1. Anonymous User
  2. Energy
  3. Thursday, 30 April 2020
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References
  1. https://www.dropbox.com/s/wkp1w3n4rk8n1qd/RRB15-Presentation.pdf?dl=0
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Dale Moore

I had a quick look at your linked document. However, it seems to be just slides for a PowerPoint presentation, so I found it a bit difficult to fully understand the information without any commentary.

Can you please explain how burning hydrocarbons can ever be "sustainable"? Doing so will always produce CO2 and other pollutants which harm the health of all animals, including humans. I understand that it's good to find ways to turn "waste" into a resource, but surely there are better ways to utilize it than burning it?

Secondly, is oil produced by this technology price competitive with conventional oil? If not, are you expecting governments to subsidize it? And if so, why would that money not be better spent subsidizing cleaner technologies such as wind, solar, hydro, energy storage, or even nuclear?

I want to stress that I'm not trying to make a statement. These are simply the questions that immediately occurred to me when reading about the claim of "Sustainable Oil Production ". I am definitely not an expert on this topic and hope that you can persuade me that my concerns are unwarranted.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Energy
  3. # 1
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Jessica

Its an excellent question, and it all comes down to the carbon life cycle of the material in question. This process is able to completely recycle carbon with a timeframe of 5-10 years, thus negating the need to dig up 'old' carbon thats been trapped in the form of fossil oil for millennia.

First off, I'm all for electrification and hydrogen for our transport to come online as soon as possible, however, its still a long way from being a reality especially in developing countries. In order to mitigate the effects of CO2 now, using waste residues as well as plastics and other biomasses can have immediate impact.

The unfortunate fact is that heavy shipping and airliners will rely on hydrocarbons for a long time to come due to the high cost and long lifetime of ships and planes. In addition, even if fuel stops being a necessity, we will always need oil for things such as lubrication oils for machinery, transformer oils, etc (yes, electric transformers need oil) in order to enjoy things such as renewable electricity at scale. Oil itself is not an evil substance, its simply natures way of densifying and storing the energy content of the earth's organic material.

I invite you to look at the following processes to look into this topic:

Licella - CATHTR
Steeper Energy - Hydrofaction
Reliance Industries - RCATHTL

Regarding the economics, it cannot compete with oil at $20/barrel as it is is currently, but the long term outlook for oil for people within the industry is that it will increase to $100/barrel (although who knows what will really happen)
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Energy
  3. # 2
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Dale, many thanks for the clear and well reasoned response. It's a persuasive argument.

Do you know the likely cost per barrel for this biocrude if you had economies of scale?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Energy
  3. # 3
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Hi Jessica

The price of oil needs to be around $100 /barrel for this to be economic. Although this technology is out of reach at the moment, companies such as Neste are pursuing it at scale (see public releases). The main problem with oil is that we are not storing the equivalent amount of carbon that we drill out the ground and this has to change. Its not a magic bullet, but one of several very promising technologies that could have a significant role to play in the coming decade. I completely support a change to renewable energy for transportation and electricity, but we will still need materials which cannot be made out of energy, they have to be made out of something physical, which is where more sustainable thermochemical conversion technologies will play their role.
  1. more than a month ago
  2. Energy
  3. # 4
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