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Correct, but electric cars are mostly charged at home. Many ecar users almost never use public charging points.
Impressive results. I suppose wood chips or any other organic waste can be mixed in the sludge for conversion. And phosphorus comes out as a solid !!! Phosphorus mines are running empty worldwide. If seewheet is beïng converted, phosphorus out of seawater can be converted to solid: renewable phosphorus. (Together with renewable crude) I hope they upscale realy fast
The most difficult part was converting cellulosic biomass to sugar monomers. The subsequent conversion to ethanol is old stuff. Once the biomass is converted to sugar, many other green products can be made: it can be "fed" to micro-organisms to produce other stuff (like renewable styrene, butene, butanol, proteins) or directly fed to cows, pigs,... turning cellulosic (waste) biomass into proteins vastly increases the food production of agriculatural land also. So, even if liquid fuels become obsolete, this is important progress.
H2 tanks and fuelcells can do it. The Mirai fuelcell already delivers 114 kW (2kW/litre), which is very feasible for planes. H2 is the ideal range extender for planes. Volume is hardly an issue, only weight is. You can take large wings and fill them with H2.
As distributed renewable H2 production will become convenient and cheap owing to H2 fuel cell cars, biological means to combine H2 and CO2 to biomass opens fantastic possibilities. Proteins, complex chemicals, polymers, ... can be made out of water and air. All the materials and food we want to consume only comprise a fraction of the energy we currently need for fuel, heating and electricity. Once our "conventional" energy can be produced green, we can can also produce all the chemicals, polymers, proteins, starches and lipids by virtue of this biotech. And meanwhile the H2 production stabilizes the electricity grid. Importantly, these biochemical catalists don't need rare resources, don't produce any wast, are fully recyclable, and can be upscaled very fast. Compare that with conventional catalyst! Also, because the "food" for the organisms is sterile gases, it's much easier to prevent contamination of the bioreactor. Great step forward.
Obviously, and we want them with a full-electric range of 1000 miles, and cheaper than the cars of today, and combined with solar cells with a 40%-efficiency, at 0.1 $/watt. While this will somewhere in the near future be the case, meanwhile, small advances can save us a lot of troubles already.
I doubt that a significant amount of H2 can be produced from a large amount of (toxic and expensive) radicalized chemicals. Every chemical advancement has its intrinsic value, but I am quite confident that cheap photovoltaics combined with a cheap (soon without noble metals) electrolyzer will be much more efficient and convenient. Transporting electrons from the photovoltaics to the electrolyzer will always be easier than pumping radicalized chemicals. In addition, the efficience of the electrolyzer depends largely on the needed overpotential for the redox reactions (that's why Pt is so popular). Voltage convertors can easily optimise the current/voltage for maximal efficiency. Trying something equal with radicalised chemicals will be quite a challenge. Also the flexibility of a photovoltaics/electrolyzer combination is key: use the electricity when you need electricity, or when there are batteries to charge. Use the excess electricity to produce H2 when no electricity is needed. The electrolyzer can also use excess wind or nuclear electricity.
A remark on the "compact" pilot plant : to make 1kg of gazoline, you need about 0.84 kg of carbon. This is made from CO2, thus you need 3.1 kg of CO2 (because CO2 is 27% carbon, and 73% Oxygen) Because CO2 in the air is at 400 ppm at this moment, you need about 7750 kg of air. At a density of 1.225 kg/m3, this amounts to about 6900 m3 of air. Even with a 100% extraction rate, that's a lot of air to be swept just to extract the carbon for 1kg of gazoline. It can be done, but it won't be "compact" I guess.
For now, hydro is a very efficient way to store electricity. But how long will it take before different kinds of batteries, or H2 will be very good alternatives? Certainly less than 20 years. By then, enormous largely irreversible ecologic dammage will be done to the environment. Hydro disrupts complete ecosystems and releases large amounts of methane the first years, offsetting any advantage over fossil fuels the first years. I'd prefer more investments in batteries/H2.
Once H2 and consequently synthetic aviation fuel can abondantly made from solar and wind, there is no problem with airplanes. So lets see what will happen. I surely like hyperloops but airplanes will not disappear in the next several decades. Trying to predict more than 40 years in the future is futile.
They should rather invest in negative emission tech. That's the only way forward. They have a lot of the technology almost available. Turning biomass into complex (=high value) chemicals and CO2 and sequester the CO2. Or many other carbon-negative ventures. This will probably become big business once we realise the tipping point has been crossed and the "war on climate change" becomes a global national security issue with corresponding budgets. Maybe that's the purpose they are already pursuing, but first they have to make sure we cross the tipping point in order to safeguard their new business.
Germanium in the blue layer... Will be expensive...
Even today already 1000ds of tons of H2 are used to upgrade crude to fuel, to produce NH3 for fertilizers, for production of chemicals, in the food industry,... Simply producing this H2 from excess renewables instead of fossils would be great. Simply replacing this fossil H2 could absorb a lot of excess electricity and save many megatons of CO2. Future applications are a bonus.
The wax can be pumped, but the left-over carbon is probably pure carbon powder at best. Which can not be pumped. Though, there will be a lot of "intermediate" dehydrated leftovers, which are sticky, toxic, and not easy to handle. In addition, also volatile carbohydrates are formed that may poison the FC or escape to the atmosphere. Though I love the idea of storing renewable electricity in wax, which can be stored for years, and is nontoxic, I doubt this will work for fuelcell vehicles within a reasonable time. I see a lot of applications, but for cars I bet on batteries and compressed H2.
Let's look at the forecasts of 2006 and see how accurate they were...
I wonder whether this yeast could also be used in beer production. If straw or wood can be added to the brew, beer production could also drastically lower its footprint. It may yield interesting new flavors.
If the vegetable oil is made by algae in the desert, or bij bacteria from renewable H2, it is probably systainable. If the vegetable oil is from conventional agriculture, it will be an ecological disaster.
I fear recycling of the pebbles will be very hard, and a lot of radioactive carbon and other stuff will result. while encapsulation in carbon will make the pebbles very safe compared to conventional nuclear waste, it still remains a huge pile that remains radioactive for millenia, and reusing it will be quite hard because now you don't only have the waste actinides (that could be recycled in next-gen reactors), but also the other surrounding materials made radioactive. By 2030, I think solar and wind, and from this H2 and synthetic hydrocarbons, will be so cheap that these reactors won't compete economically as bulk energy source. However, they may be useful for niche applications (large ships or colonies on antarctica for instance), so I support their further research.
In particular the poorest will not need an old car because the operational costs + insurance will be higher than selfdriving taxis :-) Conventional cars will be like horses today: still used but only for fun, and only where they can't make too much of a mess...
@ai_vin, I agree the weight and volume of the fuelcell and electronics should be added to make a fair comparison. The Mirai fuelcell delivers 114kW and fits in the car. It has a power density of 3kW/liter, which means a shoe-box size (30cm x 15cm x 15cm) could deliver about 20kW (=3 powerwalls). you also need a small H2O tank to store the liquid pure H2O for cycling to H2 and back. However, if the H2 is not cycled to H2O and back, but taken out to fill your car, you will also need water treatment stuff. in addition, you will need ventilation to evacuate the heat (20% of energy is lost while charging and while discharging, and also quite some energy to compress the H2). So it will become a lot bulkier than just the H2 tank. However, at this moment, the most crucial parts are already on the market and fit in a car that can drive around and should withstan car crashes, and has a huge power of 114kW. A particular advantage is that the H2 tanks and the fuelcell are separate. so, increasing your capacity can be done independent (and very cheaply) from your power output. You only need an additional tank. All together, the electronics and fuellcell would surely be much smaller than a fridge or a washing machine. For the tanks it would depend on the pressure and capacity, but for a capacity equal to the powerwall (less than 300 grams of H2 !!!), it would also surely fit in the small box. It can be done by having everyone its own power plant at home, which is more expensive (though ultimatly probably still quite cheap), but practical to utilise the waste heat, and comfortable because distributed electricity generation with millions of small powerplants connected to the smartgrid gives a very robust, reliable and independent grid, most likely with very abundant power capacity. The alternative is relatively small fuelcells of for instance 10MW (which is only 100 Mirai units in parallel), distributed in the cities, but operated by companies. This is still very distributed compared to today's powerplants, and much more "free market". This also would allow heat use for buildings, companies, hospitals... Just like second-life car batteries can be used for at-home electricity storage, second-life fuelcells from H2 cars will soon be available that can be used for this. If you compare the power of a car with the power needs of a house, very few "recycled cars" can provide all the power we need. Anyway, I am very confident that the weight or volume will be a non-issue, while very economical to store green electricity for months. A particular additional advantage is that large scale deployment makes the whole H2-economy very cheap, opening many other opportunities, such as synthetic jet fuel, synthetic food (via chemotrophic bacteria, which could produce huge amounts of food from renewable energy + air(for CO2) + seawater(for H2O and minerals)).
H2 contains 142 MJ/kg = 40kWh. Best Li-batteries contain 0.3 kWh/kg One tesla powerwall has 6.4kWh. This is as little as 150 grams of H2. The Tesla powerwall deliverd 3.3 kW. The Mirai fuelcell delivers 140 kW. The H2 tank of the Mirai contains 5kg of H2. This equals 110 powerwalls !!!!! And it is small, light and safe enough to put it in a car that may crash. So it is surely small and strong enough to place it where you would place a powerwall With an efficiency of only 80%, this 5kg of H2 still equals 88 powerwalls. So, if a powerwall can help you through 1 day, 5kg of H2 can help you through 3 months. No Science fiction. Next gen fuelcells will be much cheaper than today's. Mass-produced H2 tanks will become very cheap, and very scalable. If you want 20kg. Just put more tanks. (You don't need more fuelcells) Distributed generation will definately be the future.
Impressive ! Opens huge opportunities. Wastewater treatment may become more of a challenge though.
Could it also be used to detect, identify (with low power) and shoot down ("high" power) mosquitoes? Enough power to damage their wings is enough. Could be integrated in the galaxy S9
Why not a hydrogen-air battery? As a gas, it automatically flows to the anode. The dihydrogen-oxide has very low toxicity and can be discharged on the street. The energy-content is 38000 Wh/kg.