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Oil as a Renewable Resource

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Keirador, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    I've known about Changing World Technologies and the Thermal Conversion Process for three years, I don't know why it never occured to me to post it. This company claims to be able to process all organic waste (animal parts, plastic refuse, tires, sewage) into oil, natural gas, and pure mineral fertilizer. An inexhaustible supply of oil, as well as a fantastic way to dispose of wastes. What are your thoughts?

    Changing World Technologies' Website

    Obligatory Wiki Link, as that's all some people around here trust.
     
  2. Truronian

    Truronian Quite unfamiliar Retired Moderator

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    Still doesn't address the CO2 problem. I personally see this as a bad thing, if oil is inexhaustible then global warming looks set to continue indefinately. Also, is this process energetically efficient?

    Having said that the waste solution is a welcome one. I see this as a double edged sword
     
  3. taper

    taper Meet Tux

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    If this is the same thing I'm thinking of, Discover magazine has run a few articles on it, first one was at least a year ago. It looks like an interesting recycling program, but a major flaw they pointed out is that even though raw fuel comes out, more energy must be put into the machine to make it run. It might make money, because a kilowatt from gasoline is worth more than a kilowatt from coal, but it is not an energy source.
     
  4. Keirador

    Keirador Deity

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    I don't know if that's true, but even if it is, if the machines could be made to run on solar power, it would be an effective way of STORING solar energy for a rainy day (quite literally), which has always been the greatest drawback of solar power. Furthermore, we wouldn't have to completely redesign our infrastructure and transportation systems as we would if we switched to storing solar power by creating hydrogen for usein fuel cells.
     
  5. Truronian

    Truronian Quite unfamiliar Retired Moderator

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    But it also negates solar powers major advantage, that it is enviromentally friendly.
     
  6. taper

    taper Meet Tux

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    I just read the wiki article a little closer, and I have my doubts about the efficiency part.

    As I learned it, an efficiency of 85% means that 85 units come out after 100 units went in, not 100 out from 85 in, as the article suggests, or 85 from 15 as the next sentece suggests.

    I also don't see how this could be used to store solar energy. Using the sun to power this plant would mean only operating it for a fraction of a day, and large machines like this are usually run around the clock, plus it doesn't produce electricity, only fuels which are usually not used to make electricity.
     
  7. North King

    North King blech

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    :wallbash:

    Just one more reason for people to continue their wasting, dirty, polluting habits.
     
  8. Lozzy_Ozzy

    Lozzy_Ozzy Rapture

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    It looks to me that it meant that 15% of the ouput is used to power the process :hmm:.
     
  9. JohnRM

    JohnRM Don't make me destroy you

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    Terrifying.
     
  10. Urederra

    Urederra Mostly harmless

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    ... so, you can use grampa's corpse to warm the house :lol: [joke]

    Well, first of all, I don't see what's the CO2 problem, nor the link between the CO2 emited during the last 100+ years and the warm weather we had in the last 8? years. BTW, last winter was one of the coldest of the last many years, at least in Europe.

    But, anyway, that's off-topic. I remember reading an article in Chemical and Engineering News, the magazine of the American Chemical Society, written by George Olah, Nobel prize in Chemistry in 199something talking about the possibility of making oil from CO2 and H20, which is basically reversing the process of burning oil. That requires energy, of course. But so does the generation of H2.

    How to generate energy is the main point. I don't think that solar/eolic could be efficient enough, but we have the cheap and safe nuclear source.
     
  11. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    H2 is helium. I presume you were talking about H1, or hydrogen.

    Also, if we add enough C02 to the atmosphere, we will eventually turn into Venus.

    I highly doubt that they can actually do this.
     
  12. Fetus4188

    Fetus4188 Deity

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    H2 is hydrogen gas, He is helium.
     
  13. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    Sorry, not sure what I was thinking. I guess I must have been thinking that H2 meant "two hydrogen protons," which doesn't make any sense. It's been a long summer... :crazyeye:
     
  14. Neonanocyborgasm

    Neonanocyborgasm Deity

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    There is no such thing as a renewable supply of energy, because that would violate thermodynamics. Even if you could synthesize petroleum, you'd have to use energy to do it, and more energy than you'd get after combusting petroleum.
     
  15. BasketCase

    BasketCase Username sez it all

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    The energy stored in oil is basically just a fancy form of photosynthesis/digestion. Plants and animals store energy in their tissues, die, tissues get compacted underground into the black stuff. Make use of the natural refinery that is the Earth, by all means (well, if you consider the use of oil to be a good idea, anyway), but performing the same procedure above-ground seems to me like adding an unnecessary extra step.

    However--if we need oil to manufacture fertilizer and plastics, then manufacturing the oil needed in order to do so might be an excellent idea.....
     

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