DfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 977 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4522 times:
I'd like to start off by pushing this debate away from when oil will run out (if ever according to some ppl) but toward to aircraft design. If there is anything we a.netters no less about aircraft its oil exploration, so just stick to aviation
Radelow From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 426 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4506 times:
I too don't put much weight in the theory we will run out of oil anytime soon. Take the Athabasca Oil Sands in Canada for instance. They have between 1.75 and 2.5 TRILLION barrels of oils. For comparison, Saudi Arabia has about 265 billion barrels in proven reserves.
New technologies will be needed to get much of this oil but we move forward everyday technology-wise.
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13115 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4365 times:
First of all jet aircraft do not use 'gas' or gasoline, they use a form of kerosine. Perhaps over the years a switch to bio-fuel blend, like biodiesel blends now being expirmented with. Essentially, it is vegetable oils, blended with some alcohol based chemicals to keep it fluid for use in motor vehicles. Ther are plenty of websites you can search for for more info on biodiesel. Since 'jet fuel' is similar to diesel fuel and kerosine, it could easily be the fuel of the future, replacing petrolium based fuels. Newer jets could be specifically built for use of it, and older aircraft and engines could be modified at a reasonable cost for many more years of use.
Bill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8451 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4233 times:
like biodiesel blends now being experimented with
Biodiesel won't work in aircraft because like diesel it can not be ignigted by a flame or a spark. It relies on heat from friction or needs to be mixed with petrol to ignite. Ethanol fuels however could be an option as they are extremely environmentally friendly. After being burnt the gas given on if Carbon Dioxide which is what we humans breath out, unlike carbon monoxide which is generally the gas released after burning traditional fuels.
Another option is to look at fuels similar to what are used in racing cars which have a higher content of chemicals then it does of petrol. how compatible this would be with a jet engine I couldn't tell you
DragonRapide From Belgium, joined Sep 2001, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4189 times:
I'ld like to refer to some comments I made in another topic (What should Airbus do?).
Working for a car company and being involved in amongst others these discussions I can asure you that if the "oil" problem was so easily solved as suggested by some of the above, the world would be completely different.
And I am not alluding only to technology but also world economy, politics, basically the whole of the society.
Fact 1: The question is not only when we run out of oil. In fact that question may be totally irrelevant. More important today and in the foreseeable future is what the demand will do. Again as already pointed out, the demand has grown sharply within China and it will continue to do so. Also, the political situation not only in Arabian countries but in all major oil producing countries (Russia is a very recent example, Venezuela is another one). Also trying to estimate what will happen if the world shifts from a oil driven economy to another source (hydrogen, solar power, ...) is very difficult. The complete economical structure of the whole world will change, countries will disappear or change remarkably, ... In any case, such a shift will have to happen very very gradually and will still have enormous chocks and sudden changes.
Fact 2: Although hybrid cars are around (I work for a company that was the first to launch such a car) the technology is not usable for airplanes. Basically the electrical engine is used for starting and once at a certain speed the fuel engine kicks in. Add to that the stop-and-go systems (fuel engine stops running when you stop at for example a red light and electrical engine is used to start off again) and you have the hybrid cars of today and the future. The batteries for the engine are still heavy and are recharged by braking energy. The electrical engine is contributing 0% during cruise.
Fact 3: Hydrogen powered cars will take at least another 20 years. Yes, I know, there are some prototypes driving aroound even as we speak. However, the difference between a prototype technology demonstrator and a mass production car is very big. Many big problems still need to be solved. I will mention only one: reliability. That's still a long way off and be honest reliability is much more severe in aviation. Secondly, the energy necessary to produce hydrogen is enormous and thirdly where to fill up your tank with hydrogen??? Supply of hydrogen may turn out to be the biggest problem overall.
Fact 4: Some form of bioenergy. Probably will become a niche product, especially if the fuel price continues to rise, bioenergy (oil produced from seeds) could become competitive. But production (crops) are much too few to have an impact today. And as stated above, we are talking about diesel here which is nto eactly the kind of fuel airplanes need.
Fact 5: Fuel cells, only this year engineers have cracked the problems with fuel cell cars driving in temperaturs below zero (degrees Celcius) (before that, the cars only worked in positive temperatures). Slowly problems are being resolved but the hydrogen (see fact 3) is still the major problem. And the weight of the fuel cells of course.
Basically what I wanted to get across is that:
a/ the energy problem is difficult enough for car companies to crack let alone for airplanes
b/ car companies are today pursuing different directions which means one thing: no-one is sure and has the correct answer, everyone is trying to come up with a solution but THE solution has not been found yet (and may never be)
c/ it is all much more complex than what some members are suggesting. My small message only gives a very small insight of the problems and issues at stake
d/ don't ask me for a solution because there is no answer to that question yet. The only thing I could see happening is that fuel prices rise sharply (very likely to happen and today's oil prices will seem cheap in comparison) and priorities will be set: cars to use as much as possible hybrid or alternative fuel technologies. Houyseholds and industry to use alternative fuels (gas, electricity, solar power, ...) and aviation being one of the industries to use kerosene as long as possible. What very high fuel prices will do for the traffic levels is a completely different discussion.
Klaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21462 posts, RR: 53
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 4104 times:
By the way, I know I´m repeating myself, but this belongs into this discussion as well:
Clean air / climate change will become an increasingly limiting factor on all fuel-burning technologies. Fuel can be found or made, if probably at increasing cost. But clean air and a stable climate are much more problematic in the longer run.
Leelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 4070 times:
They've been wringing their hands about the exhaustion of petroleum supplies since John D. Rockefeller was just a twinkle in his Daddy's eye. I can remember the pundits in the early seventies saying the world would be pumped dry of oil by 1995. BTW, according to the same people we should be in the middle of an ice age as we speak!
Captjetblast From Argentina, joined Aug 2001, 281 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3896 times:
I guess aircraft builders (Boeing, Airbus, etc) have been secretly developing and testing new propulsion technologies based on anything different from fossile fuels. Maybe they have an agreement, no one will alter the market with a new solution for oil problem, all of the big companies will show their new products (engines) at a time.
Kim777fan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 510 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3859 times:
"I can remember the pundits in the early seventies saying the world would be pumped dry of oil by 1995."
I don't remember anything THAT optimistic. All I can remember hearing was 1990 at the latest.
Of course, it all started with the Yom Kippur War in 1973 when Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt attacked Israel. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger acted immediately and warned those nations to withdraw immediately. In protest for U.S. support of Israel, Arab oil-producing countries led by none other than Saudi Arabia then imposed an oil embargo on the United States.
Gasoline prices then skyrocketed to the unheard of price of 80 cents a gallon and higher. To this day, adjusted for inflation, it is the most expensive fuel has ever been in this country. People lined up for several blocks just to buy a tank of gas for their car.
It was at that time we heard we would run out of oil by 1990 at the latest and by 2000, everyone would be driving solar-powered cars.
Whitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3804 times:
In the short to medium term, what's needed are cleaner and ever more efficient engines. Fuel technologies also need to keep up and offer cleaner fuels which have less harmful byproducts.
Doing this leads into alternative fuels as well, as highly efficient and versatile powerplants will be much more adaptable to redesigning for a new fuel type such as biofuel derivatives.
Sooner or later the oil addiction will need to be broken, as it's never going to be a forever deal. There just isn't an infinite supply. But by constantly pushing jet technology and efficiency it makes it easier to eventually change designs or thinking. Cars and heavy vehicles have already gone that way. Years ago they ran on petrol exclusively, now a bus or car can run on petrol, diesel, biodiesel, kerosene, alcohol, gas or even hydrogen. All in a broadly similar engine configuration.
Justloveplanes From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 1056 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3778 times:
I think the one fossil fuel application that will outlast all others is aviation and automobiles. Hybrids I believe will dominate the market in a very short time for cars, keeping them in synch with current patterns a bit longer than airplanes. Planes might take a hit.
For the open road, it is almost silly to build anything other than a hybrid for a car, except for pure performance (Porsche, Ferrari, etc.). Hybrids basically recover the heat from braking (otherwise completely and needlessly wasted) and put it to good use for a very modest weight penalty. Look for your hybrid caddy at a dealer near you soon.
Airplanes don't brake and require dense concentrated fuel. Right now LCC's like Southwest compete with the automobile, so aviation will lose ground relative to hybrid technology if petro costs soar. The economy will adjust. I am interested to see if Boeing's forecast took any of this into account.
Brons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3013 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3740 times:
Biodiesel won't work in aircraft because like diesel it can not be ignigted by a flame or a spark. It relies on heat from friction or needs to be mixed with petrol to ignite. Ethanol fuels however could be an option as they are extremely environmentally friendly. After being burnt the gas given on if Carbon Dioxide which is what we humans breath out, unlike carbon monoxide which is generally the gas released after burning traditional fuel
There are some diesel powered recips out there for use in GA aircraft. I'm sure they could be modifed to run on biodiesel fairly easily.
Perhaps we could see a return to large recips running on bio fuels??
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
Fanofjets From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1984 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3574 times:
In an encyclopedia of civil aviation dated 1980 (which is still on my shelf), Lockheed were said to be developing hydrodgen-powered airliners. There are two pictures, one showing a stretched L-1011 H2-powered freighter and another showing a double-deck 4-engined turboprop with contra-rotating props. It is always interesting to look back to the future....
The aeroplane has unveiled for us the true face of the earth. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery