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Carbon Engine

Or more precisely a carbon black ... combustion engine
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Jim has noticed the vast quantities of coal on the planet and figured it would make a good power source. He reckons the best way to harness this chemical energy store is to get together a whole lot of carbon black and take advantage of its explosive characteristics when mixed with compressed air.
madness, Nov 30 2009

Coal/graphite internal combustion Coal_2fgraphite_20internal_20combustion
[xaviergisz, Nov 30 2009]

Coal Powered Diesel Coal_20Powered_20Diesel_20SUV
This idea, but dressed up. [ldischler, Nov 30 2009]

Powdered Milk Turbine Powdered_20Milk_20Turbine
More in the bakery spirit. [ldischler, Nov 30 2009]

Why wait for it to turn to coal? http://www.newscien...nning-on-algae.html
[AbsintheWithoutLeave, Nov 30 2009]

Diesel coal dust engines http://www.pistonhe...doc.asp?c=52&i=9773
Apparently Ruldof failed (but perhaps Jim will succeed...) [madness, Dec 01 2009]

[link]






       Interesting link --- but hey that idea doesn't work. One carbon pellet per cycle --- codswallop!
madness, Nov 30 2009
  

       Keeping the carbon black dry is a problem solved by using a light oil contaminant (that will actually aid combustion).
madness, Nov 30 2009
  

       Baked long ago by the military. If you buy an OLD 6x6 it may come with the feature. Basically it is a bit of coal dust ignited in a diesel engine by a small amount of diesel. The problem is the coal injectors wear out.(-)
MisterQED, Nov 30 2009
  

       wasn't the first Diesel designed to run on coal dust ?
FlyingToaster, Nov 30 2009
  

       "Jim has noticed the vast quantities of coal on the planet and figured it would make a good power source. " Hey Jim, that got "noticed" tens of thousands of years ago. But good for you, keeping up with the troglodytes. Keep it up and one day you'll have a wheel.
rocdoc, Nov 30 2009
  

       //wasn't the first Diesel designed to run on coal dust ?//   

       I thought it was designed to run on peanut oil, actually.   

       I'm getting very tired of Jim trying to pass random musings off as ideas.
Custardguts, Nov 30 2009
  

       Did Jim notice the vast array of coal-fueled electrical power plants already using this resource?   

       If you want to use it up, we already have a more efficient process, whereby the coal is converted to electricity, and the electricity is used to power electric cars. It's very efficient at using up coal.
ye_river_xiv, Dec 01 2009
  

       Bigsleep --- To be honest I was astonished when people started to worry about the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. And given that all of the coal on the planet was extracted from the air (by plants), I have begun to wonder, what exactly is the correct amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide.   

       Do happen to know by chance?   

       I am more interested in the balance of total energy added to and used by the earth...
madness, Dec 01 2009
  

       I think it's not the absolute amount that's a worry so much as the rate of change. Stock markets react to change in minutes. Real industries take years. Cultures take generations. Ecosystems usually take longer than cultures. It's those slower things that are more likely to kill us if they fail catastrophically.
pertinax, Dec 01 2009
  

       Yup, all that carbon was extracted from the atmosphere, over millions or billions of years. We're returning it in tens or hundreds of years. I assume you see a slight difference between the numbers and understand that the planet might not have the ability to re-absorb it quite as quickly.   

       As for the percentage that is "right", no I don't know. 7-10% cause significant discomfort or death in humans. .05% was an environment comfortable for dinosaurs. .037% produces an environment that is comfortable for humans. Are any of these "right"? Probably not, but I know which one I like to live with.
MechE, Dec 01 2009
  

       I am comfortable with discussing concentration levels in terms of polution and this connection to rate of change --- but I am not concerned with rate of change in itself...
madness, Dec 01 2009
  

       Oh, and insolation at the earth's surface is approximatey 127 Petawatts. Human generation is less than 4 Terrawatts, or .00003% of that. Therefore the ammount of energy trapped by the atmosphere, from the sun, is a much bigger concern than how much we are generating.
MechE, Dec 01 2009
  

       Seems to me that (air) temperature power generation is going to be a growth industry --- some 127 Petawatts...   

       --- hydro
--- wind
--- wave
  

       Lets whack just the right about of carbon into the atmosphere today!
madness, Dec 02 2009
  

       "wasn't the first Diesel designed to run on coal dust " I think that was peanut oil if my memory serves me right....   

       On a slight slant, why not custard powder? If the car breaks down you can break out a pie and have some custard while you wait for the breakdown vehicle.   

       How would you get the chimney sweep in there? Shades of Dick Van Dykes cockney accent <shudders>   

       Hmmm --- to be honest I have repurposed this idea and now you guys are way off topic...   

       Its not about the car its about the carbon dioxide.
madness, Dec 02 2009
  

       ... you want to create as much as possible ?
FlyingToaster, Dec 02 2009
  

       That is the question --- how much is just the right amount to ensure wind/wave and hydro generation is easy without causing massive chaos and destruction on planet earth...
madness, Dec 02 2009
  

       "That is the question --- how much is just the right amount to ensure wind/wave and hydro generation is easy without causing massive chaos and destruction on planet earth... — madness, Dec 02 2009"   

       Hmm is that really a question without a question mark or is it really just some form of pseudo-statement?   

       I suppose to answer that statement there would have to be some theory relating C02 content in the atmosphere to mean wind speed.   

       Besides, eventually your carbon engine would make itself obselete by depleting free oxygen to the point that nothing would burn. On the upside, nothing would rust either.
rocdoc, Dec 02 2009
  

       //I suppose to answer that statement there would have to be some theory relating C02 content in the atmosphere to mean wind speed.//   

       Yip, and lo   

       --- wind speed is proportional to pressure differential
--- pressure differential is proportional to temperature differential
  

       What I need, but am not prepared to say, is that extracting work from a temperature differential lowers the temperature of the system...
madness, Dec 02 2009
  

       what ? you skipped a step or 10.
FlyingToaster, Dec 02 2009
  

       Ummm I always try to show full working but I hate it when something takes more than a few lines...   

       So it seems to me that extracting work from a temperature differential, and lets say storing it, must reduce the temperature but not the total energy of a system... What do you think?
madness, Dec 02 2009
  

       well... I theorized that when you toss steam through an engine, not only will it will lose PE (which it does of course) but if you pump it back up to the original pressure it will have a lower temperature... which makes perfect sense if you don't bother thinking about it.
FlyingToaster, Dec 02 2009
  

       Um, no. Because the energy that goes out of the system through wind, wave, tidal, or hydro, is turned into electricity. That electricity is then used. That use, whatever it is, is then re-turned into heat, just a little more uniform heat. (The same energy distributed over a large area) Net change in energy in the system is, exactly, zero.   

       The system doesn't get any colder, although it does get more uniform. Again, however, this change doesn't matter because the total change in differential is swamped by the differential added by the sun. It is not possible, therefore, for humanity to cause a catastrophe by pulling energy out of the system. (With the possible exception of causing the moon to fly away from tidal generation, but it still won't happen before the sun goes red giant)
MechE, Dec 02 2009
  

       " --- wind speed is proportional to pressure differential --- pressure differential is proportional to temperature differential "   

       So you want to create a one-time pressure differential by increasing global temperature, for the purpose of generating some sort of power in some way that is not mentioned at all in the original "idea"?   

       I say one time because no matter how big said carbon engine is it's output will be sufficiently slow that any CO2 emissions would be homogenized within the atmosphere, therefore making an essentially global upward temperature shift.   

       Custardguts had the analysis bang on with this one.
rocdoc, Dec 02 2009
  
      
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