Peak Oil Primer
I have written a comprehensive Peak Oil primer for OmniNerd . The article is What You Need to Know about Peak Oil. I attempted to write it from a completely objective viewpoint, by presenting both sides of the argument. I also run down the potential for the contenders vying to replace oil. In reviewing the article after publication, I would say the one thing I probably didn’t go into enough detail on was the negative side of tar sands. I had been working on the article for a month at that point, and sort of rushed through that one without realizing that I hadn’t adequately addressed both sides.
Check it out and let me know what you think.
New Response from Joseph Miglietta
Joseph e-mailed me a new response last night supporting his position on ethanol. As soon as I get it formatted, I will post it. He sent an attached PDF that he authored as one of his references, and I need to find a place to host it so others can access it. It is quite good. Expect to see the article posted later today, or tomorrow.
I finally got hit by a spammer yesterday. Someone posted 26 ads in the comments sections at the end of my essays before I caught it. Therefore, I have now enabled “word verification” for comments, just like most other bloggers. I want to make commenting as easy as possible, but I don’t want to have to go in and individually delete a couple dozen ads again.
2 thoughts on “Peak Oil Primer”
Well if history looks back (assuming Internet files are available) it will all be vindicated.
1) Bio-fuels for those running a personal transportation device like a Mercedes Benz diesel running on rapeseed oil (canola).
2) Mass transit on bio-mass (net carbon of 0 percent CO2 contribution.
3. The ‘grid’ running on ‘clean’ coal and some nuke.
This is all doable.
But will it be soon enough before +3 degrees and the slide into a mini-ice age? TBD.
On a technical point: Sasol makes mostly liquid hydrocarbons (gasoline and diesel). The methanol is fairly insignificant.
I believe the future is renewable synthetic oil, using a process similar to Sasol’s (G/F-T) to convert biomass to liquids. This would sidestep most of the concerns with alternative fuels, mainly rebuilding the fuel supply infrastructure and vehicle modifications.
I also believe there are two feedstocks of importance: wastes and algae. According to USDA and DOE we can replace a third of our fuel requirements with various waste products. They estimate we can produce up to 1.3 billion tons a year of those.
The algal pond thing will work best if integrated with wastewater treatment. (see http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com/rea/news/story?id=44928). If this works in frigid New Zealand, it works anywhere, excluding perhaps the poles. This way you get your fertilizer for free, and you get clean water as a byproduct. You can potentially recover the nutrients from the byproducts of synthetic oil production. Looks like a win-win-win proposal to me.
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