(1) Lithium Ion the “Holy Grail”? (2) Chinese Public Ownership of Electric Vehicles & Fuel Source of the Electricity?

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solutions
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(1) Lithium Ion the “Holy Grail”? (2) Chinese Public Ownership of Electric Vehicles & Fuel Source of the Electricity?

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Subject: (1) Is Lithium Ion The “Holy Grail”? (2) Does The Chinese Public Really Drive Electric Vehicles and, if so, What Is The Fuel Source of the Electricity?
From: Solutions
Date: Mon, October 10, 2022 11:54 am PDT
To: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
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Dear John,

I have two additional questions –

(1) Is our author Henry Sanderson’s implication in Chapter 3 correct that Lithium Ion is the “Holy Grail”?

(2) Is our author Henry Sanderson accurate vis-à-vis his frequent claims (e.g., in Chapter 4 at p. 34) that “For China’s ruling Communist Party electric vehicles helped solve two major problems: they reduced air pollution in the country’s cities, and helped cut China’s reliance on oil imports.”

Your friend,

Solutions


---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Re: (1) Is Lithium Ion The “Holy Grail”? (2) Does The Chinese Public Really Drive Electric Vehicles and, if so, What Is The Fuel Source of the Electricity?
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: Tue, October 11, 2022 4:31 pm MDT
To: Solutions
Attachment:
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Dear Solutions,

Thank you very much for your e-mail.


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(1) Is our author Henry Sanderson’s implication in Chapter 3 correct that Lithium Ion is the “Holy Grail”?

I am NOT as knowledgeable about chemistry as –

(A) My brother-in-law Richard Nicholson who was the long-time No. 2 at the National Science Foundation before becoming the long-time Executive Director of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and, as such, the Publisher of Science Magazine (perhaps the world’s foremost publication for the announcement of scientific discoveries); or

(B) His wife Lois Karls Nicholson who was his PhD student and his successor as Director of Chemistry Grants for NSF (where Richard began before becoming No. 2 there) after Richard had moved over to AAAS, thereby eliminating the nepotism barrier.

HOWEVER, lithium is a chemical element with the atomic number 3. It has 3 protons, 3 electrons and 4 neutrons for an atomic mass of 6.941.

LITHIUM ION has an extra electron – so it appears (from my non-PhD/Chemistry viewpoint) that a lithium-ion battery’s electricity comes from surrendering the extra electrons and is re-charged by flooding the lithium with more electrons – hopefully one for every lithium atom.

So what are the most important characteristics for an electric-vehicle battery’s “Holy Grail”???

Light weight relative to power and availability/cheapness of the chemicals used for electric storage.

It would seem that an atomic number of 3 and an atomic mass of 7 are about as low as one can go.

But who’s to say that, for example, a chemical substance could NOT be discovered/invented that is capable of handling more than 1 extra electron???

And if you think I am an ignoramus, I would remind you that in 1889, Charles Duell was Commissioner of the U.S. Patent Office when he recommended closing it because, per him, everything that could be invented had already been invented!!!

In other words, do NOT underestimate scientists’ imaginations!!!

BTW, the lowest atomic number is hydrogen whose atomic number is 1 and whose atomic mass is 1.00794 – which means it has one proton, 1 electron and NO NEUTRONS.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if hydrogen could become an ion with more than one electron???!!!

*****
Interestingly, 20-25 years ago both Europe and California had constructed “hydrogen highways” for cars powered by OXIDIZING/BURNING hydrogen (think the German dirigible Hindenburg that exploded in New Jersey in 1937) – indeed, BMW had a hybrid model that could use gasoline instead of hydrogen when traveling in areas away from the “hydrogen highways.”

The problem at that time was the expense of obtaining hydrogen for which then-current technology comprised the electrolysis of water (2H2O > 2H2 + O2). So energy from burning the hydrogen was equivalent to the energy needed to produce the hydrogen.

[Europe and California couldn’t help “jumping the gun” because OXIDIZING/BURNING hydrogen produces no carbon, only water (2H2 + O2 > 2H2O). Why wait for “salvation” until hydrogen can be produced economically???]

HOWEVER on 9/19/2019 (though too late to save Europe’s & California’s Hydrogen Highways), Proton Technologies (a Calgary Alberta-Canada corporation) made a presentation to the Goldschmidt Conference announcing that it had invented (and obtained patents for) a method of obtaining vast amounts hydrogen economically. It involves injecting oxygen into reservoirs of heavy oil and tar sands, and into coal seams in order to separate the hydrogen from the oil/tar/coal thereby enabling the hydrogen to float to the surface through hydrogen filters that will trap behind all remaining material including carbon for sequestration in situ.

Our analysis showed that hydrogen obtained with this method would be far cheaper than oil & gas.

Accordingly, our 11/13/2019 campaign entitled “Saving Global-Warming Solution From Being Killed” was aimed at BOTH the Assistant U.N. Secretary General and Head of the New York Office of UNEP AND ALSO the Director General of the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization – urging that Proton Technologies’ patents be voided IN THE EVENT THAT Proton Technologies transferred/licensed its patents to a hostile actor (e.g., Saudi Arabia) that wanted to kill the technology OR IN THE EVENT that Proton Technologies itself was acquired by such a hostile actor.

Please see details of our 11/13/2019 campaign at viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1850&sid=06777aaf5 ... 98599550ef.


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(2) Does The Chinese Public Really Drive Electric Vehicles and, if so, What Is The Fuel Source of the Electricity?

Yes, our author Henry Sanderson claimed in his typical “media speak” (e.g., in Chapter 4 at p. 34) that “For China’s ruling Communist Party electric vehicles helped solve two major problems: they reduced air pollution in the country’s cities, and helped cut China’s reliance on oil imports.”

It would appear that Henry Sanderson did NOT major in English composition!!!

And that he certainly did NOT take a course in symbolic logic!!!

Or that he wanted to mislead his readers with his typically-Pollyanna perspective!!!

“Helped solve”???

SO LONG AS the electric-generation plants are downwind from the “cities” they are supplying, the “help” must be positive, however infinitesimal!!!

AND SO LONG AS the electric-generation plants are among the new monster-size coal-fired plants that China brings on stream EVERY WEEK, the electric vehicles do “help” use domestic coal rather than oil imports – even though coal (rather than oil) is a carbon-pollution disaster!!!

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The Fuel Source of the Electricity???

Per the CIA’s World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/china/ > Energy > Electric Generation), the fuel sources of China’s electricity are –

Fossil fuels – 66%
Hydro – 17.8%
Wind – 6.2%
Nuclear – 4.8%
Solar – 3.5%
Biomass/waste – 1.6%

And per the CIA’s World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/china/ > Energy > Carbon Dioxide Emissions), CHINA IS THE WORLD’S LARGEST CARBON POLLUTER. PRODUCING MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH CARBON POLLUTION AS THE WORLD’S NO. 2 POLLUTER and the emissions come from three sources –

Coal and metallurgical coke – 8.652 billion metric tons of CO2
Petroleum – 1.521 billion metric tons of CO2
Natural Gas – 0.006 billion metric tons of CO2

And per the CIA’s World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/china/ > Energy > Coal -- and Energy > Petroleum) –

China produces 96% of its coal usage; and
China is able to produce only 34% of its petroleum usage.

So yes, any electric vehicles in China do “help” use coal rather than petroleum!!! But that’s even worse from a carbon-pollution viewpoint!!!

*****
Does The Chinese Public Really Drive Electric Vehicles???

The CIA’s World Factbook is no help in answering this question.

And ordinarily, we view Wikipedia articles as only as good as their footnotes.

HOWEVER, as your proverbial “one-armed wall-paper hanger” I don’t have a lot of time to research this question and there do not seem to be many current “clues” from reputable sources.

Wikipedia’s “List of Countries by Vehicles Per Capita” –

(1) lists China in 90th place with 219 vehicles* per 1,000 people, and
(2) lists the U.S., for example, in 6th place with 868 vehicles* per 1,000 people.

* The article defines “vehicles” as cars, buses, and trucks - excluding two-wheelers.

BTW, Hong Kong is listed separately in 125th place with 109 “vehicles” per 1,000 people.

Surmises???

China does not have many “vehicles” per capita.

The separate Hong Kong statistic implies that the number of “vehicles” per capita is even less in large Chinese cities.

Bottom line???

I wasn’t able to find any reliable statistics on the percentage of Chinese “vehicles” that are electric.

But their use would certainly help reduce urban air pollution, however infinitesimally.


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If you could help research some of your questions, your proverbial “one-armed wall-paper hanger” would be very grateful!!!


Your friend,

John K.

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