Sunday, July 13, 2008

Alternative fuel & transportation forum - July 17, 7pm

The US Department of Energy’s Clean Cities coalition will be making a presentation on Thursday, July 17 in Town Hall at 7pm.

Clean Cities strives to advance the nation's economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local decisions to adopt practices that contribute to the reduction of petroleum consumption. Clean Cities has a network of approximately 90 volunteer coalitions, which develop public/private partnerships to promote alternative fuels and advanced vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles, and idle reduction.

The presentation will be made by their New Haven and Hartford coalitions. It will focus on our opportunities in Connecticut.

That was the press release. And now here's my two cents:

Please tell your friends because we have some very knowledgable people availing themselves to us. And since I suspect there are many questions you or your friends have... I encourage you to attend because these two gentlemen (Lee Grannis - New Haven; Craig Peters - Hartford) may make it look easy in providing answers to many questions that are out there.

Tim White


Lou Murray said...

The concept of "alternative" fuel creates a slippery slope. How do we produce it? Burning fossil fuels to create "clean" energy is self delusional.
Burning our food supply as ethanol is a sure path to a world food crisis.
Using nuclear, solar, and wind power to create hydrogen makes sense but our liberal Congress has yet to bring us into the 21st. century by blocking the licensing of any new nuclear facilities.
Although we can not drill our way out of this crisis, the refusal of Congress to allow drilling in Anwar or off our coastlines has done nothing to help. Foreign countries will certainly be taking advantage of the available resources while American companies stand by with their hands tied.
A multi-faceted approach to this problem involving nuclear, solar electric, wind powered, hydro electric, oil shale technology, and the tapping of new sources of domestic oil will offer a more comprehensive solution. This can at least allow industry to develop more sophisticated technology to generate clean energy. The marketplace will solve this problem in the long run, but only if our government gets out of the way.

Anonymous said...

"A multi-faceted approach to this problem "

Nobody wants to discuss one of the biggest problems and that is the absence of population controls. All the major religions fight any form of birth control and as long as we can't control our numbers, we will outrun all of our resouces.

The human race is out of control and our politicians are incapable of saving the human race from itself. We need action, not prayers.

Anonymous said...

Risk factors of jet fuel and combustion products:

Air travel is increasing and airports are being newly built or enlarged. Concern is rising about the exposure to toxic combustion products in the population living in the vicinity of large airports.

Jet fuels are well characterized regarding their physical and chemical properties. Health effects of fuel vapors and liquid fuel are described after occupational exposure and in animal studies. Rather less is known about combustion products of jet fuels and exposure to those.

Aircraft emissions vary with the engine type, the engine load and the fuel. Among jet aircrafts there are differences between civil and military jet engines and their fuels. Combustion of jet fuel results in CO2, H2O, CO, C, NOx, particles and a great number of organic compounds. Among the emitted hydrocarbons (HCs), no compound (indicator) characteristic for jet engines could be detected so far. Jet engines do not seem to be a source of halogenated compounds or heavy metals. They contain, however, various toxicologically relevant compounds including carcinogenic substances. A comparison between organic compounds in the emissions of jet engines and diesel vehicle engines revealed no major differences in the composition. Risk factors of jet engine fuel exhaust can only be named in context of exposure data. Using available monitoring data, the possibilities and limitations for a risk assessment approach for the population living around large airports are presented. The analysis of such data shows that there is an impact on the air quality of the adjacent communities, but this impact does not result in levels higher than those in a typical urban environment.

Author Keywords: Author Keywords: Jet fuel; Combustion products; Risk factors; Air pollution
Article Outline

1. Introduction
2. Aviation fuels
3. Jet engine emissions
4. Toxicology of jet engine emissions
5. Exposure to jet fuel combustion products around airports
6. Conclusions


Since we are discussing alternative fuels lets not forget air travel. The most efficient jet engines today are incredibly inefficient. More than 50% of the fuel is actually used to propel the jet aircraft. As you can see the other 50% is mostly toxic chemicals/compounds and what's not noted is how much raw jet fuel, which is mostly made of kerosene is not burnt instead released as unburnt fuel.

Kerosene is a carcinogen and is responsible for brain, blood and other cancers. Do you want proof, just go to any major airport (none here in CT,) say NYC or Newark, NJ major airports and watch how many employees that park near the airport wipe down their windshields before they leave for home. What do you think they are wiping off their cars? it's kerosene.

The point is I completely agree with becoming independent of terrorist OPC and the use of alternative sources of energy as Mr. Lou Murray has posted, but lets make sure we keep in mind the possible environmental and health hazards some alternative energy courses my have when you keep in mind cradle to grave results.

Mike Rocci

Lou Murray said...

I agree that this planet is in dire peril from human overpopulation.
There are, however, no civilized or ethical means to force population control on free societies.
Nature has ways of balancing this problem. Most of which are not pleasant, but inevitable.

Lou Murray said...

Mike, it appears that we both posted at the same time. I go to Bradley cargo terminal every Monday and the reek of unburned jet fuel is usually very strong. Your observations are very significant.
The airline industry is loosing money much faster than they seem to be able to get their plains to their destination.
Research into cleaner more efficient propulsion would appear to be a very sound investment.

Anonymous said...

Geothermal Heat Pump Cost Comparison Overview

A Geothermal Heat Pump is a very efficient method of heating and cooling a home. Using up to 75% less energy than traditional oil/gas heat and electric air conditioning methods. If combined with super energy efficiency lighting technology, a geothermal heat pump could allow one to potentially heat/cool and light their home by renewable means such as home-based solar.


The one drawback is geothermal heat pump technology is on the expensive side. For an average home it would cost around $20,000 for a sufficient 3 Ton geothermal heat pump system. I looked into these figures a few months back and confirmed them with local installers. My state offers a rebate of $750/ton for geothermal heat pump systems. But, that's only $2,250 off the $20,000 price tag, so still well outside most people's budgets.

Geothermal heat pump installers claim these prices will come down as the technology is more widely adopted. But, they need to get it down to the $10,000 range to make it really competitive with traditional heating/cooling methods. I read an article that many new homes in Sweden now come with a geothermal heat pump system.

Cost Savings/Advantages

Assuming an average $200 per month heating/cooling bill in America (minus other electrical uses such as lighting), and a heat pump that saves 50% on fuel costs (just being conservative, as often expected savings such as 75% don't pan out in the real world), bringing monthly heating/cooling costs down to $100 per month.

Saving $100 per month would require 200 months or 16.6 years to pay back the cost of a $20,000 geothermal heat pump system. If they could get the cost down to $10,000, then you're talking about a more realistic 8 year payback. This is where government could play an important role. A 50% rebate on geothermal heat pump system installation costs would bring it down to $10,000 and make it economically feasible for many more consumers.

Of course, the payback time could be faster for those who have higher heating/cooling costs, as they'd save more by installing this technology, but the heat pump might also have to be bigger for those more energy demanding consumers.


It's hard to say what sort of future geothermal heat pumps have. They are being adopted fairly widely in Europe, especially cold countries in Scandanavia. They are starting to become more widely known in North America. The high cost is a big factor blocking their implementation at the moment. Also, natural gas/oil and electric are still relatively cheap. As with most emerging technologies, heat pump's fortunes will be dependent on the price of its competitors such as natural gas/oil and electric in coming years. Since all these energy commodities appear to be heading higher in coming years as supllies dwindle in face of increasing demand, heat pumps might carve out a niche. The government could certainly help heat pumps gain market share and acceptance by offering hefty incentives.


The last sentence is the key! Whoever takes over the White House must be serious about making alternative energy COST EFFECTIVE!

Mike Rocci

Anonymous said...

It’s hard to be against mom and apple pie. However, when it comes to government initiatives to provide us with ‘help’ in adopting practices that contribute to the reduction of petroleum consumption it's another matter. One can only wonder out loud about this one.

In a town which continues to heat the great outdoors for $400,000 per year because it just had to have a cool looking,flimsy, designer bubble top on its municipal pool do the people have a great enough political will to fix the most blatant offenders of energy waste (energy waste spells extra petroleum consumption sooner or later)? Maybe those municipal employees in power are happy having spent their official work time negotiating with the companies that provide heat for the pool and therefore they believe they have met their responsibilities to the tax payers by getting the lowest unit price on energy which the pool so marvelously wastes every day between September 1st and May 1st each and every year?

With that in mind let us hope this meeting doesn’t signal yet another tax payer funded town activity where we’ll spend money we don’t really have for yet another nebulous benefit to a very few if any residents.

Anyone in town wanting to seriously reduce fuel consumption might first hit the low hanging fruit. How about the pool and the high school heating systems for starters followed by 1 in 3 town street lights. Once those are fixed maybe we could figure how to make the traffic flow better on RT 10 so that cars on RT 10 don’t spend so much time idling. Of course that would take our busy police department and the state DOT working together in order to fix the poor traffic light timing they implemented and oversee now.