June 3, 2010

"Fossil" Fuels: A Renewable Resource?

From a news article in Laser Focus World magazine:

Scientific evidence supports the origination of petroleum reserves from the decay of carbon matter such as ancient dinosaur and vegetation remains. However, researchers (...) have used laser heating in a diamond anvil cell (DAC) to demonstrate that high-temperature compression of natural elements in the upper mantle of the earth do indeed create hydrocarbons that could be transported through deep faults to shallower regions of the crust and contribute to petroleum reserves in an abiotic (having nothing to do with biology) process.

In other words, not coming from decayed dinosaurs or vegetation, hence the scare quotes in the title. (A more apt term would be geological, or geo-fuels.)

Naturally occuring subterranian gases, under extreme heat and pressure, appear to "partially reacts to form saturated hydrocarbons (ethane, propane, and butane), molecular hydrogen, and graphite. These hydrocarbons are a primary component of petroleum and were detected in the experiments using Raman spectroscopy."

I asked my PhD physicist friend, who sent me this article and told me that crude oil may well be a renewable resource, Would this mean that Peak Oil is a myth?

"Yes."

Update - June 09: A caller to Mike Rosen's show this morning asked Robert Bryce, author of 'Power Hungry - The Myths of "Green" Energy and the Real Fuels of the Future' about the abiotic oil theory. He claimed that most of the oil company experts discount it, at least with regard to crude oil. Natural gas is apparently a better fit for the theory.

Oil and Energy Posted by JohnGalt at June 3, 2010 3:30 PM

A Dogma de Fide tenet of ThreeSources truth:

April 19, 2008

July 27, 2009

Posted by: jk at June 3, 2010 4:05 PM

And here JK proves that johngalt's memory isn't worth 4 bits, but allow me to summarize. The 2008 post discussed a theory. The 2009 post hailed experimental evidence (the same evidence I linked). Today's post linking a May, 2010 magazine article about it shows that Laser Focus World is slower than Eureka Alert.

Posted by: johngalt at June 3, 2010 7:20 PM

I don't expect anyone to remember much of the general nonsense I post, but this is a long time belief of mine (my conversion dinner would have been 1978 or 79).

It is just oddball enough that I am pretty sensitive. Watching a news clip on dispersion of the oil spill, the announcer said "Oil is biodegradable -- it is after all made from dinosaurs." My eyes rolled.

Posted by: jk at June 4, 2010 10:07 AM | What do you think? [3]