I don't care how bad you think NG is---it is our best hope.
NG is the ONLY solution that can pass muster to bring real benefits and also get past conservative politics and economics.
ANY solution is useless if you can't get it implemented. To implement methane, we need massive changes in infrastructure. To get those changes we need to use fossil NG---it is the only way to get the conservatives on board.
All of your reasoning and science will do you NO good whatever. You are dealing with people who are not reasonable and logical. In fact, they start from the position that every thing you say is wrong---and they will NOT change their mind no matter what you say.
FNG is the ONLY tool we have that can provide the leverage to get change.
AFTER there is significant change to infrastructure is the time to start pushing to switch out to biomethane. Before that happens, everything else is hopeless.
----------" And with minor conversion, these units can also utilize the lower quality renewable gas produced currently by landfills, biodigesters and wastewater treatment plants"---------
Run it through a scrubber---fine water mist------and you have utility grade methane. The same stuff the utility pipes into your house.
-------" So - if NG prices should rise again in the future, the RNG market has the potential to supplant this fossil fuel with an alternative fuel source for many new generating stations."-------
Exactly the point I was making earlier.
Too many people want perfect to block out possible, and end up with neither.
Natural gas is not strip mined.
Coal and petroleum are.
Hydro fracking depletes surface water (severely in some arid areas), and has the potential to cause toxic contamination to often very limited water resources. For very long periods into the future, due to pumping waste back into wells.
I have never seen any industry spokesperson or pro-fracking proponent ever even mention to people the fact that there is a means of eliminating all of the most serious problems associated with fracking.
Propane is a gas under normal conditions, but under pressure becomes a liquid. Propane (as a liquid) can be used as the power transfer media(instead of water).
Propane is biologically inert(non toxic), and almost completely insoluble in water----if water is exposed to propane, it will diffuse out very rapidly when exposed to air. Let's assume for a moment that something goes wrong(although I really can't think of a situation this would happen with----let's just assume for a little while it could happen----and water down the well became exposed to propane. To have safe water again, all that would be necessary is to pump water out, and leave it exposed to the air for awhile, say overnight. Then you would have safe water. The propane would simply diffuse out, like a soda pop that goes flat overnight sitting out----same process, atmospheric diffusion.
A gel substance is used to transfer the propane------same stuff as in self foaming shave gel, also used in toothpaste, salad dressing and other foods. Safe enough to eat.
The propane is fully recoverable and reusable in the well head out flow. Catch it, and use it over to drive the next well.
Safe, non toxic, recoverable and reusable.
It is a commercially available option that is in use today.
Why does the industry not want people to know about this?
You said "Over the past decade, per capita use of electricity has gone up; despite all kinds of efficiency campaigns. " If you read the US statistics from either or both of the EIA (www.eia.gov) or the IEA (www.iea.org), total US energy consumption over the last decade has been flat, which means that per capita energy use has gone down. You referenced electricity use only, which is only one piece of the pie."----------
Sometimes I can lose track of what I may have said previously, especially when the threads begin to get long---------but I don't think I've talked about anything but natural gas in this thread.
----------" You referenced electricity use only, which is only one piece of the pie. Heating fuels are also used to produce electricity and to produce transportation fuels. Dealing with electricity generation alone does not take care of the future. "----------
Solar thermal heat can be used directly to heat water and buildings. No electricity or minimal electricity required(run fans or water pumps mainly).
Solar thermal heat is extremely simple, low cost to build and maintain, can last virtually forever, effective and can function either independently or in conjunction with already existing systems.
There are quite a number of ways that you can use energy but not need electricity.
-----" If people on a site like this can not even get it right, what chance is there for the "facebook" and "tweeting" masses....
Brian------"We are sacrificing our fresh water for a few years of fracked gas. We can create town gas from wastes we now pay big money to dump., and refine it to be just as good as "natural" gas ."-------------
Neither natural gas or biomethane is refined, it is "scrubbed' with a fine water mist that removes impurities.
Biomethane is not "just as good" as fossil natural gas----it is exactly the same stuff, CH4.
Brian D.----------" Fred, it doesn't matter what the fracking fluids are, the heavy metals and potential water contaminants are in the shale layers. punching holes through the aquifers to get to the deep shale creates new paths for contamination."------------
I agree with you there Brian, however, I see things as a matter of progression. I believe we should make a change to methane as quickly as possible. Use fossil methane in the least intrusive means possible(propane fracking)----and build out anaerobic digestion capacity as we go along.
AD is the final goal in my estimation---I see fossil methane as just a step to get there.
Overall, I agree with you that AD is the best long term solution.
I also support production of CH4 directly from CO2 by means of the Sabatier reaction as is being done in Germany right now using excess wind power.
Mileage per charge is highly dependent on ambient conditions.
Electric motors are very efficient but changing electrical energy work. But to change electrical to chemical energy and then back again to electrical energy[in a battery] is not so efficient. And it becomes less and less efficient very quickly as the temperature goes down. You'll see this very quickly trying to start a car on a cold day. It also takes longer to charge when ambient temperatures go down.
@ Bill------" BUT, when dealing with rapid charging and fairly rapid discharging, there is an excess of heat generated anyway"-----------
That is proof of the lower efficiency. Heat is a sign that energy is being wasted.
So long as the ambient temperature is low, heat is expended to keep the batteries up to a higher temperature. The lower the ambient temperature, the higher the heat needed to heat them.
As a general rule---------it takes 2X the energy to heat per 20*F. For instance, if air is 100% RH at 80*F, it is only 50% RH at 100*F, 25% RH if heated from 60*F, etc.
I agree, it sounds more like a fuel cell. The question then becomes, how much of the energy recovered is in the form of electricity, and how much is in the form of heat.
What is needed is a battery that recovers all(or as much as possible) of the energy stored in hydrocarbons as electricity and as little as possible as heat. Useful energy / total energy = efficiency.