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  1. #1
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    Feb. 11, 2009
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    Default How I'm Going to Make a Million Dollars...

    So I'm sitting in class right now (yes, on a Saturday night. When we're technically supposed to be on spring break. Please ask me how thrilled I am to be here...), and this particular course is "Oil and the Global Economy." I've just written approximately 40 pages on oil dependency and national security for final term papers. (Fun Facts: did you know that in 2007, the U.S. spent nearly $533 billion on oil? That's nearly 4% of GDP. That's nearly as much as government investment in terms of % of GDP!!!! Yes, I am a nerd.)

    So anyway, I'm sitting here thinking, having driven my wonderful Dodge diesel truck to school today, "Man, it would be amazing to come up with an energy efficient way to haul our horses that didn't involve our pretty, wonderful-sounding diesel guzzling trucks... How are we going to transport our horses when all these factors finally hit in full force (oil production decline, China and India's demand for oil, the ocean's rise 1/2") and it's too expensive to drive our trucks anywhere?" Psh, forget hybrid cars. This is what we should be focusing on!!! And then it hit me... shit. I'm an international relations major getting an MA in the same. I know nothing about engineering... NOW I realize I should have followed in my dad's footsteps!! So. Who's an engineer out there who wants to make a million with me? In all seriousness... anyone know any organization that's working on an energy efficient way to haul large loads? (And GM/Chrysler/Ford don't count!!! You know, for obvious reasons...)



  2. #2
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    Default

    anyone know any organization that's working on an energy efficient way to haul large loads?
    They're called railroads.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  3. #3
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    Default

    Invent teleportation.



  4. #4
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    Aug. 20, 2008
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    Default

    Or a good way to transport horses is teach them how to drive. Then they transport themselves without using any fuel.



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Matson View Post
    They're called railroads.
    LoL true, but coal is still a fossil fuel and contributes to those ocean's rising and swamping NYC... So now we have to find some way to power the bullet train for our horses with energy efficient means.. I still get to make a million, haha



  6. #6
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    Default

    Invent a horse box type vehicle... the kind with the truck and trailer all in one, powered entirely by ammonia. Or at least by manure. Then having horses is win-win... I pay to feed them, they power my truck



  7. #7
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    Feb. 5, 2008
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    Default

    This one is a stretch but...

    If you had a bunch (way, way more than the average boarding barn) of horses (or a co-op that collected poop) then you could power a methane digester which in turn could add power back to the power grid to charge our electric cars!

    I am not sure of the potential for an electric vehicle to pull a heavy load (that would have to be one heckuva battery) but something to think about.

    I do now that some dairy farms use methane digesters to either sell power back to the grid or power their farms to some degree. Also environmentally friendly bc the poop that must be disposed of in some way is greatly reduced.
    There are stars in the Southern sky and if ever you decide you should go there is a taste of time sweetened honey.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeuatx View Post
    Invent a horse box type vehicle... the kind with the truck and trailer all in one, powered entirely by ammonia. Or at least by manure. Then having horses is win-win... I pay to feed them, they power my truck
    This might be worth exploring, and I'm totally serious. The Denver Zoo is looking into powering all their electric needs through elephant/bigger animal poop (not even joking). If there was an all electric/mostly electric hybrid truck, this could totally work!! Hmmm... engineering classes at Colo. School of Mines, here I come, LOL



  9. #9
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    Jul. 27, 2007
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    The reason it is expensive to move large loads is that it takes a lot of energy. Energy is contained in fuel.

    Of course all of the major truck manufacturers have been working on fuel economy forever, and making small progress, and yes there are people whose minds play with new ides. So far, no huge breakthroughs

    The biggest problem is that a lot of the things that COULD be done (different energy sources entirely, for example) require a huge initial investment in infrastructure. Some of them have been played with quite a bit and not panned out as the savior they were hoped to be (*cough* methanol *cough*).

    One thing to look into is propane or natural gas vehicles. The problem is that a) it doesn't save enough $$ to get most people past the refueling issues, and b) since it hasn't managed to gain popularity infrastructure hasn't been an investment priority.



  10. #10
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    Ammonia isn't a great fuel, but have you all heard of digester gas? Yep, poop as fuel has been done already



  11. #11
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    Default

    We've got almost six million horses in this country, most of which stand around almost all day doing nothing but eat and shit and work up all sorts of idleness/confinement related ailments.

    We could hook up giant "walkers" to generators (horizontal turbines!) and have horses walking around to produce electricity.

    Doesn't help much on the transportation issue, but it would be a way to save the fossil fuels currently used to make electricity for things that nothing else makes a good stand-in.

    It would be a win-win-win situation: Horses would be healthier and in better condition for having the extra activity, their riders with limited riding time wouldn't have to spend so much of their riding time uselessly venting off excess energy, and it would be good for the environment.



  12. #12
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    LoL true, but coal is still a fossil fuel
    Uh, trains don't run on coal anymore. They run on diesel. I'm beginning to wonder what they are teaching you at that school.
    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier



  13. #13
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    May. 28, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    We've got almost six million horses in this country, most of which stand around almost all day doing nothing but eat and shit and work up all sorts of idleness/confinement related ailments.

    We could hook up giant "walkers" to generators (horizontal turbines!) and have horses walking around to produce electricity.

    Doesn't help much on the transportation issue, but it would be a way to save the fossil fuels currently used to make electricity for things that nothing else makes a good stand-in.

    It would be a win-win-win situation: Horses would be healthier and in better condition for having the extra activity, their riders with limited riding time wouldn't have to spend so much of their riding time uselessly venting off excess energy, and it would be good for the environment.
    THIS.

    Actually is not a bad idea. And think of all the horses that could be saved from slaughter and etc. - who cares if they're not more than pasture sound? They don't have to be!
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Ashley26

    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"



  14. #14
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    ANyone see Back To The Future? How about using household garbage as fuel? ....and horse poop. Horse poop is a good idea, you can have my manure pile for testing your ideas....
    Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
    Bernard M. Baruch



  15. #15
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    Guys, garbage is not fuel. Neither is poop. Both can, in some way, be processed into fuel but if that process takes more energy than you get out of the fuel it saves nothing (that's why hydrogen is not currently high on the priority list- our methods for production and storing of hydrogen gas require as much energy as we get out of the gas itself).

    Fuel is something that, with some small input of energy, gives you a big hunk of energy back. Like gas- you light a spark, you get a big bang. Poop not so much. Refining of gasoline from oil takes a lot of energy, but not more than you get out of the gas later.

    Digester gas is the gas that... um, wafts up off of sewage. Because the sewage is kept in enclosed areas the gas can be trapped. But it's a byproduct of something we already have to do (process sewage) and not something that would be beneficial in its own right.



  16. #16
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    May. 31, 2007
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    Default

    Diesel vehicles can be cheaply converted to run off of used vegetable oil. That wont work for everyone as there are only so many McDonalds, but if you are very very quite and buy a converter you can use it and save a million!

    He do have alternatives we are working on like Hydrogen.

    The benefits of converting poop into fuel is that while you may not gain much more energy then you would from a conventional source, you get rid of the poop and save energy on finding another way to get rid of the poop. The benefit goes mostly to the poop producer and the not whole system at large.

    You make a million by figuring out how to get paid to take the poop away and then get paid for selling the energy it creates. But how do you do that without spending more then you make?

    When the poop hits the fan and the energy problem reaches its peak. there will be far far fewer luxury animals to haul and far fewer places to haul them. Just keeping them around to create poop for energy is probably not cost effective. Right now we see poop as a byproduct of horse ownership, but if you couldn't afford to throw expendable income to own a horse, feeding one is a pretty expensive way to create a raw fuel source.

    Cocker Spaniels, OTH, defy the laws of physics and can create 10lbs of poop from 1lb of feed.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 6, 2003
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    Default It's been done with cows, so why not with horses? Methane contributes to global warm

    (I have personally "milked" the giant cow in the picture, BTW!) http://www.riverdeep.net/current/200...cowpower.jhtml

    I also like the bovine industries way of thinking - capturing the solids from the manure and creating bedding.


    Methane is second to carbon dioxide on the list of green house gases. Wonder how much methane is emitted from the millions of manure piles around the globe? If only there was a way to capture all that gas!?!



  18. #18
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    Default

    (I have personally "milked" the giant cow in the picture, BTW!)
    A stockbroker friend (yes, he's still in business) claims to have kissed the *bleeps* on the Wall Street bull. But as I told him, "MP3 or .jpeg file or it didn't happen"!

    As politically incorrect as it is at the moment,we are going to have to give serious consideration to nuclear power. The mainstream media is a big part of the problem. A boiler can blow at a fossil-fuel plant and it gets mentioned somewhere back with the used car and desperately-seeking ads. A failed toilet lift pump at a nuke plant rates screaming front-page headlines.

    The source of all the problems is obvious, but few possess the honesty to mention it: There are way, way too many people on this Earth!
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  19. #19
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    I want someone to figure out to convert dog urine into fuel...I'll be set.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fantastic View Post
    (I have personally "milked" the giant cow in the picture, BTW!) http://www.riverdeep.net/current/200...cowpower.jhtml

    I also like the bovine industries way of thinking - capturing the solids from the manure and creating bedding.


    Methane is second to carbon dioxide on the list of green house gases. Wonder how much methane is emitted from the millions of manure piles around the globe? If only there was a way to capture all that gas!?!
    For your information, a part answer to your questions:

    ---"Conventional beef production found to be more environmentally friendly than organic, grass-only beef production
    Mar 9, 2009 9:26 AM, By Alex Avery, Center for Global Food Issues, Hudson Institute



    “Carbon footprint” is the latest buzz phrase among the public this winter, with particular attention being given to the environmental impact of livestock production.

    Alex Avery, the director of research and education at the Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues, recently completed a study comparing the environmental impact of conventional beef production compared to organic, grass-only beef production. Here, he shares highlights from his research:

    For years, beef producers and most consumers, as well as scientists from all over the world, including the World Health Organization, recognized that growth promotants used in beef production not only improved efficiency but also were safe for both the environment and beef consumers.

    The Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Food Issues (CFGI) recently conducted an in-depth environmental impact analysis of an Iowa State University (ISU) study comparing two production methods —— conventional, grain-based beef production using growth-promoting technologies and organic, grass-only beef production. The results were surprising, especially for the environmentalists who would like to believe an often-cited 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Report that claims beef production – and all livestock production, for that matter – are primary contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. The CFGI scientific analysis found that conventional beef production methods are more environmentally friendly than organic, grass-only production.

    The ISU study found that because of increased production efficiency that growth promotants deliver, conventional production systems are three times more land-efficient than the organic-grass-only system and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 percent. By utilizing safe, FDA-approved technologies, beef producers actually are producing more pounds of beef per acre of land and are significantly reducing the amount of CO2-equivalent emissions from methane gas produced by cattle. Producing more food with less land is critical when we consider the burgeoning world population, world hunger and increasing world demand for beef and other animal proteins.

    Since only about 40% of the world's land mass is suitable for the production of food, feed and fiber to feed the world's growing population, it is critical that we use our farming resources – especially land – as efficiently as possible. Plus, environmentalists all over the world are increasing their efforts to conserve biodiverse natural habitats, which means increasing productivity is our only realistic and responsible option.

    According to a 2008 paper in Science magazine, clearing additional land for agriculture causes the release of significant CO2 emissions from the soil and lost forest growth. These researchers estimate that each acre of land cleared for food production results in 10,400 lbs/acre/year of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases over the subsequent 30 years (based on estimated emissions from each type of land converted to cultivation in the 1990s). Using data from Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Hudson Institute analysis demonstrates that conventional grain-based beef production's three-fold greater land use efficiency over organic, grass-based finishing results in even lower overall greenhouse gas emissions than directly attributable to beef production.

    EPA scientists recognize that beef production contributes only 2% of the total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions compared to 80% for fossil fuel consumption. This recent ISU/CFGI research shows us that by maximizing production efficiency by using safe, available growth-enhancing technologies, we can minimize emissions even more. Growth promotants help make food more affordable for consumers, and help the beef industry and consumers have an even greater positive impact on the environment. Increased production efficiency means more beef per acre of land, which means fewer acres will need to be cleared for cultivation, and lower greenhouse gas emissions."---



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