Green(er) Towing... fuel choices? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-08-2007, 11:29 PM   #57
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Here's a good paper by a professor at UNH, for anyone interested:

Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae

Feel free to take the political views in the first paragraph as you will.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:34 AM   #58
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Quote:
Here's a good paper by a professor at UNH, for anyone interested:

Widescale Biodiesel Production from Algae

Feel free to take the political views in the first paragraph as you will.

Interesting paper but impractical. How long will it take the Sierra Club and other enviromental radicals to find pollutants in biodiesel? Do you think the enviromentalists will allow desert habitat to turned onto seas of algae just to benefit mere human beings and the United States?
Someone will complain about pollutants in biodiesel just as they have ethanol. A mouse or some other insignificant rodent will be classified as endangered and have more value than we humans when a developer wants to build an algae pond in the desert.

John
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:38 AM   #59
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It would be more practical and less poluting if they used the algae to generate hydrogen for automobiles and trucks instead of diesel.

We will become a hydrogen based energy society sooner or later and as always the Japanese will be the leader of this evolution.
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:43 PM   #60
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It would be more practical and less poluting if they used the algae to generate hydrogen for automobiles and trucks instead of diesel.

We will become a hydrogen based energy society sooner or later and as always the Japanese will be the leader of this evolution.

At this time there is a large use of fossil fuels to extract hydogen. The entire debate about hydrogen fuels doesn't take into account the cost of both money and polution to extract hydrogen. I wouldn't like to drive around with a tank of hyrodgen on board either, it's way to volatile. Leaks could be a real problem. You've all seen the clips of the Hindenburg, that's hydrogen for you.

Something safer to haul around would be much better, like biodiesel.

Also I don't think algae will do the work to extract hygrogen from anything.

Dilithium crystals are the answer.
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Old 01-09-2007, 03:47 PM   #61
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I was at one time totally opposed to H2 as a vehicle fuel for safety reasons until I relized that the storage tanks made today are far safer than the fuel tank in you gas/diesel powered car/truck.

As far as how to manufacture H2, I agree that the process used today can generate unwanted air polution and uses hydrocarbon based fuel (natural gas). This will change, maybe not by Detriot automakers, but the Japanese have anounced a process where you generate your own H2 and some of the cost is offset by using the hot water it generates.

The good news is that the major cause of polution, the comuter vehicle, will be greatly reduced.
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:33 PM   #62
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Well, I for one am not going to hold my breath waiting for hydrogen technology to save the day. We still have a LONG way to go to even begin to think about hydrogen being a viable everydaysource of energy.

Biodiesel is something that's here right now, that can be distributed through existing infrastructure and which uses mature technologies. Heck, you can make your own at home if you want to, and plenty of people do. Maybe that's part of the reason the government is pushing hydrogen - there is no way anyone is going to be producing their own and thus less chance of people evading taxes.

/pass the tinfoil hat, please.

Wait, there may be a grain of truth to that. The government hates competition.
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:42 PM   #63
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There's always a risk in quoting part of a statement for reference that it will be taken out of context, but this is one that has truly broad applicability - way beyond environmental issues!
The man who wrote the paper is not a professor. The UNC Faculty/Staff page says Michael Briggs is a Lab Manager/Technical Specialist, not a researcher.

--Peter
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Old 01-09-2007, 08:54 PM   #64
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Dilithium crystals are the answer.
The only problem Captain is that just cant find any!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:49 AM   #65
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The man who wrote the paper is not a professor. The UNC Faculty/Staff page says Michael Briggs is a Lab Manager/Technical Specialist, not a researcher.

--Peter

Oops - my mistake, if so. Sorry!

I know Mike from online forums - he's a pretty bright guy. We haven't met up in person yet.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:37 AM   #66
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As to sluggish cars - try driving one of the A2 series ('85 - '92) of VW Jettas with the normally aspirated 1.6 diesel. 52 hp!
I had the automatic version of that car.... forget about the left lane on the highway.

but the 2000 Jetta TDI turboed, chipped gave me a nice 174hp at the wheels (like 200bhp) and 360lb.ft and still gave me that 45mpg on the highway driving ahead of the pack at 85-90mph. It was the best at towing the 13" Boler. Then I got a Toyota Tacoma with the 4cyl 2.7L thinking about getting high MPG in a pick-up.....

well... 22mpg is not that nice when you had the power and mpg in the jetta but at least the toyota can tow nicely our new-to-us Boler 1750FG (let's say barely tow as the engine can't sustain 70mph while towing on flat land unless in third gear @ 4800rpm)
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Old 01-10-2007, 08:09 PM   #67
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I'm not a big fan of Hydrogen technology and it probably can't tw a trailer, but Honda has just started showing off their new "FCX" hydrogen-fueled concept vehicle and announced plans to put the technology into production vehicles sometime next year (2008). Details at http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/

I'm not a fan of hydrogen technology because that hydrogen has to come from somewhere, and its usually derived from a fossil fuels. Honda's technology is no different: their Home Energy Station gets its hydrogen from natural gas and solar energy.

I'd like to move away from fossil-fuels and their political, economic, and environmental costs. That said, the technology Honda has chosen for converting fossil fuels into hydrogen is better than most, converting the natural gas to hydrogen fairly efficiently while producing heat that can be used for household heating in addition to hydrogen for the car. Better yet, if the electricity ever goes out it can burn the stored hydrogen to make up to 5000 watts (45 amps) of electricity to power household lights and such until the power comes back on.

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Old 01-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #68
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I just saw a new tow vehicle for sale that will tow up to 5,500lbs for less than $1,200 USD. The only thing wrong with it is the Extension Cord sells for about $500,000 USD.

------------------------------------

Unbelievable, this joke was on TV back in the 50s and was about a car. They been talking about this stuff since the invention of the wheel.
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Old 01-11-2007, 02:43 PM   #69
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I'm not a big fan of Hydrogen technology and it probably can't tw a trailer, but Honda has just started showing off their new "FCX" hydrogen-fueled concept vehicle and announced plans to put the technology into production vehicles sometime next year (2008)...
The history of the FCX goes back at least six years, with the expected continuing improvements. It's nice that the newest one is so good, but I don't see how this is the moment to start using it, since I have the same concerns as Peter: the hydrogen supply issue is unchanged. A few on the road would help development for later use, but I don't think their operation would do the environment any favour for now.

Maybe we should ask Honda to volunteer one to a trailer owner to get some real-world experience towing?

If someone wants natural-gas-dependent standby power for their home, I think an ordinary generator (get 'em at Home Depot, set up for permanent installation and natural gas fuel) is a more affordable and practical solution.
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Old 01-12-2007, 06:23 PM   #70
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There's at least two kinds of folks in this discussion-- those who will use conventional vehicles and fuels until the perfect solution is found, and those who will adopt the first alternative that seems like an improvement. I tend to be the latter kind. And of all the few fuel choices available in the USA now, I'll take biodiesel. I've run it in our second car, a VW Golf, for two years plus. It has no drawbacks except for cost (I believe that as a carbon-neutral fuel, it's worth a $1.00 a gallon premium) and gelling problems (we use much less bio in the winter, but it's easy to drive petroleum-free in the summer, and the shoulder seasons too).

For a tow vehicle, I use a Subaru Forester. That's the smallest, handiest vehicle I can imagine getting by with. At 25mpg, it's my family's gas hog, but that would be the best mileage among most surburban fleets.

What I want is a combination of the Subaru's utility and the VW's turbodiesel. And it looks like that's what we will be offered in a year or two, when VW brings out a smaller SUV with a TDI engine. Google "VW Tiguan" and see what's in store. Then start saving your down payments.
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