'Peak Oil' far, far away


Here’s a Swedish company planning to do a more conventional renewable-electricity-to-fuel process:

They’ll electrolyse water to produce hydrogen, then combine with a waste stream of CO2 to make methanol. One of the commenters (a guy I’ve seen commenting knowledgeably in various places for years) reckons they could add air capture of CO2 and still get 60% efficiency:

Methanol is interesting, because it requires only 3/4 as much H2 to make it from CO2 as methane does. The reaction to methane is highly exothermic (lossy). If you air-captured your CO2 @ 3 MJ/kg you’d need 8.25 MJ (2.29 kWh) plus 21.5 kWh into the electrolyzer @ 43 kWh/kg to make 1 kg CH4 @ 13.9 kWh LHV; that’s 58.4% to get a fuel you can’t even pour. How lossy is methanol?

6 kg H2 reacts with 44 kg CO2 to make 32 kg MeOH and 18 kg H2O. If your electrolyzer consumes 43 kWh/kg, you need 258 kWh input. For a closed-loop system you need to air-capture your CO2. Guesstimate 3 MJ/kg for that or 132 MJ (36.7 kWh) for a total of 294.7 kWh. The HHV of MeOH is 6.39 kWh/kg and the LHV is 5.54 kWh/kg, so your fuel value is between 204.5 and 177.3 kWh. The LHV efficiency is 60.2%, which isn’t half bad for a truly renewable liquid fuel. Best of all, you can thermally crack MeOH back to CO and H2, picking up energy from engine exhaust heat and increasing the LHV to 6.63 kWh/kg. That gives you a whopping 72% efficiency from electric input to the fuel value of your fuel gas.

Yup, methanol is great stuff.

Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 02 May 2020 at 12:54 PM


another fake ecology propaganda… keep all the same just use this super GREEN GREEN technology.


Yeah, all this is just an economists dream to create activity from nothing.
CO2 isn’t the problem, it is just an indication of all the other human activities that involve the burning of fossil fuels.
In reality it’s like driving a car that has a cracked sump which is leaking oil onto the road and instead of fixing the sump, you invest in teams of oil spillage experts to follow the cars cleaning up the road behind them!

Edit: or the men paid to follow horse drawn carriages along the roads, as opposed to fitting “nappies” to the horses!


If anyone wants to know more about Nikola

The CGI looks good IMO


CGI alone should not make you a top 3 auto maker when you make nothing…until perhaps 2022. :frowning:


The legacy of fracking in the US, apart from outrageously cheap gas prices, is an environmental disaster.

The U.S. figures are sobering: More than 3.2 million abandoned oil and gas wells together emitted 281 kilotons of methane in 2018, according to the data, which was included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s most recent report on April 14 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. That’s the climate-damage equivalent of burning 16.2 million barrels of crude oil, according to an EPA calculation. That’s more than the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer, uses in two days.


“The global impact is harder to measure. The governments of Russia, Saudi Arabia, and China – which round out the top five world oil-and-gas producers – did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on their abandoned wells and have not published reports on the wells’ methane leakage.”

I would hazard a guess that the country who disposed of nuclear waste in the arctic wouldnt gain much by sharing the data if they even bothered to collect it, nor would Chinas notoriously lax environmental policies meet any sort of international standard.