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Thread: Refining oil with electricity

              
   
   
  1. #1
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    Refining oil with electricity

    You guys are going to love this short episode of Fully Charged. It seems that it takes a huge amount of electricity to refine oil (not to mention just getting the oil out of the ground and transport it to the refinery). You won't see this statistic mentioned on Top Gear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQpX-9OyEr4
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    It is even worse for "unconventional" oil.

    http://cleantechnica.com/2014/08/18/...d-ev-30-miles/

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    SMPS Engineer BaldBruce's Avatar
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    This is a great point to make with people who try to argue against the value of using electric vehicles! I use the line "Just give me the energy you wasted to produce your gasoline. I'll run my electric vehicle on the electricity directly and you can keep the oil..."

    I should warn you that to be precise, the figures for using 6 kWh per gallon of gasoline production are actually based on the BTUs necessary to do that production and not the kWh. In other words, many refineries burn part of their own production to do the refining in order to lower their electricity usage. But energy usage is energy usage...

    Here is one of the original sources of this information since it is often quoted and not credited...
    Justification from Jake Ward at DOE:
    The energy required to refine a gallon of gasoline can be estimated based on the energy content of crude oil and the refinery efficiency of the facility performing the energy conversion; I can provide you a reputable source for both values.
    In a 2008 report, Argonne National Lab estimated that the efficiency for producing gasoline of an “average” U.S. petroleum refinery is between 84% and 88% (Wang, 2008), and Oak Ridge National Lab reports that the net energy content of oil is approximately 132,000 Btu per gallon (Davis, 2009). It is commonly known that a barrel of crude oil generate approximately 45 gallons of refined product (refer to NAS, 2009, Table 3-4 for a publication stating so). Thus, using an 85% refinery efficiency and the aforementioned conversion factors, it can be estimated that about 21,000 Btu—the equivalent of 6 kWh—of energy are lost per gallon of gasoline refined:
    -----------------------------------
    The documents referenced herein are publicly available, as follows:

    Wang, M. (2008), “Estimation of Energy Efficiencies of U.S. Petroleum Refineries,” Center for Transportation Research, Argonne National Laboratory,www.transportation.anl.gov/modeling_simulation/GREET/pdfs/energy_eff_pet...
    Davis, S., Susan W. Diegel, and Robert G. Boundy (2009), Transportation Energy Data Book, edition 28, National Transportation Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, cta.ornl.gov/data/
    NAS (2009), Hidden Costs of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use, The National Academies Press, www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12794&page=1
    It is worth noting that refining one barrel of oil yields gasoline in addition to other products, so only a portion of the refining energy used to refine a barrel of crude is truly attributable to gasoline. Even so, in terms of energy equivalencies, the preceding estimation is valid.
    If I may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your interest in energy efficiency at the Department of Energy is appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    Jake
    – Jacob Ward Program Analyst/PMF Vehicle Technologies Program Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy
    Last edited by BaldBruce; 27 August 2014 at 1034.
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    One thing that I find a little irritating is the number of "activist" groups that want the world to stop. Besides everyone wanting clean air by not production electricity by burning coal, oil and gas, (which I can understand) now they are against using solar electrical generating plants. One group is complaining that the mirror/boiler type of plant is killing birds that happen to fly into the mirror beams - resulting in a puff of smoke and no evidence of what might have caused that puff. An article in the newspaper last week said that various "experts" claimed that thousands of birds were vaporized by the new plant that went into operation last year. This week they were complaining about the photo voltaic plants also killing birds. Apparently they are attracted to the shiny panels and are breaking their necks when crashing into them, or something like that. Finally, the fish lovers don't like hydro plants because they require dams to operate and dams impede the free flow of rivers that support fish populations and want to see all dams removed and rivers restored to their original conditions. And then we have nuclear power plants, which are now a four-letter word, due to their initial cost, operating problems and potential environment hazards (etc).

    As near as I can tell, about the only electricity generating plants that I haven't head various groups wanting to shut down are geothermal (but I could be wrong about that). Of course, these plants are about as rare as hens' teeth and don't generate all that much power, anyway. I almost forgot about windmill farms. They slice and dice birds too and are another candidate for complaints. Is there any way to generate electricity that won't harm the environment or upset "activists"? I can't think of any.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2011 Royal Enfield 500, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2005 Triumph T-100 Bonneville, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    With the windmill option, people are claiming that they are getting sick due to the low frequency hum generated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EV_Scoot View Post
    With the windmill option, people are claiming that they are getting sick due to the low frequency hum generated.
    When the sun is in the right position, when the blades go by, you get shade-light-shade-light, which causes susceptible people to get hypnotized and make more and more "Ice Bucket Challenge" videos
    "obstacles suck but challenges are fun"

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    Senior Member jonescg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EV_Scoot View Post
    With the windmill option, people are claiming that they are getting sick due to the low frequency hum generated.
    However those who live next to them and receive a cheque each month from the generator seem to be immune to these ailments...

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    Humans living in an industrialised society will eventually stop. That is not the same as the world stopping. When it happens depends, in part, on our population, and our consumption level. None of us would be happy with a medieval life, but we'll be dead, so it won't matter what we liked.

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    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    There's now a minimum distance of 2klms from any house for new windmill installations.

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    Senior Member EV_Scoot's Avatar
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    Canberra has a massive PV installation hidden behind the mountains. One resident is complaining about the glare.
    As far as I'm aware, she is only resident out there.
    Last edited by EV_Scoot; 28 August 2014 at 1507.

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