Alternative fuels - Nov 01 9:50PM
My name is Brendan. I have been into cars for as long as i can remember and I especially enjoy working on them. With the future of hydrogen fuel cells, do you think they will still make working on cars as enjoyable as before? I just have to assume they will be more complex to tinker with, but do you think the avid mechanic would still be able to take part in repairing them?
Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 02 12:27AM
I can only guess, of course, but I suspect that anything that moves at high speed and weighs a ton or so will always have things that can be worked on. Though the engines (motors, actually?) of electric cars and hydrogen fueled cars might be very different than standard gasoline powered vehicles, the new cars will still go at top speeds and have lots of interesting moving parts -- should still be a lot of fun, I would think!
Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 02 7:35AM
Thank you for replying to my last post. Have you done any extensive research on any of the alternative fuels? Any great finds and experiences you would like to share?
Thank you for your time,
Re: Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 02 8:09PM
I haven't done any research on fuels for automobiles. I have, however, been interested in the possibility of a new type of nuclear reactor, using a particle accelerator. People are studying how to use an accelerator to make nuclear fuel "on demand" by bombarding Thorium, for instance, with a proton beam which can turn it into nuclear fuel. People often worry about having a dangerous condition where a pile of Uranium fuel, say, gets out of control in a nuclear reactor and starts to melt down. However, if a problem develops with the Thorium system, you just turn off the accelerator and everything stops and the fuel is no longer even generated. It also has much, much less radioactive waste to deal with, plus Thorium is much more abundant on earth and easier to obtain than is Uranium. The major problem we face right now is how to make the very expensive particle accelerator(s) to run the power plant. If we can develop a system that is economical enough, it should be able to pay for itself in a reasonable time and thus be of interest to the power industry. Who knows, someday…
Re: Re: Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 04 10:50AM
That sounds very interesting. Who will run these reactor's? What kind of qualifications would one need to be successful in this industry? It sounds like a very viable way to alternatively produce energy, but it still sounds very dangerous when talking about particle accelerators.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 04 4:03PM
It's not totally known yet exactly what combination of personnel would be required, but it will be a combination of physicists (nuclear, accelerator) and engineers (nuclear, mechanical, electrical, civil) plus a whole lot of support people of all types. It's still very much in the early stages of development.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 07 8:15PM
Thank you for replying. I actually considered majoring in mechanical engineering for this fall, not knowing this could have been an occupational possibility in the near future. I will yet again re-evaluate this. Thank you for taking all of the time to explain this to me.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Alternative fuels - Nov 08 12:16AM
Thanks, Brendan. I hope you continue to enjoy your physics course and good luck with everything.
All the best,
Thank you so much for answering all of my questions and being so helpful. I truely have learned a great deal.