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The Environmental thread + Conventional (HI-FI) wisdom is almost always invariably wrong

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Biofuel is probably a bad idea.  It isn't clear if there is any net positive energy.  It is clear if there is any net positive energy it is rather small.  Like using a 100 barrels of oil to get back 101 barrels worth.   You can spin your wheels pretty badly on that.  The best plants for ethanol only convert 2% of solar energy to fuel.  Most are more like 1%.  Corn in the USA which is used for some ethanol added to gasoline is more like .8% overall.  So a 10% solar cell in the same space is much more sensible. 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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2 hours ago, Paul R said:

 

Reasoning people are really just supposed to accept your word on this?  Resorting to calling people who do not bow down to your mighty intellect lazy?

 

I would love to see the research on economic impact and planning to “start burning coal again.” If it truly exists. Which I would bet it does not. 

 

How about a real plan to switch from fossil fuel to something else? Hydrogen? Dealing with not just first world countries but also developing countries? And without wrecking the economy worse than in 1929? 

 

Let’s hear some of those answers, with details. Betting you are too lazy or consider yourself too important. Usually that means the person is just a blowhard, with no real understanding.

 

Or one of those academics everyone is waiting for to retire, before real progress in a subject can be made. 

 

You have no idea how much I would love to be proved wrong. By anyone, even including a self important puffed up braggart.

 

If you have the answers, put em out.  Unless you are afraid. 

 

 

Right now hydrogen made from natural gas is much cheaper than hydrogen from solar powered electrolysis.  Just using natural gas would seem a better plan.  The T. Boone Pickens plan.  Natural gas would be better for energy vs carbon output than is gasoline or diesel.  People are working on methane fuel cells which might be a another good option.  Apparently not altogether practical yet. 

 

I've rather thought developing countries should start with solar power and only have abundant power in the daytime.  Not up to first world standards, but it could still be a big improvement in their lives.  They don't have abundant power period now.  Having it in the daytime and just chilling overnight seems a more humane way to live anyway.  That way the sticky problems of overnight storage are avoided.  

 

In the end, we need fewer people or people need to live at lower level of energy use or both.  


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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@esldudeBiofuels do make sense. You can never make more energy than you put in. It is with all fuels. Biofuels reformulated from fats made from algae makes sense - just add light and carbon dioxide. Even the US Military states we need to rethink about Biofuels. They say it is for our National Security.

 

I have working in biofuels for 20 years. If we supported them as much as we do the Petroleum Industry (I mean government support) they would work out the problems, I have no doubt. But, the Petroleum Industry doesn't want that.


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9 minutes ago, botrytis said:

@esldudeBiofuels do make sense. You can never make more energy than you put in. It is with all fuels. Biofuels reformulated from fats made from algae makes sense - just add light and carbon dioxide. Even the US Military states we need to rethink about Biofuels. They say it is for our National Security.

 

I have working in biofuels for 20 years. If we supported them as much as we do the Petroleum Industry (I mean government support) they would work out the problems, I have no doubt. But, the Petroleum Industry doesn't want that.

 

current biofuels are mostly the result of subsidies to big ag. - corn

 

biofuels make a lot of sense based on what is in the lab now - algae, switchgrass and etc.

 

one co. here collects cooking fat & makes biodiesel

 

esl - you left out using better technologies for the same energy use by the same # people

 

I emphasize for the 3rd time that all of this just reduces somewhat the catastrophic impacts - we need to remove GHGs from the atmosphere to keep things like they are now, or like they were a couple of decades ago


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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32 minutes ago, botrytis said:

@esldudeBiofuels do make sense. You can never make more energy than you put in. It is with all fuels. Biofuels reformulated from fats made from algae makes sense - just add light and carbon dioxide. Even the US Military states we need to rethink about Biofuels. They say it is for our National Security.

 

I have working in biofuels for 20 years. If we supported them as much as we do the Petroleum Industry (I mean government support) they would work out the problems, I have no doubt. But, the Petroleum Industry doesn't want that.

So you can supply energy cheaper than oil or natural gas?  Or at least close.  The algae process holds promise, but I don't know of it being made to work up to its potential.  

 

The ways in which we get back more energy than we use is the sun supplied the surplus. I'm not talking about more than 100% efficiency perpetual motion machines.  Yes all energy processes are less than 100% efficient.  In the case of oil we use about 10 or 15% of the energy to make it available vs what we get from it.  The surplus was from the sun. In the case of plant grown biofuels, it isn't clear that we don't expend more energy creating the biofuel than we get back in energy the fuel represents.  EROEI.  Energy returned on energy invested is what I have in mind. 

 

Algae based approaches could be better. What percent of solar energy gets turned into energy in the end of those processes with currently available methods?


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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3 hours ago, esldude said:

Right now hydrogen made from natural gas is much cheaper than hydrogen from solar powered electrolysis.  Just using natural gas would seem a better plan.  The T. Boone Pickens plan.  Natural gas would be better for energy vs carbon output than is gasoline or diesel.  People are working on methane fuel cells which might be a another good option.  Apparently not altogether practical yet. 

 

I've rather thought developing countries should start with solar power and only have abundant power in the daytime.  Not up to first world standards, but it could still be a big improvement in their lives.  They don't have abundant power period now.  Having it in the daytime and just chilling overnight seems a more humane way to live anyway.  That way the sticky problems of overnight storage are avoided.  

 

In the end, we need fewer people or people need to live at lower level of energy use or both.  

 

Or we need new, clean, safe, portable, high density energy generation. :)

 

I totally agree, and solar panels are making inroads in the third world. Combined with internet and low energy computers, a difference is starting. 

 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

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3 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

well muffy, I AM too lazy to spoon feed graduate students and you will never reach their level

 

try some puff fish at your next eatery

 

Yawn - no thanks, self inflated poisonous bags of hot air are not my speed. 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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3 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

I emphasize for the 3rd time that all of this just reduces somewhat the catastrophic impacts - we need to remove GHGs from the atmosphere to keep things like they are now, or like they were a couple of decades ago

 

Which is utterly useless you less you both control emissions and remove green house gasses from the atmosphere. And find an economical, ecologically sound way to do it.

 

You need both gross negative emissions and to be able to remove maybe up to 10 billion tons per year.  You can’t do that Ralphie. Nobody can, today. 

 

And that figure is a guesstimate after detangling gross and net emissions, and without taking into account how to accomplish any of this in human societies. Nobody has figured out a way to do that yet, short of a brutal eco-dictatorship.  That is not going to happen. 

 

Even more, low tech bio solutions all seem to have intractable issues - they won’t scale, or the have really bad side effects on the ocean, or they don’t work, or there are disputes over the land use, and so on. 

 

You can inflate you gizzard with all all the hot air you can generate, but you don’t have real solutions. Not economic ones, nor real solutions ready to turn over to the engineering teams to turn into reality.

 

Yet.

 

I agree we need to find them fast. Like with the climate though, an over abundance of hot air is the biggest problem  to solve. 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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4 hours ago, esldude said:

State by state. 

 

In my state the regional utility, which owned the state legislature and members of the Public Service Commission (which oversees utilities) got a law passed a few years ago on solar power.  I have to pay my electric company a monthly fee if I have solar power (even if not connected to their grid).  If I connect to the grid and put a surplus of electricity into it, I'll only be paid 20% of what they charge me for electricity.  It was basically designed so the cost of doing this pretty much wipes out any savings I might gain from PV cells.  So any extra cost I have in getting PV cells means it will effectively never get to pay for itself. 

 

This electrical utility has started building some solar farms in the last two years.  PSC president purchased 800 acres of land in the middle of nowhere for cheap.  Then the electrical utility signed a 10 year lease agreement to develop a solar generation facility.  The lease will pay the PSC president about 3 times what he paid for the land.  Now to my great surprise, this did get publicized and they managed to kill that deal.  So the solar farm will be put elsewhere. 

 

Building regs in my state are fairly minimal on energy efficiency.  They do grow lots of timber.  Grow, cut, and re-grow about every 20 years. The land is owned by companies for this purpose. 

 

That's depressing...

Hopefuly the cut and re-grow cycling won't deplete the soil of its nutrients.

 

In Portugal the Government used to offer tax benefits for people buying electric cars and to those who installed solar panels or wind generators. These people will be paid for having the potential to put energy into the grid but apparently the cost of this ended up in bills of regular users which don't generate electricity. People also get tax benefits for replacing windows with thermal-break double- or triple-glazing.

I am not sure how it works here in the UK but recent pledges seem to be pointing at subsidised refurbs to increase the energy efficiency of old buildings. I wonder where they'll find the money after a now likely no-deal Brexit...

 

Building Regs both here, in Portugal and probably most of the EU are pretty strick about energy efficiency in new build. There are also rules about the sourcing of timber, as well as the disposal of hazzard and non-hazzard refuse.

 

In Portugal there are also strick rules about bore holes and you are required to install a separate meter for gardening and/swiming pool (and water will be a lot more expensive). Waterproofing of large areas of ground are also subject to strickt rules.

 

In both countries you are required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate when selling or renting a property.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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1 hour ago, semente said:

 

That's depressing...

Hopefuly the cut and re-grow cycling won't deplete the soil of its nutrients.

 

In Portugal the Government used to offer tax benefits for people buying electric cars and to those who installed solar panels or wind generators. These people will be paid for having the potential to put energy into the grid but apparently the cost of this ended up in bills of regular users which don't generate electricity. People also get tax benefits for replacing windows with thermal-break double- or triple-glazing.

I am not sure how it works here in the UK but recent pledges seem to be pointing at subsidised refurbs to increase the energy efficiency of old buildings. I wonder where they'll find the money after a now likely no-deal Brexit...

 

Building Regs both here, in Portugal and probably most of the EU are pretty strick about energy efficiency in new build. There are also rules about the sourcing of timber, as well as the disposal of hazzard and non-hazzard refuse.

 

In Portugal there are also strick rules about bore holes and you are required to install a separate meter for gardening and/swiming pool (and water will be a lot more expensive). Waterproofing of large areas of ground are also subject to strickt rules.

 

In both countries you are required to produce an Energy Performance Certificate when selling or renting a property.

No such thing here.  You can get billing for the past several years from each utility.  My current home is all electric so that was simple.  I asked for the electrical usage and billing since it was built a few years prior.  It showed a very low level of energy usage especially for its size. It has  proven to be very modest in energy usage.  Changed all the lighting to LED.  Other than that no changes.  So it doesn't take too much for a buyer to get such info on an existing structure, but almost no one does that. 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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Just a side comment.  In the past at least, people in the USA didn't expect the gov't to be a nanny to everyone.  More of a DIY, caveat emptor philosophy. Or at least it used to be.  The house I purchased had double pane argon gas windows.  I climbed into the attic to find deep almost excessive insulation.  Exterior walls had vapor barriers and insulation.  All interior walls had fiberglass insulation.  So I was fairly sure of what it would be like.  Getting past utility bills merely confirmed it.  I didn't need some gov't bureaucratic BS with some piece of paper certificate that maybe someone could have paid someone else off to fake.  My impression is things are different and more complex than need be in Europe.  I'm sure Europeans feel differently.  C'est la vie.  


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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1 hour ago, esldude said:

No such thing here.  You can get billing for the past several years from each utility.  My current home is all electric so that was simple.  I asked for the electrical usage and billing since it was built a few years prior.  It showed a very low level of energy usage especially for its size. It has  proven to be very modest in energy usage.  Changed all the lighting to LED.  Other than that no changes.  So it doesn't take too much for a buyer to get such info on an existing structure, but almost no one does that. 

 

The EPC is not just about energy consumption but also energy/heat loss or gain.

It's quite helpful because you can roughly estimate how much you will be spending to keep the house warm in the winter and/or cold in the summer.


"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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10 hours ago, esldude said:

Biofuel is probably a bad idea.  It isn't clear if there is any net positive energy.  It is clear if there is any net positive energy it is rather small.  Like using a 100 barrels of oil to get back 101 barrels worth.   You can spin your wheels pretty badly on that.  The best plants for ethanol only convert 2% of solar energy to fuel.  Most are more like 1%.  Corn in the USA which is used for some ethanol added to gasoline is more like .8% overall.  So a 10% solar cell in the same space is much more sensible. 

 

In the case of ethanol, I thought it was more to control air pollution than any kind of climate engineering solution. Controlling Carbon Monoxide in particular, and positive results in smog control?  Could be wrong there. 

 

Another one one of those complexities though. Might be better to just do that 30mph limit, or go towards very high mpg engines. No idea how the costs of those or any other solutions stack up though. Or if the costs of ethanol make it worth considering in carbon emission control. Still get Carbon Dioxide from the combustion.  Several studies out there, but they appear to be contradictory. Wotta woil!

 

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

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14 hours ago, Ralf11 said:

 

current biofuels are mostly the result of subsidies to big ag. - corn

 

biofuels make a lot of sense based on what is in the lab now - algae, switchgrass and etc.

 

one co. here collects cooking fat & makes biodiesel

 

esl - you left out using better technologies for the same energy use by the same # people

 

I emphasize for the 3rd time that all of this just reduces somewhat the catastrophic impacts - we need to remove GHGs from the atmosphere to keep things like they are now, or like they were a couple of decades ago

 

First - we pay the oil companies to do oil exploration. In fact, the US Government actually subsidizes it all. The companies do gamble money but most if it is our tax money. The government also subsidizes the refinery industry. So, if those were taken away, then oil and Natural gas would be at a much higher price and biofuels could compete on an even footing. 

 

Scientist know how much Carbon Dioxide humans are putting into the atmosphere. It is relatively easy to measure with an Isotope Mass Spec. Carbon has 2 major isotopes C12 and C13 - C12 is naturally occurring major isotope but C13 was relatively low (like 1.1%). But, since we have done atomic tests C13 spikes at those times and is actually higher in plants and humans compared to what is in say fossil fuels. It is these ratios of C13/C12 that shows how much we are putting into the atmosphere. WHy? in fossil fuels, C13 is only about 1.1% of the total CO2 produced from burning. The C13/C12 ratio in plants and animals is much higher. 

 

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/01/28/spencer-pt2-more-co2-peculiarities-the-c13c12-isotope-ratio/


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4 hours ago, Paul R said:

 

In the case of ethanol, I thought it was more to control air pollution than any kind of climate engineering solution. Controlling Carbon Monoxide in particular, and positive results in smog control?  Could be wrong there. 

 

Another one one of those complexities though. Might be better to just do that 30mph limit, or go towards very high mpg engines. No idea how the costs of those or any other solutions stack up though. Or if the costs of ethanol make it worth considering in carbon emission control. Still get Carbon Dioxide from the combustion.  Several studies out there, but they appear to be contradictory. Wotta woil!

 

 

Ethanol is being used, as an oxygenate in gasoline, because the original oxygenate that the oil companies came up with, MTBE, was shown to be far more insidious. It seems that if you mix gasoline (with MTBE) and water, the MTBE preferentially partitions into the water portion. This is catastrophic for groundwater as LUST sites (Leaky Underground Storage Tanks) can contaminate water used for drinking water. It is also a carcinogen. This is why ethanol is being used.

 

Just remember, ethanol was one of the original transportation fuels but was phased out in favor of petroleum fuels.

 

Ethanol is considered to be CO2 neutral because it is made with crops that fix CO2 to make biomass, etc.


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Yes, MTBE was and still is a disaster.

 

For EtOH, the corn based approach helps with emissions into an airshed, but the env'l costs to grow the corn, fertilize it, and transport it are high.

 

If 99% of cars, truck, etc. were electrical and getting recharged from PVs, aircraft would still likely require a liquid fuel.

 

Algae, and maybe switchgrass are the future for biofuels.  You also have a large banshee contingent who oppose all genetic modifications...

 

For home, commercial electrical & heating, A/C you do not need a high energy density at all.  Rooftop PVs plus the grid can easily solve that use.  Rooftop or local 'parks' with PVs also reduce transport losses, and rooftop PVs provide shading in hot climates.

 

Ultimately, GHG emissions do not need to be zero; they nearly need to be at a lower level than today, such as during the 1930s for example.  But things would first have to return to a rough equilibrium for that.


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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Rather than being phased out or generally replaced, there are still companies building brand new MTBE production units.


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'nearly' 2 posts above should be 'merely'


"The overwhelming majority [of audiophiles] have very little knowledge, if any, about the most basic principles and operating characteristics of audio equipment. They often base their purchasing decisions on hearsay, and the preaching of media sages. Unfortunately, because of commercial considerations, much information is rooted in increasing revenue, not in assisting the audiophile. It seems as if the only requirements for becoming an "authority" in the world of audio is a keyboard."

-- Bruce Rozenblit of Transcendent Sound

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All I know is that there was a large methane release in my bedroom the other night.  Probably took 3 or 4 years off the environment with regards to the viability of humans.

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16 hours ago, esldude said:

My impression is things are different and more complex than need be in Europe.  I'm sure Europeans feel differently.  C'est la vie.  

 

Of course I can't be the person teaching people English here, but since C'est la vie is French anyway ... this is not really how it is to be applied. So it could be a fact all right, but not really a fact of life or being.

People get ill some times. They also die. C'est la vie.

 

Over here the government went over the top IMO because since 5 years or so houses get certificates. Like C (the worse), B, A, AA, AAA+ (the best) etc. labels for energy consumption. They thought to do this from a distance by means of looking at the year of build. So a common house from the 30's would be inherently C and a house from a couple of years old and fairly small would be an AA. The idea is that a buyer could review this rating before he buys the house. The other idea (because this is how our government operates) is that people would improve the insulation etc. because else the house would not sell easily, later (because the potential buyer can see the rating).

If you did all to improve your 30's house and made it into a (perceived) A rating, you could hire an official instance and a formal report would change the already formally registered C into an A etc. Too bad is that hiring such an instance  easily costs 10K euros.

Because government is government run by government people (they are a different species) it would be so that a new house with all the appliances possible to make it green, would still receive e.g. a B rating just because some moron thought that the size is a factor. Thus, if my house would be 10 times larger than the common one, the emission would be 10 times more as well.

What ?

-> No problem, just hire that instance and let make that formal report (which is now even more expensive because of the size of the house).

 

Btw, this is not much related to being nannied as I see it. But over here we just agreed to comply to whatever emission rates "per 2025" etc. and in the end this is a good thing. A bit the opposite of what Trump (anti-Paris agreement) tries to achieve for some reason. Must be the American freedom ?

So Yes, I think I see where the "nanny" comes from. But ... :/ I could even add a C'est la vie to it (as in a sad fact of life).


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2 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

Of course I can't be the person teaching people English here, but since C'est la vie is French anyway ... this is not really how it is to be applied. So it could be a fact all right, but not really a fact of life or being.

People get ill some times. They also die. C'est la vie.

 

Over here the government went over the top IMO because since 5 years or so houses get certificates. Like C (the worse), B, A, AA, AAA+ (the best) etc. labels for energy consumption. They thought to do this from a distance by means of looking at the year of build. So a common house from the 30's would be inherently C and a house from a couple of years old and fairly small would be an AA. The idea is that a buyer could review this rating before he buys the house. The other idea (because this is how our government operates) is that people would improve the insulation etc. because else the house would not sell easily, later (because the potential buyer can see the rating).

If you did all to improve your 30's house and made it into a (perceived) A rating, you could hire an official instance and a formal report would change the already formally registered C into an A etc. Too bad is that hiring such an instance  easily costs 10K euros.

Because government is government run by government people (they are a different species) it would be so that a new house with all the appliances possible to make it green, would still receive e.g. a B rating just because some moron thought that the size is a factor. Thus, if my house would be 10 times larger than the common one, the emission would be 10 times more as well.

What ?

-> No problem, just hire that instance and let make that formal report (which is now even more expensive because of the size of the house).

 

Btw, this is not much related to being nannied as I see it. But over here we just agreed to comply to whatever emission rates "per 2025" etc. and in the end this is a good thing. A bit the opposite of what Trump (anti-Paris agreement) tries to achieve for some reason. Must be the American freedom ?

So Yes, I think I see where the "nanny" comes from. But ... :/ I could even add a C'est la vie to it (as in a sad fact of life).

This is life or such is life is how I understood it.  And the phrase is the feeling along the lines of such is life and nothing I could do about it. 

 

So seems things are more complex than need be in Europe, and Europeans I'd assume feel differently since it is that way.  So that is how it is in Europe and nothing I could do (or should do) about it.  If Europeans don't like the governmental complexity  ??????  Maybe that is why some of the recent elections went how they did.  Or maybe it is just fad and fashion in politics. 


To paraphrase Rick James, "sighted listening is a helluva drug".

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4 hours ago, PeterSt said:

They thought to do this from a distance by means of looking at the year of build. So a common house from the 30's would be inherently C and a house from a couple of years old and fairly small would be an AA. The idea is that a buyer could review this rating before he buys the house. The other idea (because this is how our government operates) is that people would improve the insulation etc. because else the house would not sell easily, later (because the potential buyer can see the rating).

It's like that all over Europe, and the assessors don't just look at the age of the building.

Construction details, location, orientation and volume are put into simulation software.

Edited by semente

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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