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Directory:Liquid Nitrogen economy

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A Liquid Nitrogen (LN2) economy is a proposal for a future economy in which the primary form of energy storage and transport is liquid There was an error working with the wiki: Code[1]. It is proposed as an alternative to petroleum and as a means of locally storing energy captured from There was an error working with the wiki: Code[2]. An analysis of this concept provides insight into the physical limits of all energy conversion schemes.

Typically, the demise of the petroleum-age is presented as a catastrophic collapse. The Liquid Nitrogen Economy is a proposal to initiate an energy diversification, an alternative to the typical collapse proposal.

Description

Currently, most road vehicles are powered by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[3]s run off There was an error working with the wiki: Code[4]. If this is to be made sustainable over the long term, the fuel must be replaced by something else produced by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[5]. The replacement should not be thought of as an energy source it is a means of transferring and concentrating energy, a "currency".

Liquid nitrogen is generated by There was an error working with the wiki: Code[6] or There was an error working with the wiki: Code[7] coolers that liquefy the main component of air, nitrogen (N2). The cooler can be powered by renewable generated electricity or through direct mechanical work from a There was an error working with the wiki: Code[8] or

There was an error working with the wiki: Code[9]s.

Liquid nitrogen is distributed and stored in There was an error working with the wiki: Code[10]. The insulation reduces heat flow into the stored nitrogen. Heat from the surrounding environment boils the liquid. Reducing inflowing heat reduces the loss of liquid nitrogen in storage. The requirements of storage prevent the use of pipelines as a means of transport. Since long-distance pipelines would be costly due the insulation requirements, it would be costly to use distant energy sources for production of liquid nitrogen. Petroleum reserves are typically a vast distance from consumption.

Liquid nitrogen consumption is in essence production in reverse. The There was an error working with the wiki: Code[11] or cryogenic heat engine offers a way to power vehicles and a means to generate electricity. Liquid nitrogen can also serve as a direct coolant for There was an error working with the wiki: Code[12], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[13] and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[14] units. The consumption of liquid nitrogen is in effect boiling and returning the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[15] to the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[16].

Political argument

The adaptability of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[17] and a diverse means of production is likely to lead to the diversification, localization and stability of the energy market. Possible energy diversification includes the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[18], There was an error working with the wiki: Code[19] and There was an error working with the wiki: Code[20] alternatives.

The dependence on the petroleum economy has a significant global influence. Petroleum reserves represent political and monetary power. Considerable effort is focused on managing a stable supply, shaping global politics. The environmental impact from the There was an error working with the wiki: Code[21] discharge is currently unsustainable. Alternatives are a matter of necessity.

Comparison

To compare alternative fuels to petroleum the following aspects must be favourable production, logistics, energy density, energy throughput and consumer acceptance.

Production

Liquid nitrogen production is an energy-intensive process. Currently practical refrigeration plants producing a few tons/day of liquid nitrogen at about 50% of There was an error working with the wiki: Code[22] [see ref 4].

Energy density of liquid nitrogen

Liquid nitrogen as an energy store has a low energy density. Liquid hydrocarbon fuels by comparison have a high energy density. A high energy density makes the logistics of transport and storage more convenient. Convenience is an import factor in consumer acceptance. The convenient storage of petroleum fuels combined with its low cost has lead to an unrivalled success.

The energy density of liquid nitrogen at atmospheric pressure is 460 kilojoules per litre(kj/l). Gasoline has an energy density of 33,000 kj/l, 72 times that of liquid nitrogen.

To have a range comparable to an internal combustion engine a 350 litre onboard storage vessel is required. [see ref. 1] Add to that the fact the container would need to be insulated. A practical volume, but a noticeable increase over the typical 50 litre gasoline tank.

Heat Exchangers

Unlike internal combustion engines, using a cryogenic fuel require heat exchangers to warm and cool the working fluid. In a humid environment, frost formation will prevent heat flow and thus represents an engineering challenge. To prevent frost build up, multiple working fluids can be used. This adds topping cycles to ensure the heat exchanger does not fall below freezing. Addtional heat exchangers, weight, complexity, efficiency loss, and expense, would be required to enable frost free operation.[see ref. 1]

External links

Liquid Nitrogen Economy - Similar overview with diagrams.

L2N Vehicle 1 - A liquid nitrogen powered car using a Cryogenic Heat Engine at the University of North Texas.

L2N Vehicle 2- Another liquid nitrogen powered car at the University of Washington.

WhisperGen - Domestic stirling generators.

Cryogenic Coolers - Small, rapid, compact cooling.

Discusssion on L2N vehicle feasibility at How stuff works

Thermodynamic Properties of various fuels - Tabulated data.

PERENDEV has developed a recyclable nitrogen engine measuring 175 x 150mm.

References

[1] C. Knowlen, A.T. Mattick, A.P. Bruckner and A. Hertzberg, High Efficiency Conversion Systems for Liquid Nitrogen Automobiles, Society of Automotive Engineers Inc, 1988.

[2] C. A. Ordonez, M. C. Plummer, R. F. Reidy Cryogenic Heat Engines for Powering Zero Emission Vehicles, Proceedings of 2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, November 11-16, 2001, New York, NY.

[3] Kleppe J.A., Schneider R.N., “A Nitrogen Economy??, Winter Meeting ASEE, Honolulu, HI, December, 1974.

[4] J. Franz, C. A. Ordonez, A. Carlos, Cryogenic Heat Engines Made Using Electrocaloric Capacitors, American Physical Society, Texas Section Fall Meeting, October 4-6, 2001 Fort Worth, Texas Meeting ID: TSF01, abstract #EC.009, 10/2001.

[5] Gordon J. Van Wylan and Richard F. Sontag, Fundamentals of Classical Thermodynamics SI Version 2nd Ed.

Comments

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See also

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OS:Telesis:Main Page

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