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JunktionFET

Alternative fuels

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In another part of this forum we have been discussing Biodiesel, and how several gas stations in metro Raleigh-Durham NC now sell the product successfully. Additionally, several motor fleets have converted over to Biodiesel (school systems, city services, Progress Energy, etc).

Being a diesel fanatic and someone who does not want to see our country so attached to foreign dino-oil, I find any talk of renewable fuel sources very fascinating.

In Minnesota, ethanol blended fuels seem to be a hot topic, and one website listed a station in St Paul as the first in the state to sell E85. I love it when a company "breaks the mold" and offers something different.

So, to our friends in the Twin Cities area: Has anyone tried the E85 in their vehicle? If so, what do you think about it? How has is affected your car's performance or economy?

Last night I tried some biodiesel in my Jetta TDi and so far it seems stellar. Exhaust odor wasn't really a problem to begin with because the car is equipped with an oxidation catalyst which changes the exhaust odor considerably.

I swear it seems like the motor idles a bit quieter, and throttle response is maybe a little bit sharper (diesels are notoriously sluggish to throttle input, even this TDi). Soon I hope to calculate my fuel mileage on this tank.

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i was at b.p. in mora (middle of no where minnesota) last week and saw some E85 at the pump, it was a very nice surprise. unfortunatly we were riding in a reg unleaded. if bp picks it up, it will all over the state soon.

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Check this out:

Source:  http://www.wired.com/news/autotech/0,2554,66111,00.html

Source:  http://www.zapworld.com/about/news/news_zapanuvu.asp

"According to officials from ZAP and Anuvu, the two Northern California companies intend to deliver the first fuel cell powered vehicles to consumers in 2005."

smart_red_jump.jpg

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Excellent, but I think manufacturers of these alternative fuel cars should really follow Toyota's lead with the Prius, and make cars that are more or less indistinguishable from 'normal' cars. If an alternative fuel car looks and feels like other cars, people will be faster to buy them. People don't like change.

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Ever listen to Art Bell (or G. Noory who took over for him M-F)? Farmers have been making both biodiesel and hydrogen for years from what I've heard. Takes a bit of work but most of these can be made at home for FAR cheaper then any fuel costs. Do I smell corporate conspiracy?

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Are alternative fuels really better for the environment? (I take that back in my previous post.) I heard that hydrogen may deplete the ozone layer just like CFC's do and we would have hordes of sunburned ppl. :unsure:

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Wah?! Never heard that one before, you got a link or remember the source text (that you can reference though a google search). That's a new one by me.

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^^ I will too, never heard that so thats really interesting if there is some evidence of that, hope this doesn't devolve into a cholestrole-like "broccali is good for you this week . . . breaking news broccali is worse then pure fat" science isn't even an exact science anymore. Interested in finding out about that, I was hoping to switch over to that lifestyle soon.

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From the link

-- Hydrogen can also be extracted from ordinary water via a process called electrolysis. However, using current technology, mass electrolysis of water would require intense sources of energy. If those energy sources burn fossil fuels, they, too, would generate greenhouse gases.

This is why Iceland is trying to become the leader in hydrogen fuel production. They have unlimited access to geothermal energy that can allow them to produce hydrogen at no cost to the environment. Transporting the fuel becomes a problem, but there are some interesting advances in solid hydrogen, which could be transported easier and safer, and could also reduce the amount of 'leakage.'

New Zealand may also me a good contender for producing hydrogen from water via geothermal energy.

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I think Quebec also could produce hydrogen also, because they have a lot of hydroelectric dams in that river-laiden province. Some of those dams produce like 1500MW of power and that could be used to produce hydrogen. However, the auto makers must find a way to keep the hydrogen from escaping into the atmosphere.

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Are alternative fuels really better for the environment?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

No not really. True, alternative fuels may cause less (or no) pollution, but they do not solve the fundamental problem with cars: they take up space. That means more countryside covered by highways, parking lots, and auto-oriented sprawl development.

I would love to see everyone driving zero-emission vehicles, but I would love even more to see people walking, biking, and using transit. I wish all the hype about alternative fuels would take a back seat to hype about the true solution to the plague of the automobile: urban design for car-free living.

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I dont care so much about the environment as i do on the fact we'll run out of reasonably priced gas real soon, and the fact is not many ppl wil want to drive a SMART car i know i would never and the same with the prius though its a step which is good. I think our nearest solution is hybrids until hydrogen is widely used which could be closer than we think cause we got a hydrogen station but how many ppl actually use it right? I doubt we will use electric or solar power for our cars i think hydrogen is the way and hope our stupid government invests into that research i mean look how much water there is!

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Hydrogen is going nowhere as it takes more energy to produce hydrogen thatn you get by burning it. The Bush plan to move us to a hydrogen based economy includes burning vast amounts of fossil fuels to produce it to be followed by the construction of 500-2000 nuclear reactors. A disaster if you ask me, and it will never happen.

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It's a race against time at this point. Gas prices keep increasing, and eventually, unless something else comes out that is less expensive we will be de-emphasizing auto dependent development. I suspect that the auto companies do not want this to happen, so something will be coming out soon. Hopefully it is environmentally friendly because we all need to care about the environment. If we mess up this environment, we kill ourselves.

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Unless you make a very good point. To shed some light on the topic of alternate fuels and related topics everyone should check out "The End of Suburbia, oil depletion and the collapse of the american dream" by Director Gregory Greene. It's an excellent movie that answers and raises many good points.

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No not really.  True, alternative fuels may cause less (or no) pollution, but they do not solve the fundamental problem with cars: they take up space.  That means more countryside covered by highways, parking lots, and auto-oriented sprawl development.

I would love to see everyone driving zero-emission vehicles, but I would love even more to see people walking, biking, and using transit.  I wish all the hype about alternative fuels would take a back seat to hype about the true solution to the plague of the automobile: urban design for car-free living.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Check out "the end of suburbia" by Gregory Greene

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I think this subject is open to so much 'doomsdaying', but really the fact is that we already have alternatives, and we are just not using them at the moment, when the situation gets grim and there is no way to get 20 miles to work efficiently, people will do what they have to do. I think alot of people let their opinions on how they think people should be living get in the way of rational thinking.

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