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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,petr BS: Electric vehicle questions (56* d) RE: BS: Electric vehicle questions 12 May 09

dick - there ARE ways to be carbon negative..

when my father was growing up in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia in ww2
he said the Germans had cars & trucks that ran on wood, actually woodgas. They burned wood in a low-oxygen environment and ran the car on the resulting woodgas..

Im not saying we should make vehicles like that, it takes too long to get going, but here in British Columbia we have 15million hectares of dying pine-beetle damaged trees. This is an area the size of the Canadian maritime provinces or the United Kingdom, and those trees are going to give off co2 as they rot. Now if we were to pyrolize the wood and use the woodgas for baseload powerplants or even in combined cycle gas turbines, the other byproducts are tar and charcoal, the tar can be used and the charcoal can be buried on agricultural land as biochar.
The stored carbon in the biochar will stay in the ground for centuries and improve the soil. A similar thing can be done with agricultural waste.

Of course the issue with electric vehicles is not just how far you can go before re-charging, but if you are recharging with electricity from a coal power plant its not doing much to reduce the carbon footprint, since the biggest culprit with c02 emissions is coal power.
(In canada at least) cars and trucks account for about 23% of the emissions vs heavy industry 59% I will try to find the source.

There are some promising biofuel and biotech possibilities that may make a big difference - for instance electromethanogensis or microbes that make methane from electricity which would be an excellent solution for storing renewable (solar/wind/tidal etc) energy as methane. We already have an infrastructure for dealing with methane and it isnt as difficult to store as say hydrogen. According to the article energy recovery is around 80%.

Another is fungus that makes diesel and can consume cellulose also very common.

Algae as a biofuel has a yield per acre 40x as much as canola or other crops. So theoretically if you could bury the non-oil part you would carbon negative..

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