficient that it simply wasn't worth the cost. These days they are relatively cheap & so efficient that they more than pay for themselves in a matter of a few years - and these are just the panels on individual homes. The potential for future technological advances are endless, and to give up on them claiming that they're not practical is plain defeatist & irresponsible. It's a FACT that fossil fuels are running out. Turning a blind eye to this fact is not going to help matters. Renewable Resources are the best & safest way to go.

Improve efficiency to lessen Demand.

Improve efficiency to increase Supply.


You miss my point - renewables provide power depending on factors outside of our control such as wind, sun or wave hight. As a result the system cannot be reliant on them for a high percentage of the peak load and we need a good reserve of on demand generating capacity.

Cutting demand would be a no brainer but would not mean that we could become more dependant of renewables and just dump the on demand capability.
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Post by FourPart »

Invest more in the best way to utilise renewables. That's the real no brainer. Convincing yourself that they're feasible is plain defeatism. The escalating rate of progress thus far over the past 10 - 20 years is proof of that much. It used to said that Photo Voltaic systems cost so much & produced so little energy that they could never be cost effective, yet there are now plenty of homes using Solar Panels & selling their surplus to the National Grid. Think how things might be in another 20 - 30 years.

Determination & Research are the real answers. You can only scrape so much out of the yoghurt pot of oil.
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Post by spot »

I'm plain baffled by the demand for renewables, seriously. Burning forests is renewables, in case nobody had noticed. Forests aren't fossil fuel. More to the point, nuclear isn't a fossil fuel either, and nuclear has killed far fewer people than fossil fuels continue to kill. Nuclear is an ideal power source in that you can increase consumption by orders of magnitude and still not increase global warming by doing it. You couldn't have done that with a mere-smear renewable. Renewables are a complete irrelevance as far as fighting global warming's concerned, all that matters is reducing fossil fuel consumption.

As for the thread topic, by all means swap any non-fossil fuel for this sea-water extract. So long as you're not burning a fossil fuel to get it, it's near enough carbon-neutral. The trouble is that by then burning the new fuel, you're releasing carbon that had been naturally captured into seawater and putting it into the atmosphere where it becomes a global warming contributor. So, the process referred to in the OP is actually adding to the atmospheric CO2 concentration and thereby to the global warming problem. So in what way is it a game-changer?
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Firstly it's not adding to the CO2 content whatsoever.

The process they are talking about in the item is nothing new whatsoever. The fuel they are talking about being extracted from the water is Hydrogen, which requires far more energy to be put into it than it could possibly get out. As for the hi-tech resources required to manage this - total BS. You're doing it all the time in your car battery. The current causes electrolysis & breaks down the molecular structure of the water into its compound elements, Hydrogen & Oxygen. Just think, though, a car battery generates enough Hydrogen to fill a small test tube - just about enough to make a Pop!! if you set light to it. Think how much power would be required to make anything feasible. If it weren't, then you would have the Perpetual Motion machine.

The only waste product of burning Hydrogen (and Oxygen, of course) is water. Carbon doesn't come into it. CO2 is non combustible. For that matter, neither is Oxygen - at least, not on its own. CO2 is the waste product of Carbon based fuels.

As mentioned in the article, it's that CO2 which is causing the increasing acidity levels.

Waste products are also the main bane of fuels. At least with CO2 it can be eventually returned to its original Carbon & Oxygen state. Nuclear Waste is a totally different matter. The find the whole idea of a Nuclear powered warship terrifying. By their very nature they are at constant risk & always in danger of an imminent Nuclear disaster.

What happens to the waste of Nuclear Powered Generators, when it has a half life of several thousand years? Just bury it in some disused mine, for it to irradiate the water table? Or drop it deep in the ocean to kill of all the native wildlife, to say nothing of our own food supplies? Then there is the all too obvious question of Meltdown. You can't say it could never happen. The fact that that it can & does has been proved all too often, and when it does happen it doesn't just kill those it comes into immediate contact with, but makes the land itself lethally toxic for a radius of miles, spreading even further with following winds.

While it may be true that nuclear fuel has killed fewer people that fossil fuels, that is only because it's a relatively new technology - and you're not even taking into consideration the miners who dig the Uranium ore. In fact if you discount the Uranium miners, along with discounting the Coal miners, then I suspect the numbers would be entirely reversed.
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Perhaps you might check the article - it's about building hydrocarbons from carbon dioxide and water[1]. The carbon dioxide is, before the process, already dissolved in the seawater and consequently already sequestered from the atmosphere. Subsequently burning the created hydrocarbon puts the extracted carbon into the atmosphere as new atmospheric carbon dioxide.

What am I getting wrong in that paragraph?





[1]: “We've been actually able to show that we can recombine CO2 and hydrogen in the laboratory on a lab-scale, laboratory scale, into a liquid-type fuel,” she said.
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FourPart;1465298 wrote: What happens to the waste of Nuclear Powered Generators, when it has a half life of several thousand years? Just bury it in some disused mine, for it to irradiate the water table? Or drop it deep in the ocean to kill of all the native wildlife, to say nothing of our own food supplies? Then there is the all too obvious question of Meltdown. You can't say it could never happen. The fact that that it can & does has been proved all too often, and when it does happen it doesn't just kill those it comes into immediate contact with, but makes the land itself lethally toxic for a radius of miles, spreading even further with following winds.

While it may be true that nuclear fuel has killed fewer people that fossil fuels, that is only because it's a relatively new technology - and you're not even taking into consideration the miners who dig the Uranium ore. In fact if you discount the Uranium miners, along with discounting the Coal miners, then I suspect the numbers would be entirely reversed.


I don't much mind nuclear pollution, you can have a meltdown every year for all I mind, a new Chernobyl every year. It might be messy but it can't eradicate humanity. Some projections for global warming, on the other hand, definitely can. Nuclear pollution is a known and knowable hazard, runaway global warming triggered by fossil fuel consumption isn't.

As for fatalities among uranium miners, I'm sure we could find the figures. I guarantee you're wrong about the figures being higher than for coal miners, whatever scale you measure it by. Deaths per TeraWatt, perhaps? Tell me what measure to find and I'll go and get it.
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FourPart;1465298 wrote: While it may be true that nuclear fuel has killed fewer people that fossil fuels, that is only because it's a relatively new technology - and you're not even taking into consideration the miners who dig the Uranium ore. In fact if you discount the Uranium miners, along with discounting the Coal miners, then I suspect the numbers would be entirely reversed.I finally, next morning, got the meaning of your "discount" and "reverse" - no, definitely not. You're forgetting that smog and particulate pollution, for example, is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels - it's definitely not a byproduct of the nuclear industry. Smog and particulate pollution kills millions of worldwide bystanders a year; that's not an exaggeration or a wild number, it's real measurable premature deaths and if you've ever smelt smog you'll remember why. Civilian nuclear power plants might be responsible for the long-term premature death of maybe, at the absolute most, hundreds annually, but more likely tens.
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On that I concede you have a point. However, that comes from the days when coal was in really heavy use & the burning of it in power station was extremely inefficient. These days the exhausts are much lower, although even that, in my opinion, is more than acceptable. If turbines have to be fired by burning fuels, then it would be better to use sewage bricks & general household waste (which some power stations are already doing), thus solving several problems at once.

I agree that Nuclear energy, if its safety could be relied on, would be the Holy Grail, but it can't, and therein lies the problem. It's not even a case of the immediate deaths a meltdown causes, but the ongoing problems thereafter.

Solar energy has so such risk attached.
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Why do you object to the occasional Chernobyl event as a result of expanded nuclear power generation, in exchange for reducing the proportion of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? What exactly is it that you think the original Chernobyl incident did that's worse than risking runaway global warming triggered by fossil fuel consumption?
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Just an "occasional Chernobyl"?

List of civilian nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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FourPart;1465387 wrote: Just an "occasional Chernobyl"?

List of civilian nuclear accidents - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


You rather make my point - no more than a dozen deaths have been attributed to the entire list. I would concede thousands, if you like, of unattributable but statistically likely subsequent premature deaths from cancer, but at the same time I'd say it was an insignificant trivially small number given the worldwide scale and the half century the list covers.
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spot;1465395 wrote: You rather make my point - no more than a dozen deaths have been attributed to the entire list. I would concede thousands, if you like, of unattributable but statistically likely subsequent premature deaths from cancer, but at the same time I'd say it was an insignificant trivially small number given the worldwide scale and the half century the list covers.
In the same way as Gulf War Syndrome cannot be attributable to causing any death or crippling disabilities because the official line is that it doesn't exist.
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FourPart;1465403 wrote: In the same way as Gulf War Syndrome cannot be attributable to causing any death or crippling disabilities because the official line is that it doesn't exist.


How "in the same way"? Unattributable but statistically likely subsequent premature deaths from cancer is a recognized consequence of radiation. Most premature death from cancer caused by radiation is from natural sources, a minor fraction is from man-made radiation deliberately deployed in hospitals, a smaller fraction still results from spills of the sort you listed. All I mean by unattributable is that you can practically never point at one named death and say it was caused by a specific event, though you can definitely know such deaths occur.
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Ah - so all the massive rise in cancers, miscarriages, deformations, etc., surrounding nuclear meltdown sites are purely down to natural background radiation. I see.

That would explain why they build the stations on those sites - because they're already radio active & therefore not likely to do any more harm. Makes sense.
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FourPart;1465411 wrote: Ah - so all the massive rise in cancers, miscarriages, deformations, etc., surrounding nuclear meltdown sites are purely down to natural background radiation. I see.

That would explain why they build the stations on those sites - because they're already radio active & therefore not likely to do any more harm. Makes sense.


If you count the number rather than use a flippant word like "massive", it's a totally trivial number compared to most bad things. And it's a result of the meltdown, not of background radiation. One bad thing it's trivial compared to, for example, is the rise in cancers, miscarriages, deformations, etc., in Iraq surrounding the use of depleted uranium munitions by Western forces during the Gulf War, if you want a specific instance of what not to do with a dense radioactive metal. Spreading it as dust in the open air is singularly antisocial, it should be a crime.

Let's pick a number out of the air, since we need a figure - by all means go and find a published one if you think that will help, but I bet you find it's lower than mine. Let's say the rise in cancers, miscarriages, deformations, etc., surrounding Chernobyl, or Nagasaki, or Hiroshima, accumulated over the decades, is of the order of a hundred thousand people each. They were similar events, if you ignore the deliberate detonation effects. If a Chernobyl-style explosion happened annually it would add, for the sake of a number, another hundred thousand rise annually in cancers, miscarriages and deformations to the price of using nuclear power as a worldwide energy source. That number, worldwide and averaged over decades, is a drop in the ocean, it is so trivially small a number that it disappears from view when compared to any really bad thing. Malaria, TB, smog, water pollution, they're the enemies when you count dead or damaged bodies. And flies.

If expanding the nuclear industry sufficiently to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations results in one additional Chernobyl event annually - which is actually a wild exaggeration compared with the real world - then the cost is countable. If runaway global warming triggered by fossil fuel consumption happens, the potential cost is game over for life on Earth. The former we can live with, the latter we quite evidently can't. Runaway global warming triggered by fossil fuel consumption is, I would maintain, a possibility, and one which has to be avoided regardless of cost.
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Bryn Mawr;1455536 wrote: Until we have fusion that's our best hope


Oh - I say - what!

Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Cor blimey guv strike a light.
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Post by Bryn Mawr »

spot;1466271 wrote: Oh - I say - what!

Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

Cor blimey guv strike a light.


I'd love to see it work but I'll not be holding my breath
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Nuclear reactors in the hands of everyday terrorists?

Smash ups including Nuclear Engines on the Motorway?

No Thanks!!
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FourPart;1466282 wrote: Nuclear reactors in the hands of everyday terrorists?

Smash ups including Nuclear Engines on the Motorway?

No Thanks!!The thing about a fusion reactor is it has no radioactive components at all.
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