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Old 05-04-2007, 06:33 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brock View Post
Just so everyone knows the oil refineries, processing plants and fuel transportation is the single largest consumer of electricity in the US. Darell said he could drive about 30 miles on the electricity it takes to make one gallon of gas in is stock Toyota Rav 4 RV.
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Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post
Do the math and I think that you will see that that cannot be correct. How many kWh would it take to go 30 miles?
Technically, it's natural gas not electricity. But all that natural gas could be electricity, and the natural gas needed to extract/refine oil/gasoline could do about the same useful work if used for electricity via an EV, as the gasoline does via an ICE powered vehicle. The difference being carbon dioxide emissions, pollution, and naturally, t3h mon3yz. Of course, there is still the matter of application. An EV is a poor choice for long range high speed travel, and an ICE powered vehicle is horrible at low load. However, over the EPA highway cycle, iirc the useful work done via electricity compared to the useful work done via gasoline is about the same. It wouldn't be for a car cruising at 80mph, the gasoline vehicle would have the advantage. Otoh, the EV would get way more useful work done when sitting in traffic during CA rush hour. It's a matter of application.

Going on to the whole Nuclear versus fossil fuel debate... Well, it's pretty convoluted, but from what I've gathered, fossil fuel emissions are responsible for plenty of deaths per year, and in the states the figure is in the tens of thousands.
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Originally Posted by WHO
By the year 2020, over 700,000 deaths worldwide will occur annually from exposure to particles as a result of fossil-fuel burning that could be avoided by a climate control policy. (The 700,000 figure under-estimates the real value due to limiting assumptions used in analysis. For example, *not all sources of particulate air pollution were included.)
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Originally Posted by WHO
Data suggest that air pollution from outdoor and indoor sources (cooking and heating fuels, for example) is responsible for more than *1 million deaths per year in China (that is, about one in every eight deaths nationwide).
This doesn't include the impact of global climate change, which can only be calculated in hindsight imo.
Otoh, nuclear fission has killed far fewer people, which is due to limited use and strict control of the waste stream. Fact is, centralized power generation will always be cleaner than distributed generation, and the worse the byproducts are, the more we will control their release. Coal releases more radioactive material into the environment than nuclear power does...
Of course, there is the matter of waste disposal. Some byproducts can last for thousands of years, so there's some research going into transmutation.
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Isotopes of plutonium and other actinides tend to be long-lived with half-lives of many thousands of years, whereas radioactive fission products tend to be shorter-lived (most with half-lives of 30 years or less). From a waste management viewpoint, transmutation of actinides eliminates a very long-term radioactive hazard and replaces it with a much shorter-term one.
I can't help but wonder why people would be o.k. with radically altering the climate via carbon dioxide, but not o.k. with the potential for local problems due to radioactive materials... Or worrying about potential risks when fossil fuels kill millions per year. Imo, the continued use of fossil fuels is, for the most part, purely economic. Nuclear power isn't nearly as profitable, and fossil fuel owners will take a big hit if we transition away from the fuels they own, to other fuels, because all that coal/oil/whatever will become nearly worthless. They have become extremely wealthy due to the widespread use of their resource, and will likely attempt to influence policy so that their product continues to be used. Even if it isn't the best for our society from an environmental or economic point of view.

*The implication being that there are probably a few million deaths per year due to fossil fuel emissions world wide.
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Brock View Post
Just so everyone knows the oil refineries, processing plants and fuel transportation is the single largest consumer of electricity in the US. Darell said he could drive about 30 miles on the electricity it takes to make one gallon of gas in is stock Toyota Rav 4 RV.
That is an interesting point, never thought of that. Hence the drive to keep coal/NG cheap, to lower the cost of petroleum refining. Nice.

I am now thinking of the emissions created to power the generation of automotive fuel. I know this is a stretch, but the gas powered car has its own emissions plus the emissions of the electric vehicle and whatever emissions are created during refinement. Plus all the heat generated. Gez where is my bike!!!

I also read someplace which gives me hope that we can move on from petroleum power to another power source soon:

"The stone age did not end because we ran out of stone"
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Old 05-04-2007, 09:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by omgwtfbyobbq View Post

Going on to the whole Nuclear versus fossil fuel debate... Well, it's pretty convoluted, but from what I've gathered, fossil fuel emissions are responsible for plenty of deaths per year, and in the states the figure is in the tens of thousands.
This doesn't include the impact of global climate change, which can only be calculated in hindsight imo.
omgwtfbyobbq

thanks for the info....good stuff.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:49 AM   #24
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That is an interesting point, never thought of that. Hence the drive to keep coal/NG cheap, to lower the cost of petroleum refining. Nice.
I'm thinking that what he said was pretty much not true, though. Not through any fault of his own, but rather due to being misinformed by people with an agenda.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:53 AM   #25
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If by people with an agenda you mean the state of CA. Then yes.

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omgwtfbyobbq

thanks for the info....good stuff.
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:18 PM   #26
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If by people with an agenda you mean the state of CA. Then yes.
Ah cool. So, here is what I meant. Quoting from the other thread:
CA refines ~15 billion gallons of gasoline per year, and this requires roughly
7,266 million KWh of electricity and 1,061 million Therms of natural gas.

So that means that each gallon of gas requires about half a kWh to refine. Can an EV go 30 miles on half a kWh? The other thread also says:
With an EV average of 250wh/mile,

So that means that an EV can go two miles on the amount of electricity required to refine a gallon of gas, if you accept the figures in the other thread. A previous poster posted that Darell claimed 30 miles on that amount of electricity. Even if I didn't include something I was supposed to include, I don't think that that makes up for a 15x overstatement. And that is what I mean by "being misled by someone with an agenda."

Anyway, bring on nuclear and grid charged EVs. It's the only thing that makes sense to me right now.
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Old 05-04-2007, 12:49 PM   #27
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The electricity used is actually pretty small like you stated. It's not explicitly the electricity, but primarily the use of natural gas for extraction/refining, which could be used in a power plant to generate electricity.

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Combined this gives us 9.46KWh/gallon if we only look at gasoline, or 4.73KWh/gallon if we look at the entire barrel. Since gasoline takes more than most distillates, it probably uses roughly 6kwh per gallon in terms of energy that could be electricity going to CA homes.
What you're referring to as being misled just seems to be a case of telephone. What Darell said initially was
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Originally Posted by Darell
So I can get 24 miles in my ICE on a gallon of gasoline, or I can get 41 miles (at 300wh/mile) in my RAV4EV just using the energy to refine that gallon. Alternatively - energy use (electricity and natural gas) state wide goes DOWN if a mile in a RAV4EV is substituted for a mile in an ICE!
which was a bit off because he didn't take into account the efficiency of turning that natural gas into electricity. This is what I went into. For instance, a 98 RAV-4 gets ~26mpg over the EPA combined cycle. The exact same vehicle as an EV uses ~250wh/mile. So, assuming the likely ~6-7kwh/gallon of gas (With ~5kwh assuming the energy is distributed evenly over all ~40 gallons of refined product per barrel, and ~9kwh/gallon assuming the ~20 gallons of gasoline per barrel takes all the energy), this means a RAV-4 EV could go ~24-28 miles on the energy used to make a gallon of gas in CA, assuming that energy were turned into electricity.
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Old 05-04-2007, 01:28 PM   #28
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trebuchet03: Yeah, that is one thing that worries me. Hospitals can not run at all without technology. Even having the temperatures fluctuate 3-5 degrees can make a doctor cancel a surgery; and trust me, I have seen it happen many times.

zpiloto: I would say that list is just a bit lacking in content. To widen the problem we are looking at (things made from oil) to something broader... think of all the things that technology had a hand in making. Guaranteed you can't think of a single thing in the world that isn't in some way altered or produced by some sort of technology. If there is any input along the way that even somewhat relies on technology then that item is technology dependent.

Sludgy: You are missing the whole picture I believe. While these cars may well in fact be 100% operable on electricity alone, their production IS NOT! They require many oil-based products while they are in the assembly and production phase. All automobiles have a "barrels required per unit" (or something along those lines) that are required to produce them.

cfg83: Thank you very much. These damned fools with absolutely no foresight keep cheering for nuclear. I can't remember what the halflife of that **** is, but it is long enough that NO ONE COULD EVER EVEN COME CLOSE to estimating the future impact that it will have. It is a ridiculous solution that could never be researched enough to possibly weigh the pros and cons and come to a decent solution. A statistical impossibility.
"Damned fools", you write? So what is your solution? I regret you brought childish remarks to an otherwise good debate :-(
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Old 05-04-2007, 06:37 PM   #29
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"Damned fools", you write? So what is your solution? I regret you brought childish remarks to an otherwise good debate :-(
Take 100 billion out of the US military budget per year and devote it to solar/wind power, conservation, and super clean diesel/hybrid/battery technology. In my mind there's plenty of desert to put the solar panels. I know the desert is also an ecological zone, but I would be willing to sacrifice the desert rather than risk a nuclear meltdown. If the desert is no good, then just start electrifying people's roofs for free. Also, strip Chevron of it's battery patent so we can have 300 mile range electric cars.

This will of course lead to other issues. When Solar goes into massive production, what will the production waste look like? Probably alot like electronics production waste.

What I would like to see is a solar panel manufacturing plant with enough real estate to be powered on 100% solar power. That wouldn't solve the raw material transportation cost, but it would be a step in the right direction.

I'll say it again and again. If you can solve the waste problem, I can accept nuclear power. But I have never seen a viable solution to the waste problem. The best I can think of is space-mailing it into the sun, which isn't a very thrifty-safe proposition. All of these other problems we are causing are what I would call "near term recoverable". That is to say, even with an ice age and mass extinctions, the Earth and human beings will survive in some capacity. The ecosystem will take a long time, but it will recover. In the case of nuclear power, in the event of civilization collapse, I see nuclear power plants eventually falling apart and having their cores melt down into the water table, contaminating regions for eons to come. The Earth will still recover, but instead of hundreds of years, it may come to thousands of years.

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Old 05-04-2007, 07:11 PM   #30
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<snip>What Darell said initially was <snip> which was a bit off because he didn't take into account the efficiency of turning that natural gas into electricity. This is what I went into.<snip> assuming that energy were turned into electricity.
But isn't that efficiency, from natural gas to generation to transmission to distribution to charging the batteries something like 35%?

Here's what I am thinking. A barrel of oil costs something like 60 bucks, or about $1.50 per gallon. A gallon of gas costs less than $2 at the refinery gate. 9kWh of electricity would cost, umm, a little less than 50 cents, I think, for a large refinery? That would mean that the refinery is barely breaking even. Which, right now, is not the case. So that is why I can't make it all go together.

Here's where I'm at. I wish oil would get quite a bit more expensive so that people would be more motivated to find alternatives. That way, we might be able to have a "soft landing", wherein alternative technologies can grow at the right pace and help wean us off the oil.

Thanks for helping to explain it to me.
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