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Old 12-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #21
Dirge Humani
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Originally Posted by sashki
Wait, what? That would mean it's creating energy from nothing.

It would be taking useless energy of CO2, H2O, and O2 and turning it into usable energy.

Like how I could use a match to heat a pot of water, and it would barely change, or I could use that match to light a candle underneath it, and it would heat more. There's no energy being made from nothing, it is just being used differently.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:07 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sashki
I can see that this is a huge achievement, but being the eternal critic I must say that it seems like a bit of a roundabout way of saving energy.

You need a shitton of energy to produce petrol from air. Why not just use that energy directly to power our cars? The distribution network is already in place, and battery systems will become affordable once there's enough demand to have an economy of scale.


It's not.

Let me explain using an example. When you burn carbon it combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Now to turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen and carbon it required the same amount of energy.

So yes you can make methanol out of these components but you'll burn only to get back the energy you originally used.

And as Sashki said, you can't get more or less energy out of thin air.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:07 PM   #23
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:08 PM   #24
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It's not.

Let me explain using an example. When you burn carbon it combines with oxygen to create carbon dioxide. Now to turn carbon dioxide back into oxygen and carbon it required the same amount of energy.

So yes you can make methanol out of these components but you'll burn only to get back the energy you originally used.

And as Sashki said, you can't get more or less energy out of thin air.

Unless the process is self catalyzing.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Dirge Humani
It would be taking useless energy of CO2, H2O, and O2 and turning it into usable energy.

Like how I could use a match to heat a pot of water, and it would barely change, or I could use that match to light a candle underneath it, and it would heat more. There's no energy being made from nothing, it is just being used differently.

Well, I'm no sciency doctor person, but I'm pretty sure that the energy required to extract CO2, H2O and O2 from the air, condense it and bond it into Methanol is greater than the energy released when the fuel combusts. If it were that easily reversible, there would be no fuel crisis.

When you light a candle with a match, the candle itself fuels the fire. The wax and the wick combust, releasing the stored chemical energy. Once combusted, it cannot be recollected, at least not efficiently.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #26
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Wait, what? That would mean it's creating energy from nothing.
Let me rephrase, more usable energy. The benefits would outweigh the costs.

At least, that's what I'm thinking they're planning.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:15 PM   #27
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Let me rephrase, more usable energy. The benefits would outweigh the costs.

At least, that's what I'm thinking they're planning.

I'm not denying its value as a scientific achievement, but I seriously doubt how this would work on a practical level. When it becomes cheaper to extract fuel from the air than to get it from the ground, we should probably consider moving to other energy sources.
And even if it's just for race cars, I don't really see the point. Why not use biofuel or some shit? You could probably convert that to gasoline much more efficiently. Or use hydrogen, either in a combustion engine, or with fuel cells. Racing teams have tons of money and they're at the forefront of automotive technology. They may as well diversify their fuel sources.

I dunno, maybe I'm just talking out my ass here. Either way, I'm like to see where they take this new technology.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #28
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This is just one of those things, like nuclear fusion, that is a headline for a slow news day.

Plus converting CO2 to a hydrocarbon is so thermodynamically unfavourable it hurts.

For the time being, I honestly feel we should be moving away from petro-chemical industries and focusing on generating energy in a more environmentally friendly way.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #29
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I still want to see fuel made from giant algae farms.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:22 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by sashki
I'm not denying its value as a scientific achievement, but I seriously doubt how this would work on a practical level. When it becomes cheaper to extract fuel from the air than to get it from the ground, we should probably consider moving to other energy sources.
And even if it's just for race cars, I don't really see the point. Why not use biofuel or some shit? You could probably convert that to gasoline much more efficiently. Or use hydrogen, either in a combustion engine, or with fuel cells. Racing teams have tons of money and they're at the forefront of automotive technology. They may as well diversify their fuel sources.

I dunno, maybe I'm just talking out my ass here. Either way, I'm like to see where they take this new technology.
Guess we're just gonna have to wait and see

It's been a while since I've kept up with the automotive world but I doubt biofuels or hydrogen would give the same performance as high octane gasoline.

Turning hydrogen into fuel itself is a costly enough process to where liquid hydrogen fuel was just as expensive as gasoline was back whenever I read that article about that Honda that's only available in California (apparently California has the only liquid hydrogen gas stations in America so far).
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:27 PM   #31
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Well, I'm no sciency doctor person, but I'm pretty sure that the energy required to extract CO2, H2O and O2 from the air, condense it and bond it into Methanol is greater than the energy released when the fuel combusts. If it were that easily reversible, there would be no fuel crisis.

When you light a candle with a match, the candle itself fuels the fire. The wax and the wick combust, releasing the stored chemical energy. Once combusted, it cannot be recollected, at least not efficiently.

I am a sciency doctor person and you're right, that is true.

When you burn petrol you end up with carbondioxide and water. To then make fuel out of that very same carbondioxide and water you would have to put the same amount of energy into it as you got out of it. But since no energy conversion is 100% efficient you used less energy and need more energy.

However, as always it's the media getting every science story ever so slightly wrong. This isn't meant to create energy from thin air, it's meant to be a way to store energy from renewable energysources. We've tried doing that with hydrogen and batteries, but they each have some serious issues. Since the whole motoring-industry is based around petrol, being able to store our windmill energy in that would be ideal.

As for the guy talking about "self catalyzing", catalysts don't change the difference in energycontent of the reagents and the product, they just change how high the energyhurdle is to get the reaction to occur in the first place. So yes, a catalyst is probably very helpful in making the conversion more efficient, but it could never make it produce more energy then you put into it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:56 PM   #32
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:01 PM   #33
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:03 PM   #34
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:04 PM   #35
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Brilliant. I propose turning all of the air over England into gasoline.
Anybody got a match?
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:06 PM   #36
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:12 PM   #37
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I've read on another site that after they perfect this science, it will be marketed to the British people as a more efficient form of "wet and burny. drive and turny".
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:48 PM   #38
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #39
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Something is telling me this is kind of old and I've seen it before. Not to say I don't like it, of course.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:11 PM   #40
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Something is telling me this is kind of old and I've seen it before. Not to say I don't like it, of course.

Yea, it is.

I almost made a thread about it a few months ago.
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