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Alex Kovnat
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> .... close to 60% of the current GHG > emissions (and rising) are from coal > fired power plants. Then we should build more nuclear power plants.
I cannot emphasize enough what an abomination it is, to flare gas when we are told that the world is coming to an end from global warming, or some other adverse consequence of carbon dioxide buildup in our atmosphere. I applaud efforts to use gas that would otherwise be wastefully flared. We must demand an end to flaring now.
If the carbon dioxide situation is that serious, we should bite the bullet and utilize nuclear power more. Not so much for ships, but for electric power generation. For ships, if we are to utilize any cryogenic liquid fuel, I would rather use liquified natural gas in combination with advanced gas turbine engines.
@Dave Mart: The "bottom of the barrel" could be hydrocracked (using hydrogen derived from now-plentiful natural gas) to yield various useful products. Or, if its no longer needed for ships, it could be burned on site to generate electric power. The free-market (modified of course by emissions regulations) will find an answer, if we let it. If we use liquified natural gas for ship fuel, perhaps ship operators should consider gas turbine engines, like the General Electric LM2500's used by the world's navies for ships ranging from light frigates all the way to flat-deck cruisers (aircraft carriers for Harrier-like "jump jets" and helicopters). Said gas turbines could use waste heat boilers or regenerators (like on the U.S. Army's gas turbine powered tanks) to improve the system's energy efficiency. Hopefully, the improvements in efficiency described in the article above will be applied to all kinds of merchant vessels, i.e. container ships, tankers, roll on-roll off ships, as well as bulk carriers.
Anybody caught texting while driving, should be grounded for a year. There is no excuse whatsoever for such behavior. Yakking away on a cell phone is bad enough already.
To wastefully flare any combustible gas to the atmosphere at a time when the auto industry is being required to meet 50+ MPG fuel economy standards, is an abomination. Marathon should use excess flammable gas to fire a gas turbine and generate some electricity. Flaring of gas anywhere in the world, thus creating more CO2 and wasting energy, has got to stop!
Propane is definitely NOT the kind of stuff you want in the bilge of a boat. But remember, boaters have used gasoline for decades. My father had a sailboat with a gasoline inboard auxiliary engine. I remember how he would run the bilge blower for a few minutes before starting the engine. You would use the same precautions with propane.
I wish those Netherlands researchers all the best in mastering the art of synthesizing light olefins directly from CO + H2, instead of having to go through the process of CO + H2 --> Methanol --> light olefins. Right now, the Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation would like to build a facility that would use the latter process. But if it proves feasible to produce olefins directly from CO + H2, it will be more efficient in utilizing natural gas or biomass in producing the basic building blocks of the polymer industry.
Will Cadillacs using this new engine design run on 87 octane regular gasoline, or will they require premium (93 octane) gas, which costs 20 cents a gallon more? But then, if you're socioeconomic status is Cadillac rather than Chevrolet or Ford, I suppose that doesn't matter.
I have a question for anybody familiar with Norway: Have any large numbers or percentage of their trucks been converted from Diesel to LNG/CNG? Seems like you would reduce NOx just as much that way, as by using LNG for ships.
Seems to me that isobutanol would be just as valuable as an automotive fuel by itself, or as a gasoline blending component. I'd like to see how various mixtures of isobutanol, ethanol and gasoline would work out.
I am concerned that thinner sections of higher strength steel will be more vulnerable to corrosion than thicker sections of lesser-strength steel. If you lose even a hundredth of a millimeter to corrosion, you have weakened a component a lot more if you start with a very thin section, than if you start with a thicker section.
I believe its all well and good that Honda is offering the CNG-version of the Civic in 35 states, not just four like they have up until now. Purchase of the CNG-Civic by businesses and government agencies (federal, state and local) should be encouraged. But if we really want to see more use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, Honda and other automotive manufacturers should offer pickup trucks, vans (i.e. Oddessy) and vehicles like school buses with CNG-engines. An advantage of using CNG in a larger vehicle like a truck is, one has more room to play around with. Hence it might be feasible to combine CNG with either hydraulic or electric apparatus to recover braking energy and provide launch assist. This would further reduce CO2 emissions.
Henrik: China deserves our gratitude for not abandoning nuclear power, as Germany has decided to do. Nuclear power plants cannot be built as rapidly as coal-fired power plants, so given the understandable aspirations of the Chinese people for a better life than they had under Mao, China will be burning a lot of coal for a while. Hopefully some of their coal-fired power plants will in time be replaced by nuclear power.
One must be careful when presented with claims about this motorcycle or that attaining "63.5 mpg US", or some other fuel economy figure. Is that with 87 octane regular gasoline like most cars, or do you need 89 or even 93 octane premium which costs 20 cents a gallon more?
I have a question about the reheat-cycle steam turbine propulsion system on the Mitsubishi LNG tankers. Are there any feed water heaters using extracted steam like in fossil fuel power plants? Having worked for a utility consulting firm years ago, I know that coal-burning steam turbine power plants use reheat and have something like 7 or 8 stages of feedwater heating.
If reducing carbon dioxide from ships is that important, than let's build nuclear powered merchant ships.
I'm not overwhelmingly enthusiastic about coal, but I'd like to put in a suggestion: If there's lots of natural gas available from "fracking", then we should consider co-processing of natural gas and coal (along with biomass such as wood, if available) to produce liquid fuels. Natural gas is rich in hydrogen (being predominantly CH4), while coal is deficient in hydrogen. So if we co-process coal and natural gas in a syngas-producer, we may be able to get a CO-H2 mixture with the right proportion of H2 without using steam in the gasification process. Another possibility is to reform natural gas to produce hydrogen, then use the hydrogen to hydrogenate coal.
If the buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is so serious a matter as to justify the ever-intensifying campaign of regulatory aggression against the auto industry, then it is also a serious enough matter to STOP THE WASTEFUL FLARING OF NATURAL GAS. It is shocking that we are told to accept ever more expensive technology, and possible compromises with the room and performance we are accustomed to from our cars, while trillions of cubic feet of natural gas are wastefully burned in the atmosphere every year. So even if the GTL process mentioned above doesn't turn a profit, it may well have socially redeeming value just from the standpoint of eliminating gas-flaring.
I would suggest co-processing biomass with natural gas if available, so the resultant synthesis gas output from the gasifier will have closer to the optimum hydrogen to carbon ratio.
If carbon dioxide is that much of a problem, why not use at least some degree of hybrid-electric functionality on ALL cars?
Natural gas in hydrogen-rich, heavy oils are carbon-rich. So one option is to combine the two, i.e. use hydrogen derived from reforming NG, to hydrogenate heavy crudes before refining begins. But seriously, if the need for carbon dioxide reduction is so great as to justify 35, 45, ... 60 or more miles per gallon CAFE, it would be best to simply tax coal and oil as heavily as we have to, and let the ingenuity of the American people (and peoples of other nations) figure out the best way to live with it.
I would prefer that more people were in favor of nuclear power. I can see no good that can come out of totally rejecting nuclear power as an energy option.
As long as propane is available, we might as well use it. Roush should also consider combining propane or CNG power, with a hydraulic- or electric-hybrid transmission arrangement.
If the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is so great as to justify 35 or more miles per gallon CAFE, then its great enough to justify American public transit agencies purchasing this Hyundai compressed natural gas hybrid bus. Unfortunately, the same kind of activist personalities who demand such high CAFE for other people's cars, may also deny us the benefits of said hybrid-CNG bus in the name of buying American, saving jobs, or reducing the trade deficit. It would be truly a frustration if our urban transit agencies were not allowed to purchase this bus, just to satisfy these peoples' power and ego trips.