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Author Topic: Any sufficiently low technology is indistinguishable from hard work.  (Read 2086 times)
sailor_tech
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« Topic Start: August 26, 2008, 10:38:45 pm »

Live posting about the Democratic Convention.  The governor of Montana is blovating about Obama's energy policy.

Lots of plug in hybrids. Wind and solar to run these. Reduce global warming, and have energy independence.

No mention of the nuclear power plants we'd need for all those hybrids. Or that neither wind or solar are sufficient for base load generation, even without the huge increase in plug in cars.

Biodiesel is going to move CO2 from plants to the atmosphere, which is supposed to lead to global warming. 

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« Reply #1: August 26, 2008, 11:28:21 pm »

Biodiesel is going to move CO2 from plants to the atmosphere, which is supposed to lead to global warming. 

Could you expand a little more on this?  Plants pull CO2 out of the air and turn it into oxygen.  Plants need CO2 to survive.  How is biodiesel going to pull CO2 out of plants?
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« Reply #2: August 26, 2008, 11:51:50 pm »

How is biodiesel going to pull CO2 out of plants?

My understanding is that it takes all of that nice CO2 that the plant has sequestered and re-releases it into the atmosphere when the biodiesel (ie. ex-plant) burnt. I'm not sure I've got the detail right, but that's my understanding.
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« Reply #3: August 27, 2008, 12:54:57 am »

My understanding is that it takes all of that nice CO2 that the plant has sequestered and re-releases it into the atmosphere when the biodiesel (ie. ex-plant) burnt. I'm not sure I've got the detail right, but that's my understanding.

But it is a plant the is replaced immediately so that it can sequester CO2 and continue the cycl, as compared with releasing CO2 from plants that dies million and millions of years ago and are not being replaced right now on the planet.  That CO2 is old and adds to the CO@ in the cycle, where as the plant for biodiesal is a recent part of the cycle.  Does this make any sense. 
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #4: August 27, 2008, 07:00:59 am »

But it is a plant the is replaced immediately so that it can sequester CO2 and continue the cycl, as compared with releasing CO2 from plants that dies million and millions of years ago and are not being replaced right now on the planet.  That CO2 is old and adds to the CO@ in the cycle, where as the plant for biodiesal is a recent part of the cycle.  Does this make any sense. 

You, and the person you were replying to are both correct, although it is very likely, in my opinion, that more crops will be planted for biodiesel, which would reduce the acreage that lies fallow.  The fallow land's plants don't get put back in the CO2 cycle in the short term.   There are also questions about the overall cycle efficiency and water usage.
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« Reply #5: August 27, 2008, 08:09:10 am »

You, and the person you were replying to are both correct, although it is very likely, in my opinion, that more crops will be planted for biodiesel, which would reduce the acreage that lies fallow.  The fallow land's plants don't get put back in the CO2 cycle in the short term.   There are also questions about the overall cycle efficiency and water usage.


That's true about the fallow land, but again, I'll bet thst there is still less CO2 in the cycle with biodiesal that with regular old fossil buels.  More than would be with wind or solar, but less than with fossil fuels.  So it woiuld slow thigs down a little.  Depending on the crop used and the amount of land space it uses, there may be different economic effects.
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« Reply #6: August 27, 2008, 08:14:45 am »

Biofuels are one among the enery sources of the future.
We are living now the third industrial revolution (1st: steel and coal, 2nd: combustion engine and oil; 3rd: IT and renewable resources).
At the current state bioethanol and biodiesel are not fully sustainable technology (soil erosion, water management..). Much more promising are the "new biofuels" that are either bioethanol but obtained from corn stovers and other cellulose sources (the whole sugar-cane plant can be converted to glucose, so to achieve the full "recycle" of the bagasse..)
I currently work in a major german project to develop new biofuels out of the cellulose degradation...
http://www.vka.rwth-aachen.de/tmf/Englisch/Index_e.htm
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« Reply #7: August 27, 2008, 08:15:27 am »

No mention of the nuclear power plants we'd need for all those hybrids. Or that neither wind or solar are sufficient for base load generation, even without the huge increase in plug in cars.

First, the Democratic plan is far from perfect but it is better than the Republican plan which seems to be composed of two parts: giving the oil companies more land they can hold but not drill on and use to inflate their paper worth (and hence stock prices) and pretending global warming isn't happening (and hiding science that says it is as it opposes their idealogy).

Second, the Democratic Party hasn't been strongly opposed to nuclear power in a while. Parts of the party are, but they are getting to be a smaller and smaller minority.
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