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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Nik, Sep 28, 2011.
What's the end-to-end energy efficiency of that?
Seems they are missing the September launch date, and now targeting December:
Clean synthetic fuel plant to open in UK | TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk
Is this directly related? :
A New Way to Make Methanol Fuel | New Energy and Fuel
NonMediated Homogeneous Hydrogenation of CO2 to CH3OH - Ashley - 2009 - Angewandte Chemie International Edition - Wiley Online Library
As Doug says about, they think this stuff is free.
The reality is that it is competing with other energy carriers for limited renewable electricity, for funding and for real estate and that (VolkerP) is why people are right to ask the questions in this thread.
More possibly related:
Making Gasoline from Carbon Dioxide - Technology Review
Scientists Use Sunlight to Make Fuel From CO2
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Capture, Conversion and Utilization in Fuel Cell-
Iceland Seeks CO2 Recycling World Patent | Research Development
CO2 to Methanol Fuel in One Process | New Energy and Fuel
This isn't new... I'm sure we've discussed it in other threads. I said then, like I've said in this thread, and I'll say again now, it's a poor use of energy.
Agreed, any other way of using electricity from renewable sources than in battery electric cars is less efficient. So the subject of the thread "ICE fuel" could be dissed, except these applications where ICE fuel is extremely hard to replace due to its high energy density. Heavy road freight trucks. Tractors and combine harvesters. Light piston engine planes. Small to medium sized ships. They all use ICE and this would be a way to make them carbon neutral.
Plus we need a replacement for crude oil and natural gas in many non-energetic applications (plastics, rubber, resins, etc.) But that's stuff for another thread.
Some more data emerged on this. On their Facebook page they say:
"Our development work in the Demonstrator gives us confidence that even a 1-tonne a day plant will deliver figures better than 3 units of (renewable) energy in to one unit out in the highly usable form of liquid fuel."
"We need 3.9kg of CO2 to make one kilogram, or about 3.1kg to make one litre of gasoline... We need about 30 kilowatts of power to make one kilogram of gasoline. The main energy cost is the cost of making the hydrogen through electrolysis of water."
They say 30 kilowatts but this doesn't make sense so they probably mean kWh (which tallies with the first statement).
So do the maths and that's around 24 kWh per litre or 109 kWh per UK gallon. That's over £15 a gallon just on electricity at my domestic rates (obviously industrial would cost less but it doesn't bode well).
So what if this synthetic petrol was put in a Prius? You'd get 1.9 kWh per mile - over 6 times the energy requirement of an EV (and almost 2 times that of a hydrogen vehicle).
No wonder they don't just state the kWh per gallon figure clearly.
However, they also state:
"Across the whole system including a dedicated wind farm for example and over the 20+ year life of a plant we would expect a ratio of 1 unit in for 9 units out."
Can someone please explain this to me? Because it looks like they are now claiming to have made a perpetual motion machine.
I think they are talking about the embodied energy in building the turbines and the rest of the plant: one unit of (probably non-renewable) energy to build the plant, 20 years later you've got 9 units of useful fuel out of it. So that shows that the whole thing isn't a total fraud (like some biofuels processes), but your analysis of the relative efficiency as against using the output of those turbines to charge EVs still says it's a bad idea.
Which is another variant of the "it doesn't matter because it's renewable energy" argument. If all this renewable energy was so easy and free to get, we wouldn't have headlines like those on the Daily Telegraph every other week.
The target is 20% by 2020. It's going to be a struggle to get to 100%. We can't be so flippant as to throw it away on schemes that need 6x as much as the real solution.
The wholesale value of 1 MWh of electricity is approximately £50. So, 24 kWh costs about £1.20 at wholesale rates. Industrial customers usually pay all, or nearly all, of their "wires" charges through fixed charges, so that figure is pretty close to their actual cost. (We residential customers pay for wires on a kWh basis. Silly.)
They can legitimately claim that they are putting more energy out than taking in because they are leaving out of the "inputs" side the wind energy.
Thanks - very useful. So at wholesale grid prices the £1.20 electricity cost alone is over double the pre-tax retail price of a litre of gasoline.
On the 9:1 thing, that's really a cheat because there is an energy opportunity cost of electricity those wind turbines are making.
Yes, and yes -- so even with bad accounting, this stuff is far too expensive.