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Chev28
11th September 2006, 05:44 PM
So now we've had the interim Senate report on what they think might happen to oil and its alternatives.

The question I would like to put out there is - What do you reckon will be the next big development in vehicle fuel usage?

Will John Howard get everyone onto LPG? How long will that last? Is there enough of the stuff?

Is Ethanol the go? Will we have flex fuel vehicles and be making enough of the stuff to replace petrol? Will the E85 vehicles from the USA show up here?

Likewise, will commercial Biodiesel take off? Is there enough feedstock to replace dino diesel to a meaningful extent?

Will CNG take off in family cars (not buses)? Will we be able to fill up from home sometime soon?

What about Hybrids? Are they ever going to get any cheaper? Who can afford the batteries every 7 years?

Solar?

The main question is not what is possible (no concept cars please) but what you think will be the NEXT BIG DEVELOPMENT in family and "normal" cars.

Maxwell
11th September 2006, 06:49 PM
Methane!
It would seem to be the most logical at the moment with the technology today.
Except for the high pressures required turning it into a liquid.
Cheers
Maxwell

David
11th September 2006, 09:13 PM
My Honest belief is that the alternative of choice to conventional fossil fuels will be the one governments can make the most money from regardless of any other consideration.

They make billions from petroleum based products now and there is no way they are going to forfeit that money on a fuel they can't tax just as heavily.


Whatever the next thing is, you can bet that the first consideration before it's implementation is how easily a government can control and tax it.

Chev28
11th September 2006, 10:32 PM
Until recently, I would have thought that the simplest solution to dwindling supplies would have lead us to diluting the petro- fuels with bio- alternatives. That is, we would see more ethanol in petrol and perhaps more BD in diesel to make things go further.

Having read some reports recently, I think the bios are not getting the support from experts. That is, some do not see that the supplies of the bios will be big enough to make much impact.

Jake
12th September 2006, 12:44 AM
That is, some do not see that the supplies of the bios will be big enough to make much impact.

Sure, and if cars were allowed to go faster than 5km/h, the cows would stop giving milk. In other words, I find that hard to believe. OK, maybe just biofuels wouldn't be enough or practical. But if it's true that a relatively small area of the earth's surface receives as much energy from the sun in a day as is used by all of us in a year, I don't see why there should ever be an energy crisis.

In the mean time some use of renewables and a bit of energy saving already go a long way.

Slippery
12th September 2006, 01:12 AM
Hi guys. I am a newby to biofuels, only getting seriously involved a couple of months ago, but wow, have I found it interesting.

I do believe biofuels and in particular, biodiesel has a future but, as you pointed out, feeedstock is a problem.

There is a movement afoot to see if algae is a viable option and all the articles I have read seem to indicate, given the right conditions and the right algae you can produce huge volumes in small places.

My guesstimate, worked up from a total lack of knowledge, seems to point somewhere in the area of 60 000 lts per acre/year. Using a photobioreactor you can condense that awsome reproductive power to a much smaller footprint and throw in control of the whole process to boot.

I have been trying to find info on how to make a photobioreactor that will fit into my 6x3 shed - any ideas out there. There seem to be a few lab size units and one or two out door type units but not much if any for the back yard guy.

Just imagine, growing your algae overnight, harvesting it before breakfast and driving to work with your own fuel in the tank.

Chev28
12th September 2006, 07:07 AM
To put this another way, what will ford and holden do next?

pangit
12th September 2006, 12:47 PM
To change topic slightly, I think the next big thing in transportation should be massive investment in public transport!

The private motor vehicle is one of the most inefficient uses of energy for transportation, no matter what fuel you use. At the Peak Oil/Permaculture presentation (http://www.biofuelsforum.com/general_biodiesel_discussion/759-peak_oil_presentation.html) in Pymble I went to a couple of weeks ago, David Holmgren put up a slide showing the efficiency of all the various means of transportation (in terms of energy use per passenger mile). Walking and cycling were best of course, followed by trains and buses. Short haul air flights were the worst closely followed by single occupancy cars.

The layout of our cities, particularly in Australia, are completely geared towards the car with their spread out suburbs and lack of mass transit infrastructure. This needs to be completely revised if we are to meet our future energy needs, as alternative fuels powering the same old cars is not going to work in the long term.

Back on topic to answer your question Chev, I don't think there should be a single solution or big development. We need to look at all of them. LPG and CNG for sure, but also biofuels, hydrogen fuel cells and other alternatives. There won't be a single solution that will completely replace oil, certainly not in our lifetimes.

It's like the question of CO2 emissions. There's no point Johnny banging on about geosequestration being the magical solution to our emissions from our coal fired power stations, as that will only ever be part of it. We need to look at nuclear, wind, solar, wave as well. Each of them will help a bit, and combined may go a long way to reducing our emissions. But on their own they can only provide a fraction of our total energy needs.

Chev28
12th September 2006, 03:18 PM
I think the next big thing in transportation should be massive investment in public transport!

Agreed! We need better public transport and a way of convincing people to use it. I don't want more taxes on cars but people really should start looking at what their bus can do. I did 6 months ago and have never looked back. No parking fees, no traffic hassles, no petrol. This will probably happen with increased petrol prices one day.

I would like to see better rail bulk freight systems too.

I guess governments have happily packed up all this infrastructure over the last 25 years to save costs. Why? I don't know but maybe so they can pay for unfunded public sector superannuation and the Olympics.

All the "reduce the use" stuff is covered in the Senate report (Ch 5). I just wanted to ponder what the next car will be. GM and Ford already have E85 vehicles ready to go and John Howard has just given LPG a kick along and the Senate report is also pushing gas (LPG and CNG).

What are the car companies going to sell us next year?

Jacka
12th September 2006, 04:16 PM
What are the car companies going to sell us next year?

Something that we don't want or need. :(

Gunner
12th September 2006, 08:33 PM
To put this another way, what will ford and holden do next?
To state the obvious, we'd like to see diesel vehicles!
When Holden finally killed off the Aussie V8 a couple of years back, they replaced it with the US-built Camaro 5.7lt V8, which also came out here in the US built "Holden" Surburban. The Suburban was also available with the GM 6.5lt Turbo Diesel V8. Put this engine into a Commodore now, Mr Holden! In the states, GM were also selling a 4.3lt V6 diesel in Pontiac cars, this V6 being based on the tried and true Buick, aka Commodore, 3.8lt petrol V6. This would also be quite suitable for local Commodore production. However, both these GM V8 and V6 engines are quite dated now and would not be able to match the emissions from Euro sourced vehicles that are now appearing on the Aust market. Get to work on a better injection system and there's no reason why we shouldn't see them in local family sedans.
Ford hasn't really done as much in the states with diesels that could slot straight into the Falcon, maybe they would have to draw on their Nissan connections (remember the Ford Maverick? The Nissan Falcon ute?) to put a Nissan Patrol Diesel six into a Falcon?

Jasper
13th September 2006, 12:43 AM
Hi all.
According to this site
http://www.science.org.au/nova/063/063key.htm
Hydrogen may be the next thing.

Also, Dr. Karl on triple j has quoted the following statement twice that Ive heard…..


There are no Hydrogen cars because there are no Hydrogen fuel stations. There are no Hydrogen fuel stations because there are no Hydrogen cars.
The financial cost to the US for the Iraq war would have been enough to implement re-fueling infrastructure and Hydrogen powered cars to get the US market up and running.

Hmmm??:confused:

Chris

Truckdriver
13th September 2006, 03:45 AM
Only hydrogen isn't really a fuel in the same basket as fossil or nuclear; it's a storage medium for other energy sources and can tend to be fairly inefficient at that...

smokey2
13th September 2006, 10:08 AM
Hydogen is a problem to work with as it is the smallest atom in the universe and is extremely volatile in an accident.

Hybrid cars are already creating problems for our emergency services.

Back to public transport well Qantas are putting more flights on from Sydney to Canberra. ie turning a 3 hour drive into a 1 hour flight at great cost to our environment. This is the sort of transport we can do without.

I to would like to use public transport to travel to work but our cities are designed by land developers with large outer suburbs that don't lend themselves to public transport. Employers don't want you to spend >4 hours a day commuting by public transport when a private car will do it in half the time. For public transport to be effective a change is required in the way our cities are designed and the attitude of both workers and employers.

Chev28
13th September 2006, 12:02 PM
Well I say this in a present climate of dropping petrol prices so there may be some lag.

I believe petrol will go up again before Christmas and get everyone thinking again. I think the first "easy" response people have is to reduce the use. This has quick gains but then further price rises will force structural changes on a household, such as one car, smaller car, lpg, buses, walking, etc.

I think there will be more dedicated LPG cars from early next year as people take advantage of the $1000.

I also think E10 will be much more common. I think a slight price reduction from ULP will help this.

Then the real changes must begin. Or will they? Is petrol going to stay around $1.2X for a while (or until after the next election)?

BTW when is Diesel going to seriously drop?

pangit
13th September 2006, 12:18 PM
I to would like to use public transport to travel to work but our cities are designed by land developers with large outer suburbs that don't lend themselves to public transport. Employers don't want you to spend >4 hours a day commuting by public transport when a private car will do it in half the time. For public transport to be effective a change is required in the way our cities are designed and the attitude of both workers and employers.

I couldn't agree more Smokey. Most of us don't have the option to use public transport at the moment. We need to fundamentally redesign our cities (no small task! :eek: ).

I live in an outer Sydney suburb (Berowra) but one of the lucky few that has a train line. In fact that was one of the major deciding factors when we moved there a year ago. So I cycle to the station every morning and take the train in to work. Much less stressful than driving (I can read a book, have 40 winks or listen to music) and just as quick.

But what really gets my goat is hearing pollies such as the state transport minister banging on about building yet more roads instead of railways, and justifying it by saying, "we Aussies love our cars!" It's not like we have a choice with an attitude like that mate!

Jake
13th September 2006, 01:09 PM
To change topic slightly, I think the next big thing in transportation should be massive investment in public transport!

E.g. in 1997 the Belgian city of Hasselt decided to make public transport free. Use of public transport has increased 8-fold since then. Current spending on public transport is only 1% of the city's annual budget. Additional benefits mentioned are more social cohesion, increased road safety and less pollution.

If you read Dutch there are quite a few websites that carry the story. :D

Jake
13th September 2006, 01:35 PM
Only hydrogen isn't really a fuel [..]; it's a storage medium for other energy sources and can tend to be fairly inefficient at that...

Correct. To quote from a German source: "One litre of vegetable oil contains 50% more hydrogen than one litre of liquid hydrogen (at -250C) and 4 times more useable mechanical energy."

Truckdriver
13th September 2006, 09:39 PM
Thought about that statement much?

A bucket of oranges may also have 4 times more usable mechanical energy than a bucket of apples...

Chris
13th September 2006, 11:06 PM
Hi All
Interesting article in the Herald sun yesterday
So here is what Mr Nolan Had to say about "Peak oil" at a conference in Adelaide
1.There is a Trillion barrels of dino oil known and recoverable
2.Any 10% improvement in recovery will deliver another 800 billion barrels of oil
3."Peak oil" has been touted since the 1920 as well as whenever oil prices are high
4.There is no "Peak oil" theory of any value
5.The world has only used 1/3 of oil resource so far, technology as it stands will continue to find more
THE POINT;
There we have the head of Exxon Mobil telling an international conference the above (edited by me)
There is also about the same said 180 degrees opposed about "Peak oil" said by others
So what is the story? who knows!
There is no reason at all that we should stop what we are doing for the benefit of the environment as well as all the other benefits that biodiesel as well as other biofuels are concerned
Independence form the clasps of oil companies as well as mental anxiety from the doom and gloom theorists should be added to the list
What better way to deal with either of those two scenarios whichever is right
Cheers
Chris
The full article was published in The Melbourne Herald Sun on the 12 of September 2006 on page 28 in the business section

Truckdriver
14th September 2006, 04:46 AM
The most common misconception of "peak oil" is that it has something to do with how much is left.

It's real implications concern how fast it is possible to remove it from the ground.

pangit
14th September 2006, 12:04 PM
Exactly Truckdriver. It doesn't matter how much is left in the ground, if demand exceeds supply and the gap continues to increase (by a combination of increased demand plus slowly depleting production) then oil prices will skyrocket unless it is properly managed (see other posts on the Oil Depletion Protocol).


There we have the head of Exxon Mobil telling an international conference the above
Did anyone see Enough Rope with Al Gore on Monday? They showed a US TV ad sponsored by one of the big oil companies (I'm fairly sure it was Exxon Mobil), that tried to debunk the global warming theory, with pictures of children blowing dandelion and the slogan "Carbon Dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life". :eek:

If they can tell blatant lies like that, then can you trust anything they say?

EDIT: Here (http://streams.cei.org/)it is! Hilarious! (It's by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is apparently part funded by Exxon Mobil)

Chris
14th September 2006, 02:10 PM
Exactly Truckdriver. It doesn't matter how much is left in the ground, if demand exceeds supply and the gap continues to increase (by a combination of increased demand plus slowly depleting production) then oil prices will skyrocket unless it is properly managed (see other posts on the Oil Depletion Protocol).


Did anyone see Enough Rope with Al Gore on Monday? They showed a US TV ad sponsored by one of the big oil companies (I'm fairly sure it was Exxon Mobil), that tried to debunk the global warming theory, with pictures of children blowing dandelion and the slogan "Carbon Dioxide. They call it pollution. We call it life". :eek:

If they can tell blatant lies like that, then can you trust anything they say?

EDIT: Here (http://streams.cei.org/)it is! Hilarious! (It's by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which is apparently part funded by Exxon Mobil)
Mate, I think you need to revise your quoting ways on any post
If one reads the bit you have sniped out of my post it presents a different picture than intended
I do not belive either of these theories or whatever these self serving people are saying for general public consumption
It was bought to the attention of all for what it was said, no different than the opposing view of no oil in 1500 days
Why? these guys are not liars? or are they
I would be obliged as well as others may be, if you where to pay more attention when you are quoting from posts so as to make a point, without placing the original poster in a position whereby he has to do what I am doing right now
A suggestion may be to preview your post first, read it, if it conveys the message all well and good if it does not, well?
May be you just leave the whole post intact that way the reader can form a balanced view
My penultimate as well as my last paragraph surely make my position very very clear on the matter
Cheers
Chris
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Truckdriver
15th September 2006, 02:52 AM
My fault for posting such a short and unexplained statement. In hindsight it presented no point of view and was open for interpretation.

My statement was written in response to the Exxon-Mobil chief’s statement, which was just on Lateline. Some of the people interviewed on Lateline echoed your sentiments exactly Chris. Sentiments I agree with wholeheartedly.

Big oil seems to be pushing the 1/3 gone rather than 1/2 gone line very heavily in order to maintain market confidence. I don't disagree with them; in fact I think they are probably right with respect to conventional crude reserves.

I believe, however, that we are at or very rapidly approaching a production peak. Although there is massive investment going on; the kind of investment now required to match production with demand at this time is just not happening.

The kind of investment required is not feasible at this time?
At what time will it be?
Is it in the interests of Big Oil to do so?

Big Oil are obviously playing the market in a sophisticated manner. I imagine they have had teams of very smart cookies looking at how to play the endgame for quite a time now and they have a pretty good idea of the rules. I am of this opinion after having spent considerable time in and around the oil and gas industry and watching what is and has gone on.

The skewing of the peak oil argument is the same as the previously posted videos skewing the CO2 argument. The point of my post was to raise awareness of the real "peak oil" issue.

A certain degree of market insecurity is good for Big Oil. It creates speculation. Push the line as far as possible! Just don't push to the "tipping point".

I would rather a 10% cut of $2 than 10% of $1.

pangit
15th September 2006, 05:06 PM
Chris, I didn't mean to imply that you sympathized with the oil companies by only quoting that one line. I generally don't quote entire posts as I see it as unnecessary - people would usually have just read it. The line was quoted as a reference only.

I was responding to you and Truckdriver in one post, so I may have caused confusion and should probably have replied in two separate posts.

Anyway, my point (and which I think we all agree on here) is - don't believe everything the big oil companies tell you. They have an inherent bias in everything they say so they will say anything that helps their bottom line. Of course that is the same with all big business.

We should also not believe everything the doom-mongers say either - that peak oil is going to hit hard and bring the end to civilization as we know it. I believe that the reality will be somewhere in between.

I went to Richard Heinberg's talk the other day, and I was pleased at how positive and optimistic he was. However I bought his book, "Power Down", written in 2004 and was surprised at how negative it is (war, pestilence, famine and death etc!), and very anti-Bush. Perhaps he has an agenda too. And maybe since he wrote it he has softened his stance because he realised he was seen as too radical. I don't know. So we have to make our own judgements after we have weighed up both sides of the argument.

I believe things are going to start to change within my lifetime (I'm in my late 30s), but gradually and with some pain, but we will come out the other side all the better for it. We live in such a wasteful society I think once the realisation sinks in we will begin to use our resources much more efficiently. That will buy us enough time to change the way our society is structured, change our lifestyles and invest in clean technologies etc so that we can not only survive but thrive in the long term.

We are such a resourceful species, I cannot believe we are simply going to let ourselves self-destruct, once it becomes clear where we are headed. When this happens and peak oil/global warming become a major election issue, no government will last long if they continue to ignore it. The George Bushes and John Howards of this world are like the oil - a dying species.:D

Am I optimistic about the future? Yes, I have to be as I've got two young children, and I have to believe they will inherit a world where they can have a good quality of life. It may be different, but remember quality is not the same as quantity.

Chris
16th September 2006, 11:32 AM
Righto!
Fair call from both of you gent's
Ok, May be we should all consider that this fair world of ours has more up it's sleeve than we know
It is my considered view that nature has this uncanny ability to protect itself always mending and repairing most of the damage caused
The problem as I see it is that it does it ever so imperceptibly where we don't see it in the short time span we are around
Nevertheless it does do it
Considering the worlds population 100 years ago stood at less then 2 Billion people while today we have about 6 it is amazing the globe is copping as well as it does
Add to that the amount of co2 we have put out there through the burning of coal to power our industry as well as the emissions from motor cars, shipping, as well as jet propelled transport, industrial processes, cement manufacturing etc it would seem the earth is quite resilient
Some of us do not have any knowledge or appreciation of how it was in the past
It is not unusual for young people today to state with great belief that chips come from Mc or milk originates at the supermarket cold goods shelves
Education is the key, some things are easily understood some are harder for all of us to come to grips with
Unfortunately sensationalising stories,events, real or otherwise, as well as news is the way of our life
Delivering the material to the public via the mass media often results in misinformation or an incomplete picture being formed
It is also fair to say that doom and gloom always attracts peoples attention for whatever reason, something exploited to great extend
The end result of course is another battle between the informed or knowledgable against the misinformed or lacking
We through our subscription to this forum, even though most are anonymous, are a group of concerned people
We automatically adopt a moral obligation to be educated as well as educate others, via meaningfully debate as well as information exchange
In a very small way, we here, via our interest in renewable fuels, can do our bit to alter the situation
We will make a difference, we can improve our way of life, the environment our country and be proud of it
Within the whole scheme of things it may seem a little to late to some however,
"The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step"
We have taken the first step, so lets keep on going
I am sure the journey will be very rewarding
Cheers
Chris

Chev28
18th September 2006, 12:49 PM
Just to wind this back to the topic again, do you think this will take off soon?

http://www.manildra.com.au/e85/

Robert
18th September 2006, 03:17 PM
I might also post this in the ethanol forum (http://www.biofuelsforum.com/australian_ethanol_discussion/865-e85_bi-fuel_converter_flex_fuel_in_australia.html#post658 4), as it could be interesting.