The Death Of Fossil Fuels

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:28 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:27 am
Grumble wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:14 am
FlammableFlower wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:11 am
Renault stopped the battery lease thing on the Zoe last year. Technically it was still an option when I got mine in Feb this year but the dealer didn't even bother to mention it.
I was just coming to say this. Also the warranty on the battery is longer than the warranty on the car - 8 years as opposed to 5 - because the real life experience shows the batteries are more robust than anyone originally thought.
Which is why Tesla are considering using battery packs as structural components in their next $25k cars*. It will lower the cost of the car, but raise the cost of any battery repair. Which is moot if the batteries last longer than the rest of the thing.

*So much for BEVs just being ”rich men’s toys” as stated by another member of this parish a while back.
I mean, that's still quite a lot of money. Most car purchases are of second-hand vehicles. $25k is almost the median personal income, which is a lot to spend on a car.

I know I'm at the bottom end of the market with my 20-year-old hatchback, but it will take at least a decade for them to percolate down through the market after fossil fuel vehicles are banned - so the sooner we get on with that the better. New Zealand's going for 2025, which is a refreshingly non-climate-denial position.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Herainestold » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:00 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:28 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:27 am
Grumble wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:14 am

I was just coming to say this. Also the warranty on the battery is longer than the warranty on the car - 8 years as opposed to 5 - because the real life experience shows the batteries are more robust than anyone originally thought.
Which is why Tesla are considering using battery packs as structural components in their next $25k cars*. It will lower the cost of the car, but raise the cost of any battery repair. Which is moot if the batteries last longer than the rest of the thing.

*So much for BEVs just being ”rich men’s toys” as stated by another member of this parish a while back.
I mean, that's still quite a lot of money. Most car purchases are of second-hand vehicles. $25k is almost the median personal income, which is a lot to spend on a car.

I know I'm at the bottom end of the market with my 20-year-old hatchback, but it will take at least a decade for them to percolate down through the market after fossil fuel vehicles are banned - so the sooner we get on with that the better. New Zealand's going for 2025, which is a refreshingly non-climate-denial position.
Need to outlaw all IC vehicles by 2025.

Who will be brave enough to do it?

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:24 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 9:28 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:27 am
Grumble wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:14 am

I was just coming to say this. Also the warranty on the battery is longer than the warranty on the car - 8 years as opposed to 5 - because the real life experience shows the batteries are more robust than anyone originally thought.
Which is why Tesla are considering using battery packs as structural components in their next $25k cars*. It will lower the cost of the car, but raise the cost of any battery repair. Which is moot if the batteries last longer than the rest of the thing.

*So much for BEVs just being ”rich men’s toys” as stated by another member of this parish a while back.
I mean, that's still quite a lot of money. Most car purchases are of second-hand vehicles. $25k is almost the median personal income, which is a lot to spend on a car.

I know I'm at the bottom end of the market with my 20-year-old hatchback, but it will take at least a decade for them to percolate down through the market after fossil fuel vehicles are banned - so the sooner we get on with that the better. New Zealand's going for 2025, which is a refreshingly non-climate-denial position.
New cars are expensive, the average price of a new car in the USA is about $35K. So while the next generation EVs won't be bargain basement cheapest available, they are going to be cheaper than average. Give it a few more years beyond that and cheap arse BEVs will appear. Batteries have dropped in price by 88% over the last decade, are are currently dropping by about 13% per year or so.

As you say, you can't buy cheap second hand BEVs at the moment, as they are aren't any 20 year old bangers available. Time will deliver that.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Bird on a Fire » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:31 pm

Yes, it's very encouraging that they're so affordable compared to new cars in general, especially while the infrastructure is developing and people have uncertainties about them.

I'm normally in favour of drastic moves, but I think trying to replace every motor vehicle on the planet in 5 years might be a bit complicated and probably have side effects.

There's an argument for tolerating ICEs and compensating with additional measures in other sectors, like electricity generation and land use. We could probably close all coal, for instance - much easier with fewer, mostly centrally controlled assets.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:50 pm

Nowhere in the world is going to ban ICE's this decade, even if bans on the sales of new ones are in the pipeline. There will be time transition the whole road fleet over to zero emissions vehicles, which won't cripple the economy in the process, and a functioning economy is needed to allow us to transition away from fossil fuels. I'd prefer that be accelerated, but have a feeling that once BEVs reach price parity with ICE vehicles, the flip to BEVs will be remarkably sudden and only be supply constrained as the manufacturers will be hard pressed to make factories fast enough.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:23 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:50 pm
Nowhere in the world is going to ban ICE's this decade, even if bans on the sales of new ones are in the pipeline. There will be time transition the whole road fleet over to zero emissions vehicles, which won't cripple the economy in the process, and a functioning economy is needed to allow us to transition away from fossil fuels. I'd prefer that be accelerated, but have a feeling that once BEVs reach price parity with ICE vehicles, the flip to BEVs will be remarkably sudden and only be supply constrained as the manufacturers will be hard pressed to make factories fast enough.
I doubt it’ll be that sudden.

Firstly, I drive a 15 year old car and I’m hoping to get another five years out of it. I’d like to replace it with a BEV. Overall, it’s going to take a long time before people replace existing vehicles. Someone else buying an ICE in 2025 might not want to replace it until 2035 or 2045.

Secondly, BEVs are great for people who can park them in a garage and charge them overnight. They aren’t practical for people who rely upon street parking. Until there’s a reliable way to charge cars parked at the side of the road lots of people are going to want ICE cars.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:50 pm

I meant sale of new new vehicles will quickly flip to BEVs, not the entire road fleet. Should have been clearer.

Nearly all the houses on my street are without off street parking, there are now four BEVs on it, all of which are parked on the street and charge with a lamp post socket. But my street is in the minority, something like 85% of car owners have off street parking in the U.K. Some of that last 15% will find it harder to charge to start with, but I bet a large proportion of those without access to parking won’t be buying new cars either.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by JQH » Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:56 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:23 pm
bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:50 pm
Nowhere in the world is going to ban ICE's this decade, even if bans on the sales of new ones are in the pipeline. There will be time transition the whole road fleet over to zero emissions vehicles, which won't cripple the economy in the process, and a functioning economy is needed to allow us to transition away from fossil fuels. I'd prefer that be accelerated, but have a feeling that once BEVs reach price parity with ICE vehicles, the flip to BEVs will be remarkably sudden and only be supply constrained as the manufacturers will be hard pressed to make factories fast enough.
I doubt it’ll be that sudden.

Firstly, I drive a 15 year old car and I’m hoping to get another five years out of it. I’d like to replace it with a BEV. Overall, it’s going to take a long time before people replace existing vehicles. Someone else buying an ICE in 2025 might not want to replace it until 2035 or 2045.

Secondly, BEVs are great for people who can park them in a garage and charge them overnight. They aren’t practical for people who rely upon street parking. Until there’s a reliable way to charge cars parked at the side of the road lots of people are going to want ICE cars.
Charge points are starting to appear on the pavements around here. When they ate as ubiquitous as lamp posts keeping an EV charged up won't be a problem.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Martin Y » Tue Dec 22, 2020 12:53 pm

bjn wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:50 pm
... something like 85% of car owners have off street parking in the U.K. Some of that last 15% will find it harder to charge to start with, but I bet a large proportion of those without access to parking won’t be buying new cars either.
That figure sounds very high to me. Even in relatively leafy places like here there are plenty of older streets where it's pot luck whether you find a space in your own street, and lots of two-car households with room to move one off the street. Presumably it includes blocks of flats where the parking area isn't literally the street but for these purposes might as well be, or council lockups which I gather typically don't have electricity.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:04 am

Transforming carbon dioxide into jet fuel using an organic combustion-synthesized Fe-Mn-K catalyst

With mounting concerns over climate change, the utilisation or conversion of carbon dioxide into sustainable, synthetic hydrocarbons fuels, most notably for transportation purposes, continues to attract worldwide interest. This is particularly true in the search for sustainable or renewable aviation fuels. These offer considerable potential since, instead of consuming fossil crude oil, the fuels are produced from carbon dioxide using sustainable renewable hydrogen and energy. We report here a synthetic protocol to the fixation of carbon dioxide by converting it directly into aviation jet fuel using novel, inexpensive iron-based catalysts. We prepare the Fe-Mn-K catalyst by the so-called Organic Combustion Method, and the catalyst shows a carbon dioxide conversion through hydrogenation to hydrocarbons in the aviation jet fuel range of 38.2%, with a yield of 17.2%, and a selectivity of 47.8%, and with an attendant low carbon monoxide (5.6%) and methane selectivity (10.4%). The conversion reaction also produces light olefins ethylene, propylene, and butenes, totalling a yield of 8.7%, which are important raw materials for the petrochemical industry and are presently also only obtained from fossil crude oil. As this carbon dioxide is extracted from air, and re-emitted from jet fuels when combusted in flight, the overall effect is a carbon-neutral fuel. This contrasts with jet fuels produced from hydrocarbon fossil sources where the combustion process unlocks the fossil carbon and places it into the atmosphere, in longevity, as aerial carbon - carbon dioxide.
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20214-z

Anyone have any idea whether this is feasible as an alternative to fossil fuels?

As in can produce enough and isn’t incredibly expensive.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by shpalman » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:20 am

Bear in mind that a catalyst can't change the equilibrium of a reaction, it can only get you there sooner. In this case, the lower energy state for C, H, and O is carbon dioxide and water. (Plants use the energy* from sunlight to make it go in the other direction).

This catalyst seems to facilitate the reaction CO2 + hydrogen -> hydrocarbons + H2O

So, you'd need to make a lot of hydrogen from water using cheap renewable energy.
molto tricky

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by nekomatic » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:31 am

The idea of making synthetic fuels from CO2 has been around for a long time and is fine in principle, you just need lots of clean energy to do it with.

South Africa used to be the experts in synfuels as people wouldn’t sell them any oil, so they had to make them from coal. The carbon footprint of that is absolutely hideous though. I think China did the same, but stopped for different reasons.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Woodchopper » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:52 am

Thanks, both of you.

So basically, if the world is able to produce abundant cheap clean energy then an extra bonus will be that airliners could be powered from fuel made from hydrogen and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:00 am

Woodchopper wrote:
Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:52 am
Thanks, both of you.

So basically, if the world is able to produce abundant cheap clean energy then an extra bonus will be that airliners could be powered from fuel made from hydrogen and atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Yes, and that would be a great use of oversupply once we’ve sorted out storage for “normal” use. I suspect we’ll see a change in usage where demand follows supply a lot more than it does now. I know this is already a consideration for the national grid with demand side response, but for intensive processes like smelting metals, especially aluminium, and new processes like making fuel from atmospheric CO2, they could easily run only during periods of excess supply. I don’t think we do much aluminium smelting in the U.K., but if smelting iron becomes cheaper that could return.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:37 am

If a process is capital intensive, you don’t want to run it intermittently as under utilisation of capital will drive up cost of the thing being produced. Even worse, some processes, like continuous smelting of aluminium or plate glass production, can’t easily be stopped and started at will.

For fuel synthesis, you either need very cheap electrolisers or you do the electrolysis and synfuel production in a place with better continuity of supply. This could mean interconnects and diversified grids, or doing it on the coast of places like Morocco, which have abundant wind and sunshine, or both.

Interestingly, the EU’s green energy plan is trying to invest in a reducing the cost of electrolisers that can be efficiently stop/started at will, unlike the much cheaper electrolisers that have to be continuously run.

See my last post in the Hydrogen thread, I witter on about some of this, in reference to this article on the production of hydrogen and synfuels and this article about the demand side.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:42 pm

We now have a fully certified battery powered aircraft. The Velis from Slovenian company Pipistrel. It's a 2 seater trainer that can fly for 50 minutes, costs the same as an ICE equivalent, cheaper to run and much much quieter to boot. They expect air time to double in the next few years. Apparently they've sold 50 already.

It's not a competitor to an A380, but the general aviation market is sizeable, something like 20,000 GA aircraft in the UK.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:43 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:42 pm
We now have a fully certified battery powered aircraft. The Velis from Slovenian company Pipistrel. It's a 2 seater trainer that can fly for 50 minutes, costs the same as an ICE equivalent, cheaper to run and much much quieter to boot. They expect air time to double in the next few years. Apparently they've sold 50 already.

It's not a competitor to an A380, but the general aviation market is sizeable, something like 20,000 GA aircraft in the UK.
Excellent, no doubt it’s the first of many. Being first is a definite achievement though.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bmforre » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:48 am

bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:42 pm
We now have a fully certified battery powered aircraft. The Velis from Slovenian company Pipistrel. It's a 2 seater trainer that can fly for 50 minutes, costs the same as an ICE equivalent, cheaper to run and much much quieter to boot. They expect air time to double in the next few years. Apparently they've sold 50 already.

It's not a competitor to an A380, but the general aviation market is sizeable, something like 20,000 GA aircraft in the UK.
When do you expect a battery powered aircraft with pressure cabin? I believe that is a requirement for attracting passengers nowadays.

The first Pipistrel in Norway fell in sea some time ago after the engine failed in flight. All electrical equipment non-salvageable.
New plane ordered.

Political response here was to declare all inland passenger flying must run on electric power by 2040.
Meanwhile Airbus have put development of electric passenger planes on hold.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by bjn » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am

There are an awful lot of planes that aren’t pressurised, mostly in the General Aviation market.

I do remember the 737-MAX having the odd bit of teething problem, it doesn’t have electric propulsion.

We will probably see the first commercial passenger electric planes this decade. For example the Swedish company Heart is claiming 2026 for the their commercial 19 seater. It will be capable of flying 400km, which they claim can extend to 2000km in subsequent models. 2000km is sufficient for 85% of current flights. This may fail, but someone will get there.

You will never fly transatlantic with batteries, but we almost certainly will on short hops. We’ll actually be seeing commercial operation of short hop serial electric flights in Scotland in a few years, by modifying an existing airframe.

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by shpalman » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:21 am

bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
There are an awful lot of planes that aren’t pressurised, mostly in the General Aviation market.
What proportion of humanity's global greenhouse gas emissions come from piston-powered general aviation?
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
I do remember the 737-MAX having the odd bit of teething problem, it doesn’t have electric propulsion.
Those problems were also caused by a drive towards efficiency - the high-bypass turbofans being too big to fit under the wings - while trying to maintain type certification.
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
We will probably see the first commercial passenger electric planes this decade. For example the Swedish company Heart is claiming 2026 for the their commercial 19 seater. It will be capable of flying 400km, which they claim can extend to 2000km in subsequent models. 2000km is sufficient for 85% of current flights. This may fail, but someone will get there.
I don't think they'll get there by 2026.
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
You will never fly transatlantic with batteries, but we almost certainly will on short hops. We’ll actually be seeing commercial operation of short hop serial electric flights in Scotland in a few years, by modifying an existing airframe.
Experts will work to convert a nine-seat Britten-Norman -- an aircraft often used for short flights between islands -- by integrating an hybrid-electric propulsion system into the vehicle.
The aircraft will be capable of taking off and flying short routes fully electric, a spokeswoman for Cranfield University confirmed to CNN, while a low emission engine will work to recharge the aircraft's batteries during the flight.
The concept of regenerative braking doesn't make a lot of sense for airliners by the way.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:55 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:21 am
The concept of regenerative braking doesn't make a lot of sense for airliners by the way.
Doesn’t it? Surely when you descend you can put the engines in reverse, especially when coming in to land.
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
You will never fly transatlantic with batteries
Doesn’t that depend on the energy density of the batteries? Not with current technology, no, but never is a long time.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by shpalman » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:16 am

Grumble wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:55 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:21 am
The concept of regenerative braking doesn't make a lot of sense for airliners by the way.
Doesn’t it? Surely when you descend you can put the engines in reverse, especially when coming in to land.
Maybe for braking on the runway, but certainly not during approach. The engines are spooled up a bit since there's all the extra drag from flaps and landing gear to deal with. (However, they're also spooled up because if they were completely at idle they wouldn't react quickly enough if they were needed for e.g. a go-around, or just generally, and this is an issue you wouldn't have with electric engines. Actually I'm not sure how much of an issue this is with turboprops but it's certainly an issue with turbofans; however, electric engines are almost certainly going to be considered for replacing turboprops first.)

Descent is usually done at idle, to make most efficient use of the potential energy of all that altitude. You might sometimes see flight spoilers deployed if they want to descend a bit quicker (or avoid breaking the 250 kts IAS limit below 10,000'), and that's the situation in which there'd be a bit of regeneration, but it's not like that's more than a few seconds. (Again, this applies to turbofan aircraft, I've got much less experience riding on turboprop flights, maybe 5 flights out of >130.)
Grumble wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:55 am
bjn wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:03 am
You will never fly transatlantic with batteries
Doesn’t that depend on the energy density of the batteries? Not with current technology, no, but never is a long time.
It's unlikely we'll find any elements to the left of lithium in the periodic table any time in the next ten years or so.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:39 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:16 am
It's unlikely we'll find any elements to the left of lithium in the periodic table any time in the next ten years or so.
What the theoretical energy density of a lithium battery, and what’s the current state of the art in an as built battery pack? There’s room to at least double, and a lithium-air battery is a theoretical possibility for aeroplanes I’ve heard? Don’t know if anyone’s even got one working in a lab yet though.
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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by shpalman » Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:53 am

Grumble wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:39 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:16 am
It's unlikely we'll find any elements to the left of lithium in the periodic table any time in the next ten years or so.
What the theoretical energy density of a lithium battery, and what’s the current state of the art in an as built battery pack? There’s room to at least double, and a lithium-air battery is a theoretical possibility for aeroplanes I’ve heard? Don’t know if anyone’s even got one working in a lab yet though.
https://www.theregister.com/2020/12/30/ ... batteries/
molto tricky

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Re: The Death Of Fossil Fuels

Post by Grumble » Fri Jan 01, 2021 11:21 am

shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:53 am
Grumble wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:39 am
shpalman wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 9:16 am
It's unlikely we'll find any elements to the left of lithium in the periodic table any time in the next ten years or so.
What the theoretical energy density of a lithium battery, and what’s the current state of the art in an as built battery pack? There’s room to at least double, and a lithium-air battery is a theoretical possibility for aeroplanes I’ve heard? Don’t know if anyone’s even got one working in a lab yet though.
https://www.theregister.com/2020/12/30/ ... batteries/
That’s a strange article, they do know that Quantumscape aren't claiming a new chemistry don’t they? It’s still Li-ion.

Unnoticed by me at the time it looks like Solid State Battery are further along than QuantumScape as they are already shipping samples for testing by others and are producing multi-layer cells not the single layers typical of initial lab testing.

https://cen.acs.org/energy/energy-stora ... wer/98/i40
I know this is vitriol, no solution, spleen venting, but I feel better having screamed, don’t you?

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