Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mind's Eye Re: Radical banking

Just in case my fuel from thin air is confused with some conspiracy on
the matter - the following is the New Scentist state of play.

Last week, Air Fuel Synthesis (AFS), a company in Stockton, UK,
revealed the first successful demonstration of an idea that dates back
to the oil crisis of the 1970s: that carbon, hydrogen and oxygen can
be plucked from carbon dioxide and water in air to be converted into
methanol and then morphed into gasoline.
However, amidst the headlines, some media coverage overlooked the key
point: the energy efficiency of the process has yet to be
demonstrated. This matters because the technique uses electricity for
key stages. The inventors hope to use renewable energy sources to
supply this, but it's not yet clear if the system will be able to
produce fuel at an affordable price.
The big idea is to capture atmospheric CO2 and turn it into fuel so
there's no net increase in CO2 from cars and trucks fuelled by such
gasoline. As long as the process is powered by renewable electricity
sources such as solar, wind or tidal, using the gasoline is carbon

The AFS plant comprises a CO2 capture unit in one shipping container,
with a methanol reactor and miniature gasoline refining system in
another. Air is blown into a sodium hydroxide mist, snagging CO2 as
sodium carbonate. A condenser collects water from the same air. To
make methanol – formula CH3OH – hydrogen is generated by electrolysing
the water while the carbon and oxygen come from electrolysing the
sodium carbonate. The methanol is then converted to gasoline.
Following tests over the last three months, AFS chief executive Peter
Harrison says the demonstrator reliably produces half-a-litre of
gasoline a day. Peter Edwards ,an inorganic chemist at the University
of Oxford whose team is working with a Saudi firm on similar ideas, is
impressed: "I take my hat off to Air Fuel Synthesis. They have taken a
concept that has been around for 35 years and gotten the process

But Harrison points out the demonstrator, funded with a £1.2 million,
two-year investment from private backers, was built to make gasoline,
"not to prove its net efficiency or energy balances".

Douglas Stephan, a chemist at the University of Toronto, Canada, also
researching fuel production from CO2, describes AFS's demonstrator as
"an engineering tour-de-force". But he too warns efficiency is the
key. "Until a detailed assessment of the energy efficiency is
enunciated, I would remain sceptical about this technology," he says.

Andrew Bocarsly, chief science advisor at Liquid Light Inc, a company
in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, aiming to synthesise chemicals like
methanol from CO2, points out that many researchers worldwide have so
far failed to find cost-effective and efficient ways to split hydrogen
from water.

"I do wonder about the cost efficiency of their chemical conversion
processes," he says, noting energy is required to back convert
carbonate to gaseous CO2, to liberate hydrogen from water, to convert
the hydrogen and CO2 to methanol and to transform methanol to

AFS says demonstrating efficiency will have to wait for a bigger
plant, which will fit into three shipping containers that can be
dropped anywhere fuel is needed and produce 1200 litres of gasoline a
day. Harrison says motorsport venues, keen to reduce their fossil fuel
dependence, and some remote islands have expressed an interest in
these £5 million units. "The demonstrator has given us the confidence
that this next level of gasoline plant will be efficient enough," says
AFS marketing manager Graham Truscott.
Harrison says the ultimate goal is to build refinery-sized plants that
could compete with oil – but he says they could cost £10 billion and
need serious government aid. That in turn would need serious proof of
energy efficiency. Bocarsly adds: "This issue will be the test for

There's one more factor to consider, says Edwards: "The efficiency of
this process would also have to be balanced against the cost of
alternative measures like burying or dumping CO2 underground."

There remain big questions on how to get more finance into such areas
- neither banks nor governments are much good at it.

On 31 Oct, 13:32, archytas <> wrote:
> Russell did something called 'In Praise of Idleness' Andrew.
> Definition in politics and economics is in a dire state.  I think it's
> all stuck in the mud of Bacon's Idols and can't cross the line to
> science.  We can fairly reliably define work in physics as mass
> through distance and acceleration (complicated by stuff such as
> friction - modern thermodynamics extends theoretically to a
> replacement of gravity).  In human affairs I suspect a freed slave has
> a different idea of work than some freak 'making' millions front-
> running trades.
> Most of us would probably think a return of decent paid jobs would
> improve the economy - but underlying this is little radical in
> definition of work - we really conflate jobs with income
> distribution.  The deep questions are beyond the work ethics we have
> soaked up and concern how much work we need to do and how to share the
> burden and be able to encourage work motivation and quality.
> In ideology I support a global association of free workers and a
> collective free-table.  I know this is pie in the sky - but I would
> like to radicalise work motivation away from compulsion to provide
> necessities and affluence in privacy.  I would see primitive or
> utility banking as necessary under-pinning of this.  We can't continue
> with financial services as the biggest tax parasite of all time.
> After years in the game I see most innovation-talk as Mumbojumbo - we
> don't link it to improved quality of life.
> We can now make petrol from air (water vapour, carbon dioxide - to
> methanol which can be cracked up to petrol) - there are working
> prototypes.  I'm inclined to the view that our ways of making money
> from production are more of a barrier to such innovation than a help -
> and remember investment in such is tiny in comparison to property and
> other fetish bubbles.  The bugbear lurking in my Unsaid here is we can
> hardly trust government organisation and would need a new form of
> that.
> On 31 Oct, 11:56, andrew vecsey <> wrote:
> > I published a video about my opinion of what work is that I would like to
> > share. First you play, then you work and then you think. The virtues of
> > laziness. See YouTube video
> > **
> > The text of the video is below.*
> > *
> > *The art of work and play*
> > Work, as seen by the sharp eyes of children, is a game adults play for
> > money.  Because all games have rules, to make your work into a game, you
> > have to follow some rules. The first rule of games is not to aim too high
> > if you want to enjoy the game. The second rule is not to take the game too
> > seriously. It's not about winning or losing, but about how you play the
> > game.  So if you want to have a good game, you have to play it right.
> >  The higher quality you aim for, the lower quantity you hit. If 80% is too
> > low for you, you can reach for 90% at twice the cost, effort, time, and
> > stress. An additional danger is being perceived as better than you are and
> > being expected to maintain your high level. Prolonged, this can make you or
> > break you. If it breaks you, you get a burnout. If you get too badly
> > burned, you can suffer a nervous breakdown.
> >  Because we live in a very superficial world where appearance is valued
> > more than substance, you can take advantage of this. If you cover cracked
> > or stained floors or walls with pictures, plants or stones, you save
> > yourself time and money from repairing them.
> >  Because the beginning and the end of things are more important than their
> > middle, you can take advantage of this. You don`t have to cook a fancy meal
> > to impress. A few fancy appetizers, wine and a rich creamy dessert is all
> > it takes, saving you time and money.
> > Practical tips to save time and energy:
> >    -
> >    Use the carpet as temporary places to sweep things under. Works with
> >    indoor as well as outdoor carpets. Instead of chasing leaves in the wind,
> >    sweep them under the doormat. They will get pressed into doormats
> >    themselves that can be at a later time easily rolled up and discarded as
> >    compost behind the closest bush.
> >    -
> >    Don`t clean the the whole thing just because it has a spot of dirt on
> >    it. Just clean the spot. This is useful not only for bulky things like
> >    carpets and coats, but also for floors and shirts.
> >    -
> >    Develop a chronological universal filing system, not only for your
> >    office papers, but for your clothes as well. This way the newest things you
> >    receive will be always on the top and the oldest things always on the
> >    bottom making things easy to find quickly.
> >    -
> >    Don`t do things now when you can do them in the last moment. If you do
> >    them now, it will take longer than if you do them the last minute. And if
> >    you do them now, you will probably re do them in the last minute anyways,
> >    so save yourself the trouble.
> >    -
> >    Don`t make things complicated when you can make them simple.
> >    -
> >    Adjust your speed according to the quality to quantity ratio you aim
> >    for. And don`t aim too high.
> > Below is an example of how you could make your work more enjoyable and more
> > like a game if you happened to be a janitor.
> >    -
> >    Call yourself a "certified manager of halls, stairs, parking lot and the
> >    garden".
> >    -
> >    Don't play the extra role of policeman.
> >    -
> >    Don`t socialize with the tenants but do take the opportunity to help the
> >    tenants carry thing up the stairs whenever you see them struggling. This
> >    act of kindness reaps great rewards.
> >    -
> >    Your presence is more important than shiny stairs.
> >    -
> >    Concentrate on cleaning the few places most used. Wipe clean the front
> >    door and the mailboxes so that tenants notice you have been around.
> >    -
> >    Never let the stairs get shiny clean. Allow them every once in a while
> >    to get a bit dirty, like stairs normally get so that the tenants notice
> >    that you have cleaned them.
> >    -
> >    Mop the stairs every week with the biggest flat mop you can buy, and use
> >    the hottest water you have.
> >    -
> >    Never use soap and have ready statistics on the dangers of slippery
> >    stairs.
> >    -
> >    Allow tenants to leave their shoes outside the hall by their door. You
> >    have less floor to clean.
> >    -
> >    Never ask the residents if everything is OK. This show of interest reaps
> >    great problems for you.
> > Tips on efficient outside work.
> >    -
> >    It is easier to keep grass short and cut it more often than to let it
> >    grow and cut it when it is high. When you cut every week, then you do not
> >    have to worry about collecting and disposing them behind bushes.  Hand
> >    operated lawn mower and clippers are the best as you do not have to worry
> >    about repairs, batteries, cables, or fuel.
> >    -
> >    Ask the tenants to let the weeds grow saying that someone wants to use
> >    them as a herbal tea for a debilitating disease they suffer from.
> >    -
> >    Shovel snow or rake leaves to the side making piles for children to play
> >    in and on.
> > The brain is only 2% of the weight of a body but uses 20% of the energy,
> > about 20 Watts worth. 60 minutes of heavy thinking burns about 100
> > calories. This is about the same as 15 minutes of moving furniture or 30
> > minutes of washing dishes.
> >  By working like your work was a game, you save a great deal of time and
> > money. The more time you save the more time you have to spend on your most
> > important gift and your greatest talent; thinking.
> > On Wednesday, October 31, 2012 3:53:30 AM UTC+1, rigsy03 wrote:
> > > It is also bribery by entitlements for votes-overextended bureaucracy-
> > > degradation of work and nobly acquired wealth/property- theft by
> > > redistribution- loopholes- uncivil politics- false standards and
> > > aspirations- etc. How do you define work?
> > > On Oct 30, 7:36 am, archytas <> wrote:
> > > > A waiter in Rome explained where the 100 Euros our meal for two went -
> > > > there were three tiers of owners before he talked about tax!  Very
> > > > little of our money is invested in productive organisation rigsy - as
> > > > low as 15%.  The rest is in a bloat system to do with speculation on
> > > > very ordinary stuff like our houses and property - even this would be
> > > > OK if the financiers weren't dipping this aspect of our collective
> > > > wallet.  My guess is the real cause of current problems is the
> > > > detachment of work from wealth and some general problems similar to
> > > > the waiter's complaint on the number of rents to pay.
> > > > Current thinking has most of the bloat system as a Ponzi scheme based
> > > > on inflation replacing new investor money in the traditional scheme or
> > > > pyramid.  The Japanese went into it long before we did because of land
> > > > restrictions.  It was the mid-eighties when I was there and people
> > > > were buying options on as yet and never to be built golf courses and
> > > > mortgages were often three generations long.
> > > > The big economics term is 'rent' - but this really means 'accumulated
> > > > rip-off privilege' (or idlers) as in the waiter's complaint.  Some
> > > > companies I worked for were so dumb they didn't even do overnight
> > > > banking - though one notes the banks were smart enough not to offer it
> > > > and take the profit themselves.  Economics is like trying to do
> > > > biology from Aristotle - stuck in the non-modern.  It would be
> > > > interesting to take Don's (say) views I mostly agree with apart - our
> > > > system is not based on such sound sense - it just pretends to be.  We
> ...
> read more »



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