02 February 2006

Independence

From Instapundit,
a detailed article covering a subject we have discussed here in the past..........alcohol as a motor fuel. The article also discusses why hydrogen is NOT the resolution to our energy problem.

Go here and review........
I'm extremely interested in this subject, so you'll see more discussion later.

The big question:
How do we get enough "OOMPF" out of alcohol to power aircraft engines?

3 comments:

John said...

I don't know the answers to these questions, but it reminds me of something funny that happened last week.

I was swapped into a different Caravan and noticed immediately that the interior smelled like French fries or potato chips or some other fried food. Even the freight handlers noticed it and started calling my aircraft "the French fry plane."

I tried to tell them that my employer was testing new technology - Bio-JetA!

;-)

Greybeard said...

I meant to ask, John...
Is the cute dog yours?
Put a white flyin' scarf on him/her!

Infinitegtr said...

Since I never met the dog, I will get right to the topic at hand...

I was looking for my own answer about coal oil from the conversation started over at Unusual Attitude, when I happened upon another fact I had forgotten from my heady days as an undergrad. Current oil production techniques rely on a certain amount of base pressure (this is oversimplifying and I am in way over my head here) that forces crude to the surface. Once that base pressure, what, equalizes (?), then then oil won't come up through the well and into the trunk of my car by itself.

The result is that approximately 1/3 of the oil is obtained, and the rest is left in the ground. I think that the number that is bandied around, about only having 40 years left of proven reserves, actually refers to just the 1/3 that is easily obtainable.

There are "secondary methods" that are already being commonly used by smaller, independent drillers. I think (Texas is ashamed to claim me tonight) that this includes frac pumping, salt water injection, and some other process using the roughneck equivalent of bubble bath that the oil clings to and is sucked up by a pump. These secondary methods result in additional cost, and reduced efficiency, and are only justified in times of high oil prices.

There is a lot of activity in Texas now, all the way from independent drillers re-working old wells, or drilling shallow wells (7,000 feet or less), to big boys like BP that are looking again at previously ignored areas.

Two weeks ago, I read an article that Texas does not have enough experienced oil and gas lawyers. Nothing spells crisis like shortage of attorneys...

BTW, I was right about the coal oil thing. Nazi's did it (aka coal liquification)when they got squeezed out of oil fields/refineries. I didn't think to look to see if they were able to power their aircraft with coal oil though...

Mikey can attest to the fact that, even though alcohol might not power aircraft yet, it can dang sure get the runway lights turned on at the Portales Municipal Airport and Bait & Tackle shop....