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Victor Bravo

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What about Jatropha Oil as a biofuel source? Several years ago I did a little writing for a small startup that wanted to make this the next big thing. The claims about how easily it grows out in the desert, doesn't use a lot of water, etc. were impressive, but I have no idea if any of it is actually true.
 

Saville

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Regulation is important here because coal and gas remain a cheaper source for this carbon and so to avoid hundreds more years of liquid fuels production from coal and gas after oil runs out, we must regulate just a little to ensure that the externality costs of using these 'dirty' sources are priced into the raw material cost so that the advantages of cleaner sources can be monetized by industry.

The bottom line is that once oil gets passed $100/barrel or so, these 'alternative' methods will begin to enter the market, not because they are 'clean' but because they can be cheaper. And so aviation can continue to perfect present technology in the comfort that 'clean' liquid fuels will soon be readily available as drop-in replacements. No massive leaps of technology required. Just pricing signals to the market to invest in the transition.

Where are batteries in all of this? Nowhere.
Those are artificial pricing signals not real ones. History is FULL - LOADED - with examples of how that failed and failed horribly.

What you are really suggesting is having the government pick winners and losers by jacking up prices of the present market winner (oil) artificially - turning oil into a loser so that a present market loser (your idea) becomes the "cheaper" alternative - hence the winner.

You prove this by saying that you want to "regulate" the price of a barrel of oil up to $100, artificially.

This will result in much higher fuel costs for the consumer - by your own admission. Do you think this is a good thing?

Do you imagine that those prices won't get transferred to the consumer?

"Monetized by industry" is an obfuscatory phrase which really stands for "pass the costs on to the consumer".

Government picking winners and losers is a bad idea and not really the function of the Federal Government as designed.
 

ToddK

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Electric anything is going to be a massive tax on all but the upper middle class and the wealthy. Being lower middle class I have never bought anything but used cars. As a child my family started fairly poor, but Dad had a knack for buying very cheap used cars, and keeping them running with a minimum of effort. My grandmother has a 30 year old (long paid for minivan) she only occasionally needs to repair. Battery degradation significantly shortens drive times as the car ages and racks up miles. Electric car battery prices start around $11K not including labor. I could right now buy a 20 year old used jeep XJ off craigslist for $3K and and have fairly reliable transportation, that I could keep running for very little. Electric cars will not offer this sort of economy at the lower end of the auto market. People buying $70K trucks every 8 years right now won't feel it. People looking for a 10 year old 100,000 mile used car will. The same will be true for aircraft. My 70 year old champ cost less less then a used truck, costs virtually nothing to operate, and is easily worked on. I can't see a scenario where that will be possible with an electric airplane. In the end if the electro-authoritarians get their way forcing this on us, very few of us will be able to afford to fly, the masses will be using mass transit, or electric micro cars with no range beyond around town, and the uber wealthy will continue to do whatever they want.

I will also add that bean counters at the auto companies love this. The idea of not having to compete against a fleet of used cars is the primary reason they are pushing hard on electric cars. The micro electric cars with pathetic ranges are coming, and they would rather sell those to the poor (possibly via subsidized or government backed loan) and possibly the lower middle class every 5-10 years along with a battery replacement "insurance" plan as a monthly payment turning us all into their slaves, and guaranteeing income and dealer service forever.

Will this be good for the environment? No idea. I suspect that the strip mining required to bring even half of the auto fleet in the realm of electric will be an ecological disaster that will make sticking a few pipes ground look like harvesting unicorn farts.
 
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Saville

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I have worked most of my life in the clean-tech industry including a solar biofuel company. In that company we looked at Co2 cracking and/or biomass pyrolysis (using solar energy) to get CO + H2. Thence water/gas-shift or solar reformation and Fischer Tropsch method into subsequent heavier octanes such as Gasoline or Diesel. Direct fuels production from chemistry and sunshine.
Besides which why bother? If, in the end, you are going to create 100LL for me to burn, what's the point? I'll put the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere. All you've done is find a way to make it more expensive.
 

rv7charlie

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To be blunt,
Government picking winners and losers
has been happening longer than any of us have been alive, and will likely continue long after we're gone. Contrary to (apparently) popular belief, it is continuing to pick the traditional means of energy production over new sources. We just don't often see it, because we've been the frogs in the pot; not feeling what's always been there as the temperature changes.

The issue is, do you want it to pick the ones that will leave an unlivable environment for your kids & grandkids, so you can avoid a little short term pain? How day trader oriented are we, and can we afford to lose?
 

rv7charlie

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Besides which why bother? If, in the end, you are going to create 100LL for me to burn, what's the point? I'll put the same amount of carbon into the atmosphere. All you've done is find a way to make it more expensive.
Because it creates a closed loop, instead of an ever-expanding volume. Solar pulls the crud emitted yesterday out of the atmosphere and converts it to fuel you burn today, and tomorrow the process repeats.
 

Dan Thomas

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I’ve operated several types of powerplants, but I prefer a Lycoming power plant turning a Hartzel propeller and a B and C alternator, all mounted FWF in a Home Built Airplane.


BJC
You're old enough to realize that if you're going to fly in your lifetime, that's what you have to do. Use existing technology. I remember stuff that the younger folks won't: the broken promises of imminent new, cheaper engines, flying cars (like Moller's) and other stuff that folks fell for; they waited and waited and didn't get started on buying or building anything, and never did fly. Likely never will, now.

There should be a healthy skepticism of "new, improved" stuff if it isn't already flying well and proving itself, but critical thinking skills are disappearing as people let the media do their thinking for them. A lack of understanding of the limitations imposed by physics is a real factor in all of this.
 

BJC

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I have never bought anything but used cars.
I'm on my fourth vehicle in my life. (Not including my wife's vehicles.) Too many people that I know have wasted money on vehicles; some buying too many new, some buying too many used, some buying a vehicle that they didn't need, some just buying lousy vehicles.
My 70 year old champ cost less less then a used truck, costs virtually nothing to operate, and is easily worked.
Champs are great airplanes - much more to my liking that that other brand. There are airplanes to be had for most people who really want to fly.


BJC
 

Dan Thomas

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Several places where I have lived operated, at additional cost, segregated collection systems for paper and plastic. They did that to make citizens feel good. It wasn’t recycled, because it wasn’t / isn’t economical.
I know a fellow who trucks the stuff collected at bottle depots and the like to recycling sorting centers. They separate the plastic and glass and plastic. The glass is crushed and trucked to the landfill. It's often cheaper to make new glass than to recycle it.

Yes, much of the "green" recycling process is a scam. A feel-good political tool.
 

Saville

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To be blunt,

has been happening longer than any of us have been alive, and will likely continue long after we're gone. Contrary to (apparently) popular belief, it is continuing to pick the traditional means of energy production over new sources. We just don't often see it, because we've been the frogs in the pot; not feeling what's always been there as the temperature changes.

The issue is, do you want it to pick the ones that will leave an unlivable environment for your kids & grandkids, so you can avoid a little short term pain? How day trader oriented are we, and can we afford to lose?

Just because the government does it doesn't mean it's a good idea. It should be reduced to zero. But it most definitely should NOT be increased and especially with a commodity as vitally important as energy.

So you ask: " The issue is, do you want it to pick the ones that will leave an unlivable environment for your kids & grandkids, so you can avoid a little short term pain?"

Firstly you make a very common mistake in assuming the high level controlling entity will pick what YOU want. What makes you think they know or care about what you want? Or me?

Secondly, how do you know what you want is what's best? Sure we all have opinions, but to have the central high level controlling entity force a decision is a bad mistake.

Thirdly, prove top me that by using oil the planet will become "unlivable". Let me save you the trouble - you can't. You cannot predict new technologies nor calculate the true impact of a tech - even one that exists. Oil has been in use (and coal before that) for well over 100 years and the US and Canada are more livable now then in the lat 50 years, and in cities much longer than that.

Your fourth mistake is to assume that what one controlling entity chooses won't be undone by the next controlling entity:

One controlling entity canceled Keystone pipelines
The next one enabled them
The next one canceled them again.

This is the biggest mistake people make when they imagine giving high level controlling entities the power to decree:

Sure, this administration might do what you want today.

And once you look the other way when they decree they or the next high level controlling entity can use it any time they want, on whatever they want, and it may or may not conform to what you want.

So as to avoid political censure, let me say that this is more an economic argument than political: the more you disburse decisionmaking down to the level where it matters, the better your chances of true pricing signals. Top down economics has a horrible track record.
 
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Dan Thomas

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Have you all seen Planet of the Humans? Michael Moore, certainly no fossil-fuel fan, asks some serious questions.


There are debunkers of the video out there. I haven't watched any yet, but the stuff in this video makes a lot of sense. Scientific sense, not ideological sense.
 

Saville

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Because it creates a closed loop, instead of an ever-expanding volume. Solar pulls the crud emitted yesterday out of the atmosphere and converts it to fuel you burn today, and tomorrow the process repeats.

1. What you call "crud" is necessary for plants to live (CO2 according to the beginning post).

2. Feel free to work on this process all you want - with your own money. If you make it more
economical (i.e. cheaper) than 100LL made from oil it will win. You will become exceedingly rich. I, for one, will be very happy for you



By the way, there is a cost in extracting CO2 from the atmosphere. It's not zero. It's not free. Now add to that the cost of turning that into 100LL and all the other products we need. Factor in the losses which always accrue when you add steps to the process.

Do this without omitting any cost and any step.

Do the same for cracking oil for all those things.

Also, calculate the amount of CO2 needed to be extracted from the atmosphere to make all the products we now make from oil.
Show us the net effect on world CO2 levels. And demonstrate that that demand (remember we have emergent economies in the world) won't impact the planet in a negative way.

Show us the results.
 
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...The issue is, do you want it to pick the ones that will leave an unlivable environment for your kids & grandkids, so you can avoid a little short term pain? How day trader oriented are we, and can we afford to lose?
That is the Tragedy of the Commons in a nutshell. The problem with the "free market" is that the environment doesn't get a say in it, and the future of humanity's existence absolutely depends on the environment. Near enough as makes no difference, the Earth is a closed system; a space ship where nothing comes comes in or goes out except radiated energy. And as simple as that is, we've already f***** it up pretty badly. And that's not theory or conjecture; at this point it is an economic fact and you can already see the money moving around to follow the habitable climate.
 

Saville

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That is the Tragedy of the Commons in a nutshell. The problem with the "free market" is that the environment doesn't get a say in it, and the future of humanity's existence absolutely depends on the environment. Near enough as makes no difference, the Earth is a closed system; a space ship where nothing comes comes in or goes out except radiated energy. And as simple as that is, we've already f***** it up pretty badly. And that's not theory or conjecture; at this point it is an economic fact and you can already see the money moving around to follow the habitable climate.
1. The earth is not a closed system - it's gets radiant energy from the Sun and is hit by meteors.
In addition, it is hit by particle storms from the Sun (coronal mass ejections) which impact the
magnetosphere and has impact on weather.

2. As for screwing up whatever "it" is, I daresay you would much MUCH prefer living in the New York City of 2021 than the New York City of the 1880's. Or London for that matter.

What makes those cities better now than back then? Technology. Like electricity and natural gas for heat and light.

I live in a small fishing village on the coast. I bet the air here is MUCH cleaner than it was in the 1700's what with all the fires going Summer and Winter. . I also bet the water is much cleaner. too. We aren't dumping raw sewage into the ocean.

In fact I bet that in the Western World things are much better than in the 60's and 70's and guess what?

We are using MORE oil and gas now than we did then.
 

rv7charlie

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Aaaaannnndddd.......
BoKu beat me to it; without government regulation (it's worth pointing out that the government in the USA is what we make), the path we were on throughout the industrial revolution up to the beginning of our 'EPA era' would have continued, and our air and water would look far worse than China's currently looks.

I'm forever amazed that people still believe that corporations are our benevolent caregivers, and that if we just give them enough tax breaks and deregulation, they'll create a perfect world for us.
 

Saville

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I generally don't respond to those on my Ignore list, but I'll make an exception here:



Is there some other part of "radiant energy" or "near enough as makes no difference" that is unclear?



Thank you for citing two good cases where government regulation made huge improvements in environmental quality and quality of life by restricting industrial practices. Don't forget LA smog (catalytic converters) and ozone depletion (CFCs).

You ask: Is there some other part of "radiant energy" or "near enough as makes no difference" that is unclear?

Not unclear. What you said was very clear.

But it's wrong. If you think the Sun's radiant energy makes no difference to the Earth, I can't help you.
Same with CME's they have a strong weather effect (not to mention radios and satellites at times).

As for the Catalytic converter example:

Didn't reduce the use of oil now did it?

No it did not.

More oil (for all things) is being used in LA than ever before in history. It's not the oil.
You somehow seem to think that I want oil to be used without any tech.

I have no problem with tech that makes things better. That's essentially my point. and why I chose the city example.

You could not predict the existence of catalytic converters. So if you were around 50 years ago or so (I can't recall when we became aware of CC's), and said "We have to stop using oil because of LA" I would say the same thing to you as I said today:

Nonsense.

The situations are identical then and now.

States can feel free to do what they want. Cities even more so. I'm talking about a higher level centralized selection of winners and losers. If LA wants to decree that catalytic converters must be used on an car entering city limits they are free to do so. To then force them on people who live in Wyoming is nonsense.

CFC rules effect on the Ozone aren't proven.
 

Saville

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Aaaaannnndddd.......
BoKu beat me to it; without government regulation (it's worth pointing out that the government in the USA is what we make), the path we were on throughout the industrial revolution up to the beginning of our 'EPA era' would have continued, and our air and water would look far worse than China's currently looks.

I'm forever amazed that people still believe that corporations are our benevolent caregivers, and that if we just give them enough tax breaks and deregulation, they'll create a perfect world for us.

You make a rash and incorrect assumption:

Nowhere did I say that "corporations are our benevolent caregivers". I used "higher level centralized entity" for a reason.

So your amazement is without foundation. You make lots of assumptions about other people's positions and you are going to be wrong.

A lot.

And I'm not against ALL regulation - another incorrect assumption.




Still waiting for that analysis.
 
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Dan Thomas

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1. The earth is not a closed system - it's gets radiant energy from the Sun and is hit by meteors.
In addition, it is hit by particle storms from the Sun (coronal mass ejections) which impact the
magnetosphere and has impact on weather.
Is anyone here besides me paying any attention to what this winter is looking like so far? St. Petersburg's "Deep Freeze" Breaks 1893 Record; Sweden Busts All-Time December Low (-46.8F); Bethel, Alaska Suffered Its Coldest November in 82 Years; + Grímsvötn Volcano Alert - Electroverse
 
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