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Alternative "fuel" I see being perfected in the future.

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Post by 74MonteCarlo on Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:57 pm

I had a random thought one day about an alternative "fuel" that was used in the early 20th Century, that I see being perfected in the future.

Anyone know what I am talking about?

Steam.

Video of a 1911 Stanley Steamer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qewjPqeh19Q

Of course, I'm sure it would be a lot after than it was on these cars, but I can see it happening.

Anybody have any thoughts?

Very Happy

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Post by JB2wheeler on Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:23 pm

I prefer cattle manure as an alternate fuel. It is also a proven product. JB
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Post by Jim_Rockford on Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:58 pm

I prefer dead dinosaurs,, Plenty of it and we have plenty at home we need to F***ing DRILL.
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Post by dragons_lair59 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 9:45 pm

yep theres a lake in like montana or that general are that they say could be one of the biggest deposit know to man but eco nuts say dont drill. but yet it is a safer drill then the one that went fubar in the gulf. explain the logic of hey we can drill here not pay a middle man and at a safe enough depth that if some thing does go wrong humans can fix instead of hope to fix miles below the sea

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Post by ant7377 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:24 pm

Heres one -Diesel-oh yeah, we have that, but the enviro douches are trying to ruin that too.
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Post by pila on Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:29 pm

Problem is, none of it will last forever, and we're are using fosil fuels at an alarming rate. I figure we should use the middle east oil before we use ours!

Now an engine built to run on methane would be cool, and it could run on beer farts!

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Post by ant7377 on Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:22 pm

Methane would be good for busses and stuff like that. they use it in denmark i think.It wont happen here since enviro douches will step in again and fine something to protest to help the arabs that fund their groups.
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Post by The Dude on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:51 am

How about grease from fast food joints? It's already being used by a few people & it's definitely renewable as much as Americans like to eat out. The downfall is that it takes diesel motors to run the stuff & still has to be processed. Would seriously cut down on gas prices if it would ever go mainstream.

Another thing to think about is ethanol. It's already in nearly all gas that you buy at the pumps & there are even conversion kits out there to make your car run on pure ethanol. I could see this becoming the next fuel source as gasoline is slowly phased out. Ethanol is corn based in case you didn't know.
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:09 pm

Steam? And what exactly are you going to use to heat the water to make the steam? Natural resources? Magic? Water doesn't heat itself.
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Post by 74MonteCarlo on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:11 pm

Didn't say i was going to do it, lol.

If it was done 100 years ago, I'll bet they could do it again.

That's what the engineers are for...I just had the thought.

Jacking

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Post by 74Malibu383 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:25 pm

You're right. They did it 100 years ago with the locomotive. What was used to heat the water to make the steam through the years?
- Wood
- Coal
- Oil

I think the Stanley Steamer used gas...

I'm just saying that although that car is wicked cool, it's using fossil fuels to heat the water. I don't see it as being an example of an Alternative Fuel.
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Post by The Dude on Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:43 pm

Sorry B-man, I gotta disagree with you on this one. Steam COULD be made by heating up the water with electric coils like an electric stove boiling water. These electric coils would be powered by cell packs, much like hybrid cars of today. While this seems inefficient (steam power in itself is inefficient for cars), it could technically work.
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Post by IndyG3 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:05 pm

But where do you get the power to recharge those batteries? Anyone else have an idea of what goes into making a LiPo battery? Most of this stuff always boils back down to needing fossil fuels to get their "clean" energy...

All of these ideas are cool pipe-dreams, but I think they're gonna need quite a bit more research and development before I'd accept anything as a replacement for fossil fuel right now.
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Post by The Dude on Wed Jan 26, 2011 2:40 pm

The batteries would be charged by connecting an "alternetor" or some sort of charging mechanism to the drive wheels so that when the car is in motion it would charge the batteries. An electrical cord could also be plugged in to a typical outlet if the batteries were fully drained. Problem with steam power is thermal efficiency is down to less than half of what an internal combustion engine produces. Therefore this would really designate steam power to smaller vehicles. It can be done & has been done more recently than that old Stanley Steamer:
http://www.saabhistory.com/2008/04/04/the-nine-cylinder-saab-steam-engine/
http://www.steamcar.net/lsr.html

Biodiesel like I mentioned before:
http://www.biodiesel.org/resources/biodiesel_basics/

Cellulosic Ethanol. Just an idea, but sounds good:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulosic_ethanol
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Post by IndyG3 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:13 pm

Rago, I understand what you're saying, but what happens when those batteries need replacing? They all most definitely go bad at some point or another, regardless of how often they're charged. The problem here is that the process to manufacture the battery itself along with the heavy metals used in making the batteries are several times more dangerous than anything that a gas burning vehicle could put out in its lifetime.

Biodiesel is pretty cool, since you don't really need to change anything on diesel vehicles to run it. The only problem at this rate is the price, and that it could drive up the price of the crops used to make the stuff.

Ethanol is another good solution, but it's shown that in high concentrations that it will cause rust and oxidation in vehicles that aren't properly equipped. That, and fuel consumption would go up since it doesn't burn as well as gasoline

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a clean vehicle, but I'd be more impressed with something that was truly clean alternative fuel, not just "clean" because the end result seems to be.
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Post by jrb75 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:28 pm

What if C A T really spelled....dog...?
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:51 pm

and propane has yet to be kicked around either in this subject, my neighbor growing up ( and still does ) runs his 75 El Camino on it

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Post by The Dude on Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:06 pm

IndyG3 wrote:Rago, I understand what you're saying, but what happens when those batteries need replacing? They all most definitely go bad at some point or another, regardless of how often they're charged. The problem here is that the process to manufacture the battery itself along with the heavy metals used in making the batteries are several times more dangerous than anything that a gas burning vehicle could put out in its lifetime.

I agree with the battery thing, but it IS a way to power a car 100% with NO dino spit.

Biodiesel is pretty cool, since you don't really need to change anything on diesel vehicles to run it. The only problem at this rate is the price, and that it could drive up the price of the crops used to make the stuff.

You're thinking of ethanol with the cost thing. Biodiesel can also be made from the grease at burger joints. Anyone that has worked in fast food can attest to how fast that nasty stuff adds up & I don't see America getting any thinner, lol.


Ethanol is another good solution, but it's shown that in high concentrations that it will cause rust and oxidation in vehicles that aren't properly equipped. That, and fuel consumption would go up since it doesn't burn as well as gasoline

Ethanol is something I'm riding the fence about for several reasons, but if the cars are properly equipped then rust shouldn't be an issue. They even have carbs that are designed specifically for ethanol on the market.

Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a clean vehicle, but I'd be more impressed with something that was truly clean alternative fuel, not just "clean" because the end result seems to be.


Limey wrote:and propane has yet to be kicked around either in this subject, my neighbor growing up ( and still does ) runs his 75 El Camino on it

I like propane because it is clean burning, but then again it's not an alternative fuel source since it's still a by-product of oil.
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Post by 74Malibu383 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 4:20 pm

I agree with Indy on the Battery problems, and have also read about the true manufacturing cost of those batteries. Now, let's pretend they are perfectly clean. How are you going to charge them with an extension cord and tell me it's clean??? Where do you get the power to run your house from?

Check out this website, and put in your zip.
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/how-clean.html
My numbers:
2.6% Non-Hydro Renewables
3.5% Hydro
16.4% Nucear
0.1% Oil
31.6% Gas
45.7% Coal

Last time I checked not all of these are clean. So, that electric car you have that you love so much.... It's freaking powered by fossil fuels in the long run.

Also from the EPA website:
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-and-you/affect/air-emissions.html
Electricity generation is the dominant industrial source of air emissions in the United States today. Fossil fuel-fired power plants are responsible for 67 percent of the nation's sulfur dioxide emissions, 23 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, and 40 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions. These emissions can lead to smog, acid rain, and haze. In addition, these power plant emissions increase the risk of climate change.

More power to the people that are smart enough to come up with alternative fuels. We're eventually going to need them. I just can't stand the prissy Prius drivers that think they are saving the world..... Wake up.
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Post by Limey SE on Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:15 pm

My numbers:
0.4% Non-Hydro Renewables
0.7% Hydro
22.3% Nucear
0.4% Oil
2.7% Gas
72.8% Coal



Holy hell thats a big amount of coal WOW

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Post by IndyG3 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:54 pm

I think we need fission-powered cars. At this rate it's the cleanest alternative and it's been proven to work.
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Post by Roadcaptain S3 on Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:59 pm

Gawd help me, I'm gonna have to go with Kyle on this one. Me and mechanic buddy were discussing this very subject a month ago.

If you could power any vehicle with steam as far back as the EARLY 1800s, there has got to be a way to heat water enough to power a car.
Steamboats, locomotives, factories etc. ran on steam in the early industrial age.
I totally understand that wood/coal etc was burned in those days, but you can't tell me that after two centuries of technological advances, no one has come up with a way to generate enough heat and water pressure to power a car.

Imagine, any "exhaust" would just be harmlessly evaporated into the atmosphere, cloud up and fall right back to earth.


If you can put a nuke submarine underwater indefinitely, or an nuke powered aircraft carrier to sea forever, surely some scientist has come up with a way to generate enough steam power to move a tiny little car around.

Obviously, i ain't no physicist or engineer, but it just makes sense that someone could do it, and do it cheap.

Talk about a renewable resource, wow.
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Post by bigredlaguna on Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:40 pm

74Malibu383 wrote:Steam? And what exactly are you going to use to heat the water to make the steam? Natural resources? Magic? Water doesn't heat itself.

Mr Fusion from "Back to the Future".
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Post by Malicruiser on Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:11 pm

Limey wrote:My numbers:
0.4% Non-Hydro Renewables
0.7% Hydro
22.3% Nucear
0.4% Oil
2.7% Gas
72.8% Coal



Holy hell thats a big amount of coal WOW
Huh. Mine are:

1.3% Non-Hydro Renewables
0.3% Hydro
11.9% Nuclear
0.5% Oil
47.5% Gas
37.1% Coal

Well we do have a LOT of gas wells around here so I guess that makes sense.
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Post by pila on Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:53 pm

Brazil has lots of ethanol ( and we buy some from them), and they have cars that run on just ethanol. Their's is made from sugar cane, and not corn, like here. Problem here is, it takes more natural gas ( in $) for a gallon of ethanol, than what it's worth. None of these band-aid fixes will ever replace oil, in my opinion. Electric cars ? The emissions are just transfered from the cars to the power plants. No free lunch there, and some energy companies fear that it's gonna cost more bucks to up-grade the electrical power grids if electric cars become really popular and numerous.

One of the Arab oil guys said he just didn't understand why people want to make fuel from food, meaning corn and cane. Some of the farmers around here thought they were gonna make big bucks because of corn for ethanol.......it didn't happen. They should have known better.

We do have lots of coal from what I read. Time to get with the clean-up and burning more coal. Oil companies likely have done their best to lobby against coal in some way.

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