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Old 03-01-2014, 16:32   #21
elsolo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racerford View Post
I realize it takes energy to refine the catalyst, but since the catalyst is not consumed, the time that is available get the payback is long. What is the catalyst contaminated with? Even if it is, it would be relatively easy to refine it. Much more so , than from when it is pulled from the ground.
Not just refining the catalyst, but all the energy inputs required to make the whole "free energy generator" come into existence. The manufacturing process, not just mining the raw materials.

You have to look at the total energy cost to determine if this energy generator does in fact generate energy or not. Most of the "green energy sources" do not generate any net energy, they are net energy losers once you account for the (energy)costs of producing them.

How many kwh of energy does it take to make one, how many kwh does one of them output over it's lifetime? This is always a disfavorable ratio for clean energy as of today.

I guess this concept is either incomprehensible, or just plain uninteresting.
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Old 03-01-2014, 16:49   #22
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To everyone else: elsolo poses a good question and he obviously understands the question of what a catalyst is. Arguing around this concept is pointless. The interesting question is what he is asking.
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Old 03-01-2014, 21:14   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
Not just refining the catalyst, but all the energy inputs required to make the whole "free energy generator" come into existence. The manufacturing process, not just mining the raw materials.

You have to look at the total energy cost to determine if this energy generator does in fact generate energy or not. Most of the "green energy sources" do not generate any net energy, they are net energy losers once you account for the (energy)costs of producing them.

How many kwh of energy does it take to make one, how many kwh does one of them output over it's lifetime? This is always a disfavorable ratio for clean energy as of today.

I guess this concept is either incomprehensible, or just plain uninteresting.
Your original statement to which I responded was relative to the energy to produce the catalyst. My point was that there was near infinite.

Of course your overarching question is interesting and necessary. However, until the process is optimized it is not a fair question.

Look at fusion. They have expended many millions (billions?) of kilowatt hours to achieve sustainable, controlled fusion for power production. Should they stop trying because it is not yet even reached parity at the simplest measure?

Look at solar cells, they used to be at 6% efficiency, Now production panels are at 14%. Lab cells are over 20%. Each time they improve the efficiency it makes the total output versus total energy input equation get better. Should they just give up. The energy ration of oil and natural gas is great, but shrinking very year. The others are getting better.
Solar cells are not even the most efficient way to produce electricity from sunshine, solar concentrators are better.

The reality is we have to keep looking at the options and work to make them more efficient. Narrow mindedness is what has stopped progress on many promising technologies. Emotional environmentalist have all but stopped advances on fission. Thorium fission is promising but work slowed. It producing no greenhouse gases in the power production process.

Burning hydrocarbons have great energy returns, but lots of other downsides, do you count all the costs of doing that or only the positive (albeit diminishing) energy return.

Actions to reduce energy usage has a much better energy return than drilling for hydrocarbons, does that mean we should stop drilling? Of course not.

So what exactly are you advocating? What is your solution? Or are you just criticizing the work of those who keep trying? Or are you criticizing the hype? Some times the hype is necessary to keep funding for research flowing, because so many have a short term view, ad if it has not return in the next quarter or year, we should stop doing it. That attitude has significantly damage the US' technology leadership in the world.
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Old 03-01-2014, 22:35   #24
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You are writing a diatribe about a presumed position I never advocated for.
Research is great, and necessary for all advancements.

Things like this article make people think that a "free energy generator" has been discovered; since it's powered by free sunlight, nearly free water, and non-consumed catalysts, that it can generate a net positive source of energy that will make pumping hydrocarbons out of the ground a thing of the past.

Quote:
But consider that the process they wrote about uses the sun for input. This is analogous to plant matter getting energy from the sun for various reactions which get stored up in the plant which ultimately gets buried underground at high pressure to turn into the hydrocarbons we take out of the ground and burn.
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If you can generate the hydrogen very cheaply with a catalyst and a "free" energy source like the sun and then use it to power engines it would be a big positive
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The energy used is sunlight.
It took me five posts to get the concept of "net energy" into the discussion, which is one of the more important considerations when discussion a possible new energy source. With this new (or evolving process), that is my first point of interest, how much better or worse is this process than the other ones?

Sorry that my less than perfectly worded initial post asking about the energy inputs for making the "catalyst" didn't more clearly state what I thought would be implicitly interpreted as "this catalyst driven energy generating process"

I haven't advocated anything and does one need to offer a solution to ask these kinds of questions? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder in your last post, what's that all about?

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Old 03-01-2014, 23:31   #25
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elsolo - what source of energy do you believe we should be pursuing?
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Old 03-01-2014, 23:40   #26
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The article never made me think that it was a "free energy generator". Why would I presume it would make anyone else think that?

No chip. Words mean things. Why would I presume you did not mean what you said? Unless it was an obvious typo, based on context. You had none of that.

Sorry, I misunderstood you.

I did not get from the article the same thing you did. I know there are no free energy generators or perpetual motion machines. I know that scientific break-throughs rarely mean exciting products hitting the market this year. I am still waiting for the affordable VTOL flying car that I was promised in 1970 by the year 2000.
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Old 03-02-2014, 00:04   #27
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elsolo - what source of energy do you believe we should be pursuing?
all of them
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Old 03-02-2014, 00:05   #28
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Originally Posted by racerford View Post
The article never made me think that it was a "free energy generator". Why would I presume it would make anyone else think that?
Read the thread from the beginning, the first few posters seemed to be operating under that impression.
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Old 03-02-2014, 00:32   #29
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all of them
Which do you feel offers the most output, least input?
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Old 03-02-2014, 00:54   #30
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Which do you feel offers the most output, least input?
I don't know, I don't have all the answers.

I simply wanted to point out what appeared to be a misconception about the process mentioned in this thread, and how it is probably not generating free energy from the sun.

Then it turned into an Abbott and Costello routine with great misunderstanding due to a minor semantics issue.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:08   #31
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Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
Read the thread from the beginning, the first few posters seemed to be operating under that impression.
Specifically which posts talked about "free energy"? I must have missed them.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:30   #32
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consider that the process they wrote about uses the sun for input. This is analogous to plant matter getting energy from the sun for various reactions which get stored up in the plant which ultimately gets buried underground at high pressure to turn into the hydrocarbons we take out of the ground and burn.

So without even doing any rough calculations on an napkin, I think there may be something here in that we're still getting extra input from the sun and can use that energy chemically in combustion. .
Sounds like a description of net positive energy source to me
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:52   #33
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Sounds like a description of net positive energy source to me
Sorry you are mistaken. It is converting solar energy to a storage medium (hydrogen) for use in functions such as fuel cells etc. Nothing at all free about it. If it turns out to be economical versus such things as solar panels to charge batteries or wind turbines or hydroelectric to somehow be stored to power cars great. If not it won't have much of a market. But it isn't free and no one said it was. Of course if a viable process to use fusion as an energy source that won't be free either but the research on that continues.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:58   #34
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Read the thread from the beginning, the first few posters seemed to be operating under that impression.
No one here has advocated for "free energy". I was the first to respond and made no mistake where the energy comes from, THE SUN. In fact, the energy you use in your car probably comes from THE SUN ironically, it just took a different route to get there.

Quote:
Obviously you need net positive energy to make anything viable, 2nd Law still wins every time. But consider that the process they wrote about uses the sun for input. This is analogous to plant matter getting energy from the sun for various reactions which get stored up in the plant which ultimately gets buried underground at high pressure to turn into the hydrocarbons we take out of the ground and burn.
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Although we're not even spitballing efficiencies across all of the reactions that need to take place; this one alone they said was 1.7% for H2 production.
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Of course, those guys that are growing algae and seaweed in the lab and converting it to hydrocarbons can't do it for $4.00 a gallon so I doubt these guys are either, yet.
This is just a novel idea, and it's better than PV solar cells because this could lead to a readily transportable source of energy. Any process that can circumvent mother nature's process that takes place over millions of years is interesting. Although yes, watch out, the wrong politicians could use this to launder donations back to people as is done with solar and corn ethanol.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:01   #35
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The two major problems requiring a solution to achieve a hydrogen based economy are:
1. The generation of hydrogen cheaply, efficiently with low pollution on a large scale.
2. Being able to efficiently store the hydrogen in a small volume without cryogenics.
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Old 03-02-2014, 08:12   #36
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There needs to be a better way to collect hydrogen. I know of hundreds of people using electrolysis to remove rust from antiques and car parts.
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Old 03-02-2014, 14:46   #37
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No one here has advocated for "free energy". I was the first to respond and made no mistake where the energy comes from, THE SUN. In fact, the energy you use in your car probably comes from THE SUN ironically, it just took a different route to get there.
Sorry, my mistake then.

When I hear a description where the Sun is listed as the energy input, the sun is a "free source of energy" and doesn't need to be included in the net energy calculations.

Sunlight is "free energy" for our purposes. If the amount of energy that can be harnessed from sunlight exceeds the other energy inputs (cost of manufacturing the widget), then the device is a free energy generator.

Not in a second law of thermodynamics way, but in an ecology/economics way.

That's why fossil fuels are are net positive source of energy, despite the fact that the sun was their energy input a long time ago.
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Old 03-02-2014, 18:07   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
You are writing a diatribe about a presumed position I never advocated for.
Research is great, and necessary for all advancements.

Things like this article make people think that a "free energy generator" has been discovered; since it's powered by free sunlight, nearly free water, and non-consumed catalysts, that it can generate a net positive source of energy that will make pumping hydrocarbons out of the ground a thing of the past.





It took me five posts to get the concept of "net energy" into the discussion, which is one of the more important considerations when discussion a possible new energy source. With this new (or evolving process), that is my first point of interest, how much better or worse is this process than the other ones?

Sorry that my less than perfectly worded initial post asking about the energy inputs for making the "catalyst" didn't more clearly state what I thought would be implicitly interpreted as "this catalyst driven energy generating process"

I haven't advocated anything and does one need to offer a solution to ask these kinds of questions? You seem to have a chip on your shoulder in your last post, what's that all about?
elsolo, I posted one Wikipedia entry about bismuth vanadate, and that appears to be a cheap component of the catalyst. The two oxides used are nickel oxide and iron oxide. Both oxides are already manufactured commercially and iron oxide will never become expensive. Nickel oxide might become expensive. Without looking of prices, all I am doing is saying that the oxides, according to the story, are cheap. I did not quote The Onion and I did not quote a homeschool creation science web site. I quoted a free website that summarizes peer-reviewed scientific publications. I don't have paywall access to the original. When I say cheap, I am saying that the author of the piece presents the process as possibly competitive with gasoline. Maybe she answered all your questions behind the paywall.
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Old 03-02-2014, 18:42   #39
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elsolo, I posted one Wikipedia entry about bismuth vanadate, and that appears to be a cheap component of the catalyst. The two oxides used are nickel oxide and iron oxide. Both oxides are already manufactured commercially and iron oxide will never become expensive. Nickel oxide might become expensive. Without looking of prices, all I am doing is saying that the oxides, according to the story, are cheap. I did not quote The Onion and I did not quote a homeschool creation science web site. I quoted a free website that summarizes peer-reviewed scientific publications. I don't have paywall access to the original. When I say cheap, I am saying that the author of the piece presents the process as possibly competitive with gasoline. Maybe she answered all your questions behind the paywall.
I appreciated your contribution, and learned something new.

But the dollar cost of the materials is irrelevant to the topic I was stuck on, net energy of the widget. The energy costs to manufacture the widget compared to how much energy it can recover (from free sunlight) over it's expected lifespan.

If the net energy is not a positive, than the widget is more like a battery and not really an energy source.

I apologize for not being very good at articulating my train of thought in this thread, I assume being stuck in bed and under heavy medication all week has taken it's toll.
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Old 03-03-2014, 10:26   #40
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Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
Then it turned into an Abbott and Costello routine with great misunderstanding due to a minor semantics issue.

What's on second? No it's joule....

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Originally Posted by elsolo View Post
I apologize for not being very good at articulating my train of thought in this thread, I assume being stuck in bed and under heavy medication all week has taken it's toll.
If it is any consolation, I understood your point from the beginning, but I'm not medicated.
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