Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Is KIOR Kaput?

They are delisted from the NASDAQ

They have infighting among the owners and directors

They have laid-off workers

They have stopped production

They have not paid their debts

I would say they are kaput!    I have always said they were a thermodynamic fake out.   That white catalyst of theirs was fairy dust.   Vinod Khosla must answer the Thermo God for:  Cello; Range; LS9; Amyris; Gevo; Calera; Light Sail; Virdia (HCL);  and of course KIOR.  KIOR was the biggest fake out of all although Calera, Cello and Range were right up there.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fuel Cells 2014 V. 2003

In 2003 I published my book Hydrogen Hope or Hype ?

It is still a very good primer on energy, sustainability, and fuel cells.   You see Thermo does not change and the book is based on thermo not some junk Al Gore dreamed up in his convenient untruth.

Over the past decade the one technology that did emerge that was not covered in the book are lithium ion batteries in vehicles.  I covered my thermodynamic analysis of this technology in my now famous US Senate Testimony

Toyota and several other companies such as Honda and Hyundai re introducing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles next year.  There is a great debate between Elon Musk of Tesla and Toyota whether fuel cell vehicles are better or worse than battery powered EVs.   My answer is both are bloody expensive but the EV is less bloody expensive.  I feel pretty confident to predict that battery EVs will outsell fuel cell cars 10 to 1 in the next decade.   I also feel confident to say that plain old vehicles together with non-plug in hybrid vehicles will outsell EVs more than 50 to 1.

The amount of money Toyota will lose on each sale of its fuel cell vehicle is greater than the amount Tesla will lose.  Toyota and the other large auto companies are selling fuel cell vehicles at a loss to promote goodwill and to have a defense one day should they get sued (as the tobacco companies were sued) for knowingly harming the health and wellbeing of people.

Folks the great hope in personal transportation remains more efficient gasoline, diesel, ethanol, methanol, DME, CNG, propane, or ethane propelled vehicles and that car share, carpooling, and car abandonment will come about to reduce the need for ever increasing oil refining and consumption.

I had a couple of interesting discussions with folks who are close to transportation fuels and energy markets and they stated that the “wise” hedge fund money is betting that in five to six years (2020) oil will be at $70 a barrel and not $150 a barrel.   There will be a global diminishment in the growth in the demand for refined petroleum used in transportation due to engine improvement and changes in social behavior.   I tend to agree that oil prices peaked in 2008 and that the real market value of oil is approximately $80 a barrel.   Of course if world war three breaks out because Mr. Obama new found “Levant Strategy” is a failure we could see $200 a barrel oil very quickly.   Remember Mr. Obama refers to ISIL not ISIS.   Levant is derived from French meaning the rising.  We are back to the 1930s when the Rising Sun was causing havoc in the Far East.  Now we have the Neville Chamberlain of 2014, who talked nonsense in Cairo in 2009 allowing  havoc in the Middle East.   I just pray we all wake up to crisis and irradiate the cancer.

I do see the further hybridization of the drive trains in vehicles with micro and moderate hybrids taking a good share of future sales.   I also see that alternate fuels other than diesel and gasoline will propel more private vehicles and large fleets.   Big Oil is headed to becoming a little less big but will still remain big.   I also see that unless I win the lotto I will still be driving my 1999 C 280 Mercedes that is still valid 20th century technology.   I only drive 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year so I am not the average Yank in a Tank stuck in traffic.  By 2020 I also predict that Tesla will have a realistic stock price and that this stock price will be no more than the price of oil per barrel.  

We can easily change our driving behavior and we can easily improve the fleet efficiency.  But we cannot easily convert to Fuel Cell cars on a hydrogen highway even if the governator says so.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

His Back Pages - A Tribute To Jonathan

It is exactly two years since my high school chum Jonathan passed to the wicked disease of ALS.  At the time of his passing I wrote a eulogy of his extraordinary strength and how he is my inspiration to carry on the fight against the members of the complex led by Al Gore who have stolen billions with greenwashed fraud.  This tribute to Jonathan is written from the mouth of the second law of thermodynamics if it could talk to us.

The Dylan song My Back Pages was one his greatest ever.   The lyrics are simply brilliant.

The song begins with descriptions of flames and fire and using ideas as maps.  The choral theme of the song is introduced at the end of the verse “Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now

In Jonathan’s back pages he could not reverse entropy and he was so much older when he passed than when we were young in high school and the last time I saw him face to face.  ALS is akin to entropy and chaos, with cells being eaten by a “Pac-Man” like thing that creates pure chaos in body function.   Steven Hawking, the man who best described entropy by saying “entropy increases in time because we measure time in the direction entropy increases” also suffers from the debilitating Pac-Man type ALS disease that has limited his mobility but has not constrained a brilliant mind.  Jonathan too had a brilliant mind.

Many a fool has for the past ten years wished to reverse entropy by latching on to “free money” for “free energy” from the green government and unsuspecting shareholders.  I have written of Condi Rice’s KIOR as one such example.   This week one of their board members resigned in disgrace.  Paul O’Connor the inventor of the alchemy that defied the second law of thermo wrote a resignation letter that castigated the company, and the company in turn wrote a response to the SEC that castigated Mr. O’Conner. The drama at KIOR is happening close to the final act when they go bust.  This is akin to the third verse of Bob’s song that is as follows: 
“Girls’ faces formed the forward path
From phony jealousy
To memorizing politics
Of ancient history
Flung down by corpse evangelists
Unthought of, though, somehow

When cavemen discovered fire and that wood burned, the same laws of thermodynamics prevailed over the reactions of yellow pine as they do today when KIOR flames out converting pine to diesel.
Jonathan warned me to be strong and not give up when it comes to the gangrene frauds out there.   The fifth verse of Back Pages is particularly emblazoned in my brain:
“In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
At the mongrel dogs who teach
Fearing not that I’d become my enemy
In the instant that I preach
My pathway led by confusion boats
Mutiny from stern to bow

I told Jonathan that Al Gore is the leader of the pack of the mongrel dogs who teach sustainability.  Jonathan shared his thoughts about the President when he typed emails to me with his eyes on his special computer.  These thoughts were of a weak incompetent president who was not clueless but driven by a deep doctrine despising the fundamental ideas that the West and Israel embodied.   Jonathan pegged Obama spot on and would have had some mighty big comments of the ISIS speech in which the president looked “spooked”.  Jonathan would end his eye typed emails to me with the words “Am Israel Chai” = The People of Israel Live.   He knew he was going soon but that his legacy was a common legacy of seeking life over death, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and love over hate.

Jonathan told me to live up to the words of the final verse in back pages:
Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow

I may sound vitriolic or acerbic sometimes but the second law of thermodynamics is inviolable and really does define good and bad.  It defines free energy and entropy.  Sadly for all of us it makes the chorus “Ah, but I was so much older then I’m younger than that now impossible.  Jonathan we were so much younger then, but even with age and increasing entropy and horrible Pac-Man type diseases we must chose a path of life and we must eradicate the cancers that wish death to the Jews, the West, and civilized people.  I do hope that Mr. Obama finally gets it, but hope is not a strategy, and entropy is not reversible as time marches on.  Jonathan I will try beat Pac-Man in a video game but that is only a virtual victory.  The real victory will come when all in the world chose life over death, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and obey the second law of thermodynamics.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bloom Chickens Out To Debate Green Machine at CPUC HQ

I had received a link that the IEEE (institute of electrical engineers) was to sponsor a lunch meeting on September 17th at the California Public Utilities Commission HQ in San Francisco.  The guest speaker at the meeting is Asim Hussain Director of Product Marketing of Bloom Energy.    Mr. Hussain only makes rare appearances.

When I heard about the meeting, via email sent on June 29, I asked the CPUC and PG&E who were arranging the meeting for the IEEE at the CPUC HQ  for an invitation to attend, and for the opportunity to have a 15 minute slot for a complete rebuttal of Bloom’s greenwashing.  Of course the request was ignored until I was informed by the PG&E folks in an email they sent to me on September 2nd that the meeting will now be held at Bloom’s HQ not the CPUC HQ, and that essentially I was unwelcome to attend.  Here is the email from Kelly Dichoso who works for PG&E and is the IEE SF PES Vice Chair

Dichoso, Kelly F 

Sep 2 (5 days ago)
to me, Sean
Dear Mr. Leveen,

Thank you for your interest in attending the Bloom Energy Presentation.  As you are aware, the technical presentation will be held at Bloom Energy’s facility.   Unfortunately, Bloom is managing the registration for this event and due to your past history with the company, they have declined your invitation to attend.  Please contact Bloom directly with questions or concerns regarding attending the event at (408) 543-1500.

Kelly Dichoso
IEEE SF PES Vice Chair

This proves Bloom chose to avoid a public forum for their presentation to a professional engineering organization as they were chicken to have the truth about the Bloom Boxes revealed.    Here is the revised IEEE announcement of the meeting.  The original announcement listed the CPUC HQ in San Francisco as the venue.

Note the Abstract states: “Bloom Energy is a provider of a revolutionary distributed power
generation offering based on a proprietary solid oxide fuel cell technology
that provides its customers with a clean, highly reliable and cost-effective
alternative to the traditional electric grid.”

My rebuttal would have shown that Bloom after massive government subsidy provides; dirty, unreliable, and massively expensive electrons when compared to the traditional grid.   I think it is highly disgraceful that PG&E, the CPUC, and the IEEE are in bed with Bloom and would not let a real debate of the actual performance of the Bloom Coffins take place in a public forum such as the CPUC HQ where the public including those who are knowledgeable of thermodynamics and truth can attend.   I have asked the CPUC, PG&E and the IEEE to arrange another meeting in which I can present fact not fiction. 

As an added note Asim Hussain is on tape with Katie Fehrenbacher of Gigaom where Mr. Hussain claims the boxes are greater than 60% efficient.  Thermodynamic truth and Mr. Hussein are distant relatives.

The actual efficiency in Delaware for August 2014 is 47.39% based on the higher heating value of the natural gas that DELMARVA Power supplies to the 30 megawatts of Bloom ES-5700 Coffins in that state.  The thermodynamic truth of the operation of the ES-5700 and Mr. Hussein are distant relatives separated by 13% and that is probably why the Green Machine is unwelcome at IEEE meeting on September 17th.   I would have gladly paid the $10 to attend as I am a non IEEE member.  I would not have eaten the Box Lunch as it may have been spiked with some of the hazardous materials present in the Bloom Box.  

The answer to the age old question of what made the chicken cross the road has now been definitively answered.  THE GREEN MACHINE MADE THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD !!!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Environmental Injustice Gina McCarthy Style

I blogged about a man in Seattle that has driven his Nissan leaf over 100,000 miles and that the man was a jolly green giant.   Inside EVs reports a scorecard on sales of all full and partially electrified plug in vehicles.

For the eight months through August 2014 a total of 18,941 Nissan Leafs were sold and only 8,500 Tesla Model Ss were sold in the same period of time.   The Model S has actually sold less in 2014 than it did last year and this is not a good sign for a brand new model of car.   The BMW I3 outsold the Model S in August and other luxury brands like Mercedes are entering the market with an electric plug in offering.

I am no expert on the marketing of cars but the data are pointing to Tesla having a harder time selling their Model S in the USA.   Wall Street still loves Tesla’s story especially the giggle battery factory that is now slated to be built in Reno Nevada with $1.3 billion of giveaways from Harry Reid but never Right’s state.

Focusing on the longevity of the plug in cars, I do believe Tesla has an excellent battery management system and that the cars will probably have long life on the original battery pack.  That is not a real concern.   The problem simply is that it appeals to a niche market and the first cost of the vehicle will remain high as the cost of the battery pack even from a giggle factory will be stuck at $400 per kilowatt hour even before adding the cost of the battery management system.  All this talk of $150 per kilowatt hour batteries is simply talk.

Also all the talk of the US reducing it carbon emissions is talk and 2014 will see an increase in CO2 emissions over 2013 that saw an increase over 2012.  Gina McCarthy the administrator of the US EPA is trying to rally support of “people of color” that there is environmental injustice due to CO2 emissions.

This had me thinking that if I can prove a Bloom Box was installed close to a community with a majority of minority population I could get Gina to support the case against the world’s biggest greenwasher Bloom Energy.  I did find one such location in Santa Clara County where the Bloom Boxes are installed at the county jail in North San Jose and at the correctional facility in Elmwood.   Jails and correctional facilities are typically located in the poorer part of town.
The main Jail is located at 150 W Hedding Street San Jose and the Elmwood Correctional Facility is at 701 S Abel Milpitas.

Now I just have to drive the fifty miles to these facilities find a few impoverished folks living nearby who want environmental justice.  Then I can get Gina McCarthy to help me shut down the Bloom coffins that are belching out more carbon dioxide than the grid and busily adding hazardous sulfur to the desulfurization canisters that Bloom refuses to permit.   

The area around the Main Jail in San Jose is in such blight, that the US IRS gives new market tax credits for making investments in this location.  Yes Washington Gas has applied for new market tax credits for the Bloom coffins that will be installed at the county jail.   This is highlighted in the contract that the county executed with Washington Gas who purchased the coffins from Bloom.  Ms. McCarthy there should be a special category of environmental justice on CO2 pollution for those who live in extremely blighted areas that qualify for new market credits.   Washington gas will receive credits for the state (SGIP) and feds (ITC and new market credit) that pay for over 90% of the initial cost of the Bloom coffins.  Ms. McCarthy you need to give us justice!!!!  

Monday, September 1, 2014

Russian Gas To China

While the EU and Mr. Obama have no strategy on just about anything the Chinese have a strategy to import Russian natural gas.   The Biased Broadcasting Corporation reports the following:  “China's CNPC has agreed to buy $400bn (£240bn) of gas from Russia's Gazprom.
Russia will ship 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas annually over a period of 30 years.”


38 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year is equal to 1.236 trillion cubic feet per year.   For comparison in 2013 the US used 26.037 trillion cubic feet of gas.


The single deal between China and Russia is for the equivalent of 5.36% of all the natural gas used in the USA.   This is a big deal.  The BBC reported the value of the deal as $400 billion over 30 years.   This means the value of the gas is at approximately $10.00 per million BTU if the Russian gas is not full of carbon dioxide and is similar in thermal quality to US natural gas.  This is far less expensive for the Chinese than importing LNG from Australia or Mozambique.  Happily for the US we have shale that Mr. Obama and his department of entropy never laid a hand on and our shale gas sells for approximately $4 per million BTU.  

Natural Gas is the big story worldwide from Southern and East Africa to the Artic.   China will certainly start deploying combined cycle natural gas fired power stations and so will many other countries that have traditionally relied on coal fired electric power generation.  

I read a really interesting article of a lake in Rwanda Africa that belches natural gas that is formed by decaying biomass at the bottom of the lake and how the “exploding” lake may power the country of Rwanda.

Yeah methane to the rescue of the Rwandans and Chinese.   CH4 Not Gore will save the world.


The entire US corn ethanol production has a HHV BTU content of 1.12 quads a year.   The Sino Russian deal has 1.3 quads a year.  This deal is bigger than the entire US production of corn ethanol.

Sudhir asked how much CO2 emissions would be reduced if all the Russian natural gas replaced coal in power generation in China. Here is my answer to Sudhir Yes 1.4 quads of nat gas cubic feet at a heat rate of 6.2 mmbtu HHV per mwh (latest CC nat gas plants from GE or Siemens) will generate 226 million mwh per year. Each mwh will have half a metric ton less CO2 versus coal. Hence the Chinese could reduce CO2 emissions by 113 million metric tons. This is about 1.5% of China's CO2 emissions. Something like 26 gigawatts of power stations could be fired on this natural gas

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Summer is Almost Over

This is Labor Day weekend and soon there will be a chill in the air as the sun gets lower and the days get shorter.  Gasoline prices in the USA are lower this Labor Day than last year motorists get to drive a crazy amount this long weekend.  US CO2 emissions are increasing and Tesla sales in the US are down considerably from last year but their stock TSLA is at an all-time high.   So is the S&P 500 stock index at over 2,000.  Life on the surface looks wonderful with a booming stock market, lower gasoline prices, and good weather predicted for the weekend.

The PV power stations in the northern hemisphere will see declining output all the way through March of next year.  My friend’s station in the Bronx had a few better weeks of power generation with the sun high in the sky and now the solar modules will soon have the dirt and bird dropping covered with ice and snow and hardly generate electrons.  This is the unstoppable cycle.  John Kerry finally has admitted that ISIS is a cancerous crisis and his boss will halt playing golf to deal with the worldwide threat posed by these terrorists.   Of course playing golf is a summertime pastime hence the timing of the statement by Mr. Kerry on the Labor Day weekend.

Mr. Obama addressed the ISIS crisis as well as the Ukraine Pain at a press conference dressed in a lightweight tan suit.  He looked like he was going to a tea party in the Hamptons and was once again bewildered.  The Tan suit was a decoy to focus on, rather that his utter incompetence in foreign policy.

I think Mr. Obama should wear a Green suit as he wants to reduce CO2 emissions.  I found this interesting link where such a suit can be bought.

Quoting from the Product Details on the link:
“Wearing a greenman suit is an amazing experience that you won’t get anywhere else. First, it lets you stand out in a crowd. More importantly, wearing a greenman suit transforms you. When you put on the suit, and you feel like a superhero. Initially, it’s a little scary and awkward, but it forces you to break through your personal barriers and pretty soon, all of your inhibitions have vanished and you’re having a great time. Behind the mask, you are completely anonymous, and at the same time usually the center of attention. And not just because you are an eerily seductive ninja.”

Yes Mr. Obama your inhibitions of how to deal with Islamic Terrorists such as ISIS and Hamas need to vanish.  Of course if you wear the Greenman’s suit companies like A 123, Solyndra, Ener 1, Range Fuels, Cello and Condi’s Kior will thrive and make all the CO2 and bad news go away.   Wearing the Greenman’s suit on the Golf Course will also make you score like a pro and Fox News will not be able to see you to report on your goofing off during a crisis.

I plan on BBQing this weekend and taking a break from the bad news.  Yes I will be adding to carbon load in the atmosphere but the half gallon of propane I burn has a far lower carbon footprint than driving hundreds of miles and burning up tens of gallons of gasoline.  I think I will BBQ chicken as that seems to be what American foreign policy has become.