T Nation

Natural Gas?


I know we are going to need a real innovative nearly free renewable source of energy in the distant future. in the meantime, I think we could relatively simply get off oil, and I mean totally off it, in 20 years. According to T Boone Pickins, who was on morning Joe this morning, we have enough natural gas to supply the energy demans of the USA for 200 Years, now I don't know if thats at current usage level, or if Nat'l Gas was the sole supplier of energy, but to put into perspective how much we have RIGHT NOW, with no further exploration or drilling for wells, he said it is the equivalent of 2X the energy Saudi Arabia has in oil energy.

Now add to that , Bloom Energy has developed a fuel cell that DOUBLES the amount of energy recoverable from natural gas as opposed to burning it and you just DOUBLED that energy supply. so 400 years, 4X the Saudi oil reserves, whatever you want to call it and it's much cleaner than oil. The lines are already run all throughout the country, if you put bloom boxes everywhere, it would stabilize and decentralize the electricity grid. there would be millions of power plants supporting the grid instead of hundreds or a few thousand.

That increased electrical security will also lower the costs, not to mention, the shorter distance for delivery would increase the efficiency due to less transmission line losses. You will be picking up your electricity from your neighborhood or your city instead of from someplace in the county, or even a few counties over, Hell most of NY cities energy is coming from fucking canada.

So what are the downsides to Natty Gas? It's cleaner, it's on our soil, with the bloom boxes already up and running (just waiting for mass production to cheapen the actual boxes) our Electrical grid could become super cheap and efficient and reliable in the next 10 years, within that time, more and more hybrids will be purchased, and even straight up electrical cars will be coming out. The 10 years after that you will see MOST vehicles go to straight electric as electricity will be dirt cheap compared to oil and you will literally be able to operate an electrical vehicle hundreds of miles for the cost of driving a gas powered vehicle a few miles.

What does everyone think?



Also I think we will only need probably 20-50 years worth of standard energy supplies before things like blacklight power or the L.I.F.E. Reactors come online in some type of commercial or private sector applications. Maybe they come into play sooner, and that would be welcome, but I can see the development taking that long, till they are really out in the world making electricity.



Why not run cars on Natural Gas? You can put the Gas station at your house. Have the Gas company install some sort of devise that allows you to pump out of your house gas line and pump directly into your car.

The only issue with this is the Gas/Convenience Store will be a thing of the Past. All those lost jobs. I think it will take 20 years to convert everyone to Natural Gas use from Oil, but it might just be worth it.


No one else wants to weigh in on this? I believe there are constant cries for solutions, and yet when someone poses a possible solution to a problem, no one even gives it a look.



I see city buses all over, that are running on Natural Gas. I am not sure why we could not use that to run our cars either.


Gas engines are terribly inefficient yet they still exist. Find a torrent titled "who killed the electric car" and when the answer comes to light, that will be YOUR answer ; )


Combustion engines in general are inneficient, thats why the bloom boxes sucking 50% more energy out of ANY fuel is important, convert it to electric and you can ramp up the overall efficiency of an auto, especially due to the decrease in overall vehicle weight due to no huge metal engine.

Increase the fuels efficiency, increase the efficiency of the auto due to weight saving. I think it's going to happen pretty quick, the bloom guy says he hopes a residential box would be $3,000 in 5 years. That makes it affordable for people to put it in use and sell energy to the grid.



that sounds cool, you got a link for more info?. while as a landscape management student, i have misgivings about oil and the pollution it causes (i am NOT talking about global warming), i think that the entire world is now too reliant on oil and natural gas to be weaned off it within 100yrs without a massive global effort. so any new cleaner alternative is keewl


If it really is that abundant and easily produced then it would work -- provided the change in technology to make it work was also affordible. An automobile would require a much heavier tank to keep NG under pressure and also the energy required to store it under pressure would also be expensive. We're talking about having to completely rebuild the energy infrastructure to make it work.

Ultimately just having an other large, competing energy source would be a tremendous boon to the economy.



Here is the link to Bloom. It's a fuel cell technology, but it's doing a very good conversion. Lifty, you would not need heavy natty gas tanks, just use hybrids and pure electrics. They have some designs already of electrics that can travel 100 miles on a charge. This accounts for a LOT of day to day traffic and even a lot of people who commute to work. Bloom box at home, bloom box at work, electric car in between. One downside could be intermitent Re-charges. Say you have to take a 200 mile trip. You may have to stop at 100 miles to re-charge and it might take say an hour. this could be a dwonside but I'm sure a solution will present itself in the form of faster charge times and vehicles that can travel farther on a charge. A solar panel on the top of the car could also bump mileage on a charge.



This thread FTW!


For electrics, would swappable batteries be an option for long road trips? If i recall correctly, they may have mentioned that in "Who killed the electric car"?

and if we have so much natural gas, why do we take half of Canadas production? (which comes out to 15% total)
Is it just part of the game - Use everyone elses resources before your own?


Biggest issue for natural gas is transporting it.

In terms of volumetric energy density, it is extremely low, and therefore you will be spending tons of energy just transporting the gas around the country. Also, you would need pressurized tanks or "bombs" traveling down the interstate to increase the amount of gas per truck.

Besides that, it has several benefits over diesel and transitional petro-fuels

With expected energy consumptions for both the short and long term, nuclear (uranium ,plutonium, including fusion and anit-matter) energy and room temperature superconductors will be the only true solution as these processes yield the necessary energy that our world will need.

Anything else might "help" with energy production but will be such a small % (~.005%) of the total energy produced.


That is certainly a factor in the energy game


..natural gas-fueled cars are commonplace in Europe. They're cheaper to run, pollute less but perform worse than gasoline fueled cars. Natural gas is a great resource that's still not utilized fully, altough we got plenty of it...


Bloom Box on 60 Minutes


As more and more people use it technology will catch up and make them better.


LNG is a viable fuel technology. I do some work for a LNG plant that supplies fuel to trucks coming from the port of LA, and it works very well. I don't believe the Bloom Box is really commercially viable at this point (too high initial cost vs. payback rate). The big plus for nat gas is in power generation. Gas turbine generation is efficient and has very low emissions. Gas prices are pretty low right now due to some very large discoveries in Louisiana and the East Coast.

Extraction technologies and efficiencies have taken a great leap forward due to advanced multi-lateral drilling and fracturing techniques. However in the GOM rig explosion, you saw what happens with gas if you don't control your wells properly.


Bloom is expensive now but he is throwing out figures of a home based model for ~$3,000 in 5 years which would make it very viable. IF they can achieve those prices.



Depends on the generation capacity of such a unit. It also depends on the local utility to a large degree. Here in CA, PG&E charges exorbitant fees for the type of meter that allows you to produce power back to the grid. Utilities have no intention of giving up captive customers, and they have infinitely more resources than you or I.


We have enough signatures to repeal the Global Varming Law, do you think prices will go down should we accomplish that here in Cali?