The Simple Math of CO2 Reduction

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Message 1064630 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 13:55:44 UTC - in response to Message 1064622.  

I have a question about hydrogen powered cars. Since the byproduct is water, what happens in cold climates? It seems the first car would be fine, but lay down an ice slick for those that follow, which would accumulate when every additional hydrogen vehicle passed by. Is there some sort of collection tank that is heated so it won't become solid? I have visions of a snow cannon on a ski slope.

I have not read every post, but the discussion of the various topics is very interesting.

Steve


As soft^spirit said, in a hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine, the water produced (2 H2 + O2 -> 2 H2O + heat) would be in the vapor phase. Not that different from a current petroleum powered internal combustion engine (for an 8-carbon hydrocarbon molecule, 2 C8H18 + 25 O2 -> 18 H2O + 16 CO2 + heat) except for the CO2.

As far as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle goes, the water would likely collect as a liquid in a tank of sorts. Like other water tanks on cars today, I presume there would be some mechanism to prevent it from freezing. What form that protective mechanism would take would be up to the designer of the car.
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Message 1064633 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 14:22:47 UTC - in response to Message 1064614.  

hydrogen probably deserves its own thread. One of the most difficult uses is direct fuel for transportation. There could be great merit for on site storage of energy.


Yes, for a fixed installation, hydrogen would have some utility as an energy storage mechanism, assuming it could be pressurized and liquified easily and efficiently. Since it would be a fixed location, the better (denser) tank materials could be used to cut down on leakage (though it wouldn't be completely eliminated).

For instance, at a solar-electric facility. One problem with them is that they only generate during the day. However, by using part of their output during the day, water could be cracked into hydrogen and oxygen, the hydrogen collected and stored. Then run back through a fuel cell at night to produce electricity. A sort of hydrogen 'battery', if you will. Wouldn't be very efficient, but it would tend to even things out over the 24 hour daily solar cycle. A little. It would likely make more sense to use something else... another alternative... to produce the electricity when the sun isn't up, or isn't bright enough due to things like cloud cover.

Hydrogen only really makes sense when nothing else works in that situtation and the hydrogen is already available. For instance, fuel-cell technology is used on some spacecraft for in-flight electricity. Since these spacecraft (think space shuttle) tend to already have the liquid H2 and O2 on hand, it makes sense there. In cars? Not so much.
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Message 1064645 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 15:51:22 UTC - in response to Message 1064630.  

As far as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle goes, the water would likely collect as a liquid in a tank of sorts. Like other water tanks on cars today, I presume there would be some mechanism to prevent it from freezing. What form that protective mechanism would take would be up to the designer of the car.

Fuel cell eats hydrogen and oxygen. It makes water. The water just gets dumped. Water is cheap.

The issue is how to get the hydrogen and oxygen. Today that is by electrolysis powered by a coal fired electric generating station.

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Message 1064659 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 16:20:57 UTC - in response to Message 1064645.  

As far as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle goes, the water would likely collect as a liquid in a tank of sorts. Like other water tanks on cars today, I presume there would be some mechanism to prevent it from freezing. What form that protective mechanism would take would be up to the designer of the car.

Fuel cell eats hydrogen and oxygen. It makes water. The water just gets dumped. Water is cheap.

The issue is how to get the hydrogen and oxygen. Today that is by electrolysis powered by a coal fired electric generating station.


This.. is inaccurate. Most of todays commercial hydrogen is in fact split from natural gas, or heat split as a nuclear byproduct. Electrolysis is not effecient and used primarily in labs when purity of the hydrogen is vital, although its potential from alternative energy sources is being explored commercially.

Electrolysis from coal fired plants is just plain incorrect.
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Message 1064671 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 16:38:13 UTC - in response to Message 1064645.  
Last modified: 8 Jan 2011, 16:47:00 UTC

As far as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicle goes, the water would likely collect as a liquid in a tank of sorts. Like other water tanks on cars today, I presume there would be some mechanism to prevent it from freezing. What form that protective mechanism would take would be up to the designer of the car.

Fuel cell eats hydrogen and oxygen. It makes water. The water just gets dumped. Water is cheap.

The issue is how to get the hydrogen and oxygen. Today that is by electrolysis powered by a coal fired electric generating station.


Of course, the water would get dumped. The poster I was replying to had a question about it being dumped on the road surface during freezing weather might be creating a safety hazard. It would be very easy to avoid dumping it thus.

How to get the hydrogen? The method you state is just about the cheapest and easiest method to set up on a small scale (but its not really commercially viable), but its far from the only method today. But, no matter which method used, it takes energy to produce the hydrogen. Hydrogen gas (H2) doesn't really occur in nature on earth. It is virtually always already combined with something else in the environment we live in.

It takes just as much energy to separate it from, for instance, the oxygen in water as you get back by recombining it with the oxygen in say, a fuel cell. And that is at theoretical (but not possible in practice) 100% efficiency. There is always going to be some energy losses in a system, no matter what.

To use electricity to produce hydrogen to use in a fuel cell to make electricity to power a vehicle will NEVER be as efficient as just using the same amount of electricity to power the vehicle directly. And to use the hydrogen to burn in an internal combustion engine is even MORE inefficient.

While there might be a small amount of utility in using hydrogen in a fuel cell under certain limited circumstances, it most cases (including powering vehicles for our transportation needs here on earth's surface) it would be a net loss.

Now some of these methods for producing hydrogen are rather important, it would not be for power purposes. Hydrogen is important in several industrial processes. From a CO2 standpoint, it would be better to crack water for the hydrogen used by industry today, rather than cracking natural gas (CH4) for it as is commonly done today.
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Message 1064757 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 21:14:18 UTC

It is simple. Numbers lie. Gorebal warming is a lie.

Lots of "you are incorrect" and "your math is wrong" stated here.

Is whatever "cycle" we are in, for whatever reasons, enhanced to the bad by humans? As far as Gorebal warming? No.

Do humans effect weather? No. On a Global Scale to create catastrophe? No.

Do I have numbers to back up the above statements? No. If I did, they would lie also.

Simple.

iWorm 'em.
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Message 1064758 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 21:19:59 UTC - in response to Message 1064757.  

... Do I have numbers to back up the above statements? No. If I did, they would lie also.

Simple. ...


So you live your own lie.


Gee. Ain't it simple to be ignorant and a liar!


It's ALL our only planet...
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Message 1064795 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 23:16:44 UTC - in response to Message 1064659.  

or heat split as a nuclear byproduct.

Going for another Three Mile Island?

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Message 1064796 - Posted: 8 Jan 2011, 23:19:19 UTC

let the nukes fly, reduce the world population down to 370 million, all will be well

:)
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Message 1064814 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 0:51:34 UTC - in response to Message 1064757.  

It is simple. Numbers lie. Gorebal warming is a lie.

Lots of "you are incorrect" and "your math is wrong" stated here.

Is whatever "cycle" we are in, for whatever reasons, enhanced to the bad by humans? As far as Gorebal warming? No.

Do humans effect weather? No. On a Global Scale to create catastrophe? No.

Do I have numbers to back up the above statements? No. If I did, they would lie also.

Simple.

iWorm 'em.


Demonstratively false. Humans DO have an affect on weather. Example: The temperature in cities is frequently warmer than in the surrounding countryside, due to the heat retention characteristics of the pavement.

Weather, however, does not equate to climate. They are not the same thing.



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Message 1064818 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 1:17:28 UTC - in response to Message 1064796.  

let the nukes fly, reduce the world population down to 370 million, all will be well

:)


Sadly, between that and a world wide nuclear winter, that might work. But my RAC might suffer.
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Message 1064822 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 1:35:14 UTC - in response to Message 1064814.  

Demonstratively false. Humans DO have an affect on weather. Example: The temperature in cities is frequently warmer than in the surrounding countryside, due to the heat retention characteristics of the pavement.

Weather, however, does not equate to climate. They are not the same thing.

Except in Las Vegas where the number of golf courses and water fountains has reduced the summer temperature.

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Message 1064839 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 2:35:25 UTC - in response to Message 1064541.  
Last modified: 9 Jan 2011, 2:41:19 UTC

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?


Variance due to the sun cycles (and orbital cycles) are small compared to the effect of "greenhouse gasses". (Yes, we know in the strict sense the analogy is wrong, it's more metaphorical, it's just one of those soundbites things!)

The major greenhouse gas is water vapour. However...

Water vapour doesn't stay in the atmosphere for long, no more than a few days at most, before... It rains out! Hence the level of water vapour is itself controlled by the average temperature which is itself controlled by the long lived greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane that stay in the atmosphere for many years.

The water vapour acts as an amplifier to all the other greenhouse gasses that hang around. A bit like you applying a tenth of a pound of foot pedal force on the gas pedal of your car to get a lot more force to propel you forwards...


It's our only planet.
Martin


Martin,

You forget that while water vapor is a greenhouse gas in one sense, in other senses, it acts as a cooling agent. More water vapor in the air equals more clouds, which reflects solar input back off into space. But even there, it also acts as a warming agent, reflecting heat from the ground back to the ground.

The action of water vapor in the atmosphere is a complicated subject. It has both warming and cooling effects. The net isn't much in either direction.

clouds cool? lets talk Venus then.

And as far as the oceans and water absorbing CO2, we've been dealing with that since before CLinton was President. THey've dumped tons of lime into freshwater lakes in America to keep the pH from going to low. The Oceans wouldnt be storing the gas as carbonic acid. though the thought of the Oceans being bubbly may make Perrier happy the fish certainly wouldnt be. The idea is to dump Iron powder through the oceans which would encourage photosynthetic algae to absorb more CO2 and give off O2... Pretty much the opposite that American farmers do to the Mississippi delta every year when their industrial strength fertilizers hit the gulf of Mexico causing massive plankton blooms that sufficate other sea life in the area.


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Message 1064843 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 2:47:37 UTC - in response to Message 1064822.  

Demonstratively false. Humans DO have an affect on weather. Example: The temperature in cities is frequently warmer than in the surrounding countryside, due to the heat retention characteristics of the pavement.

Weather, however, does not equate to climate. They are not the same thing.

Except in Las Vegas where the number of golf courses and water fountains has reduced the summer temperature.

not really its just increased the humidity just like here in Texas. We get more humidity overnight than during the day. Why because the slightly cooler air in the texas summer will hold the moisture without it being "burnt off" No real cooling occurs because the water in lakes is very warm and any sprinkling is usually done at times to reduce evaporation. the plain fact is when that during the summer months pavement retains its heat so well that the pavement is actually warmer than the air temperature in the mornings. This makes the heating problem worse in desert cities because the summer daytime heat doesnt get bled into the atmosphere because the Water vapor basically holds the heat in


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Message 1064853 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 3:49:29 UTC - in response to Message 1064822.  

Demonstratively false. Humans DO have an affect on weather. Example: The temperature in cities is frequently warmer than in the surrounding countryside, due to the heat retention characteristics of the pavement.

Weather, however, does not equate to climate. They are not the same thing.

Except in Las Vegas where the number of golf courses and water fountains has reduced the summer temperature.


ROFL. That is true enough.
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Message 1064855 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 4:37:08 UTC - in response to Message 1064839.  

Are we in some kind of a sun output cycle ? If so where are we in the cycle?
How does the concentration of CO-2 compare to the concentration of water vapor in the Atmosphere?


Variance due to the sun cycles (and orbital cycles) are small compared to the effect of "greenhouse gasses". (Yes, we know in the strict sense the analogy is wrong, it's more metaphorical, it's just one of those soundbites things!)

The major greenhouse gas is water vapour. However...

Water vapour doesn't stay in the atmosphere for long, no more than a few days at most, before... It rains out! Hence the level of water vapour is itself controlled by the average temperature which is itself controlled by the long lived greenhouse gasses such as CO2 and methane that stay in the atmosphere for many years.

The water vapour acts as an amplifier to all the other greenhouse gasses that hang around. A bit like you applying a tenth of a pound of foot pedal force on the gas pedal of your car to get a lot more force to propel you forwards...


It's our only planet.
Martin


Martin,

You forget that while water vapor is a greenhouse gas in one sense, in other senses, it acts as a cooling agent. More water vapor in the air equals more clouds, which reflects solar input back off into space. But even there, it also acts as a warming agent, reflecting heat from the ground back to the ground.

The action of water vapor in the atmosphere is a complicated subject. It has both warming and cooling effects. The net isn't much in either direction.

clouds cool? lets talk Venus then.

And as far as the oceans and water absorbing CO2, we've been dealing with that since before CLinton was President. THey've dumped tons of lime into freshwater lakes in America to keep the pH from going to low. The Oceans wouldnt be storing the gas as carbonic acid. though the thought of the Oceans being bubbly may make Perrier happy the fish certainly wouldnt be. The idea is to dump Iron powder through the oceans which would encourage photosynthetic algae to absorb more CO2 and give off O2... Pretty much the opposite that American farmers do to the Mississippi delta every year when their industrial strength fertilizers hit the gulf of Mexico causing massive plankton blooms that sufficate other sea life in the area.


As I said in what you quoted, clouds have both warming and cooling effects.

The dumping of lime (and other basic compounds) into lakes was more to combat 'acid rain' than CO2 issues. With acid rain, various nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides present in factory emissions interacted with the water in the atmosphere forming rather strong acids (nitric/nitrous/sulfuric/sulfurous) which then lowered the pH of the ground water. Same general principle, just different culprit.

Just as those nasty acids lowered the pH of the water, so then does CO2 lower the pH of water when it dissolves in it, this time forming carbonic acid.

The culprit 'pollutant' exists in solution in equilibrium with its 'acid' form. Carbonated water (a solution of carbonic acid in water) fizzes when the container (soda can or bottle, for instance) is opened because the partial pressure of the CO2 form in the water is suddenly greater than the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmospheric environment due to the sudden release of the pressure, therefore much of the CO2 violently leaves solution as the two partial pressures tend back towards equilibrium.

This is why CO2 dissolving in the oceans (and other water on the surface) cannot be considered a 'true' carbon sink. It won't stay there. Now the oceans won't fizz, because the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere won't change rapidly enough to cause fizzing, but that doesn't mean that the water doesn't still contain enough of a concentration of carbonic acid to begin to cause problems.

The 'Iron powder dumping into the ocean' experiment did not have the effects the scientists & other people involved thought it would. It didn't work.

The die-offs in the Gulf due to fertilizers are not *directly* due to the algae blooms themselves, but instead to the blooms' after-effects. As all the excess algae dies, it decomposes, and THAT is what consumes the dissolved oxygen, which suffocates the fish, etc.

Sounds to me like you would benefit from studying some more chemistry, physics, and biology.
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Message 1064968 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 15:49:22 UTC - in response to Message 1064855.  

actually Iron seeding does work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_fertilization

though controversial it seems that the primordial earth went through this phase. The atmosphere was primarily CO2 and very little life was around. the oceans were loaded with iron. the first Algaes used the iron and over millions and millions of years they brought the Earth to where O2 levels were Much Higher than even today. So its not overly far fetched to consider reseeding he oceans to get algae to do what it does best and very qiuckly, use CO2 and create O2.

The gulf die offs were not from Algae but Plankton. there is a major difference here. You'll not algae are simple plants. the use photosynthesis to respire.

Plankton on the other hand is a simple "animal" it uses Oxygen to breath and releases CO2. Farm runoff creates blooms of Plankton not algae. the plankton sufficate the other animals in the general area because it uses all the available O2. THus the animal die off. another fun part of the plankton blooms is that it kills itself and depending on the bloom can release additional toxins into the ocean killing anything that swims into the bloom


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Message 1064977 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 16:40:40 UTC - in response to Message 1064855.  

... The culprit 'pollutant' exists in solution in equilibrium with its 'acid' form. Carbonated water (a solution of carbonic acid in water) fizzes when the container (soda can or bottle, for instance) is opened...

This is why CO2 dissolving in the oceans (and other water on the surface) cannot be considered a 'true' carbon sink. It won't stay there. Now the oceans won't fizz, because the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere won't change rapidly enough to cause fizzing,


Explain that to the thousands killed around certain CO2 laden lakes in Africa... You've neglected the dependence on temperature and also that water moves. Heavily CO2 laden deep water has been disturbed to then cause a violent heave to then suddenly release CO2 as the water and CO2 surges upwards. More of the CO2 is released as the saturated (fizzy) water is carried further upwards. People nearby have then suffocated.


but that doesn't mean that the water doesn't still contain enough of a concentration of carbonic acid to begin to cause problems.


Indeed so. Also, the very rapid rate of change produces extinctions rather than 'gentle' evolution.


The 'Iron powder dumping into the ocean' experiment did not have the effects the scientists & other people involved thought it would. It didn't work.


It worked, but not usefully as intended.


The die-offs in the Gulf due to fertilizers are not *directly* due to the algae blooms themselves, but instead to the blooms' after-effects. As all the excess algae dies, it decomposes, and THAT is what consumes the dissolved oxygen, which suffocates the fish, etc.


Don't confuse algae and plankton and krill...


The real world experiments done so far demonstrate that we must be extremely careful and cautious before trying any "geo-engineering" remedies...


But wait... Are we not already deep into experimental (or blind) worldwide geo-engineering with all the various world-wide pollution being spewed out of industry and farming?


It's our only planet,
Martin

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Message 1064986 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 17:27:51 UTC - in response to Message 1064843.  

Demonstratively false. Humans DO have an affect on weather. Example: The temperature in cities is frequently warmer than in the surrounding countryside, due to the heat retention characteristics of the pavement.

Weather, however, does not equate to climate. They are not the same thing.

Except in Las Vegas where the number of golf courses and water fountains has reduced the summer temperature.

not really its just increased the humidity just like here in Texas. We get more humidity overnight than during the day. Why because the slightly cooler air in the texas summer will hold the moisture without it being "burnt off" No real cooling occurs because the water in lakes is very warm and any sprinkling is usually done at times to reduce evaporation. the plain fact is when that during the summer months pavement retains its heat so well that the pavement is actually warmer than the air temperature in the mornings. This makes the heating problem worse in desert cities because the summer daytime heat doesnt get bled into the atmosphere because the Water vapor basically holds the heat in

Read the literature. Look up transpiration. Look up heat of vaporization. How many miles from Las Vegas to Death Valley? Look up the character of the soil in the Las Vegas Valley and compare it to concrete and asphalt. The world at large doesn't always work the same way as Texas.

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Message 1064988 - Posted: 9 Jan 2011, 17:31:35 UTC - in response to Message 1064977.  

... The culprit 'pollutant' exists in solution in equilibrium with its 'acid' form. Carbonated water (a solution of carbonic acid in water) fizzes when the container (soda can or bottle, for instance) is opened...

This is why CO2 dissolving in the oceans (and other water on the surface) cannot be considered a 'true' carbon sink. It won't stay there. Now the oceans won't fizz, because the partial pressure of the CO2 in the atmosphere won't change rapidly enough to cause fizzing,


Explain that to the thousands killed around certain CO2 laden lakes in Africa...

Could those "certain CO2 laden lakes in Africa" be kind of like http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs172-96/?
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