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 Zero emission synfuel from seawater
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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1461 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2013 :  10:58:15  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wha wha what?

http://bravenewclimate.com/2013/01/16/zero-emission-synfuel-from-seawater/

So use energy from somewhere to take carbon dioxide out of the oceans to make fuel to burn to make carbon dioxide that will go to the atmosphere and return to the oceans? But it doesn't appear to to do even that. Looks like pseudoscience techno-babble to lure investors.

On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2013 :  21:36:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If the goal was to use nuclear power to recombine CO2 with hydrogen into hydrocarbons in order to reduce CO2 in the biosphere, then it sounds like a good idea.
If he's saying you can actually do this and make a profit, or produce more energy than you use, it's a crock.

The important part for me is where he discusses using navy nuclear energy to recombine CO2 with H2 to create this synthfuel. If you could take by-products from emissions turn them back into fuel then burn them again, creating the same amount of by products as you originally started with, and producing the same amount of energy as you used to create the fuel, that is a net zero-emission.
I don't know how difficult the process of turning CO2 back into fuel is, but it's inevitably going to use more power than burning the resulting fuel can create because no process is 100% efficient, hence it cannot be a net zero-emission.
Ultimately it would be more simple to just use the nuclear energy.

Now if someone had an idea to remove CO2 from seawater and use nuclear energy to turn it into solid carbon or a hydrocarbon, as a purely environmental endeavour. I would be in favour of that. But it would be an expensive project and would never turn a profit.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 02/02/2013 21:40:19
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2013 :  06:02:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Now if someone had an idea to remove CO2 from seawater and use nuclear energy to turn it into solid carbon or a hydrocarbon, as a purely environmental endeavour. I would be in favour of that. But it would be an expensive project and would never turn a profit.
Also, it would be rather uneffective way to reduce the atmosphere- or water bound CO2. We're dumping millions of tonnes of fossil carbon into the atmosphere every single day.

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ThorGoLucky
Snuggle Wolf

USA
1461 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2013 :  11:53:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit ThorGoLucky's Homepage Send ThorGoLucky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The idea of using nuclear power to create hydrocarbons was discussed on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe episode #239:

Steven Novella: "You could build a nuclear power plant and dedicate the energy from that power plant to making gasoline from atmospheric CO2. ... That would be the most ridiculous thing in the world to do."

Rebecca Watson: "To be fair, the most ridiculous thing you could do would be to gather up leprechauns and burn those for energy."
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2013 :  12:09:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by ThorGoLucky

The idea of using nuclear power to create hydrocarbons was discussed on The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe episode #239:

Steven Novella: "You could build a nuclear power plant and dedicate the energy from that power plant to making gasoline from atmospheric CO2. ... That would be the most ridiculous thing in the world to do."

Rebecca Watson: "To be fair, the most ridiculous thing you could do would be to gather up leprechauns and burn those for energy."

At least Steven Novella was in the realm of what is actually possible. Most people, unlike Watson, knows there are no leprechauns.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
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"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2013 :  00:12:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Most people, unlike Watson, knows there are no leprechauns.
Seriously?

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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2013 :  22:58:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Careful not to insult Watson.

But what is a better way of turning Co2 into something more innocuous? At least if you turn it into fuel, you have the option of using that fuel in a crisis. If you use Nuclear power (assuming clean disposal and no catastrophes) it seems like it would have a good effect on the environment while that fuel remains in storage.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2013 :  00:11:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Careful not to insult Watson.
I fail to see it as an insult, considering that she thinks the idea is ridiculous. It's more a "let's pretend she said the opposite of what she just said" thing. That stopped being clever in second grade, didn't it?

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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2013 :  01:33:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah. Dr. Mabuse has a kind of 2nd grade quality to most of his posts, though. You should be used to it by now.

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2013 :  05:01:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Yeah. Dr. Mabuse has a kind of 2nd grade quality to most of his posts, though. You should be used to it by now.
Is there a point to be found here?

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2013 :  05:58:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Careful not to insult Watson.

But what is a better way of turning Co2 into something more innocuous? At least if you turn it into fuel, you have the option of using that fuel in a crisis. If you use Nuclear power (assuming clean disposal and no catastrophes) it seems like it would have a good effect on the environment while that fuel remains in storage.


When we burn stuff it tends to break-up the less stable molecules and reform them into more stable ones. To reverse the process takes vastly more energy in most cases.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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On fire for Christ
SFN Regular

Saudi Arabia
1266 Posts

Posted - 02/05/2013 :  18:24:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send On fire for Christ a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf



When we burn stuff it tends to break-up the less stable molecules and reform them into more stable ones. To reverse the process takes vastly more energy in most cases.


Yeah no shit. However my point was that you can use renewable energy to turn CO2 into fuel at a cost, but with net-negative carbon emission provided you don't burn that fuel.

Edited by - On fire for Christ on 02/05/2013 18:27:08
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  06:36:55   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by On fire for Christ

Originally posted by BigPapaSmurf



When we burn stuff it tends to break-up the less stable molecules and reform them into more stable ones. To reverse the process takes vastly more energy in most cases.


Yeah no shit. However my point was that you can use renewable energy to turn CO2 into fuel at a cost, but with net-negative carbon emission provided you don't burn that fuel.


So why are you bothering to turn it into fuel if there is no intention to burn it? CO2 scrubbing/storage is far simpler than re-fuel-o-fying. My point being, if we have so much renewable that we can waste it on this, we won't need the "stored for emergencies" synthofuel.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
Edited by - BigPapaSmurf on 02/06/2013 06:39:35
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  12:19:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Most people, unlike Watson, knows there are no leprechauns.
Seriously?
Not seriously. Irony or sarcasm... I haven't decided yet.

Steven Novella's proposal is in the realm of practical possibility. Even though his area of expertise isn't physics or engineering, he nailed it as the most ridiculous thing in the world to do. Not because the suggestion was not impossible from an engineering standpoint, but from a purely economical view point because it is a blatant waste of energy which could be put to more practical use (as in making more work in reducing fossil CO2 if put to use elsewhere).

If Rebecca Watson had said: "To be fair, the most ridiculous thing you could suggest to do would be to gather up leprechauns and burn those for energy."
I could agree that such a suggestion would have been more ridiculous. But that misses the point. Everyone (that matters) knows leprechauns don't exist. They belong in fantasy land. So does Rebecca's suggestion of what is ridiculous.

Rebecca Watson's expertise is in media and communication. What she has communicated to me is that she's ignorant in physics and engineering to the point where she can't distinguish between an impractical (yet possible) idea and a fairy-tale, and that she'd rather over-do her comment than let Novella keep the score for the point he made.
In golf terms, Novella aced it and she hit way out-of-bounds trying to do better. Or playing in another ball park.

She may be very good within her own field, but how aware is she about her own blind spots?

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26012 Posts

Posted - 02/06/2013 :  14:43:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Not seriously. Irony or sarcasm... I haven't decided yet.

Steven Novella's proposal is in the realm of practical possibility. Even though his area of expertise isn't physics or engineering, he nailed it as the most ridiculous thing in the world to do. Not because the suggestion was not impossible from an engineering standpoint, but from a purely economical view point because it is a blatant waste of energy which could be put to more practical use (as in making more work in reducing fossil CO2 if put to use elsewhere).

If Rebecca Watson had said: "To be fair, the most ridiculous thing you could suggest to do would be to gather up leprechauns and burn those for energy."
I could agree that such a suggestion would have been more ridiculous. But that misses the point. Everyone (that matters) knows leprechauns don't exist. They belong in fantasy land. So does Rebecca's suggestion of what is ridiculous.

Rebecca Watson's expertise is in media and communication. What she has communicated to me is that she's ignorant in physics and engineering to the point where she can't distinguish between an impractical (yet possible) idea and a fairy-tale, and that she'd rather over-do her comment than let Novella keep the score for the point he made.
In golf terms, Novella aced it and she hit way out-of-bounds trying to do better. Or playing in another ball park.

She may be very good within her own field, but how aware is she about her own blind spots?
I hope the above is also irony or sarcasm, and not what it appears to be: a raging personal disdain for Rebecca Watson. You're criticizing her word choice in her obvious joke. You're turning their long-standing friendship into her playing a game of one-upsmanship. You're (hopefully not) seriously claiming that she can't distinguish the possible from fairy tales based on a one-liner intended to be humorous. You're actually concerned about her ability for self-criticism due to a single sentence.

Is shitting all over Watson for making a joke with her podcast co-host three years ago how you intended to come across, because that's what you're communicating to me.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9677 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2013 :  10:50:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What I should have been more explicit in communicating is that I'm indifferent.

Some time around 2007 I realised that I didn't find her intellectually stimulating enough to be bothered with. Ever since then I've barely noticed when her name was being passed around. It wasn't really until Elevator-gate it got big enough to get my attention, and the resulting train-wreck was obviously not the optimal situation to get noticed.

I didn't go out of my way to find the source of the quote I copied from ThorGoLucky. I just read it at face value and missed the humorous angle of a joke which was too subtle for me to get. I could have researched The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe but I just felt too... indifferent to care.

Sorry, but I have more important stuff on my mind.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
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