why not nuclear?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ColJack, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. UncannyGarlic

    UncannyGarlic Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Feb 6, 2008
    Electric cars are far cleaner than hydrogen (which is horribly dirty and inefficient, it's not a realistic fuel source) and ethanol and are actually more efficient than fuel burning cars, it's just that it takes hours to recharge them and increasing capacity is much more expensive and heavy than with fuel.

    Not really, the only thing that you really need to change from petroleum based fuels to ethanol is maybe the rubber hoses (which wear out and have to be periodically replaced anyway). Ethanol would be an easy switch aside from the fact that it's completely unsustainable. The bigger and more important change is making vehicles with engines designed to use ethenol.
     
  2. DirkGently

    DirkGently Still Mildly Glowing

    296
    Jun 2, 2010
    There is the issue with actually making all that ethanol. Assuming that most of the distribution system for gasoline can be relatively easily modified for ethanol (we have a shitload of trucks which would *maybe* need some modifications to whatever lines them internally), you'd have to build/modify refineries to make fuel-grade ethanol, train new people, etc.

    Also I wouldn't be surprised if ethanol companies got pissy about moonshiners making their own fuel.
     
  3. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    For me it was a typo.

    And actually, i searched the web, and both ethanol and ethenol exist.
     
  4. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Ethenol exists but is not used as a fuel.
     
  5. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    Yeah, but i didn't know what he wanted to say, and my first reply sounded like i was saying ethenol does not exist, i would've been wrong to assume that.
     
  6. KarmaPolice

    KarmaPolice It Wandered In From the Wastes

    110
    May 5, 2010
    Electric Cars - and where does the juice come from, pray? In a nation like Iceland, where their grid is mostly hydro-electric or geothermal, yes. A nation like France, where nuclear plants provide a hefty chunk, possibily. A nation like the UK, with her grid powered by coal, gas and oil? Unfortuantly, most nations are like the UK in their energy generation.

    You'll reduce the carbon from transport, but it will dump it onto household usage. That's a Peter and Paul scenario.

    You will lose juice when charging the battery, then lose more while it is sitting in the battery. The batteries are made from fastasticly rare metals which disposal is horrendius. In fact, the only thing going for it is the simple fact that everybody with a car also has access to an electricity socket.

    Hydrogen? Good god. That stuff is even more explosive than the current fuel. And it takes a ton of electricity to make. And a bitch to store. The only thing going for it is Hydrogen cars would clean up urban smog.

    I still believe that ethanol holds more promise than just overpriced, inefficant, subidised Iowa corn. The white coats are looking into ways to use trees and plankton into efficant fuel. Trees hold real promise - for they are both a carbon trap as well as a fuel. It's just the long polymer strands that are proving difficult. Sugar cane is the most viable fuel currently in production, but only cane grown in a very limited area (Brazil).
     
  7. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    Ethanol burning gives off CO2 and water. IF it burns completely. So what's so good about it?
     
  8. erlkaarik

    erlkaarik First time out of the vault

    52
    Apr 2, 2010






    Why would you want to use trees to fuel your car, can't you just make your alcohol out of yeast, water and sugar?
     
  9. .Pixote.

    .Pixote. Carbon Dated and Proud
    Modder

    Sep 14, 2009
  10. erlkaarik

    erlkaarik First time out of the vault

    52
    Apr 2, 2010
    That's just awesome...
     
  11. chenw

    chenw First time out of the vault

    51
    Jan 2, 2008
    Ethanol and petroleum both only gives CO2 and water when burned 'completely' just like you said.

    But, in a standard car, fuel can never burn completely, leaving you stuff like carbon monoxide amongst other non-desirable by products produced from incomplete burning. Ethanol, because of the oxygen present in its molecular structure, will help migitate the amount of incomplete burning gas emissions.

    That, and Ethanol can be mass produced from fermenting sugar, while petroleum cannot be mass produced as efficiently.
     
  12. Blakut

    Blakut Vault Senior Citizen

    Jan 9, 2008
    Oh, i thought the point was to stop CO2 emissions.
     
  13. chenw

    chenw First time out of the vault

    51
    Jan 2, 2008
    It doesn't, it just stems the emission of other more toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide.

    At least to my knowledge.
     
  14. KarmaPolice

    KarmaPolice It Wandered In From the Wastes

    110
    May 5, 2010
    I was thinking more along the lines of energy reserves/security as well as the CO2 menace. Using oil ain't a long term solution anymore, and nor is coal or gas, even from just looking at the economics. People are too scared of nukes. Diverting edible foodstuffs to made into fuel doesn't sit well with logic or morals - we can't feed the 7 billion of us allready, let alone use food to supply our energy needs too. A fair amount of food production uses a large amount of irrigation to make it grow - in an era of declining water tables in most of the major agricultural nations.

    Trees may be the best long-term bet we have. They grow anywhere, excepting the extreme cold or the desert. They will grow well on soil which is too marginal to support crops. They trap CO2 and produce O2. They anchor the soil down, stopping soil run-off from rains and wind. They're very low maintence, and they also provide vital habitats for animals. Everybody wins. If we can get the damm science to work.