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Tell us about your experience with alternative energy:
I have been exploring alternative energy issues for more than 15 years. I have several US patents related to fuel cell technology. Most recently, I have filed a patent application related to a method for the operation of a free piston motor/generator. In terms of thermal efficiency, various engine technologies rank as follows:
Because I had recognized that hydrogen would not be a practical fuel for the transportation sector, in 2001 I began to look at other alternative engine technologies. The free piston motor/generator is an exciting, cutting-edge technology that, when fueled by natural gas, can be more thermally efficient than a fuel cell. Moreover, it allows the transportation sector to be fueled using the existing natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Consequently, natural gas can be used as a preferred transportation sector fuel with today's standard spark-ignition engines (like the Honda Civic GX) while free piston motor/generators, which are 50% more thermally efficient than spark-ignition engines, are developed and mass produced. Both engines use the same fuel: natural gas! Boone's natural gas plan presents the opportunity for the incremental shift away from spark-ignition engines to free piston motor/generator technology as the standard in the automotive industry.
What excites you about this campaign?
Based on my experience, I completely agree with Boone that the electric grid must be shifted toward "fuelless" power generation: wind, solar, ocean power and geothermal. I believe that the shift toward a fuelless electric power grid is a "no-brainer". We must invest in our energy security now.
Natural gas poses a different problem. While the US currently has abundant sources of natural gas, like any fossil fuel, its production will peak at some time in the future and then begin to decline. Therefore, there must be a two prong approach. In addition to exploiting our natural gas resources for the transportation sector, we must concurrently develop sustainable natural gas supplies.
Sustainable natural gas supplies will require technology that can convert cellulosic biomass to natural gas. Fortunately, sustainable natural gas technology is quite feasible using cellulosic biomass, methanogenic bacteria and algae. It was proven in the laboratory more than 25 years ago. It is time to implement the process commercially.
Initially, sustainable natural gas can only supplement fossil fuel natural gas. Over the long term, however, as fossil fuel natural gas resources decline, sustainable natural gas will become the predominate energy carrier.
This approach allows for the incremental development, over time, of the production facilities necessary for the manufacture of sustainable natural gas while still exploiting fossil fuel natural gas in a responsible manner as a "bridge" to a sustainable natural gas future.
What do you want to do to help?
I would like to work with other like-minded professionals in industry and science to promote the shift in the transportation sector from petroleum to natural gas. In particular, I would like to work in two areas: sustainable natural gas supplies and free piston engine technology, which, in my opinion, will permit Boone's plan for the transportation sector to succeed as a long-term energy strategy.
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