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To make a successful "replacement" fuel - they need to make it in the tankers-full (millions of barrels). Their process is like a chemistry experiment and would need vast refineries of these Methane synthesizers. No word on the mass of source materials going into these plants. Plus, they use waste-foods and other organics. They seem to take renewables and instead of wanting to charge up a car, they take waste biogas from organic burning sites and then produce this natural gas from it. There is not enough source material in the organic waste to create enough e-Gas to make a world-wide fuelstuff.

They are sort-of describing what Farmers do now with waste methane from their cow-poo-pools. Those guys pump the methane into a burner plant to create electricity for their farms. Some farms are entirely self-sufficient on the methane. They may even be able to charge an EV off of th electricity generated.

Like the Hydrogen Highway, this e-gas may fuel tens of thousands of cars but not millions. He writes that the grid cannot be used to refuel millions of EVs and that's where they are wrong in their assumption. Put 2-4KW of Solar PV on every house that has an EV and you have a solution to extra energy demands needed on the grid. Plug those EVs in at work and the distributed power at the homes allows for the grid to primarily recharge people at work and less is needed for the residential community due to the distributed renewables. At night, the grid offers the recharge again during lower-peak demands. Audi, in Germany, should know that this is a viable way to do it.
 

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Making sysntheic fuel has been around for a long time. If it had not been for the ability to make synthetic fuel (in their case mostly from coal), germany would not have been able to sustain it self in WWII. (http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1981/jul-aug/becker.htm)

Using biogas vs coal for the Carbon source is not novel either.. the question is scaling. I've worked with some local entrepreneurs on making synfuel.. and they just did a DOE proposal about scaling up their method to be able to produce 10000'-100,000 s gallons a day from solar power + CO2 scubbing (from coal or biogas -- but there are not that many biogas plants to draw from). They are also doing experiments where the litterly pull the CO2 out of the air, its just more energy intensive (but maybe of interest to DOD, where they may want to make fuel in locations where they don't have coal or biogas plants).

DOD has been using synfuel for a while in special applications... but the current cost is over $29/gal + deliverery
 

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You have a good point here. If we had excess electrical energy, it could be used to create a storable room-temperature fuel.

There are many ideas in how to store energy, from mechanical (flywheels, springs, and lifted weights) to pneumatic (compressed gases), hydraulic (oil, water, and other fluids), chemical (like this new fuel and wood gas), and electrochemical (battery and hydrolysis to generate hydrogen). So biogas is another chemical form of storing energy, and maybe it could be the cheapest!
 

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You have a good point here. If we had excess electrical energy, it could be used to create a storable room-temperature fuel.

There are many ideas in how to store energy, from mechanical (flywheels, springs, and lifted weights) to pneumatic (compressed gases), hydraulic (oil, water, and other fluids), chemical (like this new fuel and wood gas), and electrochemical (battery and hydrolysis to generate hydrogen). So biogas is another chemical form of storing energy, and maybe it could be the cheapest!
It may become a practical option for fueling long distance operations; possibly even the cheapest option for such - it will never be the cheapest way to store energy. The problem is the the most efficient engines in existance (large low RPM ship diesels) are only about 50% efficient. The best cars are in the mid-30s overall, and most cars half that. If you have to pay the full energy cost (plus losses) to make the fuel, but only get 20% back when you burn it...
 

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This is basically a carbon-based energy storage process, but even with a 1:1 input-to-output ratio (impossible), it still needs to be transported and fed into a vehicle that is only 20% to 30% efficient. It would be much more efficient to lose 20% to 30% in grid losses to transfer that energy into an EV that is 80% to 90% efficient. People are just holding onto a dying technology.
 
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