Is the US moving away from oil?




 
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Boots
 
November 11th, 2004  
DTop
 
 

Topic: Is the US moving away from oil?


Quote:
WASHINGTON - About four miles east of the U.S. Capitol, in an industrial section of town, sits a gas station that looks like any other. But it's not, because on Wednesday it became the first in North America to have a hydrogen dispensing pump.
"This will be, in fact, the first step toward the real transition in the economy from the carbon-based economies of the past to a hydrogen economy of the future," Abraham said.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...drogen_station

Do you think this signals the first step away from oil? Is hydrogen the way to go?
November 11th, 2004  
Italian Guy
 
 
Light question indeed.


Well I don't think so. It might be the first step away from oil, but oil won't be finished too soon. The point is how to get supplies from off africa's West Coast. And from Russia, even though russia's is not as high a quality as MidEast's oil.
November 11th, 2004  
Hegario
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italian Guy
Light question indeed.


Well I don't think so. It might be the first step away from oil, but oil won't be finished too soon. The point is how to get supplies from off africa's West Coast. And from Russia, even though russia's is not as high a quality as MidEast's oil.
It's the same oil as in the Middle East. Even most of the refineries are built by western oil companies. The only difference is just that the Russian fields are mostly equipped with out of date equipment which doesn't allow them to increase production similarly as the Saudis. The problem with Nigerian oil is that Nigeria is not a stable country right now.

There are several options available and it's my strong belief that it's in the interest of the world the sooner we switch away from our dependency to fossil fuels. There are several avenues of research available but I think that the hydrogen-powered fuel cells might be the most efficient way especially when cars are concerned. Electric-powered cars do not have the necessary range and the charging time makes unusable IMHO.
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Boots
November 11th, 2004  
Italian Guy
 
 
I bow to your knowledge and share the view that moving away from oil before we run out of supplies is a good thing. I'm just pretty skeptical on how entire economies such as US or Japan can be converted.
Oil is not just for transportation; oil is for paints, for plastics, for surgery tools, for everything.
November 11th, 2004  
Hegario
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italian Guy
I bow to your knowledge and share the view that moving away from oil before we run out of supplies is a good thing. I'm just pretty skeptical on how entire economies such as US or Japan can be converted.
Oil is not just for transportation; oil is for paints, for plastics, for surgery tools, for everything.
You are very correct.

I think we will eventually develop alternate materials, as we did with bio-degradable plastics. I have faith, it didn't take that long for us to get rid of freon when we found out that it depletes the ozone.

The thing that worries me about oil is that in a few years we can expect a dramatic increase in oil-consumption, because the Indians and Chinese will soon want to have their own cars.
November 11th, 2004  
Italian Guy
 
 
Yeah, but I was watching a show the other night and this expert in the field was saying that China and India ( our main concerns right now ) will be advantaged from a certain point of view. They (and we along with them ) will benefit from their being latecomers: they can develop new and more efficient technologies so as to not burn as much oil as we do now. In fact, I heard most US refineries still working today were built 40 years ago.
In short, the hope is that the Chinese can learn from our past mistakes. Or the world won't bear it I'm afraid.
November 11th, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
I did a research paper on hydrogen fuel cells, and I believe that it is the technology of the future. Here is how it works in laymen terms

The hydrogen and oxygen are moved separately through the fuel cell. The oxygen and hydrogen are separated by a think membrane of material. This material is thin enough to excite the electron in the hydrogen atom. The material used use to be platinum, but I believe new materials are being tested to bring down the cost of fuel cells. At some point, the excited hydrogen electron rips apart and travels through a circuit. In a cars case, it is the electric motor. After traveling through the circuit, the electron meets back up with the hydrogen. The hydrogen combines with the oxygen to make water.



So you have a power source that uses hydrogen to make power and it's only byproducts is water and oxygen.

Also, Great Britain is leading the world in the use of hydrogen fuel cells. I believe London's bus system is totally ran by fuel cells. The london study found that after a curtain number of buses, the cost of maintaining buses with fuel cells becomes less than running gasoline powered buses. The mayor of London drank water from the tail pipe of one of the buses after riding in it to demonstrate that it was water.
November 11th, 2004  
Italian Guy
 
 
Wow now that's cool, bro 8)
November 11th, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Italian Guy
Wow not that's cool, bro 8)
glad you like it

There are limitations to fuel cells. As the article pointed out, there is only one hydrogen fuel station in the US. Also, fuel cell powered cars do not have the same acceleration that gas powered cars do. I know a few of my fast car loving adult male counterparts would not buy something like that. Fuel prices are going to have to be really high before hydrogen fuel technology to take off.

How high is something to be debated. I guess when people's buying habits are changed because of high fuel prices is when it is "that time." For now, Americans are still driving trucks and SUV's in record numbers. So $2.14 a gallon is not high enough...if you know what I mean. If gas was $3.50 a gallon, things may start to change.
November 11th, 2004  
DTop
 
 
I think the change will likely happen the same way change has always happened here. We changed from whale oil lamps to gas lamps and finally to electric lamps in our houses for example. We went from ice boxes to propane refrigerators to electric refrigerators.
It may come down to a matter of supply and demand eventually. There may come a day when gasoline powered cars are no longer manufactured and the ones that still remain will have to search far and wide for fuel relegating them to quaint antique status much like coal driven trains and horse drawn carriages are today. It will take time. But IMHO, it is an exciting prospect.