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Old 16th May 2011, 18:00   #16
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@ sgiitk : WRT your comments on the Hydrogen scene - they are the facts which no one wants to acknowledge.

The hydrogen economy can not come to roost, as you point out, without the tech to make it economically viable. On the other hand the Hydrogen brigade states that once the hydrogen economy comes to roost the tech will follow. Thats absolute nonsense.

The way forward is "Electricity" driven. My education is not on the technical side, am just a book-keeper. From a munim's perspective I can say that today there exist viable alternatives in the electric power space to the IC engine powered vehicle. The range limitation that is so often pointed out as a shortcoming is more in the mind than in the usage, if one considers the average driving usage of a commuter living in an urban/suburban environment, The caveat here being one is using Lithium Iron based batteries as opposed to lead acid type of batteries. Much lighter, higher storage capacity- but yes also much more expensive. Much safer than the LiCo based stuff. Further if one desires long distance travel in an EV , then range extenders are the option to consider as is being tried in the GM Volt and the Jag Hybrid concept.

Other battery chemistries are being worked on but as things stand today, a viable alternative exists.

The next limiation that one gets to hear about is the infrastructure to deal with recharging of batteries in an urban environment where most people live in high rises and do not have access to recharging points in their residential/office complexes. One very enterprising Israeli entrepreneur has done a lot of work on this. The following link provides a lot of info Better Place | The Global Provider of EV Networks and Services. . This model can easily be replicated in India too. SO instead of going to the gas station you just go to a battery switching station.

Will these developments reach India? Here I am not very optimistic. The sorry apology that we have for administrators in our country are an obscurantist lot not to say corrupt as hell too. As long as they control the fossil fuel economy with the economic rent they derive from it, read perks-privileges and commissions all along the chain, they are not going to let change come in. It will take a catastrophic development of the kind (when India went bust/bankrupt for the benefit of the younger members) that allowed our current PM to usher in change as the then FM to change this sorry state of affairs.

Last edited by RS_DEL : 16th May 2011 at 18:03.
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Old 16th May 2011, 18:16   #17
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Apart from the usual suspects - bio diesel and ethanol blended petrol, are there any other newer ones?

Though not exactly new, I have come across a couple of technologies where an used material is recycled.

One is developed by Dr. Alka Zadgaonkar where plastic is recycled and fuel is extracted. IOC has evaluated the fuel thus reclaimed and the Govt has permitted it to be used in stationary gensets, agricultural pumpsets and farm equipment.

Alka Zadgaonkar-- Catalyic conversion of plastic to fuel

Another one is from waste tyre recycling. Though not HSD or MS, fuel oil can be extracted along with Gas, steel and carbon black.

manufactures waste tyre recyling plant

When will be these make grade for consumption in automobiles is to be seen.

The above are based on a thermo-chemical process called as "pyrolysis".

The oil which is one of the outputs (from the process which uses tyres) is apparently similar/equivalent to light diesel oil. the other major output being carbon black as you said above.

dont know why it hasn't picked up,esp when on paper it looks good, apparently one of the reasons that could be is the efficiency of the process isn't that high. would like more info if anyone could provide!
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Old 16th May 2011, 19:12   #18
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In one of the episodes of Chop Shop (Discovery Turbo), Bernie used leftover cooking oil from restaurants, cleaned it and ran an SUV (Pajero, I think).
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Old 16th May 2011, 22:11   #19
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even if the technologies go the distance, i highly doubt it will become 'mainstream' very soon. the reason i see is the sheer unimaginable wealth in the crude oil business, everyone is raking in billions, from the refineries, ministers, well reserve owners and even the 'pertol pump' in our streets is raking in crores of rupees. with that kind of money, and most importantly power, they are never going to allow alternate fuels to be mainstream. in fact i will not be surprised if they create a false 'rock bottom' and dearth of oil reserves to multiply their wealth even more. we ordinary folks cant even imagine the way these people think and what they are capable of doing.
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Old 16th May 2011, 23:46   #20
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The above are based on a thermo-chemical process called as "pyrolysis".

dont know why it hasn't picked up,esp when on paper it looks good, apparently one of the reasons that could be is the efficiency of the process isn't that high. would like more info if anyone could provide!
The Zadgaonkar process involves a catalyst. It apparently drew attention of the Petroleum Ministry and the IOC had done some tests on the process and fuel and were satisfied. The Petroleum Minister had announced a grant but it seems it didnt materialize.

There is a commercial scale plant running at Nagpur.

This process is for extracting fuel from plastic.

Pyrolysis is for recycling waste tyres into fuels. Whereas the Zadgaonkar process promises MS and HSD on further refining, the waste tyre recycling route, as far as I know, stops at Fuel Oil and Gas. This technology too is commercialized. And it doesnt cost a bomb. About Rs.50 lakhs for a 5 tonne per day plant.
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Old 17th May 2011, 11:44   #21
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@RS_DEL; There are two problems with batteries - weight and replacement costs. I personally feel that hybrids may be more viable. I feel that the Gas Turbine - Hybrid as proposed by Jaguar is a brilliant concept. Small batteries, light engine with a high power to weight ratio means that it should weigh about the same as a regular car. It will be fuel efficient as well.

In the intermediate term I think fuel cells, using Alcohol may be the way to go.

@simplyself; A catalyst is a given. The problem in a different language is for getting a lower hydrocarbon you have to crack and add hydrogen.

@Gooney; I hear that the Shaktiman could work on any fuel!
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Old 17th May 2011, 12:05   #22
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@RS_DEL; There are two problems with batteries - weight and replacement costs.

@Gooney; I hear that the Shaktiman could work on any fuel!
True. But the biggest hinderance is infrastructure. Imagine a situation where 20 percent of India's passenger cars are pure play EVs, and the subsequent drain on the electric grid when they charge (which would be almost synchronous, starting ~9 pm until the morning). Also, we are long way off from seeing electic recharge station as frequently as a petrol bunk.

Even I have heard the same about the Shaktiman, however never read about it anywhere. Anyway, even if it were true, changing fuel would decrease the life of the engine considerably, no.
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Old 17th May 2011, 12:22   #23
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Originally Posted by RS_DEL;2353693
The next limiation that one gets to hear about is the infrastructure to deal with recharging of batteries in an urban environment where most people live in high rises and do not have access to recharging points in their residential/office complexes. One very enterprising Israeli entrepreneur has done a lot of work on this. The following link provides a lot of info [URL="http://www.betterplace.com/"
Better Place | The Global Provider of EV Networks and Services.[/url] . This model can easily be replicated in India too. SO instead of going to the gas station you just go to a battery switching station.
Shai Agassi, as you pointed out is a brilliant enterprenuer and his battery swap brainchild is equally brilliant. This initiative started in 2007 and Shimon Perez being a fan of Shai, asked him to start a pilot in Israel. They managed to rope in Carlos Ghosn too, hence the test vehicle is the Renault Fluence EV. It looked very promising and the first functional battery swap station was unveiled some months back. However, from what I read, the project has not been a success, the way it was expected to.

This leads me to think that the hurdles in clean technology is beyond technical, infrastructure- and consumer acceptance - related. The way things are running for all the stakeholders in the fossil-fuel vehicles, are perfect and earning them enough money.
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Old 17th May 2011, 13:52   #24
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@RS_DEL; There are two problems with batteries - weight and replacement costs. I personally feel that hybrids may be more viable. I feel that the Gas Turbine - Hybrid about the same as a regular car. It will be fuel efficient as well.

In the intermediate term I think fuel cells, using Alcohol may be the way to go.

I will state upfront, that I am in the "little knowledge" segment of things and hence could well be wrong. Having said that I will submit as under:

The weight issue is not that much of an issue if you consider the Li route for creating a battery pack. The quantum of energy that is stored in Li based battery pack is way higher than in a Lead battery pack. The issue of replacement costs has to be looked at from the perspective of running costs of an EV vis-a-vis the same for an ICE (not the entertainment ICE) powered vehicle. In my wanderings on the internet the understanding I have gathered of this matter is - [] Higher upfront cost of a Li based battery pack is amortised over a considerably long life of the battery pack, [] after such amortisation enough is left over for acquiring a battery once the current battery pack reaches it's cycle life of full discharge and charge cycles, and [] most importantly after taking out of the ICE block from a vehicle a fair amount of the engine related maintenance upkeep is also saved and hence subsidises the acquisition of a new battery. These savings have also to be seen in the light of the ever tightening crude prices - I do not refer to the abnormally high fuel oil prices that Indian consumers are compelled to fork out, but the global scenario.

I will admit upfront that the above is based on hearsay - readings of experiences of enthusiasts and not on personal experience. So if one chooses to be sceptical thats perfectly justified.

Quote:
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True. But the biggest hinderance is infrastructure. Imagine a situation where 20 percent of India's passenger cars are pure play EVs, and the subsequent drain on the electric grid when they charge (which would be almost synchronous, starting ~9 pm until the morning). Also, we are long way off from seeing electic recharge station as frequently as a petrol bunk.

.
I agree with you that the infrastructure just does not exist as of today. However non conventional sources such as wind turbine generated power is not optimally utilised due to the fact the generation and consumption is not synchronous. If a large enough generation capacity bank can be developed on renewable side, then off-peak/lean consumption times can be used to offer differential tariffs for usages such as charging battery packs of vehicles. These are ideas that are being talked about in the progressive economies and I am only writing here what I have read on the subject.


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Shai Agassi, as you pointed out is a brilliant enterprenuer and his battery swap brainchild is equally brilliant. This initiative started in 2007 and Shimon Perez being a fan of Shai, asked him to start a pilot in Israel. They managed to rope in Carlos Ghosn too, hence the test vehicle is the Renault Fluence EV. It looked very promising and the first functional battery swap station was unveiled some months back. However, from what I read, the project has not been a success, the way it was expected to.

This leads me to think that the hurdles in clean technology is beyond technical, infrastructure- and consumer acceptance - related. The way things are running for all the stakeholders in the fossil-fuel vehicles, are perfect and earning them enough money.
Yes I agree with you. The stake holders may differ in different parts of the world. However they have a vested interest in delaying EV tech. I can easily be accused of being a greenie weirdo conspiracy theorist, but the fact of the matter is EVs' are not going to be seen in any appreciable numbers till the powerful have not fully exploited their assets on the fossil fuel side.
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Old 17th May 2011, 14:13   #25
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@RS_DEL; There are two problems with batteries - weight and replacement costs. I personally feel that hybrids may be more viable. I feel that the Gas Turbine - Hybrid as proposed by Jaguar is a brilliant concept. Small batteries, light engine with a high power to weight ratio means that it should weigh about the same as a regular car. It will be fuel efficient as well.

In the intermediate term I think fuel cells, using Alcohol may be the way to go.
Sir

AFAIK the gar turbines give relatively poor efficiency, even though the power/weight ratio is excellent. In a hybrid, how would this effect FE vis-a-vis the normal internal combustion engine cars?

Also fuel cells have been a very interesting topic but I don't know much about them. Can you tell us a little more? Another application for fuel cells can be household supplies (no noise, no smoke, and weight/bulk is not a problem for the application)
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Old 17th May 2011, 14:42   #26
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Today gas turbines have becomes quite efficient. Remember we are looking at single speed operation.
As for batteries at the moment Li-ion are the best, but still have bad weight penalty.
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Old 17th May 2011, 18:15   #27
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Today gas turbines have becomes quite efficient. Remember we are looking at single speed operation.
As for batteries at the moment Li-ion are the best, but still have bad weight penalty.
that is very interesting - something more to read up on

can you give some info on fuel cells?
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Old 17th May 2011, 20:05   #28
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I remember that couple years ago there was some exposure to the compressed Air technology from MDI Luxembourg. TATA also seems to have invested in them. However of late there is no news from them. Probably they are still stuck in R&D quick sand.

However it is an interesting technology if successful.
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Old 17th May 2011, 20:35   #29
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I remember that couple years ago there was some exposure to the compressed Air technology from MDI Luxembourg. TATA also seems to have invested in them. However of late there is no news from them. Probably they are still stuck in R&D quick sand.

However it is an interesting technology if successful.
I read somewhere that the technology had major problems. The range was insufficient and air pressure wouldn't maintain itself.

For a hybrid it may work (regenerative braking etc. - without and electric powertrain) but I don't know the size/weight of this so don't know whether hybrid is viable.
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Old 17th May 2011, 21:12   #30
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can you give some info on fuel cells?
For starters you can try this.
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