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@GG1 4877 posted:

I was involved with a project that converted trash to syngas to fire a 35 MW producing turbine.  It was very low emission and had full carbon capture.  The business model was to sell the carbon as well as any recyclable material.  For each proposed location the waste stream coming to the plant was fully analyzed to see what the by-products could be and what they could be used for.  In one location the by-product was synthetic diesel fuel.  It was very forward thinking and very a very market based approach.

I agree that nuclear can be a good source of sustainable energy as well and with the will, I fully believe the waste stream issue can be solved.  The largest and most modern nuclear power plant in the nation is 50 miles west of Phoenix and generates 3.3 GW of power.  It serves large portions of San Diego, Las Angeles, Los Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson.  On top of that the water source is effluent from treated sewerage.  That kind of power output cannot be ignored.  In spite of my earlier cynical comment, I am optimistic that there could be a meeting of the minds between the big thinkers and the big funders.  The status quo is not sustainable in the long term so something has to change.

I think Wabtec has some interesting ideas that still need to be refined and experimented upon, but after acquiring the GE line of locomotives they have a good basis to innovate.  Rather than dismiss it out of hand, give it a chance.

I also know that we are not going to solve the worlds problems on a toy train forum, but we can at least dream about a better future in lieu of the "we can't" mentality?

I still think it kind of interesting that the in the current form, the most efficient form of motive power is electricity but only when you have your own fossil fuel powered generating station onboard the locomotive.

Perhaps some day we'll have the "fuel man" will come every so often and exchange out a box of spent nuclear fuel "core"  for a new one to power our homes.

Last edited by Rule292
@Rule292 posted:

I still think it kind of interesting that the in the current form, the most efficient form of motive power is electricity but only when you have your own fossil fuel powered generating station onboard the locomotive.

Perhaps some day we'll have the "fuel man" will come every so often and exchange out a box of spent nuclear fuel "core"  for a new one to power our homes.

Actually a diesel electric locomotive is not the most efficient, not if you look from fuel to output thermodynamically ( and I will admit upfront this is very much splitting hairs, just to highlight something). A diesel engine in terms of efficiency is about 7 to 8% input to output, an electric motor is about 90 to 95%, so end to end you are talking let's say 7%. If you had a power network running off solar using today's technology, solar cells are up to 35%, and even factoring in losses due to transmission line losses and then the electric motor loss, you would still be much higher. Likewise nuclear and hydro and wind are much higher efficiency wise if you do a similar calculation.

The kicker of course is that most power production on a national scale is Nat gas and coal running turbines and not having a national grid, lot of higher efficiency power production is localized, so yes that is true.

One of the potentials of fusion power (like Mr.Fusion *lol*) is theoretically a byproduct of fusion power from an article I read long ago, would be really long lived batteries ( really more like fuel cells) using long lived ions generated by the fusion reaction. Not a physicist and it could just be a pipe dream, but in theory you wouldnt need power transmission, those ionic de ices could power heavy duty vehicles like trains.

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