[extropy-chat] give 'em boundless wealth in the form of nuclear power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Oct 23 21:09:27 UTC 2005

On Sun, Oct 23, 2005 at 01:46:42PM -0700, Damien Sullivan wrote:

> That's what I figured.  OTOH, hydrocarbons are a proven energy storage and

Absolutely. If there was a methanol spigot in every tree we'd have it made.
Unfortunately, it's a long, dirty cycle from agriculture to the power socket
in the wall.

> transfer mechanism, with lots of infrastructure; being able to make them (or

Actually the infrastructure need adaptation in most cases: even if your
engine is specced for biodieses the air conditioning unit probably isn't,
and will break down quite soon (I know, I was also surprised when I learned

> alcohols) for transportation may still make sense.

If we're going to a photovoltaics power grid (small produces/consumers,
weakly locally coupled) then long-distance transport ceases. Gases are
actually quite easy to transport, and domestic natural gas lines would
have no issues with going hydrogen (or feeding the methane reformer
in the cellar in the first approximation).
> > idiotic. Much easier is to rely on plant fixation as biomass, but
> See, that's an answer: plants are much better at it than we are.

But plants don't plow, sow, fertilize, harvest, transport and process
themselves. That's the huge, hairy, buzzing fly in the ointment. Soil
nonsustainability and water table pollution are nasty issues already. 
> Though the 40% CO2->methanol process didn't sound bad.

Superficially, yes. But it starts with pure, compressed CO2. This
is something one would do on Mars.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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