Fossil Fuels

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This Just In:

[edit] Alaska, Prudhoe Bay

Environmental Effects: image from http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0208/earthlights02_dmsp_big.jpg source

What is the giant light on the north shore of Alaska?!
Is that where they moved Area 51 to in the early '90s?
No, It's the Prudhoe Bay Oil Fields.

Discovered in 1968
average of 400 spills annually
Though the footprint of oil development
in Prudhoe Bay is estimated as 12,000 acres,
it extends over more than 640,000 acres.

[edit] 98 tons of plants per gallon

Now the numbers begin to get interesting, Bad Mileage: 98 tons of plants per gallon local copy

Mark Thomasson wrote: [1]
> Typical mid-latitude average incident solar energy = 1 to 4 billion Kilocalories per acre per year. ( Using 1 billion kcal/acre/year )

So... 1,000,000,000 kilocalories per acre = 1,163,000 kWh (1,163 mWh)
46,520 mWh = Total mid-latitude solar energy available per 40 acres.
20,934 mWh = Wind captured at 3x that of PV. ( 45% guesstimate )
6,978 mWh = Electricity captured by 15% Eff. PV
6,359 mWh = PV Array Examples ( 13.67% Real World Verification)
4,652 mWh = Electricity captured by 10% Eff. PV
1,395 mWh = 3%, the Carbon fix rate of plants sinking Hydrogen.

1,395 mWh = Total Energy Stored as Plant mater.
0.1395 mWh = 0.01% that becomes oil and not limestone.
0.0498 mWh = 0.00357% Gas Product of original 92 ton source.
0.0336 mWh = 0.0024% calculated % of plant matter that becomes gas.
0.0336 mWh = Potential Energy available in 1Gal of gas.

The point is that plants don't store much of the solar energy in the first place, so you're already at a loss starting with plants. 3% of the potential 46,520 mWh or just 1,395 mWh. Don't believe me? 3% is probably to high, But I'm "Optimistic": http://www.aeiveos.com/~bradbury/Papers/PhotosyntheticEfficiency.html Corn Crops 1% to 2%, or 0.1% - 0.4%, Uncultivated plant life 0.2%, Sugar Cane 8%, or 1% ( one of the most efficient plants ) PV's are more efficient than photosynthesis, 15% of the same potential energy is converted directly into 6,978 mWh of electricity. If wind is 3* more productive, then it would produce 20,934 mWh from this same potential solar energy.

> Not totally true. Heat Energy from the inner earth adds to the energy of buried biomass to make oil's energy. This also keeps the earth's surface warmer than if it only had heat from the sun.

humm, true, the shear mass of the earth and it's compression forces at the core are sure to produce heat. But I don't think we would "feel" any of that heat if the sun were gone.

> Also there is chemical energy used by life.

Plants break down simple "non-life" minerals into various plant matter with the help of the sun. I don't think we as animals would make it for very long licking sodium or limestone and sunning ourselves on the beach. rin

SO, THE POINT IS, that if you threw out all the political and economic BS and were left with just our knowledge of how things work. You would choose to build a windmill out of some planks of wood, wire, and earth magnets. If you could you might also build PV panels for those not so windy days. In the end you would be collecting more energy than your garden was. So You'd eat your crops, since you can't eat electricity, and you would use your electricity to drive your electric car, or tractor!

What you would NOT do is turn your food into oils for your cars! Maybe you would use the stalks, but I'd leave them for next year. Furthermore, THE POINT IS, PV's are not as inefficient as they might appear. 13.67% is very good when you compare it to the 3% of plants, or the 0.00357% efficiency of Gasoline Production, BEFORE Drilling, Refinement, and Combustion.

It's much smarter to use 80% of the 13% of the energy in your EV. Rather than using only 20% of the 0.004% of the energy in your ICE.



PS, Now I can calculate the total efficiency of the entire system(s)
Solar Energy->Wind->EV Transportation= 36.000% Efficient
Solar Energy->PV->EV Transportation == 10.400% Efficient
Solar Energy->FF->ICE Transportation = 0.0008% Efficient + side effects

( EVs: Not overunity, but a whole lot closer. 45,000 to 13,000 times closer to be exact! )

[edit] Volcanic

Volcanic versus Human Influence.

Some numbers yanked from:

Worldwide Human activity produces 20,000 Million Tons of Carbon Dioxide per year.
Worldwide Volcanoes produce 200 Million Tons of CO2 per year, less than 1%.
Mt St. Helens produces 500 to 1000 Tons of CO2/Day, and 50-250 Tons of Sulfur Dioxide/Day.
Mt. Etna in Italy produces 5000-25,000 Tons of SO2/Day.
Kilauea in Hawaii produces 2000 Tons of SO2/Day.
Worldwide Volcanoes produce 15 Million Tons of SO2/Year.
Worldwide Humans produce 200 Million Tons of SO2/Year.
All Washington State Industry produces 120 Tons of Noxious Gas/Day (Hydrogen Sulfide, Hydrogen Chloride).
Centralia, Wa Coal power plant produced 200 Tons of SO2/Day before adding $250 million worth
of pollution control, now it produces 27 Tons/Day. It still produces 20,000 Tons of CO2/Day.

[edit] Hydrocarbon fuels

Coil, Oil, and Natural Gases are produced through a process not unlike that which creates Diamonds. So perhaps we should consider gasoline as precious a resource as diamonds, which would dramatically change the "price" of oil.

Methane(CH4) is the shortest chain with just one carbon and four hydrogen atoms, followed by ethane(C2H6), propane(C3H8), and butane(C4H10) which are all gases which boil at -107, -67, -43 and -18 degrees C. Chains in the C5, C6 and C7 range are very light and clear liquids called naphthas. Chains from C7 to C11 are used for gasoline, followed by kerosene from C12 to C15. Diesel, Heating Oils, and lubricating oils are in the C16 to C19 range. Chains above C20 form solids like paraffin wax, tar, and asphaltic bitumen, which is used to make asphalt roads.

Gasoline is composed of C7H16, C8H18, C9H20, C10H22, and C11H24 chains. One barrels of oil is equal to 42 US gallons. 1 Gallon contains 132x10^6 joules of energy, equivalent to 125,000 BTU, 36,650 watt-hours, 31,000 food calories, or about 110 McDonalds hamburgers. The electrical equivalent of 1 Gallon of gas would take the average electric car 120 miles (.25 kWh/mile) and an efficient EV more than 210 miles (.16 kWh/mile).

Transportation accounts for 65% of U.S. oil consumption. The U.S. consumes 26% of worldwide oil while producing only 9%.

Coal - Sedimentary rock composed of the compacted, lithified and altered remains of plants. Coal is a solid, combustible mixture of organic compounds, hydrocarbons, with 30 % to 98 % carbon by weight, mixed with various amounts of water and small amounts of sulfur and nitrogen compounds. It is formed in several stages as the remains of plants are subjected to heat and pressure over millions of years.

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