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Sustainable Petroleum  RSS feed

 
Benjamin Burchall
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Location: Long Beach, CA
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If we eliminated using petroleum as fuel, could petroleum use for petro based products be non-harmful to the environment (provided we used a power source for processing that is also sustainable)? If not, why? How much less harmful would petro be?
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Personally I think it could be significantly less damaging, possibly by orders of magnitude,  even though the process of getting it out of the ground is hazardous to the environment.  On the other hand, if we're not using it for transportation, there's likely enough hydrocarbons already out and about in the form of plastics and other materials which could be recycled for our needs, instead of wasted. So we wouldn't need to drill for oil anymore, or at least not for much of it.  In my opinion. 
 
Hugh Hawk
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Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
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Fuels make up 81% of use.

We could improve recycling by a lot in many areas to reduce the remaining 19% even further.

Asphalt takes 3%, doesn't seem like a lot, but considering there are tens of millions of barrels of oil produced every day, it is a lot.  Perhaps we can reduce our need for asphalt by cutting down hardscaping, and there might also be alternative ways to produce a product that does the same job.



 
Benjamin Burchall
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Location: Long Beach, CA
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What's the reference for that pie chart?
 
Hugh Hawk
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
 
                                
Posts: 98
Location: Eastern Colorado, USA
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Plastics.

Not, of course, your bottled water bottles.  Probably the majority of plastics made nowadays are wasted.  Not good.

But when they're made into PVC pipe, rain barrels, car bodies, window frames, computer monitors... perfectly useful things that can be recycled at the end of their useful life, I see this as worthwhile use of petroleum.

Burning it, not so much, when we have the technology to make more renewable fuels.
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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We need cradle to cradle design for all manufactured products that aren't compostable.  It really isn't that tough, and actually makes sense for the bottom line. 

Self-assembling 3d printers like the reprap are being designed with the idea of home-scale manufacture and recycling of products using a variety of materials - plastics, glass, metals.  Open source technology can solve these problems more efficiently than our centralized manufacturing system.

If we stopped using oil for fuel now, our existing wells would provide enough oil for non-fuel uses for a LONG time to come.  But this is an indulgent, theoretical question brought to you by the power of fossil fuels. 
 
Benjamin Burchall
Posts: 182
Location: Long Beach, CA
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yukkuri_kame wrote:
But this is an indulgent, theoretical question brought to you by the power of fossil fuels. 


Hey! I'm in indulgent person! 
 
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