Electric Aeroplanies

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Gabriel
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Fri Sep 17, 2021 7:38 am

3we, take a look:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05 ... n-air.html

Carbon Engineering: "AIR TO FUELS(TM) pilot plant that has been producing clean fuel since 2017"
https://carbonengineering.com/air-to-fuels/

It is not a concept. It is not "in theory", It is not an experiment done in a lab. There are a few pilot plants and at least 1 commercial plant., some of them producing synthetic fuel for some years already. It is proven, and it is easily scalable to produce as much fuel as you want. If you put the money of course because the thing is not cheap (and neither are bio-fuels of it wasn't for the subsidies).

The synthetic fuels take energy to convert the carbon in the atmospheric CO2 and the hydrogen in the water into hydrocarbons. Sounds familiar?
The reason why the synthetic fuels are not ready to take off yet is not any technological limitation. It is a timing issue. The world is moving towards massive electrification from renewable and other green sources, but it is not there yet. Synthetic fuels production requires energy, electricity, and burning fossil fuels to produce electricity to the produce synthetic fuels kind of defeats the purpose. Yes, solar panels can be used and then it becomes even more similar to plants and photosynthesis. But solar panels (and green electricity in general) have other priorities now. When the world becomes massively powered by green electricity, that will be the time for the synthetic fuels.

Regarding disrupting technologies that can show up in the meantime, yes, that can always happen. If you find a super plant (because bacteria that does photosynthesis are still plants?) that can thrive in sea water without the risk of becoming an incontrollable plague and that is very reach in oils, then congratulations, that probably will kill synthetic fuels and also current biofuels. And if someone cracks cold fusion that produces enough energy to produce its own hydrogen, run the process, and leave a surplus, that will probably kill solar, wind, and the rest of renewable and green sources of electricity. But all this stuff is just a dream that may or may not become true. Synthetic fuels is a proven reality that is impractical by now but the world is moving in a direction that will make it practical perhaps in a couple of decades.

A side note: in an earlier post you said that animals don't metabolize all the energy that they eat and gave as an example an animal that can fly powered on shit, literally. But the main reason why ~90% of the energy given to an animal doesn't reach the human when the human eats the animal product is that the animal spent most the energy that they did metabolize in things like... living.... breathing, walking, keeping the different systems running, keeping body temperature, inefficiencies... most of the metabolized energy is used, most is NOT stored in the body... and then we don't eat the whole animal so a lot of calories end up in upholstery. You said you didn't fact-check my numbers. Ok, do. I posted the sources. Here you have one of them again: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1 ... 105002/pdf

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3WE
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby 3WE » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:33 pm

Dude, stop trying to lecture my by saying the same thing over and over and over, crappy arguments, and saying things that I already said and even MAKING MY POINT. (Red = Occasional Gabe Cut/Paste)

1. Bad link: https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/05 ... n-air.html

2. A fluff piece: https://carbonengineering.com/air-to-fuels/

My point- we're already making a LOT of biofuel, so you show me 2 links?

"The synthetic fuels take energy to convert the carbon in the atmospheric CO2 and the hydrogen in the water into hydrocarbons. Sounds familiar?" Why are you saying this? Did you read NOTHING that I said? Synthetic uses temperature, pressure and catalysts to enable the reactions. Plants use a complex set of enzymes and electrons. Never once have I said that any of these processes are uber-effecient.

Feeding the world: Why all the Gabrillian words and link: The bottom line is that you lose a LOT of calories running plants through animals (and I said that further up.) If we are going to play the mega-over-population game, we probably need to eat plants and largely eliminate animals as food. The one "efficiency advantage" to a cow is that it can turn grass into stuff humans can eat...Kind of works in the historical western US prairies for a dude and his family on 40 acres. In a high-tech world- there's probably some direct-consumption crop that can be grown instead of pasture. (Yes, as the world has improved- more people like to eat meat- but if we never stop population what happens with that?) Listen very carefully (because you haven't been).

We learned all that stuff over and over and over in Agriculture classes. Rather than write Gabrielien paragraphs I'm a summary guy: Farm land is finite and declining. Population is growing. I spend my time trying to improve processes because we are going to have to grow more stuff. If you run it through cows and chicken and pigs, there goes a chunk of calories that could sustain a starving third world baby.

Synthetic fuels is a proven reality that is impractical.

Ummm, that is my point, Evan. Did you not read where I might have taken Organic Chemistry, too?

Look, neither you nor I have any idea what the future looks like- although we should probably be learning Chinese. (Please read this 5 or 10 times because it's an important point.)

If we figure out:

-World peace.

-How to operate with minimal fossil fuel.

-Awesome batteries.

-Population management.

Who knows what things will look like. Steak, Whiskey and Beer? Only rice, bread, beans and cornflakes? Or Soylent green? High-rise apartments everywhere, or we're all back on 40 acres/family doing subsistence? Or is it only cockroaches and weeds?

Will there even be airplanes- they, like cows and ethanol and synthetic fuel plants, have some energy inefficiency.

Anyway, as YOU say: Synthetic fuels is a proven reality that is impractical.

As I say: Biofuels have been in development for several thousand years (beer, wine), we are working on it just as much as your chemical engineer friends are, and it's a pretty cool way to spit out some ethanol and vegetable oil. Absolutely not_a free lunch, but we are ahead of you and not letting up.
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3WE
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A concession to Gabriel

Postby 3WE » Fri Sep 17, 2021 12:45 pm

I need to admit- the #1 hot topic in agronomy: Canabis.

We need acres to grow canabis, and cannot divert them to biofuel.

Synthetic fuel rules!
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Gabriel
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Fri Sep 17, 2021 3:22 pm


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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Fri Sep 17, 2021 4:24 pm

Feeding the population: My side note, labeled side not, was a side note to a comment of yours in a previous post where you basically equated loss of energy when going through animals to energy not metabolized by animals. I was simply pointing out that that was one of the reasons, but a lesser one, the main ones being the energy that the animal does metabolizes but spends in being an animal, and the energy accumulated in the parts of the animal that we don't eat. That was it. In the same comment you mentioned that you didn't fact-checked my numbers so I provided the source. That was it. I should not have made that side not because it is derailing the other conversation.

Going back to the bio vs synt fuels...

The problem, 3we, is that you are putting words in my mouth and cherry picking. Colors below quotes from you and me.

Look, this was my very first comment there.
I think that the primary direction for a greener aviation will be bio and synthetic fuels that don't release the carbon trapped in the fossil fuels but make fuel from carbon in the atmosphere, and using renewable energies to run the process that makes that fuel.

From the second one:
if the synthetic fuel becomes economical feasible (because it's already proven to be technically feasible)

And that was my LAST comment on the matter there.

Some picks from here.

if we do run out of fossil fuels, biological hydrocarbons might actually be what keeps aeroplanes flying
I think that it will be more synthetic fuels than bio-fuels, but yes.
(Note: "if we do run out of fossile fuels" implies decadaes in the future, not today or next year)

Are you sure about that? To date, I'm not really aware of economical, practical synthetic fuels that make hydrocarbons from "nothing"...
There are experimental processes where they already got direct synthetic diesel or kerosene. They are not very efficient either and they do consume a lot of energy (just like plants, it could be obtained from solar possible requiring less surface than the crops to produce an equivalent amount of fuel). But in a scenario where "clean" electricity is widely available (from solar, wind. geothermal, hydro, nuclear and why not fusion) but impractical to be stored directly in planes (we already talked at how bad batteries are at that), storing that electric energy in the form of synthetic fuels seems to me to be the most practical solution.
Note the highlighted part. It is there and it is highlighted for a reason.
(In that comment I also priveded links to Crabon Engineering, which is one of the companied developing this and actually making air-based fuel even when it is not practical yet, to prove the concept. This complany is backed by privated investros and the gornmnt of Canada)

[synthetic fuels] They are not very efficient either
That’s my point- I don’t think you have anything better, and we are actually using ethanol and biodiesel here and there now.
It is not just a matter of efficiency in converting one type of energy into another. It is also about the other stuff around that,
You can't compare cultivating millions of acres of food-grade crops to be used for biofuels (with all the agricultural activities around that like seeding, irrigating, fertilizing, pestisizing, harvesting, transporting) vs plugging an "air to fuel" plant to a Mr Fusion ractor in a location with abundant sources of CO2 and H2O like, I don't know, anywhere in or near an ocean, sea, big lake or big river.

(note the sarcastic comment about Mr Fusion meaning when we have green electricity readily and massively available)

biofuels ARE being used, whereas purely synthetic fuels are are a future dream (except for a few special uses today). Please continue to develop them and we aggies will continue to develop biofuel crops and processes. I’m sure both will make some advancements.
Agreed.
(Yup, my shortest post ever).

And so on....

Now, don't confuse not having abundant availability of green electricity yet with the synthetic fuels being some crazy experimental tech done in some obscure research lab in 1000 ml flask.
Because the world is moving towards massive green electrification and when we get there, it is my sincere opinion that synthetic fuels will be a more viable solution. Because a) it is greener (it doesn't require all the chemicals, water and resources needed to cultivate a land) and it doesn't compete for lands that can be used to feed food for animals for a population that is not only growing but becoming more carnivorous too, and wanting to keep becoming more carnivorous. (Maybe synt will become cheaper than bio too, but that I don't know).

Can I be wrong? Yes, of course. As you said, neither of us knows the future. But if I had to choose an investment that I could not sell or swap in 20 years, and my only choices were a company that is developing biofuels and another one that is developing carbon capture and air-to-fuel, i choose the latter hands down. Because that is the direction where the world is moving towards. And please add to your list of good things to do (world peace, population management, etc...) stop deforestation and why not recover some of the lost forest. And if you ask a person if he prefers brown rice and tofu with his bio-fuel or a stake with eggs with his synthetic fuel, you know what the answer will be.

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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby elaw » Mon Sep 20, 2021 2:09 pm

Speaking of electric airplanes: https://www.heraldnet.com/business/all- ... arlington/

On the topic of synthetic fuels, I'll admit I haven't read every word posted here as I've been very busy lately. But I do have one question: these wonderous synthetic fuels... where do they come from? Everything synthetic is made from something else - there are raw materials involved. And on this planet as far as I know there are only 3 categories of raw material: animal, vegetable, and mineral. Currently we're now using (very old) animal-based fuels. It's clear that plant-based fuels have some issues. So these wonderful synthetics... are they coming from minerals (which we have a limited supply of, just like almost everything else)?

Oh and I don't want to get involved it the argument there, but I find it amusing TeeVee used a quote from a guy who's not worried about his Audi catching fire. On one of my Audis (I currently have two) the HP fuel pump developed a leak which certainly could have resulted in a fire had I not stopped driving the car and fixed it promptly. OTOH my wife's two Chevy Volts and current Kia Niro EV have never once shown a tendency toward violent oxidation reactions.
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Gabriel
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Mon Sep 20, 2021 4:46 pm

Speaking of electric airplanes: https://www.heraldnet.com/business/all- ... arlington/

On the topic of synthetic fuels, I'll admit I haven't read every word posted here as I've been very busy lately. But I do have one question: these wonderous synthetic fuels... where do they come from? Everything synthetic is made from something else - there are raw materials involved. And on this planet as far as I know there are only 3 categories of raw material: animal, vegetable, and mineral. Currently we're now using (very old) animal-based fuels. It's clear that plant-based fuels have some issues. So these wonderful synthetics... are they coming from minerals (which we have a limited supply of, just like almost everything else)?
Just as with plants, the synthetic fuel process takes carbon from the CO2 in the air and hydrogen from the water (H2O) to make hydrocarbons [CnH(2n+2)]. I don't know if you would call air and water "minerals", though.
Oh and I don't want to get involved it the argument there, but I find it amusing TeeVee used a quote from a guy who's not worried about his Audi catching fire. On one of my Audis (I currently have two) the HP fuel pump developed a leak which certainly could have resulted in a fire had I not stopped driving the car and fixed it promptly. OTOH my wife's two Chevy Volts and current Kia Niro EV have never once shown a tendency toward violent oxidation reactions.
Ha! I will pass that information to TeeVee.
Just curious, what year the Audi that developed the issue?

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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby elaw » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:08 pm

Well given the times, anything that "consumes" CO2 would be helpful! Although it sounds like it's more putting the CO2 in "temporary storage", eventually to be returned to the atmosphere.

The car is a 2012 A4 with the 2.0t engine (a very common engine in VW/Audi-land). The failure mode was very weird... from time to time after running an errand, I'd notice a gas smell in the car, and sometimes in the garage. A gas smell in the garage is meaningless as I have various gas-powered machines stored there, but elsewhere was a concern. The first few times I figured I'd just parked near a car with a gas leak or something but it happened too many times to be a coincidence. The really weird thing is there was never a smell when driving the car.

So finally one day after driving the car, I pulled into the garage, shut the car off, opened the hood, and started looking around for a leak... and could not find anything. After checking things very thoroughly, I went off and did something for a few minutes, came back, and the HPFP was wet in one area, clearly with fuel. Looking closely I could actually see it seeping out. So I did further testing and it turned out it did not leak with the engine running, but would start about 10 minutes after you shut it off... and stop about 10 minutes later, presumably when the pressure in the system had dropped. I replaced the pump and the problem was solved - I kept the old one and if I can ever find the time, want to take it apart and try to figure out exactly what failed.

From asking/looking on Internet fora, it seems like leakage from those pumps is somewhat frequent, but they usually leak *into* the engine and you end up with fuel in the oil. I haven't heard from anyone else that had the specific failure mode I had (leakage on the outside).
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Gabriel
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Mon Sep 20, 2021 7:30 pm

Well given the times, anything that "consumes" CO2 would be helpful! Although it sounds like it's more putting the CO2 in "temporary storage", eventually to be returned to the atmosphere.
No energy source is "carbon negative" (i.e. that captures carbon from the atmosphere). Synthetic fuels, bio-fuels, solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, even food, you name it. The best you can hope for it to be "carbon neutral". Now, if the carbon-neutral energy source replaces a carbon-positive source like fossil fuels, then it is still good. In the case of synthetic fuels, it would be carbon neutral only if all of the electric energy needed to run the process comes from 100% renewable or green sources (and, to be more precise, if also all the infrastructure, transport and operation in general, both of the synth fuel plant and of the electric supply, are carbon neutral too).

Only way to be carbon negative is to capture carbon from the atmosphere and either burry it or put it in places where it will not become atmospheric carbon again in the sort and mid terms (that is, for hundreds of years). Like concrete, or plastics.

That, and re-foresting can contribute a bit too (note: a forest will be carbon-negative only during its development phase. Once it achieves equilibrium it returns to the atmosphere all the carbon that it captures. So while the mass of the forest is growing, you are capturing carbon at a higher rate than the forest is releasing it. Hence it is not useful as a continuous carbon-capture process unless you keep foresting more and more land, which will enter in conflict with our desire for food.

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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby 3WE » Mon Sep 20, 2021 8:48 pm

Oh and I don't want to get involved it the argument there, but I find it amusing TeeVee used a quote from a guy who's not worried about his Audi catching fire. On one of my Audis (I currently have two) the HP fuel pump developed a leak which certainly could have resulted in a fire…
I should not have gotten involved, but “I’m an EMT and I’ve never seen a spontaneous car fire” was weak.

I’m actually afraid to look at stats, but 787 batteries might actually be safer than gas cars (from the ‘spontaneous’ aspect)…then again who cares about stats when it’s your 787 or Audi on fire…

Still, when these lithium things go into nuclear runaway mode…it’s not pretty.

I am most proud of realizing how we have some really good and beautiful solar-powered planes (no cells, batteries or motors)…and will pseudo double post it, along with the warnings of tiny lavs.

Side note- the Youtubez of them seem to show glass cockpits- so they probably DO have batteries :?
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby ocelot » Tue Sep 21, 2021 9:50 am

“I’m an EMT and I’ve never seen a spontaneous car fire” was weak.
Indeed. (I'm not an EMT and I have seen a spontaneous car fire. Not mine, fortunately, or anyone I knew.)

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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby 3WE » Thu Dec 02, 2021 11:45 am

This is an amazing BS link from the marketing department- “Hey, we have an acronym”, but to hell with ANY facts. Veggie oil from farmers, or recycled grease from restaurants?


https://www.businessinsider.com/united- ... el-2021-12
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby 3WE » Thu Dec 02, 2021 12:18 pm

This is an amazing BS link from the marketing department- “Hey, we have an acronym”, but to hell with ANY facts. Veggie oil from farmers, or recycled grease from restaurants?


https://www.businessinsider.com/united- ... el-2021-12
Editing locked.

I should have added: “We may beat up the occasional passenger, BUT, we SAY we are going to be carbon neutral, so please be enlightened and fly United.”
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Gabriel
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby Gabriel » Thu Dec 02, 2021 5:52 pm

United Airlines just became the first airline in history to operate a passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel
The flight operated with one of United's new Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets with 500 gallons of The SAF in one engine and 500 gallons of traditional jet fuel in the other.
Ok, which one is it?

Or did they operate single engine?

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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby elaw » Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:06 pm

100% of 50% of the fuel they used was sustainable. :mrgreen:

Edit:
Slightly less cynically, I think this is an example of what someone once called "marketing weasel words".

The sentence reads like in the completion of the flight, 100% of the fuel used was sustainable.

But if you read it differently, it says an unspecified portion of the flight was completed using fuel that is 100% sustainable. Of course the same could be said of any airline flight if someone brought on board a lighter containing 100% sustainable fuel and "flicked" it once. :roll:
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3WE
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Re: Electric Aeroplanies

Postby 3WE » Fri Dec 03, 2021 1:17 am

Quote=Gabriel and Eric:
Blah blah blah marketing bullshit blah blah blah…
I found it painful to read, and indeed, laden with bull crap.

I’m thinking that what we really need is a few million boring hours running a stationary engine with whatever the substance is and then go 100% for real.

But (repeating) that doesn’t make you forget the passenger beatings.
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