[Beowulf] Re: "hobbyists" still OT

Karen Shaeffer shaeffer at neuralscape.com
Thu Jun 26 12:32:29 EDT 2008


On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 03:30:17AM -0400, Robert G. Brown wrote:
> 
> Stored sunlight is in finite supply in fossil fuels.  Plants grow slowly
> and require more than JUST sunlight to produce energy, so a fair bit of
> energy yield has to be turned right back into fertilizer, fuel for
> tractors or oxen, humans to grown and transport it, the refining or
> extraction process.  Using THIS fuel to produce hydrogen would simply
> layer inefficiency on inefficiency, as one would throw maybe 70% of it
> away in the process, and then throw a fair bit of what remained away in
> the final stage of energy release as work.  The laws of thermodynamics
> cannot be broken, not really.
> 
> This suggests that in the long run, the only free energy sources likely
> to be able to keep up with human demand are the sun, implemented as
> DIRECT conversion through solar cells, concentrators, turbines, and
> perhaps thermonuclear fusion (not fission).  The deuterium or helium
> supply of the planet is relatively inexhaustible compared to other
> fossil fuels, and more could be mined from other planets in the solar
> system if need be.
> 
> So sure, hydrogen is great, once you have the free energy source.  But
> FIRST you need that, as hydrogen doesn't WANT to come out of water
> molecules.  You have to make it come off.
> 
>   rgb

Indeed. And there is tremendous activity in Solar cell technology today.
Intel and IBM both have announced major projects to bring the technology
into the mainstream in the past month. And I believe there is considerable
news coming out of Japan on this issue these days. And if you want to secure
venture capital in Silicon Valley these days, just sprinkle the words green
tech into your business plan... Biofuels are just another loosing proposition
by the old vested interests attempting to make more money at the expense of
the health of the planet. I am glad you pointed out that it requires a lot
of energy to produce all these biofuels -- and it all is contributing to
the destruction of our environment as we knew it. Old thinking. Its dead.
And cars in the future will be battery powered from the sun; There won't be
any combustion engines in just a few decades. Combustion engines are going
the way of the horse and buggy.

--
 Karen Shaeffer
 Neuralscape, Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
 shaeffer at neuralscape.com  http://www.neuralscape.com
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