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Author Topic: Could you give up flying? Meet the no-plane pioneers  (Read 29056 times)
TonyK
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« Reply #135 on: January 18, 2021, 10:42:01 pm »

Whilst it may be true that aviation accounts for only about 2% of global emissions, that could probably be said of many other sources of carbon dioxide, if considered in isolation.

Do not worry about aviation it is only 2%
Do not worry about private cars, they are only a few percent of the total.
Do not worry about HGVs they are a small proportion of the total.
Do not worry about domestic heating, it is only a small percentage of the total.
Do not worry about UK (United Kingdom) emissions, they are a very small percentage of the world total.


Let's look at the detail:
Road transport accounts for 11.9% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - electrify that using clean methods, and you've made a big big difference. Put it on rails, 0.4%, and you make a small additional difference.
Heating and lighting for residential buildings causes 10.9% of CO2 emissions. Change that to clean electric and/or increase efficiency, and you're onto a winner. Commercial buildings add another 6.6%.
Industry produces 24.2%. You are probably stuck with iron and steel's 7.2% until someone perfects less toxic ways of producing them, but things like concrete and cement, around 7.5%, could be done using clean energy.
I didn't say do not worry about any of this. We should be very worried, and building a mixture of nuclear and renewable plants to produce real clean energy rather than hitting individual sectors. Otherwise, we end up with boats glued to roads and arguments about the energy used to build bicycles and wind turbines rather than persuading the powers that be to do things that really would help.

My source for the figures is Our World in Data.
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Trowres
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« Reply #136 on: January 19, 2021, 12:23:41 am »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

As TonyK says of the problem: we should be very worried. Some of the perceived techno-solutions don't scale up without giving problems of their own (e.g. biofuels). Another issue is that the rest-of-the-world still has a long way to catch up with western lifestyles (and energy consumption).

For all the benefits of air travel, it might be a good idea if it was treated as a precious commodity and used thoughtfully and sparingly.

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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #137 on: January 19, 2021, 09:00:25 am »

Quote
This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

Yes, myself and a few others have been a bit "direct" with broadgage.

I think we all know there is a climate emergency and that greenhouse gas emissions are a big concern.

A bit like with the current health emergency, science, technological evolution and, in this case, ecological countermeasures will overcome this in time.

I think it's the utopian (or as TG said, quixotic) mantra that broadgage exudes, without variation, that is driving the response.

Happy to step away if others feel a mark has been over-stepped?
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grahame
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« Reply #138 on: January 19, 2021, 09:58:03 am »

The "how much difference can we make in this area / how important is this factor" question reminds me - so much - of much work I have done during my career in areas like speeding up software, and of reducing server and system load so that systems can cope.

I recall commenting, many many years ago, "goodness - this is slow" as I ran a piece of our own software that tidied up databases. Comment too loud ... I was out of the office the following day, and our YTS (Youth Training Scheme) student took it upon himself to invest his time that whole day to speed it up. And, goodness, he was proud the next morning to tell me that a 20 second job was down to 10 seconds. "But, [name], we only run that once a week ... how long is it going to take us in 10 second gains to get back all the time you invested yesterday?". "Is this something which is a key issue with customers that will make a difference to our ongoing business?"

It is so easy - seen it done many times (and made the mistake myself) - to invest massive resources into improving one element of a system which in practice is only 10% of the whole, while overlooking the other 90% "elephant in the room". Even by halving the time / resource taken by the bit that has been sped up, the overall speed up of just one twentieth is usually unnoticeable, and the cost can be high in terms of investment, and perhaps also in terms of the new, quicker system having a downside of being harder to maintain.

All very theoretic ... and a handful of follow up thoughts / conclusions

1. If that 90% isn't a single elephant in the room, but rather a whole lot of much smaller elements, the "let's concentrate on this bit instead" idea falls apart as there is no better bit to look at - they ALL need to be looked at!

2. Once that 90% gets slashed, the 10% DOES become more significant ... dramatic changes can be made (in software and other systems) - orders of magnitude - and if that 90% is reduced by a factor of 10, 10% we have overlooked becomes 55% we should not overlook.

3. Resource use overall can be slashed, but rarely becomes zero - there is almost always going to be some sort of residual.

4. Reduction of resource use opens opportunities to do new things that are better that could even have been imagined before.  And things that once were issues fade away and become none-issues.

Where am I headed?  I will leave it for the reader to draw on what I've written.
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TonyK
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« Reply #139 on: January 19, 2021, 01:52:44 pm »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #140 on: January 19, 2021, 05:47:08 pm »

This forum normally has very high standards of conduct; I'm going to commend Broadgage for the courage in posting his thoughts in spite of a rather hostile reception.

I also commend Broadgage, and hope I haven't overstepped the mark. Some things will always polarise opinion with no scientific reason for doing so, as any football supporter or fan of a particular genre of music will grudgingly admit. For other things, there is there is a need for an open debate. I am sure that Broadgage and I are talking about the same problem from the same point of view, and just arguing about the priorities in resolving it.

Hear hear - ourselves, and the Forum would be poorer without Broadgage's ruminations and his crystal ball!

May his bottle of Port never run dry  Smiley
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GBM
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« Reply #141 on: March 19, 2021, 07:46:04 am »

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page)) Radio Cornwall this morning talking about experimental electric planes to be developed at Newquay with test flights between Newquay and Exeter.
Unable to find a link on their website, and 'listen again' isn't available until after the programme ends.
It's not yet April 1st.

A topic to lift member broadgage mood perhaps  Grin Grin

Edit:VickiS -Clarifying Abbreviation
« Last Edit: March 19, 2021, 11:12:13 pm by VickiS » Logged

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #142 on: March 19, 2021, 07:57:53 am »

BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) Radio Cornwall this morning talking about experimental electric planes to be developed at Newquay with test flights between Newquay and Exeter.
Unable to find a link on their website, and 'listen again' isn't available until after the programme ends.
It's not yet April 1st.

A topic to lift member broadgage mood perhaps  Grin Grin

You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  Smiley
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GBM
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« Reply #143 on: March 19, 2021, 08:08:52 am »


You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  Smiley

I now have an image of said member; large rimmed hat, string vest, smoking a cheroot, casually striking a lode within a few inches of the topsoil.  A small table beside holds a decanter of port  Embarrassed 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #144 on: March 19, 2021, 08:18:01 am »


You may need to shout a bit louder - last I heard he was digging for coal in his back garden!  Smiley

I now have an image of said member; large rimmed hat, string vest, smoking a cheroot, casually striking a lode within a few inches of the topsoil.  A small table beside holds a decanter of port  Embarrassed 

...........whilst his faithful punkah wallah does his best to keep him cool from his position atop the statue of Queen Victoria, wafting a copy of the Times which gives an account of glorious victory in the Battle of Omdurman.
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GBM
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« Reply #145 on: March 19, 2021, 08:19:50 am »

Apologies member broadgage, no offence is meant or intended; should this have caused you any discomfort
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« Reply #146 on: March 19, 2021, 08:28:07 am »

Apologies member broadgage, no offence is meant or intended; should this have caused you any discomfort

I am ... relieved ... that members realise just how close to the wind they are sailing in some of the posting just above. There is a very fine line between sharing a joke with someone (and I know broadgage can share a joke - there's one in his forum  handle) and going beyond what is acceptable, either in content or in persistance.

Thank you for that note, GBM.
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« Reply #147 on: March 19, 2021, 08:33:26 am »

Electric planes are entirely possible for relatively "short hop" flights, several have already flown, and I expect more use of this technology.
MOST short flights could be better replaced by railways, buses, or cars, preferably electric.

There are exceptions such as flights to islands, or when the travel demand does not warrant building a road let alone a railway.

I do not believe that we will EVER see electric airliners on long haul flights. The energy density of even the best batteries is far below that of jet fuel.

So whilst electric aircraft are arguably a good thing, a few short electrically powered flights do NOT mean that people can continue to fly thousands of miles and kid themselves that this is "OK because one day it might be electric"

BTW (by the way), I do not smoke, nor posses any string vests. I find electric fans preferable to a punka walla.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
TonyK
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« Reply #148 on: March 19, 2021, 09:58:02 am »


BTW (by the way), I do not smoke, nor posses any string vests. I find electric fans preferable to a punka walla.

Some other things we have in common. There is more that unites us than divides us, broadgage!

Moving on, word reaches me from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers that an Airbus A350 made a three-hour flight using only waste cooking oil and fat.

Quote
An Airbus A350 airliner has flown using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The three-hour test flight, conducted on Tuesday (16 March) in Toulouse, France, was the first flight in a test programme aimed at assessing the emissions performance of SAFs.

All Airbus aircraft are certified to fly with up to 50% SAF mixed with kerosene. “The emissions performance of SAF when unblended with any type of fossil fuel has remained a question mark across the industry,” an Airbus announcement said.

The project is using a mixture made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which generally consists of globally sourced animal fat and used cooking oil. The feedstock for the Airbus flights is of European origin, and a spokesman told Professional Engineering the SAF was made with cooking oil. 
(Continues at source)

So there we are. If you could all eat more sausage and chips, we can go on holiday with a clear conscience. More seriously, science can solve two problems in one.
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« Reply #149 on: March 19, 2021, 12:43:21 pm »

Moving on, word reaches me from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers that an Airbus A350 made a three-hour flight using only waste cooking oil and fat.

Quote
An Airbus A350 airliner has flown using 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The three-hour test flight, conducted on Tuesday (16 March) in Toulouse, France, was the first flight in a test programme aimed at assessing the emissions performance of SAFs.

All Airbus aircraft are certified to fly with up to 50% SAF mixed with kerosene. “The emissions performance of SAF when unblended with any type of fossil fuel has remained a question mark across the industry,” an Airbus announcement said.

The project is using a mixture made from Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA), which generally consists of globally sourced animal fat and used cooking oil. The feedstock for the Airbus flights is of European origin, and a spokesman told Professional Engineering the SAF was made with cooking oil. 
(Continues at source)

So there we are. If you could all eat more sausage and chips, we can go on holiday with a clear conscience. More seriously, science can solve two problems in one.

I'm not sure it's a surprise that's possible. The problem with this processing is the low yield of molecules with the right properties - aviation fuel has to be a manageable liquid over a wide temperature range. But while most of the earth-shattering technical advances we've all seen announced almost every week have left us with an somewhat undershatterd earth, the accumulation of small steps forward is more important that it is noticeable. And the more options are being explored the better.

So, for aircraft fuel, this BBC» (British Broadcasting Corporation - home page) report is about a way of fermenting really sloppy yucky waste into volatile fatty acids, and claims it's easy to make jet fuel out of those. This waste is stuff that isn't usually put into digesters as they don't like it, and the VFAs are not liked in biomethane as they smell really rotten.

And Carbon Engineering - the Canadians who are going for the direct extraction of CO2 from the air - have started selling their "product" to real customers. Or almost: it's Shopify who are buying negative emissions as offset, and at this stage they will bury the gas produced (they are working on the "air to fuels" process for later on).
Quote
SQUAMISH, British Columbia (Tuesday, March 9, 2021) – A new carbon dioxide removal service has been launched today by Carbon Engineering (CE) that allows customers to purchase the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere using CE’s large-scale DAC technology. Shopify, a leading global commerce company, has signed on as the first customer for the service, reserving 10,000 tonnes of permanent carbon removal capacity from a large-scale DAC project. The carbon dioxide removal will be achieved through CE’s plant development partner, 1PointFive – the US development company currently engineering CE’s first industrial-scale facility that is expected to be operational in 2024.

But every little helps!
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