[ExI] Oil will never run out

hkhenson hkhenson at rogers.com
Sat Jun 28 21:22:50 UTC 2008

At 10:02 AM 6/28/2008, Kevin wrote:


>So the price of the gas could be related to the price of electricity 
>and NOT based on the amount of oil in the ground. So the solution 
>here is more cheap electricity which I think is a much simpler 
>solution than developing an entirely new infrastructure to support 
>new technologies for transportation.

That's what I have been talking about here for months.  But making 
huge amounts of cheap electricity is not a small problem.  Even if 
the cost per kWh is low, setting up to manufacture (for example) 
space based solar power plants is on a par with the Iraq war.

>Here's some links to efforts that are up and coming...
>Gasoline from cattle dung.... Hope my car doesn't run like crap!
>There are a lot of companies working on this and I think it's just a 
>matter of time before it happens. And it's not 10, 20, or 30 years 
>into the future. It's a few years away. By 2039 when some suggest 
>we'll be out of oil, people most companies won't want to waste the 
>money it costs to drill, pump, transport, and refine the "real" stuff.
>No doubt the development costs will keep these people from releasing 
>their gen en bacteria to the general population for my "open source 
>gas factories" but never underestimate the the ingenuity of human 
>beings. Espionage, the balck market for trade secrets and other such 
>things will cause this little germ to eventually venture out into 
>the world. Trade Secrets tend not to remain trade secrets for very 
>long. I do hope they make their money back and a decent profit 
>before this happens though.

The energy problem is dominated not be trade secrets, but by hard 
chemical and physical laws.  Oil is energy dense.  In the best cases 
it takes little processing before you can use it for transportation 
fuel.  I know about this, not only from studying chemistry since 
junior high school, but from having worked in a refinery that 
processed several percent of the oil the US was using around 1980.

Take that 400 ton per day trash to energy plant.  How much does 480 
MWh amount to in gasoline?  There is about 38 kWh in a gallon of 
gasoline.  At 100% you could make 480,000/38 or about 12,600 gallons 
a day.  That's enough for a 15 gallon fill up for 840 people every 
day.  Because there are about 840,000 people in Ottawa you could get 
one fill up per person about every 3 years.

Another way to look at it is US gasoline consumption of 386 million 
gallons a day.  386,000,000/12,600 is around 30,000.  At 400 tons per 
day, these plants would process about 4,500 million tons of waste a 
year--which is about 18 times the trash we actually generate.

I hope these numbers gives you a feel for the scale of the energy problem.


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