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Old 16th May 2011, 07:39   #1
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Default Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

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.

http://www.rexresearch.com/zadgnkar/zadgnkar.htm

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

http://anjaliexim.com/

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

Last edited by simplyself : 16th May 2011 at 07:41.
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Old 16th May 2011, 10:06   #2
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

I am also aware of a similar technology. RIL looked at it, had a couple of lectures and went to sleep. You can also make Carnuba quality wax!

I suspect the Alcohol fuelled buses in Reykjavik are a pointer. They use Alcohol for the fuel cells. FCs require Hydrogen so must have some catalyst in the cell itself to crack it. I have post the article. I think the buses went into service around 2004.

Not alternate fuels, but I also see a lot of promise in the jaguar concept of a Turbine / Electric Hybrid. A turbine is more efficient and has far higher power to weight ratio than and IC engine.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Now Alcohol Fuel Cells are here.pdf (13.7 KB, 461 views)

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Old 16th May 2011, 10:25   #3
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Heard that majority of the vehicles in Brazil run on fuel extracted from Sugarcane, wonder what is stopping Indians from adopting the same as we are Sugarcane rich country
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Old 16th May 2011, 10:29   #4
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@2500cc; The US tried to encourage Gasohol, result Corn prices went through the roof. In India I hear they are unable to get sufficient Alcohol even for E10. This tech is good if you can produce the alcohol (Ethanol or Methanol) either as a by-product or from waste.!
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Old 16th May 2011, 12:29   #5
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

The alternate fuel which would replace current fossil fuels would be hydrogen. Instead of using petrol as a medium for internal combustion, hydrogen can be used as a medium. Converting chemical energy to mechanical energy. Hydrogen has many merits compared to other major technology like electric cars, solar powered cars, etc.
Merits of hydrogen
  1. Easy to produce and source.
  2. Available throught out the globe.
  3. Cars can quickly refueled with hydrogen compared to electric and solar.
  4. During an accident if hydrogen tank gets damaged the gas would mix up with atmosphere and wont cause any problem whereas if its a petrol car, the fuel keeps dripping over the road and it is more prone to lead to a catastrophic damage.
Just my 2 cents.
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Old 16th May 2011, 12:49   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2500cc View Post
Heard that majority of the vehicles in Brazil run on fuel extracted from Sugarcane, wonder what is stopping Indians from adopting the same as we are Sugarcane rich country
We do! In 2006, the government mandated that ethanol should be blended in a five percent proportion with petrol to be sold in the country. Just that our government hasn't used it as a publicity gimmick, and it has not been totally implemented yet.

More here and here.
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:25   #7
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Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
Merits of hydrogen
  1. Easy to produce and source.
  2. Available throughout out the globe.
This is news to me. I have talked to many people who are working on hydrogen energy. The best answer I have got about availability is 'Let the Hydrogen Economy come, some technology will come', i.e. at the moment - zilch. The most common sources of hydrogen are electrolysis, and coal reforming (cracking water with coal.

Neither is quite feasible,

Electrolysis: India suffers from chronic power shortages.

Water & Coal: Indian coal has high sulphur and ash content. Also, does not do too much good to the carbon footprint.
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:37   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el lobo 6061 View Post
During an accident if hydrogen tank gets damaged the gas would mix up with atmosphere and wont cause any problem whereas if its a petrol car, the fuel keeps dripping over the road and it is more prone to lead to a catastrophic damage.
Just my 2 cents.
On the contrary, compressed hydrogen (thats how hydrogen is stored in fuel cell vehicles) is a very dangerous fuel. If it leaks and comes in contact with atmospheric oxygen, it instantaneously combusts.
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:42   #9
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Since sugarcane was mentioned, there is dearth of molasses during non-harvest periods for the alcohol industry. Sugarcane needs a lot of water and in our country its not feasible. We also import sugar from time to time and are not self-sufficient.

So generally if we are to use any crop for fuel generation I think it would not be feasible. We cannot waste resources on non-food yielding crops. Now growing Jatropha like shrubs in waste lands has been proved to be not economically viable.
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Old 16th May 2011, 14:45   #10
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

Here's some related threads on the topic:

Biofuel explained (Biofuels : Explained & explored. Must read for Biodiesel admirers)

Future fuels (Alternate Fuel / Future Fuel)

Alternate sources of fuel (Alternative Sources of Fuel (including plastic fuel!))
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Old 16th May 2011, 15:01   #11
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
Since sugarcane was mentioned, there is dearth of molasses during non-harvest periods for the alcohol industry. Sugarcane needs a lot of water and in our country its not feasible. We also import sugar from time to time and are not self-sufficient.

So generally if we are to use any crop for fuel generation I think it would not be feasible. We cannot waste resources on non-food yielding crops. Now growing Jatropha like shrubs in waste lands has been proved to be not economically viable.
Instead of using regular water, they can filter and use sea water for this purpose. I think even the Brazilians do it that way (had read this sometime back, but unable to find the source now). Also, recently there was a news article stating that the scientist from Britain had discovered an water based alternate fuel.
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Old 16th May 2011, 15:08   #12
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Instead of using regular water, they can filter and use sea water for this purpose. I think even the Brazilians do it that way (had read this sometime back, but unable to find the source now). Also, recently there was a news article stating that the scientist from Britain had discovered an water based alternate fuel.
When we cant desalinate sea water for drinking purposes, how can we do it on a larger scale for agriculture?
Brazil has the Amazon (both rain forest and river). They dont use sea water.

I remember a smart Karnataka minister saying a couple of years back that we can import sugar, but cant import water. He was referring to the huge amount of water used for sugarcane.
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Old 16th May 2011, 15:28   #13
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

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This is news to me. I have talked to many people who are working on hydrogen energy. The best answer I have got about availability is 'Let the Hydrogen Economy come, some technology will come', i.e. at the moment - zilch. The most common sources of hydrogen are electrolysis, and coal reforming (cracking water with coal.

Neither is quite feasible,

Electrolysis: India suffers from chronic power shortages.

Water & Coal: Indian coal has high sulphur and ash content. Also, does not do too much good to the carbon footprint.

+1 sir, however some corrections:

Electrolysis, at least the way it is done today, is far from a viable source of energy. It is far too inefficient to be any use.

Water+coal - equally bad with the added disadvantage of using coal (read CO2) in the process.

The most important source of H2 presently is methans cracking to generate carbon black and hydrogen.



There are many technical difficulties with Hydrogen, apart from the generation itself. It is nothing but a pipe dream for the foreseeable future.
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Old 16th May 2011, 16:04   #14
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Default re: Alternate Fuels - Any Major Technologies?

@vina; I used to work in Hydrogen storage (specifically Hydride) in the late 70's early 80's. Gave it up once I realised that the Hydrogen Economy will for a long time be 'round the corner'.
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Old 16th May 2011, 16:10   #15
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@vina; I used to work in Hydrogen storage (specifically Hydride) in the late 70's early 80's. Gave it up once I realised that the Hydrogen Economy will for a long time be 'round the corner'.


I read somewhere (IEEE or MIT tech review) that H2 can leak out of steel containers via the interstitial spaces in grain boundaries - is that true?
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