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Oil Miracle

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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by biochem   » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:25 am

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Spacekiwi wrote:Yeah, it is, but for our purposes here, from what i understand, this chemical process is more efficient than photosynthesis, and as it only requires heat, you can vat grow, increasing the density of organisms per sq m, and allow for layering, without blocking the energy input source. Plus, it doesnt require building new facilities, only refitting in available space at current factories, similar to the ones used at breweries, ice creameries, etc. The tech models i have seen are basically 4 metre high catalytic converter things, with iout pipes from force filter out the carbon and 'pollutants' (sulfur, heavy metals) which the bacteria eat, and to act like a radiator for constant heat throughout, reducing the impact of a gradient in energy as with sunlight. Alternatively, we have a large geothermal power plant, so we could use the bacteria there. The nz company Lanzatech, who I've toured, currently have factories in china, nz, and the US, and have multiple sites contributing over 1.1 million litres (lowest estimate from what i could find from mid 14) of fuel a year at the moment, and provide jetfuel for virgin atlantic. Currently they are worth about 450 million US. From what I understand, they expect to expand even more by next year, and increase output even more. Plus, recently they apparently got a new mutation that may allow plastics. :) Not bad for some JAFA's..... :D (just another ******* Aucklander for non kiwis....)

Relax wrote:
Energy is energy. Gotta convert freely available C02 and H20 to CH bonds. Light is essentially heat. If you get your heat from "waste heat" off steel mills or steam turbines etc it amounts to same thing. Heat is required to feed the algae/bacteria. In short need giant tanks with a transparent top letting light in. So, hmm coal/NG for a source of heat/C02 + water + bacteria + heat + sugar(depends)... = massive bacteria growth/biofuel. If go with photsynthesis need the surface scum type of algae for ease of collection.

And yes, that will require GINORMOUS shallow ponds. Problem is where there is LOTS of sun, there is little fresh water. Now if one can create a surface scum bacteria via SALT water... Then we are talking. Massive shallow ponds growing seaweed(a type of algae). This is more doable than large tanks trying to grow bacteria. Vast areas exist for doing this type of "farming". Of course this "farming" will completely devastate the area for any possible future plant growth due to the salt.

We are talking millions of square miles required. Uh, Sahara here we come. Australia as well.



If I were to design a "perfect" biofuel I would design the bacteria/algae/plankton to produce hydrocarbons rather than relying on ethanol because the energy density is so much higher. That will of course require significant GM tinkering on the selected species.

I like Relax's idea of making the fuel producer salt water compatible. My original thought was to put desalination plants next to the biofuel production sites and use the biofuel to power them. But I like the idea of salt water compatibility better.

I also like SpaceKiwi's idea of utilizing waste heat to produce biofuel as well. I don't think there is enough waste heat to completely replace fossil fuels though.

But there is no reason that 2 (or more) organisms cannot be designed. One could be a photosynthesis based saltwater organism modified to utilize the full spectrum of light, another a chemical based organism designed to make the most of efficient use of waste heat, etc. Another reason to utilize two organisms (preferably more) is to avoid the risks that come with a single source.

Might want to add west Texas to the Sahara, and Western Australia list.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by biochem   » Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:30 am

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Annachie wrote:In that sense then battery powered cars will be the way to go. Divorce the need to adapt cars for different fuels from the improving/updating the fuel source.
Hell, I'd love to see someone use the Tesla technology to build a 12/14 seat commuter bus/van. Those things are everywhere and if you can get them usable on batteries the world is your molusc of choice. :)


I wouldn't want to see it yet. The Tesla technology is very new and I bet that in 10 iterations or so it will be so vastly improved that we'll be thinking of year 2015 Teslas, the same way we now think of 1950's computers which filled rooms. Right now a Tesla is a rich persons toy, and those people can afford to upgrade. Public transportation tends to have very limited capital budgets and so tend to have to keep their equipment around for decades. I'd hate to see them stuck with 2015 technology when something much better will be along in a few years.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by Spacekiwi   » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:27 pm

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App[arently they dont actually use ethabol, but larger hydrocarbons based off butane and pentane, such a as 4,6,BDO. Thats apparently their current focus

As with all things, small steps... :)


biochem wrote:
If I were to design a "perfect" biofuel I would design the bacteria/algae/plankton to produce hydrocarbons rather than relying on ethanol because the energy density is so much higher. That will of course require significant GM tinkering on the selected species.

I like Relax's idea of making the fuel producer salt water compatible. My original thought was to put desalination plants next to the biofuel production sites and use the biofuel to power them. But I like the idea of salt water compatibility better.

I also like SpaceKiwi's idea of utilizing waste heat to produce biofuel as well. I don't think there is enough waste heat to completely replace fossil fuels though.

But there is no reason that 2 (or more) organisms cannot be designed. One could be a photosynthesis based saltwater organism modified to utilize the full spectrum of light, another a chemical based organism designed to make the most of efficient use of waste heat, etc. Another reason to utilize two organisms (preferably more) is to avoid the risks that come with a single source.

Might want to add west Texas to the Sahara, and Western Australia list.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by Spacekiwi   » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:38 pm

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Oh yeah, but maybe treat it like todays batteries and pc's? standardised shape and connections, with the standard changing once a decade or two, as cars which started with the tech reach end of life. Eg the pci-e slot or sata ports in the pc. 3 versions so far, all backwards compatible, can run a v1 in a v3 socket, or a v3 in a v1 socket. been out 13 years now, and managed to accomadate a performance ìmprovement of 800% in the same socket. Or like batteries, you can get different types, but they all still fit a device with the standard (aa, aaa, d, c etc). Have a controller chip by the battery to regulate output, and you could have a higher density battery replacement slotted in, being new tech, but still fits, only difference is runs longer. :)




biochem wrote:
Annachie wrote:In that sense then battery powered cars will be the way to go. Divorce the need to adapt cars for different fuels from the improving/updating the fuel source.
Hell, I'd love to see someone use the Tesla technology to build a 12/14 seat commuter bus/van. Those things are everywhere and if you can get them usable on batteries the world is your molusc of choice. :)


I wouldn't want to see it yet. The Tesla technology is very new and I bet that in 10 iterations or so it will be so vastly improved that we'll be thinking of year 2015 Teslas, the same way we now think of 1950's computers which filled rooms. Right now a Tesla is a rich persons toy, and those people can afford to upgrade. Public transportation tends to have very limited capital budgets and so tend to have to keep their equipment around for decades. I'd hate to see them stuck with 2015 technology when something much better will be along in a few years.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by Annachie   » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:05 pm

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biochem wrote:
Annachie wrote:In that sense then battery powered cars will be the way to go. Divorce the need to adapt cars for different fuels from the improving/updating the fuel source.
Hell, I'd love to see someone use the Tesla technology to build a 12/14 seat commuter bus/van. Those things are everywhere and if you can get them usable on batteries the world is your molusc of choice. :)


I wouldn't want to see it yet. The Tesla technology is very new and I bet that in 10 iterations or so it will be so vastly improved that we'll be thinking of year 2015 Teslas, the same way we now think of 1950's computers which filled rooms. Right now a Tesla is a rich persons toy, and those people can afford to upgrade. Public transportation tends to have very limited capital budgets and so tend to have to keep their equipment around for decades. I'd hate to see them stuck with 2015 technology when something much better will be along in a few years.


I was thinking mostly of the design to swap batteries out for charged ones in about 90 seconds.

A standard that should adapt equally well to battery improvements, motor improvements etc.

Kind of how the nozzle of a petrol bowser is standard all over.

Or how a cars controls are standard. The layout is nearly 100 years old but can't be said to be holding things back.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by DDHvi   » Mon Mar 23, 2015 11:23 am

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Annachie wrote:
I was thinking mostly of the design to swap batteries out for charged ones in about 90 seconds.

A standard that should adapt equally well to battery improvements, motor improvements etc.

Kind of how the nozzle of a petrol bowser is standard all over.

Or how a cars controls are standard. The layout is nearly 100 years old but can't be said to be holding things back.


Battery swapping makes much sense for transportation. So does the combining of overhead lines, stop recharge, rest stop recharge, and such with batteries to reduce the amount of batteries needed.

It seems likely that there will be two patterns: very low cost but low volume energy density for stationary, http://www.eosenergystorage.com/ is one possible here, and higher density for transportation.
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Smart mistakes go on forever
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by Relax   » Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:49 am

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DDHvi wrote:
Annachie wrote:
I was thinking mostly of the design to swap batteries out for charged ones in about 90 seconds.

A standard that should adapt equally well to battery improvements, motor improvements etc.

Kind of how the nozzle of a petrol bowser is standard all over.

Or how a cars controls are standard. The layout is nearly 100 years old but can't be said to be holding things back.


Battery swapping makes much sense for transportation. So does the combining of overhead lines, stop recharge, rest stop recharge, and such with batteries to reduce the amount of batteries needed.

It seems likely that there will be two patterns: very low cost but low volume energy density for stationary, http://www.eosenergystorage.com/ is one possible here, and higher density for transportation.


There is 0 need for battery swapping. None. Zilch. Can already fully charge batteries in a mere 5 min for lithium ion cells. They charge at over 20C. Yes, currently these cells are a tad expensive, but the tech is already there. Their life expectancy at this high charge rate is same as others.

No, this is not peak charging. Anyone who peak charges any battery must like buying new batteries. Other than over draining a battery it is the fastest way to destroy a battery. No swap st store/station will peak charge their batteries either.

Swapping is DOA.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by Odium   » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:33 am

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Hi all, sorry for Necroing an old thread, but now that we are a year further into the the Oil price collapse And the effects have now had a chance to actually percolate through both the Oilpatch and the rest of the economy im curious what you guys now think would happen if crude oil suddenly became worthless? (And bearing in mind that the OP was if a substance was found that could replace oil in refinerys and chemical plants)
I'm thinking it's worth looking at because the Oilpatch doesn't react instantly to price drops, but slows down segment by segment making the hit far slower. First the exploration slows, then drilling is cut back, then the completion services slow, then the Pipeliners slow. All through the process wells are shut in as that well or the battery it feeds fall below profitability. Also bearing in mind that the huge multi year projects did not get stopped because of the slowdown and in the event of oil being worthless, would be stopped immediately.
Another point no one mentioned is the effect on other industry's worldwide, such as steel production worldwide dropped 2.8% in 2015 from 2014. I'm betting that is mostly related to the oilfield slowdown. For example: a single well drilled in my area is usually around 1000m deep. That well will require 1000m of 5-6" well casing pipe, 1000m of 2 7/8"-3.5" tubing pipe, 1000m of sucker rod, several hundred meters of 2-3" piping on the surface location, plus the steel in the separator vessel and other production tanks, and the steel in the pumpjack. Also there will typically be 1-3km of 2-4" pipeline to tie it into a battery for processing. And that's just the steel used in one well.
Chemical industry's would also be hit hard (though if their cost of feedstock drops they might not be hurt too bad) there are a LOT of chemicals used in the oilfield (demulsifiers, rust inhibitors, acids, etc)
Sulfur is a side product from oil production in areas with sour oil (Hydrogen Sulfide gas contained in the oil and natural gas). I'm not sure how much Sulfur is produced as a byproduct of the oil industry, but that's another thing that would stop dead that no one mentioned.

-Hi all, I've been reading the forums off and on for years, but mainly just the Honorverse section, never looked at the politics forum till last week, and decided to make an account
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by biochem   » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:02 pm

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Odium wrote:Hi all, sorry for Necroing an old thread, but now that we are a year further into the the Oil price collapse And the effects have now had a chance to actually percolate through both the Oilpatch and the rest of the economy im curious what you guys now think would happen if crude oil suddenly became worthless? (And bearing in mind that the OP was if a substance was found that could replace oil in refinerys and chemical plants)
I'm thinking it's worth looking at because the Oilpatch doesn't react instantly to price drops, but slows down segment by segment making the hit far slower. First the exploration slows, then drilling is cut back, then the completion services slow, then the Pipeliners slow. All through the process wells are shut in as that well or the battery it feeds fall below profitability. Also bearing in mind that the huge multi year projects did not get stopped because of the slowdown and in the event of oil being worthless, would be stopped immediately.


Looking at what is happening now, the instability is having the biggest impact in Venezuela which had no cushion and in Russia. Reduced prices going to zero would likely turn Venezuela from a mostly failed state into a completely failed state, leading to anarchy, civil war (possibly with more than one side), eventually resulting in some strong man taking over and establishing peace with an iron fist. It's perilously close to that scenario now, prices going to zero would likely push it over the edge. In Russia however, the iron fist is already there, Putin would likely expand what is already working for him: a combination of iron fisted clamping down on dissent and conquest.

Saudi Arabia is more or less stable for the time being but they are spending their currency reserves and when those are gone as they will be if the price goes to zero it looks like all hell would break loose. Civil war is likely.

The impact on Iran seems to be pretty minimal. They have the iron fist in place and it seems to be holding. There doesn't seem to be the same stability cracks Saudi Arabia is showing.

In the west, the fracking regions were too new to have built up a dependence, it seems to be an easy come easy go situation and if prices went to zero, things would just go back to normal. The areas with a more long term oil/refinery economic dependence seem to be buffered by other areas in the local economy. It looks more like a downturn than an economic collapse. Prices going to zero would likely turn the downturn into a recession but there seems to be enough other economic activity to keep the local economies (even in places like Texas and Alaska) somewhat afloat.

Another point no one mentioned is the effect on other industry's worldwide, such as steel production worldwide dropped 2.8% in 2015 from 2014. I'm betting that is mostly related to the oilfield slowdown. For example: a single well drilled in my area is usually around 1000m deep. That well will require 1000m of 5-6" well casing pipe, 1000m of 2 7/8"-3.5" tubing pipe, 1000m of sucker rod, several hundred meters of 2-3" piping on the surface location, plus the steel in the separator vessel and other production tanks, and the steel in the pumpjack. Also there will typically be 1-3km of 2-4" pipeline to tie it into a battery for processing. And that's just the steel used in one well.
Chemical industry's would also be hit hard (though if their cost of feedstock drops they might not be hurt too bad) there are a LOT of chemicals used in the oilfield (demulsifiers, rust inhibitors, acids, etc)
Sulfur is a side product from oil production in areas with sour oil (Hydrogen Sulfide gas contained in the oil and natural gas). I'm not sure how much Sulfur is produced as a byproduct of the oil industry, but that's another thing that would stop dead that no one mentioned.

-Hi all, I've been reading the forums off and on for years, but mainly just the Honorverse section, never looked at the politics forum till last week, and decided to make an account


Most of the steel is coming from China these days. So they'd be hurt some, but their economy is diverse enough that if prices went to zero and so did this steel market, they'd have a downturn or recession but not a collapse.

Looking at the chemical industry it look like as a whole the two effects supplies vs feedstock are likely to mostly cancel each other out. Individual companies and locations are likely to be variable however. Some will boom, others will go bankrupt.

It is rather interesting to see how the impact of low prices is actually playing out and to extrapolate low to zero.
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Re: Oil Miracle
Post by zyffyr   » Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:54 pm

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Odium wrote:Another point no one mentioned is the effect on other industry's worldwide, such as steel production worldwide dropped 2.8% in 2015 from 2014. I'm betting that is mostly related to the oilfield slowdown. For example: a single well drilled in my area is usually around 1000m deep. That well will require 1000m of 5-6" well casing pipe, 1000m of 2 7/8"-3.5" tubing pipe, 1000m of sucker rod, several hundred meters of 2-3" piping on the surface location, plus the steel in the separator vessel and other production tanks, and the steel in the pumpjack. Also there will typically be 1-3km of 2-4" pipeline to tie it into a battery for processing. And that's just the steel used in one well.


The company that I work for makes steel pipe fittings (elbows, tees, etc). Most of our product goes to the Petroleum industry, the small remainder going to chemical companies and various types of power generation plants. Back before crude oil prices started dropping in late 2014 we had roughly 160 people in our plant working 48 to 60 hours per week (depending on department and to some extent personal preference). Today, about 120 people and nobody does over 40 hours. That is 3/4 the people, each earning at most 3/4 as much money - assuming they only did 48 hour weeks before (people doing 60 hour weeks now make less than half of what they were). If oil were to drop as far as would be likely in this scenario, we would probably end up closing our doors - unless the new energy supply somehow required just as much steel pipe which seems doubtful.

So, yeah there are some serious follow on effects in other industries.
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