[Paleopsych] Flexible Fuel Retrofit
Werbos, Dr. Paul J.
paul.werbos at verizon.net
Mon Sep 13 23:28:32 UTC 2004
At 03:28 PM 9/13/2004 -0700, Steve wrote:
>Alternative fuel vehicles are produced by both original equipment
>manufacturers and companies that retrofit existing and new gasoline
>vehicles to run on alternative fuels. Generally, original equipment
>manufacturer vehicles have better performance (including lower emissions
>and improved durability) than retrofit vehicles, because original equipment
>manufacturer vehicles can be optimized with consideration for the special
>attributes of the alternative fuel.
If you search on "retrofit" in the document, you will see that it refers to
gasoline to dedicated LPG or natural gas vehicles. Not to
"GEM" (gasoline/ethanol/methanol) flexibility.
LPG is a limited fuel. Compressed Natural Gas is VERY strongly favored
by natural gas lobbies -- but it is far more expensive either as a new
option or as a retrofit than GEM in new vehicles.
There is a pervasive "chicken and egg" problem in trying to change fuels.
Not so many people would buy dedicated natural gas vehicles today,
in the absence of natural gas in the gas station. And you
can't put natural gas effectively in the same tank as gasoline.
Still, I would propose a new law that would let the consumer choose.
Only those cars which HAVE gasoline tanks and an ability to burn gasoline
would be required to have tanks strong enough to also hold ethanol or methanol,
and engines capable of any mix. That's feasible in 2-4 years (2 if we do it
for ALL new cars.
If GEM flexibility were a fact TODAY all across the US -- the incentive
would build up
to the private sector to supply that alcohol fuel. There are many sources,
and many new technologies. ONCE methanol is available enough...
even in local areas.. it becomes much more realistic to talk about selling
fuel cell vehicles which use methanol as a"hydrogen carrier."
(Small scale efficient converters from methanol to hydrogen have been
proven for decades --
but from gasoline or natural gas, it really does not compute, and DOE has
recently given up
even trying. Losses in storing hydrogen AS HYDROGEN, and in getting
hydrogen to a car nozzle,
far exceed the losses in the small-scale reformers!)
That's our best hope of getting to fuel cell cars before it is too late.
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