Friday, September 04, 2009

Goodbye Gasoline?

Channel 12.3 (WHYY) re-broadcast on 3 Sept 09 the Alan Alda Scientific American show "Goodbye Gasoline.".

The show includes the observation that DaimlerChrysler plans to sell fuel cell vehicles to commercial fleet operators by 2010.
Perhaps one could include "Goodbye DaimlerChrysler" as an update.

Alda mentioned the GM HyWire, but neglected: To make this clear look at the progression. GM's original HyWire fuel cell concept had no batteries onboard and relied on throttling the fuel cell (like a gasoline motor) to change output and speed. As they built HyWire it likely became clear fuel cells weren't going to throttle. When the drivable Hywire was shown it was a fuelcell hybrid and the "batteryless" concept faded. [from

There is an allusion to patents in the show. To the effect that car companies have suppressed battery technology. It would seem that the fake plotline of "The Formula" and George C. Scott lives on. [Volvo was mentioned in the PBS show, tho the context not clear.]

Of petroleum: BP on Wednesday [2 Sept 09] announced a "giant” oil discovery in the Gulf about 250 miles southeast of Houston. Although the company won’t know how much oil that translates to without additional exploration, a spokesman told Bloomberg News the Tiber field will be bigger than another of its Gulf finds that holds about 3 billion barrels.
BP’s announcement followed by a few days one from Iran that it has found 8.8 billion barrels in four new layers of its Sousangerd oilfield.

***In passing, although these old PBS shows are pleasant enough, as they become outdated, they present a sort of "derelicts at sea" danger. As "frontiers" become deadends, updating is needed. The show is, however, a poster child for the dangers of scientific hype.


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