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Tim Duncan
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Sounds great but surprised at some claims. Many have previously known and shown (including advanced work by Ricardo, v6 detailed on this site) that ethanol (HoV) fuels cool intake. This along with octane let SI engines use higher boost and or compression giving significant efficiency and down sizing gains. These are unique and in many ways premium fuels. It is always a challenge to use resources to their fullest but clearly dumping regular gas and alcohol together to get the widely criticized E85 or the often troublesome E10 seems an ugly compromise. - Ricardo showed E85 (~2/3 the chemical energy) gave similar energy net as regular (via higher efficiency) by using a couple simple engine mods. It preformed like a diesel but without the emissions cost and complexity. Works best at high load as discussed in this article. - There was also a GCC bit on filtering fuel for octane in the vehicle. We have always dreamed of the variable compression engine. Well maybe we can accomplish the same by giving the right fuel at the right time. High compression and low quality fuel work fine at lite loads (cruise). When we pull out to pass mix in some of the hi octane fuel that was set aside from regular fuel for the few times it's needed in lite duty daily drive. - Or leave the high and low octane fuel separated during distribution. Dispense to separate tanks on board (no harder than DEF in CI engines). Mix as needed in the optimized engine. Bank about 15% better mileage.
Tim Duncan is now following Engineer-Poet
Dec 6, 2016
What fuel is modeled? Is this just a re-do of Schechter's 1999 paper? Would have been worthwhile to indicate quantitative improvements all this complexity may be capable of. Seems like an article worth discussing. Where are all the gear heads?
@EP, it is not cm sq. 24390ohm/mm or 24.39ohm/um. Not sure of other materials in these applications, but compared to industrial conductors and insulators, this is much closer to a poor insulator. Beyond text book properites, creating lower contact resistance, seems to advance the art in practice.
I wonder what the section thickness capabilities are? The talk of foam and comb and driving off volitals makes me think it is thin, so no printed cars just yet. To EP's point where are the other properties, especially bending or other tensile like test results. Ceramics traditionally do not test for tensile like metals do, as results/application are very limited in this area. Lack of claims on this line, may indicate that is still the case. However the geometric freedom (section thickness withstanding)could be a real breakthrough.
This sounds like good news. Apparently CO2 not having causing the death and destruction that is so universally prescribed. Maybe this is a clue as to why the global warming predictions have been so regularly wrong/inaccurate over the past decades. Why not discuss the elephant in the room. What is worrisome is that our result points out how little we know about how complex ecosystems function. —Anand Gnanadesikan
I too, was once a classic "Peak Oil" believer. What I failed to fully appreciate was "us". The world of man is not a zero sum game, static scoring does not work well in economics and markets. We have found massive ways to squeeze oil from rock no one ever ever thought possible. There are well known gas & oil shale formations all over the world, the iceberg has just been touched. Will blood start gushing from turnups, not likely, but given time & market incentives the nearly unimaginable is commonly possible. By the time we run out of these relatively cheap, known energy sources we will be 150-300yrs on. 150yrs ago thoughts of cars, planes, communications, for the masses and soon space travel (everything bigger, better, faster, cheaper) would have been madness. Given another century or two I predict we will have very different, mostly unimaginable, challenges and opportunities. The constant will be our response to incentives and penalties that markets, governments and culture create. Lets not choke out golden egg innovation & production.
E-P is absolutely right, and imminently logical on intermittency. I am a practicing engineer for over 20 years, with no emotional or financial ties to renewables or nuclear. I grew up in BPA country and believe me when its -20 F you need power, and it can get very calm.
@Lad, seems you are oddly anti option. Personally I enjoy watching all the good ideas being worked. The people of the market will choose what is best for them. Even 100 years ago with little info or education people did a good job of this, how do you think first world economies have come so far? 100 to 200 years ago virtually everyone was in a 3rd world economy. The steam engine and other energy multipliers have since helped those that were allowed and could adopted them to vastly improve their world and their place in it.
Very interesting. Takes all kinds of energy to make our world. "initially, the steam has to be produced with an external energy source" Solar heat source starts and stops each day or worse, indicating the cycle does the same. "chemical reactions produce enough heat to convert water into steam without an external heat source" So system does not need solar, but adding solar gives option to syngas somewhere else part of the time, nice but more complex and capital intensive. Maybe solar's most important scontribution is to make watermelons feel good and keeps that funding source interested.
Have to agree with Nick. Leadership is the problem, not imagination or resources. The Chicken Little flock has been mis-predicting the carrying capacity of earth since the middle ages. Trying to predict a dynamic system with essentially static assumptions has never worked. Faced with necessity people will be very inventive. Those adaptations, see shale oil, are not predictable. By the way does anyone have a reason shale oil will not be found world wide? I read here this summer of huge shale play starting in Venezuela. Many solution paths exist, some work here some there. Adjustments are constantly required for success in life, one size does not fit all. The market will work just fine for people to figure out if they prioritize meat eating or not, (just like it has done for centuries). Choice is a beautiful thing. Resources & solutions will tend to flow accordingly, to best serve the most people. Paths where regulators, politicians, NIMBY’s, Watermelon’s, etc choke off & cloud solutions, see US nuclear power, are the problem. Command economy can never yield the richness of choices and solutions but totalitarianism can show what real costs are without the above cancer. Chinese nuclear is ~half the cost of US. Gives us something to shoot for. 
Road congestion will be another major win. With closer intervals, higher more consitent speeds, narrower lanes, fewer gawker/human induced slow downs, fewer wrecks, etc, etc, freeway capacity will climb enourmously without taxpayer cost or construction issues.
This is great stuff from the Big-3. Harvey, you forget consumer is king, the suppliers work for him. Big-3 knows consumers well, and wants to up sell them a better engine/fuel. This is why I drive a TDI instead of a Prius, more power, fun & capability along with good economy / ecology. Everybody wins here as well, Americans have always loved hp and lately want efficiency and ecology as well. This will take a lot of supply chain coordination for sure. But if the regulations on blends are cleared out it take off. Of course a tax incentive would help, (after all what is good for the EV must be good for the Otto) but would not be needed. The best ideas work organically. Higher ethanol & octane could be implemented several ways, from splash blend at the pumps to higher blends discussed here. I like the pump blends as they give maximum consumer choice and hedge against various regulatory possibilities. Richard's EBTI and the Ford/MIT ethanol-injection scheme of 2006 have both shown interesting gasoline/ethanol dual fuel designs with very high power density and near diesel thermal efficiency (but no costly common rail, less emissions equipment & PM) utilizing ethanol to its true potential. MIT study GCC in April shows an incemental (in addition to other improvements) 4.5-6% fleet improvement by 2040 on 98 RON. More than pays for a couple cents a gallon and compression only design change/risk. Oak Ridge Lab study finds E30 blend and EGR can deliver 13.7% efficiency increase with down sizing. Refiners are trying their own twist on the high octane game, see Exxon & Toyota. Seperate high and low octane fuels on board from a common supply. Get the engine designer to blend fuel dynamically for most efficient octane utilization along with higher CR. Which is best, in what combinations, for which users, only time will tell. The Market is a fasinating beauty.
Buffet and his BNSF grows richer on his near monopoly of Baken and huge Canadian crude transport business while magically the Keystone pipe line (safer and more efficient) can't get Oboma approval. Bolstered by that multiyear stupidity, he is now financing a massive tax inversion (tax dodge) with Burger King. Previous businesses to do this have had the Oboma administration publically condem them and threaten them but not one of Oboma's biggest donors. Again magically this deal was done before Oboma unilaterally declares such free market moves as illegal. Can any one say "political corroption".
Harvey I can't believe you responded to gor. Why is this energy news drown in a George Soros glamour piece? Anyway, why are Soros and Buffet screwing the public and the environment instead of practicing what they preach? How do they get this disgusting coronation from the press instead of critical and insightful analysis Green Car Congress and its participants are known for?
Great to see investment in real, secure, energy infrastructure in our United States!
Havey, how do you back up your short comings assursion and equivalence statements regading pipelines.
@ Harvey, Government inspectors and regulations do not utopia make. Police are just human like the rest of us, see Ferguson, Mo tragedy. Regulations are forever behind if not obsolete, unduly expensive and often just plain stupid, see our big to fail banking regulations, courtesy of Dodd-Frank still only half written after 4 yrs & tens of thousands of pages. As far as who pays, it should certainly be those parties directly responsible and their insurance.
This is great!! Obstruction be dammed. The world is going to burn Canadian oil, better to refine in the USA where clean and responsible operators are the rule.
EP, are you suggesting the improvements is in a narrow speed load window? I did not get this qualification from scanning the article, multi color efficiency change map indicates 7 to 13% improvement to BSFC. The map does not show a 30% region, operating point is tiny or some kind of misprint. Seems a shame they need to mess with two types of boost mechanism & control clap trap.
What is thermal expansion and tensile at operating temp. How much wider could tower spacing go vs copper?
@ Mascal, What is the break down on the remaining 40%. Is it a disposal issue or potential co-products? Not being a chemist or fuels guy, why bother to de-oxygenate, could practicle engines be adapted to the ALD as they have to other oxygenated fuels?
I am surprised and disappointed at the lack of interest this community shows here. Contributing towards (or making current obsolete) the effect of better efficiency (WTW, energy balance, Carbon, etc) and economics (you know, customers paying for stuff themselves cause they want to) should be the goal of every word on this site. 14% milage improvement is impressive research on two of our readily available staple liquid fuels. No re-writing of physics, or new Apollo program required here. Recardo published on a more complex highly boosted (effective CR vs mechanical CR) engine using more ethanol a year or two ago with efficiencies also in the diesel range. Engine guys have known high octane makes better SI fuel for a century. So what if performance & green minded builders and consumers started utilizing the full synergies of these fuels? Would engines have more cost & complexity, not really, a mechanical hi compression engine need be no more complex/expensive than standard. In fact if down sizing design is done carefully it will save money after new tooling and engineering is amortized. Fuel systems will be more expensive, no, the article suggests most manufacturers and experts already agree post 2001 fuel systems are capable of 30% blend without corrosive/other issues. Consumers will be shackled to this boutique fuel, no, with knock sensors (already std on modern engines) and a de-tuned timing map a high compression engine will run fine, albeit at lower power and efficiency than it is capable of. Many performance engines already take this approach to accommodate 87 octane when they are designed to run 93. There is not enough ethanol, no, by burning it at greater efficiently it goes farther and the industry/government could free up a lot of it by re-purposing E-85 pumps and raw material. Instead of a product that gives poor range and economics it would be a win-win-win, more green credibility, more fun to drive and better economics than E-85, possibly enough to get off the government dole. This would take some years to catch on and the supply could would have substantial time to adjust and thus keep prices down. Certainly the current ethanol supply chain has issues, irrational market signals, food cost pressures, etc. But the industry has made great strides since the 1980's to get more energy and cost efficient, surely things all of us can appreciate. Not sure the same can be said for the petro part of this combo, any comments from the chemists and refiners on this thread would be welcome. In summary, this research reinforces the fact we are wasting a very high quality fuel when we burn ethanol as E-85 today, (E-10 is another story, it is doing fine as a safer MTBE octane booster replacement and should probably be left alone till suitable replacements can be found, but that is a different thread).
Back to the science. This sounds quite extraordinary!! What are the kinetics of the new reaction vs old? So what were the side effects on the organism? Think of the possible implications on organism robustness, reproduction, etc if their metabolism is actually 50% more efficient with minimal adverse change. . The article sounded as if this gain was at a precursor level so the benefit trickles down to a wide variety of biosynthetic products in the organism, apparently any that metabolize sugars at the cellular level, WOW. Article claims It also applies to a wide range of sugars. Are there any biologists listening that can put some context and perspective on this for a old mechanic?