Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

All Fossil Fuels were to run out

  1. May 28, 2004 #1
    What would Happen if,

    A) All Fossil Fuels were to run out

    B) Just Oil

    C) Just Coal

    D) just gas

    C) anything else u can think off

    I think

    B) Petrol Prices rising to like $10 per litre, People not buying petrol, Petrol Companies going backrupt, People with shares in compainies going backrupt, People unable to sell their useless cars. Airline services going bankrupt, and unable to sell their Jets, Etc for every form of transport. Forcing people to buy Electric Transport in first few years, then most governments econmy going down the drain, unless putting a higher-charge on the electricity for cars. War against countries which still posess small oil deposits. Loss of most means of trade, everything rising in price, due to cost of Petrol (if they dont stop paying alltogether). People buying electric cars / other means of transportation will increase the money/trade again but still the money from petrol wont be there, leading to nearly Inivitable "world depression". Especially with the crash of the giant Oil compainies and loss of all shares/stock.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2004 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Solar energy will be deviated somehow to synthetise fuel. As the oil producer countries are also heavy "sun producers" countries, the thing will remain stable more of less.
  4. May 28, 2004 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    At $10 a gallon for gas, alternative energies become cost effective. I agree with arivero that a lot of effort will be put into arificial gas, rather than conversion to the hydrogen economy. This is mainly so existing gas stations and pumps can still be used, versus the "hydrogen economy" that would involve a hugely expensive conversion. I suppose hybrid cars will be the standard, small liquid fuel engine charging a battery. BTW batteries are finally about to get better, due to nanotech.
  5. May 28, 2004 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    nice scenario, and the fuel would not have to be only hydrogen either
    since CO2 can be extracted from the air and hydrogen will react with CO2

    but the last time I looked, certain countries (China, US, India) were listed as having vast coal reserves. an order of magnitude more carbon in the form of coal than there ever was in the form of petroleum, maybe more.

    the prospect of people continuing to use hydrocarbon fuel but just making it synthetically from coal, long after petroleum is exhausted, carries with it the idea of serious global warming and other possible downsides

    solar electricity use (includes hydropower and windpower) is certainly apt to increase, maybe with some benefit to sunny countries as arivero suggests, but even with a big increase in solar electric generation it seems likely to me that people are going to continue to want to burn hydrocarbon fuel for certain purposes and as soon as oil is expensive enough they will synthesize it from coal-----so the hydrocarbon habit is apt to be a very tough one to break.

    [edit: I see selfAdjoint already answered, while i was thinking, and said
    synthetic fuel-----I agree with the basic outlines of his reply: filling stations, hybrid cars etc. versus a plain hydrogen system]
    Last edited: May 28, 2004
  6. May 28, 2004 #5
    I don't think we should just stop there.

    Home heating/ cooling where ever you might be, is a great concern as well.

    What methods in the construction industry could better speak to minimizing our dependency on a energy sector[?] that is spiralling out of control?
  7. May 29, 2004 #6


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I don't know how much of the load wind power will ever be able to carry. I personally have driven past big wind-powered generators in southern California, southern Wyoming, and western Texas. I don't doubt there are more in other places.

    Deming and Grants in New Mexico are two places that are always windy when I am passing through. Hmmm... there may be some potential for wind power in those places.
  8. May 29, 2004 #7
    What about using the earth for stabilization of temperature, and it's depth?
  9. May 29, 2004 #8
    Sol2 i dont understand that post, are we moving into the Gaia Hypothesis now?
  10. May 29, 2004 #9
    Because I am looking at trying to reduce energy dependance, part of the probelm with energy consumption is either using it to cool or to heat.

    One of the ways to reduce this demand is to have the air at a temperature already at a comfortable value, so how would you do this? Nothing mysterious about it. Using the earth, if you bury long lengths of pipe, how long would you need this pipe in order to have the value at approximately six to seven feet deep, what volme of energy would you need to heat or cool if air is sucked through those lines? How large do these lines have to be?

    I think there are enough engineers here to answer this question.

    Second, if you think about house construction in the areas in the states that experience these terrible tornados what kind of home would you construct that can withstand the forces of nature?

    There is a product that uses styrofoam and rebar, along with concrete make these homes very comfortable temperature wise, as well reduce costs. They use hurricane clips to tie those trusses to the foundation walls.

    So these points on home heating/cooling are very important in terms of energy conservation. Wood products are not a infinite source and supply, so its time to see our constructions methods take a drastic turn.

    But to humanize the planet is not a bad thing either. If you think of mass thinking in terms of a population, that is a tremendous amount of energy in conceptual thnking that has drastics consequences, especially if that society is hell bent. :devil:
    Last edited: May 29, 2004
  11. May 29, 2004 #10
    Hmm, yes that is one point, but what about the transport factor, especially going overseas
  12. May 29, 2004 #11

    If information can exist above the solid form of the earth, then what signatures can reveal the earths mineral makeup? Can we do this? If we look at the aurora borealis what information could be contained there .

    Also if such information can be gathered what recombination efforts could we materialize to counter the effect of earth's gravity? What material could we use in superconductors( flat space) to recognize the presence and nature of the vacuum in space, as dynamical?

    http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/9999/99994875F1.JPG [Broken]

    How was gravity probe B constructed?

    Can we make predictions about http://wc0.worldcrossing.com/WebX?14@243.KQ8Nbp7n7GE.17@.1dde61c6/18 [Broken] model?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 1, 2017
  13. May 30, 2004 #12
    Well at the moment i have no intention of visiting those sites, but i dont understand you, i'm only 15 doing unit 1 physics by distence education. how does the aurora borealis relate to "non-fossil-fueled" transportation?
  14. May 30, 2004 #13
    I can only respond to this point and leave it at that, other wise, I did not undertsand your point and I should of left it at ???????

    But it's there for the future, and maybe in that future, we might see some benefit? You will be older then. :smile:

    Last edited: May 30, 2004
  15. May 30, 2004 #14
    What i meant is when the fossil-fuels have been depleted, what can we use for transport? Especially when flying-sailing over seas.
  16. May 31, 2004 #15
    you guys are being sensationalist

    If all the fossil fuels were lost right now, then in about 6 months the government would start to use Hydrogen powered fuel. This is an extremely cheap and abundant (eg the ocean) source of fuel with no pollution. We could also use Biomass to generate our electricity, or of course fast breeder nuclear reactors. The only problem that would be created with having no oil is no more catalytic cracking and fractional distilation. This would mean that thousands of hydrocarbons would not be created. This would seriously limit certain processes that are vital to the way we live today.
  17. May 31, 2004 #16
    Sensationalism? Na.....:)

    I was talking about the "future.":)
  18. May 31, 2004 #17


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Lubricants and plastics depend on a supply of crude oil, don't they?

    Hydrogen technology is only as clean as the powerplants that produce the electricity to make the hydrogen.
  19. May 31, 2004 #18

    I was talking about the future as well. I just thought everybody's assumption that the world would collapse was a bit silly.
  20. May 31, 2004 #19
    Plastics + crude oil

    I think that you are right about the plastics thing, however i was talking about hydrogen fuel in cars, so to generate the electricity for the decomposition reaction you could use biomass.
  21. May 31, 2004 #20


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    But since biomass is carbon based, going that route would continue to load the atmosphere with carbon dioxide.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook