There have been a couple of articles recently, both asking for the reader to invest, that have promised to unseat the gasoline powered automobile from its place of prominence in transportation. Let’s take a look at these for a moment.

The first promise comes from folks selling stock in lithium production. They claim that a gallon of lithium-ion crystals could drive your car over 40,000 miles, while a gallon of gas averages only 25 miles.

Well despite the obvious problem that comes from trying to fill up your car with lithium-ion crystals, the first issue is that these crystals must be “charged up” with some kind of energy to be able to release that energy. This is the same problem we have with current electric cars. Whenever there is another step between you and your energy source you have energy “leakage”. When you plug in, the energy that flows into your car has to be transported to a energy production facility, processed to release the energy, transported through a myriad of wires and transformers to reach you. All that costs time and energy. So much so that an electric car takes more combustion than the typical gasoline powered automobile.

The American Physical Society said this in a recent post:

“Stored energy in fuel is considerable: gasoline is the champion at 47.5 MJ/kg and 34.6 MJ/liter; the gasoline in a fully fueled car has the same energy content as a thousand sticks of dynamite. A lithium-ion battery pack has about 0.3 MJ/kg and about 0.4 MJ/liter (Chevy VOLT). Gasoline thus has about 100 times the energy density of a lithium-ion battery.”

On top of these problems comes the pain of disposal of all those millions of bulky batteries able to move an automobile or truck. I have mental anguish of what to do with tiny batteries in my remote control when the die, let alone 100 pounds of car batteries.

So the truth is somewhat different than the hype.

The other big promise is for wireless electricity generation. This nanocrystal electricity has power flowing through the airways, wirelessly charging phones, computers, cars, trucks airplanes. Similar to the ideas of Tesla, abundant, free energy for all. We have all seen power arcing though the air like spidery lightning bolts, from one pole of a device to another. In fact, lightning itself is also wireless, but the problem comes with getting in the way of such a powerful stream of energy.

Secondly, consider this from a blog on Quora by :

“From what I can read on this topic, my immediate interpretation is completely off-the-mark. The apparent intent is to excite such crystals using RF. By setting up giant transmitters, you should be able to have an RF receiver panel in your portable device in order to use it anywhere without batteries or wires.

From a commercial perspective, this is never going to work. Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower was axed by JP Morgan because there was no way to meter people’s usage and charge them accordingly.

The fall-off in power strength is a function of the inverse-square of the distance from the tower. Double the distance, and 1/4 of the power is available. This means we would have to be saturated in towers more closely aggregated than traditional power line poles.

Just how carefully has the RF band been chosen? At the power level required to be useful, we could be microwaving every living thing on the planet.”

Then of course you have the exact same problem as the first scenario, the energy still has to be produced somewhere and carried to where ever it is going to be used. The system set up cost to provide the same sort of power you have in your 10 gallon gas tank is absolutely astronomical, even if it was not going to fry people in the way of your car and the power source.


 

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