Discussion renewable fuel and why didn't it take off compared to EVs?

Howardohyea

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I've wondered this since the EU chose to ban combustion engine cars, instead focusing on purely EVs in the future. Why don't they choose renewable fuel instead?

Motorsports like F1 and GT3 are all pushing towards renewable fuel, why don't they carry that fuel over to road cars? I'm not sure about the cost of production but is it that high and makes it unfeasible?
 

kanewolf

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I've wondered this since the EU chose to ban combustion engine cars, instead focusing on purely EVs in the future. Why don't they choose renewable fuel instead?

Motorsports like F1 and GT3 are all pushing towards renewable fuel, why don't they carry that fuel over to road cars? I'm not sure about the cost of production but is it that high and makes it unfeasible?
Renewable fuel like what? Hydrogen? Ethanol ?
One problem with either of those is scaling up. Many sources of ethanol remove plant material from food sources (corn, sugar beets, etc). Can you get enough non-food bio material to create ethanol ?
Electricity has multiple possible sources. Fossil fuel, nuclear, solar, wind, tides, geothermal. There is more possibilities to scale up.
 

little_me

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Renewable fuel, in this case refers to alternate means besides long dead dinosaur bones and plant matter from deep underground.

End product of it is still pretty much same CH solutions so reduction in CO^2 would not be that huge.
yes, it'd be smaller than with crude oil base but still pretty much same once car's engine uses it.

It doesn't really help that due to smaller scale, Renewable fuels, ethanol or otherwise, are still more expensive to manufacture than Oil products.
only exception is pretty much Biogas alternative to Natural gas, since waste disposals get that anyway and either store it and sell or or burn it to get rid of it, decomposing matter releases quite lot of it. (but not enough to allow people to fully switch NG to BG

The current obsession with full EV is unsustainable, to work, fully EV vehicles need quite big batteries to go farther than intra-city transit, for which they are good.
for longer distances, you'd need super-chargers and such which cost to implement and still means you have to plan odd 800 to 1000km/mile trip carefully and/or if you MUST stop for hour or two to charge up.

another problem are the greenified Hybrids that have 480hp gas engine and 400hp Electric in it to get tax deductions.
better solution would be to basically BAN all cars of over 200hp, you do not honestly need more than that except maybe in german autobahns if even there.
also you'd get lot better fuel economy by putting small 10 to 20hp gas engine in each car, whose sole job is to charge the small 5 to 10kWh battery car has, this gives a LOT better fuel efficiency since you can optimize gas engine to run at optimal RPM to charge the car, while Electric motor runs the car forward.

and yes, that engine would be big enough to keep you driving steady 80 to 100km/h while still charging the batteries in excess of what you use to keep that steady pace. Giving car best of both worlds, good fuel economy, fast refilling and lower Co^2 emissions.
 

falcon291

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Hydrogen cell cars will probably take over electric cars in the future. The problem is the technology is still not there. Two problems these needed to be solved:
  1. Hydrogen extraction from water is still not cheap.
  2. And still while converting hydrogen back to water, the process is not effective enough.
When these hurdles are solved, hydrogen fuel cell cars will very likely not only replace electric battery cars, but also ICU vars, and bigger vehicles (buses and trucks)
 

little_me

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Hydrogen cells will likely solve many problems but... they cannot circumvent need for battery since said cell has slow ramp up time in regard to power demands.
in short, it needs relatively small battery to charge which electric motor then uses to drive around.

The storage of Hydrogen is still without clear solution too.
Hydrogen tends to go boom relatively easily and while this can be avoided with safety valves and whatnot, it still proves a problem for storage.
Store it compressed in gaseous form, it's fine.. until you park it on roadside in sun during summer, that tank can warm up a LOT and either goes boom or uses safety valves to leak the excess pressure to outside in small enough quantity to not go boom.
in either case, your transportation stops there or will have severely reduced operating distance. (which is main drawback of current EV's in addition to impossibility of being able to manufacture enough batteries for the coming demand)
 
The problems are as mentioned above, the scaling up issues, and the cost of refinement. Green hydrogen is extremely expensive to produce so until we come up with methods of refinement and extraction that are cost-effective, it’s not going to happen.

personally, I think Europe is crazy for doing such a thing because they are going to be in a world of hurt when they cannot produce enough electricity, to meet demand once everybody’s converted. I don’t see them building new reactors, or at least not as many as they’re going to need

and all this talk about electricity being cleaner is a big fat joke because the energy created is created by dirty sources. Electricity is not clean.
 

little_me

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Electricity compared to gas/diesel is cleaner.
sure, you can create electricity with coal plant or oil plant or gas plant, those are not totally clean, however they have one major advantage over gas/diesel engines in cars/vehicles.

the number of points where emissions happen (exhausts) is limited and bigger scale, which allows for easier and more efficient reductions in Co2 and other such things.
so.. while all Electricity is not clean, it's cleaner than gas/diesel usage on cars.

I also fear for Europe's lack of capability to produce enough electricity.
Yes, there are LOTS of plans for big offshore wind farms, which will help (if it's windy enough, there are days with less and more wind) on windy days.
not all days though.
there are also plans to increase amount of solar panels a lot, which is also good idea but will not work year around (except southern europe) or during nights.
It will help with electricity demands on summers when cooling is required since sun=heat=cooling need=more electricity.
so solar power kind of meets the increased demand during summer.
 

falcon291

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Hydrogen cells will likely solve many problems but... they cannot circumvent need for battery since said cell has slow ramp up time in regard to power demands.
in short, it needs relatively small battery to charge which electric motor then uses to drive around.

The storage of Hydrogen is still without clear solution too.
Hydrogen tends to go boom relatively easily and while this can be avoided with safety valves and whatnot, it still proves a problem for storage.
Store it compressed in gaseous form, it's fine.. until you park it on roadside in sun during summer, that tank can warm up a LOT and either goes boom or uses safety valves to leak the excess pressure to outside in small enough quantity to not go boom.
in either case, your transportation stops there or will have severely reduced operating distance. (which is main drawback of current EV's in addition to impossibility of being able to manufacture enough batteries for the coming demand)
Hydrogen cell cars use smaller batteries as you wrote. Considering how green the batteries are it is good.
The storage of Hydrogen is a problem, you are right, but many cars are using LPG or NG, hydrogen is of course more dangerous, but we have the technology, so storage is not the biggest problem.
 

Howardohyea

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Hydrogen cell cars use smaller batteries as you wrote. Considering how green the batteries are it is good.
The storage of Hydrogen is a problem, you are right, but many cars are using LPG or NG, hydrogen is of course more dangerous, but we have the technology, so storage is not the biggest problem.
I watched a video on hydrogen cars a while back, they said accounting all the loss of hydrogen and efficiency throughout production to use in a car is about 20%, not much better than a fuel car. Plus there's no more than 10 hydrogen stations throughout the US so it's understandable why hydrogen didn't take off.

I also fear for Europe's lack of capability to produce enough electricity.
Yes, there are LOTS of plans for big offshore wind farms, which will help (if it's windy enough, there are days with less and more wind) on windy days.
not all days though.
China's also banning fuel cars in 2035, I'm not very concerned about their electricity production, but still, that's a huge amount of Lithium and metals for the batteries.
 

falcon291

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I watched a video on hydrogen cars a while back, they said accounting all the loss of hydrogen and efficiency throughout production to use in a car is about 20%, not much better than a fuel car. Plus there's no more than 10 hydrogen stations throughout the US so it's understandable why hydrogen didn't take off.
I wrote that efficiency is still a problem in Hydrogen cars. If they can solve this problem, hydrogen cars will have a very large range. If both problems I mentioned are resolved, in a short time we will see that many hydrogen cell cars will emerge, and so hydrogen stations will be opened.
 
Hydrogen cell cars will probably take over electric cars in the future. The problem is the technology is still not there. Two problems these needed to be solved:
  1. Hydrogen extraction from water is still not cheap.
  2. And still while converting hydrogen back to water, the process is not effective enough.
When these hurdles are solved, hydrogen fuel cell cars will very likely not only replace electric battery cars, but also ICU vars, and bigger vehicles (buses and trucks)
While they are big hurdles from what I have read another equally big obstacle is the infrastructure for distributing and storing high pressure hydrogen.
 

falcon291

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While they are big hurdles from what I have read another equally big obstacle is the infrastructure for distributing and storing high pressure hydrogen.
If these big hurdles are somehow resolved, both are minor issues, they would take time but eventually will be resolved.

Let me say, I believe in the long run hydrogen fuel cell cars will dominate the market over electric cars if not in the near future.
 
If these big hurdles are somehow resolved, both are minor issues, they would take time but eventually will be resolved.

Let me say, I believe in the long run hydrogen fuel cell cars will dominate the market over electric cars if not in the near future.
I believe hydrogen could be the better solution for private cars but unfortunately politics and money often get in the way. You could be right but my thought is too many billions has been poured into EV now by the car industry and governments and these investments are sitting on balance sheets excepted to pay back over 25-50 years. If EV fails these balances would have to written off as losses, I feel we are way too far down the rabbit hole to not continue with EV’s. Maybe in 25+ years there will be another transition to hydrogen or another alternative but before this timeline I just don’t see it.
 
Actually, hydrogen is more viable for large trucking, trains and aircraft, and even sea going vessels. Not cars so much. Until you can produce it cleanly it won’t dominate anything. And then there’s also the matter of having to have it pressurized, which doesn’t work out so well in the real world.
 
Renewable fuel like what? Hydrogen? Ethanol ?
One problem with either of those is scaling up. Many sources of ethanol remove plant material from food sources (corn, sugar beets, etc). Can you get enough non-food bio material to create ethanol ?
Electricity has multiple possible sources. Fossil fuel, nuclear, solar, wind, tides, geothermal. There is more possibilities to scale up.
It’s a synthetic fuel it’s not ethanol or bio diesel that F1 are moving towards.

Hydrogen would actually be the best fuel for cars, better than EVs actually as the infrastructure is from in from what we currently have and ours less strain on the grid.
 

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