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Old 10-18-2007, 09:57 AM   #46  
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Originally Posted by BobY View Post
It could take burning 10 gallons of Gasoline to produce 1 gallon of Gasoline and you could still do it. It wouldn't make any sense, but you could certainly do it--it's not in the least bit physically impossible, just wasteful.
Okay. Let's assume for a moment you are correct. QUESTION:

Where would you get those 10 Gallons of gasoline to run the machinery to suck the 1 gallon out of the ground?
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If you want an analogy, the efforts to produce energy via atomic fusion routinely require more energy input than is produced by the fusion reaction.
Which is why we don't use fusion. It doesn't generate energy..... it uses energy. It's an energy sink not a source.

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Just out of curiosity, how do you equate the government *mandating" cars be offered with diesel engines and the term "free market"?
Poor choice of words by myself. All I meant was that we could repeat what Europe did:
- provided diesels in showrooms
- and watched the % of diesels on the road
- gradually increase from ~20% to ~60%
- over the last ten years

You claimed such a "changeover" from gasoline-to-diesel cars would not be possible, but Europe has demonstrated that it is possible.

Last edited by electrictroy; 10-18-2007 at 10:03 AM..
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:15 AM   #47  
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Old 10-18-2007, 11:16 AM   #48  
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Okay. Let's assume for a moment you are correct. QUESTION:

Where would you get those 10 Gallons of gasoline to run the machinery to suck the 1 gallon out of the ground?
It doesn't matter, it's *hypothetical*. I thought I made it clear we were not talking about actually burning Gasoline to produce Gasoline, rather we are talking about the *equivalent energy* of Gasoline that it takes to produce Gasoline (or Ethanol). My point was it's not impossible at all to put more energy in than the usable energy you get out, it just might not make economic sense.

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Which is why we don't use fusion. It doesn't generate energy..... it uses energy. It's an energy sink not a source.
Ahh, then why are countries spending billions of dollars on fusion research? Obviously because it is in the experimental stage and nobody expects it to make economic sense at this point, but if they succeed then our energy problems are solved.

It still validates my point that it is certainly possible to put more energy into an energy-producing process than the usuable energy you get back. It can even make economic sense to do that if the energy you get back is in a form that is in more demand than the form of energy you used to make it (for example burning coal to generate energy that is used to refine Oil into Gasoline because cars run off Gasoline, not coal). The cost of the energy used to produce the new form of energy just gets reflected in the price of the new form of energy.

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Poor choice of words by myself. All I meant was that we could repeat what Europe did:
- provided diesels in showrooms
- and watched the % of diesels on the road
- gradually increase from ~20% to ~60%
- over the last ten years

You claimed such a "changeover" from gasoline-to-diesel cars would not be possible, but Europe has demonstrated that it is possible.
I never said it was impossible, it's just not going to happen as long as Gasoline prices remain (relatively) low in this country. Europe had to first artificially raise the price of Gasoline via taxation, which drove consumers toward fuel-efficient cars like Diesels. That simply isn't going to happen in this country in the short term. The government can mandate that car manufacturers must offer Diesel engines, but they can't mandate that consumers buy them and they won't buy them in any significant numbers unless Gas gets really expensive compared to Diesel fuel.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:51 AM   #49  
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It doesn't matter, it's *hypothetical*. I thought I made it clear we were not talking about actually burning Gasoline to produce Gasoline, rather we are talking about the *equivalent energy* of Gasoline that it takes to produce Gasoline
Ahhhh, now I understand. So in the previous example you would burn 10 gasoline-equivalent gallons of, say, natural gas. You would recover 1 gallon of gasoline.

But why? Cars can burn natural gas directly; so leave the gasoline in the ground and burn the NG instead (just replace the gasoline tank with an NG tank).
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Ahh, then why are countries spending billions of dollars on fusion research? Obviously because it is in the experimental stage and nobody expects it to make economic sense at this point, but if they succeed then our energy problems are solved.
I agree. I wasn't saying we shouldn't continue research. I was just making an observation that fusion *right now* is an energy sink, not a source. That is a statement of fact.
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It still validates my point that it is certainly possible to put more energy into an energy-producing process than the usuable energy you get back.
Yes, but you can't use such devices as a fuel source. It absorbs energy; it doesn't create it. It's an energy sink and using that fusion device makes about as much sense as plugging your radio into an electric motor. Sure you can do it, but it's not going to make your radio operate, because the device absorbs energy; it doesn't create energy.
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It can even make economic sense to do that if the energy you get back is in a form that is in more demand than the form of energy you used to make it (for example burning coal to generate energy that is used to refine Oil into Gasoline because cars run off Gasoline, not coal).
True, but only because the process returns more energy than it uses. If the Gasoline Refining turned into an energy sink (uses more energy than you get back), some bright inventor would find a way to burn the coal directly inside cars - liquefy it. ----- And the gasoline would stay in the ground.
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I never said it was impossible, it's just not going to happen as long as Gasoline prices remain (relatively) low in this country. Europe had to first artificially raise the price of Gasoline via taxation, which drove consumers toward fuel-efficient cars like Diesels.
True, but I think the U.S. has already reached that point w/o any need to raise taxes. Prices hit almost 4 dollars last summer, breaking the old record set in the late 1970s.

Last edited by electrictroy; 10-19-2007 at 04:54 AM..
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Old 10-19-2007, 07:43 AM   #50  
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Cars can burn natural gas directly; so leave the gasoline in the ground and burn the NG instead (just replace the gasoline tank with an NG tank).
Are you saying that existing gasoline engines can run off NG? I find that hard to believe even with changing the fuel injection system and engine management firmware. Do you have any links to support that?

Again, if it requires replacing all the vehicles on the road (or expensive modifications to them) and replacing the existing fuel delivery/dispensing infrastructure, I don't consider it an economically viable solution.

Besides, NG is still an non-renewable resource.

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If the Gasoline Refining turned into an energy sink (uses more energy than you get back), some bright inventor would find a way to burn the coal directly inside cars - liquefy it.
I think it has more to do with it being a *money* sink than an energy sink. Our cars need Gasoline to run and we will use however much energy it takes to refine Oil into Gasoline up to the point where the input energy cost is so high that Gas becomes simply too expensive to be practical.

That's when the bright inventors come up with new ideas that previously wouldn't have been ecomically viable. Economic viability is crucial--as someone who owned a bunch of money-sinking, now capped-off oil wells in Ohio (that are *still* full of oil), I can attest to that.

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True, but I think the U.S. has already reached that point w/o any need to raise taxes. Prices hit almost 4 dollars last summer, breaking the old record set in the late 1970s.
No, we're not there yet, as demonstrated by the continued popularity of unecessarily Gas-guzzling vehicles. IIRC the *lowest* Gas *tax* in Europe is around $5US--that's added on top of the price of the Gas itself. If our Gas cost as much as that, you bet consumers would be looking at different vehicles. Unfortunately a Gas price that high would also devastate our economy, as we have built our whole culture around cheap Gas.

How many people live within walking/biking distance of where they work, shop, got to school, etc.? They can't avoid buying Gas no matter what it costs and they will cut back on anything else that isn't a necessity. In a consumer ecomomy (where most of the products we offer are *not* necessities and most people are employed at jobs in support of non-essential items), that's a sure path to a recession or worse...
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:26 AM   #51  
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Are you saying that existing gasoline engines can run off NG? I find that hard to believe even with changing the fuel injection system and engine management firmware. Do you have any links to support that?
htttp://www.ngvontario.com/own_options.html

Just as easy as converting your car to run on E85.

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Besides, NG is still an non-renewable resource.
No shit. That was not my point. My point was if NG (or coal, or peanut oil, or little hamster wheels) was more energetically-viable than oil, we would quit using oil & switch.

We would not keep burning 10 "gallons" worth of ____ in order to produce 1 gallon of oil. It wouldn't make sense.

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I think it has more to do with it being a *money* sink than an energy sink.
Well, I suppose if fusion energy was "magical" and could be sold at $1 per kilowatt-hour, there might be a market, but it would be terribly inefficient. The owner of the fusion plant would be spending 1.1 kwh of "normal" electricity for each 1.0 kwh of fusion electricity returned.

It wouldn't make sense environmentally.
It would be extremely wasteful.
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Old 10-23-2007, 06:31 AM   #52  
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Well, I suppose if fusion energy was "magical" and could be sold at $1 per kilowatt-hour, there might be a market, . . .
Gotta interject: I always am amused to see posts based on lack of information or examples that pull #s out of thin air - indicates lack of any basic knowledge of the issue and so should be put pretty low on the priority list of "valuable information" or reliable input.

Let's see, I pay $0.17 per kWh for my electricity. That's probably pretty near the US average.
So, I sort of wonder where the market would be for electricity, from any source, at $1 per kWh?
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:11 AM   #53  
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Let's see, I pay $0.17 per kWh for my electricity. That's probably pretty near the US average. So, I sort of wonder where the market would be for electricity, from any source, at $1 per kWh?
I made it clear that we were not discussing electricity, but instead fusion energy, and that it was (hypothetically-speaking) "magical"..... i.e. different from normal electricity.

Oh well.

I guess I shouldn't expect any better. After all, you were the idiot who claimed DTV-to-Composite conversion will provide a better picture than DTV-to-S-video conversion.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:41 AM   #54  
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After all, you were the idiot who claimed . . .
Oh my . . . when all else fails, let's start name calling . . .

Very mature troy.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:22 AM   #55  
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Oh my . . . when all else fails, let's start name calling . . . Very mature Troy.
(shrug). Your last message that insulted me was not exactly "mature" either.
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:48 PM   #56  
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Just fyi, oh hell I need to be flamed, fusion research was stopped before they were able to reach the break even point, ie: more energy created than used in fusion. Fusion was the holy grain in the 80's and early 90's. I think what killed it was not that they needed more research to achieve a positive energy output, the problem was that it worked at all and threatened oil and coal powered power plants.

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Old 11-02-2007, 03:04 PM   #57  
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No flame.

But Fusion research is still going strong in Europe. Big plans, big projects, big bucks (well, Euros, actually):

http://www.jet.efda.org/

I think what back-burnered a lot of Fusion research in this country was simply the staggering amount of money needed for the experiments as compared to the projected prices of fossil fuel. I think the DOE is happy to ride on the coat-tails of European Fusion rersearch, where that consortium of countries has pooled their deep pockets.
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Old 11-03-2007, 06:54 PM   #58  
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No flame.

But Fusion research is still going strong in Europe. Big plans, big projects, big bucks (well, Euros, actually):

http://www.jet.efda.org/

I think what back-burnered a lot of Fusion research in this country was simply the staggering amount of money needed for the experiments as compared to the projected prices of fossil fuel. I think the DOE is happy to ride on the coat-tails of European Fusion rersearch, where that consortium of countries has pooled their deep pockets.
Yuppers, that is the way it went, my comments referred to the US program. It was a very very high price for "pure research" with no guarantee of a practical application. But, I also think when Stanford and some others actually achieved fusion that the oil magnates got worried and pulled the plug.

I was able to view the, at the time, highest energy laser being used for fusion research. It was at Lawrence Labs in Berkeley, yes Berkeley. Think they called it Shieva (spelling) after the Indian goddess of creation and destruction. NEAT!!!

Hate to see all the discussion in the press now about reviving fusion, but guess that is a product of dwindling oil supplies. Fusion was the great American hope for freedom from pollution and for cheap energy. Like I said in my original post, guess the powers that be found out that it might actually be feasible.



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Old 11-03-2007, 08:18 PM   #59  
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"Shiva".

Pretty scarey dude, too.

While I'm perfectly happy to entertain any number of conspiracy theories (what exactly were the interests of NATO--a defensive alliance--in Serbia's ongoing civil war?), I think fusion research was just too expensive for the US government to be willing to fund.

They are too busy funding worthless, ineffective programs that help them get re-elected.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:37 AM   #60  
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No flame.

But Fusion research is still going strong in Europe. Big plans, big projects, big bucks (well, Euros, actually):

http://www.jet.efda.org/

I think what back-burnered a lot of Fusion research in this country was simply the staggering amount of money needed for the experiments as compared to the projected prices of fossil fuel. I think the DOE is happy to ride on the coat-tails of European Fusion rersearch, where that consortium of countries has pooled their deep pockets.
The big project is ITER

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

The cost looks high, at 10Bn Euro, $14.5Bn, but spread over 30 years it's not so high. Of course it depends what you're comparing it to. The Iraq War's cost is running at $450bn according to some estimates. In comparison fusion research seems a bargain.
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