[extropy-chat] Gasoline machine

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Mon Apr 23 08:29:44 UTC 2007

On Mon, Apr 23, 2007 at 01:43:23AM -0400, Keith Henson wrote:

> The question is . . . given the kinds of automation you can get with 
> microprocessors and what we now know about chemical processing, is a gadget 
> that converted household waste into a liquid fuel (such as ethanol) 

Automation doesn't help you to do Fischer-Tropsch or pyrolysis small-scale
one bit. During WWII many cars were run on gas generator trailers, which took wood
chips, though.

Your main difficulties are a) solid educts b) high pressure/temperature in a small
volume c) catalyst tarring. I would frankly forget it. 

So if it's wood, I would just use it for heating purposes.

> possible?  The production need not be all that high since it wouldn't be 
> that easy for most people to round up the 100 pounds of carbon a week that 
> would be needed for 20 gallons of fuel.  I know.  Heated with wood this 
> last winter and burned tons of wood.

I think what would work is a direct methane oxidation plant, ran from
natural gas.
> Still, such a thing, if it could be built, would be saving a person $3000 a 
> year at current prices.  Given slightly more than a 3 year payback, it 
> could be sold for $10,000.
> I realize that there are few if any chemists in this crowd, so suggestions 

How do you know how many chemists are present? 

> as to where I should take this discussion would also be welcome.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
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