Welcome to PatsFans.com

Liquid Fuel From The Sun

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Holy Diver, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Pro Bowl Player

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    10,834
    Likes Received:
    15
    Ratings:
    +23 / 0 / -0

    #80 Jersey

    John Podesta just joined their board...

    This company is based in Cambridge, could change energy in the favor of the United States.

    Podesta joins biotech firm with patent promising liquid fuels from solar energy | Raw Story

    They called it "Liquid Fuel From The Sun," which uses their "proprietary organism" to devour waste and defecate custom hydrocarbons. Joule ultimately hoped such technology could fill the gap in human energy needs as fossil fuel production declines worldwide

    "The result is the world’s first platform for converting sunlight and waste CO2 directly into diesel, requiring no costly intermediates, no use of agricultural land or fresh water, and no downstream processing."
     
  2. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    39,330
    Likes Received:
    710
    Ratings:
    +1,814 / 35 / -29

    #87 Jersey

    Cool stuff ... we genetically made an organism that sh!ts crude oil ... unreal.

    Now they need to perfect it so that it still will cost more than the present crude oil.
     
  3. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -1

    Interesting, but seems to be attempting to fly in the face of the basic laws of thermodynamics. Which is not possible.

    When debating some new-fangled cheap energy alternative, when it sounds too good to be true, rest assured, it is too good to be true.
     
  4. Triple-T

    Triple-T Practice Squad Player

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Would you please explain why you think it is 'attempting to fly in the face of the basic laws of thermodynamics'? I'm not saying you are wrong, but I'm not sure I follow your point.
     
  5. STFarmy

    STFarmy In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,677
    Likes Received:
    6
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0

    But what happens if the sun dies like in Sunshine?!?!??

    BTW, if there are any sci-fi fans here, I suggest that movie; it's very cool. Sorry I didn't have anything substantive to add beyond that! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2011
  6. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    21,110
    Likes Received:
    417
    Ratings:
    +913 / 14 / -7

    Also don't understand Titus' assertion... You're basically storing energy you otherwise don't.

    Am on phone reading @ lunch, so can't very effectively browse article while posting... But will say, we already have organisms that scrub CO2 & sh1t diesel... They're called algae... I imagine these do both more efficiently, so less processing on the making-hydrocarbons end, perhaps also consume other types of carbon... So, neato in general, though as w/other biodeisels, I doubt the carbon in = carbon out, so good 4 energy, not quite "liquid sunshine" 4 carbon budget
     
  7. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    27,375
    Likes Received:
    307
    Ratings:
    +839 / 7 / -3

    Huge sci-fi buff. Sunshine was great, but I wasn't too hot on the ghost from the old ship angle.
     
  8. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -1

    First law of thermodynamics: "Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form."

    This reads like it expects more output from less input. Thus, be skeptical.

    Also, it requires already captured CO2, and that costs money and...energy.

    Of course, in order to replace just our vehicle fuel alone, it would require an incubation zone approximately the size of Connecticut.
     
  9. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    21,110
    Likes Received:
    417
    Ratings:
    +913 / 14 / -7

    Totally see where your first assertion comes from now, Titus, having read the link:

    ...which is quite obviously bullcrap. However, it's the writer's bullcrap, not necessarily the bullcrap of the company in question.

    My guess is this - Original claim:

    "Because it takes less energy to deploy these little suckers and capture carbon to feed it, than it produces in the form of excreted hydrocarbons, the "energy budget" is a net positive, except the sunshine, which of course is free."

    Original claim after bad writer and editor do their work:

    "...allegedly outputs more energy than it takes in."

    Of course, it's possible that they're stretching the "truth" in the company's press materials, but I doubt it.

    Or, it could just be a monumentally stupid claim, but nobody's that stupid.

    So you have to do carbon capture (for example, via coal plant scrubbers, right?) We've all been worried about where you sequester captured carbon. Apparently you just feed it to e coli with a tweak or two, and you get deisel.

    And if yer gonna be burning oil, as with the biodeisel already in production, it's probably best to be burning the stuff you make at home and that you can make more of.
     
  10. Triple-T

    Triple-T Practice Squad Player

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Right on. Not a thermodynamics issue, but what does it take to get the CO2? Anyone know the answer or is google required?
     
  11. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    25,370
    Likes Received:
    138
    Ratings:
    +370 / 10 / -14




    CO2 is the trace gas in the atmosphere that plants use in the photosynthetic process.


    Energy is used to maintain the bacteria and run the processes associated with producing the fuel. So as said above the energy used in the process is less than the energy produced by the fuel, the energy from the Sun is used by the bacteria. the E(Sun) + E(process) > E (fuel) However the claim is that

    E(process) < E (fuel)

    This is good, this is not the case with Ethanol production for example. The 2nd law of thermodynamics is happy just another journalist with an inability to express himself.

    Sounds like they are competing with the firms looking to industrial processes using Algae to use photosynthetic processes to produce liquid 'biodiesel'.


    WOnder is Podesta is there to get public subsidies for the company hope not. These companies should produce value like any other start up company.
     
  12. Titus Pullo

    Titus Pullo Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,612
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -1

    Unfortunately, we were talking about 1st Law of Thermodynamics. But then, the 2nd law, the "Law of Entropy," also doesn't jibe with this magical fuel "source."
     
  13. Triple-T

    Triple-T Practice Squad Player

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2005
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I get what CO2 is, I'm wondering how they get the "captured CO2" to feed to the E. Coli. There must be some process in place somewhere that's sequestering it. What does that take? Is it baked into the business model? How much of the model is taken up by that cost?
     
  14. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    25,370
    Likes Received:
    138
    Ratings:
    +370 / 10 / -14





    These sorts processes require electricity to run (water pumps, equipment to extract the diesel process the fuel ect) the process of generating the energy produces CO2, instead of releasing the CO2 it is used to 'feed' the bacteria or algae.
     
  15. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    21,110
    Likes Received:
    417
    Ratings:
    +913 / 14 / -7

    Yeah, I'm a little skeptical when I see the tech writer saying "unlike algae or ethanol, it doesn't take feed stock," or words to that effect.

    Well, yeah it does, right? You need a big batch of modified e coli. You have to at least feed it the CO2, and who knows what else. I mean, the stuff is alive, right?

    I guess all that matters is all-in costs expressed in three ways:

    1 - cost in dollars to produce the gallon of fuel (large-scale military biodeisel refined to jet fuel is evidently already in the neightborhood of fossil fuel cost);

    2 - all-in energy budget. You have to use energy in certain processes, as 13 states, but the obvious source of the energy that makes this budget a net positive is the solar bit; and

    3 - for those who concern themselves with carbon particulates, is it more, less, or equal to the carbon emissions of fossil fuels?

    I don't actually see any of those "budgets" discussed in the article specifically, only in terms of generalities. To the extent that you show a potential -- at full production -- to greatly improve one of the three while at least holding the other two constant, the risk/reward profile of investing in getting to large-scale production is enhanced.

    From the very general descriptions (we've already seen how they distorted the "outputs more energy than it takes in" point), it looks like the claim is that the all-in carbon budget is reduced vs. fossil fuels (not really, but for our purposes; after all, the carbon is in the hydrocarbons in the crude, but if it stays in a hole in the ground and nobody burns it, it doesn't contribute to net atmospheric carbon). They claim that it can be cost-efficient. And of course the big bang-for-the-buck here is that it's yet another way we can make fuel without dealing with countries that don't like us very much, or drilling in places like the Gulf of Mexico or a wildlife preserve. Of course, I do want to know whether they've also modified this e coli to not become a man-made plague and all that.

    What can I say - long post, can't sleep for ****e.

    PFnV
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>