Scientific Facts About Hybrid Cars, Hydrogen Cars, Diesel Vehicles, Corn Ethanol Flexfuels, Biofuels, and Photovoltaic, Solar, Wind, Nuclear, Hydro, Coal-Fired, Combined-Cycle Turbine, and Refuse-Fired Power Plants
An Honest Evaluation of Energy Technologies
The author of this web page, Kent R. Rieske, has a Bachelor of Science degree and is a registered Mechanical Engineer. He is also the president of Professional Designers & Engineers, Inc., with extensive experience in the evaluation of electrical power generating technologies. He worked under contract with a large electrical power generating utility preparing studies to analyze and evaluate all electrical power generating technologies. He also has extensive experience in the design of engines and power transmission systems for cars, trucks, and other vehicles.
Hybrid Cars Are a Ripoff According to the 5-Year Cost to Own From Kelly Blue Book
2014 Toyota Prius Hybrid Plug-In
Fuel Mileage: 50 mpg
5-year Cost to Own: $40,000 <---- Highest Cost to Own
2014 Ford Focus Titanium
Fuel Mileage: 30 mpg
5-year Cost to Own: $38,000
2014 Chevrolet Sonic
Fuel Mileage: 33 mpg
5-year Cost to Own: $37,000
Note: If you don't drive much the cost to own for a hybrid is much higher than for a standard car because the initial cost for the hybrid is much more but the fuel saving is not as much as when both cars are driven more.
The comments below are based on scientific facts in contrast to most published information from sources that have a bias or agenda. Data from equipment manufacturers, fuel or energy production companies, environmentalists, and politicians should be read with extreme suspicion because of their bias and self interest. Researchers are not a reliable source of information. Researchers will hype any nutty energy concept as "hopeful" in order to obtain a government grant. These wild ideas should not be funded by tax money.
Study Calls Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars ‘Fiction’ - April 19th, 2009.
The new electric test cars produce twice the amount of CO2 as diesel cars when the electricity is produced by fossil fuel power plants, and the overall efficiency of the electric car is much less than a diesel car. However, no CO2 is produced when the electricity is generated by a nuclear power electric generating station, and the efficiency is of no importance because nuclear fuel is very cheap.
Europe’s Renewable Energy Push Has Completely Backfired,
And Electricity Bills Are Skyrocketing - November 6, 2013
US looking for ways to use its natural gas glut - April 13, 2012
Russia's President Putin asked for a recalculation of Russia's energy balance with more emphasis placed on coal and atomic energy. This is the right approach. Russia will benefit greatly by this wise decision. Meanwhile, in the United States, the government, politicians, universities, and the major media are wrongly pushing ahead with "alternate" fuel sources. The wise approach to be taken by Russia is the reverse, going back to the most economical and most abundant energy sources. One has to respect a national leader with a brain. Congratulations, President Putin.
The United States does not have an energy shortage. We have a brain shortage. We have vast coal reserves and unlimited nuclear energy resources. Russia's President Putin has a brain. Our government officials and elected politicians prefer to coddle the votes of brain-dead environmental wackos instead of keeping energy plentiful and costs low by emphasizing nuclear and coal power generation.
Energy inflation will soar in or about 2020 as the failed energy programs of President Obama are revealed. This will cause another worldwide recession lasting years. Obama should promote massive building programs in safe nuclear electric generating stations, but he won't. Nuclear plants should have a "Master Run" switch controlled by the National Nuclear Agency that cannot be overridden by plant operators or management. Fifty (50) nuclear power plants of 1000 MWe each should be the initial construction program with plans for doubling the size of each. Obama may build one as a "test unit," but probably not.
Nuclear electrical power would allow Obama and future presidents to shut down all oil-fired power plants, but they won't. Fuel oil deliveries to homes should be curtained as the nuclear electrical power comes on line, but Obama will kiss up to OPEC instead. He should promote coal liquification programs for producing gasoline and diesel fuels from coal, but he won't. Wind fans and solar panels will be the heart of Obama's energy program, but they simply won't do the job. The wind stops and the sun goes down, you know. DUH! He should be promoting electric cars for commuters that will recharge from the cheap nuclear electricity, but he won't.
The United States has massive energy resources of coal, natural gas, and nuclear that can be used immediately to reduce our dependence on imported crude oil, but Obama will ignore all of these proven and available resources even though the Earth will enter a severe cooling period.
Global Warming, Cooling, or Ice Age?
What are the climate projections for the Earth?
Scientific Fact No. 1 - Hybrid Cars, Trucks, and Buses.
The term hybrid is generally used to describe a car, sports utility vehicle (SUV), truck, or bus that has a conventional internal combustion engine operating on either gasoline or diesel fuel as well as an electrical system to assist in the deceleration and acceleration of the vehicle. During a normal deceleration, the electrical generator is activated when the brake pedal is applied to slow the vehicle and store the energy in an onboard bank of batteries. This is called regenerative braking. Hard braking applies the standard mechanical brakes as well. The system then draws upon this stored energy during acceleration. The batteries have a very limited capacity; therefore, descending down a mountain road will not provide enough stored energy to climb back up the other side. The electrical system does not charge the batteries when coasting to a stoplight, as many people do to improve fuel mileage. The electrical system is more beneficial for people who drive aggressively with "jack rabbit" starts and stops. Pictured is a 2006 Honda Insight. Click the image to see an enlargement.
The hybrid vehicle is best suited for stop-and-go city driving in vehicles such as taxies and buses. A typical hybrid car has improved fuel efficiency in this type of driving. Highway driving is much different. The car must haul the heavy batteries while the electrical regeneration system is virtually unused. The fuel economy of a hybrid car on the highway is worse than that of a similar conventional car, a fact that a salesman or politician will never tell you.
According to the official Honda web page, the Honda Insight has an "EPA mileage estimate of 60 mpg city and 66 mpg highway. Mileage figures are shown for comparison purposes only. Actual mileage may vary." This means that the car gets 66 miles per gallon of gasoline (mpg) on the highway when the hybrid electrical regeneration system is mostly inactive. The hybrid feature only functions in stop-and-go driving. The car is advertised to get 60 mpg in the city. This raises another set of questions. What is the mileage in city driving with the hybrid electrical system disconnected? What is the real mileage benefit of the hybrid system? What is the mileage with the air-conditioning system on in a location such as Phoenix, Arizona? The air-conditioning system will place a high load on the tiny engine that will reduce the gas mileage drastically. Find the answers to these questions if you can. The manufacturers won't tell you. Please click the mailbox at the bottom of this page to send the author a link if you find the answer to these questions. No one has responded yet.
Hybrid vehicles in general have special tires to reduce rolling resistance. Tires on the Honda Insight are hard as a rock and become dangerous in adverse weather conditions. The car is simply not drivable in winter conditions. The tires slide all over the road. The winter tires show how important rolling resistance is to fuel-efficiency because fuel mileage plunges more than 15 mpg without them.
2006 Honda Insight - Specifications - The Official Honda Website.
Hybrid car manufacturers are trying to impress buyers with unusually high fuel efficiencies in the range of 60 mpg in city driving. Most buyers believe the high efficiency is due to the car having the hybrid electrical system. This is very deceptive on the part of the manufacturer. The cars are very small and light in weight with extremely small gasoline engines. The Honda Insight has a tiny engine with only three cylinders. In reality, the Honda Insight would probably get more than 50 mpg city without the hybrid system and would get better mileage on the highway than the standard hybrid model.
Special Reports - The Real Costs of Owning a Hybrid.
"I just love my Honda Civic Hybrid, but I have been a bit disappointed that the gas mileage isn't better," says Ivey Doyal of Atlanta, Ga.
Honda has discontinued the hybrid option on the 2006 Accord because the US Federal income tax credit has been reduced. This proves the hybrid is not economically justified. You will never save enough money in operating expenses to pay for the extra initial cost. The hybrid technology presently available is a loser.
The extra cost of the hybrid is not justified by the small extra fuel economy. It was offered in 2005 with a mileage estimate of 29 mpg city and 37 mpg highway versus the Accord without hybrid, having an estimate of 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The difference in the mileage estimate for highway driving looks highly suspicious because the hybrid electric generator is inactive in highway driving. The hybrid mileage is obviously exaggerated as many of the owners state. The best hybrid car requires 10 years of ownership in order to recoup the extra initial cost based on fuel savings. Making matters worse, the owner is most likely to be faced with a $3000 maintenance cost to replace the batteries. In most cases maintenance work on hybrid cars must be done at the dealer, which adds to the expense.
The hybrid car income tax credit proves the total ineptness of the United States Department of Energy and the US Congress. Essentially they are giving citizens of the US a tax credit if they buy a foreign-made car. The money is passed on to the car manufacturer by the buyer. Is this dumb or what? DUH!
Toyota Prius Owners Are Still Miffed About Poor Mileage.
Deborah H. in Louisville, Kentucky is angry. "I feel there was false advertising by Toyota stating there was 50 miles per gallon on the highway and 60 miles per gallon in the city driving my Toyota Prius hybrid," she wrote. But Deborah writes that gas mileage results her Prius achieves continue to be disappointing: "After six months of tracking, the best mileage I ever got was 43 miles per gallon. Most often my mileage is between 30 and 36 miles per gallon."
The enthusiasm for hybrid cars may be waning. In March 2006, sales of the Toyota Prius, the most popular hybrid, fell 23% from a year earlier.
Hybrid Mileage Comes Up Short
"Hybrid cars are hot, but not as hot as their owners, who complain that their gas mileage hasn't come close to well-advertised estimates.
Don't knock the car companies for inflated claims: Experts say the blame lies with the 19-year-old EPA fuel-efficiency test that overstates hybrid performance.
Pete Blackshaw was so excited about getting a hybrid gasoline-electric car that he had his wife videotape the trip to the Honda dealership to pick up his Civic Hybrid. The enthusiastic owner ordered a customized license plate with "MO MILES" on it, and started a blog about his new hybrid lifestyle.
But after a few months of commuting to his job in Cincinnati, Blackshaw's hybrid euphoria vanished as his car's odometer revealed that the gas mileage he was hoping for was only a pipe dream. Honda's Civic Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get 47 miles per gallon in the city, and 48 mpg on the highway. After nearly 1,000 miles of mostly city driving, Blackshaw was getting 31.4 mpg. "
The above report made a serious mistake about the poor mileage of the Honda Civic Hybrid. The report does not blame Honda for the bad results. We can and should place the blame for lies about fuel-efficiency directly on the manufacturer where they belong. Honda posted gas mileage claims on literature and on the window label that were simply false. It also proves that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a corrupt organization because they devised a fuel-efficiency test for hybrid cars that produces false results.
The Toyota Prius Hybrid gets the largest US Federal income tax credit for 2006 because of excellent fuel economy based on EPA test, even though owners fail to achieve the same results. This high tax credit is expected to make sales soar past the limit set by the new law. The tax credit will be reduced according to sales volume until it is most likely to be zero in 2007. Don't count on the tax credits listed in the following table. They could change. People in the "alternate minimum tax" category are also illegible for the credit.
Click here to see New and Planned Hybrid Models
Car crash safety is largely determined by the car's weight. In general, heavy cars are much safer than lightweight cars. Therefore, the lightweight hybrid cars are more likely to have a poor safety rating in crash tests. You are more likely to be killed if a 18-wheeler hits your hybrid car. The big question is not the miles per gallon of gasoline, but what are the miles per pint of blood?
The disadvantages of hybrid vehicles are numerous but seldom mentioned in biased information published by the manufacturers and environmental groups.
Hybrid vehicles cost considerably more than conventional vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles get worse fuel mileage on the open highway because of the added weight of the battery bank and the lack of any energy regeneration.
Hybrid vehicles have a high maintenance cost. Battery replacement is a major expense.
Hybrid vehicles generally have very small gasoline or diesel engines. Therefore, the air-conditioning system will place a high load on the tiny engine that will reduce the gas mileage drastically.
Hybrid vehicle manufactures have tended to exaggerate the fuel economy. Many owners are disappointed when they cannot obtain the fuel economy as advertised or promised by the salesmen or as shown on the manufacturer's window sticker.
The battery pack for a hybrid vehicle could cost $3,000 for smaller hybrid vehicles and more for the new larger cars and trucks. The manufacturer's warranty could protect the owner for the first 80,000 to 100,000 miles, but the dealer will only replace the one or two failed cells. This means that the majority of the battery cells will last beyond the warrantee period. The future replacement of one or two cells at a time is a very expensive proposition because of the diagnosis and shop labor for only a single cell or two. Reliability is another problem. Who wants to drive around always fearing another battery cell is about to fail? Worrying about a regular $60 car battery is bad enough for most people.
The other problem is resale. Who wants to buy a used hybrid that is beyond the warrantee period with the risk of a $3,000 battery replacement charge staring them in the face? Disconnecting the hybrid electronics will most likely be impossible given the present-day computer controlled cars. The manufacturer does not want the system disconnected in lieu of repair by the dealer. The used hybrid owner will be strapped with a high maintenance cost headache. The battery problem is even worse for the newer full-size hybrid pickup trucks and large sedans.
The hybrid will most likely suffer a large markdown below the cost of a similar non-hybrid vehicle when he attempts to sell it. A used hybrid buyer doesn't have the advantage of the government "kick-back" on his purchase that was given to the original owner. The economics of buying the used hybrid are lost unless it is purchased with a discount applied to a non-hybrid vehicle of the identical model. Hybrids haven't been around long enough for the resale price plunge to hit the newspapers, automotive magazines, and used vehicle price estimates on the Internet.
The hype over hybrid cars is expected to wane as owners begin to complain that the exaggerated benefits cannot be realized. The resale value could very well take a big hit, leaving the owner with a painful experience. Don't fall for the brainwashing claims of environmentalists and car salesmen. Leave the hybrid decision to taxi cab fleet owners and city bus transit authorities.
Brainwashing, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotic, Sociology, Sociopath, Schizophrenia, Anorexia, Bulimia, Depression, Obsessive-Compulsive, Paranoia, Phobia, Addiction, and Other Mental and Personality Disorders.
In summary, hybrid cars are a scam. An in-house study by a large package delivery company showed all hybrid vehicles are far from being economically justified. The glowing reports about hybrid cars are the result of myths, deception, ignorance, brainwashing and lies. The extra cost is not justified by the small increase in fuel mileage. These package delivery companies continue to use diesels, not hybrid gasoline vehicles.
"Real World" Fuel Economy vs. EPA Estimates.
Scientific Fact No. 2 - Hydrogen Powered Cars and Trucks.
Hydrogen is not a fuel source in its natural state because unoxidized hydrogen does not exist in nature. Hydrogen is only an energy transfer medium like a battery, but hydrogen is not as efficient or as cost effective as a battery in the transfer of energy.
Two hydrogen atoms plus one oxygen atom form common water. However, splitting the hydrogen away from the oxygen using electrolysis is very expensive. Hydrogen can be produced more economically from coal using existing coal gasification and steam reformation processes. The United States has an estimated 200-year supply of coal reserves. Hydrogen that has been separated from water, natural gas, coal, and other sources can be used as a fuel in internal combustion engines and fuel cells.
Pure hydrogen is expensive to obtain and very difficult to contain and store. Therefore, it is not considered a serious contender as a common fuel for cars and trucks. The money spent in hydrogen research will most likely not change this gloomy projection. Hydrogen powered cars will most likely not be economically justified.
Many TV programs, books, and Internet websites make the claim that only water comes out of the exhaust pipes on cars with internal combustion engines powered by hydrogen. This statement is not true. Hydrogen produces very high combustion temperatures in these cars. The engines draw in atmospheric air which is 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. The high-combustion temperature causes the nitrogen and oxygen to combine into oxides of nitrogen, a bad pollutant. The experts writing these TV programs, books, and Internet websites know this fact. So, why do they say otherwise? The answer is simple. The have an agenda, and they are liars.
Honda and other car and truck manufacturers are moving ahead quickly on the design of hydrogen-powered vehicles. The hydrogen would be converted from natural gas with a hydrogen power unit that fits in the home garage. This is not science fiction. It is true. However, it most likely will never be economically feasible. The technology and science are already proven. This is what Honda says,
Honda to Begin Producing Next Generation FCX Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle - DETROIT, U.S.A., January 8, 2006.
"Production Car Will Closely Resemble the FCX Concept Vehicle making its North American Debut at the North American International Auto Show."
"Signaling a rapid advancement in its fuel cell vehicle technology, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced that it will begin production in Japan of its next generation FCX hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicle (FCV) in three to four years. The FCX Concept vehicle, unveiled just four months ago and now on display at the North American International Auto Show, boasts a fuel cell system that delivers more power in less space, in a unique, low-floor fuel cell platform. The premium fuel cell sedan offers the ultimate in clean-running performance, and represents Honda's vision of future mobility in which vehicles are less dependent on fossil fuels and produce no significant emissions. Honda's FCX Concept defines a new stage in the evolution of fuel cell vehicle technology. The FCX Concept is designed with a low center of gravity and a full-sized cabin, offering the kind of driving pleasure and roomy interior previously unimaginable in a fuel cell vehicle. The FCX Concept is designed with a short front end to make the most of its unique low-floor platform, creating a comfortably large cabin. A tapered cabin profile and accentuated fender flare create an attractively dynamic look. The FCX Concept is an FCX that delivers style and excitement."
Home Hydrogen Refueling Technology Advances with the Introduction of Honda's Experimental Home Energy Station III.
Torrance, Calif. 11/14/2005.--- "Further advancing its vision of a gasoline- and emissions-free transportation future, Honda R&D Americas, Inc., in conjunction with technology partner Plug Power Inc., today introduced the Home Energy Station III, which provides heat and electricity for the home as well as fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle. This third generation unit, located at the company's North American headquarters in Torrance, California, is more compact and efficient than previous Home Energy Station models."
"Following Honda's strategy to develop intermediate as well as longer-term alternatives to traditional energy sources like gasoline, the Home Energy Station III uses natural gas as its base energy source. In keeping with the path established by early generation systems, Home Energy Station I and Home Energy Station II, the Home Energy Station III is designed to work in a home-based refueling environment and is able to supply a sufficient amount of hydrogen to power a fuel cell vehicle, such as the Honda FCX, for daily operation while providing electricity for an average-sized household. A goal of this energy station is to provide high overall energy efficiency and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the more effective use of natural gas."
"Home Energy Station III is roughly 30 percent smaller than its predecessor (Home Energy Station II) with an approximate 25-percent increase in electrical power output. Overall performance increases with more energy-efficient operation, increased hydrogen storage and production capacities, and a faster start-up time of about one minute."
"Additionally, hydrogen storage and production capacity are both improved by about 50 percent with the use of a new, high-performance, natural gas reformer. The Home Energy Station III is also able to function as a backup power generation system during power outages by using the hydrogen in the storage tank to power the internal fuel cell, providing as much as 5 kilowatts of electrical power to the home in normal and emergency conditions."
"The third generation of Honda's Home Energy Station continues to push the limits with its innovative technology," said Ben Knight, vice president of Honda R&D Americas. "The combination of home energy generation and home refueling offers an attractive alternative to gasoline and takes us one step closer to a truly viable hydrogen-based transportation system."
The Home Energy Station III will be tested in conjunction with the Honda FCX, the world's most advanced fuel cell vehicle, at Honda R&D America's Torrance, California, headquarters.
Home Hydrogen Refueling Technology Advances with the Introduction of Honda's Experimental Home Energy Station - TORRANCE, Calif, U.S.A., November 14, 2005
Honda Begins Experiments with Hydrogen Home Energy Station and Improves Solar-Cell Technology for Production of Hydrogen - TORRANCE, Calif., October. 02, 2003
The General Motors Hy-wire concept car has been built and driven. The technology is available, but the overall cost to produce and power the cars will prevent mass-production for many years to come. The car has a lift-off body for maintenance of the 11-inch (28 cm) high undercarriage chassis and propulsion system. The Hy-wire has a fuel cell that generates electricity to drive the wheel motors. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen stored on-board and atmospheric oxygen. The hydrogen fuel storage system must be refilled at special fueling stations or from a home-based hydrogen generation power system. A service station in Washington, D.C., already exists to refuel hydrogen-powered test cars. The hydrogen could also be extracted from natural gas in the home or by the electrolysis of water using electricity in the home. These are all proven technologies.
General Motors Hy-wire Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Concept Car.
The car is capable of 100 miles per hour (161 kms/hr) top speed. The specific fuel efficiency is not published. It has a drive-by-wire system -- a computer actually operates the components that move the wheels, activate the brakes, and so on, based on input from an electronic controller. This is the same control system employed in modern fighter jets as well as many commercial planes.
The combination of hydrogen-powered cars and nuclear-powered electrical generating plants provides an unlimited energy-transportation base. There will never be an energy shortage with this combination. Nuclear-powered electrical generating plants presently provide the cheapest base-load electrical power available today; however, the hydrogen-powered cars are not yet economically competitive with fossil fuel powered cars. See the scientific facts about nuclear power below.
Scientific Fact No. 3 - Diesel Cars and Pickup Trucks.
More car models are becoming available with diesel engines for a very good reason. The high compression ratio possible with a diesel engine is scientifically more efficient than a gasoline engine. The efficiency of an internal combustion engine is a function of the compression ratio. The percentage of pickup trucks with diesel engines is increasing for this reason. Pictured is the 2006 Volkswagen Tourareg, TDI, AWD, 4 door, sports utility vehicle (SUV) with a V10, 4.9L turbodiesel 6A engine. The new turbodiesel will be one of the most powerful SUVs on the market with a 310 HP turbodiesel option. Unfortunately, VW has more engineering and design work to do to make the cars more reliable and to reduce maintenance costs. Click the image to see an enlargement.
The power output of diesel engines has increased significantly. Unlike small, underpowered hybrid cars, diesel cars, SUVs and trucks are extremely powerful. The full-size heavy duty pickups are purchased with turbodiesel engines because they out pull identical trucks with gasoline engines. The diesel cars and trucks get at least 50% better mileage than their gasoline engine counterparts.
The exhaust pollution can be less for a diesel engine than a gasoline engine because diesels do not produce carbon monoxide. The new electronic fuel injection systems produce low levels of soot. Improvements are being made to reduce the sound level produced by the engine, and fuel has become available at most service stations.
Diesel engines typically have a much longer life between major overhauls than do gasoline engines. The diesel fuel is a light oil that provides upper cylinder lubrication, which reduces wear. Gasoline creates the opposite effect by washing the engine lubricating oil off the cylinder wall, causing increased wear.
Chrysler may be introducing new V6 and V8 diesel engines in many of its cars and trucks including the Chrysler 300. Diesel engines are expanding in nearly every vehicle class by many manufacturers.
Scientific Fact No. 4 - Corn and Sugar Cane Ethanol Flexfuels and Diesel Biofuels.
Corn Ethanol And Biodiesel Net Energy Losers.
July 7, 2005
ITHACA, N.Y. -- Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study.
"There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."
Pimentel and Tad W. Patzek, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Berkeley, conducted a detailed analysis of the energy input-yield ratios of producing ethanol from corn, switch grass, and wood biomass as well as for producing biodiesel from soybean and sunflower plants. Their report is published in Natural Resources Research (Vol. 14:1, 65-76).
In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:
corn requires 29% more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
switch grass requires 45% more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
wood biomass requires 57% more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:
soybean plants require 27% more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
sunflower plants require 118% more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
In assessing inputs, the researchers considered such factors as the energy used in producing the crop (including production of pesticides and fertilizer, running farm machinery and irrigating, grinding and transporting the crop) and in fermenting/distilling the ethanol from the water mix. Although additional costs are incurred, such as federal and state subsidies that are passed on to consumers and the costs associated with environmental pollution or degradation, these figures were not included in the analysis.
A new study of the carbon dioxide emissions, cropland area requirements, and other environmental consequences of growing corn and sugarcane to produce fuel ethanol indicates that the "direct and indirect environmental impacts of growing, harvesting, and converting biomass to ethanol far exceed any value in developing this energy resource on a large scale." The study, published in the July, 2005, issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), uses the "ecological footprint" concept to assess needs for ethanol production from sugarcane, now widespread in Brazil, and from corn, which is increasing in the United States.
Study Says Ethanol Not Worth the Energy.
An ethanol production plant built in the corn belt in the center of the United States could not operate from the energy of its own output. The energy input is greater than the energy output. Corn ethanol production plants are net energy wasters, and the energy wasted is in the form of non-renewable petroleum fuels.
Investors suffer as US ethanol boom dries up.
By Kevin Allison in San Francisco and Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington
Published: October 21, 2008, 23:22 | Last updated: October 21, 2008, 23:22
"Investors, such as Microsoft’s Bill Gates, are sitting on billions of dollars in losses after buying into the corn-based ethanol industry that George W. Bush embraced as the answer to US energy woes. Six of the biggest publicly traded US ethanol producers have lost more than $8.7bn in market value since the peak of the boom in mid-2006 and the beginning of this month, according to an analysis by the Financial Times. The boom followed a 2005 law requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of the biofuel with petrol."
Biofuels are a big waste of non-renewable natural resources. The net effect of the production of biofuels is to waste more energy in the form of petroleum fuels and natural gas than are produced by the biofuels. The biofuel production process also has a large negative environmental impact. Many diesel truck manufacturers do not recommend using biodiesel fuels and will void the engine warrantee if biodiesel is used.
Research is underway to make biofuels, such as "cellulosic" ethanol, from wood chips or sawgrass. The euphoria over these technologies is certainly misplaced. We cannot overcome the resistance of environmentalists to building nuclear or coal-fired power plants. People are misguided into thinking that making cellulosic ethanol by mass cutting of forests, as the feedstock, is a viable alternative. There are not enough trees on Earth to make a dent in the energy demand. The biofuel technologies boarder on stupidity.
Ethanol does not contain as much energy per gallon as gasoline. Therefore, vehicles burning E85 fuel (85% ethanol and 15% gasoline) have a worse fuel mileage. A typical car getting 17 mpg on gasoline will only get 14 mpg on ethanol. Most service locations charge a higher price for E85 ethanol fuel than unleaded regular gasoline. Driving with ethanol fuel costs about 30% more. The U.S. Department of Energy says a vehicle has to use 1.4 times as much E85 as gasoline to go the same distance. This is a ridiculously high extra cost. Worse still, the power output for an engine burning E85 is less than burning gasoline. This difference can kill you. People become accustomed to the power and capability of their car. They learn the space needed to safely pass an 18-wheel truck on a two-lane highway. A driver could attempt to pass a truck in a normal manner only to realize he can't make it because his wife filled the fuel tank with E85 ethanol without his knowledge. Head-on collision! Ethanol can get you killed.
Brazil has led the way in the promotion of flexfuel cars, burning a combination of regular gasoline and ethanol made from sugar cane. At first glance, ethanol from sugar cane sounds like a wonderful renewable resource. However, the short term benefits are marginal and long term success very unlikely. The present small conversion of sugar cane from human consumption to ethanol production has sent the price of sugar soaring 150% between April, 2005, and March, 2006. People have now realized that sugar will never be a viable source for relieving the energy crisis. This has caused the price to return to normal levels. There is simply not enough sugar cane available to make any difference in the energy supply. The increase in ethanol cost will quickly wipe out any possible advantage. Government subsidies make short-term ethanol consumption possible but are simply out of the realm of mass consumption. Give it up. Ethanol from sugar cane will never make any difference in the long term. The promotions of corn and sugar cane ethanol flexfuels and diesel biofuels are a scam that has left politicians and the general public totally brainwashed.
The US Environmental Protection Agency tested 31 2006 flex fuel model cars. They found that on average, cars burning E85 ethanol get 26% fewer miles per gallon than those burning gasoline. A car that gets 30 mpg on regular gasoline would typically get only 22.2 mpg with E85.
zFacts.com - "It takes 3 gallons (plus a cup) of ethanol to drive as far as with 2 gallons of gasoline."
Television news programs, newspapers, and other print media never present the truth about the high cost and poor mileage of E85 ethanol cars. They continue to claim ethanol-powered cars can lower our dependence on fossil fuels and save us money. The automobile manufacturers of E85 ethanol flexfuel and hybrid cars are major advertisers through these media organizations. This bias results in myths, distortions and lies being presented that brainwash the general public. Do not expect a talking head on TV to be honest. Major media organizations will never allow a professional person to present the truth.
Corn ethanol is actually identical to 200-proof whiskey liquor, in which 100-proof whiskey is 50% water. Ethanol is sold as 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline in order to prevent people from drinking it. Pure ethanol is high-grade liquor. This shows the high profit and tax markup in the whisky liquor market has been a major scam.
Ethanol is the Largest Scam in Our Nation's History.
The production of corn ethanol and grain biodiesel has caused the price of corn and other grains to increase 100% between January, 2006, and January, 2007. This is why farmers were investing heavily in corn ethanol and biodiesel production plants. This causes an increase in the cost of all grains used as food for animals and people. People have now realized that grains will never be a viable source for relieving the energy crisis. This has caused the price to stabilize. There is not enough acreage available to grow enough corn and other grains to make any difference in energy production. Besides, the corn ethanol and biodiesel processes consume more energy in the form of fossil fuels than is produced. In short, corn ethanol and biodiesel are triple losers. So why do TV programs, books, and Internet websites conceal these facts or state otherwise? The answer is simple. They have an agenda, and they are liars.
Southwest Asian countries are clearing and burning the jungle (rain forest to brainwashed environmentalists) to plant oil palms for the production of biodiesel fuel. Other countries in the tropics are clearing the jungle to plant cassava for the production of ethanol fuel. Biodiesel can be made from soybean oil and ethanol from sugar beets. Brazil is rapidly clearing the jungle to plant sugar cane for ethanol fuel production. The environmentalists (professors and students) on college campuses who generally support biofuels and reject nuclear power are so stupid. Biofuels are destroying the jungles (rain forests). Get a clue.
Corn ethanol and biodiesel increase food cost.
Corn ethanol and biodiesel do not reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Corn ethanol reduces the performance and efficiency of engines that use it.
Biofuels increase food cost for poor importing countries.
Biofuels cause the destruction of the jungle, grasslands, and prairies.
Biofuels cause the destruction of wild animal habitats.
Biofuels create the same pollution when used in cars and trucks as petroleum fuels.
Biofuels waste government funds in the form of subsidies, grants, and tax incentives.
A nuclear power plant built on one square mile (2.59 square km) of land will prevent the destruction of 10,000 square miles of jungle that would otherwise be cleared and planted for the production of biofuels.
TEST: If you think ethanol and hybrid cars are more economical and save fossil fuels, you have been brainwashed.
EU biofuel policy is a 'mistake' - BBC News - August 17, 2007.
"The EU target of ensuring 10% of petrol and diesel comes from renewable sources by 2020 is not an effective way to curb carbon emissions, researchers say. A team of UK-based scientists suggested that reforestation and habitat protection was a better option. Writing in Science, they said forests could absorb up to nine times more CO2 than the production of biofuels could achieve on the same area of land. The "compressed air car" is the biggest joke to date. Compressing air wastes 90% of the energy. The compressed air tanks in the car are very heavy and hold very little energy. Expanding the air in the piston engine of the car is not efficient either. TV programs also claim these cars could have an on board compressor that would create a perpetual motion drive system. These claims are all lies. These TV programs are despicable."
Scientific Fact No. 5 - Photovoltaic and Solar Electrical Generating Systems.
The photovoltaic system consists of solid state electronic cells that convert sunlight into electrical current. Small units have found great success in powering hand-held electronic devices such as calculators. Photovoltaic panels are great for obtaining electrical power in isolated areas where conventional electrical power lines are not available. Typical applications are on the roofs of recreational vehicles, landscaping lights, traffic warning signs, and remote dwellings.
The cost of electricity produced at a large-scale photovoltaic generating plant is estimated to be 79% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light water nuclear reactor generating plant. In 2011 many solar cell manufacturing companies went into bankruptcy even though they had received huge subsidies from the United States government.
Home builders have attempted to install photovoltaic panels on the roof in combination with water heating solar panels to make the house totally power independent. A typical house was built in Colorado in 2005 and featured in the newspaper. The house had no electrical or natural gas connections to outside sources. The newspaper article clearly showed the environmental bias found in these types of publications. The article did not compare the total energy cost to that of a conventional house. The "energy-free" system increased the house cost by an additional $100,000. The energy-free system cost for the owner was $6,000 per year in mortgage payments plus maintenance costs estimated at $1,000 per year, for a total additional cost of $7,000 per year. This cost is in addition to the basic house payment. The outrageous cost of the "energy-free" house compares to a yearly electrical and natural gas bill from the local utility of only $1,800 per year. Solar energy is not free as falsely claimed. It is outrageously expensive.
Large photovoltaic arrays have been studied for use as major power generating systems. The cost of delivered power is at least 50% higher than conventional coal-fired power generating stations. They also have major disadvantages.
Photovoltaic panels produce electricity only when the sun is shining. The system must be shut down during cloudy weather and at night.
Photovoltaic arrays use an enormous amount of open land area that makes the land useless for any other function.
Photovoltaic panels are not maintenance free. They must be cleaned regularly.
Photovoltaic panels require five years of electrical production to replace the electricity used in the manufacture of the panel.
Amonix closes North Las Vegas solar plant after 14 months, heavy federal subsidies
July 19, 2012 - LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
"The Amonix solar manufacturing plant in North Las Vegas, subsidized by more than $20 million in federal tax credits and grants, has closed its 214,000-square-foot facility about a year after it opened."
Photovoltaic panels are great as an isolated or portable power source for intermittent duty. Get one for the roof of your recreational vehicle to recharge the battery during the day while camping, or get one for the remote mountain cabin. Photovoltaic arrays are unlikely to be deployed for major electrical power generating applications anytime in the near future. Don't put photovoltaic panels on your house if you can connect to a local electrical utility.
Solar panels on the roofs of houses to heat water were popular a few years ago. They have not proven to be economical, and very few are now being installed. Larger systems have been tested for the generation of electrical power using the panels to heat a liquid chemical in a power cycle to drive an electrical generator. The results were unsatisfactory. The construction and maintenance costs were excessive.
Solar and wind turbine electrical generators have two other major disadvantages. They are not dependable power sources. The power flow stops when the sun goes under a cloud or the wind stops. They cannot be used as base-load generating resources. Therefore, nuclear or fossil fuel generating stations must still be built and counted on as the base-load units. The fuel cost in these base-load units is only one third of the total cost. The construction cost is one third, and the operating and maintenance personnel costs are the other one third.
The cost of solar and wind turbines should include the two thirds of the base units which must be built to back them up.
Scientific Fact No. 6 - Wind Turbine Electrical Generators.
Wind turbines use a large propeller on a pedestal to generate electricity. The technology is very simple, primitive in fact. They work very well in a few areas where the wind blows almost constantly. The maintenance cost is low, but the construction cost per kilowatt-hour of electricity produced is very high. Click the image to see an enlargement.
The cost of electricity produced at a large scale wind turbine generating array is estimated to be 65% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light water nuclear reactor generating plant.
In 2012 the United Kingdom House of Commons is pressuring Prime Minister Cameron to stop the huge subsidies given to wind turbine manufacturing companies. Wind turbines have the same disadvantage as solar power in that they are not a reliable base-load power source. This means that some other power generating station must be available to pick up the load when the wind stops blowing. Therefore, the cost of the wind turbine should not be considered as the total isolated cost. The cost of the backup generation unit must also be considered.
Wind turbines have the unpleasant habit of killing birds that happen to fly into the blades. Attempts are being made to reduce this bird kill by using sonic noise generators to discourage the birds from coming close. Wind turbines are also big ugly fans spoiling an otherwise beautiful vista. Radical environmentalists don't seem to mind the ugly fans on the horizon, but they freak out at the sight of water vapor rising from the cooling towers of a coal-fired or nuclear power plant.
The power produced by wind turbines is not free. The total cost of energy production is more than that produced by nuclear, coal-fired, or natural gas-turbine electrical sources. Electrical utilities charge customers a premium when they specify that a portion of their electrical usage comes from the wind turbine program.
The state of California proves wind turbine power is a joke. A CNN television reporter on January 27, 2008, was standing with a large group of windmills in the background while he discussed the upcoming election. The picture revealed a big problem. Only one in ten of the windmills was turning. Yes, the wind was blowing at a good speed as shown by the one windmill. Meanwhile, the governor of California is threatening to install a system whereby the state could take control of household thermostats in an effort to conserve energy. Hey, governor, why are the windmills not producing the electricity? It is free electricity, right?
The cost of solar and wind turbines should include the two thirds of the base units which must be built to back them up.
Wind industry has lost 10,000 jobs since 2009 - Fox Nation News - April 17, 2012.
In summary, you have been brainwashed if you don't understand that wind turbines are an expensive joke.
Scientific Fact No. 7 - Nuclear Electrical Power Generation.
China blazes trail for 'clean' nuclear power from thorium
Telegraph.co.uk - January 6, 2013
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
'Nuclear energy is perfectly environmentally friendly'
Russian Today News, July 2, 2012.
Safe nuclear does exist, and China is leading the way with thorium.
Telegraph.co.uk - March 20, 2011
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
"A few weeks before the tsunami struck Fukushima’s uranium reactors and shattered public faith in nuclear power, China revealed that it was launching a rival technology to build a safer, cleaner, and ultimately cheaper network of reactors based on thorium."
Radioactive Thorium may be the main energy source of the future. What are we waiting for?
Telegraph.co.uk - August 29, 2010
"If Barack Obama were to marshal America’s vast scientific and strategic resources behind a new Manhattan Project, he might reasonably hope to reinvent the global energy landscape and sketch an end to our dependence on fossil fuels within three to five years."
"Dr Rubbia says a tonne of the silvery metal – named after the Norse god of thunder, who also gave us Thor’s day or Thursday - produces as much energy as 200 tonnes of uranium, or 3,500,000 tonnes of coal. A mere fistful would light London for a week."
"Thorium eats its own hazardous waste. It can even scavenge the plutonium left by uranium reactors, acting as an eco-cleaner. "It’s the Big One," said Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA rocket engineer and now chief nuclear technologist at Teledyne Brown Engineering."
""Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away. You can run civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels," he said."
"Thorium is so common that miners treat it as a nuisance, a radioactive by-product if they try to dig up rare earth metals. The US and Australia are full of the stuff. So are the granite rocks of Cornwall. You do not need much: all is potentially usable as fuel, compared to just 0.7pc for uranium."
Nuclear Power - Fusion and Fission
"There will be no economic recovery in the worldwide without a commitment on the part of the US to the development of nuclear power and fusion research. Presently experiencing a revival world-wide, nuclear energy offers a higher energy-flux density than any other form of power mastered by man. This is not simply a matter of increased efficiency: the power afforded mankind by the transformations of nuclei is not the same power produced in the combustion of coal. Rather, this higher power allows entirely new industrial and energetic processes, including direct use of nuclear reactions qua nuclear reactions for the production of new radioisotopes."
A Nuclear Reactor in Every Home - Accelerating Future.
"Sometime between 2020 and 2040, we will invent a practically unlimited energy source that will solve the global energy crisis. This unlimited source of energy will come from thorium. A summary of the benefits, from a recent announcement of the start of construction for a new prototype reactor:
• There is no danger of a melt-down like the Chernobyl reactor.
• It produces minimal radioactive waste.
• It can burn plutonium waste from traditional nuclear reactors.
• It is not suitable for the production of weapon grade materials.
• Global thorium reserves could cover our energy needs for thousands of years.
If nuclear reactors can be made safe and relatively cheap, how popular could they get?
It depends on how cheap we’re talking about. Most reactor designs utilize thorium use molten salt (or lead) as a coolant. Even though they were developed as early as 1954, molten salt-coolant reactors are a relatively immature technology. Interestingly enough, the first nuclear reactor to provide usable amounts of electricity was a molten salt reactor. Three were built as part of the US Aircraft Reactor Experiment (ARE), whose purpose was to build a reactor small and sturdy enough to power a nuclear bomber. These reactors are about the size of a large truck."
Nuclear electrical power will be our power source in future generations despite the protests. Nuclear power is not limited. There will not be an energy crisis when nuclear power is the primary power source. Nuclear power stations can produce the lowest cost electricity of any technology known to man. The fast-breeder nuclear system actually produces more new nuclear fuel than is consumed. Nuclear power generating plants have a high construction cost, an average maintenance cost, but a lower fuel cost as compared to coal-fired power plants or any other power generating technology.
A standardized, improved, light water nuclear reactor will be used as the base technology for the comparison of other technologies presented here. The cost of electricity produced by current light water nuclear reactors is 32% more expensive than the estimated cost of electricity produced by a future standardized, improved design.
Nuclear power plants have a large positive return on investment. Therefore, nuclear power plants produce a profit as compared to coal or oil-fired power plants. Nuclear power plants produce a stronger economy, reduce environmental emissions, and reduce the amount of imported crude oil. The cheap electrical power produced by the nuclear power plants can be used to heat homes and power electric cars.
Nuclear reactors for power generating stations can be operated safely. The accident at the Three Mile Island plant virtually shutdown the construction of new nuclear power plants in the United States even thought no one was injured. The mishap at the Three Mile Island station in the United States, and the disaster at the Chernobyl station in the USSR, were the result of bad decisions made by the operators and managers of the plants. These problems can be eliminated by preventing the operators and managers from overriding the control systems.
Nuclear reactors at power generating stations can also be used to recycle old nuclear waste material. The United States is presently reprocessing radioactive uranium from old USSR atomic bombs and turning it into electrical power. Click the picture of the infamous Three Mile Island nuclear electrical generating plant to see an enlargement.
Britain and France to take nuclear power to the world - Guardian.co.uk - March 22, 2008.
New Generation of Nuclear Power Plants Get Go-ahead in UK - January 10, 2008.
Nuclear waste is a nearly limitless source of electricity - December 8, 2005 - pdf.
France generates 78% of its electrical power using nuclear reactors without having had a serious incident. The United States has never had a death caused by a nuclear power generation accident, even though Three Mile Island was a serious crisis. The joke is true that states, "More people have been killed in the US in Senator Ted Kennedy's car than in nuclear power plants."
Nuclear power 'must be on agenda' - May 23, 2007.
"Nuclear power is needed to help reduce carbon emissions and to ensure secure energy supplies, UK, Prime Minister, Tony Blair has said."
More than 100 new nuclear electrical power generating stations are being built or planned all around the world in Britain, Russia, Iran, India, Vietnam, Indonesia, China, Japan, and the United States. In the past 12 months, six utilities have told the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission that they might build new nuclear power plants. Germany is about to take the opposite approach. Germany has announced the decision to phase out all existing nuclear power plants by year 2020. This decision is most likely to be reversed because discontinuing nuclear power while other countries are building new units will cost German citizens a sharp increase in their electric power cost.
Japan's 54th nuclear power generator is set to start - December 2, 2005.
Nuclear power plants have zero pollution as long as the nuclear reactor is not breached and the wastes are disposed of properly. To make nuclear power, safe and inexpensive changes must to be made in the design and management of these plants. Some of the required changes are:
Make a standard design to reduce costs and eliminate the "learning curve."
Make an emergency shutdown control system that cannot be breached or bypassed by operators or plant managers as was done at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Take the extra steps and additional costs to make the reactor with the maximum possible reliability. This goes beyond simply having a reasonable safety factor.
Make the Nuclear Power Authority in the United States issue permits for new nuclear power plants based on national interest and bypassing states rights. A state or local government should not be allowed to block or regulate the construction permits. This would prevent selfish states like California from getting power from a nuclear power plant built in someone else's back yard.
Block construction permits for new power plants that are fueled by oil. The energy crisis in California in 2000 and 2001 was the result of their selfish failure to approve new coal-fired or nuclear power plants. They forced themselves into a crisis and chose a short-term fix using oil-fired turbine generators.
Downtime at a nuclear power station can cost the utility $1,000,000 dollars a day. This is a strong incentive to keep the station online. The control system should be designed to prevent operators and managers from being tempted to keep the unit online when the reactor should be shut down for repair or scheduled maintenance.
Nuclear Power - The Cleanest and Coolest Choice?
Nuclear power plants can provide the electrical energy needed to produce hydrogen and oxygen gases by the simple process of electrolysis. Hydrogen gas is an alternate fuel for cars with internal combustion engines. Hydrogen gas can replace natural gas or can be used to enrich natural gas. The technology and gas distribution system is existing for use in homes, offices, and factories. The oxygen can be used in many chemical and energy processes, including the conversion of cast iron to steel.
Hydrogen propulsion shifts from rockets to racers as BMW sets nine new speed records, marking the start of the hydrogen age for automobiles. The single-seater H2R Record Car uses a 6.0-litre 12-cylinder power unit producing in excess of 210 kW, that races to 100 km/h in just six seconds and has a top speed of 302.4 km/h. The engine is based on the V12 unit powering BMW’s flagship limousine, the BMW 760Li. The hydrogen combustion engine boasts the most advanced technologies, such as BMW's fully variable VALVETRONIC valve train control.
Nuclear energy is our only hope for a future with unrestricted energy use. It is inexpensive. The fuel is unlimited, and a nuclear power plant does not produce greenhouse gases. However, this is a rather mute point since solar activity is the cause for global warming, not greenhouse gases.
Patrick Moore PhD, the American co-founder of Greenpeace says nuclear energy is "only option".
A nuclear power plant built on one square mile (2.59 square km) of land will prevent the destruction of 10,000 square miles of jungle that would otherwise be cleared and planted for the production of biofuels.
Nuclear power will save the world, UN scientists claim - April 30, 2007.
"Leading scientists are today expected to back a major expansion of nuclear power as a way of saving the world from global warming."
Scientific Fact No. 8 - Hydro Electric Generating Plants.
Hydroelectric generating power plants at dams are awesome. The dam provides many other benefits including:
Flood control and water conservation.
Water storage for irrigation and domestic uses.
Water recreation and fishing.
The cost of power generation can vary greatly depending on the location of the dam. The power generated is proportional to the water flow rate times the height of the dam. Hoover Dam is a good example of a very efficient project. The canyon is narrow, making the dam less expensive. The great height and high flow rate allows the hydro turbines to develop a tremendous amount of electrical power.
The cost of electricity produced at a large hydroelectric generating plant is estimated to be about equal to a standardized, improved, light-water nuclear reactor generating plant. The cost of electricity from a peak-load pumped storage hydroelectric generating system is estimated to be 55% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light-water nuclear reactor generating plant. A pumped storage hydroelectric system could be used in combination with a photovoltaic or wind turbine system to provide electrical power at night. Water is pumped from a lower-elevation reservoir to a higher-elevation reservoir during the off-peak part of the day and flows back during peak periods to generate electricity. The pumped storage system is a very efficient method for storing a large amount of energy.
Hydroelectric generating plants have a net positive environmental impact. The reservoir formed by the dam has a big positive environmental impact. The reservoir supports fish and birds while preventing flooding and erosion. Religious environmentalists go ballistic at the thought of someone building a new dam, but their reasons are illogical. Religious environmentalists are Earth worshipers. They would prefer that mankind not live on the Earth, and they want everything left in its natural state. They simply keep quiet when "Mother Earth" blows millions of tons of sulfur dioxide and dust into the air during a volcanic eruption. They stop the building of roads and want existing roads closed. They try to stop the development of natural resources and mining. Unfortunately, many politicians listen to these nuts and attempt to satisfy the environmentalists' unending demands. The religious environmentalists support wetlands but object to lakes. Professional psychiatrists use the word schizophrenia to describe this type of illogical mental disorder.
Dams and hydroelectric generating projects should be supported wherever they are economically justified. They are a great benefit to the preservation of our natural resources.
Scientific Fact No. 9 - Coal Fired Electrical Generating Plants.
Coal-fired electrical generating pants come in many forms. The cost of electrical power is slightly higher than for nuclear power plants. Future plants are likely to include a co-process chemical plant that uses the waste energy from the steam turbine cycle. Pictured is the Navajo Electrical Generating Station near Page, Arizona. The white clouds rising from the stacks are simply water vapor from the fuel combustion, not air pollution. Click the image to see an enlargement.
The cost of electricity produced at a large scale coal-fired generating plant is estimated to be 20% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light-water nuclear reactor generating plant.
The biggest unrecoverable energy loss in a coal-fired or nuclear power plant occurs in the steam cycle in which the heat of evaporation turns the boiler feed water into steam. The loss of efficiency occurs when the steam is condensed for recycling back to the boilers. The waste heat is discharged in the cooling towers, and a cloud of water vapor can be seen rising from these towers in the winter.
Steam turbine cycles have an efficiency of about 35%. Most people are very surprised at this low number, but it is very typical for internal combustion engines as well. The modern coal-fired electrical generating plant has reached the best scientific efficiency possible.
Power generating plants are rated in thermal btu per kwh of electricity produced. A highly efficient, modern coal-fired power plant has a heat rate of 9700 btu/kwh were 3413 btu = 1 kwh. Therefore, the efficiency is 3413/9700 = 35%.
Nuclear power generating stations have steam turbine cycles as well. The huge parabolic cooling towers are prominent in photographs of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant.
The low pressure steam from the turbines can be cycled to a co-processing plant where various chemicals can be produced. It can also be used for heating greenhouses for growing fruit and vegetables during the winter. The condensed steam is then recycled back to the power plant. These co-process systems are conceptual only and not seen at modern power stations.
Radical religious environmentalists blame "global warming" on fossil fuel power plants that burn coal. The claims that coal-fired power plants are causing global warming are without any scientific proof. The planet Earth has been warming since the last ice age began receding 12,000 years ago. Glaciers in Alaska were reported to have receded by as much as 50 miles between 1800 and 1900 but have receded at a much smaller rate since. The environmentalists have an agenda based on the following:
Environmentalists are Earth-worshipers. It is a cult religion.
Environmentalists are a political group, not a scientific group.
Environmentalists use the topic as a means to raise money.
Environmentalists advance their agenda by using brainwashing and fear tactics.
Environmentalists are anti-capitalists.
Environmentalists are left-wing socialists or communists.
Global Warming, Cooling, or Ice Age?
What are the climate projections for the Earth?
Several years ago environmentalists promoted MTBE as an additive to winter gasoline to reduce air pollution. This was another ill-conceived environmental idea because the MTBE was later found to contaminate ground water tables, a much more serious problem.
Colorado State University's Bill Gray is perhaps the world's foremost hurricane expert. His Tropical Storm Forecast sets the standard. Yet, his criticism of the global warming "hoax" makes him an outcast.
"They've been brainwashing us for 20 years," Gray says. "Starting with the nuclear winter and now with the global warming. This scare will also run its course. In 15-20 years, we'll look back and see what a hoax this was."
The Kyoto Protocol that is intended to reduce greenhouse gases does not apply to communist China, even though China is the largest polluter in the world. The left-wing environmentalists simply gave then a special exemption.
JunkScience.com - All the Junk That's Fit to Debunk.
Global warming is caused by increased solar activity and has nothing to do with the activity of mankind. The prevention of greenhouse gases by mankind's prevention of natural forest and grass fires has been offset by the burning of fossil fuels. Some scientists are now expecting global cooling during the next ten years because of a decrease in solar activity and the amount of sunlight reaching Earth.
Newspapers, environmental magazines, and weather TV programs scream about the summer of 2006 breaking high temperature records. What they rarely say is the hottest July on record occurred in 1936, and the third hottest was 1934. Temperatures in other parts of the world are unusually low, with snow in areas of South Africa where it is rarely seen. One balances and offsets the other. Having high temperature in one area is not proof of global warming.
Hot Summer of 2006 Fails to Break 1934 Record. So Where is the Global Warming? - September 16, 2006.
Scientist predicts 'mini Ice Age'.
Green foliage on grasses, bushes, trees, and other plants has been shown to produce up to 30% of the methane released into the atmosphere. Methane is said to be a major greenhouse gas. Trees in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, USA, are responsible for the "pollution" that clouds the air in the entire area.
Green Plants are Revealed to be a Major Methane Source.
Scientific Fact No. 10 - Combined Cycle Advanced Turbine Generating Plant.
The electrical power generation technology used by the state of California to resolve their 2000 and 2001 energy shortage was natural gas or fuel oil-fired, combined-cycle, advanced turbine, and steam injected turbine generating plants. The units were chosen for a quick short-term fix but were dreadful long-term choices. The combined-cycle gas turbines use the hot exhaust gas to raise steam for a steam turbine to generate additional electricity, yielding much more electricity per unit of gas than in a single cycle unit. Gas turbines were favored for environmental reasons, lower installation cost per megawatt, shorter construction time, and because smaller units are economically efficient. As seen in the picture, a natural gas-fired turbine is small enough to be hauled on a flatbed trailer. The turbine is connected to an electric generator along with the additional support facilities.
The cost of electricity produced at a large scale, combined-cycle, advanced gas turbine generating plant at the time of the California energy crisis was only 46% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light-water nuclear reactor generating plant. In December, 2005, electricity produced by the natural gas turbines was 300% higher because of the explosion in the price of natural gas. The result of California's solution to their self-inflicted energy crisis has been to contribute to the soaring cost of natural gas. Prices as of December, 2005, increased 145% in the following year alone and a whopping 500% since October, 2001.
The United States continues to install new natural gas turbines in order to reduce carbon dioxide, CO2, emissions. Coal-fired power plants generation only CO2 from the burning of coal while natural gas turbines produce a fraction of that amount. Burning natural gas for the generation of electricity has become economical because of a new technology called fracking that releases natural gas from oil shale. However, fracking has opposition from environmentalists because of the danger of causing ground water pollution. The natural gas supply has greatly increased in the United States with the new method of extraction from oil shale in Colorado, Pennsylvania, and other states. The down-side is the possible environmental contamination caused by chemicals used in the extraction process. The price of natural gas in June 2012 was as low as $2.17 per thousand cubic feet but by November 2012 the price had nearly doubled to $4.00 per thousand cubic feet.
Natural Gas on StockCharts.com
The ordinary home owner cannot buy a coal-fired or a nuclear hot water heater for his house. The only choices are electric or natural gas. The natural gas hot water heater is 90% efficient with only 10% waste heat going up the exhaust stack. The electric hot water heater using electricity provided by a utility using natural gas-fired advanced steam injected turbine generators is 35% efficient. The electric utility blows away 65% of the natural gas as waste heat. The natural gas should be made available to the home owner, not to the utility.
Scientific Fact No. 11 - Refuse or Garbage-Fired Power Plants.
The misguided concept of incinerating refuse or urban garbage to generate electrical power has waned, as plants have been proven to be expensive and hazardous while polluting the atmosphere with chemicals and heavy metals. Fortunately, many of the existing plants are being shut down, and very few new ones are being built. This failed technology was another simplistic concept of the radical environmentalists.
"Waste-to-energy plants do involve large upfront expenditures, and tight credit can be a big deterrent. Harrisburg, Pa., has been flirting with bankruptcy because of a $300 million loan it took to reopen and refit an old public incinerator with the new technology." The cost of electricity produced at a large scale refuse-fired generating plant is estimated to be 43% higher than electricity from a standardized, improved, light-water nuclear reactor generating plant. The construction and maintenance costs for refuse-fired power plants are very high. Total cost is high, even though the garbage is free. The electricity produced by a garbage-burning plant is not free. It is extremely expensive.
Environmentalists are behind another misguided concept in the recycling of waste paper. Paper is a renewable product with an almost unlimited supply. It is cheaper to grow trees and make new paper than to recycle used paper. Many municipalities tax the citizens or subsidize the refuse collection companies in an effort to collect used paper. The resulting recycled paper is sold in office supply stores at a premium compared to new paper. Recycled paper is more expensive than growing new trees to make new paper even though the recycled paper is subsidized with taxes. The recycling of used paper increases the use of precious non-renewable resources such as petroleum fuels and natural gas. The recycled paper concept is typical of the ideas that environmental wackos put forth based on emotional paranoia rather than scientific facts.
The recycling of glass is another stupid idea. Glass is made from common sand. Recycling used glass containers is a waste of natural resources. Recycling plastics is highly questionable in most cases. Aluminum cans are the only refuse that can be recycled economically without special taxes or subsidies. Driving a recycle truck through neighborhoods to collect aluminum cans, glass bottles, or used paper is a wasteful idea.
The incineration of refuse in power plants and the recycling of paper again proves the ineptness of the US Department of Energy, lack of leadership of the President, and failure of the Congress of the United States. We should immediately stop wasting petroleum fuels and natural gas to recycle used paper.
Scientific Fact No. 12 - Compressed Natural Gas Fuel for Cars, Trucks, and Buses.
One very promising technology which will reduce the importation of crude oil is compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel for cars, trucks, and buses. The technology has already been developed. Fleet owners are installing the CNG conversion parts on their cars, trucks, and buses. The cost of compressed natural gas is about 75% that for regular gasoline as of 2008. More gas stations are offering CNG refueling services. The emissions are naturally cleaner than emissions from gasoline-powered vehicles. The vehicles are flex-fuel in that they can still operate on regular gasoline.
Find Alternate Fuel and Compressed Natural Gas Service Stations in Your Area.
The amount of CNG sold by a service station is measured in gasoline gallon equivalent or GGE. One gge is equivalent in energy to one gallon of regular gasoline. The economy of vehicles running CNG is equal to those running on gasoline.
Equipment is likely to become readily available for installation of a CNG refueling station in your home garage. You will be able to refill the CNG tank using the natural gas supply line that is already installed in your house. Certainly CNG will become a popular option in the near future.
Safety is one negative for CNG that will discourage many people from buying cars with this flex-fuel conversion. Natural gas is highly explosive when it leaks. Therefore, the systems must incorporate many safety features to prevent leakage. One explosion of a home garage will greatly discourage people from moving to CNG.
New Scientific Theory Claims Natural Oil and Gas Reserves Form Quickly.
Russian Researchers Say Rains Boost Oil Reserves - October 8, 2006.
"A group of Russian scientists at the oil and gas research institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, led by Azary Barenbaum, have come up with a new explanation of the nature of oil and gas formation. They argue that , as earlier believed. The new theory was published this month in the leading Russian scientific magazine Nauka I Zhizn (Science and Life)."
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