Sunday, September 17, 2006

Coal ,clean diesel ,and economic growth who knew!!

I have for some time heard about the nazi fuel production of fuel from coal in the final months of WWII . and it had been discounted as a non cost effective way to produce fuel . well last year the Nobel prize was given for a new method which produces diesel at a verry low cost and seperates out the sulfer to produce a Ultra low sulfer clean burning diesel fuel. this has huge ramifications to the economy and the environment.....

If the number of diesel vehicles in private use went from less than 10% to over 60% of the private US vehicle fleet, mirroring European diesel engine adoption rates, we would see a 25% reduction in the amount of oil used in the US.
This equates to all of the oil we currently import from all of the OPEC countries and twice as much as we import from the Middle East...
Any improved efficiency in our vehicle fleet helps us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and any reduction in oil imports helps us stay clear of getting entangled in the politics of the Middle East.

Often overlooked, an efficient substitute for high dollar high tech machines of tomorrow is sitting right where we left it, it has benefits much like the ones promised by machines that aren’t already in production .Diesel engines are an existing technology that offers us reduced emissions, flexibility for fuel sources, and 40% higher efiency. It is this very efficiency and durability, that has made diesel engines are the workhorse of the U.S. economy. Diesels already play an indispensable role in transportation and agriculture, construction, and mining. The people who run these companies are interested in getting the maximum value from their investment so if a choice is more efficient they will use it.
Diesel by its very nature contains 20% more energy in a gallon of fuel than a gallon of gasoline. This Combined with the diesel engine's much higher compression ratios and reduced pumping losses it is not hard to see why vehicles like the VW Jetta TDI get 40+ MPG highway, the US fleet average of only 23mpg is pathetic. The us fleets diesel percentage is also pathetic much lower than the European average of 68% of all passenger cars. For people who say diesel is slow how about the Opel Eco-Speedster sports car prototype. The 1.3-litre Ecotec Diesel engine produces 112 hp, giving the car a maximum speed of over 155 mph and fuel consumption of 94 mpg. And as far as hybrids go the gasoline hybrid is leaving untapped efficiency on the table domestically we aren’t talking about them and even European automakers, initially resisted the trend, choosing instead to focus conventional on diesel-powered automobiles whose fuel efficiency rivaled even the best gasoline hybrids they succeeded. But now are finally looking into PSA diesel hybrids. These start on electric power exclusively, avoiding the use of diesel in low-power, low-temperature modes where the engine is the least efficient. Also During braking, the vehicles recover energy by recharging their battery packs. Their Fuel consumption 69 mpg this sets a new record for a European compact family car, and far surpasses the current benchmark the Prius (which delivers around 50-55 mpg). The BMW 530d goes from 0-60mph in only 7 seconds, and still gets over 40 miles per gallon. This same car powered by a gasoline engine only manages to get 23 miles per gallon.

Recent innovations in diesel design and electronic control has many States developing clean air plans using diesels, many cities are looking for greater emissions reductions. Most will find that a diesel retrofit program offers one of the most cost-effective solutions for achieving real and immediate air quality as well as fuel consumption benefits. Its better to retrofit clean diesel than to wait for new technology to be produced as it will be at a much higher cost and the day of implementation may be years from now Diesel retrofits ( basically a replace, repair, refuel, retrofit or repower )offer a number of benefits over other emissions reduction strategies, including: immediate and significant reductions, flexibility for fuel sources , and no new infrastructure requirements. Advances in diesel engine technology, fuel, and exhaust treatment will make new diesel vehicles virtually emissions-free “According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), by 2030 total emissions from diesel trucks, buses and off-road equipment will have been slashed by 80 percent compared to 2000 levels thanks to new regulations that start taking effect in 2007.”
However, these new clean diesel advances do not affect the approximately 11 million engines in use today. Fortunately, the same clean diesel technologies that will power the next generation of diesel vehicles and equipment can be applied to some older engines – reducing emissions by up to 90 percent. In fact Detroit diesel and the DOE just made a wonderful announcement “As part of its presentation at the recent Diesel Engine Emissions Reduction (DEER) Conference in Chicago, Illinois, Detroit Diesel Corporation (DDC) announced that it has demonstrated technology to achieve greater than 45 percent brake thermal efficiency while meeting the 2007 emissions regulations -- a result of its collaboration with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) on the Heavy Truck Engine project. This target is a key milestone for fiscal year 2005 project objectives. This technology demonstration lays a strong foundation for the next generation of development, targeting 50 percent thermal efficiency at 2010 emissions regulations. Brake thermal efficiency is a measure of the amount of fuel energy converted into useful power during the combustion process in the engine.”

so to swith to diesel we are also going to end up with an environmental gain by less use of fuel or simply a more efficent use of fuel. but also will gain flexibility that will allow us to be more resistant to oil shocks....
CI engines whether diesel or not are significantly more efficient than gasoline engines. Due to a higher compression ratio and reduced pumping losses.
Diesels also run on many more alternate fuel sources than their gasoline counterparts. This has implications including national security and the Middle East these include
• Biodiesel
• SVO or straight vegetable oil.
• WVO waste vegetable oil
• Propane diesel mixes.
• Biodiesel methanol mixes.
• Coal derived diesel fuels. (Which should be the cleanest burning diesel possible thus known as "green diesel.")

The concept of using vegetable oil as a fuel dates back to 1895 when Dr. Rudolf Diesel developed the first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. He demonstrated his engine at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900 and described an experiment using peanut oil as fuel in his engine. In fact In 1911 Rudolf Diesel stated: "The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." In 1912, Diesel said "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today. But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time." Think we have had long enough to let this settle in
Biodiesel is a great choice and is very similar to normal petrochemical based diesel fuel. It is basically composed of processed WVO or SVO mixed with diesel another interesting property of diesels is that Adding propane actually improves power as well as economy. This is due to a n effect of propane causing a much cleaner much more complete burn in the chamber. SVO is a renewable fuel source and runs great but is harder to start and doesn’t always work in colder climates. Vegetable oil can be created from oil feedstock plants like soybeans, palm oil, rape seeds, palm oil, sunflower seeds and even some types of algae. WVO is Recycled vegetable oil from local restaurants and other used sources. These businesses are also a useful reservoir of renewable fuel for diesel engines as approximately 4.5 billion gallons per year of used vegetable oil is available in the USA. Using fuel that has already contributed to the economy by producing something is very beneficial to production in our system of capitalism
With more than 4 choices to power the diesel engine it seems to be a great choice in uncertain times. If world oil supply’s were to be shut down one would merely have to switch to a renewable source like vegetable oil and the engine would be back in service alternately one could convert to coal derived diesel fuel.
Diesel should ultimately be cheaper to produce than gasoline because it takes less refining to create diesel fuel, which is why it should be cheaper than gasoline but disproportionate tax rates seem to make up this difference and raise prices so diesel cost currently is not in line with actual production costs.

Recently the Nobel Prize was given in relation to diesel fuel I found this article:
“Clean Diesel from Coal”
"When I saw this I thought it was really a terrific contribution that could be very important," says Richard Schrock, professor of chemistry at MIT, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005, with two other scientists, for discovering the type of catalyst used in the second step. Combining two catalysts this way "is pretty rare," he says. "You can't just throw any two things together and expect to get the results you anticipated."
According to Robert Grubbs, professor of chemistry at Caltech, who shared the Nobel Prize with Schrock, "The key is finding catalyst systems that are compatible, and will operate at the temperatures where you can do both processes together?"
"Two percent of the United States' energy reserves are in oil, 3 percent is in gas, and 95 percent is in coal," said Dr. Maurice Brookhart, W.R. Kenan Jr. Professor of chemistry in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences. "Many people in the energy sector think that when oil starts to run out, coal will be a source of transportation fuel for some time before we perfect the science behind solar and hydrogen-based energy. Producing diesel fuels from coal is especially attractive since diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines."
The Fischer-Tropsch method of making synthetic liquid fuels from coal and other carbon sources has been used since the 1920s. Today, Fischer-Tropsch fuels power most large vehicles in South Africa, and American companies have expressed interest in these fuels, which emit fewer particulates and less carbon monoxide than conventional diesel fuels. Such fuels have been termed "green diesel." The Fischer-Tropsch method of making synthetic liquid fuels from coal and other carbon sources has been used since the 1920s. Today, Fischer-Tropsch fuels power most large vehicles in South Africa, and American companies have expressed interest in these fuels, which emit fewer particulates and less carbon monoxide than conventional diesel fuels. Such fuels have been termed "green diesel."
Diesel fuel produced in this way has several potential advantages. Most ordinary diesel contains molecules, called aromatics, that, when combusted, produce particulates, Goldman says. But the diesel formed by the new catalysts does not include aromatics, so it burns much cleaner, overcoming one of the major objections to diesel fuel. This could lead to more vehicles using diesel engines, which are about 30 percent more efficient than gasoline engines.
The method, described in the current issue of the journal Science, uses a pair of catalysts to improve the yield of diesel fuel from Fischer-Tropsch (F-T) synthesis, a nearly century-old chemical technique for reacting carbon monoxide and hydrogen to make hydrocarbons. The mixture of gases is produced by heating coal. Although Germany used the process during World War II to convert coal to fuel for its military vehicles, F-T synthesis has generally been too expensive to compete with oil.
Part of the problem with the F-T process is that it produces a mixture of hydrocarbons -- many of which are not useful as fuel. But in the recent research, Alan Goldman, professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers University, and Maurice Brookhart, professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, use catalysts to convert these undesirable hydrocarbons into diesel. The catalysts work by rearranging the carbon atoms, transforming six-carbon atom hydrocarbons, for example, into two- and ten-carbon atom hydrocarbons. The ten-carbon version can power diesel engines. The first catalyst removes hydrogen atoms, which allows the second catalyst to rearrange the carbon atoms. Then the first catalyst restores the hydrogen, to form fuel.

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