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Old 02-02-2008, 06:48 AM   #31
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The whole notion of "energy savings through population control" is almsot too ridiculous to honor with a response
Whoa- clever retort Dave!

Explain why the notion of pop control is ridiculous?

I live in the "Land Of 10,000 Lakes". In the space of a decade or so, this state is facing the prospect of severe water shortages. To hell with oil and energy, we are talking water. Perhaps we will become the "Land of 10,000 Potholes". Many other states are in the same conundrum. Why is this Dave? Could it be a sign that humanity is reaching a tipping point regarding demands vs resources? How about the disappearance of wetlands and various animal and plant species? Don't they have a right to live here too? How big must the clues get before you and your ilk get it?
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:26 PM   #32
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Looks to me like ?theclencher? doesn?t much care to have the same standards applied to his responses as my comments.

If population control is your answer, somebody has to do some dying. OK. Let that be somebody else ? not the US, thank you. If you think population control is necessary, why fool around with halfway measures? Halfway measures are too easily thwarted. Mushroom clouds work. Thermonuclear war is the ne plus ultra of population control.

All this is of course, way off topic on a really good technology discussion.

The problem with all current bio-fuel (denatured alcohol from corn or sugar and biodiesel from soybeans) is that you are using food crops as feedstock. Already you see the fruits of that short-sighted policy. Corn is trading in the $10/bushel range on the CBoT. Tortilla prices are out of sight in Mexico and soybeans are getting harder to find in East Asia. Even most ?cellulosic? alcohol ideas require arable land and water at least fit for agriculture. Current biofuels have lousy energy ratios ? the ratio of energy out vs energy in. Denatured alcohol runs somewhere about 1:1 and biodiesel runs about 3:1. Not good enough. Drilling for oil runs well over 10:1 even in very difficult conditons. Fischer-Tropsch uses coal for a feedstock and gets well over 6:1. Unsubsidized biofukles are in Nowheresville for good reasons.

Algae bypasses all that. The best species grow nicely in seawater. You don?t need arable land. In fact deserts are best because they offer more sunlight than land that gets enough rain for dry-land agriculture. Algae requires three nutrients to grow at industrial rates: nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon dioxide. Common sewage sludge is chock full of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds. Carbon dioxide is common in air and in combustion flue gasses. It is easy if not cheap to concentrate.

Algae is nature?s way of efficiently gathering and storing solar energy. In fact petroleum comes from ancient life much like algae. All this idea is is to bypass the multi-million year natural process of concentrating that energy. Even if the process were only 10% efficient, petroleum would be under serious assault from a ?growing? area 125 miles on a side. The energy ratios look good and may even be better than drilling for oil.

Problem is that nobody knows much about growing algae on a commercial scale (we know a good deal more about how to kill it) and refining it. But we know the lipids and sugars are there. All we have to do is figure out how to successfully grow the stuff and refine it to fuel and get our government out of the way of massively using it.

A whole lot more palatable idea than nuking three quarters of the worlds? people.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:25 PM   #33
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Looks to me like “theclencher” doesn’t much care to have the same standards applied to his responses as my comments.

If population control is your answer, somebody has to do some dying. OK. Let that be somebody else – not the US, thank you. If you think population control is necessary, why fool around with halfway measures? Halfway measures are too easily thwarted. Mushroom clouds work. Thermonuclear war is the ne plus ultra of population control.
You can't be serious, as nobody is that stupid.
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:45 AM   #34
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Clencher, I don't think you recognized the sarcasm dripping from that remark.

However, it is the extreme position for that mindset and I'm sure there are those that would be fine with the end of humanity to relieve the pressure on "Mother Earth." In fact, I'm sure they are out there as I've read their remarks in the past.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:38 AM   #35
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Umm, Mr. I? I think the statement "you can't be serious" would have sufficed to indicate his understanding of the nature of the post.

But I cannot say that big dave isn't a sociopath, nor you for wanting to take things to extremes.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:30 AM   #36
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Clencher, I don't think you recognized the sarcasm dripping from that remark.

However, it is the extreme position for that mindset and I'm sure there are those that would be fine with the end of humanity to relieve the pressure on "Mother Earth." In fact, I'm sure they are out there as I've read their remarks in the past.
I don't see any little smileys or any hint that that was sarcasm. Looks to me like distortion and someone wanting to be obstinate rather than seriously entertaining the issue.

I'm not going to debate with any doorknobs. Serious comments = great, all else = forget it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:01 PM   #37
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Population control is population control no matter how you go about it.

Why don't we forget that nonsense and stick to the algae?
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:55 PM   #38
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I agree completely with the rest of your post after the mushroom clouds, Dave.

I'll admit the first paragraph turned me away the first time though.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:46 PM   #39
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No better way to dump oin a bad idea than to take it all the way to its logical conclusion.

I have little patience for a half-baked approach to bad ideas.
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Old 02-10-2008, 03:11 AM   #40
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The use of algae as a feedstock gets around two of the problems of biofuels.

First, it is brain-dead to have fuel crops competing for the same resources (arable land, water, nutrients) as your food crops. the food crops will always win out in the end after the price of both food and fuel go up. Algae is probably best grown in transparent tanks in the desert and seawater is just fine for algae.

Secondly, we are in the fossil-fuel biz in the first place because bio-fuel crops let mankind down in the first place. Coal first started getting used in Europe becuase all the trees had been cut down for fuel. Algae grows so fast and is such an efficient collector/storage for solar energy that it actually gives solar a chance to provide transportation fuel.

One of the tricks will be to provide the concentrated CO2 that algae requires for explosive growth.

Another challenge is to efficiently extract the fats and sugars form the algae without destroying their capability of supporting fuel production.
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