The Future of Fueling Stations

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The Future of Fueling Stations

By: Carla M. Parsons

 

Follow up article to http://radicalsciencenews.org/the-future-of-transportation-is-near/

texacobtf

(From Back to the Future 2: Universal Studios)

  We’ve all wondered what the 2010’s would be like, but have we really reached the future we ought to have, and if not, is there a way to fix it? Before we start looking at future fueling stations, let’s take a closer look into why electric vehicles haven’t yet become a common household item. When great vehicles like the Rav4 EV released last year somehow don’t make a big hit, you really start to wonder. The Rav4 was a vehicle designed to disrupt the market, a Toyota product, and it was absolutely wonderful. I remember the first time I stepped into a Rav4. I was completely awestruck by the fact it reminded me more of glimmering spaceship than a car. The photos just didn’t do that car justice, though they tried! It was even proclaimed the “best electric vehicle of all time,” by a fellow blogger, and I tend to agree. [1]

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(still this image somehow detracts significantly from the beauty of this model)

So why did this not change our hearts about ditching our gas-powered engines to electric-powered ones? At first, I blamed it on the poor marketing of this EV, but truly I think I’ve put my finger on why we don’t switch. Though the Rav4 was an unbelievably beautiful car, the range was still less than 200 miles, which means no long trips. In addition, the price was still more than 35K, plus the vehicle was apparently slow to charge. If they brought this car back with the same exterior and interior designs in the future with some improvements, that would be pretty swell.

Speaking of swell, what happened after this development in 2015 to try and disrupt the market again? Well, other than the well-known Elon Musk’s plan to take over the electric vehicle market, Toyota is catching onto one of my favorite areas of science and engineering, a new version of 19th century science: steampunk. Steampunk is a very much suppressed area of science, since it’s as simple as using electrolysis to separate hydrogen from the water, and, in other forms, pressure to drive generators using a trompe. In the case of Toyota, hydrogen-fueled vehicles and fuel cells are used for transport.

Hydrogen is part of Toyota’s newest innovation.

toyotamirai1-gallery

Mirai

“Mirai offers plenty of advanced tech, an EPA-estimated driving range of up to 312 miles, 5 and its only emission is pure water.” [2]

Now that Tesla Motors is producing electric vehicles en masse, the main issue here for most is the lack of infrastructure to go along with the vehicle. More importantly, will that electricity you use to power your electric vehicle actually be from a clean energy source? People just don’t seem to want to buy an affordable electric vehicle unless they know they can take it on long trips and don’t have to drive all the way back to their house just to charge. What if they get stranded? Where would they go? So, with inspiration for the idea from a fellow entrepreneur who wants to start a company around green fueling stations, and his permission to open source, I drew up some ideas to what fueling stations ought to look like in the 21st century.

THE FUTURE OF FUELING STATIONS

Here are examples of what’s already been done; proving clean energy fueling stations are 100% possible.

sedd

“This Solar Electric Vehicle Charging Station, is located near the University Services Building and the Madison Street Services Building and provides charging spaces for approximately 20 electric vehicles for Facilities Management (FM) and other UI departments. The project was completed summer 2011.” [3] This charging port can fuel up more than 6 different types of alternative electric vehicles. Imagine a world without the need for pipelines rolling through tribal lands, independent from foreign oil. Imagine a world where everyone is at peace because energy is as abundant as the sun. Having an electric car would be cheaper and easier to own, and the only byproduct of a hydrogen-fueled car is H2O. All of this would finally be possible with alternative fueling stations. These stations could produce electricity and hydrogen on site through solar panels or municipal water; and it gets better.

plugincars-gm-proving-grounds-small                                   (GM’s plug-in cars Solar Tracking Tree)

Every part of the system, from waste to gray water, can be used as fuel for energy. All over the globe, proper waste management is a systemic issue. Converting biomass from waste may be the biggest underrated technology we have today and it can be made to create clean energy. Plus, oftentimes runaway waste and bacteria that get leached into the air or waterways can become a major health hazard, causing many cities’ municipal water to contain more harmful bacteria from human waste than drinkable water. For instance, Blastocystis hominis is an infection caused by a single protozoa, and the worst part is research is still not clear on exactly what causes the infection other than something in mammalian feces. [4] [5]

anatomy-160524_1280

“Blasto” is also the most common parasitic infection in the United States, where it infected approximately 23% of the total population during year 2000. It is by far the most prevalent mono-infection  and was found 28.5 times more often than Giardia lamblia in symptomatic patients in a study in 2000 [6]. In less developed areas of the world high rates of infection are found in individuals and in developed countries in those who work with animals. [7]
If we contained and fully converted waste, our water and air would be healthier. Maybe in the future we will realize how gross it was that we were living like swine in our own waste. It’s essentially how inefficient our waste management currently is, and in places like India and China it’s even worse. The Indian Ocean is currently the most contaminated ocean in the world and now the southern swathe of mainland China above Hong Kong has decided to join them, wreaking massive environmental damage and frequent eruptions of toxic algae blooms due to dumping waste into the ocean. [8]

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Gas stations undeniably represent one of the largest and most concentrated and used category of public toilets in the world.The fact we are not using this as a way to properly manage waste is not only bad for our health and collective hygiene, but the health of the environment as well. Already we use similar processes to make biofuel for busses that travel across the country. Because, seriously, what a great way to get rid of putrid smelly byproducts than turn them into something useful? In this vision, when you step inside the new fueling station to do your business, your business becomes business, in the sense your waste can power the gas station. The burners that cook your burger will burn away separated and harvested methane gas and no more gross smells along with other things leaching into the surrounding environment or municipal water lines. Airtight drums would create methane as a form of biofuel and all potently harmful protozoans going to your water or air, would get filtered and incinerated!

Let’s take a slightly closer look at the process…..

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(Credit University of Missouri)

In this scientific analysis by the University of Missouri they state, an “ideal balanced” digester must be loaded with manure on a regular basis, and the gas must be either stored as it’s produced, or burned to fulfill the energy requirement. [9] So for gas stations, who are constantly using their burners to produce new food and getting a constant cycle of waste, this solution is perfect.

texaco_2015

(From Back to the Future 2: Universal Studios)

Ok now that we’ve covered electricity, steam and biological forms of alternative energy and have talked excessively about public waste getting into your drinking water, what about the fun stuff!? How could we get our food delivered to us in these new stations? What would that be like? Would it really be like in Back To The Future 2? Could you also order food out to your car and and have it delivered to you by robots? Maybe stretch your legs, play some laser tag, or watch an outdoor movie? Sincerely, it’s 2016, we should have fueling stations that are like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory right?! “Come with me and you’ll be in a world pure imagination, there is no life I know to compare with your imagination.” Every flavor of coffee imaginable, every flavor of soda, and especially have more of those amazing healthy energy drinks, because let’s face it, Monsters are for acne-prone boys in baggy black T-shirts, not for grown men or women trying to take care of their heart! Futuristic healthy energy drinks, yes, I’m all for it! But maybe this is just what we can do for the rest of our infrastructure, what if we don’t even need fueling stations at all????

Nisan has an even more radical idea which is wireless charging and the ability to charge anywhere you like!

So ladies and gentlemen, we must remember!!!!!!!

“Anything you want to do it, want to change the world…there’s nothing to it.” 😉

-Gene Wilder

 

20121127-robot-waitressThanks for reading, folks! Till next time! And remember to enjoy the future!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

  1. “Somebody Please Explain Why the RAV4 EV Isn’t a Big Hit” 

  2. Mirai The Turning Point” 

  3. “Solar Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

  4. Blastocystis CDC Facts

  5. Blastocystis hominis infection Mayo Clinic

 6. “Oh my aching gut: irritable bowel syndrome, Blastocystis, and asymptomatic infection”

 7.  “Update on the pathogenic potential and treatment options for Blastocystis sp”

  1. “Spewing Raw Sewage into the Ocean is Bad” 
  1.   “Generating Methane Gas From Manure”

 

 

Post Author: Carla Marie Parsons

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