Posts Tagged ‘carbon’

Area Man Goes His Own Way in a 1960s-Era Mercedes Benz

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

This is a 1969 (or so) 280S (or thereabouts) with a straight six engine and (possibly) a four-on-the-tree manual transmission:

Click to expand

It pollutes* more than all the other cars you see put together…

No matter, he’s going the distance.

*Leaving the carbon dioxide issue aside.

The Audis are Coming! The Synthetic RenDiesel-Powered Audis are Coming to San Francisco – Is This “Clean Diesel” or Not?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I suppose the Fischer–Tropsch process of turning various things into liquid fuel isn’t just for Nazi Germany anymore – news comes today about some Audis powered by synthetic diesel that came from natural gas.

They’ll be touring the state soon, starting off up in tiny Eureka and then hitting San Francisco on October 19th.

The whole point is to show off RenDiesel fuel made at America’s only synfuels plant. (The place in Mississippi makes just ten barrels a day – not very much but they have plans to expand production.)

I get the feeling that this effort won’t impress the StreetsBlog people, but I could be wrong. Anyway, all the deets are below.

From natural gas to diesel to your Audi A3 TDI:

Click to expand

To the pilots of these Audis, I have four words:

Samoa Cookhouse (up near Eureka); und

Bon voyage

All the deets:

‘Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future’ to Feature Audi A3 TDIs Running 1,000 Miles — the Length of California — on Synthetic RenDiesel®

Clean diesel journey a part of Green Car of the Year Tour(TM)

EUREKA, Calif., Oct. 12– A pair of 2010 Audi A3 TDI cars are scheduled to embark on a four day, 1,000 mile journey beginning October 18, 2010 driving exclusively on synthetic RenDiesel® fuel produced from natural gas by Rentech, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: RTK). The Audi A3 TDI® is Green Car Journal’s 2010 Green Car of the Year®.

The drive by Green Car Journal editors and invited VIPs is part of the magazine’s Green Car of the Year Tour(TM), which this year focuses on the important role that advanced clean diesel vehicles play in efficiency and CO2 reduction, plus the potential that lies ahead for sustainable non-petroleum fuels. Clean diesel models have captured top honors as the Green Car of the Year® the past two years. This California stage of the tour follows the magazine’s August 2010 Green Car of the Year Tour(TM) activity at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

The two A3 TDIs will leave on their 1,000-mile journey from Eureka, California’s largest northernmost city located on Humboldt Bay, heading toward San Diego, the state’s largest southernmost city. Stops along the way include Sacramento (October 18), San Francisco (October 19), and San Diego (October 20), with a return northward to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles for a Green Car of the Year Tour(TM) wrap-up event on October 21.

“With many thousands of miles already behind the wheel of Audi’s outstanding A3 TDI over the past year, Green Car Journal editors are well acquainted with the model’s thriftiness and fun-to-drive nature,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of the Green Car Journal and Editor of  “Running on a 100% low carbon fuel will make this 1,000 mile journey all the more satisfying.”

Ever more deets, after the jump


The Futility of Single-Speed Mountain Bikes on the Hilly Streets of San Francisco

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

This guy is all over town- see him with his surfboard trailer coming back from a day at dolphin-rich Ocean Beach? On this part of Scott Street in the greater NoPA / EaPA / Alamo SquareWestern Addition area,  he needs to take both lanes and snake his way up, as if he were ascending the twisty bit of Lombard. 

Which is fine – dude’s a stud, of course. But it seems that $20 worth of Chinese derailer and cassette would be the perfect finishing touch for this expensive custom-looking  rig*. Unless “too many gears spoil the ride” or something.

Click to expand

Keep on keeping on.

*Upon further review, this thing is so custom that it might not actally be considered an MTB – the rear tire appears to be a good deal narrower than the front, for example. Wonder if the tiny surfboard wheels are in matching carbon fibre. Wouldn’t be surprised…

DriveClean – All New Cars in California to get SMOG and Greenhouse Gas Ratings

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Back a half-century ago, Oklahoma Senator Almer Stillwell “Mike” Monroney gave us the ubiquitous window sticker that you’ll see on the side of just about every new vehicle for sale. For your protection, of course. Thanks Mike.

But window space is going to get a little more crowded with information now that California Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have teamed up to give you DriveClean. Now, you’re your going to get a SMOG score plus a Global Warming Score:

Smog is a haze-like form of air pollution produced by the photochemical reaction of sunlight with volatile organic compounds (including non-methane organic gases) and oxides of nitrogen that have been released into the atmosphere, especially by automobile operation.

Greenhouse gases (ghg) emitted from vehicles include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (NO2), and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs) from air conditioner refrigerant. Greenhouse gas emissions are the sum of all the ghg emissions and are identified as the CO2-equivalent value.


So, something like a giant hybrid Lexus LS 600h L, which gets a relatively good Smog Score of 8, will get a poorer Global Warming Score. On the other hand, if they ever tested an old school Honda CRX HF, it would get a very poor Smog Score and a very good Global Warming Score. So it’s educational to have two separate scores.

The all-electric “2008 Tesla Roadster” (both of them! haha!) has a rating of a perfect 10 due to its “0 lbs.” of Annual Smog Emissions. The catch is this: ‘Does not include upstream emissions.” Uh oh. It’s a little funny how some people will bend over backwards to come up with a nonsensical 135 MPG figure for an all-electric car, but other people can’t even hazard a guess as to “upstream emissions,” which exist. (Of course, you power your Tesla with solar, of course, but averaging out emissions from coal fired and nuclear panner plants and the like wouldn’t be a crazy thing to do.)

So, check it out. And don’t miss the acronym page, with plenty of fun phrases like “Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle.” (How would that compare with something like “Partial Herpes-Free Sex Partner?”).  

During a confusing time when an outfit like Lexus categorizes its hybrid products separately, (as if they’re an entirely different species of vehicle even though they are pretty similar to their gas-only stablemates), these ratings from DriveClean could have merit. So far, so good.

Al Gore to be Encased in Carbonite Upon Death – The Future of Carbon Sequestration

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Full-service public relations and public affairs consultancy Hill and Knowltonannounced today that former vice president Al Gore, upon his death, will be encased in carbonite and then buried. This type of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) was only made possible this year through the use of nanotechnology.

Until recently this was our understanding of carbonite, made famous in Star Wars V – The Empire Strikes Back:

“By the rules of chemical nomenclature, the formula for a “carbonite anion” would be CO22-, which is thought to be an impossible formation (methanoate being preferentially formed instead).”

Impossible no longer.

Artist’s conception of the former vice president encased in the densest form of carbon known to man:


Just one treatment of this double carbon material will take the equivalent of 1200 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The only downside will be the expense of a slightly oversized coffin. The upside is that Al Gore, Jr. will be the most severely carbon negative person in recorded history.

A relieved Hill & Knowlton spokesperson confided to one reporter that this announcement will lay to rest the controversy over the greenhouse emissions of Al Gore’s house, for some reason an issue of almost daily concern to the D.C.-based House of Flack.

If only Han Solo were alive to see this day…

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District Wants to Tax Carbon Emissions

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Per the New York Times, Businesses in Bay Area May Pay Fee for Emissions. That’s because the government agency that regulates sources of air pollution within nine San Francisco Bay Area Counties, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), is trying classify carbon dioxide, among other gasses, as a pollutant.

Can the BAAQMD pull this off and have a new law operational by July 1, 2008? Signs point to NO. But they’ll give it a shot anyway.

Of course you yourself are a greenhouse gas emitter because you expell carbon dioxide with every move you make, every breath you take. What if you were charged at the same rate as proposed – how much would you get charged (or taxed, it’s all the same) per year?

At the rate of 4.4 cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted you’d be on hook for 1.5 cents a year, assuming you exhale 704 pounds of Co2 per year. You could afford that, right?

How much would this factory have to pay? Lots and lots.