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the future of mass transportation

the future of mass transportation

the future of mass transportation

(OP)
Between year 2020 and 2050 petroleum will achieve the exhaustion, therefore airplane transportation costs will highly increase and nuclear power because of associated hazards don’t seem to be applicable as airplane combustible.

Would in the near future trains run over magnetic levitation lines systems at high velocities crossing continental regions?

Would in the future space shuttles in orbit around the earth make the liaison between continents?

Luis  

RE: the future of mass transportation

Luis, I think the public opinion on nuclear will change rapidly as oil gets overexpensive if other options remain unavailable.
If nuclear power can be applied in submarines, it should be applicable in planes as well. This is what I expect to happen. Trains will get their electricity from nuclear power stations and so will cars (which will, by the way, never be replaced by mass transport).
If you look at the recent tremendous improvements in batteries, I expect storing 1000 miles worth of electricity in a car will require only a small unit in 2020 or 2050. Why bother with hydrogen?
Nuclear waste will be launched into deep space (a black hole makes an excellent wastebin).

I know my scenario is neither very original nor very idealistic, but at least it appears to be (happens to be) Kyoto compatible.

RE: the future of mass transportation

The exhaustion of easily retrievable petroleum will spark another world war which will subsequently reduce the population "mass".  What's to worry wink

Coal gasification?  Biodiesel?  Methanol/Ethanol?  Nuclear?  Solar?  The winner will be the one that is considered cost effective (or suitably subsidized).

RE: the future of mass transportation

Well, if oil runs completely out, modern life will dramatically change. If there's no viable power; that is, if there's no nukes, if solar never advances, if tidal and wind just don't cut it, how will anything get made, get done, get bought?

In short, there will be a return to the primal forge, bicycles, foot power, animal carts and burning of lots of stuff for fuel, etc.

RE: the future of mass transportation

beam me up scotty

RE: the future of mass transportation

The US is building 2 new nuclear generating plants in Texas.

Canada is starting to ramp up tar sands development.

It seems that every so often, people predict the demise of oil and nuclear as viable sources of power.

Also, every day, somebody comes up with a new way of harnessing power:
- I just heard about solar panel roof shingles. Kind of cool.
- cars that can run on canola oil. Kind of smelly, unless you like french fries (freedom fries) smell
- wind farms.

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: the future of mass transportation

(OP)
A nuclear accident is always disastrous to mankind. Chernobyl disaster has had much more hazardous consequences for humans than Kursk submarine. Imagine a nuclear plane falling down over a populous area, what should happen?

I am not a fundamentalist on nuclear power applications such as “safety” power stations located in desert regions. For the moment Hydrogen is still a utopia but in the future it has great potentiality. I am not sure if one can keep going on feeding the deep space with all kind of satellite wastes. Kyoto is another history! In my opinion is a civilized agreement of political good intentions to buy licences of polluting while avoiding industrial development in non-developed countries. Speaking about cars, one has to think in other type of fuels and other type of recyclable construction materials, which in the moment depend on petroleum.

Actually the majority of occidental industries are depended on oil prices and resources, with the barrel at 70 US dollars it is time to start considering other sustainable alternatives.

In a realistic way unhappily I agree with PSE when he says with black humour “The exhaustion of easily retrievable petroleum will spark another world war which will subsequently reduce the population "mass" ”

Luis      

RE: the future of mass transportation

Yes the falling nuclear powered plane might be a problem too hard to solve. Maybe the improvements in electrical energy storage may allow us to build electrically driven planes that just need a power outlet at the airport. I am just daydreaming. I haven't even checked how many years worth of U-235 there would be available in case nuclear replaces oil completely.

Re hydrogen, I'm not sure, I have difficulty to understand how it can be interesting to recover H2 from water and then burn it back to water. Who could explain that or who could tell me where else we could get H2 from except from hydrocarbons?

Anyway as mentioned in another thread I think the problem of finding something else to propell us around is only minor compared to the problem of finding materials to replace polymers from oil. Back to the wooden toothbrush?

RE: the future of mass transportation

There was a nuclear powered plane project.
http://www.fas.org/nuke/space/c03anp.htm

The plane would supposedly fly for months.  The problem would have been upon landing the crew would find that the contamination emmitted by the plane would have killed everyone on earth.

RE: the future of mass transportation

(OP)
That is the point nate2003

There are several combustible solutions for next future petroleum exhaust; the problem is how to achieve there.

Luis

RE: the future of mass transportation

There's one HUGE difference between a nuclear submarine and a nuclear 747.  The former has no problem carrying the required shielding.

TTFN



RE: the future of mass transportation

Nostradamus sez:

My bet is oil-from-coal will be used to generate fuel for jets, tractors and possibly road haulage. I'm not too sure of the efficiency, I'd guess 30% or so, so it will affect emissions.

For cars, electric commuter cars will become more common, and eventually the farmers in the USA will be ignored and you'll start importing ethanol from those countries that can grow it efficiently. This will be much more expensive than current gasoline prices, so expect car sizes to drop a bit. I don't know what engine will be used, I don't know if an ethanol reformulator is practical, if so then a fuel cell car might take off. My bet is IC, maybe with a plug-in hybrid approach.

Hydrogen is a bust, bio-diesel is a maybe.

I know nothing about oil sands and so on, if it is viable then it'll run alongside oil-from-coal.

Cargo ships will run on pulverised coal, or possibly town gas.

Trains will be electric.

Electricity will be generated by coal and nuclear. Renewables will still be a small government funded minority for most nations.

When oil/gas starts to get too expensive for electricity generation Kyoto will dissappear in a cloud of coal-smoke.

Cheers

Greg Locock

Please see FAQ731-376 for tips on how to make the best use of Eng-Tips.

RE: the future of mass transportation

Greg,
as usual you said it clearly !  At current prices oil sands oil is very viable ( hence the interest;  political stability is a plus,  despite the damned Liberals )
Price will dictate the chosen technology with admittedly some political infuence / meddling.

RE: the future of mass transportation

macmil,

It is currently a Conservative gov't in Canada. smile

"Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater."   
Albert Einstein
Have you read FAQ731-376 to make the best use of Eng-Tips Forums?

RE: the future of mass transportation

Oil shale deposits in the U.S. in the Rockies hold as much potential as the Canadian tar sands.

RE: the future of mass transportation

To Ashereng;  I am well aware that the Conservatives are currently the minority governing party;  my point is that there is political stability in Canada, even despite the fact that the Liberals have been in power for the significant majority of the past number of years.  Sorry if I didn't make it clear;  but I take most opportunities to show my feelings for the Liberals .

RE: the future of mass transportation

Is mass transportation required in 2050? I prefer to bet on virtual reality.

RE: the future of mass transportation

Back to the horse & buggy?

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