December 13, 2015 at 11:43 pm #3596
The reason that our cars run on oil-based fuels in the first place is that fossil fuel oil, like alcohols, contain hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are composed of, as one would expect, Hydrogen and Carbon.
Alcohols that have five or more carbon atoms per molecule are no longer soluble in water due to their hydrocarbon chain’s dominance and this is an important environmental consideration because most alcohols are deadly poisons.
When a fuel spill occurs, Methanol and Ethanol dissolve in ground water and can create a dangerous environmental problem. Methanol is cheaper to produce than ethanol, but a half-teaspoon of Methanol can cause blindness in humans. Ethanol in 3% to 40% mixtures is the only alcohol that we can consume, and the difference between these two is just a few degrees of temperature difference during their distillation process.
Today, Audi and parent company Volkswagen, are manufacturing crude oil made from electrolyzed water (H2O) and recovered carbon dioxide (CO2) in a 70% efficient process that creates Blue Crude. (Gray, 2015)
Audi’s clean hydrocarbon crude oil uses the same Fischer-Tropsch process that has been around since the 1920s (Davis, 2015). Its zero-carbon-footprint process makes use of wind energy. Carbon Dioxide sources include simple, safe home recipes like baking soda and vinegar (Calkins, n.d.), Air Recapturing, Natural Gas and others. This Oil needs only refining further to create component diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, and aviation fuel as needed, just like. You could choose to refine gasoline from this crude, but fuel in diesel form takes less energy to refine, has better combustion for a more fun ride, and is almost twice as efficient at highway speeds. Audi’s President runs this fuel in his A8 and reports that this fuel makes a car run quieter too.
The reasons to adopt Blue Crude are compelling. The combustion power of Audi’s e‑Diesel fuel is greater than that of fossil fuel diesel, it makes cars run quieter as well, and it is expected to be available to consumers for approximately $1 per liter at retail pumps – equal in cost, or less than, fossil fuel diesel. It can also be used in our current fuel distribution system.
The only waste by-product from manufacturing and burning this pure Blue Crude is oxygen and a small amount of CO2 – which might lead to bigger insects and smarter people after much time – but the problem of what to do about all that clean air is a problem for another day.
Assuming that clean fuel additives can be found to guard against solidification in cold temperatures, and other practical storage considerations, I imagine that it might even be possible to create a food-grade version of this product – although, why would you choose to drink it?
Cost is of little consequence when a combination reactor and nearby Blue Crude refinery could provide a limitless supply of clean burning mobile fuels in the same way that the USS Nimitz Aircraft Carriers desalinate water through electrolysis for a crew of 6,000 every day for the past forty years.
Russia’s brilliant new floating Nuclear Fission reactor power plant ships are another option based on proven 50-year icebreaker design. (Diggs, 2015) (OKBM, n.d.)
Germany’s Fusion Reactor creates limitless clean energy. When it begins operations after successful testing in December 2015, this project will be fully eight years ahead of the CSQ 100 Year Plan and BBC 150 Year Plan as well.
Volkswagen, the world’s largest car maker – and Audi’s parent company, is one of the only carmakers brave enough to bring an affordable diesel passenger car to North America. The Jetta, Passat, and Tiguan TDI (Turbo-Diesel Injection) vehicles are marvels of engineering, efficiency, at very competitive prices and with incredible value once highway mileage twice that of gasoline vehicles is factored in.
Clean-Diesel Fuels are Important and Diesel Vehicles Are Even more Important.
Diesel fuels and diesel vehicles are important because:
- Diesel Fuel can be made from Water and Carbon Dioxide, and can be fabricated cost-effectively in a Zero-Carbon-Footprint process. This fuel burns with Zero Emissions; the waste byproduct of creating this fuel is just oxygen. Oxygen makes humans smarter – and bugs bigger, but the problem of what to do with all of that clean air is for another article.
- Gasoline cars prevent us changing to cost-effective non-fossil-based, zero-emission Crude Oils – similar to Audi’s Blue-Crude. Why are we voting for North American politicians who would call for an end to Diesel Cars – when these cars are so important to this change? Why do our news reports not cover this part of the story?
- Diesel engines burn most undistilled oils including Paraffin Oil – which is made from coal and natural gas using the same Fischer-Tropshe Process as Audi’s Blue-Crude. This hydrocarbon burns with 50% fewer emissions than Crude Oil; Crude Oil was a dirtier alternative that Oil Companies asked Rudolph Diesel to make to work some time after the engine’s development; a fact that I imagine Rudolph was not too crazy about. Rudolph Diesel fell overboard while on a boat cruise mysteriously in 1913.
- Diesel fuel takes less energy to refine, and its higher combustion efficiency takes a car almost twice as far on the highway as compared to gasoline.
- Diesel does not dissolve in water making spills and environmental cleanups easier.
- Diesel is a lubricant that ensures long engine life – where gasoline is “a corrosive” that wears out engines more quickly.
- Diesel cars last longer, have fewer maintainable parts, lower running costs and set the high-bar for reliability, often continuing to operate for 500,000 to 1 million kilometers and beyond during their service lives (double, and more, than gasoline engines).
- Diesel fuel detonates through high compression only and is not flammable other through by a wick.
- One can run a diesel passenger car for 10 hours without stopping as a tank of fuel will often sustain almost 1000 km of highway driving.
- Replacing all cars with Diesel equivalents would reduce total energy needs by 15% overall (depending upon the country).
In the early autumn of 2015, Volkswagen was centered out for adjusting their in-car programming to turn off emission controls on their diesel passenger cars. EPA officials claimed that these changes resulted in diesel cars emitting nitrogen as high as 10 to 40 normal gasoline cars in operation.
As a CTO (Chief Technology Lead), I can assure that a quick reprogramming effort is all that is needed to change auto settings so that emissions controls resume upon “idle” – instead of just running during “sensor-plugin” testing. A little more work with adjustments would deliver a balanced performance and emission formula that makes overall diesel emissions equal to those of gasoline engine cars given gasoline’s much higher fuel burden upon the environment; Gasoline versus Diesel is not an apples-to-apples comparison as mentioned above. I had this programming change made to my Jetta TDI within 40 minutes and I noticed no change in driving experience nor fuel economy.
Last Week in Paris, at the World Energy Summit, World Leaders agreed to end the use of Fossil Fuels altogether by 2070. Although it is not unusual to see these promises broken, one cannot help but hope that we can greatly accelerate this forward momentum through education of terrific work readied all over the world.
Volkswagon’s Clean Projects in 2016
Click here for an overview of clean technologies that Volkswagon are actively campaigning to bring to North America including:
Clean diesel — An environmentally friendly and economic fuel alternative already available today, Clean Diesel TDI is the bridge on the path to energy independence tomorrow. Clean diesel TDI vehicles from Volkswagen and Audi offer high fuel efficiency, extremely low emissions, maximum performance — and a fun driving experience. The 2009 Volkswagen Jetta TDI set a new Guinness World Record for lowest fuel consumption, achieving a remarkable 58.82 miles per gallon during a 48-state cross country trip last summer. In fact, converting one-third of the cars on the road today to Clean Diesel TDI would save approximately 1.4 million barrels of oil a day.
Hydrogen fuel cell — Volkswagen Group’s fuel cell concept vehicles are powered by a hydrogen fuel cell based on the company’s unique technology, and yield more than 107 horsepower and produce zero emissions. Clear water vapor is the only byproduct that comes out of the tailpipe. The vehicles, the Tiguan Hymotion and the Caddy Maxi, are virtually silent, completely clean engineering marvels that promise to be the ideal means of transportation of the future.
TFSI engine technology — TFSI engines deliver turbocharged acceleration while still delivering responsible fuel efficiency. This is one example of the way Volkswagen Group is optimizing gasoline engine efficiency through direct fuel injection and turbo charging. This technology delivers the optimum balance of power and economy.
Sunfuel, fuel from biomass — Sustainable second-generation fuels, such as SunFuel(R) developed by Volkswagen Group, have an almost entirely neutral CO2 emissions balance. The quantity of carbon dioxide produced in combustion is basically the same as the quantity of carbon dioxide that is converted into biomass via photosynthesis during plant growth — a closed loop. SunFuel won’t just be used in the engines of tomorrow: it can already be used with today’s engine technology.
AUDI. Clean Air — Demonstrated between sessions was Volkswagen Group’s vision of creating connected, intelligent vehicles that are capable of collaborating with their users and with each other to preserve the environment. Environmentally friendly navigation lets drivers choose the most energy efficient route. Smart engines use traffic information and advanced topography to consume less fuel. On-board cameras allow vehicles to act as smart moving traffic nodes and share traffic information with other traffic nodes and data sources. And vibration energy harvesting provides a clean energy source to power vehicle sensors.
AUDI Travolution — Travolution is a framework for future systems that quickly informs the driver and paves new standards of environmental responsibility to improved traffic flow and reduced commute time. Traffic lights connected to a central computer calculate optimum solutions using Genetic Algorithms. Traffic lights equipped with communication units send information about traffic light cycles. Audi cars then process this information into a speed recommendation for the driver.
Autonomous driving vehicles — The autonomous driving project is one of Volkswagen’s most forward-looking research projects. Research on autonomous vehicles allows for the continuous improvement of today’s driver assistance systems. These self-driving vehicles use laser range finders and radar sensors to perceive their environment and road ahead. In the future, autonomous vehicles could make driving safer and more fun by giving the driver the option to have the car drive by itself in certain situations where the driver does not want or possibly is not able to control the car. Stanley, an autonomous driving Volkswagen Touareg and winner of the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, was honored at a reception later in the day at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History where Tennessee Senators Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander joined the celebration. Stanley is the centerpiece of a new gallery in the museum’s Science in American Life exhibition.
“We have a lot of brainpower at our disposal today,” Jacoby, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America said. “We hope that the conversation we start today will continue for days to come and help lead us to a better tomorrow.”
There are numerous methods to create synthetic fuels and all create 50% (half) the emissions of Crude Oil as well. In 2012, a team of Princeton scholars exhaustively worked out a 100% replacement of Oil – see Elia, J. A., Baliban, R. C., & Floudas, C. A. (2012). Nationwide energy supply chain analysis for hybrid feedstock processes with significant CO2 emissions reduction. AIChE Journal, 58(7), 2142–2154. http://doi.org/10.1002/aic.13842
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