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Alternative fuel

Discussion in 'Alternative Energy' started by arrie, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    I've looked at alternative fuel now for the last couple of weeks.
    I really like the idea about garbage to fuel, and believe it possible that every household can have a smallish system to recycle their garbage into fuel.
    The two types of fuel that constantly pops up is ethanol and methanol.
    Both has its pros and cons, but the biggest for both is that cars cannot be run on either without some conversion, or by mixing with gasoline, etc.
    What do you guys think about alcohol based fuel?
    When looking on the internet it seems quite a few people are distilling home brew ethanol, and that setting up such a distiller is relatively affordable.
    Then there is the issue of thermal depolymerization. There is that story about the chaps with the turkey guts, etc. This is a hot topic, but there are indications that it's not all cracked up to be, anyone seen the system in action?
     
  2. jpanhalt

    jpanhalt Well-Known Member Most Helpful Member

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    What does that mean as related to garbage and turkey guts? I am aware that under some conditions, methanol can be distilled from wood (and other cellulosic) materials. Are you referring to bacterial conversion to methanol?

    John
     
  3. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    No John.
    For starters methanol can be obtained from basically anything, and although I thought ethanol is mainly obtained from sugars/starch, it seems recent "discoveries" has broaden the scope of feedstock.
    The process of thermal depolymerization is a process making use of high temperature steam and high pressure to break polymers, carbon, hydrogen, etc. into short strain hydrocarbons - petrolium.
    From there you can decide what you want to do - make diesel, ethanol, etc.
    Please note I have not tried this technology, but it sure looks promising.
    There is a company in Philidelphia, wherever that is, that uses all the offcuts (beaks, bones, guts, etc.) from a turkey producing farm to make fuel. They are talking of producing ethanol for possibly under $1 per gallon, if that's not sales talk.
    Apparently GM and the US government/federal government have already chipped in with this technology.
    I am telling you what I've read, I'm at the backside of the planet, and hope some of this is utter truth, for that is what this planet needs.
    This process can turn plastic, wood, rubber, biomass, etc. into fuel, and if one can choose, it should be methanol or ethanol fuel.
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Mikebits

    Mikebits Well-Known Member

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    One day your fuel source may be in a Petri dish.

    E. Coli Bacteria: A Future Source Of Energy?
     
  6. mneary

    mneary New Member

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    Nice article. Clever the way he ignores waste disposal. A daily input of say 150 lbs of sugar and an output of hydrogen, and what else? Stripping hydrogen from sugar leaves carbon and oxygen. :eek: What a coincidence.
     
  7. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    Sorry, I actually included all spectrum's of garbage, including that kind of waste.
    After all what do you think happens to a large percentage of sugars you take in.
    And any solution I would look at would include one for the dog droppings.
    Someone long ago told me dog droppings are not good for anything, not even decent compost.
    I think everything we discard of in some way can be turned into fuel.
    The question is exactly how?
     
  8. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    I saw on the History Channel. India has a use for Cow Poop. Fuel,Dust inhibitor,Religious rights,Medicine,soap Etc. Apparently a study done on children growing up around livestock in the country in the U.S. have a higher immune system than those in the city. Siting that the microbial content floating in the air bacteria triggers an immune system response developing a immunity to certain organisms.
     
  9. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    No way killivolt.

    Out where we live the water is so bad, maybe that will boost your immune system too. When you have a shower, you turn to paper immediately afterwords.
    I think what I'll do is to start off with a system that can accept poop, and other household through-a-ways, like food stuff, and see whether I can turn that to fuel, at least I would not need to spend to much energy turning heavy solids to liquid. The system should be a bit cheaper to build a well, as I will not work with too high pressure. My first attempt would be to get to ethanol fuel. I'm just worried about the water used, ours is so heavy on calcium carbonate, that might stuff my chemistry around.
     
  10. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    My father actually worked at a sewer waste water treatment plant. I have memory's of times when we would bring him lunch and a pipe came out of the ground was burning year round with a flame 2 feet high drawing the gases of and burning them what a freaking waste of energy ?

    kv
     
  11. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    That was most probably methane gas.
    From my limited knowledge, methane gas is not the most eco friendly.
    The thing is, such waste can be processed and the sugars be used for ethanol, a much friendlier gas.
    The thing is, my two dogs give back pound for pound what I put in, and sometimes if I use really nasty pellets, I'm sure they give back more than what is put in. I'm not sure how much value is in dog droppings, but I throw out bags full every week, if that has fuel potential, it's such a waste.
    I'm sure combined with the food stuff thrown out, such as banana peals, apple skins, etc. (my daughter does not eat any skins), I can get something going.
    If it works, hey I live in a complex, garbage is a problem, it must be piled up somewhere, I can easily organise with the governing body to get some as feedstock, already sorted and everything. It will be like taking what I need without getting my hands too dirty.
     
  12. theansulman

    theansulman New Member

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    Do you have any more info on this company that you are talking about. I live really close to Philly and would like to know about it. Thanks.
     
  13. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    The company has two plants, the first was a pilot plant somewhere else, just to prove their theory.
    Check out "Changing World Technologies" that should lead you to some information regarding them.
    They work closely with ConAgra Foods for the turkey bi-product to be sourced as their main feedstock for fuel, but according to them can turn anything into an oil similar to diesel. Plastic is a good source, according to them, but it's because plastics are mostly made from oil.
    The process is reversed to get it(plastic, etc.) back to oil.
    Thermal depolymerization is largely based on the age old technique/process called hydrous pyrolysis to break something down to a more basic molecular state, in this case short-chain hydro-carbon fuel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  14. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    Plastics.

    Well it just so happens that their is a Giant pile of plastic that needs to be removed from the Ocean. It's the size of Texas.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_Garbage_Patch


    Maybe there is a few gallons in there for America to harvest. Might even be a tax advantage for doing it. Just might be a buck or two for starving fisherman to fish out during off seasons.
     
  15. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    Oil from Plastic.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrous_pyrolysis

    Arrie,I picked this up of the net. How does it work with Plastic ? Do you need to use water in order to perform the described process ?

    Arrie, How was the trip. Feeling any better ?

    kv
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  16. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    Yip, that's it.
    It's not just the hot water, it's freeking hot water, or shall we say freeking hot steam under tremendous pressure.
    Then the pressure is suddenly taken away. that can apparently break up almost anything, and I think plastics will go easily.
    After that I believe another process of super heating is required, and then distillation.
    Some carbon like material remains, with your alcohols coming of the top, if you take it that far.
    I'm talking under correction, all knowledge in this regard is theoretical, I do not have the equipment to make my knowledge of the process practical.

    Hope it tickles you, like it tickled me.
     
  17. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    Yep. got it.

    Ok with that said then if you can create that temp cost effectively you have the ability to create fuel sources at will. :D

    Sounds like a healthy business to me. I think there is a Millionaire oil man here in the U.S. that would like this info. That is if he doesn't already have stock in it.
     
  18. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering .......

    How many gallons might that translate into from 3.7 million tons of Plastic ? :D
     
  19. arrie

    arrie New Member

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    Yes, now this Phily co claims they are just kick-starting their process with some energy, but something else that's a by-product of the process is methane, so once your goodies start to produce methane, you can use that to run your system, indefinitely.
    I must admit, I will stand very lightly next to a bent and welded piece of steel that is filled with stuff at appox. 250degC at 14MPa.
    That sounds seriously dangerous.
    And I don't know if I will trust my own welding skill under such conditions.

    Plastic yields 70% back in diesel-like oil. The rest is a carbon substance that is used in fertilizer.
    Cool he?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  20. Hero999

    Hero999 Banned

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    I posted a thread about that nearly a couple of years ago.
    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/thermal-depolymerisation.23360/

    It sounds like a good idea and was genuinely impressed.

    However, I'm becoming increasingly skeptical as it hasn't really gone anywhere in the last two years. If it was as good as they make out, then there would have been many facilities set up by now to process household and industrial waste - there's got to be a catch somewhere.

    If they've hit a brick wall, then perhaps they should give up some of their trade secrets and patents and alow others to work on it and make it successful. Releasing their interlectual property under a GPL like licence could benifit them in the long run as they will still keep the capital and equipment to jump on it as soon as someone else solves the problem.

    The best way of converting waste to energy is to just burn it.

    Rather than repeat myslef I'll just post a link:
    http://www.electro-tech-online.com/threads/gateway-go-away.36833/#post288636
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008
  21. killivolt

    killivolt Well-Known Member

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    Ok 70% yeild.

    Now if I can create 2,000 degrees naturally independent of fuel source. Then store it in a medium then drive off 500 degrees to superheat.

    Leaving 1,500 you may loose some latent heat but I would estimate approximately 2% to 5% depending on your ability to insulate. Which you then use to drive steam generators. However these are going to be sterling Generators coupled with Mag bearings and focus balance rings.

    You sell off the wattage to a local municipality. Keep all of it for use in other industry's and be a garbage collector at the same time.

    Edit: Will that be paper or plastic. Who cares.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2008

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