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BMW Diesel Owners / Enthusiasts
Do you own a diesel powered BMW? Maybe a 335d or a BMW x35d? Come and talk about what makes your car great!

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  #1  
Old 12-19-2014, 07:14 PM
sirbikes sirbikes is offline
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New Study Revels Diesel Vehicles Cleaner Than Electric Vehicles

Have not read the study but in places that get their electricity primarily from coal sources I would agree.

http://www.dieselarmy.com/news/new-s...tric-vehicles/
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2014, 04:32 AM
glangford glangford is offline
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I would tend to agree as well. Coal fired plants are notoriously dirty emitting sulfur, mercury, uranium and all sorts of nasty crap along with ash.

Aside from the toxins emitted, I've always questioned the efficiency of burning hydrocarbon fuels at a plant vs at the source. For example, if I were to burn an equivalent amount of no. 2 fuel oil at a plant, convert that to electricity, pipe that electricity to a home and use it to propel a 3000 lb electric car for X miles, you could for more miles miles (X+) by burning the same amount of fuel in a diesel version of the same 3000 lb car. Everytime energy is converted from one form to another, some is lost, and the conversion is not 100% effiecient. So from a C02 standpoint, you are putting out more C02 in the diesel energy to electric to battery, to mechanical as you are going straight diesel to mechanical. The diesel to electric in particular is a several step process of heating, steam driving a turbine (mechanical) and then converting to electricty. For these reasons I've always opposed the use of natural gas to drive gas turbine power plants vs the easy transportation of NG to be used at the source in home heating, cooking etc, but they do that because of the toxicity of coal combustion and power companies avoiding regulated scrubbing technologies for builds of new coal fired power plants.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2014, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by glangford View Post
I would tend to agree as well. Coal fired plants are notoriously dirty emitting sulfur, mercury, uranium and all sorts of nasty crap along with ash.

Aside from the toxins emitted, I've always questioned the efficiency of burning hydrocarbon fuels at a plant vs at the source. For example, if I were to burn an equivalent amount of no. 2 fuel oil at a plant, convert that to electricity, pipe that electricity to a home and use it to propel a 3000 lb electric car for X miles, you could for more miles miles (X+) by burning the same amount of fuel in a diesel version of the same 3000 lb car. Everytime energy is converted from one form to another, some is lost, and the conversion is not 100% effiecient. So from a C02 standpoint, you are putting out more C02 in the diesel energy to electric to battery, to mechanical as you are going straight diesel to mechanical. The diesel to electric in particular is a several step process of heating, steam driving a turbine (mechanical) and then converting to electricty. For these reasons I've always opposed the use of natural gas to drive gas turbine power plants vs the easy transportation of NG to be used at the source in home heating, cooking etc, but they do that because of the toxicity of coal combustion and power companies avoiding regulated scrubbing technologies for builds of new coal fired power plants.
A coal-fired (or natural gas or fuel oil) power plant is much more efficient than an internal combustion engine. That efficiency swamps the conversions and electrical distribution system losses. Large power plants are around 40%, while gas/diesel is in the 25%-30% range.

Natural gas turbine power plants have advantages over coal: 1) lower CO2 emissions (than coal), 2) easy to start/stop for peaking power (coal plants need to run at continuous high load), 3) smaller and easier to permit and site, 4) evens out yearly use of NG for heating/cooling (heat in north during winter, cooling in south during summer).

All these studies now use the "Well to Wheel" (WTW) regimes that account for the mining/drilling, refining, transport and distribution costs. It's a good term to Google and research...
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2014, 10:38 AM
wxmanCCM wxmanCCM is online now
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This study more or less mirrors a 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences ("Hidden Cost of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use.") In that study, diesel was projected by 2030 to have the least damages in terms of public health and the environment of any technologies and fuel pathways that were evaluated (approximately tied with CNG; B20 clearly the least damaging)...





Even in the baseline year (2005), diesel had less damages than EV (U.S. mix), and only marginally more than baseline gasoline (i.e., before current clean diesel technology)....





To be fair, NAS did not look at other sources of electricity like renewables or NG like the subject study considered, and coal generation was almost 50% of the U.S. mix when the NAS study was conducted.
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2014, 11:33 AM
DaveN007 DaveN007 is online now
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Blah, blah, blah efficiency...blah, blah, blah

My EV is less than free to drive.

At least 5 different government agencies directly subsidize my EV driving.

I am no dummy. I watch TV.

I have learned that I am a really bad person for earning too much money.

I have learned that I can be a good person and save the planet (including all of its polar bears and government workers who administer boondoggle programs) if I drive an EV.

The day the government institutes a flat income tax, or moves away from taxing income and instead taxes consumption...then I will give up my EV.

Until then you will have to pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Why should you take my comments seriously? Because the above silliness, in fact, represents the incentives that drive rational economic behavior.

The academic discussion around energy efficiency is interesting, but isn't going to move the needle in terms of behavior.

How's this for food for thought? A gallon of gasoline is generally accepted to contain the equivalent of 32 kWh of energy. It weighs 7 pounds and costs less than 3 dollars. It can be pumped into a tank in a few seconds.

The 24 kWh "battery" (actually multiple cells) in my EV weighs between 600 and 800 pounds and takes at least 4 hours to recharge at 240v and a lot of amps.

A person on the EV forum I frequent just ran over a rock and damaged his "battery". It will need to be replaced and it is $16,000. LOL. A bit more expensive than a hole in a gas tank, eh?

Battery technology is so far from making EV transport economically viable with massive government intervention, it is scary. That is why I I actually netted $60 last month owning my EV and driving it 900 miles.
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  #6  
Old 12-20-2014, 01:22 PM
txagbmw txagbmw is offline
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LOL new diesels seem to be in shop for throwing error codes. so cleaner for not running LOL
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2014, 04:10 PM
DaveN007 DaveN007 is online now
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LOL new diesels seem to be in shop for throwing error codes. so cleaner for not running LOL
My EV was in shop for three weeks waiting for a "software update". I drove a loaner gas car in the interim...so yes, much dirtier.
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  #8  
Old 12-20-2014, 04:11 PM
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Latest quote is $35,000 to replace battery. The car is $32,000...but they lose $15k on each car.

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...ed-battery-16k!
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  #9  
Old 12-20-2014, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveN007 View Post
Latest quote is $35,000 to replace battery. The car is $32,000...but they lose $15k on each car.

http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showt...ed-battery-16k!
Dave, can you show us a pic of your cute little 500e? We'd like to see how the other half lives.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:51 PM
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hey wxman,

I figured I'd find you here . Would you mind helping the dim-witted interpret this graph?

--What does the Y-axis represent? Is it just generic relative health risk?

--Also talk about the different colors in the bars--like what does "feedstock" have to do with non-E85 car emissions? Why does electric energy have the most feedstock-linked emissions?

--How does emissions linked to "operations" differ from emissions sourced to "fuel"? The greatest health damage coming from fuel is linked to hydrogen and "Diesel Fischer Tropsch". Interesting. Could you tell us what "Diesel Fischer Tropsch" is?

--Does "vehicle" have to do with emissions linked to vehicle manufacturing?

As a general comment, it doesn't look to me as if the damage to health will have decreased substantially between 200 and 2030 according to these graphs, even given all the technological advances we're seeing. That's disturbing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wxmanCCM View Post
This study more or less mirrors a 2010 study by the National Academy of Sciences ("Hidden Cost of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use.") In that study, diesel was projected by 2030 to have the least damages in terms of public health and the environment of any technologies and fuel pathways that were evaluated (approximately tied with CNG; B20 clearly the least damaging)...





Even in the baseline year (2005), diesel had less damages than EV (U.S. mix), and only marginally more than baseline gasoline (i.e., before current clean diesel technology)....





To be fair, NAS did not look at other sources of electricity like renewables or NG like the subject study considered, and coal generation was almost 50% of the U.S. mix when the NAS study was conducted.
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  #11  
Old 12-20-2014, 08:04 PM
DaveN007 DaveN007 is online now
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Dave, can you show us a pic of your cute little 500e? We'd like to see how the other half lives.
My Z06 should be delivered in the second half of February. I'll be sure to post a pic from the land of 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, also. Here is a preview from someone else's car. The slower, manual version. Mine will have wheels that are not as dark and the calipers will be yellow.



I got sneers from Moms when I drove my Porsche, and "smugs" from Dads when I drive our minivan. My unbadged 335d is invisible. The 500e gets smiles.


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Old 12-20-2014, 10:16 PM
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Have not read the study but in places that get their electricity primarily from coal sources I would agree.

http://www.dieselarmy.com/news/new-s...tric-vehicles/
Here's the abstract of the study this article was based on: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...53111.abstract

Quote:
Life cycle air quality impacts of conventional and alternative light-duty transportation in the United States

Christopher W. Tessuma, Jason D. Hillb,1, and Julian D. Marshalla,1

Edited by Douglas J. Arent, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, and accepted by the Editorial Board November 8, 2014 (received for review April 15, 2014)

AbstractAuthors & InfoSIMetricsRelated ContentPDFPDF + SI

Significance

Our assessment of the life cycle air quality impacts on human health of 10 alternatives to conventional gasoline vehicles finds that electric vehicles (EVs) powered by electricity from natural gas or wind, water, or solar power are best for improving air quality, whereas vehicles powered by corn ethanol and EVs powered by coal are the worst. This work advances the current debate over the environmental impacts of conventional versus alternative transportation options by combining detailed spatially and temporally explicit emissions inventories with state-of-the-science air quality impact analysis using advanced chemical transport modeling. Our results reinforce previous findings that air quality-related health damages from transportation are generally comparable to or larger than climate change-related damages.

Abstract

Commonly considered strategies for reducing the environmental impact of light-duty transportation include using alternative fuels and improving vehicle fuel economy. We evaluate the air quality-related human health impacts of 10 such options, including the use of liquid biofuels, diesel, and compressed natural gas (CNG) in internal combustion engines; the use of electricity from a range of conventional and renewable sources to power electric vehicles (EVs); and the use of hybrid EV technology. Our approach combines spatially, temporally, and chemically detailed life cycle emission inventories; comprehensive, fine-scale state-of-the-science chemical transport modeling; and exposure, concentration–response, and economic health impact modeling for ozone (O3) and fine particulate matter (PM2.5). We find that powering vehicles with corn ethanol or with coal-based or "grid average" electricity increases monetized environmental health impacts by 80% or more relative to using conventional gasoline. Conversely, EVs powered by low-emitting electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar power reduce environmental health impacts by 50% or more. Consideration of potential climate change impacts alongside the human health outcomes described here further reinforces the environmental preferability of EVs powered by low-emitting electricity relative to gasoline vehicles.


Footnotes
1To whom correspondence may be addressed. Email: hill0408@umn.edu or julian@umn.edu.
Author contributions: C.W.T., J.D.H., and J.D.M. designed research; C.W.T. performed research; C.W.T., J.D.H., and J.D.M. analyzed data; and C.W.T., J.D.H., and J.D.M. wrote the paper.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. D.J.A. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.
Data deposition: The data reported in this paper has been deposited in the Data Repository for University of Minnesota (DRUM), dx.doi.org/10.13020/D6159V.
This article contains supporting information online at http://www.pnas.org/lookup/suppl/doi...DCSupplemental.
Freely available online through the PNAS open access option.
The supporting information from the site cited immediately above ranks the health impacts of different fuel technologies in this descending order:

1) EVs powered by wind, water, solar sources of electricity
2) Evs powered by natural gas
3) Gasoline hybrid
4) Diesel
5) Compressed natural gas
6) Corn stover ethanol
7) Gasoline
8) EVs powered by corn stover ethanol
9) Corn grain ethanol
10) EV grid average
11) EV powered by coal generated electricity

I think it's interesting that as of right now the average health effect of EVs ("EV grid average") is poor, even compared to gasoline. That must be because 39% of US electricity is coal generated and that source is so much more harmful than any other. A lot of EV batteries are still charged by very dirty electricity.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2014, 10:57 PM
Pierre Louis Pierre Louis is offline
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Don't forget, the majority of "health effect" research gives gassers a pass on small particulate emissions while counting the larger particulates from diesels too much. Diesel particulates are especially vulnerable to bad test design because they use probes stuck up the exhaust instead of the ambient air for measurement. Larger particles fall to the ground and do not get into the small lung spaces called alveoli nearly as much as small particulates. As a result, I might put a "clean diesel" as better than a gasoline hybrid on this otherwise relatively accurate assessment.

As with all statistics, I would use "studies" rankings and conclusions with caution. The general concept of an EV given clean energy use for generating the electricity itself is a nice concept, but reality, as usual, sets in with different infrastructure and execution in different places. My ideal might be, for example, solar panels charging the EV.

PL
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:35 AM
glangford glangford is offline
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Originally Posted by floydarogers View Post
A coal-fired (or natural gas or fuel oil) power plant is much more efficient than an internal combustion engine. That efficiency swamps the conversions and electrical distribution system losses. Large power plants are around 40%, while gas/diesel is in the 25%-30% range.

Natural gas turbine power plants have advantages over coal: 1) lower CO2 emissions (than coal), 2) easy to start/stop for peaking power (coal plants need to run at continuous high load), 3) smaller and easier to permit and site, 4) evens out yearly use of NG for heating/cooling (heat in north during winter, cooling in south during summer).

All these studies now use the "Well to Wheel" (WTW) regimes that account for the mining/drilling, refining, transport and distribution costs. It's a good term to Google and research...
From worldcoal.org:

Quote:
The average global efficiency of coal-fired plants is currently 33% compared to 45% for the most efficient plants (see graph). A programme of repowering existing coal-fired plants to improve their efficiency, coupled with the newer and more efficient plant being built, will generate significant CO2 reductions.
40% seems a stretch from every source I can find. Another reports effieciencies that range from 32 to 42 for the most efficient plants. The problem lies in the fact that new construction requires more stringent scrubbing technologies and companies are lax to do that, instead continuing to use the ineffiecient behemoths they've been running for decades.
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Old 12-21-2014, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Pierre Louis View Post
Don't forget, the majority of "health effect" research gives gassers a pass on small particulate emissions while counting the larger particulates from diesels too much. Diesel particulates are especially vulnerable to bad test design because they use probes stuck up the exhaust instead of the ambient air for measurement. Larger particles fall to the ground and do not get into the small lung spaces called alveoli nearly as much as small particulates. As a result, I might put a "clean diesel" as better than a gasoline hybrid on this otherwise relatively accurate assessment.
PL
It probably states in the link to the supplemental data I posted what kind of diesel engine was tested, and how it was tested.
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by stevehecht View Post
hey wxman,

I figured I'd find you here . Would you mind helping the dim-witted interpret this graph?

--What does the Y-axis represent? Is it just generic relative health risk?
Steve,

The y-axis represents the "damages" to human health and the environment in terms of cents per vehicle mile traveled.

Quote:
--Also talk about the different colors in the bars--like what does "feedstock" have to do with non-E85 car emissions? Why does electric energy have the most feedstock-linked emissions?
For the petroleum-based fuels...

Feedstock: Extraction of oil and its transportation to the refinery.
Fuel: Refining of the oil and its transportation to the pump.
Vehicle: All emissions associated with production of the vehicle.
Operations: Tailpipe and evaporative emissions

EV has high feedstock emissions because of fugitive PM emissions from mining of coal (U.S. mix in this study was almost 50% at the time of the study; the assumption was that coal would represent about 40% of the mix by 2030, IIRC).

Quote:
--How does emissions linked to "operations" differ from emissions sourced to "fuel"? The greatest health damage coming from fuel is linked to hydrogen and "Diesel Fischer Tropsch". Interesting. Could you tell us what "Diesel Fischer Tropsch" is?
"Operations" are emissions directly from the vehicle during operations, i.e., tailpipe and evaporative emissions from the vehicle.

Fischer-Tropsch diesel is fuel produced from natural gas (in this case) or coal or biomass. It is a direct drop-in replacement for petroleum-based diesel fuel.

Quote:
--Does "vehicle" have to do with emissions linked to vehicle manufacturing?
Yes.


Quote:
As a general comment, it doesn't look to me as if the damage to health will have decreased substantially between 200 and 2030 according to these graphs, even given all the technological advances we're seeing. That's disturbing!
I agree. Appears than vehicle manufacturing ("vehicle") emissions by 2030 will virtually offset the decreases in emissions from the other components.

Last edited by wxmanCCM; 12-21-2014 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-21-2014, 10:01 AM
wxmanCCM wxmanCCM is online now
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Originally Posted by Pierre Louis View Post
Don't forget, the majority of "health effect" research gives gassers a pass on small particulate emissions while counting the larger particulates from diesels too much. Diesel particulates are especially vulnerable to bad test design because they use probes stuck up the exhaust instead of the ambient air for measurement. Larger particles fall to the ground and do not get into the small lung spaces called alveoli nearly as much as small particulates. As a result, I might put a "clean diesel" as better than a gasoline hybrid on this otherwise relatively accurate assessment.

As with all statistics, I would use "studies" rankings and conclusions with caution. The general concept of an EV given clean energy use for generating the electricity itself is a nice concept, but reality, as usual, sets in with different infrastructure and execution in different places. My ideal might be, for example, solar panels charging the EV.

PL
I agree.

Also, the UM study (OP) assumes E0 gasoline; most gasoline now is E10, so the "gasoline" and "gasoline hybrid" would have to be shifted to the right 1/10th of the increased damages of "corn grain ethanol". "Diesel" and the rest of the vehicle technologies would not be affected.
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Old 12-21-2014, 11:27 AM
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...
40% seems a stretch from every source I can find...
Probably a number my brain retained from reading about theoretical limits...
Nevertheless, IC engines ON AVERAGE are not very close to coal-fired power plants in efficiency. Also, one has to be careful about comparing efficiency numbers: the theoretical limit is inherent in the laws of thermodynamics, while the actual limits vary widely.

As an aside, the electrical distribution system is extremely efficient; on the order of 92% or better of the input energy gets to the plug.
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Old 12-21-2014, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by wxmanCCM View Post
I agree.

Also, the UM study (OP) assumes E0 gasoline; most gasoline now is E10, so the "gasoline" and "gasoline hybrid" would have to be shifted to the right 1/10th of the increased damages of "corn grain ethanol". "Diesel" and the rest of the vehicle technologies would not be affected.
Here is a direct quote from the full study as published in PNAS:

Quote:
We assume that ethanol is produced as 100% ethanol with no denaturant,
but for ethanol scenarios we use tailpipe emissions factors for a 10%
blend of ethanol with gasoline (“E10”).
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...53111.full.pdf

It looks as if they did assume E10, not E0.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevehecht View Post
Here is a direct quote from the full study as published in PNAS:


http://www.pnas.org/content/early/20...53111.full.pdf

It looks as if they did assume E10, not E0.
Steve,

This is where I got the E0 assumption...

Quote:
...The gasoline used is 100% conventional (0% reformulated gasoline) so as
to disentangle the effect of ethanol blends....
(Page 4 of 6 in the full PNAS paper)

It appears that the bullet point you quoted was for the ethanol pathways, and that they used E10 for the tailpipe emissions, although there probably isn't much difference between tailpipe emissions of E0 and E10 fuels. Most of the increased emissions for ethanol is upstream from the vehicle operations.

It's not real clear to me.
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