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pyroglycerine

Nitrogen as a Fuel

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Hi,

 

Why is not nitrogen (a widely abundant element which, so far as I'm aware, is not too costly to extract) used as a fuel in automobiles and power plants?

 

Thanks,

 

pyroglycerine

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Hi,

 

Why is not nitrogen (a widely abundant element which, so far as I'm aware, is not too costly to extract) used as a fuel in automobiles and power plants?

 

Thanks,

 

pyroglycerine

Because it doesn't burn.

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The majority of our atmosphere is nitrogen(N2).

 

It will go back to N2 readily, but only with difficulty from N2 to anything else.

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Strictly speaking, the reaction between oxygen, water and nitrogen does give out heat.

It does not happen readily.

That's just as well for us. If it did, there would be no oxygen in the air and the sea would be full of dilute nitric acid.

Perhaps we shouldn't look into this

:)

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Which chemical reaction you have in mind?

Heating liquid nitrogen in a heat exhanger, extracting heat from the ambient air and using the resulting pressurized gas to operate a piston or rotary engine.

Edited by pyroglycerine

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Heating liquid nitrogen in a heat exhanger, extracting heat from the ambient air and using the resulting pressurized gas to operate a piston or rotary engine.

 

Sounds like a pretty efficient recipe for explosions and death, but not much else.

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Heating liquid nitrogen in a heat exhanger, extracting heat from the ambient air and using the resulting pressurized gas to operate a piston or rotary engine.

 

If that was a quote, make sure to mention the source.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_nitrogen_vehicle

 

Most of the criticisms listed there are valid, but main issue are the losses that would be involved. You use electricity to liquify nitrogen, when you could have just left it as electricity and stored that instead. Each conversion step you suffer losses due to inefficiencies.

 

There are also the safety issues as Hypervalent Iodine mentions. I'm honestly surprised we don't have more incidents involving refrigerants. Suffocation, freezing, and the cause just floats away.

Edited by Endy0816

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Most of the criticisms listed there are valid, but main issue are the losses that would be involved. You use electricity to liquify nitrogen, when you could have just left it as electricity and stored that instead. Each conversion step you suffer losses due to inefficiencies.

 

 

Thanks

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My air conditioner is a heat exchanger. The heat generated could in theory be used to drive the system, I guess. Old refrigerators used to operate on natural gas, which contrary to expectations and seems illogical. I've not heard of such a system that ran on nothing at all however. It would probably require a passive system maintained by an active one.


As for this liquid nitrogen. It sound to me like it is being used as highly compressed gas. You may have seen pressurized water expelled bottle rockets. They are impressive but do not achieve the same performance seen with chemical combustion rockets. Chemical combustion supplies the heat and the gas.

Edited by vampares

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You can actually still buy refrigerators that run on LP or NG.

 

This one at Ben's Supply runs on propane or 120v ac power. You're just trading one power source for another to run the compressor on the fridge. Propane based ones get used in off grid situations where electricity is either unavailable or considerably more expensive than other fuel types.

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I live in an area where lots of diesel powered fishing boats ply the area every day and I've heard "tales" many times of diesel engines that run too fast and cannot be shut down even if the fuel is cut off, they claim the engine will run on the compression of nitrogen combustion with the oxygen in the atmosphere at a certain speed. I often wondered if an engine could run at high compression off of nitrogen and oxygen..


Is this possible or just an old "fisherman" tale?

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The reaction between N2 and O2 isn't very successful even at the temperature of a lightning flash.

The engine would melt long before the reaction got going.

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Runaway engines are themselves real enough. I've always been told it is an issue of the engine getting "fuel" from somewhere else though. Lube oil is commonly mentioned.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_engine_runaway

 

Never heard of Nitrogen reactions mentioned in relation.

 

There are runaway engine videos out there if you want to check it out. Pretty cool looking.

Edited by Endy0816

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It's also possible for a petrol engine to run with the ignition switched off, provided it's hot and the petrol has a poor octane rating.

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I had a gasoline engine run out of control on me once due to an electrical problem, it revved up till I thought it was going to explode so i pulled the wire off the distributor.. talk about fire works, movies don't even have electrical discharges like that..

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