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Thread: Less oxygen to breath

  1. #1 Less oxygen to breath 
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    I read someplace that we have less oxygen to breath then we once had, could it be that all of the machines that we have running 24/7 that consume oxygen and inadvertently kill vegetation are starting to have an impact on our supply? Sounds logical to me.


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    unless it is being sequestered as a sink or escaping into space, I would think that the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere while it is constantly changing, is not being significantly lessened. And too, if it DID lessen, it would take significant loss for those at sea level to experience the same atmosphere at 500 feet. Remember, oxygen has mass and settles to the lowest point.

    I once read in a science magazine that we are gaining a net increase of H2O daily from space to the tune of two or three tons. And we all know what the make up of water is.

    Also, increase in CO2 in the atmosphere allows vegetation to prosper and throw more O2 back into the atmosphere.

    And too, if we could get the Eco-Wackos to finally accept nuclear fission power plants, we could also reap the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells, with a by product of.....................................you guessed it, Oxygen. There are many scientific ways to help with the equation, and the 21st century will be a landmark century.

    Great things are going to happen! We have a lot to look forward to. :P


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    And too, if we could get the Eco-Wackos to finally accept nuclear fission power plants, we could also reap the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells, with a by product of.....................................you guessed it, Oxygen. There are many scientific ways to help with the equation, and the 21st century will be a landmark century.
    Can you image what it would be like if everyone drove a hydrogen powered vehicle around and just allowed it's byproducts to dump out on the streets and highways?

    Arizona might become more humid faster then it currently is, yes people are changing the humidity in Phoenix by just living, watering their lawns, etc.

    I've not researched this yet, but does the hydrogen fuel cell produce water as a byproduct the same way hydrogen combustion does?

    BTW, I fully support nuclear power.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Can you image what it would be like if everyone drove a hydrogen powered vehicle around and just allowed it's byproducts to dump out on the streets and highways?

    Arizona might become more humid faster then it currently is, yes people are changing the humidity in Phoenix by just living, watering their lawns, etc.

    I've not researched this yet, but does the hydrogen fuel cell produce water as a byproduct the same way hydrogen combustion does?

    BTW, I fully support nuclear power.
    Actually, H2 fuel cell cars are expected to produce less H2O per mile than internal combustion engines.

    The best link I could come up with is (but I know I have read it someplace else):

    http://www.bullnet.co.uk/shops/test/hydrogen.htm

    Engine Type Water Vapor/mile Carbon Dioxide/mile
    Gasoline Combustion 0.39 lb. 0.85 lb.
    Fuel Cell Running on Hydrogen from Gasoline 0.32 lb. 0.70 lb.
    Fuel Cell Running on Hydrogen from Methane 0.25 lb. 0.15 lb.
    Fuel Cell Running on Renewable Hydrogen 0.25 lb. 0.00 lb.

    Courtesy of Jeremy Snyder, Desert Research Institute
    I can’t help you with your second question. :wink:
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  6. #5  
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    Actually, H2 fuel cell cars are expected to produce less H2O per mile than internal combustion engines.
    What about hydrogen combustion engines?
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    Quote Originally Posted by John L
    unless it is being sequestered as a sink or escaping into space, I would think that the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere while it is constantly changing, is not being significantly lessened. And too, if it DID lessen, it would take significant loss for those at sea level to experience the same atmosphere at 500 feet. Remember, oxygen has mass and settles to the lowest point.

    I once read in a science magazine that we are gaining a net increase of H2O daily from space to the tune of two or three tons. And we all know what the make up of water is.

    Also, increase in CO2 in the atmosphere allows vegetation to prosper and throw more O2 back into the atmosphere.

    And too, if we could get the Eco-Wackos to finally accept nuclear fission power plants, we could also reap the benefits of hydrogen fuel cells, with a by product of.....................................you guessed it, Oxygen. There are many scientific ways to help with the equation, and the 21st century will be a landmark century.

    Great things are going to happen! We have a lot to look forward to. :P
    Hi John L-

    This time I agree with most of what you say. (At least the first 3 paragraphs.)

    I might add: IIRC our atmosphere has about 40 times more O2 than CO2 in it (21% vs. 0.5%). CO2% of the atmosphere is up about 35% in the last 200 years (an absolute increase from 0.5% to 0.65%*) It would then seem then that O2 should have only decreased about 0.15% in absolute terms (21% to 20.85%*).

    *These numbers are all approximate and are for mathematical demonstration purposes only.

    I should mention that some researchers believe that about half of the CO2 released by fossil fuel burning has gone into solution in the oceans where it has bound with calcium and has become to some extent sequestered. It is unclear as to whether this is good news or not (I am sure you will think that it is John; you might be right.) Carbon sequestration is the “holy grail” of climate change reversal. Some scientists believe however that the amount of bound calcium may be affecting animals that use calcium to form shells. It may be affecting the quality of their shells. Obviously this research is very preliminary.

    Now about the Eco-Wackos part: Any O2 added to the atmosphere from the generation of H2 from H2O will be recombined with the H2 when it is used, so it will not result in a net increase of overall O2.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    What about hydrogen combustion engines?
    I have never seen numbers for H2 IC engines. I would suspect that H2O emissions may be higher per mile as I believe that fuel cells/electric motor produce more usable energy (2X ?) from a given unit of H2 than IC engines do. (conjecture as I have no numbers to back it up).
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    Hydrogen fuel cells and IC engines are still not practical. They are far too dangerous at this point.
    If a hydrogen cell were to explode, the damage would be much greater than that of gasoline. Also, hydrogen cells can explode very easily.

    We built a hydrogen cell engine at my high school and stuck the cell in the back of volkswagon bug. After a while, hydrogen fumes began to build up around the cell, and when someone started the car, the electricity from the battery caused an explosion.

    Good thing we had the entire thing encased so that it didn't hurt anyone, but this just goes to show how careful someone has to be when working with this sort of technology.
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    Did anyone read about how the new Hybrid vechicles are making it dangerous for rescue workers due to the very high voltage running from the back of these cars to the front? I'll try and dig up an article. I think it was something like 500 volts.
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    Sploit-

    I have to agree with you; H2 systems are still not safe enough for mass consumption. That does not mean they never will be though. Most all industry experts agree H2 is at least 10 to 20 years (or more) away from being market ready. The danger does not lie as much in the cells as in the H2 storage systems themselves. H2 does tend to leak through most metals. For this reason storage cells must be coated with some sort of resin. Then there is the problem of energy density…

    I would like to gently update your use of certain terms. As I understand it:

    Hydrogen fuel cell- converts hydrogen into electricity. It is neither an engine nor a motor. It is closer to being a “battery”. It must be combined with an (electric) motor to provide propulsion for a vehicle.

    Engine-in current transportation technology terms this applies only to internal combustion (IC) engines; typically running on gasoline or diesel, but could run on ethanol, vegetable oil, hydrogen or some other fuel.

    Motor (you did not use this term but it goes hand in hand with “engine”) - in current transportation technology terms this applies only to electric motors.


    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    Did anyone read about how the new Hybrid vechicles are making it dangerous for rescue workers due to the very high voltage running from the back of these cars to the front? I'll try and dig up an article. I think it was something like 500 volts.
    IS-

    I respectfully think this is not a problem. Rescue workers rarely if ever cut through the center of the bottom of a car. The high voltage cable is well marked. The story got a lot of hype a few months ago because rescue workers were trained to avoid cutting the main power cables in hybrids (just as they are trained to avoid cutting fuel lines). No rescue workers have been injured by hybrids.


    A more esoteric safety hazard unique to hybrids might be exposure to excessive EMFs. see:
    http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/...pic.php?t=1535
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    A more esoteric safety hazard unique to hybrids might be exposure to excessive EMFs. see:
    Good to hear the high voltage is not a problem, as for the EMF issue I would really be curious to see long term studies of those that drive hybrids vs. those that do not.

    Has anyone proven cell phone cause problems as of yet, or computer monitors, etc? I for one am running all LCD monitors, I did so just for the heat factor.
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    I think the jury is still out on EMFs, and will be for awhile. The last study about cell phones I heard about linked them with a tiny increase in the incidence of a couple obscure brain tumors, but who knows? I have an LCD to save energy. :wink: My wife worries more about these things than I do. I figure if it is a hazzard I got "nuked" when I was a kid in the 60s sitting in front of the old B&W TV. Not much to do about it now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrapin
    I think the jury is still out on EMFs, and will be for awhile. The last study about cell phones I heard about linked them with a tiny increase in the incidence of a couple obscure brain tumors, but who knows? I have an LCD to save energy. :wink: My wife worries more about these things than I do. I figure if it is a hazzard I got "nuked" when I was a kid in the 60s sitting in front of the old B&W TV. Not much to do about it now.
    LOL, that's kind of like me. I soldered for years every single day. Needless to say second hand smoke doesn't bother me in the least. I also worked with my father for a bit in his body shop breathing god only knowns what kind of chemicals.

    I use an earbud with my cell phone, keeps it away from my head, of course strapping it to my belt puts it closer to other parts of my body. That's ok, I didn't want any more kids anyway
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    The idea that we can continue the present lifestyle of suburban expansion only replace gas cars with hydrogen or electric cars is one of the silliest things i've ever heard. There will never be a hydrogen economy, the basic structure of our society is wrong, because it's based on an endless supply of cheap fuel. Why does no one question the need for transportation? Why build every damn thing so far apart? Why buy products manufactured on the other side of the planet? Put everything close together, buy locally, and the transportation issue will disappear, it was stupid in the first place to use up agricultural land for habitation.

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    Maybe big carbon dioxide scrubbers will be built. Just a thought.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat
    ... There will never be a hydrogen economy, the basic structure of our society is wrong, because it's based on an endless supply of cheap fuel...

    http://www.kunstler.com/index.html
    While it is true that it is based on cheap fuel, fuel won't stay cheap. Whether the economy is affected by intense corporation greed, ecology, or just that the supply becomes too limited for an every growing, every hungry world population, we are seeing a steady rise in energy prices. At some point it becomes cheaper to change than to maintain the way things are. Corn alcohol was and is a result of such changes and being added to fuel to extend the volume of fuel available. It only showed up when prices reached a point that it was economically feasiable. It is an example of adapting practices when either shortage or price makes changes necessary.

    There will be some kind of driving factor to change this so I would not go as far as saying never.
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    Hi cleft, I agree with you up ‘til you get to the corn alcohol part. From what I have read corn alcohol is only a pork barrel concession to the farm belt. It takes almost as much petroleum to raise, fertilize, transport and process the corn into alcohol, as the alcohol eventually replaces. (Some sources claim that it is a net loss in energy) Research continues in making alcohol from other sources like crop residues or specially grown grasses, but so far the energy returned on these projects is not all that impressive either.

    I agree with you; as the price of fuel goes up we will adapt (hopefully before our economy gets hit too hard.) Unfortunately I believe that our future holds more coal and nuclear derived energy. Coal is dirt cheep, we’ve got a lot of it, and it is going to remain the cheapest form of energy for a long time. Luckily the dangers of coal are well documented. Hopefully we can control our power lust to resist the temptation to burn lots of it.

    Spidergoat, as far as the hydrogen economy goes; I too have my doubts but I am not as pessimistic as you. I think one of the biggest hurdles to hydrogen will be Liability Lawyers. Unless the industry gets some kind of blanket legal protection like the nuclear industry has, the dangers of hydrogen may prevent it from becoming economically feasible. Hopefully when folks realize how many legal rights they give up to get nuclear and hydrogen energy, they will start having more respect for it and use energy more judiciously.
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    An important problem is that production of hydrogen vehicles is still based on an industrial base that runs on petroleum. These cars are full of plastic and synthetic materials, in addition to all the manufacturing equipment. When peak oil is reached, if it hasn't already, the cost of producing them will become prohibitive if not impossible. And then there's the infrastructure... We will need fleets of hydrogen trucks (that are also powered by hydrogen). There will need to be many times more trucks to transport an equivalent amount of energy. Hydrogen is also very corrosive, and leaks easily. Also, every tractor, bulldozer and grader that works on our roads will need to be hydrogen powered, too. Our economy will get hit hard, there's no technological way around it.

    It takes more energy to produce hydrogen than what it gives back, so really it's just a means of storage. The energy to produce H would most likely have to come from nuclear power, so why not just make electricity instead?
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    Because batteries aren't geared up to power motor vehicles; they can't give energy fast enough for long enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestasjk
    Because batteries aren't geared up to power motor vehicles; they can't give energy fast enough for long enough.
    If you substitute a couple ultra-capacitors for a couple of batteries in the energy storage mix you can correct for the “fast enough” problem (for short periods). You’re still left with the “long enough” problem though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrapin
    Quote Originally Posted by kestasjk
    Because batteries aren't geared up to power motor vehicles; they can't give energy fast enough for long enough.
    If you substitute a couple ultra-capacitors for a couple of batteries in the energy storage mix you can correct for the “fast enough” problem (for short periods). You’re still left with the “long enough” problem though.
    You can also just increase the voltage by more batteries in series, thus reducing the peak amperage needed from each cell. In the end your just looking for the wattage. 12 volts at 10 amps or 120 volts at 1 amp. or 1200 volts at 0.1 amp. Batteries have a hard time producing the very large current draws, they also heat up a bit and the effiency is reduced. Thus the higher voltage is more desirable.
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    True. You’re still left with that pesky “long enough” problem though. I have to admit that an H2 fuel cell/tank can improve on that situation, but it will still not give the range we are used to with gasoline. I am not sure about what kind of range you would get with an ethanol>h2>electric system.

    An intermediate step that I would hope we see soon would be a hybrid that lets you charge the batteries at home. For example:

    Take a second generation Prius
    -Add a couple more batteries
    -add a dashboard switch that allows you to discharge the batteries below the level where the engine would normally come on to recharge them.
    -add a plug and appropriate electronics so you could recharge overnight.

    You could have an all electric car for short trips, but still never have to worry about killing your batteries and getting stuck.
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    You could have an all electric car for short trips, but still never have to worry about killing your batteries and getting stuck.
    And what, perhaps 50 hp

    What we need is superconductors, that will increase the range beyond what gasoline can ever do. It's really an irony that superconductor electric engines are what drives the massive ships that bring the oil over.
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    Quote Originally Posted by (In)Sanity
    And what, perhaps 50 hp
    Or you could still use the engine for acceleration and have an almost all electric car with good power.

    What we need is superconductors, that will increase the range beyond what gasoline can ever do. It's really an irony that superconductor electric engines are what drives the massive ships that bring the oil over.
    I didn’t know that. What generates the electricity? Diesel?
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    I didn’t know that. What generates the electricity? Diesel?
    That's a good question. I read a ton of info on the motors but never thought to wonder what created the charge. I suspect it's diesel. I know the US military is using more and more supercondutor engines for ships and subs, they are much much smaller and produce more power. In the case of the military they use a nuclear reactor. It all was about size for them, perhaps that's the same reason the supertankers went with them, more room for cargo.
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    Environmentalists are much more worried and concerned about carbon monoxide emissions rather than the harmless carbon dioxide.
    Every day hundreds tonnes of carbon monoxide are produced by cars,furnaces, machines, etc globally. The grave problem is where does all these carbon monoxide goes to ? Does it keep 'recycling' in our planet ? At least carbon dioxide can be absorbed by green plants during photosynthesis, but not for CO.
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    Hi Clicky, welcome.

    I agree that CO emissions are a much greater concern than CO2 emissions if one is breathing combustion fumes particularly those from incomplete combustion cycles, but according to this source (at least) CO has only an average 1-2 month dwell time in the atmosphere before it oxidizes to carbon dioxide.

    As far as I know environmentalists are generally concerned about CO2.

    Because we are burning fossil fuels we are releasing CO2 into the atmoshere much faster than plants can remove it. Plants can easily keep up with CO2 released by animals and plants naturally, but they can not keep up with the incredible amount of excess CO2 that have been released over the last 200 years since the start of the industrial revolution when humans started burning coal, and later oil and natural gas in earnest. Much of it winds up being absorbed by the sea, but it is gradually making the sea more acidic because the creatures that would normally bind it with calcium to make calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can not do so quickly enough.

    Methane (CH4) emissions are also a significant concern for environmentalists, because their ability to trap solar radiation within our atmosphere is over 20 times greater than that of CO2. Methane comes from many sources including incomplete combustion processes. Luckily methane eventually breaks down in the atmosphere although I takes almost 10 years.

    Basically the problem most environmentalists are concerned about is global warming and atmospheric carbon emissions of all forms since they have been identified as the largest human caused influence (commonly refered to as "forcing factor") on the climate, CO2 is by far the most common carbon emission and the most stable.

    I would be interested to see any link that you may have concerning the build up of CO emissions in particular.
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    Human activities produced carbon monoxide at an alarming rate faster than its oxidising rate to carbon dioxide, thus resulting in the progressively accumulation of CO in the atmosphere. Please correct me if this statement is false.

    If this is true, human civilisation will soon be wiped out by CO poisoning in the long run.
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    I am not a scientist so I cannot say with authority that this is not a concern. However I can say that I have never heard of an environmentalist voice this concern. Since the oxidation rate of CO appears to be mediated by cosmic rays I suspect that the rate of oxidation (parts/million oxidized over time) would increase more or less in proportion with any increasing atmospheric concentration of carbon monoxide. In other words the more that is produced the faster it breaks down.

    2 months is a very short dwell time by terrestrial standards.

    I hope you will find this citation reassuring:

    The lifetime of CO in the atmosphere is relatively short (a few months), so that anthropogenic CO emission does not lead to CO accumulation in the atmosphere, unlike CO2.
    (Emphasis added)
    http://gaw.kishou.go.jp/wdcgg/printe...sum30/08co.pdf
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    yes, vegetation provides lumpsum amount of oxygen to breathe and decrease carbon dioxide. if u can decrease factories then grow two trees for each tree u effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clicky
    Human activities produced carbon monoxide at an alarming rate faster than its oxidising rate to carbon dioxide, thus resulting in the progressively accumulation of CO in the atmosphere. Please correct me if this statement is false.

    If this is true, human civilisation will soon be wiped out by CO poisoning in the long run.
    Nitrogen 77%, Oxygen 22 %, CO2 .045% others are trace amounts of elements that make up our troposphere or what we breath. i don't know the total weights of plant and/or animal life forms, but suggest the plant life is twice, three times that of animals. they have a .045 supply to draw from and we have 22%.

    according to Ency. W on the www, these are current figures and i don't care how much mankind has added, the figure is very small today, for CO2. this to me is not alarming unless your a plant...
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    Quote Originally Posted by weknowtheword
    yes, vegetation provides lumpsum amount of oxygen to breathe and decrease carbon dioxide. if u can decrease factories then grow two trees for each tree u effect.
    be a little careful on how much plant life you plant. they do produce large amounts of oxygen, via photosynthesis (6 parts H2O and 6 parts CO2 will give 6 parts oxygen, but when the leaves fall or the plant dies, they during decay produce much of the CO2, every ones concerned about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackson33
    Quote Originally Posted by weknowtheword
    yes, vegetation provides lumpsum amount of oxygen to breathe and decrease carbon dioxide. if u can decrease factories then grow two trees for each tree u effect.
    be a little careful on how much plant life you plant. they do produce large amounts of oxygen, via photosynthesis (6 parts H2O and 6 parts CO2 will give 6 parts oxygen, but when the leaves fall or the plant dies, they during decay produce much of the CO2, every ones concerned about.
    Which is exactly why we should go back to making things out of wood, this will lock up the CO2 for the life of the poduct.

    Plants can only put back the CO2 they originally absorbed, so leaves aren't a problem, they put CO2 into the atmosphere in fall/autumn and take it out in the spring (helps keep winter temp up!). The net gain of trees is in the trunk and branches.
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