Carbon Dioxide

During combustion, carbon in hydrocarbons is oxidized to carbon dioxide. The production rate for the various fuels is shown in Table 1.3. The exact fate of this carbon dioxide is not well known. The oceans adsorb some. Some is used by plant life for growth. Much of it remains permanently in the atmosphere. Analysis of air bubbles trapped in Antarctic and Greenland ice show the carbon dioxide concentration prior to 1700, was about 260 parts per million. In 1900 it was 295 parts per million....

Introduction

Technology allows citizens of developed nations to live better than medieval kings. Kings lacked indoor plumbing, automatic heating and cooling, refrigerators, and comfortable methods to travel from the next town in a few hours or to the other side of the world in a day. Kings could not entertain themselves or their guests with radio, sound recording, television and movies. Advanced agriculture technology made it possible for a few percent of the population to feed the remainder. Medical...

Solar Thermal Electric Energy

The use of solar thermal for the production of electricity has been demonstrated at several places. Solar I is a 10-megawatt plant located near Barstow, California. It has 1818 heliostats with a total area of 71,130 square meters and is one of the largest solar thermal plants in the world. 81 The heliostats track the sun and reflect the solar energy into a central receiver. Here the highly concentrated solar energy boils water, making steam to run the turbines. The power varies as the angle of...

The Hydrogen Air Fuel Cell

The fuel cell was discussed in Chapter 6. The automobile fuel cell will likely make a profound impact on the private automobile a repeat of the discussion of how fuel cells function is warranted. A fuel cell is a special type of battery. In commonplace batteries, the chemicals and hardware used to produce the electric current are placed within the battery package. As the battery is used, the reaction products remain within the confines of the package. Because of the fixed mass of reactive...

Storage Of Electrical Energy

Because of the transient nature of electricity, none of the techniques used for the storage of chemical fuels are of use in storing electricity. Capacitors can store tiny bits of energy for a few moments. Most magnetic devices store less energy than capacitors. The only methods used to store significant quantities of electric energy do so by converting it to some other form and then storing the other form. The common storage container for electrical energy is the battery. There are many types...

Note About Synthetic Hydrocarbons

Hydrocarbons can be synthesized by reacting hydrogen with carbon-containing materials. Farm waste and coal have been suggested as suitable carbon sources. Investigators have suggested large quantities of hydrogen should be produced for the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. Chemical engineers currently know how to process coal into synthetic liquid fuels. Today Sasol Ltd. of South Africa uses the Fischer-Tropsch 174 process to product synthetic hydrocarbon fuels on an industrial scale. 175...

Nonrenewable Sources With Short Service Life Burner Reactor Nuclear Energy

The current nuclear power plants produce energy by causing uranium atoms to break into two atoms of elements each about half the atomic weight of uranium. This process is called fission. When uranium atoms fissions into two lighter elements the nuclear binding energy of the two lighter elements is greater than the binding energy of the single uranium atom. This difference in energy is converted to heat. U2,113 The uranium is consumed in the fission reaction. Energy generation by burning fossil...

Fossil Fuels A Source Of International Conflict

The author has only a nonprofessional's knowledge of international relations. Despite the lack of detailed understanding of all the elements of these interactions, it is clear that competition over access to fossil fuel resources has the potential to destabilize the world. Some areas are already finding reasons to threaten war over oil. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Iran are threatening each other over control of the Alov oil field in the middle of the Caspian Sea. 61 In near future 1.2 billion...

Physical Damage From Extraction Of Fossil Fuels

The environmental damage from fossil fuels begins with the mining or extraction. Fossil fuels are found in a variety of geological formations. These range from surface deposits of coal, oil shale and tar sands to oil pools kilometers below the bottom of oceans. The recovery of all categories of fossil fuels results in damage. Some recovery processes are more damaging, some are less, but the effects are similar. The damage from the recovery of fossil fuels is a worldwide problem however, this...

Atmospheric Damage Caused By Fossil Fuels

The recovery, shipment and handling of hydrocarbons cause damage to the land and sea. After recovery, the combustion of fossil fuels causes damage to the atmosphere. The major reason for damage is fact that the process is open ended. Fossil fuels are recovered, reacted with oxygen from the atmosphere to product energy. The solid waste is disposed of in landfills. The gaseous waste products (carbon dioxide, water and toxins) are irreversibly vented into the atmosphere. The air pollution produced...

What Are Fossil Fuels

The term fossil fuels encompasses a spectrum of mineral organic compounds extracted from the earth. These are outlined in Table 1.1. They range from solids to liquids and gases. They include coal, petroleum, shale oil, tar sands and natural gas. Each of the generic names describes a group of materials, often with widely differing properties. Coal is always a solid. It can be hard or soft and high or low in ash or sulfur. Many coals contain highly toxic mercury, selenium, arsenic and beryllium....

Cleaning Compounds And Drugs Use Fossil Fuel Chemicals

Cleaning compounds were once produced from animal and plant fats and oils. Fats and grease were cooked with wood ashes. The potassium hydroxide from the ashes decomposed the fats into fatty acid salts and glycerin. The first soaps were these potassium salts of fatty acids. The potassium salt - acid end of the molecule - rendered the compound water-soluble. The long carbon chain of the fatty acid endows the opposite end of the molecule with an affinity for greasy materials. This combination of...

Fossil Fuels Valuable Chemical Resources

The hydrocarbons from fossil fuels can be use to make products of far greater value than gasoline and fuel oil. These products affect every facet of modern life. They include things as diverse as drugs, paint, plastics, rubber, cloth, and lubricants. These alternate uses provide a strong motivation for terminating the use of hydrocarbons as fuels and preserving them for beneficial future uses. The hosts of chemicals extracted from hydrocarbons are not available from any other source at so low a...

Fusion Reactor Energy

Nuclear fusion reactions have excellent potential for the planet's energy source. Much research has been performed leading to harnessing fusion reactions for the production of power. There are today, four or five major, and a dozen secondary, research centers worldwide working on fusion technology. Few researchers doubt that energy can eventually be produced by the use of fusion reactions, but there is much disagreement about the nature of the facilities and the details of their engineering...

Oxygen Sewage Treatment

Modern high efficiency sewage treatment uses a process termed aerobic digestion, the same process that occurs in the purification of natural waters. In nature, the purification begins when oxygen from the air dissolves in the water. Aerobic bacteria, those requiring oxygen in their life processes, consume the contaminants in the water for their growth. Part of the material each organism consumes is used for cell growth and part is reacted with oxygen to provide energy. Cells grow, die and are...

Storage Of Chemical Energy

Chemical fuels can be easily stored for long periods. The solid fuels present the least problems of storage. For simple temporary storage, coal can be dumped in a pile on the ground. If storage is for only a short period the coal can be left in the open. For longer-term storage, it is desirable to cover the coal with some type of waterproof cover. The cover prevents rain from soaking the coal and interfering with the combustion process. Rainwater can also leach toxic sulfur compounds from coal...

Evolution To The Fuel Cell

The hydrogen air fuel cell is a type of battery that uses the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to produce electric power without the intervening production of heat. The fuel cell is extremely efficient when compared with devices using heat to produce electric power. The most efficient coal or nuclear plants convert, at the very most, 40 of the heat energy, to electricity. Fuel cells easily convert 60 of the potential energy of hydrogen to electricity. At low load conditions, they can operate at...

The Internal Combustion Automobile Engine

Over the last 25 years, interest in hydrogen has resulted in a number of projects for the conversion of standard automobiles to hydrogen fuel. The early projects in the United States 200 were performed by the following organizations University of Southern California, University of Miami Florida , University of Denver Research Institute, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, and Billings Energy Company Utah . Today Hydrogen Components Incorporated, in Denver Colorado will convert any ground-based...

The Cost

Whatever the uncertainties, a crude cost estimate must be made to emphasize the magnitude of the undertaking. The project will start with a first year cost of 100 million to 1 billion. Initial funds will be used for recruiting technical management staff and long range planning. Three action groups must be formed. One will plan the initial investigations of at least two different reactor types for preliminary testing and development. The second will evaluate Hawaiian-NOAA floating cities versus...

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Otec

The surface of the ocean in the tropics has a temperature of 24 to 28 degrees Celsius. The water at depths greater than about 500 meters is at a temperature of about 4 degrees Celsius. This temperature difference of 20 to 24 degrees can be used to drive power-generating equipment. When the size of the ocean is taken into account, the total energy available is many times that used by humanity. 102 The efficiency of heat driven machines is dependent on the temperature difference between the heat...

Smog

It irritates the eyes, damages the lungs, may be a synergistic factor in lung and cardiovascular disease, it slows the growth or kills plants and damages or stains buildings, bridges and monuments. Specialists have written much about the hazards of smog. '12 They agree any method to reduce or eliminate it would be beneficial to all and harmful to none. Fortunately, most smog will quickly disappear when the combustion of fossil fuels is stopped. If fossil fuels...

Acid Rain

The sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides produced by combustion of hydrocarbons react with the oxygen and water in the air to produce sulfuric and nitric acid. These acids dissolve in, and make rain acid. 18 Acid rain falls on plants causing direct damage. When it falls on ground with a low ability to neutralize acid it runs into streams and lakes killing the plants and animals. The acid rain that flows over and through soil dissolves metals such as aluminum and zinc. The dissolved metals add to...

Tidal Energy

The capture of energy from the highly predictable tides has intrigued people for hundreds of years. 105 As a result, there have been development projects since the 18th century. Tide times can be predicted with astronomical accuracy and the height can be predicted to within 0.1 meter except when the weather is unusually violent. These characteristics could lead to a power source of great reliability. The largest of the current tidal power plants is a 50-year-old facility located in the Ranee...

Synopsis

1 ENERGY PRODUCTION BY THE COMBUSTION OF FOSSIL FUELS WILL EVENTUALLY BE PHASED OUT. As the people of the world raise their standard of living, the accompanying increase in fossil fuel use will be unsustainable. Climate change brought on by growing emissions of carbon dioxide will disrupt societies. The pollution threat will be increased by the forced growth in the use of low-grade fossil fuels. Improved living standards will increase the demand for chemicals from fossil fuel to produce higher...

Magnetic Confinement Reactors

The electrical conductivity of plasma allows it to be shaped and controlled by magnetic fields. At reactor start-up the D and T are heated to a temperature hot enough to strip the electrons from the atoms and create plasma. A temperature of only 0.015 keV is all that is required to create plasma. This relatively low temperature can be produced by simple high voltage discharges. The low temperature plasma of D and T is captured and held in position by strong magnetic fields. To start the...

Solar Voltaic Energy

Photovoltaic cells convert solar energy directly to electricity. No thermal engines are required to operate generators. Unlike the solar thermal technology discussed above, solar photovoltaic cells will produce energy from diffuse sunlight as well as direct. With diffuse light, the power drops off proportionally to the decrease in total light reaching the cells. As long as some light reaches the cells, there will be energy production.82 Hamakawa, Yoshihiro, Photovoltaic Power, Scientific...

Breeder Reactor Energy

If the operational conditions and design of a reactor are adjusted to maximize the amount of Pu produced it is possible to operate the reactor to produce more fertile isotopes than were originally used to start the reactor. This operational mode is called the breeder reactor. The breeder reactor can greatly extend the amount of potential energy available from uranium because it is possible to use the 99.3 U238 present in natural uranium, as fuel. It is also possible to use thorium Th in a...