90 amps for electric car charge!

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When I go camping, I bring my zero emissions electric heater for my tent. I plug it into the generator that burns oil, and pumps out carbon monoxide. But, the heater is zero emissions.
Same deal with the car. Except that manufacturing of the car pollutes, and that the batteries eventually have to be thrown out, and, and, and.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On 2/15/2010 7:16 AM snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net spake thus:

This point can't be emphasized enough, as it's true that the pinhead media always seems to get this one wrong and leaves the mistaken impression that "green" electric cars run on pixie dust or some such.
Just last night I heard a local news report about recovering methane from landfills for use as fuel. While this is a good thing overall, the stupid reporter (or editor) got away with saying that this would reduce carbon dioxide emissions! Of course this is totally untrue: while the methane would be captured instead of simply venting to the atmosphere, the carbon dioxide would be released later when it was burned. All that's being done is delaying the release of the CO2. Sheesh; are we *really* that much a nation of idiots?
Now, you and I are on opposite sides of this debate in lots of ways concerning the overall viability of renewable energy, nuclear power, etc. But I agree 100% with you here. Such stupid oversights on the part of the media (and even on the part of some who promote green energy) can only set things back.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Nope. Just you.
Methane produces less CO2 per unit of energy produced than coal or gasoline.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/co2-emission-fuels-d_1085.html
Plus, recovering methane and using it to create energy prevents the methane from escaping to become a greenhouse gas. The energy produced is a bonus.
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On 2/16/2010 4:23 PM Bob F spake thus:

Totally beside the point; the news report said specifically that capturing the methane and burning it would mean that the carbon in the methane wouldn't be released into the atmosphere. The CO2 released when the methane is burned is most definitely a greenhouse gas. (Remember the formula from high school chemistry? CH4 + 02 --> CO2 + H20)
Try to read more carefully.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Try to write more carefully then.
"this would reduce carbon dioxide emissions" is what you said. And it clearly will, by reducing the production of the equivalent power burning coal. Less CO2 is produced with the methane.
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On 2/17/2010 7:40 AM Bob F spake thus:

Except that this is the wrong comparison: the methane is being used to power garbage trucks, so the proper comparison would be with gasoline, diesel or propane.
So the only carbon that's being kept out of the atmosphere is the marginal difference between the carbon emitted by burning one of these fuels and the carbon emitted by burning methane. Not at all what the TV news report said.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Nope, significant *carbon* is being kept out of the atmosphere. As Bob said you are *substituting* methane for other fuels instead of just having the methane (a greenhouse gas) leak out to the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas emissions are clearly reduced - the major reason for using the methane.

That is assuming you heard right. If the report said "reduce carbon emissions" [or greenhouse gas emissions] it would accurately describe what is happening.
"Reduce carbon dioxide emissions" is a misstatement of the major benefit [but true using Bob's reference]. IMHO as misstatements go, it is relatively minor. There is a major benefit in using the methane.
In addition, if I remember right, methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas than the CO2 that the methane is turned into - an additional excellent reason to use the methane.
--
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Another comparison in general would be with natural gas. Here in NJ at the local landfill we are already doing exactly what the news report talked about. The methane is being captured at the landfill but here it's used in a small gas turbine to generate electricity. Look at any other similar small turbine facility and they typically use natural gas as a fuel. And the amount of CO2 released by either fuel is exactly the same.
If you compare the methane to gas, diesel, etc, fuels, it's anywhere from 4% to 15% less CO2 emissions. But it's so small it's clearly not worth mentioning in the news story. Or if they did, they should say it will reduce CO2 emissions by that amount. But by reporting it the way they did, I agree, it's very misleading and really the typical junk journalism. The typical buffoon listens to that and thinks it's some great achievement relative to CO2.

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David Nebenzahl wrote:

So, if the methane had just wafted off into the atmosphere, you are saying the carbon wouldn't have ended up in the atmosphere?
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Sure. So is exhaling. But in both cases, the carbon was taken out of the atmosphere in the fairly recent past. The methane from the landfill is generated by the decay of organic material -- food waste, grass clippings, etc. All that was created by plants taking CO2 from the atmosphere. Net balance to the planet is zero (more or less).
The problem with anthropogenic carbon, if there is one, is humans releasing carbon that has been buried underground for millions in the form of oil and natural gas.

I didn't see the report, so it didn't leave any impression with me. But if our landfills emitted enough methane to power the planet, there would be no global warming issue.
Plants would grow, remove CO2 from the atmosphere, we would throw them in the landfill, capture and burn the methane, return the CO2 to the atmosphere. Net balance zero (more or less).
-- Doug
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That glosses over a very important issue. Organic carbon is taken from the atmosphere in the form of CO2 converted by plants into sugars, cellulose, etc. The key fact is that it's CO2. Convert it to methane, and it becomes 20 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than when it was CO2.
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On Feb 27, 11:37am, Hope for the Heartless

Which shows once again that at least some of those that claim to know so much about global warming have the basic facts wrong. Methane is about 3X effective as a greenhouse gas than CO2. That's a long way from 20X.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IPCC_list_of_greenhouse_gases
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in wrote:

Later on in this listing, it states that since 1750, CH4 has almost doubled, CO2 has gone up 25%. Therefore, while still a minor fraction (and likely to remain so) CH4 is still a gas whose releases probably should be controlled. Since the use of natural gas will increase out of proportion to other energy sources and that of animal husbandry too, let's try at least.
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On 2/28/2010 6:58 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

1) CO2 is given in PPM 2) CH4 is given in PPB 3) Thermal conductivity is relative to concentration. 4) At higher concentrations CH4 can be 70 times as conductive 5) CO2 is a crappy forcing agent. 6) CO2 is at an excessivly low concentration, regardless, and used to be at levels many times current. 7) AGW is a fraud. Always has been, always will be.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I'll see your wiki article... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_warming_potential (see table of Global Warming Potentials)
And raise you two EPA citations... http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html (put in 1 metric ton of methane and the results are 19.1 ton of CO2)
http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/glossary.html#GWP The table to the right of the definition of Global Warming Potential.
Followed by a chapter of IPCC paper... http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch02.pdf (see pg 212 for Table 2.14 for Global Warming Potential of methane)
Your citation only shows the radiative forcing due to the current levels of each gas, not the GWP.
The marginal increase in RF from a unit mass (not molar) release of methane versus CO2 is closer to the 20x number than you thought.
daestrom
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I agree. I misinterpreted the page I looked at. It appears the same amount of methane is about 20X the greenhouse effect of CO2. Which means even if you just burned off methane escaping from a dump you'd be substantially reducing the impact.
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I agree. Electric cars are perfectly viable as second cars in a two car family.
For many it would also be viable to use one to commute to work. Many people commute less than 30 miles and the car sits idle all day in the car park.
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On Sat, 20 Feb 2010 12:51:43 -0000, "Cwatters"

When we were younger, out "second car" was an old version of the "first car". IOW, we kept the old one. Now they're quite different vehicles (one car, one truck) for different purposes, in addition to commuting. A "second car" costing as much as an electric car is a non-starter.

If you're foolish enough to buy an *expensive* new car as just a commuter.
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What concerns me most is maintainability. The NYT article states that the battery costs $12000. That is a big chunk of change down the road a few miles. I've never owned anything with a rechargeable battery, where the first few months weren't the best of the experience, with a death spiral from there. So what becomes of the electric car with a dead battery? What is your trade in or resale value of a car with the electric equivalent of a blown engine.
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On 2/15/2010 8:01 AM, Bill wrote:

Supply and demand. As more electricity is needed to power cars the cost per KW hour will increase proportionately. If you don't own an electric car you'll be paying for your neighbors every time you turn on a switch. If they can't get it out of one pocket they'll get it out of another.
LdB
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