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Old 29th April 2006, 15:36   #1
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Default Alternative Fuel Options !!

Hello All,

This thought occurred to me while replying to the fuel-hike thread.. All of us are affected and complain about the hike in fuel prices.. But very few of us decide to look for other options..

There are various alternate energy options available for our house-holds and industries and I am starting with an attempt to list them out according to their most valuable use..

We now have devices like alternators in most house-holds which help to store energy in batteries and switching them back during night.

For Houses:
I think Solar energy can serve as the best means of saving your electricity bill and consequently the govt exchequer on Fuel. With the recent incentives and push given to Rain-Water Harvesting, energy can be generated when the water from your terrace runs into the ground through pipes..

For Rural Areas:
I think Bio-Gas energy should be utilized along with Solar Energy in Rural Areas.. Technological advances in storing energy and utilizing them should be made use of.. In addition, wind-energy can be made use of extensively.

For Coastal Areas:
Wind-Energy and Solar Energy can be quite useful in coastal areas for house-holds as well as for industries. And India does have the benefit of having a large coast-line..

For Industries:
HydroElectric energy can be used extensively for industrial applications, since most industries need water as well as electricity for their operations. Of-course, there must be regulations as far as waste-treatment is concerned and appropriate actions need to be taken by the industry as well in this regards.

For Railways and Transportation:
More and more cultivation of Bio-Diesel plants is the need of the hour.

For Automobiles:
Newer Technologies are required, and Maini Motors does need to be encouraged with some rewards for taking a bold step in the right direction. I am hoping that more and more entrepreneurs will come forward with the right vehicles. Speaking of which, i am surprised why Toyota is not launching its hybrid range of vehicles in India. I would like to think that it has to do with their limited production capabilities, but we as consumers should demand the right product from the companies.. Hope TKM is taking a note here..

I might be sounding too patriotic here.. But guys, the above things are practical and based on sound principals and above all beneficial to us as individuals and helping the whole nation as well.. What do you think??

Would like to hear more on this from like-minded TBHPians..
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Old 29th April 2006, 20:33   #2
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Let me just put forward my views:


This is for cars only:

Hydrogen:

While this is the most-hyped (and best-sounding ) alternative fuel, the problem of storing the fuel is not fully sorted (the tank is vulnerable and can explode in adverse conditions ). And also, it will take quite a while to ramp up hydrogen production and build special pumps.
Another problem is that the water released out of the tailpipes will increase the moiusture content in the air, which might have efefcts ont he climate.

Solar Energy:

I think this field will only have oppurtunity if it is highly researched, I have only seen solar power in those bullet-shaped vehicles they hold races for.


Bio-Diesel:

I think this is the most promising field yet.

it uses reprocessed animal fat, which is manufactured from food waste, and does not pollute, and is replenishable, and wont run out.

The only problem is making this fuel in large amounts, which might pose some diffculties.

Fuel cells still cost millions to develop (though their packaging problems have been reduced to a massive extent in the past decade)
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Old 29th April 2006, 20:42   #3
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Oh I have not ignored LPG and CNG, just that they are also (but to a much lesser extent) non-renewable fuels.
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Old 29th April 2006, 21:39   #4
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Some time ago I had posted one topic on regarding query on fuel cell. (topic) (Fuel Cell question)
The conclusion was heat emitted will not be an issue but no solution was found to increase in humidity level.

The single biggest problem of hydrogen as fuel is availability. Hydrogen isn't readily available in nature. Also its storing & transportation remains a worry as pointed by islero.

Solar energy
Problem with solar energy is that it is not concentrated at a point. So the size of solar panel needs to be increased which causes increase in cost.

Wind energy
Windmill might be effective but the problem with it is, as you are running windmill energy from wind is utilised which in-turn means less wind which will mean low rainfall from central area.

I am not being pessimistic but merely pointing out the problems in non-conventional source of energy
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Old 29th April 2006, 22:52   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
Windmill might be effective but the problem with it is, as you are running windmill energy from wind is utilised which in-turn means less wind which will mean low rainfall from central area.
I disagree, winds are generated because of the change in atmospheric pressures.. Also the rain-clouds float at-least more than 5000 metres above the sea level.. So i don't see any reason for wind-energy affecting rainfall.. Correct me if i am wrong but I don't think that wind-mills are more than 500 metres tall..

Quote:
Originally Posted by islero
Another problem is that the water released out of the tailpipes will increase the moiusture content in the air, which might have efefcts ont he climate.
I think that increase in air moisture is a happy problem to have especially in water deficient areas.. More moisture means more rainfall.. A happy situation to be in especially in rural areas of central India..

Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33
The single biggest problem of hydrogen as fuel is availability. Hydrogen isn't readily available in nature. Also its storing & transportation remains a worry as pointed by islero.
Call me a super-optimist, But i think of that as a positive thing.. A tank-Full of hydrogen might actually improve the power-to-weight ratio of your vehicle since hydrogen is lighter than air..

Last edited by man23ish : 29th April 2006 at 22:55.
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Old 29th April 2006, 23:01   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by man23ish
I disagree, winds are generated because of the change in atmospheric pressures.. Also the rain-clouds float at-least more than 5000 metres above the sea level.. So i don't see any reason for wind-energy affecting rainfall.. Correct me if i am wrong but I don't think that wind-mills are more than 500 metres tall..
I also don't know about windmill being 500 meters tall, perhaps commercial grade maybe.
but the fact remains that energy is being utilized to rotate windmill. so part of energy from wind is converted. now imagine having thousands of windmills. it will surely affect movement of rain clouds.

Quote:
I think that increase in air moisture is a happy problem to have especially in water deficient areas.. More moisture means more rainfall.. A happy situation to be in especially in rural areas of central India.
Not necessarily. It may be bad for agriculture.
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Old 30th April 2006, 21:43   #7
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Invertors and not alternators are used to store energy in most of the homes and they are by no means efficient in energy conversion which mean that cost of production per KWh goes up at the base station.

The whole world is researching on producing electricity by renewable sources such as wind, solar, tidal etc.

There is also research on using geo-thermal energy.

There are many ways of energy conversion but there is always a black side to that means and have difficulty in puttin into operation although the advertisements does not say so to support the people who wants to commercialise the methods.

Using batteries and nuclear energy generates the waste which is highly corrosive to environment and life and become a nuisance to handle.

Hydro-elctric method is good but then the heavy industries who consume high amount of electricity and water can not generally be located in mountains, where the electricity is produced, due to technical constraints. They cannnot be produced everywhere and thus transporting electricity becomes a costly affair.

Hydrogen as a fuel is good option, but when produced in large mass has to deal with critical handling and will always have some amount of leakage. As it is the lightest element, it will escape the earth gravity and there will be water shortage for future genertions.

Regarding the humity, please note that hydrogen has three times more energy than the conventional fuel for the same mass. And fuel cells will be twice more efficient than petrol engines. Therefore, the amount of hydrogen consume will be 1/6th of the petrol engines. And conventional fuels have nearly 20~25% of its mass as hydrogen. That is arount 1/4th of fuel consumed is used in increasing humidity. You can feel high humidity in the cities with large numbers of cars. So hydrogen will actually reduce waste heat and humidity.

One point I would like to mention is that any energy conversion has to be commercially viable.

Only method of reducing fuel consumption is using self power, e.g. bicycles, not to use washing machines etc. If the whole world electricity consumption is cut down by half, the fossil fuel prices will automatically crash and earth mean temperature will also fall. So you have to use less of air con in your homes and cars.

And yes, the heavy use of wind energy will definitely affect the environment. The reason is simple. The lee side of windmill will have a low pressure and thus the natural low pressure area will shift towards the windmill. The air circulation will be affected away from the windmill farms. This also can be proved by conservation of energy theory. That is the if energy is used in electricity production, then the energy stored in windforce has to be reduced.

RK

Last edited by Rehaan : 4th May 2006 at 00:05.
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Old 2nd May 2006, 22:35   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jat
Only method of reducing fuel consumption is using self power, e.g. bicycles, not to use washing machines etc. If the whole world electricity consumption is cut down by half, the fossil fuel prices will automatically crash and earth mean temperature will also fall. So you have to use less of air con in your homes and cars.
I agree that the wasteage of power should be minimized as much as possible. Also, as responsible citizens, we must ensure that our office-AC, computer-monitors, etc are turned off, when we leave our desk etc. I mean, these small measures can achieve big fuel savings..
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Old 3rd May 2006, 19:46   #9
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Hey people... check this out.

http://www.indiacar.com/index2.asp?p...astic_fuel.asp

Very interesting... hope this works out.

Regarding Solar power, the main issue, as pointed out already, is with storage rather than generation. The batteries make the car very heavy and also needs to be disposed in a proper manner. That may cause more problems than providing solutions.
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Old 3rd May 2006, 22:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumed
Hey people... check this out.

http://www.indiacar.com/index2.asp?p...astic_fuel.asp

Very interesting... hope this works out.
Amazing, Hail the Zadgaonkars.. I hope that their effort gets the recognition it deserves..
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Old 3rd May 2006, 22:56   #11
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There has been another thread started about the same - but meant only for cars.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...stic-fuel.html (Alternative Sources of Fuel (including plastic fuel!))
I liked the one about using plastic for fuel.
Cheers
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Old 4th May 2006, 11:34   #12
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wow plastic for fuel...hope it gets the recognition and catches up...

cant imagine running my car on plastic..
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Old 29th July 2008, 10:26   #13
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Can we have a discussion on Biofuel scenario in India?
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Old 29th July 2008, 11:05   #14
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Ethanol, used to blend with perol. Oil companies directed to sell ethanol-blended petrol in select States. Pressure from the politician-run sugar lobby, who is looking for scapegoats in the oil marketting companies, wanting outrageously high "minimum support prices". Oil companies, already reeling from losses, reluctant to oblige.

Biodiesel, entirely dependent on domestic farming. Jatropha cultivation refuses to take off. Damaging feedback on poor crop yields wherever Jatropha farming has been attempted. No other oilseeds being used widel, alhough India has over 20 equivalent oilseeds. A clutch of biodiesel manufacturing companies tried to cash in on the Euro market demand by imporing Malay Palm Oil for conversion into Biodiesel, but rise in prices of Palm Oil have put paid to those effortts. As it stands now, Biodiesel has not taken off.

For India, unlike the Western world, Biodiesel is priority, since it is used mostly for captive power generattion also, not just transport as in the West. Implications are different, unfortunately there is very little recognitionof this Indian perspective in both Govt policy as well as private efforts.

Jatropha farming can take off only if large-scale contract farming is encouraged - no easy in India's fragmented farm practices.

Whatever Ethanol is to be used should be impored from Brazil, since sugarcane farming soaks up precious water resources - not available in India. Besides, there is need to source Ethanol at cheapest possible price and break the politician-sugar lobby nexus, where considerations for Ethanol blending are not green environment, but prospects of greenbacks.
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Old 29th July 2008, 11:20   #15
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I have come across a few articles on producing biodiesel from Algae. It sounds impressive.

Biodiesel from Jatropha was promoted by the govt.s but the project has long gestation periods.

There has been some talk about converting used vegetable oil but the commercial scales cant be met.

Castor oil and other vegetable oils arent viable.

Algae oil to biodiesel sounds promising. Here are some websites on that :
Biodiesel from Algae - Information, Resources and Links for Algal, Alga Bio-diesel
UNH Biodiesel Group
Oilgae.com - Biodiesel from Algae Oil - Information, News, Links for Algal Fuel, Alga Bio-diesel, Biofuels, Algae Biofuel, Energy
Aquatic Eco-Systems, Inc.
HOME
National Algae Association
Biofuels - Solid, liquid, or gas fuels made from biomass
Algae to Biodiesel
Algae fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I had come across an article on producing petrol from used plastic. The research was done by the Professor in Chemistry in Pune. I dont remember her name or the institute she works for. The article was published in Overdrive or Auto Car India a couple of years back. The article mentioned the commencement of trial batch and a few vehicles are being run on it. Can anyone look it up and follow it up?

Though it is not exactly biofuel, I found that was a n interesting concept.

Last edited by simplyself : 29th July 2008 at 11:29. Reason: Adding some info
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