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Fuel For Airliners When No More Fossil Fuel!?  
User currently offlineAak777 From Qatar, joined Apr 2001, 284 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4264 times:

So after a while when oil wells are dried out what will fuel the airplanes?
Is there any cheap and coast effective alternative fuel under research now days?

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNewagebird From Australia, joined Sep 2005, 64 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 4258 times:

Theyre trying hydrogen fuel but there is a lot of logistical issues such as the great quantity required to achieve the same range aircraft have today. Don't worry about it, let the scientists come up with it, im sure they will as the world can't live without aviation.
Cheers newagebird  Smile


User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4241 times:

In the United States, there is a college that designed a way to derive bio-Jet fuel from soybeans. The problem was, is that the United States uses more Jet fuel than every farm in the USA could produce.

As for smaller, piston engined aircraft, there is aviation-grade ethanol in the works, but I don't know much on it.


User currently offlineLevg79 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 994 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4240 times:

There was an article in the Airways a few months back talking about this problem. It made the problem sound so bad that you would get an impression that a few years down the road there would not be such a thing as the aviation. If I remember correctly, the quote used in the article was "the world would once again become large."

But as everyone else here, I hope that this problem will get resolved before it becomes a problem.

Leo.



A mile of runway takes you to the world. A mile of highway takes you a mile.
User currently offlineBa97 From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 377 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 4244 times:

There is a lot of time to work on this one. There is not much fuel out there at less than $40/bbl. More oil at $60/bbl and lots of oil at $100/bbl. When you start into the $150/bbl range, lots of options open. A very good example are the oil sands. Oil shales and extraction from some tricky places kick into gear the higher you go. The higher the price of oil, the more viable alternative energies become and the more competitive they are in the market. The alternate energy source price and what people are willing to pay to go from a to b will kick start the alternatives into real research and application. The issue with planes is that you need global adoption. A car is "local" transportation and having alternative energy for that engine is rather straightforward town/city/country specific. Having airports all over the world adopt fueling alternatives and the turn over of vehicles (the average car changes from its first owner after 5-7 years for example- a plane?--15 years?) makes all this much more tricky in action compared to the theory.

First you convert the cars, boats, trains, home heating, which will free up the refining into more sensitive uses like planes. I would say you have another good 20 plus years before alternatives on planes make any appearance. But then, I could be off my rocker.



there is economy class, business class, first class...then Concorde..pure class
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25520 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4213 times:

With the US sitting on the worlds largest deposits of coal, there has been renewed interest into the use of coal based fuels. The technology has been around since pre WW2 with Germany having made successful mass use of such fuels. In addition there has been a strong push for hydrogen based synthetic fuels blends particularly by the USAF.

The US Dept of Defence along with private companies are actively involved in the research and trial of such fuels. Matter of fact a USAF B-52 was flown at the end of last year with such a fuel blend. Also David Neeleman of Jetbue has personally gotten involved in such research and is sponsoring legislation that would help make such fuels realistic.

Stories on USAF B-52
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?storyID=123026906
http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123035568

Jetblue / David Neeleman presentation
http://www.glennbeck.com/2006ads/jbluctl.pdf



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4157 times:

Quoting Levg79 (Reply 3):
It made the problem sound so bad that you would get an impression that a few years down the road there would not be such a thing as the aviation.

At Hayden, Colorado (HDN), that's exactly what's going on now--they're out of Jet-A, and awaiting a delivery truck. Lots of folks flying in for spring break skiing causing high demand, but a refinery fire in Texas in mid-February has the normal distribution process all fouled up...


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17054 posts, RR: 67
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4154 times:

Quoting Ba97 (Reply 4):
There is a lot of time to work on this one. There is not much fuel out there at less than $40/bbl. More oil at $60/bbl and lots of oil at $100/bbl. When you start into the $150/bbl range, lots of options open.

Ba97 hits the nail on the head. When current fuels become more and more costly, investments in other fuels will start looking very reasonable.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMa2mw From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4053 times:

There's no reason a jet engine couldn't run on ethanol if it was first set up to do so. What reply 3 might not be aware that the newest research is to turn the cellulose or the whole plant into ethanol as opposed to just the bean or kernel. They are developing special enzymes that will bread down the plant matter into ethanol. With this approach, I think the farmers could do the job (especially with more farmers). This is what Pres. Bush was talking about with switchgrass.

User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4004 times:
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Quoting Ma2mw (Reply 8):
There's no reason a jet engine couldn't run on ethanol if it was first set up to do so.

While running a turbine on ethanol would be no problem (with a few small modifications), ethanol has about 41% lower energy content than Jet-A per unit volume, although since it's about 7% less dense, it's only about 37% lower in energy content on a per unit mass basis. That’s not too big a deal on a ground vehicle carrying only a modest amount of fuel, but it would probably be way too big a hit for most aircraft.

Biodiesel is much closer to Jet-A energy densities (about 92% on a volume basis, 88% on a mass basis), although it's of *very* variable quality at the moment.

But in any event, there are all sorts of ways to make something like Jet-A if you’re willing to pay for it.


User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3999 times:

The most obvious source of fuel is water. Hydrogen and oxygen. Once a cheap method of separating the two elements is invented the answer to the fuel crisis is there for all (except the Arabs as they haven't got any!). Non poluting too.

However, would big business stand for this? If you can get your fuel for free they are not going to make huge profits so it wouldn't surprise me to see the technology suppressed.


User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2353 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 3994 times:
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Quoting Saintsman (Reply 10):
The most obvious source of fuel is water. Hydrogen and oxygen. Once a cheap method of separating the two elements is invented the answer to the fuel crisis is there for all (except the Arabs as they haven't got any!). Non poluting too.

Unfortunately you need to put as much energy into cracking H2O as you can get out of it by reacting the hydrogen and oxygen back to water. That might be an application for solar powered cracking stations (the sulfur-iodine cycle looks somewhat promising), since the hydrogen is basically a good energy storage mechanism.

At the very (and seriously unrealistic) best, you could collect a joule of solar (or any other) energy, crack some water, transport the hydrogen to some end user, and get back a joule. But it cannot be any less expensive than the original energy source.

If you want hydrogen, it's actually much less expensive to crack methane (natural gas) at the moment.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17054 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 3959 times:

Quoting Saintsman (Reply 10):
The most obvious source of fuel is water. Hydrogen and oxygen. Once a cheap method of separating the two elements is invented the answer to the fuel crisis is there for all (except the Arabs as they haven't got any!)

"The Arabs as the haven't got any"? Your statement is a bit generalized. You seem to assume all Arabs live in the desert. Let's for a moment assume you mean Saudi Arabia. In that case there is plenty of water in the Red Sea for example.

Quite frankly I think you are suffering from the misconception that all oil producing countries in the Middle East are deserts populated by Arabs.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 6924 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3949 times:

Quoting N231YE (Reply 2):
As for smaller, piston engined aircraft, there is aviation-grade ethanol in the works, but I don't know much on it.

Ethanol is totally unacceptable for all existing piston engine planes; all of them have components in the fuel system that ethanol attacks. Since the average age of a single engine plane is over 30 years, any new avgas replacement must not contain ethanol. The costs to convert all the planes out there to tolerate ethanol would be prohibitive.
There are many ways of making synthetic petroleum, and any organic matter is a potential source. I have read of one where they are converting garbage to oil, and are on the verge of making it commercially viable. The greatest potential source of fossil fuels in the world is actually the oil shale deposits in the Rockies, dwarfing the Middle East oil fields. Sooner or later someone will come up with an economically viable way to extract it.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 12):
Quite frankly I think you are suffering from the misconception that all oil producing countries in the Middle East are deserts populated by Arabs.

This is a well established factoid.  sarcastic  And that entropy has yet to be invented is one of the most important corollaries of this factoid.


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17054 posts, RR: 67
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

Quoting Baroque (Reply 14):
This is a well established factoid.

Lol. Just like all Iranians and Afghans are Arabs then? Sigh...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMrocktor From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1668 posts, RR: 50
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3928 times:

There is plenty of oil on the planet to fuel planes for centuries. Before oil runs out we will have workable fusion - unless the enviro-crazies manage to destroy our industrial society, that is.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17054 posts, RR: 67
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3923 times:

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 16):
There is plenty of oil on the planet to fuel planes for centuries. Before oil runs out we will have workable fusion - unless the enviro-crazies manage to destroy our industrial society, that is.

Have you been reading "Fallen Angels" by Flynn & Pournelle & Niven?  Wink In that book, the "enviro-crazies" have taken over the asylum and the lack of heating from industrial society has plunged the Earth into a new ice age.

Before you flame me, note that this was a work of FICTION.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineMrocktor From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1668 posts, RR: 50
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3918 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Have you been reading "Fallen Angels"

Never heard of it. I'm reading newspapers...


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17054 posts, RR: 67
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3915 times:

Quoting Mrocktor (Reply 18):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Have you been reading "Fallen Angels"

Never heard of it. I'm reading newspapers...

I know. I was making a joke. The book isn't really that good either.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineInnocuousFox From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2805 posts, RR: 14
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

I can't believe that we are having this discussion.  Yeah sure


Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3824 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 15):
Lol. Just like all Iranians and Afghans are Arabs then? Sigh...

Of course, and while we are teaching them to be good Arabs, we can (part time) work on controlled heat transfer problems from fusion reactors running at 2 million C and then some. Actually, the heat transfer problem might be the easier one.  Wow!


User currently offlineThegeek From Australia, joined Nov 2007, 2638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3323 times:

I personally think that by far, the most practical alternate fuel for airliners is LNG (i.e. liquid methane) in super insulated tanks. It actually contains about 15% more energy per unit weight (~50MJ/kg vs ~43MJ/kg) so on a long haul plane would likely result in weight and therefore fuel efficiency saving. Would result in a few challenges for refueling the cryogenic liquid, but nothing impossible, and with Jet Fuel getting more and more expensive, it is likely to pay eventually.

User currently offlineJawed From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3290 times:

We'll just go back to sail ships. Getting your FedEx package might take 6 months instead of 24 hours, but it will still arrive, eventually.

User currently offlineA380US From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

If they were to use water would that mean we would have more rain and snow?


www.JandACosmetics.com
25 SashA : Scientists could have come up with the solution of an alternative power source ages ago, maybe they already have... but all their efforts are being ha
26 ThirtyEcho : Out of oil? You won't be flying anywhere or driving, either. Mostly, you'll be standing guard with a shotgun all night, ready to shoot any of your nei
27 Baroque : Don't worry about the oil tycoons, you would be better off fretting at the physical-chemists who thought up the concept of entropy. That is going to
28 SEPilot : The latest info that I have been seeing is the theory that fossil fuels aren't fossil fuels at all; that they are the product of geological processes
29 Starlionblue : So true. The doomsayers are always around.
30 Thegeek : Even so, isn't the world having significant trouble finding new large fields, combined with rapidly increasing demand in China and India? I think we'
31 N231YE : True. I venture to say that oil will always be around, its more of cheap oil that is in question.
32 Starlionblue : I'm going to chime in with the following statement from N231YE. Break out the tinfoil hats! Seriously. If there was an economically viable alternativ
33 N231YE : Still, expensive oil=more alternatives open. There are huge deposits of oil sand and oil shales in Canada and the Arctic, and of course, the USA with
34 SEPilot : As technology improves more and more oil becomes economically recoverable; it seems that every week or so I hear about some new find. Also, if what I
35 Cloudy : Some methods of getting oil that are expensive now - like extracting it from tar sands, etc. - will get less expensive later due to new technologies a
36 Rwessel : For aircraft, the big problem with LNG is volumetric energy density. At best it's about two-thirds that of Jet-A, which means that you'd need to incr
37 Cobra27 : Coal powered engines. Each engine will have its own coalmen to dig coal
38 Thegeek : You, and every one else who has said this is probably right. But I would add that the first thing which should be taken off oil dependence is probabl
39 SEPilot : Locomotives are the best candidates for electrification (as has already happened in much of Europe) as the cost of adding wiring to the tracks is rel
40 Post contains links Xv408 : Some posters have suggested that big business is squashing any attempt to develop alternative fuels. Others have pointed out that biofuels need large
41 Tdscanuck : It's difficult to store and transport, but why dangerous? Gasoline is far worse. Tom.
42 SEPilot : Gasoline vapors will only ignite at certain concentrations; I believe hydrogen will ignite much more readily and with a much wider range of concentra
43 Bond007 : Well, we should really be honest here and say we have no clue. We are talking so far into the future, I guarantee we won't be using conventional turb
44 Rwessel : While that's true (H2 will ignite at concentrations of 13-59% in ordinary air, while most of the hydrocarbon vapors are limited to about 6-14%), and
45 Thegeek : At the risk of going further off the topic, it is worth noting that in Oz there are diesel locomotives operating routes completely under wires. In Qu
46 Baroque : Both good points, and there is no doubt that higher oil prices do make alternatives more attractive. However, beware the great con trick in citing a
47 SEPilot : I do not know much about it myself, other than what I read. But my understanding is that if the theory I cited is correct, there could be oil just ab
48 Baroque : So deeper than the 30,000 feet of wells such as Knotty Head in the GoM. To cut a long argument short, while small amounts of methane are found in vol
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