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Comments by Robert Rapier Subscribe

On Torrefaction via Radio Waves

Yes, but a far less lucrative market than as a coal replacement. 

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Torrefaction via Radio Waves

Keith, we have done some calculations on that, but were going to do a bit more testing at a larger scale. It' not all that favorable at the scale we did it at, but we estimated that it's still a net positive. I told the guys that the way to think of the system is this: If we had to use the torrefied wood to make the electricity to run the machine, could we do it? Is there enough excess power produced to make the effort worthwhile? We are pretty sure there is, but a larger test would have confirmed this one way or the other.

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On Torrefaction via Radio Waves

You lose too much of the energy content that way. 

November 26, 2014    View Comment    

On LanzaTech's Vulnerability

"I also do not agree with the route but the availability of 'free' energy on a steel works is not necessarily a bad one."

Of course. It's just that without subsidies/mandates driving this, would you ever use it to separate ethanol from a solution that's nearly all water? No, if instead you did a gas phase reaction and avoided the water, you could still use the waste heat to distill ethanol, methanol -- whatever you produced. Would be a lot more efficient, which is my point. The mandates/subsidies sometimes drive us in very inefficient directions.

October 21, 2014    View Comment    

On LanzaTech's Vulnerability

"Is not the boiling point of ethanol around 78 degrees?"

It is, but because you are separating a system of ethanol and water, you will have a concentration profile from nearly all water to nearly all ethanol in a distillation column. Thus, you have to reach the boiling point of water.

October 21, 2014    View Comment    

On The Bell Tolls for KiOR

"Feel free to google it before coming back to me with mumbo-jumbo data taken from god knows where or, better yet, don't speak about a biofuels market you obviously don't comprehend."

I missed your comment originally, but see Donough's comment. That was for all vehicles, and it was taken directly from a presentation given by a Brazilian government official. Now, don't you feel bad? Probably not, but you should. I guess I should respond with "read for comprehension" or make some other insulting comment along the lines of yours. 

October 15, 2014    View Comment    

On The Bell Tolls for KiOR

I had never heard of Vinod Khosla until I began reading your posts.

He is widely credited with kicking off the advanced biofuel rush back in 2004-2005. Some have gone so far as to call him the "Father of the cleantech revolution", but he hasn't done a lot relative to many others in solar, wind, etc. 

Glad you are proud the oil industry learned to drill sideways, it has been a good 2 or 3 years for you. We hope to see more improvements in your industry, too.

My industry? I don't work in the oil industry. I work in cleantech.

October 13, 2014    View Comment    

On It's Time to Abandon the Delusion of a Carbon Tax

I have been arguing for such a system for years, but didn't realize until this thread that's sort of what BC has in place. 

October 2, 2014    View Comment    

On It's Time to Abandon the Delusion of a Carbon Tax

I have proposed something several times, which is similar to the system in BC. A brief version is in today's Wall Street Journal: Shift Taxes From Income to Energy. I have a longer version in my book, and have written several longer articles describing how it could be done. In essence, people have to buy the arguments for doing it, and they have to have some confidence that it won't raise their overall tax bill. I think these things are both achievable. 

October 2, 2014    View Comment    

On When the Wind Doesn't Blow

"I don't think it is nit-picking to point out that your definition of capacity factor is not correct."

I was about to take exception to your characterization of my definition, but I looked at it and I agree that the way I worded it was poor. I will change it to make it clear. 

June 15, 2014    View Comment    

On When the Wind Doesn't Blow

"I understand that some data centers are using excess solar and wind to make ice to use later for cooling the servers."

We actually looked into that for subcooling food during the day.

June 10, 2014    View Comment    

On When the Wind Doesn't Blow

double posted

June 10, 2014    View Comment