Audi just created Diesel from Air and Water (CO2)

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by sundog964, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    Very interesting article.

    Of course, the technology isn't new. But Audi is pushing it further.

    Now of course we understand that it will cost more energy than will be in the resulting fuel, pesky physics. But with Nuclear to create the electricity, and the CO2 neutrality of this fuel, it is a big win for the future.
     
  2. joemesser

    joemesser Member

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  3. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    Plant and animal matter can also be depolymerized into the equivalent of crude oil. The process isn't especially new.

    Agricultural based fuels are also carbon neutral once you reach a closed cycle. By closed cycle I mean that you have fully agricultural sources for the upstream energy used in cultivation, harvest and production of chemical inputs (fertilizer etc). In fact if root mass gets left in the ground it's a net carbon sink.

    Ideally the source matter would come from unused portions like the stems and leaves f a food crop, so as not to divert water and cropland and energy from feeding mankind. The fact that there is such a thing as a "corn furnace" frankly bothers me a little.
     
  4. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    Yes, biodiesel can also be made from a particularly oily algae. I read an article a few years back that discussed the amount of hectares of shallow ponds needed to make a dent in our fossil oil consumption. Quite compelling.

    For me, the key to this article was this line, "The overall energy efficiency of the fuel creation process using renewable power is around 70 percent, according to Audi." If they can raise that number over the coming years, it will likely become a viable substitute.

    Of course, a liter of diesel is a bit more pricey over there than here.
     
  5. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Problem is, there is no incentive to continue with ICE methodology once fossil fuels are displaced by electric cars. Just plain silly.
     
  6. sundog964

    sundog964 Supporting Member

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    Well, that isn't going to happen in the next 20 years, so it is very pertinent. Right now the only way you can drive from SF to LA is with a tesla, and a battery replacement halfway, yes, replacement. So it works for very wealthy people, but not for 100% (rounding) of the rest of the traffic.

    And the generation of electricity is still dominated by coal and gas.

    ICE is here for at least the next 20 years.
     
  7. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    We've got two 'weeds' they should look into:

    Scotch Broom, and Gorse.
    Both non-native, and fiendishly oily.
    A wildfire in either is hell to put out.
     
  8. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    I agree. I've had the pleasure of driving a few EVs, but realistically they are still somewhat impractical for many. The depreciation due to the need to replace batteries is a big issue at this point.
     
  9. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    I think your estimates are off by a factor of 4. Car manufacturers are designing, planning and building infrastructure at least 5 years out. They have to be right about this stuff and right now they are rushing to electric. Pickups will lag the market due to their specific use and demographic. It's gonna go quick.
    Anything that reduces our need for foreign oil is a feather in our cap.
     
  10. trils0n

    trils0n Member

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    Not true. Tesla has Supercharger stations (fast DC chargers) that make the trip to LA from SF a breeze. (And many made the trip before these stations)

    Tesla's Supercharger network is pretty extensive, and their destination charging program also has tons of sites. Both are expanding rapidly.

    The battery swap is in a pilot program and available by appointment only.

    EDIT: As to Audi's e-Diesel, it is kind of a pointless exercise, same as hydrogen fuel cells. The amount of renewable energy required to create 100 miles worth of hydrogen would power an electric car approximately 300 miles. So you'd need 3x the clean energy generation to make hydrogen work as a green transportation fuel compared to just using electric cars. The e-diesel Audi is touting also uses electrolysis of water (one of the super energy intensive parts of hydrogen production) so it will have even worse efficiency than hydrogen, since there are a few more steps (all require energy) to turn it into e-diesel. And that is just to create the fuel. Then, internal combustion engines are less efficient than fuel cells, and much less efficient than electric motors. It makes no sense from the viewpoint of switching to clean, renewable energy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2015

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