Food for thought

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joseff
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Food for thought

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RH1300S
RH1300S
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Head firmly in the sand - I can't even fully comprehend all the issues this raises and if true it gets very stinky very fast at some point soon.

I also believe that the human intellect will triumph and we will find other forms of energy and other raw materials (probably end up digging up landfill sites to reclaim plastics :D )

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joseff
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Don't look too much into the doomsday scenarios offered by the writer.

No, the sky isn't falling tomorrow. But at this rate, it will sometime in the next generation, and we all need to understand and raise awareness on the issues.

After all, F1Technical.net is full of the fertile minds of tomorrow :)

manchild
manchild
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Oil is biggest business in the world and I’m sure that until oil companies suck out the last barrel of oil they won’t allow major breakthrough when it matters new fuels or technology that enables synthesizing oil by some chemical process. I’m not saying that they prevent it - no, I’m saying that they are probably investing the most in research of whatever will replace the fossil fuels in order to keep their dominance on the market.

During WWII Germans have discovered a process for synthesizing oil from coal (U.S Airforce never bombed that plant and took technology after the war ended). So I’d bet that with enormous leap of technology, chemistry and all other areas of science since than some sort of solution probably exists for replacement of fossil fuels (if not several), but as long as it is possible to suck something from the ground and resell it after simple refining process for huge profit new technology will be hidden from common mortals.

Even though most of the people think that the road transportation will suffer the most I think that the greatest problem will face air transportation since cars and trucks can be powered by various fuels and different engines but what can be replacement for contemporary jet engines?

jaslfc
jaslfc
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no need to worry.. today we are getting more efficient ways to burn this fuel. like now they are thinking of diluting the petrol with a higher percentage of ethanol. biodesiel is coming up. in our lifetime we dont need to worry!!

GuestAgain
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Manchild wrote:
Even though most of the people think that the road transportation will suffer the most I think that the greatest problem will face air transportation since cars and trucks can be powered by various fuels and different engines but what can be replacement for contemporary jet engines?
In terms of fuels, jet engines (or gas turbines) are probably more versatile and have been known to run on even coal (pulverised) with little or no modifications. The problem would be one of bulk (of the fuel) as payload would most likely be the main problem which may mean air travel becoming so expensive that it would no longer be viable.

And contrary to that writer' paper/research, I actually believe that oil reserves have actually risen rather than declined (this view is actually supported by a UN paper on the subject but I cannot remember the title or date). What is certain tho is that all the "easy oil" is almost all gone meaning that new reserves are much more expensive to find and exploit.

Cyco
Cyco
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Energy companies

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Most of what have traditionally been oil companies (at least the large ones) have long considered themselves to be energy companies and have large R&D budgets to develop other technologies.

You will regularly find their top researchers at things like solar car races and the like as well as putting in lots of time with companies like Toyota and Porsche in developing their hybrid cars.

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joseff
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The scenario that really worries me is that we're not moving fast enough towards alternative energy sources.

The article predicts global economic meltdown due to oil shortages, not exhaustion. No money -> no research -> no alternative energy. Hello, Stone Age.

Of course, the best case scenario would be that oil prices continue to rise predictably, therefore making hydrogen/nuclear/wind/geothermal/tidal power commercially viable.

GuestAgain
GuestAgain
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Of course, the best case scenario would be that oil prices continue to rise predictably, therefore making hydrogen/nuclear/wind/geothermal/tidal power commercially viable.
Absolutely. Though I think you should include enviromental viability as well. There are some hard choices ahead with regards to the commercial vs environmental vs economic sense of certain altenatives.

mcdenife

wowf1
wowf1
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Location: Brunel University, England

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Does anyone else find it frustrating when companies (and people) claim that 'everything will be ok', because 'we've got hybrids'. The whole hybrid idea is badddd, it really doesn't solve anything because it still uses fossil fuels and they still pollute our ever-dying atmosphere.

Car companies in particular annoy me because it seems that the only reason they are producing hybrids is to create the impression that they are doing their bit for the environment. In fairness though, it probably works, and the EU probably commend these companies. But that doesn't take away the crappyness of the idea.

It just seems a bit of a 'bodge', ie. trying to squeeze an electric motor and weird geabox under the bonnet, which results in a pretty complicated and debateably beneficial outcome.

If anyone has any interest in the battery industry, then they might have heard about the leaps and gains in performance over the last few years. For example, I have raced model cars for around 6 years, and the first batteries I raced with were 6-cell Ni-Cd 1400mAh (1.4 amp hour). We have now seen the introduction of Ni-Mh batteries that can provide 4000mAh. And who knows what they will be able to achieve with Li-Poly and polymer-based cells in the next few years. My opinion is that companies should focus on battery reserch and the energy sources OF THE FUTURE rather than remain stuck in the past.

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joseff
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Does anyone else find it frustrating when companies (and people) claim that 'everything will be ok', because 'we've got hybrids'.
Not really, nobody ever claims that hybrid is the answer. Even the automakers have always maintained that hybrids are transitional technology.
If anyone has any interest in the battery industry, then they might have heard about the leaps and gains in performance over the last few years.
Toshiba has a new Li-ion that recharges to 80% capacity in 1 minute!

Hey I must say I'm impressed with the general attitude here. I started this thread expecting to get flamed. Hard.

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f1.redbaron
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wowf1 wrote:Does anyone else find it frustrating when companies (and people) claim that 'everything will be ok', because 'we've got hybrids'. The whole hybrid idea is badddd, it really doesn't solve anything because it still uses fossil fuels and they still pollute our ever-dying atmosphere.
I don't think that any company (and certainly not Toyota) claims that with the arrival of hybrids, all of our problems will be solved. As it was pointed out, it is just a transition phase.

The good news is that more and more car manufacturers are making hybrids. The bad news is that to develop and improve this technology, companies have to invest tons of money into R&D and there aren't that many companies that can keep up with Toyota...from the financial POV (in order to save money on R&D, Ford had already bought a licence from them to manufacture engines for their Escape model, as did Nissan for their Maxima model). I've read somewhere that when a cost of R&D is calculated into the price, the true price of a Toyota Prius should be close to the price of their Lexus ES330 model, but Toyota is taking a hit on purpose in order to win the largest market share.

I've had lots of interesting links on this subject. If I find them, I'll leave them here.

btw, I've checked the price of crude oil today...it went below $60. FINALLY!

DaveKillens
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I'm old, 55 years now. When I was in school, I recall a consversation in one class, where the teacher announced that the oceans were so large that pollution would never be a problem, and where there was enough oil we should not concern ourselves for generations.
Wow, it just shows where complacency and arrogence got us today. The lesson? We are using up the natural resources. And much quicker than expected. So the days when all the easily accessable oil reserves are depleted will come quicker than expected, and it is coming.
The trouble is, the oil companies are so firmly entrenched, and have so much money to spend on politicians, little is done. And don't expect the oil companies to come up with a magic solution.
But implimenting alternative energy solutions is difficult compared to oil. The present oil distribution itself is a multi-billion dollar industry, from the oil tankers to the refineries, to the individual gas stations. It's a pretty impressive piece of infrastructure.
Pesssimistically, I expect a crash before a solution. It's sad, because the technology is almost here, all we lack is the political will. Solar power, wind, nuclear, many more are feasable alternatives. I personally have a great interest in the ITER fusion project being constructed in southern France. Imagine, we're constructing what will be the first true fusion plant.
http://www.iter.org/
But the bottom line is that we have a finite amount of oil, and we are using it quicker than planned.

Guest
Guest
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Where did you go to school Dave? I ask because im currently at the U of T for mechanical engineering.

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joseff
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The proposed cost of ITER is 10 billion Euros. Even if it balloons (virtually guaranteed) to 40 or 50 billions it's still CHEAP. Seriously.

Compare this to the cost of:
- the "international" space station
- the war in iraq
- and of course, F1 :)