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Old Jul 28, 2012, 09:17 PM
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Bacterial production of methane using electric power.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0727144534.htm

This is about bacteria which convert CO2 to methane using electric current for power. One of the major problems, I think, with alternative energy is that of storing the collected energy until needed. The idea here is to do wind power, or solar, or whatever, when it will work, and use the electricity to generate methane. The methane can then be collected and stored until needed.

This has some similarity to the 1970s idea of using remote hydropower to generate hydrogen by electrolysis, and then trucking cylinders of hydrogen to where it could be used. This would be an alternative to building long distance transmission lines over difficult terrain.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 09:27 PM
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Don't we run into one of those pesky laws of thermodynamics along the way?
Can't get more out than we put in and can't break even.
Just asking.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 09:50 PM
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All these energy schemes go no where now and in the future. They just don't work!!

Turns out we have energy in the US that's just now being tapped. I'm an agnostic when it comes to religion, sitting on the fence. But every once in while something happens that just by pure chance saves our bacon. Or is it chance? Sure makes me think.

When humans started to assume a critical mass they needed easy energy. They picked up a shovel and dug up coal. That gave us cheap Steel and electricity. Next up with coal making a mess and running out we now had developed good steel for drilling and tapped into the oil supplies. Then easy oil was running low so we have discovered gas at 3000 feet in amounts so huge here and all over the world that energy will be no problem for 100 years or more. Nukes are dead. No need for them.

That puts the US back in the game.

There is no way to beat concentrated cheap energy with wind ,solar or any other crazy idea. Inventors still can't make a decent battery that will store energy on a per lb basis anything close to oil or gas. The periodic tables just about proves in can't be done. Batteries suck.

It will take 10 years or so for gas to come on line but it will happen and the energy problem solved for many more years. Funny how things work out.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufcut View Post
Don't we run into one of those pesky laws of thermodynamics along the way?
Can't get more out than we put in and can't break even.
Just asking.
...was my first thought.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 11:04 PM
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Perhaps if we gathered all the politicians from all over the world and put them in Carlsbad caverns and call the meeting to order, enough methane could be generated to run the world. Of course we have to feed them or maybe they could just eat each other.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 11:18 PM
AustinTatious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron 1 View Post
All these energy schemes go no where now and in the future. They just don't work!!

Turns out we have energy in the US that's just now being tapped. I'm an agnostic when it comes to religion, sitting on the fence. But every once in while something happens that just by pure chance saves our bacon. Or is it chance? Sure makes me think.

When humans started to assume a critical mass they needed easy energy. They picked up a shovel and dug up coal. That gave us cheap Steel and electricity. Next up with coal making a mess and running out we now had developed good steel for drilling and tapped into the oil supplies. Then easy oil was running low so we have discovered gas at 3000 feet in amounts so huge here and all over the world that energy will be no problem for 100 years or more. Nukes are dead. No need for them.

That puts the US back in the game.

There is no way to beat concentrated cheap energy with wind ,solar or any other crazy idea. Inventors still can't make a decent battery that will store energy on a per lb basis anything close to oil or gas. The periodic tables just about proves in can't be done. Batteries suck.

It will take 10 years or so for gas to come on line but it will happen and the energy problem solved for many more years. Funny how things work out.
not completely true... and I think you are way off on nuclear power.... YouTube LFTR and you will see a video titled LFTR in 5 min ... it's 2 hours long but a great watch. you will learn LOADS about nuke power.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufcut View Post
Don't we run into one of those pesky laws of thermodynamics along the way?
Can't get more out than we put in and can't break even.
Just asking.
I don't believe the point is to get out as much as is put in. I understand this is a buffer storage system to bridge the gap between times of high production/low consumption and vice versa, accepting the inevitable losses in the conversion process. That said, I believe there already are more efficient processes to do it.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 12:55 AM
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Originally Posted by jkettu View Post
I don't believe the point is to get out as much as is put in. I understand this is a buffer storage system to bridge the gap between times of high production/low consumption and vice versa, accepting the inevitable losses in the conversion process. That said, I believe there already are more efficient processes to do it.
This is correct. On the issue of efficiency, there are all sorts of more efficient ways to store energy - but the issue of storing the massive quantities required for periodic alternative sources like wind and solar - is not mainly efficiency (after all, in some sense the energy source is "free") - the main limitation today is scalability.

Batteries are impractical to build in the storage required, pumped hydro or compressed gas is limited by geography and scale, flywheeels, known chemical reactions.... so far there is no practical known method.

So this is a possible solution - energy storage in chemical reactions is very dense, methane is easy to store (massively scalable) and easy to use in conventional power plants - if it works it would have many advantages.
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