UKTC Archive

RE: Disposal of Waste/sustainable fuels

Subject: RE: Disposal of Waste/sustainable fuels
From: Baker, Rupert
Date: Dec 01 2000 12:09:14
People  have been talking about water as a fuel for years;  and its true,
you can split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then either use the
hydrogen in a fuel cell or burn it, to release energy.  The problem is, you
need to put the same amount of energy into splitting the water into its
component hydrogen and oxygen, as what you'd get out of it - its called the
2nd(Ithink) law of thermodynamics.  
So you get your  hydrogen by splitting water;  to provide the energy to
split the water, you need electricity, generated by - what - nuclear power,
burning wood, burning fossil fuels, wind power, wave power.  Add all the
inefficiencies of production and transport in, and for every unit of energy
your use to drive your car/chipper/ etc, you will be consuming a fair amount
more at the hydrogen production sit.

        You should look at water as a battery - you charge it, and then use
the stored energy to do something.  But you can't get 'free' energy from
water.  That is basic physics.

So on an appropriate technology basis, you have a low quality, low cost,
easily available, carbo-neutral fuel source - wood, produced at the point
where you are working. If you can release the energy in that at the point of
use to power your equipment, that has to be more environmentally friendly
than high-cost, high-tech, big infrastructure operations like hydrogen
power.
Rupert, 

        -----Original Message-----
        From:   Ian May [SMTP:MayI@xxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        Sent:   30 November 2000 18:38
        To:     UK Tree Care
        Subject:        RE: Disposal of Waste/sustainable fuels

        Rupert/Everyone ....
        How bizarre, nevertheless, it still produces carbon based waste
gases, but
        at least not from fossil fuels.

        Now I recall a recent report on a concept car powered by (the highly
        volatile) hydrogen and which acknowledged simplistically that this
is a main
        constituent of water, the other being oxygen, discarded as a waste
        byproduct. 
        The petrochemical industry have been aware of water as a fuel for 40
odd
        years and every time science produced a more effective way to split
the two
        components and to make the principle portable and safe, the industry
sat on
        it.
        Having deliberately done this for so long, I wonder if the
petrochemical
        industry will become accountable in the same way that has befallen
the
        tabacco industry.
        Their eventual challenge no doubt will be how to deny their
customers access
        to free fuel, so presumably there will be an essential X ingredient,
but the
        technology is under wraps, here and now, so how far must we go, and
at what
        point do we reach an unacceptable level of pollution before business
ethic
        gives way to environment pressure ?
        When their customers stop following like sheep and vote with their
feet.
        Mine is just one conceptual viewpoint, I would be disappointed if
everyone
        agreed, but if not please feel free to share yours.

        Regards 
        Ian       

        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: Baker, Rupert [SMTP:Rupert.Baker@xxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        > Sent: 29 November 2000 10:46
        > To:   UK Tree Care
        > Subject:      RE: Disposal of Waste
        > 
        > There is another alternative to steam power - one that was
developed and
        > used in the former Soviet Union between the wars, in area where
they
        > needed
        > transport and had no petrochemicals:  
        > They had a closed kiln on the back of their lorries, into which
they put
        > small branchwood etc, and gasified it -like in an efficient
charcoal kiln.
        > The gas was put through a crude scrubber (what an image that
conjours up!)
        > and then fed into the lorry's ordinary internal combustion engine
- a gas
        > powered vehicle, wood fuelled.  The big advantages of this
approach over
        > steam power are 1) you don't release much carbon - unless you use
the
        > charcoal so produced on your barbie
        >                                               2) being internal
combustion
        > it is inherently more efficient than steam power
        >                                               3) the technology
for modern
        > steam cars has been in the doldrums for 20 years or so; while IC
engines
        > continue to sophisticate
        >                                               4) If it worked for
the
        > Soviets 70 years ago, imagine how efficient you could make it
nowadays -
        > compare a horrible old Russian tractor with a recent Fergy or
Ford.
        > 
        >       -----Original Message-----
        >       From:   Ian May [SMTP:MayI@xxxxxxxxxx.gov.uk]
        >       Sent:   28 November 2000 17:00
        >       To:     UK Tree Care
        >       Subject:        RE: Disposal of Waste
        > 
        >       Chris Hastie wrote;. 
        > 
        >       > Its time to start work on designing that wood chip powered
        > chipper:
        >       > 
        >               I love this "off the wall" stuff but I guess we have
all
        > probably
        >       been dreaming along these lines ;
        >               Why can we not power our stationary chippers hopper
fed with
        > some of
        >       the fuel/chips/compost they produce?
        >               At least then we would not be polluting with waste
from
        > fossil
        >       fuels.
        > 
        >               On the face of it, this is a CO2 neutral proposition
but
        > presses the
        >       recycling button with not just chips but also a nutrient
rich
        > fertiliser in
        >       the form of wood ash which could then be turned into pellet
or
        > granular
        >       form, and used to feed more trees.
        > 
        >               However the only way to convert this energy resource
        > effectively is
        >       by burning to create STEAM  !!
        > 
        >               Retrospective technology maybe but what a golden
age,
        > anoraks et al,
        >       and this time round we can used the technology gained in
intervening
        > years
        >       to use steam power even more efficiently, and with less
waste
        > emission.  
        > 
        >               The more we frighten ourselves environmentally, the
more
        > this can
        >       become a reality. 
        > 
        >               Regards to all 
        >               Ian
        >                 
        > 
        > 
        > 
        > 
        >       
        >
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