Yet Another Energy Discussion


  • mod

    Continuing the discussion from 🎉 The Funny Stuff Thread:

    @Jaloopa said:

    @PJH said:
    taking the carbon out of hydrocarbons before they are burnt

    So leaving hydrogen? Admittedly, that would be a clean fuel

    Really? Tell me, as a greenhouse gas, which has greater potential to influence climate change: CO2 or H2O? (Answer here.)

    Remember that removing the carbon from the hydrocarbons still leaves behind the other impurities as well, like sulfur. So those other pollutants that you get from burning something like natural gas would likely still be there. You could strip those impurities as well, but you're probably already at risk of spending more energy in preprocessing than you will get from burning the hydrogen.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @abarker said:

    you're probably already at risk of spending more energy in preprocessing than you will get from burning the hydrogen

    I was going to mention this in my (joke) reply, but I thought it subtracted from the humour to go too far into it.


  • area_deu

    @abarker said:

    the other impurities

    @abarker said:

    other

    Are you seriously trying to say that carbon is an impurity frequently found in hydro‌carbons?!


  • mod

    @aliceif said:

    Are you seriously trying to say that carbon is an impurity frequently found in hydro‌carbons?!

    If you're removing and sequestering it in the interest of burning the hydrogen as fuel? Yes.



  • Actually it could work quite well.

    Reforming CH4 and H2O to CO and 3H2 (the water gas shift reaction, long used to generate town gas from coke) is exothermic, as is burning CO to CO2. Do both at the wellhead, run gas turbines off the energy liberated, and you can ship the generated electricity and H2 and re-inject the CO2 into the well. CO2 is denser than CH4, so it tends to settle to the bottom of the gas field. This both sequesters the carbon in a structure pretty much guaranteed gasproof (or it wouldn't have retained the CH4 in the first place) and, since every molecule of CH4 generates one replacement molecule of CO2, maintains gasfield pressure, increasing extraction efficiency.

    Edit: oh dear, I am old and confused. CH4 and H2O to CO and 3H2 is steam reforming, not water-gas shift, and is endothermic. Pretty sure the whole process from CH4 to CO2 and H2 is still net exothermic though, as long as atmospheric oxygen rather than water vapor is used for the CO burn step.


  • mod

    @flabdablet said:

    since every molecule of CH4 generates one replacement molecule of CO2, maintains gasfield pressure

    This is the part I have trouble with. Based on the respective densities and molar masses of CO2 and CH4 you can determine that the well pressure will still drop. Using the following values[1],[2]:

                | CH4          | CO2
    ------------+--------------+--------------
    Density     | 0.716 kg/m^3 | 1.977 kg/m^3
    0°C, 1 atm  |              |
    ------------+--------------+--------------
    Molar mass  | 16.04 g/mol  | 44.01 g/mol
    

    Then we can calculate the number of moles per cubic meter:

     CH4                                          | CO2
    ----------------------------------------------+----------------------------------------------
     0.716 kg/m^3 * (16.04 g/mol * 1 kg/1000g)^-1 | 1.977 kg/m^3 * (44.01 g/mol * 1 kg/1000g)^-1
     0.716 kg/m^3 * (0.01604 kg/mol)^-1           | 1.977 kg/m^3 * (0.04401 kg/mol)^-1
     0.716 kg/m^3 * 62.34 mol/kg                  | 1.977 kg/m^3 * 22.72 mol/kg
     44.6 mol/m^3                                 | 44.92 mol/m^3
    

    Based on this, we can see that one mol of CO2 takes up less space than one mol of CH4.

    My point is: mentioning that you get one molecule of CO2 from burning one molecule of CH4 is idiotic. They don't take up the same amount of space! Stop trotting this stupid argument out like it matters!

    Admittedly, injecting the waste CO2 into the well will the pressure from falling as quickly as just pumping the CH4 out, but it isn't a pure replacement system.


  • SockDev

    easy peasy problem to solve! just take atmospheric CO2 and pump it down there to maintain well pressure! problem solved!

    :trolleyb.... actually no. that would work, assuming we could come up with a reasonably energy efficient way of separating the CO2 from the rest of the atmo gasses.... bonus it would remove CO2 from teh atmoshphere, something we could use rather badly right now.



  • @abarker said:

    mentioning that you get one molecule of CO2 from burning one molecule of CH4 is idiotic. They don't take up the same amount of space! Stop trotting this stupid argument out like it matters!

    The ideal gas equation is PV = nRT, where P is pressure, V is volume, n is number of moles, R is the gas constant, and T is temperature. If you hold P and T constant, you can see that V is proportional to n.

    The small (< 1%) moles per cubic metre discrepancy betweeen methane and carbon dioxide in your calculated result follows from neither being a completely ideal gas, but they're close enough. It's not a stupid argument, and your own figures prove it.



  • @accalia said:

    bonus it would remove CO2 from teh atmoshphere, something we could use rather badly right now.

    Unless the sun gets quiet.

    Or Yellowstone explodes.

    I could go on.

    Look, I'm not the type to say we should do nothing, but it is rather funny to watch everyone run around saying what we should do and the the world is doomed, when there are 50 different highly possible scenarios in the next century that we can't do anything about.



  • @accalia said:

    bonus it would remove CO2 from teh atmoshphere, something we could use rather badly right now.

    Sure, starve the plants.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Given the vacuum between us, it is quiet


  • SockDev

    @xaade said:

    Unless the sun gets quiet.

    if that happens i happen to know somewhere where there's a lot of CO2 stashed in a hole in the ground.
    @boomzilla said:
    Sure, starve the plants.

    if that happens i happen to know somewhere where there's a lot of CO2 stashed in a hole in the ground.



  • The whole argument is that we've done drastic things to the climate because we don't understand it.

    The solution is to do drastic things to the climate even though we still don't understand it.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Put the plants in the hole in the ground. With a glass roof so the sunlight can get in


  • SockDev

    @boomzilla said:

    @accalia said:
    bonus it would remove CO2 from teh atmoshphere, something we could use rather badly right now.

    Sure, starve the plants.

    Some mature plants, esp. trees, consume more oxygen than they produce 😛



  • @xaade said:

    The whole argument is that we've done drastic things to the climate because we don't understand it.

    Not that there's good evidence behind the word "drastic."

    @RaceProUK said:

    Some mature plants, esp. trees, consume more oxygen than they produce

    Bully for them?


  • kills Dumbledore

    So we need to cut down the rainforests to save the environment?



  • So you're solution is to grow trees to offset the CO2.

    Sounds more reasonable, since a bigger problem is the fact that we've stripped trees and have a big desertification problem in Africa.

    But you know, it couldn't be that, it must be the hydrocarbons we burned.



  • No, we need to help the burn regrowth cycle, in a smart way.

    You know, by, not stopping every fire in California.


  • SockDev

    @Jaloopa said:

    So we need to cut down the rainforests to save the environment?

    Only the ones that consume more oxygen than they produce 😉
    In all seriousness, leave the rainforests alone; they're a major habitat for so many species that have stuff that has led to medicines


  • kills Dumbledore

    @xaade said:

    But you know, it couldn't be that, it must be the hydrocarbons we burned

    Yeah, how stupid to think the reason there's more CO2 in the atmosphere is because of those millions of gallons of carbon containing oil we've oxidised!


  • mod

    @xaade said:

    Unless the sun gets quiet.

    Or Yellowstone explodes.

    In both cases, we go extinct. In the first, earth would likely become a barren rock.



  • Which used to be in the atmosphere at some point.

    It's like saying, we've found this massive underground water supply that trickled down from the surface, we shouldn't bring it back to the surface because the world would blow up.



  • I am frequently amused by the almost perfect correlation between people who use the term "SJW" without apparent irony and people who express crackpot opinions on climate change without apparent irony.



  • Except that if we all die, the effects of social justice no longer matter.

    If we all die, the climate will continue to change.



  • I find it funny when CNN was freaking out because of the tar balls from the BP oil spill.

    And then I go read about stories from the past and there are descriptions of tar pits on land and sea, and bubbling crude.

    Relatively speaking, one might say we've cleaned up the environment.



  • If you could go on to explain how SJWs only express the opinions they do as some kind of performance, and how AGW "believers" are some kind of pernicious modern religion, you'd make my day.



  • The problem is that you've created a false dilemma, where I either believe the world is doomed, or I believe that AGW is fiction.



  • This new knowledge amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Tell us again how we know the world to be banana-shaped, and how sheep's bladders can be used to predict earthquakes.


  • kills Dumbledore

    @flabdablet said:

    how sheep's bladders can be used to predict earthquakes

    Sheep find earthquakes funny. If they're pissing themselves it means there's a particularly hilarious one coming.

    Figuring out how the sheep know is left as an exercise for the reader



  • @flabdablet said:

    I am frequently amused by the almost perfect correlation between people who use the term "SJW" without apparent irony and people who express crackpot opinions on climate change without apparent irony.

    It's your weird definition of "crackpot" that's the culprit here.



  • Wow, you sound just like the people who believed the world was flat.

    I'm so sure in what I know, that nothing else could possibly be true.

    How did you learn to project so well?



  • Ah, an excellent time to demonstrate:

    @flabdablet said:

    Tell us again how we know the world to be banana-shaped, and how sheep's bladders can be used to predict earthquakes.

    They haven't been right so far, but they're the best thing we've got, so they must be right!



  • @boomzilla said:

    the best thing we've got

    That doesn't bother me at all.

    It's the arrogance of some that follow it religiously and label everyone else an idiot.

    The vast majority of scientists don't think of themselves as inerrant gods, but the ones with megaphones do, which ironically make it no different from a religion.



  • @xaade said:

    make it no different from a religion.

    You little bottler!

    Now do the SJW thing!

    /me makes rock and roll hand-horns at xaade


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @xaade said:

    The vast majority of scientists don't think of themselves as inerrant gods, but the ones with megaphones do, which ironically make it no different from a religion.

    Interesting statement, given that the ones that do that usually happen to be the ones who disagree with the majority...


  • kills Dumbledore

    @flabdablet said:

    You little bottler!

    Does that have a different meaning in Australia? I read it as he'd bottled out, i.e. wasn't brave enough to do was he meant to



  • They exist on both sides.

    I didn't realize I was talking to an actual scientist involved in IPCC until I made my way back to his wikipedia page. I couldn't believe how arrogant the guy was.



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Does that have a different meaning in Australia?



  • @Jaloopa said:

    Does that have a different meaning in Australia?

    And now it makes sense.


  • kills Dumbledore

    Wow, almost the exact opposite in this context



  • Southern hemisphere, mate.



  • @xaade said:

    Which used to be in the atmosphere at some point.

    It's like saying, we've found this massive underground water supply that trickled down from the surface, we shouldn't bring it back to the surface because the world would blow up.

    @xaade said:

    If we all die, the climate will continue to change.

    @xaade said:

    I find it funny when CNN was freaking out because of the tar balls from the BP oil spill.

    And then I go read about stories from the past and there are descriptions of tar pits on land and sea, and bubbling crude.

    All these arguments seem to stem from the fact that yes, the climate naturally changes. Earth is different from how it was before.

    The point you are missing is, humanity wasn't there at the time. Let me put it this way: if there was a bulldozer coming to tear down your house, would you sit calmly in it because "bulldozers have demolished the building in this plot before, and there's always a new building put in it afterwards"? It doesn't matter that a new house will be built if you aren't around to live in it.



  • And I agree, but you have to realize that there are natural changes that we CANNOT have an impact on.

    So, let's say the sun chills, or something happens that causes the world to dip into an ice age.

    Will the climate scientologists be like, "burn moar, burn moar....!!!!!"?



  • I doubt they'll need to, but I assume yes. Or do you stick by your course of action after outside events turn it counterproductive?



  • I don't know, you do still insist the climate change is still due to AGW when it doesn't follow your trend, or do you simply change the narrative to match the events.

    It may be true that AGW is making climate more extreme in both directions, even causing more natural disasters, or less disasters, or not. But the problem is that such a broad stroke makes it indistinguishable from other factors causing climate change. At least to an outside person. Saying, X is climate change, up is climate change, down is climate change, your mom's sweatsocks is climate change, sounds like crying wolf.

    At some people we need to look and say, you know what, the narrative sounds fucking ridiculous, we need a better way to communicate what's going on, otherwise people are going to keep pointing at idiots like Al Gore and saying it isn't true.

    That's not to say that I agree with everything from the IPCC, but I can say from an objective point of view, they sound like idiots and they need to focus on how they are presenting their views. Flying everyone in private jets to a gathering to figure out how to stop climate change, isn't helping either. It says, we want this to be everyone-else's problem.

    The best way to get people to change is to do so slowly, and to make it seem like it was their idea.

    The worst way to get people to change is to be arrogant and make absurd claims to draw attention to your cause.

    For example, all I have to say is that chemicals that caused water to catch on fire, made their way into drinking water long before fracking operations. That tar pits and oil spills happen naturally. And that often things that are attributed to humans happen naturally. And then all of the sudden, the narrative that humans are at fault for everything, falls apart.

    If instead people stopped trying to guilt everyone, blame humans, and try to make stupid drastic and threatening changes to the economy quicker than people can adapt, then maybe people would be a little more cooperative.

    Look, it's not what we're doing to the environment. It's the rate at which we do it. So every little change, is good. Instead of targeting the bad, target the good. Improve in little steps, slowly. Because I guarantee you that just as bad as a drastic change of burning large amounts of fossil fuel in a short time is, making drastic changes in the economy in a short time is much worse.


    If instead we made the argument this:

    The climate is changing in ways that are dangerous to humans. Whether humans contributed to it or not, does not matter. We believe there are some changes we can make that can reverse this trend. Let's look at some of them and work towards incorporating these changes.

    "We can make the earth better than it would be without us."

    I think this would tie into Christian values, which would be the southern US, which is where most of the resistance is from.



  • @xaade said:

    The climate is changing in ways that are dangerous to humans. Whether humans contributed to it or not, does not matter. We believe there are some changes we can make that can reverse this trend. Let's look at some of them and work towards incorporating these changes.

    Well, that's essentially my position.



  • And it doesn't even matter if it is a lie or not. Humans could be 100% responsible, but if saying that causes people to get mad, then say it's not our fault but we can fix it.



  • Attach plants to our tailpipes so they can breathe the CO2. Checkmate.

    <!-- 🚎 -->


  • If I get a stick, and stick it to another stick using a pin, so it spins.
    Then I put a ball on one end of the stick, the ball goes down.

    If another ball is on the other end, that ball will go up.
    When the other ball goes over the top, it will go down and the first ball goes up.

    I've just solved the energy crisis.

    Oh it didn't work?

    I'm sure I could add magnets to it.

    It will work this time.


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