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7 votes

Is oil actually a renewable and sustainable resource, but we just use much too much of it?

What does renewable mean? Wikipedia defines a renewable resource as (emphasis added): a natural resource which will replenish to replace the portion depleted by usage and consumption, either through ...
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5 votes

Cleaner alternatives to gear and chain oils

Commercial/ Factory designs have been replacing the power transmission of "lubricated chains" and "gear mechanisms" with high performance "Timing Belts" made of special polymer composited with steel ...
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  • 346
5 votes
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Does oil spilled in backyard contaminate groundwater?

I question the blanket assertion of 1 liter of oil contaminating 1 million liters of water. That's 1 part per million. This article: https://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/water-quality/...
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5 votes

Why does wind just track the economy

It doesn't. Assuming you're referring to wind capacity additions, it most closely tracks the political winds in the U.S., in the form of the Production Tax Credit (PTC), a federal incentive program ...
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5 votes
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Does burning used motor oil to generate heat on-site have a lower impact than sending it for recycling?

There are two issues with used motor oil. One is that PCAH forms Thats Poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Benzene like rings with odds and ends attached. Many are biologically active, some are ...
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4 votes
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Does the price of polysilicon (for solar PV panels) depend on oil prices?

I did some digging and found data with a bit more resolution. First, polysilicon prices since 2010: Source: Fu, et al, Economic Measurements of Polysilicon for the Photovoltaic Industry: Market ...
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4 votes

Does the price of polysilicon (for solar PV panels) depend on oil prices?

No. As the graphs provided show, the prices both spike during the GFC, loosely speaking, but the oil price spikes later and declines faster, then continues a general slow rise while the price of ...
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  • 3,755
4 votes

Does the price of polysilicon (for solar PV panels) depend on oil prices?

Here's a quick answer; hopefully we'll see some more in depth answers too. Looking at the given charts closely, the price of polysilicon appears to decline from around $75 in early 2010 to $17 in ...
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4 votes

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

You can compost the oil / grease if you have the room. It's just not as easy to do as most kitchen waste. Oil tends to make your compost pile anaerobic, so its gets smelly and can attract vermin. But ...
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4 votes
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Are oil and natural gas inherently linked?

tl;dr: Oil wells produce some natural gas, and natural gas wells produce some oil, but natural gas wells tend to be more "specialized," meaning that as their quantity and productivity increases, the ...
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3 votes
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Motor oil and environment

Here is a document from the National Park Service which summarizes a lot of information about environmental effects of used motor oil. It includes references to many other papers. The primary ...
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  • 294
3 votes

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

While you have dismissed it in your question, I'd say that the best way to dispose of old oil is to convert it to Bio-Diesel and burn it - that reduces the amount of conventional Diesel that is dug ...
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3 votes
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Good alternatives to a fuel oil heating system in an apartment block

TL, DR Solar thermal with a gas burner for peak demand. Possibly improved isolation. First, you need exact data on how much heat you need, and when, during the year and during each day. This should ...
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  • 2,816
3 votes

How would keystone pipeline affect nature?

The problem is not the pipeline itself. Large pipelines are standard engineering. The disruption is fairly short term. The problem is that it would make a ready market for Canadian Oilsand oil to ...
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2 votes

Good alternatives to a fuel oil heating system in an apartment block

You could definitely switch to an efficient gas boiler system with proper controls to run "cleaner" and more efficiently. Depending on gas/oil prices in your area, this may or may not be economically ...
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2 votes
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How does one judge the sustainability of using burnt motor oil for termite protection?

I'm going to be politically incorrect and say yes. "The solution to pollution is dilutions" Toxicity is in the dose. The amount of heavy metals and PAH's (Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) is ...
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2 votes

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

In your question you assume that it is then processed into biodiesel. This is not always the case, for example it can be converted in lubricating oil and glycerol to make soap. In the abstract of the ...
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2 votes

How exactly do the impacts of lithium mining compare to oil extraction over a vehicle's lifetime?

This is quite a difficult question to answer with precision, because the impacts of mining depend a lot on how you do it. I can offer a few references which give a guide to the scale of the problem. ...
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1 vote

Can oil be used as a fuel source without contributing to global climate change?

There are two ways oil can be used as a fuel source for energy without contributing to global climate change. The first is carbon capture and storage. However, part of the allure of oil is that it's ...
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  • 3,027
1 vote

Can oil be used as a fuel source without contributing to global climate change?

Not of itself. Using oil as fuel means burning it and that means producing carbon dioxide. There are a lot of things we can do after burning oil to avoid releasing the CO2 to the atmosphere, but none ...
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  • 3,755
1 vote

Carbon offset heating oil

Your best bet to offset is not via some carbon-offset program that are a big con, but rather by directing your money into green investments. Invest in wind power, solar power, geothermal heat pump etc ...
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  • 3,027
1 vote

Are there petroleum products which do not have practical alternative sources?

Hmm. Going after your intent, I'm going to lump all fossil fuel into this, and include coal and natural gas too. I'm going to also assume that while the chemical engineers can turn almost any organic ...
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1 vote

How exactly do the impacts of lithium mining compare to oil extraction over a vehicle's lifetime?

How do the impacts of mining lithium for one electric vehicle (EV) for it's lifetime compare to the impacts of extracting oil for one internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV) for it's lifetime? ...
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1 vote

Are oil and natural gas inherently linked?

Geologically and by origin, yes, they are linked. Politically they've started to split. Its use is much less detrimental environmentally than oil or coal - it burns clean and is nontoxic. And it was ...
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1 vote

Are oil and natural gas inherently linked?

Simpler answer: In the context of the question, gas and oil are two names for the same thing, hydrocarbons. Whether a hydrocarbon is a gas or liquid depends on the temperature. Methane "natural gas" (...
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1 vote

Are oil and natural gas inherently linked?

They are inherently linked. Every oil well produces some gas. A few gas wells produce only methane and ethane but a majority also produce some propane, butane, and heavier hydrocarbons. It depends on ...
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1 vote

How to sustainably dispose of or break down used cooking oils?

A: Reexamine your life style. How are you producing this fat? Can you produce less? Looking at our life, we probably produce about 4-5 tin cans of fat a year. When the can is full, it goes in the ...
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1 vote

Good alternatives to a fuel oil heating system in an apartment block

If you have it available switching to natural gas will produce less CO2. If you have renewable energy surpluses, then TES (Thermal Energy Storage) makes lots of sense. You use MUCH larger water ...
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