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Shorting Oil, Hedging Tesla

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by jhm, Mar 15, 2016.

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  1. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    That looks like carbon capture to me, with the difference being whether you bury the carbon / methane (inject underground into previous wells for instance), or whether you use it in a (short!) carbon lifecycle (by say burning it in the winter, and then recapturing it next summer).

    So its carbon neutral in an active lifecycle, and its carbon negative when the captured carbon is buried.

    Carbon capture either way.

    And given that burial of carbon is kind of "easy" (I don't actually know), whatever the form the captured carbon is in, then this sort of usable energy storage carbon capture looks like the best path to making this economical. If the captured carbon itself has some economic value (energy storage), then the odds that we do a lot of it with a lot of excess power is high. The part we don't need gets reburied (and left), and the part we do need is stored and later burned.

    Doing a lot of it (instead of demonstrating we can do it in a lab) is what strikes me as important. Even if we burn every drop we make.
     
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  2. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, particularly if the resulting hydrocarbons are used for plastics or some other non-combustible purpose.
     
  3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    For synthesizing methane, then it's CCS _only_ if
    1) the gas ends up being stored (directly or as other chemicals)
    2) the leakage rates are low enough that it doesn't have additional impact.
    3) the carbon-generating activity used to create and run the methane synthesis system is outweighed by the storage.

    If it's methane for fuel, then ultimately you end up with a limited amount of CO2 in storage (depending on how much methane buffer you need), and any leakage would deduct from that benefit.

    But, there'd be cause for celebration if leakage from methane synthesis is the only thing we'd have to worry about.
     
  4. Oil4AsphaultOnly

    Oil4AsphaultOnly Active Member

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    No, don't bury it! Use it as feedstock for plastic! That's a more financially attractive way to make it carbon negative.
     
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  5. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    That works well too.

    I'm imagining a future a few decades off (I think) where we've got so much renewables installed that there are times of the year and day where we reliably have amazing amounts of excess power. So much that running a relatively inefficient system to gather CO2 out of the air, turn it into a storable carbon, and then burying it (pumping it back where we got it!), is a reasonable activity.

    Because we have all the feedstock for plastics that we need.

    Because we have all the backup / winter gas for electricity generation that we need.

    Because heavy industry is busy concocting new ways to do high energy stuff.

    And we still have excess energy (and there is STILL a need to lower atmospheric carbon levels). The energy systems are net zero, and we can now make the worldwide economy net negative carbon.


    Agreed that the early CCS carbon is better used as feedstock for various carbon uses that we have today :)
     
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  6. Off Shore

    Off Shore Off Topic

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    Bury it! Biochar!
     
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  7. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    Saudi production hits another record and US inventories swell even further. Are we finally moving from an OPEC dominated rigged game to a prison rules scramble for matketshare?
     
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  8. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Bloomberg - Are you a robot?

    Frack crew activity was at a peak in June then collapsed into at trough in September. My impression is that frackers need WTI over $60. We'll see at what price they step up production. Right now price seems to be stabilizing around $52, but that is likely too low for activity to rebound.
     
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  9. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Biochar - Wikipedia

    Use as a soil ammendment looks particularly primising.

    A key challenge with all CCS strategies is how to pay for it. So use of biochar as soil ammendment does have positive economic value and can offset what would be spent on other fertilizer such as nitrogen (often derived from petroleum sources). Biochar can improve water quality to. As a soil ammendment it can bind carbon to the soil for 100 to 1000 years, so that is pretty stable.

    One study found that a $37/t price on carbon emissions makes biochar cost effective. The bad news here is that somebody still has to pay for this CCS strategy. It is not yet economically self-supporting. But we are getting close. I still have hope that renewables and batteries will help bring the cost down. Pyrolysis consumes energy to heat biomass above 500C. So driving down the cost of that heat could yield more favorable economics. It amounts to finding a higher economic use for biogas and bio oil than pyrolysing biomass.
     
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  10. Off Shore

    Off Shore Off Topic

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    A rustic kiln is about 30% efficient in converting biomass (e.g. dried tree-trimmings) to biochar, which can then be inoculated with local mycorrhizal fungi and mixed with soil as an additive. Carbon in the soil holds moisture, nutrients and the mycorrhizae and can significantly boost plant and long-term soil health. This alone makes biochar worth producing, apart from the carbon sequestered. In our coffee plantations we're adding about 1750 pounds per acre.

    DSC_0125.JPG
     
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  11. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    California just contracted to replace a relatively new CC gas plant with renewables and battery storage because it's cheaper.
    We don't need to keep burning fossils.
     
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  12. jbih

    jbih Member

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    Biochar is carbon negative, i. e. it reverses the damage done by burning fossils.
     
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  13. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Right, this is why I think there may be cheaper ways to do pyrolysis at an industrial scale using electricity rather than biogas. Overall we need to substantially reduce consumption of gas to the point that non-fossil, renewable sources provide sufficient supply. Using gas for baseload power generation is not consistent with my outlook. We maybe use some biogas for seasonal backup, but not year around baseload. I do think that biofuels and biogas play a role in deep decarbonization, but it needs to be an extremely limited role. Moreover, if we can return some of this atmospheric carbon back to the soil, reversing the flow of burning fossil fuels, then this is helpful too. We actually have quite limited potential to do negative emissions through the biochar pathway (limited annual biomass production), so it is imperative that we halt fossil combustion as quickly as possible.
     
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  14. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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  15. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    Microwave that locks carbon in charcoal may be our best weapon in the fight against global warming, say scientists
    Biocharring can be done with large microwave ovens, and it seems to fix more of the carbon that other methods. An advantage I'm keen on is that the microwave ovens can be run at times of surplus renewable energy. I would also expect that the resulting biogas could be tapped and used for something more valuable than just heating up biomass for charring.

    So microwave pyrolyzer technology could play a similar role in power markets as an electrolyzer. Both can soak up surplus renewable power supporting power prices so that more wind and solar can be built out. When there is a shortage of renewable power, the pyrolyzers and electrolyzer power down allowing the supply of renewable power to be more adequate to demand. This accomplishes seasonal balancing. Additionally both technologies produce renewable gases which have industrial uses quite apart from generating electricity. The bonus for the pyrolyzer is that it also produces biochar for agricultural use and long-term carbon sequestration.

    That article goes back to 2009. The found that this microwave pyrolyzer along with a fast growing forest could fix CO2 at a cost of $65/t. I suspect large chunk of this cost is the electricity. So making use of surplus wind and solar power could really help drive down the cost from assumptions that would have been made in 2009. Whether your biomass source is a dedicated forest or a waste stream (agricultural residue, forest residue or municipal solid waste), you still have a cost of gathering this biomass. This is hard to minimize, but locating pyrolyzers close to sources and preferring waste streams can help. On the General thread, we recently got sidetracked on the poop train that moved poop from New York to Alabama, creating a big stink in the process. Clearly NY is willing to pay someone to take MSW off their hands. One solution may well be to microwave it and make biochar and biogass. So if poop from NY has a negative price low enough, you just may be able to make this work financially with no subsidization.

    I wonder if The Boring Company could get interested in this. Musk could power his rockets from poop. This may be just the thing needed for return trips from mars.
     
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  16. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    So how do you want to go: burial, cremation, or microwave carbonization?
     
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  17. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    http://dc.engconfintl.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=biochar
    This is a nice engineering presentation showing how different biomass sources and process parameters yield different product mixes. Particularly the process parameters (size of batch and power setting of microwave) can either optimize for bio-oil (small batch/high power) or optimize biochar and biogass (larger batch/lower power). So depending on the market value for these products as well perhaps the price of power, one could optimize in real time the value of running the microwave pyrolyzer.
     
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  18. winfield100

    winfield100 Active Member

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    WAY OT
    one idea that has been kicked around for 20-30 years or so, is keep the engine on the surface and use "big honking lasers" to push the space ships around aka "Beam Riders" that can do 1 G all the way to say, Mars, and decelerate the same way there (and keep them from being kinetic energy weapons)
    Beam-Riding and Sail Stability
     
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  19. jhm

    jhm Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if dark energy could be harnessed for propulsion. But then, maybe it would just push all objects further away making it harder to reach any destination.
     

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