Audi’s planning to make diesel from thin air

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by genna, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. genna

    genna Line Up and Wait

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  2. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Another economic loser, probably more efficient to just make electricity.
     
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  3. asicer

    asicer Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe, but there are other tradeoffs such as density and longevity. Plus, a diesel container is cheaper and simpler than an electricity container.
     
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  4. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I suppose, but it is so cheap to pump it out of the ground in comparison.
     
  5. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think the economics on large scale methane —> diesel were competitive with 40 - 50 $/bbl oil. If they can use waste heat to generate the hydrogen then maybe the direct cost of this process might be competitive. Of course if the indirect costs are included (since there are other uses for waste heat) then I doubt the economics are competitive with $80 oil. Just guessing on the hydrogen generation cost. It might not be quite that bad.
     
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Henning?
     
  7. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Henning wants to burn Hydrogen I think.
     
  8. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    Diesel and Audi? The only thing that comes to mind is criminal corporate behavior.

    Audi is part of the Volkswagen Group, which installed the defeat devices on their diesel cars, causing them to emit far more lung-killing NOx than was allowed. And then they lied about it.
     
  9. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    I believe you are referring to the various derivatives of the Fischer-Tropsch process, more popularly known gas-to-liquids or GTL. The economics are not competitive at $40 to $50 oil unless the input gas is virtually cost free, and even then the ROI for the very significant capital investment is suspect.

    That's one of the reasons the only two really world scale modern GTL plants are in the Gulf State of Qatar. The Qataris wanted a showcase. At a time of record high oil prices the condensate liquids content of their gas field paid for all the development and production costs, so the residual gas was essentially "free". At the time the deals with Shell and Sasoil looked lke the start of a proliferation of GTL plants worldwide. Hasn't happened. The economics are difficult, very difficult.
     
  10. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The cost range I gave is from a project I worked on the fringes of a few years ago. The numbers are real. There are many obstacles on projects like this. In time these plants will be built in the US. We have too much natural gas and coal to not do it. The shale oil boom will pass.
     
  11. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Old dog w/o new tricks
    But why use thin air? Wouldn’t heavier air give better results?


    :cool:
     
  12. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because Switzerland only has thin air.

    I read the article finally. Looks like a folly or some sort of tax dodge scheme. No way in hell it can be a commercial success as it is described. Nobody but nobody generates commercial quantities of hydrogen by electrolysis. Set up the process beside a fossil fuel fired power plant where waste heat and CO2 are available and maybe it could work.
     
  13. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    You may well be proven right.
    Natural gas is abundant and comparatively cheap globally. The USA excels at developing and commercializing technology to shift the cost curve on almost everything. Few other economies are even close. That's how shale gas and oil was unlocked.

    But I haven't seen that type of technology driven shift in the generations old Fischer-Tropsch. The two state-of-the-art GTL plants in Qatar didn't lower the threshold cost point (other than scaling effect) which is unusual. Maybe that will come in due course.
     
  14. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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  15. X3 Skier

    X3 Skier En-Route

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  16. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I believe you are correct, but hope you are not.
     
  17. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When I done gradgeated from engineering school back in the olden days my first job was at a natural gas utility. The big thing then was the natural gas shortage - they had underground storage fields and cryogenic storage facilities so they could stock up in the summer. And, I ended up working at a Synthetic Natural Gas plant - took in naptha from local refineries and cracked it all the way down to methane which got pumped to the big city. At the time the plant was designed, it actually made economic sense. But, it has long been shut down - I can't even figure where it used to be on google earth.

    Times change.

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cen-v054n026.p040

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/...energy-crisis-natural-gas-peoples-energy-corp
     
  18. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Move along...nothing to see here.

    This has been doable for years...Not my main area of expertise so maybe someone has figured out how to do it cheap enough, but I doubt it...
     
  19. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    The gas utilities are still obligated to maintain emergency or supply interruption backup. The way they generally do it now is with small scale LNG liquefaction plants and storage. The feedstock comes from their own pipe connection, the LNG storage boiloff goes into the distribution system, and periodically they fire up the plant to refill the tanks. There are about 250 of these in the Lower 48.
     
  20. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Hmmm. Oxidizing hydrocarbons (breaking the H-C bond in the presence of oxygen to form CO2 & water vapor) is exothermic.

    Re-forming that bond to create a hydrocarbon (synthetic diesel) requires adding energy. Even so-called renewable energy (what a misnomer that is :p ) isn't actually "free".

    To make this work economically requires the input energy to be very cheap and the output energy to be valued rather highly. Liquid transportation fuels are usually priced at a premium to other uses, but this whole process is a real energy hog, with both the electrolysis and the F-T reformer using gobs of energy compared to the usable, recoverable amount in the syn-diesel produced.

    Some of you may remember this little stunt from a few years back:

    Partners carry out first biofuel flight using Virgin 747
    • 24 FEBRUARY, 2008
    • SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
    • LONDON

    A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 has today carried out its first flight in part using biofuel, flying from London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport this morning.

    The aircraft flew with one of its four General Electric CF6 engines using a 20% mix of biofuel developed by Seattle-based Imperium Renewablescomposed of babassu oil and coconut oil. It follows extensive ground testing by engine manufacturer GE Aviation and did not require any modification to the aircraft or engine...
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  21. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Interesting perspective. I cannot find any supporting data on number of projects or on your reported use. Underground storage is by far and away the largest volume of gas for emergency and supply interruption along with mitigating transportation limitations. LNG is used in about 110 locations in the US for peak shaving, export and import.
     
  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    It’s Audi. The stupid thing will break down long before anything else built like it, and cost a fortune to fix. :)

    Let us know when Honda starts doing it. :) :) :)
     
  23. genna

    genna Line Up and Wait

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_in_Formula_One#McLaren_.282015.E2.80.932017.29

    ".....McLaren described Honda as "they seem a bit lost" and expressed "serious concerns" over whether Honda would ever be capable of building an engine that could win the world championship.[43] A day later, during first practice, the Honda engine broke down with Alonso commenting that "we are used to it".[44] Alonso's engine failed again during the race......"

    "....At the Singapore Grand Prix McLaren announced that they were to drop Honda as their engine supplier"