Joined: 07 Mar 2007 Posts: 554 Location: western pennsylvania
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:13 pm Post subject:
hey, good to see people taking an interest
from page 450 of Alcohol Can Be a Gas
" Blending Alcohol and Diesel
Researchers are interested in finding ways to make alcohol and petroleum diesel mix. So far, most petroleum-based emulsifiers that have been proposed are too expensive to be worthwhile, these permit a blending of 10% alcohol with petroleum diesel. Even this small addition dramatically drops some of diesel's emissions, but more can be done.
South Dakota farmers have discovered that biodiesel makes blending of dry alcohol and normal diesel possible in almost any proportion. Biodiesel mixes well with alcohol and, in theory, should provide the same versatility as castor oil (discussed below), at a lower price. What's more, biodiesel has the fuel pump lubrication that alcohol lacks. As mentioned above, even a 1% addition of biodiesel mixed with alcohol provides effective lubrication.
Most of the farmers tests used 50% alcohol, and 25% each of normal diesel and biodiesel. Petroleum diesel was added primarily because it was cheaper than biodiesel at the time - clearly 50/50 alcohol and biodiesel should work equally well. The basic idea is that the biodiesel acts as the cetene improver and causes ignition at the right time, and the alcohol then goes right along with it.
More testing needs to be done to determine just how little biodiesel needs to be mixed with alcohol to burn properly without any modification to the diesel engine. I'm going to guess that it will probably be about 20% biodiesel with 80% alcohol, since that would closely imitate the castor oil mixes of the 1980's. But it might be lower than that.
Any experimentation on your part should be done in a shop with a dynamometer and a knock meter to detect problems before they happen.
Given that biodiesel will never amount to more than a few percent of the demand for diesel fuel, this would maximize its use, while alcohol would provide the bulk of the energy. "
the book is truly inspiring _________________ Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
Joined: 07 Mar 2007 Posts: 554 Location: western pennsylvania
Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:02 pm Post subject:
Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian, spoofs the misleading television propaganda ads by Big Oil, which attempt to make America feel comfy and cozy about being financially raped. Shill, baby, shill!
I gave him what waste from our frying we had, which wasn't much at that moment, in the restaurant where I worked, as he passed through Santiago de Compostela.
I know it's a different fuel and all, but as he's relatively close to you and has experience using alternative fuels and converting engines etc. - who knows, maybe he could help you get something started.
Many thanks for that, James. I will indeed try to make contact with Mr. Beretti. I'm still absorbing the book and, as Duane says above, it really is inspiring. _________________ My real name is Gerry.
I'll be buying this book on my upcoming trip to Seattle. I'm excited to read it. Sugarcane grows like a weed in south Brazil. You don't have to kill the plant to harvest it, it's perennial, and can even grow underneath a field of açai palms, which I'm hoping to plant when I have the farm I'm after.
The only snag I see, is that I believe in five years or so only electric cars will be sold. Every major car manufacturer has (finally) announced a model to be released in either 2009 or 2010. Within a few years after that nothing but EV's will be sold. We are one battery tech breakthrough away from rendering the combustion engine to the history museums. Eestor says they are producing such a battery. They have been very secretive so we'll know when we see them. The Canadian EV manufacturer Zenn Motors has the worldwide rights to license the battery for cars. If this battery is for real, it will change the world. It can be scaled up to hold the energy produced by solar panels and wind turbines when they function, to be released when they are idle.
Alcohol can be used to power legacy vehicles and can be burned at the home or somewhere in the neighborhood to power a generator to charge EV batteries, so not all will be lost.
My guess is that fuel from plants will be short-lived. Solar, wind and geothermal will rule the day. For example, a recent study (don't have the link) stated that from just the known and accessible geo-thermal sites, if tapped, could produce in one year 4,000 times the amount of energy consumed per year on the planet today. Unfortunately, this is a centralized power solution.
Or, breakthroughs such as that by Blacklight Power will emerge to replace everything. Note the press release of three days ago whereby their technology was rigorously tested for nine-months by an independent university and verified as genuine. They have broken a law of physics and can lower the orbit radius of the electron in a hydrogen atom through a clean, renewable and sustainable chemical reaction that produces 100 times more energy than if you were to burn that same atom.
The breakthroughs in energy are coming not just everyday, but multiples per day all over the planet. _________________ "There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen." - Sean O'Faolain
Joined: 07 Mar 2007 Posts: 554 Location: western pennsylvania
Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:13 am Post subject:
you will enjoy the book
one of the problems changing over to electric cars cars is what to do with the gas and diesel ones. scrapping them to make electric cars is a hugh waste of energy and material already spent. it is better to let the existing cars and trucks go through their existing life cycle (15-20 yrs) running on alcohol and alcohol/biodiesel mixes to recover this already expended energy of manufacture. it makes no sense to force everyone to go electric right away.
Mr Blume gives a good discussion of alcohol vs electric in the book, but new discoveries could change the equation. however, what to do with the existing millions and millions of vehicles still remains.
perhaps conversion kits - pull out engine and replace with electric motor will be the bridge to electric cars. i wonder what the wait will be for a electric motor if several million people decide or are required to convert
a lot of interesting discussion here, but i think the answer lies in multiple alternatives rather than insisting on one approach. _________________ Birth is the first example of " thinking outside the box"
The marketplace will exert a type of force at some point, and I think a leading candidate is what you mentioned, - conversion kits. These are already available, but only for small, light cars. With a battery technology breakthrough the bigger cars can join the fold.
There are only three systems inside an electric car, - motor, controller and battery. The motor and controller technologies are extremely advanced and can already, and are already, produced en masse, because they are used in industry. (This poses the other great risk to the automotive industry in that they are not the technology leaders in making any of the three important systems of an electric car). The hangup is and has always been the battery, and the big cost of the cars today are the battery arrays.
An small electric car that can still hit speeds of 75mph and go 250 miles on a charge will cost under $5,000 to make once a cheap battery solution is in place. The "fuel" will be a fraction of the cost. Maintenance will be almost non-existent, and they will last decades. The motors now fit inside the wheels so there isn't even an axial or transmission of any sort. They will be modular and made by hundreds of manufacturers rather than a few dozen.
The cost of scrapping existing cars is mostly associated with energy. If, in ten years, we've got abundant energy from mass propagation of the new technologies (big "if", but not as big as I used to think it was), then this becomes less an issue.
I'd call it a good problem to have. And definitely don't take this as me thinking that bio-fuels are a worthwhile solution. I love 'em. Here in Brazil, most every new car can run on 100% alcohol, so we're already equipped to grow our own fuel if it comes to that. _________________ "There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen." - Sean O'Faolain
Here is an example of one of the many advances announced now at a near daily rate. It is the marriage of two technologies to produce 24/7 continous solar energy output. A company has invented a material that produces continuous luminescent microspheres over a twenty-year life (i.e. continuous light output). It has been combined with thin-film solar sheets in a multi-layered "sandwich" such that the light is constantly harvested and converted to electricity. It doesn't even have to be in the sun!
Imagine a laptop or cell phone battery that never has to be recharged. Imagine an electric vehicle that can drive non-stop with no need to recharge. Imagine a generator in your garage that requires no fuel, essentially no maintenance, and provides enough power for all your electrical needs.
Such a day may not be far away with the advent of a marriage of two energy technologies. Simply join solar thin film technology that turns photons into electrons together with the luminescent microspheres by MPK Co. to produces continuous photons, and you have continuous electricity generation.
Well…, not exactly “continuous”, because the LitroSphere™ photon output rate very gradually diminishes over time, but we’re talking over many years, like 20, rather than hours. But unlike batteries, there is no “off” switch for these betavoltatic devices. They just generate electricity at a fixed rate, and they keep on going, and going, and going, and going – without any waste byproduct.
The cell-phone battery and electric vehicle capability may be a ways off yet, but some of the portable applications that can handle a little more size and weight will be available first.
You’ve heard of thin film solar. Konarka, a leader in that industry, for example, just announced this week that they are now in mass production of their low-cost, printed rolls of solar sheets at a rate of 1 gigawatt of simultaneous output capacity per year – the same capacity as one nuclear power plant, and at a price that is in the same ballpark.
What about MPK? Perhaps not yet a household word, but they certainly are not unknowns. Last year their luminescent microspheres technology won first place in NASA’s “Future Design” contest. The microspheres can be embedded in transparent paint to create essentially a permanent-lighting paint. MPK has subsequently developed Litroenergy sheets that create on-going light. Their light emitting micro particles and/or sheets are not affected by heat or cold and will produce consistent/constant light while also being extremely durable.
Now, with this concept of joining their Litroenergy sheets with solar thin film sheets, MPK may win the NASA contest again this year. Posting this idea for the first time last Friday (the contest deadline) on the NASA contest website, they have already risen in the top tier among 766 contestants this year. (Ref.)
The combining these two technologies – the thin-film solar and the LitroSpheres™ – would entail very thin, repeated layers of each so that a large number of stacked sets would comprise a significant power density. They call these versatile hybrid species, Litroenergy Power Cells, which can be scaled from micro applications to large utilities.
How long will the wait be until we see this on the market? According to Steve Stark, Director of Marketing for MPK, product could be rolling out of manufacturing plants in as little as three months from now, depending on financing. The technology and players are already in place, and the independent testing of this combination will be completed in a few weeks. The results from MPK’s in-house testing have been very encouraging. “There is a lot going on behind the scenes that I can not disclose at this time, but it is huge” said Stark.
MPK has been able to gain the cooperation of both major government and corporate interests, which they are not yet ready to disclose publicly, but which speaks highly of their persistence and accomplishment. (Steve filled me in on some of the details.) It is "definitely worth doing", said one of the government experts who has actually tested another version of the concept.
The match of the wavelength of the LitroSphere™ luminescence, and the solar cell collection is close to optimal – something that could be improved in future versions, but which is already more than adequate for efficient pairing.
The Litroenergy technology is based on a combination of an advanced phosphorus and tritium, hence the 12-year half-life. Tritium is the most harmless of the various radioactive elements, and is ubiquitous in nature, in the air we breathe and the water we drink. (Ref, ref, ref) Tritium is quite benign. Only in recent years has it no longer been considered perfectly safe. The MPK packaging of tritium into microspheres that have a 5,000-pound crush resistance, makes this technology safe. In the case of release into the air, it essentially is released as hydrogen. The minute, "soft" radioactive emissions from the tritium do not penetrate through the walls of the microsphere encapsulation. MPK is having the Litroenergy Power Cells tested for classification as non-toxic and non-radioactive.
Taking the gradual diminishment over time, the power output will need to be engineered in such a way that it is overbuilt for the devices it is powering so that it matches the desired lifespan of the device. In many applications, an accompanying battery may be designed into the system to serve as a reservoir of the continuous trickle charge output of the Litroenergy Power Cell, while the device may only be used transiently. How the excess energy is dispersed during the first portion of the device lifetime can be engineered appropriately.
_________________ "There is only one admirable form of the imagination: the imagination that is so intense that it creates a new reality, that it makes things happen." - Sean O'Faolain
Joined: 29 Oct 2007 Posts: 247 Location: Inverness, Scotland
Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:57 am Post subject: Compressed air-powered car.
Alcohol as fuel...
Compressed-air powered cars...
It's not as if we have to choose one and abandon the rest of them. They are all valid parts of an interlinked energy system.
If, however, you are running either an electric car or a compressed air-powered car, that power source still needs energy to create it. An alcohol power plant can supply that energy for compressing air or generating electricity.
Here's a short BBC news report on the development of a French air powered car.
Gaza 'genius' helps besieged city survive a year of Israel's blockadeBy Donald Macintyre in Gaza City
Friday, 13 June 2008
Fayez Annan turns the silver key to start the power, pushes the green button on the standard industrial jog-run-stop switch on the dashboard, and eases the white Peugeot 205 into the main east-west shopping street in Gaza City.
With traffic abnormally sparse, thanks to the acute fuel shortages caused by the Israeli blockade, he soon reaches the distinctly un-urban and pedestrian-scattering speed of 37 miles per hour (60kph).
But then Mr Annan is proudly trying to make a point that, while it might be electric, this Peugeot is no milkfloat. "It can do 100kph (62mph)," he says with a grin, as our knuckles whiten in the passenger seats. Whether or not Mr Annan's friend Hesham Abu Sido, an electrical consultant, is justified in describing the electric vehicle as a "genius idea" which is "the most fantastic thing that has happened in Gaza", it is certainly a case of turning adversity into opportunity.
It also proves that Gaza's famous entrepreneurial spirit has not yet been snuffed out by the draconian economic blockade imposed by Israel after the Palestinian militant group Hamas seized full control of the Strip by force a year ago tomorrow.
Since then, Gaza has seen continuing conflict, ever-deepening poverty, shortages, unemployment and despair. Against that background, the white Peugeot has become a symbol of Gaza's suppressed potential. "People who have seen it are even happier than we are," says Mr Annan. "They see it as something to be proud of in Gaza, which they haven't had in a long time."
Six months in the conception and making, this prototype conversion of the French saloon into Gaza's first electric car – powered by an AC induction motor and 38 12-volt batteries under the bonnet and in the boot – is an engineering triumph in a city starved of almost every commodity, including spare parts.
It is not just a dramatic improvement on the smelly, heavily polluting and motor-corroding substitution of cooking oil for diesel that increasing numbers of desperate drivers are opting for here. For as Gaza plunges back in time and into what economists call de-development, with many people swapping their cars for donkey carts because of fuel shortages, it could just be that its best electrical minds have seen the future – and it works.
The electric Peugeot is the brainchild of Mr Annan, 42, whose family owns a white goods business, and his friend Wasseem Al Khazendar, 48, who runs the largest company in Gaza selling electrical motors and switchgear to industry.
"I had been wanting to do something like this for a long time," said Mr Khazendar. "I wanted to make a car which was environment-friendly. Even if you aren't adding cooking oil, diesel is bad for the environment and an electric car is much cheaper to run."
As indeed it is. With desperately scarce petrol costing about £1 per litre – and more than three times that on the black market – a six or seven-hour charge provides enough power to cover 110 miles at a cost of just over 90p. And all you need to charge the batteries is a simple mains plug. "It is like charging your mobile," says Mr Annan. "You can do it anywhere – even while you are shopping."
But, explains Mr Khazendar, it was the current situation that spurred him to action. The blockade paradoxically provided a double incentive. Growing fuel shortages sharpened interest in alternative forms of transport and, with the shutdown of industry and therefore no demand for Mr Khazendar's products, there was, he bluntly explains "no work".
Both he and Mr Annan, who had been Gaza head of Palestine TV, the pro-PLO broadcaster shut down by Hamas after it seized power, had time on their hands. Essentially, he says, "the idea is very simple – to take out the mechanical motor and put in an electrical motor". As he explains, the car uses the same brakes, gearbox and clutch but the difficult part came when, after three months, the two men chose to ditch the DC motor for a cheaper, less bulky and easier to maintain AC one, even though it meant powering it by a DC battery.
It took them just three months to crack the technical problems. You might think Mr Khazendar had more pressing – and local – worries than the future of the planet. But he closely followed the saga of General Motors' EV1 electric car programme, which was cancelled in 2003 and which he believes was the victim of pressure from the major oil companies. He is conscious that, having surged above $130 a barrel, the high price of oil could still help to make his proposition a commercial one, if and when fuel flows normally into Gaza again. "After 100 years we will have no petrol," he adds. "We should start now to try and deal with that, not wait until it happens."
The electric car is ideal for the Gaza Strip, a flat coastal territory which is about 45 kilometres long and eight kilometres wide. Not surprisingly, there has been brisk demand from Gazans – about 400 so far – seeking similar conversions at an average estimated cost of $2,500, depending on the size of vehicle. The men behind the innovation argue that the initial outlay is swiftly recoverable because of the lower running costs. The two friends are confident they can make similar conversions of lorries and buses. They say that an Italian non-governmental organisation which provides school transport in Gaza has already registered interest in having its buses electrified.
For now, however, most of their would-be customers will have to wait. To turn the conversions into a business proposition, they will first have to apply to the Hamas-controlled transport ministry for a licence, which they hope will not be too difficult. But then they need new electrical motors – instead of the used industrial one they have put into their prototype – and higher powered, lighter batteries which place less strain on a car's axles. But that will be impossible as long the economic blockade lasts. For Mr Annan, this demonstrates how people in Gaza "have the brains and capability but don't have the materials".
Over coffee in Mr Khazendar's store, the men only talk politics when prompted. As a prominent Gaza businessman who often travelled in Israel before the intifada, Mr Khazendar is the gloomiest. "I know the Israelis," he says. "I have been visiting Tel Aviv for a long time. I don't believe they want a strong Palestinian government. Whether it is Fatah or Hamas, they want a weak one."
But while Mr Annan is also highly critical of Israel, he does not acquit Hamas, whose regime (and frequent rocket attacks from Gaza ) Israel has blamed for the closure of Gaza's borders. "Hamas has given Israel the excuse to pressure us," he says. "When Hamas won the elections, they should have stayed in control of the Palestinian Legislative Council [parliament] but not gone into government. We need normal people in government who will look after the needs of the people."
But all three men, including Hesham Abu Sido, who largely shares Mr Annan's analysis, and certainly his desire for peace with Israel, want to see Hamas and Fatah working together rather than against each other. "Hamas and Fatah have to come together," says Mr Annan. We are paying the price [for the split]."
For Eyad Sarraj, the Gaza psychiatrist prominent in the campaign against the economic siege, and a fierce opponent of all forms of violence from both sides, the electric Peugeot is no surprise. "There is a lot of talent here, " he says, "so much desire and yearning to build in this place. Look what happened between 1994 and 2000 when there was so much development. Give people the right [political] environment and you will have the right people."
Explaining the motives behind his project, Mr Khazendar says: "The pressure and hard times make you think all the time about how to exit out of this problem, politically and economically." Does he see the electric Peugeot not only as a way of rising to the challenge of a year-long blockade but also as a kind of resistance? "Let's not call it that," he replies. "Let's calling it 'finding solutions'."
Automakers Seek Their Own Federal Bailout
Detroit Execs, Union Leader Meet With Top Democrats In Congress To Discuss Billions In Aid
CBS/AP) The heads of Detroit's automakers asked congressional leaders Thursday for "immediate and necessary funding" to help the troubled auto industry weather an economic crisis.
The chief executives of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler, and the president of the United Auto Workers union met with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Thursday to discuss billions of dollars more in financial help for the companies.
In a statement, GM said the companies would work with Reid and Pelosi "to ensure immediate and necessary funding to keep the auto industry viable and its transformation on track during this critical time." GM said the support would "enable a competitive U.S. auto industry to contribute to our nation's economic revival." The executives declined to comment to reporters between the meetings, which were private.
They were asking for an additional $25 billion in federal loans for future health care payments for retirees.
The executives were also seeking help in accessing money from the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve. Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a longtime advocate for the industry, said the meeting was productive but did not address the specifics of the industry's request.
"They're not seeking money just to spend it," he said. "They're seeking money to invest in jobs and opportunities for American workers and American industry.
In a written statement, Reid said the Bush administration "should exercise its existing authority to provide additional help to these firms," reports CBS News producer John Nolen.
Pelosi told reporters at the start of the meeting that they would discuss "how we can work together to go forward to ensure the viability of that important industry, looking out for the taxpayer and looking out for the worker."
Last month, Congress approved $25 billion in low-interest loans for domestic automakers and suppliers to retool plants to build fuel efficient vehicles. But congressional allies of the industry have said the money will not be available fast enough to help the companies.
U.S. auto sales declined to their lowest level in more than 17 years last month, prompting some auto executives to predict dire consequences if the economy doesn't improve. The companies are hoping Pelosi will include funding for the industry in an economic stimulus package if she decides to call the House back in for a lame-duck session.
Alan Reuther, the UAW's legislative director, said the executives and UAW president Ron Gettelfinger "will be making the case why additional assistance from the federal government is needed to help the companies through this severe economic credit crisis."
The Pelosi meeting with Chrysler CEO Bob Nardelli, Ford CEO Alan Mulally and GM Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner comes at a precarious time for the industry. General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are expected to post dismal third-quarter results Friday that will show losses in the billions of dollars. Additional job cuts by both automakers also are expected Friday.
A top GM executive said Wednesday that the next 100 days will be critical for GM and the industry.
"We must be adaptable and ready to make needed changes quickly, particularly over the next 100 days," said Troy Clarke, GM's president for North America.
GM has been talking to Cerberus Capital Management LP, the majority owner of Chrysler LLC, about acquiring Chrysler. GM is reportedly seeking Chrysler's $11 billion in cash and federal aid to make the deal happen.
Auto industry officials said the companies do not intend to ask Pelosi for Congress' help in financing a merger. Gettelfinger has expressed concern that a GM acquisition of Chrysler would lead to massive job losses.
The new $25 billion in loans that the automakers want from Congress would help them make required payments to health care trust funds that were created as part of the 2007 labor deal.
Reuther said the companies are required to provide $15 billion to the fund in January 2010 and an additional $15 billion by 2012. He said the $25 billion from Congress would give the companies a better chance of immediately lining up other financing because most of the health care trust fund payments would have been covered.
"It's very important that those moneys be contributed so retirees continue to have health care," he said. "The financial community is looking at that liability, and it's a major factor in their willingness to provide loans to the companies."
The executives and Gettelfinger also want help from Congress in winning access to the $700 billion financial bailout being run by the Treasury Department and to low-rate emergency borrowing from the Federal Reserve's discount window, used in normal times by banks.
President-elect Obama expressed support for an additional $25 billion in loans on the condition that the money would go toward helping the industry build fuel efficient cars. Obama has said he would meet with industry leaders and the UAW quickly to talk about helping automakers, but a meeting has not yet been scheduled.
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