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View Poll Results: what would you think is the future
hydrogen 35 55.56%
ethanol 4 6.35%
air 9 14.29%
electric 15 23.81%
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Old 12th June 2008, 20:17   #31
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OK, please bear with me on long convoluted post.

I had anecdotal, unconfirmable info that nuclear energy is really not that viable. This was from some retired scientist guy who has had experience in that field. That is my source of info. It may not be correct and I am not bothered with being pointed out that I am wrong.

Some of the points to question are (more questions / suggestions are highly appreciated)
  • How easy is it to obtain nuclear material / source material?
  • Who controls the nuclear material / source material?
  • What is the byproduct produced?
  • How is the waste material handled?
  • Is it environment friendly? (Am assuming that you want to leave something behind for your children to enjoy)
  • How much energy is produced?
  • Is it cost effective?
  • Can it be decentralized?

These and more questions should be applied to all alternate fuel sources. IMO, nuclear energy is not that viable.

I am not denying that it produces a tremendous amount of energy. But I am also reminded of "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but transformed from one form to another". To me, that means that the process of creating nuclear material, is not very efficient. It takes loads of refining to get fissionable material.
There is also the small issue of nuclear waste. It is currently being encased in lead and cement containers and dropped to the bottom of the ocean. This is something which I am not comfortable with.

Ripper, wind might be a very good alternative indeed. I have not done any research on that side, since it is not practical for me. My leaning is towards Hydrogen and Solar power. Biogas is also nice


ps: Are we discussing possible automobile fuels? Or just any and all alternate fuel sources? This thread has been moved so many times that I am confused
If we are discussing all alternate fuel options, then I request the mods to create an appropriate poll. The current poll is only for automobiles fuels.

Last edited by srijit : 12th June 2008 at 20:21.
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Old 13th June 2008, 00:05   #32
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Burning coal produces more nuclear waste/KW than nuclear energy. This is the age of breeder reactors.
The Finn are going nuclear way, and slowly entire Europe will follow.
Nowdays we have reacters which will shut down if left unattended, rather than old designs which meltdown if not controlled.
The days of Chernobyl are long gone.

As for alternate fuels, nuclear is used to generate electricity, which will power the automobile of the future directly or indirectly.
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Old 13th June 2008, 11:29   #33
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Ripper, that was a nice article that you read. I especially loved this paragraph.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpe Datum: Nuclear vs Solar
I do not understand the truly religious hold that nuclear power has on the conservative mind (and, yes, even a few techies of otherwise liberal bent). It makes no sense to me, since the objective arguments favoring alternatives far outweigh nuclear's alleged benefits. Like I said above, when I was active in the anti-nuclear movement (commercial nuclear, I mean), we found that many scientists -- contrary to public perception -- were very amenable to our arguments, and more than a few ended up cautiously on our side. The engineers were the implacable ones, just SURE nuclear power was the greatest thing since sliced bread and if it wouldn't work, then western civilization was doomed (I was actually told this by a German engineer I met at Burroughs Corporation once. Such a twit!)
I too used to think nuclear was the way to go. But it doesnt seem right somehow. Too much hidden subsidies and waste disposal issues. :(
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Old 13th June 2008, 11:54   #34
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Coal comes at the price of very high carbon footprint. Natural gas is cleaner.
Both the above sources are going up in price. Do you know that coal shortage has hit such alarming levels that Britain is in a crisis situation now. They are trying to go the france way in 3 years time, because all alternatives mean a situation worse than Delhi in Peak summers.

Moreover the US has cheap natural resources, and their cost/KWh for nuclear power is higher than europe because of type of reactors used.
These figures are for "Old reactors" and not modern breeder reactors.
From the same wiki, the link they used for reference.
Energy Analysis of Power Systems: WNA
And read this also
Read the first paragraph
Quote:
The economics of new nuclear power plants is a controversial subject, since multi-billion dollar investments ride on the choice of an energy source. Nuclear power plants typically have high capital costs for building the plant, but low fuel costs. Therefore, comparison with other power generation methods is strongly dependent on assumptions about construction timescales and capital financing for nuclear plants. Cost estimates also need to take into account plant decommissioning and nuclear waste storage costs. On the other hand measures to mitigate global warming, such as a carbon tax or carbon emissions trading, may favor the economics of nuclear power.
Analysis of the economics of nuclear power must take into account who bears the risks of future uncertainties. To date all operating nuclear power plants were developed by state-owned or regulated utility monopolies where many of the risks associated with construction costs, operating performance, fuel price, and other factors were borne by consumers rather than suppliers. Many countries have now liberalised the electricity market where these risks, and the risk of cheaper competitors, are borne by merchant plant suppliers rather than consumers, which can lead to a significantly different evaluation of the economics of new nuclear power plants.[1]
If you look at the first reference to the article.
The Future of Nuclear Power
It will put forward a lot of points which summarize
Old type nuclear reactors(most of the US installed capacity) : Polluting, uneconomical, waste management issues.
New type nuclear reactors(which Finland and other countries of Europe are exploring) take care of most of these issues.

Also coal power advocates cite a lot of "clean coal" in their arguments, but they do not point out that most of the coal burnt is "dirty coal" which releases more nuclear waste than a nuclear power plant

Last edited by tsk1979 : 13th June 2008 at 11:57.
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Old 13th June 2008, 14:19   #35
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Read that Britain would go with wind power.

All UK homes could be powered by offshore wind farms by 2020 as part of the fight against climate change, under plans unveiled by John Hutton.

Up to 7,000 turbines could be installed to boost wind produced energy 60-fold by 2020.


Sources:
BBC News
Guardian.co.uk
Treehugger
The Independant
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Old 7th July 2008, 14:58   #36
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Default which alternate fuel is best suited for India ?

This is an interesting thread!

Manufacturers in India ( I can think of Tata, Mahindra ), are working on alternate fuel tech like fuel-electric hybrids, Bio-Diesel, Electric only propulsion tech, and we should see some of this tech soon on the roads. Others like LPG, CNG are already in use.

The question is what can be done about the existing vehicles on the road ? What tech is available to convert these to alternate fuel ? Say Bio-Diesel ? Is conversion cost for a Diesel to Bio-Diesel vs a Petrol to CNG/LPG similar ?

Production costs of Bio-Diesel vs CNG/LPG ? CNG/LPG are still fossil fuels that may not be replinshed and using them for Automobiles will again impact the domestic cooking ?

Will Electric vehicles be cheaper to run/maintain than a Bio-Diesel ?

Who is allowed to produce Bio-Diesel in India ? Is this also limited to the oil companies ?

Hmm. The question became multiple questions!
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Old 7th July 2008, 15:16   #37
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Net energy gain from using bio-fuels is still under debate. The useful ones would be renewable ones like hydro, solar, wind, tidal. Bio fuels might come into their own if we can engineer microbes that could produce fuels in greater amounts. The future would be a combination of these based on availability and application.

Regarding the poll, how could air be a fuel ? Also, hydrogen could be used only as a carrier (like a battery) and would depend on what other fuel if used to produce it.

Last edited by srishiva : 7th July 2008 at 15:27.
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Old 7th July 2008, 15:31   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsrini View Post
This is an interesting thread!

Manufacturers in India ( I can think of Tata, Mahindra ), are working on alternate fuel tech like fuel-electric hybrids, Bio-Diesel, Electric only propulsion tech, and we should see some of this tech soon on the roads. Others like LPG, CNG are already in use.

The question is what can be done about the existing vehicles on the road ? What tech is available to convert these to alternate fuel ? Say Bio-Diesel ? Is conversion cost for a Diesel to Bio-Diesel vs a Petrol to CNG/LPG similar ?

Production costs of Bio-Diesel vs CNG/LPG ? CNG/LPG are still fossil fuels that may not be replinshed and using them for Automobiles will again impact the domestic cooking ?

Will Electric vehicles be cheaper to run/maintain than a Bio-Diesel ?

Who is allowed to produce Bio-Diesel in India ? Is this also limited to the oil companies ?

Hmm. The question became multiple questions!
Use of Bio-diesel is already tested in most vehicles in India - some examples:
- Mahindra Scorpio has a Biodiesel vehicle
- Merc cars have been exensively tested for use of BioD in Indian conditions
- STU buses run routinely on BioD in several states
- Tata Motors runs some of is Pune co. fleet buses on BioD

Problem for BioD in India is non-availability - not enugh feedsock. Govt's ambitious Jaropha farming plans are non-starters as usual.

There are several BioD plants in india, who have preferred to import Palm Oil from Malaysia, process it as BioD and export to EU markets. Prices are better and markets are more well-developed here. However, rise in PO prices have killed their ambitions in recent months.

Very few technical issues in running vehicles on BioD - changes in filters, enorsements from fuel pump manufacturers, start-up fuel issues, etc, which means most diesel vehicles in India can be converted to run on BioD at very little extra cost.

Cost of BioD is dependent on feedstock. As was envisaged, if India had grown Jatropha as planned, cost of BioD (with help of zero-tax regime) would have compared favourably with Diesel.
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Old 7th July 2008, 16:26   #39
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Default Jatropa Plantation!

Hi all the bigwigs in the Team, I am looking for information on Jatropa plantation and its propects in the coming years from Investment perspective anyone into this business or has technical expertise/ experience in this area please share the details of the same. I would be greatly obliged.

Please let me know.

Thanks
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Old 7th July 2008, 16:32   #40
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Lots of info available in India. Will PM you with attachments and links.
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Old 7th July 2008, 17:17   #41
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Juda, Jatropa is a very good biofuel (so I've heard). But the problem with biofuel is that it is short term gain. You are converting food crops into fuel, and then wondering why food prices are rising. Mind you Jatropa is better than corn, which the silly Americans are using to create biofuel.

I'd also advice you to check up on Algae farming. It should take up lesser space and money for cultivation. It should also produce more harvests yearly than Jatropa (am not sure on this point).

Kumarsaab, please PM or post the info the thread too. Also if you have any info on Algae production in India, it would be highly appreciated
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Old 7th July 2008, 17:28   #42
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The food argument is not valid as far as Indian Jatropha is concerned. Plans are to grow Jatropha on wastelands. In any case, Jatropha and around 25 other oilseeds suitable for BioD manufacture are already available in the wild in India. Jatropha farming demands very little fertiliser, water resources, etc.

US/EU farmers displace food grains while growing biofuel crops, plus their methods are very intensive (high fertiliser, water, fossil energy resources, etc), and lot of such crops are being diverted for biofuel use.

Algae farming - lot of research still on, including in India. All I know is that it has also been demonstrated as successful in Indian conditions.
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Old 7th July 2008, 17:29   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This article conviniently ignored many types of reactors and presents only a one sided view.
Economincs and Environmental impact of Nuclear reactors is still debated with both pros and cons
Economics of new nuclear power plants - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hydrogen is not easily monopolized, nuclear is. Far too much of the current strife in the world can be traced to the monopolization and maniputation of the supply of oil and energy. We need to learn a lesson from this and stay away from nuclear.

Also, Chernyoble and 3 Mile Island should have given people a wake-up call on nuclear. How soon they forget.
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Old 7th July 2008, 17:33   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyDan View Post
Also, Chernyoble and 3 Mile Island should have given people a wake-up call on nuclear. How soon they forget.
Hydrogen was responsible for Zepplin disaster, whats your point?
3 mile and chernobyl are strawmen arguments.
Technology had advanced a lot.
For example in 1900, flying was a risky business in bad weather, but todays Aircraft can withstand violent storms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
The food argument is not valid as far as Indian Jatropha is concerned. Plans are to grow Jatropha on wastelands. In any case, Jatropha and around 25 other oilseeds suitable for BioD manufacture are already available in the wild in India. Jatropha farming demands very little fertiliser, water resources, etc.

US/EU farmers displace food grains while growing biofuel crops, plus their methods are very intensive (high fertiliser, water, fossil energy resources, etc), and lot of such crops are being diverted for biofuel use.

Algae farming - lot of research still on, including in India. All I know is that it has also been demonstrated as successful in Indian conditions.
Once Diesel prices go through the roof, farmers will start growing Jathropa instead of wheat if it pays better.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 7th July 2008 at 17:35.
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Old 7th July 2008, 18:37   #45
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Tanveer, Zepplin is a bit controversial. Just like the Moon landings. Also just look at the cauality rate of a hydrogen disaster (like the Zepplin, if you want) and the consequences of a nuclear leak or accident.
Nuclear just keeps on escalating beyond its affected radius.
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