I especially like the fact that this plant source can grow in semi-arid regions where regular crops do not compete for finite farmland resource. If I'm reading this correctly, it could not only increase productive land acreage, but could also be a new source of revenue for farmers.
How soon until this is an option for automobiles? Synthetic fuel is nothing new. WWII say coal based fuel power an entire army. The USA tried to keep research on it going, but gasoline was just so much cheaper. However, now... I think it is time to go back.
Cabe, the needs of jet fuel and of automotive fuel are very different. That said, I'd like to know if this particular fuel solution can be done for cars, too. Meanwhile, stay tuned. I'll be posting soon on a different innovative automotive fuel source.
Since jet fuel is similar to kerosene, it should be possible to run a car on a mix of the two, To run a car on pure jet fuel would probably not work. But a diesel car may run on it quite well, but possibly not so well in colder weather.
WE did some experimenting back in the sixties, and later I learned from my father-in-law that back in WW2 when there was fuel rationing, they would run cars on mostly kerosene, after starting them on gas and getting them warmed up. Present engines are a bit more adaptable and probably have better sparking systems as well. What I learned from our experimenting in the sixties was that 10% diesel did work but much over that tended to run a bit rough in some engines. Our experiments were not very sophisticated, they were basically "add some of this and see what happens", and the results were observations done without instrumentation.
So there has been a bit of actual experience showing that it can work under some conditions.
Presently, the diesel fuel is more expensive so there is no incentive to use it in a gas engine.
Yes, our experiments were quite informal. As for other alternatives, way back when, in a publication called "Mother Earth News", there was a construction article about how to power a pickup truck using a coal burning gas generator system. It was big and ugly but quite well thought out, and it could be put thgether by anyone with some mechanical talent and a lot of determination. I have no idea as to if it is possible to find that article again.
William, I remember Mother Earth News very well. It's still around and now online. Sounds like we are of an age, and of a similar era. I did not actually live out on the land off the grid full time, but had several friends who did and I hung with them often. Re the info, I'd bet it's still available in a different form online. There's a growing interest in several related technologies centering on what's now called permaculture, although those folks would not likely be interested in burning coal.
I am not interested in burning coal as a vehicle fuel either, Ann, but id does show that reforming coal into a usable engine fuel can be done fairly simply. Of course one can produce gasoline from coal as well, but it takes lots of energy. This proves that just because we can do something does not make it a good idea. Not my statement, I heard it from somebody else, but it bears repeating, I think.
If your picture is current, I am a bit older than you by a few years, Ann. And if you were Alice Ann Armstrong then we do need to talk.
Ann, thanks for recalling that expresssion, "just because I can does not mean that I should." It is certainly very applicable to a whole lot of things done tody, and a whole lot of product features that nobody except the marketing weasels want a product to have.
That would be a great topic for a discussion, "products and features that are really dumb and useless". And thanks for the clarification about somebody whom I knew from 1965.
William, I seem to remember running across that expression in the early 70s, perhaps in connection with the small is beautiful/appropriate technology movement of the time. To me, it's often meant something at a more global level than specific product features: more like, why redesign something if it doesn't need it, or why turn a perfectly good mechanical system that was easy to fix into an electronic one that isn't (cars anyone?). In other words, if it ain't broke don't fix it. And you're welcome for the clarification.
Ann, that question, "just because I can do it, should I?" also relates to that terrible disease of "feature creep", wherein features keep adding to a product or package in a manner similar to an agressive cancer, and just about as healthy for the product. For excellent examples of that, just look at the last few OS releases from the industrie's giant. Not naming names, but it should be obvious who I mean.
I agree, that's a good use of the saying, although applying it to system design was a later application of it. Why not name names? MS has been well-known for bloat for at least 20 years. Or did you mean another company?
Interesting. If there was a significant improvement in fuel economy, it might be worth the cost, but emissions might be a problem. My aunt accidentally topped off her Datsun 280Z with diesel. It didn't like it.
This sounds like an excellent invention indeed. But how much energy is consumed in the production of this fuel? Currently the ethyl alcohol fuel requires more energy to produce than it delivers, so it is a negative-sum option, aside from taking corn out of the food market. It seems like there must be a fair amount of processing of the raw plants before actual fuel is realized, and not much of that process is free, (I don't think it is free), so there is some sort of cost involved. When will we hear about that side of the story?
Note that I am not attacking this new product, just hoping to understand it quite a bit better.
I have been complaining about the garbage corn and soy they grow here in Missouri! You can't eat it, and it goes to highly subsidized fuel that rots your engines, starves the world, and uses more fossil fuel to grow than you get out ! (Exaggeration allowed)
Horrid stuff! And McAirplane will be no better.
Interesting. I really hope this turns out to be at least half as good as they claim. The skeptic in me is worried by the numbers. A 50% reduction in emissions is huge. It's also hard to believe. I wonder if this Jet Biofuel has all the additives required for petroleum-based jet fuel. Foaming agents and other additives that are required to reduce flamability for fire safety do nothing to improve emissions. They are going to generate a lot of public interest with those numbers. I really hope they're factual.
From what I understand, heating oil is Kerosene #1 (K1), diesel is Kerosene #2 (K2) and Jet fuel is K2 with additives. I use un-dyed diesel (K2) in my furnace at home. Most diesel engines would run on either K1 or K2. The newer high-pressure injection diesels may have specific fuel requirements to prevent clogged injectors. I know that was a problem when they were first introduced in the US. Dual fuel filters and filter heaters were often required.
Nite_Owl, by "Fact or fiction?" are you actually suggesting that the Canadian government and its partners just made up everything reported here? I may be a cynic about some things, and I'm well aware that governments lie about some things, but I don't think all this would be orchestrated purely to deceive, nor can I imagine Canadians lying this badly. Also, note that the 50 percent reduction was in aerosol emissions, not particle emissions.
I'm hoping they are on the level. From what I've read elsewhere, the aerosol emissions that were reduced in this case were "black carbon" or soot. We have the US military, ARA (US Military contractor), Chevron and Lummus representing big oil and NRC representing Canadian government all involved. With all their spin doctors possibly involved, it would be difficult for me not to question the "facts".
I hear you regarding the Big Oil factor and I'm not one to take their word on anything. But the sponsor of this research is the NRC. And I simply don't believe this is invented out of whole cloth. Also, the report distinguished between three different kinds of emissions that you appear to be conflating: aerosol, black carbon and particle, with three different reduction rates.
Their statements concerning emissions are a bit confusing. Black carbon is both a particle and aerosol emission. The difference is in how they are measured. From what I understand, aerosol emissions are measured with engine in flight at a given altitude, while particle and gaseous emissions are measured with the engine stationary at ground level. They state a reduction in black carbon emissions up to 49%, particle emissions up to 25% and aerosol emissions up to 50%. These would appear to be overlapping numbers. The most significant reduction in emissions is black carbon (about 43% at cruise and 49% at idle). I would have to guess that black carbon makes up the lion's share of the aerosol and particle emissions reductions.
I'm still wondering how much spin is on this. The gaseous emissions, cumbustion temperatures and power output are all virtually identical between ReadiJet and Jet-A1. There is a slight reduction in fuel consumption, but is it enough to account for the reduction in emissions? Where everything else is equal, less matter (fuel) in should equal less unburned particles (black carbon) out.
Using wireless chips and accessories, engineers can now extract data from the unlikeliest of places -- pumps, motors, bridges, conveyors, refineries, cooling towers, parking garages, down-hole drills and just about anything else that can benefit from monitoring.
With strong marketplace demand for qualified engineers across the board that currently outstrips the available supply, there may never be a better time for engineers and project managers to advance their careers and salaries. Whether those moves are successful in the short-term and long-term is likely to depend on how the transition from one job to the next is handled.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.