This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 29, 2007 3:48 PM. The previous post in this blog was Linchpins, linchpins everywhere. The next post in this blog is Here's what we really need. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The new other white meat


Comments (8)

Exactly 'why' is liquid coal a bad idea? Isn't this an alternative energy source we should consider? Or is french fry fuel the only acceptable answer?

Here are just a few articles from about a year ago, when a major refinement of the Fischer-Tropsch coal-to-diesel process had won a Nobel Prize, and there was quite a stir in scientific circles :





One thing we have to remember here in the States, is that the Diesel fuel we were used to seeing in use up until this year was quite filthy compared to what Europe has been using for many years. For example, here is a quote from a Diesel mechanic with 40 years experience, pulled from a thread on a well-known engine repair discussion board, the "dieselplace" :

U.S. diesel fuel in general is inferior to European diesel - that because our cetane standards, water content standards, etc. are less stringent.
E.g., U.S. #2 diesel must be a min. of 35 cetane. In most of Europe - it's a min. 45. And water content? U.S. max. standard is .05%. In Europe - max. allowed is .02%.

As of this year, this has changed. We are now seeing the ULSD at the pumps, and starting next year, we will see the importation of many Diesel cars in use in Europe, that could not run on the old, dirty fuel. Older Diesels can use the cleaner fuel, too, and another thing to also keep in mind, is that this technology is advancing rapidly right now, today. Who knows how far it will be along in 5-10 years.

As far as Biodiesel goes, making it from french-fry grease and such is nice, and I like the idea of recycling waste oils, but that is old news. So is the idea of making it from crops that use up huge amounts of land and resources. The real state-of-the-art in that field is with Algae that have such a higher yield of oil compared to conventional crops, it's not even funny. Hit Google for more.

Hope that gave y'all a few places to start your own research.

What a great starting point for the discussion about alternative energy. I would encourage neighborhood nuclear facilities. Or foundation-implants of cesium reactors. Plus rooftop solar energy collectors. Discuss.

I thought the new US rules for diesel emmisions were harsher than the european rules (specifically the UK) I know because Jeep has a diesel that they sell in the UK but can't here do to these new rules. The fuel was part of that equation.

Yes, I've heard the same thing, but it is my understanding that the newer, cleaner burning engines require the new Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) to run on, and that the industry is working on new emissions systems to be compliant with the new US laws.

For instance, GM plans on rolling out a new light-duty truck engine in the States after 2009, that will meet our more stringent 2010 emissions standards...here is the press release:


BTW, I should say that there is a major caveat regarding running the cleaner ULSD in older engines, like I do. Many older engines used Stanadyne rotary injection pumps that relied on the sulfur in the dirty old fuel for lubrication. Most of the sulfur was taken out of the fuel in order to meet the tougher emissions requirements, and some older rotary pumps promptly began to seize up.

That is where Biodiesel comes in...it is a great fuel additive for lubrication, and everyone I've talked to running ULSD in older engines swears by it. Of course, all of this is in constant flux, as new technology comes out and the emissions laws get tougher.

Nice to see that unemployer poor Dick Gebhardt landed on his feet.

If they can figure a cheap way to get sulfur out of coal, this might be a pretty good alternative. Unfortunately, it doesnt address real/imagined carbon footprints since caol is almost all carbon.

Steve Unfortunately, it doesnt address real/imagined carbon footprints since caol is almost all carbon.
JK: But diesel isn’t. The conversion process basically adds hydrogen to the carbon to make a hydro-carbon, diesel. Mash a few simple hydrocarbons together and you get a liquid fuel. Same carbon content as the same fuels, from whatever source.


when the discussion is only about which fuel and abstractions like "carbon footprint", it's already too late.

changing the fuel won't resolve pollution, poverty, regional strife and all the things fossil fuel has a heavy hand in.

what we really need is power sources that can't be controlled by the powerful few, and a complete reorientation of our brains to realize that we are consumption pigs and our lifestyles are the problem, not the fuel source.

all argument about "good" and "bad" energy sources is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic to get a better view.

Clicky Web Analytics