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Old 07-04-2005, 04:47 AM   #1
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Ethanol, a cleaner burning fuel?

One of the products of burning fossil fuel is CO2, a "greenhouse gas" thought to contribute to global warming. Probably the wrong forum for this, but it's semi-fish related and it's 3:30 AM so bear with me. I'm still researching that DIY CO2 project, and was thinking about the products of fermentation--ethanol and CO2. Then I got to thinking, isn't ethanol touted by environmentalists as a "cleaner burning fuel"? So I got sidetracked and started looking up ethanol production methods. It seems that ethanol itself may be cleaner burning, but in order to produce that ethanol, a lot of CO2 is created. There is also CO2 created when it is burned. I find myself wondering if the net amount of CO2 released is comparable to burning gasoline.

OK, back to my research now, enough procrastination.
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Old 07-04-2005, 01:58 PM   #2
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I think cleaner refers to less NOx, complex carbons, and all that other good stuff that causes smog.

Either way, you bring up a good point. Electric cars are great, but the power has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere is a power plant. While a power plant puts out a ton of polution, it is much less proportionally to what that many cars would put out. It is also concentrated into one area so things like scrubbers can be attached to the smokes stacks to reduce pollution, as opposed to cars which will spread the pollution around as they drive.
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Old 07-05-2005, 09:43 AM   #3
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Fuel cells will save the day. Assuming they eventually become cheap enough to actually buy and proliferant enough that you can fill up without driving 100 miles to do so.
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Old 07-05-2005, 01:25 PM   #4
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Remember that the end product of most fuel cells being developed right now is water vapor - another greenhouse gas !

Also, the hydrogen source would still be from hydrocarbons.

There are no free rides!
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Old 07-05-2005, 05:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Fuel cells will save the day. Assuming they eventually become cheap enough to actually buy and proliferant enough that you can fill up without driving 100 miles to do so.
In order to produce enough hydrogen for fuel cells, electricity would need to be used. Some scientists say the process of burning fossil fuels (our primary source of energy) to obtain the hydrogen will release more carbon dioxide than using gas in our cars. Here's some more cons on fuel cells: http://www.popsci.com/popsci/general...927469,00.html
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Old 07-05-2005, 06:56 PM   #6
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Wator vapor condenses out of the atmosphere, co2 doesn't. Water itself is a source of hydrogen that doesn't involve carbon or co2 when you burn it. Water can be seperated with solar power without creating co2.

The problem is using solar power to make hydrogen from water is very slow and inneficient. Also using salt water creates chlorine gas and lye, so supplies of freshwater would become very strained just trying to keep up with current fuel demands.

The biggest slow down I've really seen in putting hydrogen on the road is they are trying to avoid any way of allowing a home owner making thier own hydrogen.
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Old 07-06-2005, 11:14 AM   #7
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Why cant they figure out a way of extracting the carbon.. LOL.. make some fishing rods!! 8O I said that on AA! LOL
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