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Things You Didn't Know, Episode 1: Petroleum

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    Things You Didn't Know, Episode 1: Petroleum

    Series Introduction: I'm constantly amazed by "what we don't know." I don't mean as humankind, I mean as everyday people. I think about stuff like this on my way to and from work, every day, and have decided to share with the Bullshido community. I have a few topics picked out, but gasoline usage has been on my mind, recently.

    Please forgive (and correct) any math errors. Some of these numbers get quite large or quite small, and are difficult to deal with. I intend to refrain from the usage of exponential notation in this series.

    Without further ado, Episode 1: Petroleum.

    1) Let's say you got a brand-spanking new truck, like I did earlier in the year. Let's say you average 16 miles per gallon, city/suburb driving. A "pipeline," holding that much gas would be 1 mile long, and just over 1 millimeter in circumference. 1 millimeter is about the width of a thick sheet of cardstock, or possibly your fingernail. (source: any cylinder volume calculator, and your vehicle's EPA rating)

    2) The amount of stored energy (calories) in a single gallon of gasoline is roughly equivalent to 2 weeks of human caloric food consumption. Also, "food," calories are really kilocalories, in sciency terms. So, you eat say 2,000 "food," calories a day; that's 2,000,000 sciency calories. So, a gallon of gas is roughly 28,000,000 sciency calories.

    3) There's this nifty thing called Colonial Pipeline. It's a pair of pipes running 5,500 miles from Houston, TX, to Linden, NJ. The pipes are 40 inches (gasoline) and 36 inches (a mix of diesel, kerosene, etc.). If the gasoline pipe is full, that equates to about 1,900,000,000,000 gallons. If the "other," pipeline is full, that equates to about 1,500,000,000,000 gallons.

    4) Current domestic gasoline usage (USA) is about 385,000,000 gallons per day - roughly 1.2 gallons per capita. At that rate, assuming Colonial Pipeline is full, and only the gasoline pipe, we have about 14 years of gasoline already refined and in transit to distributors. EIA.gov is a little ambiguous on this point, I don't really know if consumption is just gasoline, or all petroleum distillates: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=23&t=10

    5) Diesel is currently less expensive, in many US locales, and on average contains about 30% more energy by volume than the gasoline we use in our "regular unleaded," vehicles.
    Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

    #2
    Originally posted by submessenger View Post
    Series Introduction: I'm constantly amazed by "what we don't know." I don't mean as humankind, I mean as everyday people. I think about stuff like this on my way to and from work, every day, and have decided to share with the Bullshido community. I have a few topics picked out, but gasoline usage has been on my mind, recently.

    Please forgive (and correct) any math errors. Some of these numbers get quite large or quite small, and are difficult to deal with. I intend to refrain from the usage of exponential notation in this series.

    Without further ado, Episode 1: Petroleum.

    1) Let's say you got a brand-spanking new truck, like I did earlier in the year. Let's say you average 16 miles per gallon, city/suburb driving. A "pipeline," holding that much gas would be 1 mile long, and just over 1 millimeter in circumference. 1 millimeter is about the width of a thick sheet of cardstock, or possibly your fingernail. (source: any cylinder volume calculator, and your vehicle's EPA rating)

    2) The amount of stored energy (calories) in a single gallon of gasoline is roughly equivalent to 2 weeks of human caloric food consumption. Also, "food," calories are really kilocalories, in sciency terms. So, you eat say 2,000 kilocalories a day; that's 2,000,000 sciency calories. So, a gallon of gas is roughly 28,000,000 sciency calories.

    3) There's this nifty thing called Colonial Pipeline. It's a pair of pipes running 5,500 miles from Houston, TX, to Linden, NJ. The pipes are 40 inches (gasoline) and 36 inches (a mix of diesel, kerosene, etc.). If the gasoline pipe is full, that equates to about 1,900,000,000,000 gallons. If the "other," pipeline is full, that equates to about 1,500,000,000,000 gallons.

    4) Current domestic gasoline usage (USA) is about 385,000,000 gallons per day - roughly 1.2 gallons per capita. At that rate, assuming Colonial Pipeline is full, and only the gasoline pipe, we have about 14 years of gasoline already refined and in transit to distributors. EIA.gov is a little ambiguous on this point, I don't really know if consumption is just gasoline, or all petroleum distillates: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=23&t=10

    5) Diesel is currently less expensive, in many US locales, and on average contains about 30% more energy by volume than the gasoline we use in our "regular unleaded," vehicles.
    For sure there is no shortage of oil of various types or natural gas in the world.

    Helium, though...
    Falling for Judo since 1980

    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

    "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

    "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by BKR View Post
      For sure there is no shortage of oil of various types or natural gas in the world.

      Helium, though...
      All kinds of medical and scientific and industrial uses. Not a shit ton of it here on earth. It kinda just leaks out. Very hard to recapture or recycle. The moon supposedly has crap tons of it tho. It seriously might be the first real push at industrializing the solar system. Helium from the moon.

      The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is an excellent book. The first A.I. awakes in the middle of this shit starts trying to figure out funny.

      I wonder about the human race some times.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by BKR View Post
        For sure there is no shortage of oil of various types or natural gas in the world.

        Helium, though...
        As well as renewable ways of making oil. Such as algae & bacteria.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by goodlun View Post
          As well as renewable ways of making oil. Such as algae & bacteria.
          Not sure those are commercial yet, considering the supplies we already have in the ground.

          What we need is a way to sequester CO2, or convert it to something useful in the volumes it would be produced and/or taken out of the atmosphere.

          It's like nuclear waste, though, in it's own way.
          Falling for Judo since 1980

          "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

          "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

          "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

          Comment


            #6
            #4 sounds like it's only gas, and not fuel oil etc.
            We go through nearly a million *barrels* a week in crude, as I recall.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by BKR View Post
              Not sure those are commercial yet, considering the supplies we already have in the ground.

              What we need is a way to sequester CO2, or convert it to something useful in the volumes it would be produced and/or taken out of the atmosphere.

              It's like nuclear waste, though, in it's own way.
              Plants love the stuff...

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by BKR View Post
                Not sure those are commercial yet,
                Not yet, but they are the real answer, you can make the same fuels out of them and use most of the same infrastructure. Cost just needs to come down, which will happen. Given the 2 billion cars on the planet we cannot move away from gas.

                Originally posted by BKR View Post
                considering the supplies we already have in the ground.
                That is the problem that is still the most economical way of doing things.

                Originally posted by BKR View Post
                What we need is a way to sequester CO2, or convert it to something useful in the volumes it would be produced and/or taken out of the atmosphere.
                That is the way bio-fuels work.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
                  Plants love the stuff...
                  For sure. But let's keep deforesting all those third world countries for fun and profit...
                  Falling for Judo since 1980

                  "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                  "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                  "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by goodlun View Post
                    Not yet, but they are the real answer, you can make the same fuels out of them and use most of the same infrastructure. Cost just needs to come down, which will happen. Given the 2 billion cars on the planet we cannot move away from gas.



                    That is the problem that is still the most economical way of doing things.


                    That is the way bio-fuels work.
                    They would have to essentially carbon tax or outlaw or severely restrict, one way or another, using "dirty" hydrocarbons for fuel. And get the rest of the world to agree to do so.

                    There are just too many of them left in the ground.
                    Falling for Judo since 1980

                    "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                    "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                    "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
                      #4 sounds like it's only gas, and not fuel oil etc.
                      We go through nearly a million *barrels* a week in crude, as I recall.
                      I think it's more like a billion. For those keeping score, a barrel of petroleum is standardized at 42 gallons. That works out to about 19 gas, 12 diesel, and 11 "other shit," after refining: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=327&t=9. Again, please feel free to correct my math or facts, here. Powers of ten always trip me up.
                      Consider for a moment that there is no meme about brown-haired, brown-eyed step children.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by BKR View Post
                        For sure. But let's keep deforesting all those third world countries for fun and profit...
                        That's why higher CO2 = good!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by submessenger View Post
                          I think it's more like a billion. For those keeping score, a barrel of petroleum is standardized at 42 gallons. That works out to about 19 gas, 12 diesel, and 11 "other shit," after refining: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=327&t=9. Again, please feel free to correct my math or facts, here. Powers of ten always trip me up.

                          I meant my state ftr.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by BKR View Post
                            They would have to essentially carbon tax or outlaw or severely restrict, one way or another, using "dirty" hydrocarbons for fuel. And get the rest of the world to agree to do so.

                            There are just too many of them left in the ground.
                            At some point in the future, I would say within 20 years, biofuels will be cheaper than pulling them out of the ground, it is not even a matter of the stuff in the ground becoming more expensive. Once they hit price parity they will quickly move from parity to cheaper. Its an industry and techonlogy is in its infancy now and biocrude oil is was down to $7.50 per gallon in 2014, in 2009 it was $33/gallon. It needs to get down to $3 a gallon to be competive(and even then it will be x3 as expensive). Something that is very likely to happen in the next few years. It has the potential to reach down bellow $1/gallon something that is unlikely for the stuff pumped out of the ground to ever do again.
                            Barrel of oil is 42 gallons. Though right now Oil is fairly cheap at $44.43/Barrel or $1.06/Gallon.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ChenPengFi View Post
                              That's why higher CO2 = good!
                              If you are a plant, anyway.

                              Cretaceous conditions worked out OK because there weren't any hairless apes running around with chainsaws and bulldozers.
                              Falling for Judo since 1980

                              "You are wrong. Why? Because you move like a pregnant yak and talk like a spazzing 'I train UFC' noob." -DCS

                              "The best part of getting you worked up is your backpack full of irony and lies." -It Is Fake

                              "Banning BKR is like kicking a Quokka. It's foolishness of the first order." - Raycetpfl

                              Comment

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