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andy_b
05-16-2008, 10:14 PM
since everyone here loves OT posts, i have one.
i was just emailed some info on the abiotic production of petroleum. basically, bacteria live in some ooze deep below the earth's surface and use heat and helium to make petroleum, thus actually producing an almost never-ending supply. i think it's a big bunch of crap. anyone hear know anything about it?

andy b.

Lew Hartswick
05-16-2008, 10:47 PM
Sounds like some one is on a real "trip". :-)
...lew...

retusaf99
05-16-2008, 11:35 PM
:rolleyes: Sounds like the real deal to me! Send me $500 and I'll send you an envelope of the requisite bacteria. Just plant them in your backyard.

Doug

Oldbrock
05-17-2008, 12:04 AM
Doug, I don't know where you are getting them from because I have the market cornered and am selling them for $1000.00 and ounce. Am taking orders as I type. GET YOURS TODAY. Minimum order 5 oz. Peter:D

Evan
05-17-2008, 12:19 AM
Firstly, if bacteria are making it it isn't abiotic. Secondly, to synthesize compounds of a higher energy level than the constituents you need energy. There is a catch though. Not only do you need energy you need an energy slope or difference. Making a new compound that has more energy than the ingredients is an endothermic reaction. That means it absorbs energy from the surroundings. In general, for such compounds to be stable they must be able to cool which is a part of an endothermic reaction. In an environment such as deep in the Earth's crust the energy density is both very uniform and high. There is no heat sink available in the range of temperatures required for the synthesis of petroleum compounds.

There are of course other little clues that the abiotic genesis speculation conveniently ignores. The reason that petroleum is called "fossil fuel" is that it contains fossil specimens of the plants that contributed to it's production.

Then there is the issue of helium. Methane and crude oil are the only source of helium on Earth. Today the atmosphere contains only tiny traces of helium as nearly all of it has escaped into space. Crude oil and methane however contain much higher percentages of helium than would be possible if the oil were formed relatively recently. There just isn't a source in modern geophysical times for the helium found in oil. It is there because when the plants that became oil were deposited the helium content of the atmosphere was much higher than it is now and some of that helium was trapped in the carbonaceous deposits that became oil.

In short, the abiotic speculation is wrong.

TGTool
05-17-2008, 12:27 AM
Naw, God PUT that helium into the petroleum to confound the scientists.

Evan
05-17-2008, 12:54 AM
Naw, God PUT that helium into the petroleum to confound the scientists.

That is one scenario that some people believe. If it is true then Science is meaningless. We may as well depend on astrology for designing bridges.

J Tiers
05-17-2008, 01:28 AM
If helium were more abundant in the atmosphere earlier, then the air must have been uniformly lighter...... so that helium was not so different in density/molecular weight.

Or it must have been so soon after the creation of an atmosphere that diffusion had not occurred.

Hydrogen and Helium escape because they are so light that they migrate UP slowly but surely. A small bias to the random motions.

The actual source is apparently radioactive decay.....


If it is true then Science is meaningless. We may as well depend on astrology for designing bridges.

As you have probably realized by now, that statement is not actually supportable by logical means ! ;)


As far as the "abiotic" garbage, just exactly how in the blue &^%$ does anyone expect to make a carbon and hydrogen molecule using helium as the raw material?

The statement simply makes less than no sense..... I think just saying or typing it several times could reduce your IQ a measurable amount.... So by now the proponents of same must have the brains of a low grade of slime mold

Evan
05-17-2008, 03:25 AM
Hydrogen and Helium escape because they are so light that they migrate UP slowly but surely. A small bias to the random motions.
I don't think so. The atmosphere stays mixed. Brownian motion totally overwhelms the very weak force of gravity at that scale (added: gravity is 10^40 times weaker than electromagnetism). What happens is that the helium component of the atmosphere is simply easier to accelerate to escape velocity when it is near the top of the atmosphere.

As for the origin of the helium, the overwhelming majority of methane sources contain a ratio of helium 3 to helium 4 that argues for a biogenic source of oil. Helium 3 is more common in oil than helium 4 and the ratio is different than that in the current atmosphere. Helium 3 is formed only by fusion whereas helium 4 is formed by radioactive decay. The abundance of helium 3 vs He4 indicates that atmospheric helium derived from primal sources (stardust) is the the main source of helium in oil.

J Tiers
05-17-2008, 09:12 AM
I don't think so.

I'm sure that's nice.

Rustybolt
05-17-2008, 09:39 AM
I don't know about that Andy, but one theory holds that organic matter is constantly being subsumed(?) at the junction of tectonic plates and being exposed to enormous forces. is it possible? Sure. Why not. Is it happening? Your guess is a good as mine.

Evan
05-17-2008, 10:00 AM
I'm sure that's nice.
It's very easy to measure. The ratio of oxygen to nitrogen and argon stays the same within a very tiny fraction to at least 50,000 feet. The difference between the atomic weight of argon and oxygen and nitrogen is greater than the difference of helium to oxygen but we don't find argon pooling in the valleys even though there is approximately one liter of argon for every cubic meter of air.

Above 50,000 feet the influence of solar radiation begins to dominate as it ionizes the molecular species causing a different balance of gases to predominate. At the the space interface layer in the ionosphere is where the loss of helium takes place because the impact of solar cosmic rays and coronal mass ejections is easily able to accelerate the lightest species to escape velocity. This is also easily seen by the large ballooning of the atmosphere when high activity solar events impinge on it. It was that sort of ballooning that was responsible for the early unpredicted demise of Skylab.

Fortunately the Earth has sufficient density and gravity to hang on to most of it's atmosphere. In the extremely rarified zone of the ionosphere gravity once again is able to take over since electromagnetic interactions are far less common.


I don't know about that Andy, but one theory holds that organic matter is constantly being subsumed(?) at the junction of tectonic plates and being exposed to enormous forces. is it possible? Sure. Why not. Is it happening? Your guess is a good as mine.
Considering that tectonic plates aren't exactly "galloping" into the depths that is not able to explain the source of oil. The maximum motion seen is no more than an average of tens of centimeters per year.

J Tiers
05-17-2008, 11:22 AM
For what it's worth, apparently new research (I can't locate the reference, may have been in Smithsonian mag) shows that the upper atmosphere does NOT mix well with lower. There was speculation from that concerning water vapor and GW effects of high altitude deposition of water vapor by aircraft, commercial, and especially military.

It seems to be accepted that hydrogen "leaks" out of the atmosphere slowly.


And what about your own statement?:


Today the atmosphere contains only tiny traces of helium as nearly all of it has escaped into space.

It seems that I said that exact thing...... but you objected.........

Evan
05-17-2008, 04:02 PM
What I objected to is the idea that it floats up because it is lighter as in "small bias to random motions". While it sounds reasonable on the face of it it isn't how the helium gets to the upper atmosphere. It is carried there along with the other gases as they circulate through the air column. They may not circulate well but they do circulate.

andy_b
05-17-2008, 07:47 PM
thanks for the lessons on helium! i actually thought there was no helium in petroleum, but now i see there is. and this whole abiotic oil thing sounds even more loony after reading the replies here.

andy b.

loose nut
05-17-2008, 09:00 PM
That is one scenario that some people believe. If it is true then Science is meaningless. We may as well depend on astrology for designing bridges.

The way bridges have been collapsing over the last few years maybe they already are.

ScottM
05-17-2008, 09:19 PM
Normally I would avoid this tread like the plague but I remembered seeing a reference to this article in Scientific American.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5863/604

There is a quote from the article here.
http://neveryetmelted.com/?p=3436

- Scott

J Tiers
05-18-2008, 12:16 AM
How they end up on top must be due to something, and that would be a net tendency to rise. Separate molecules don't have the same volume-induced floating up that a balloon-full does, due to the random motion of the gas molecules.

If you want to say the helium and hydrogen circulate up but less so down again, I will go with that... not worth arguing about.


The helium thing has me totally puzzled as to how helium is supposed to MAKE oil....as an earlier poster implied is suggested by the crazy folks in the scheme.....

Do they allege transmutation? Because that is about it for ways and means...... no carbon and no hydrogen in helium.... they are all three separate elements.....

The proponents must have reasoned that since a little helium is there, that it is what is left over after most has become oil..... so they could somehow "enhance" that process......

Crazy.............

Evan
05-18-2008, 02:39 AM
There isn't a "net tendency to rise" or we wouldn't have an ozone layer invaded by heavy species of flourinated hydrocarbons. All the various gases circulate between the top and bottom of the column but less helium returns because it is easy to blow away.

The abiotic speculation must somehow account for the helium in oil so they put forth an explanation that is BS. Most people aren't educationally equipped to recognize that sort of BS. The abiotic explanation exists only to serve an agenda relating to oil that really has nothing at all to do with the origin of oil, only the amount of oil.

By proposing that there is a continuous source of "new" oil they are then able to argue against any political moves that would have the effect of reducing the use of oil at our present rate. There are a lot of people that don't give a rat's ass about the environment and what impact our activities have. All they are interested in is continuing to accumulate wealth regardless of the consequences for future generations or even this one.

That is the sole reason the abiotic explanation exists. By shifting the debate to whether there is a limit on the amount of oil available they deflect debate away from using the available resource at an unsustainable rate. In this context "unsustainable" means at a rate that the Earth's compensatory mechanisms cannot deal with for such things as the increase in CO2.

The abiotic proposal is nothing more than a red herring.

BTW, I just had my dark red roof replaced with the lightest shade of gray available. According to my calculations this will reflect enough radiant energy back into space to reduce my contribution to global warming by the equivalent of reducing my CO2 output by up to 10%. I needed a new roof anyway and by selecting the lightest color possible it also helps the environment at no extra cost. We needen't always invoke some sort of sacrifice to to deal with this issue.

boslab
05-18-2008, 02:44 AM
That is one scenario that some people believe. If it is true then Science is meaningless. We may as well depend on astrology for designing bridges.
thought we did, now i'm confused
aquarius

Swarf&Sparks
05-18-2008, 09:46 AM
"with the lightest shade of gray available."

Cmon Evan, if you're after albedo, just use straight galv or zincalume.
Then there isn't the tertiary (environmental) cost of the powder coat or paint.

;)

J Tiers
05-18-2008, 10:25 AM
Apparently, the "Abiogenic" (not "abiotic") petroleum has nothing much to do with helium. At least not according to a reasonably balanced Wikipedia article. Various helium isotope ratios do give clues to the origin, and may support the theory in limited cases.

And, apparently, it DOES occur.

As for Evan's idea that it is a red herring reason to burn oil with abandon (because it is presumably being rapidly made deep in the earth), that's just BS.

Whether or not abiogenic oil occurs, it clearly is not a major contributor to the oil supply that exists at the moment. And, the various catalyzed reactions that are supposed to exist seem in general to depend on "stuff" that already exists down there, and will also run out. And there is the GW issue as well.

Another source for oil is potentially leftovers from the original consolidation of the earth. One would have expected the chunks and lumps to have stratified, but that isn't necessarily a 100% deal. So the fossil nature of oil might go back even father in certain cases.

Now, if there is some economical way to MAKE a portable fuel similar to present-day gasoline or diesel, as presently proposed for hydrogen, that could be interesting. You would of course have to use a renewable source of power, and the output would not be as available or cheap as oil is now.

Hydrogen and ethanol fuel as presently proposed, are really nothing but impractical theory, a "hoax", really. But, there is the great advantage that hydrogen, at least, requires a large destruction and complete re-making of the infrastructure. You cannot use a present-day filling station, a present day car will not run at all efficiently on hydrogen, all must be new.

This is an advantage if you are rich, because it gives you the opportunity to make what now exists obsolete and unusable, and allows you to decide WHO will be allowed access to the "new" technology, and WHO will be relegated to the status of a serf. The very first obstacle will be, of course, money. Expect it to be 3 to 10 times more expensive to operate a hydrogen vehicle, including purchase and operational costs.... That leaves it for the "Lamborghini set" right away.... people who presently can afford a $100K (or more) car and could afford to fill it with $30 gasoline at will..

A fuel which is possible to use in ways like the present use of oil products would be much more accessible to the masses, which is probably why it will NOT be developed. The people defining the debate are in many cases in positions making them able to regulate and control research, and such a solution appears to be ruled "out of order", possibly because it does not have such potential to 'freeze" the existence of a 'super-class' of fabulously rich people, while simultaneously creating a population of "permanent servants". (if you think they exist now, wait and see what is next).

Swarf&Sparks
05-18-2008, 10:29 AM
"This is an advantage if you are rich, because it gives you the opportunity to make what now exists obsolete and unusable"

Hmm, imagine that "vista"
:(

Evan
05-18-2008, 10:41 AM
And, apparently, it DOES occur.

As for Evan's idea that it is a red herring reason to burn oil with abandon (because it is presumably being rapidly made deep in the earth), that's just BS.
Not quite. While there are abiotic hydrocarbons present on Earth as is evidenced by the helium isotope percentages they represent only a tiny fraction of the hydrocarbon inventory.

Since there isn't any compelling or even suggestive evidence for significant reserves of abiotic oil then one must look for another reason for pushing the idea. Pure self interest (greed) has always been a reliable explanation.


Cmon Evan, if you're after albedo, just use straight galv or zincalume.
Then there isn't the tertiary (environmental) cost of the powder coat or paint.

Have you priced metal roofing lately? What I used are class A fiberglass/bitumen shingles with very light color mineral coating. The new roof cost $3800 all in as compared to nearly $10K for metal.

J Tiers
05-18-2008, 11:09 AM
Not quite. While there are abiotic hydrocarbons present on Earth as is evidenced by the helium isotope percentages they represent only a tiny fraction of the hydrocarbon inventory.

Since there isn't any compelling or even suggestive evidence for significant reserves of abiotic oil then one must look for another reason for pushing the idea. Pure self interest (greed) has always been a reliable explanation.


The point was that the "vast renewing reserves" are BS......... :p

Evan
05-18-2008, 11:16 AM
Ah. Agreed.

Swarf&Sparks
05-18-2008, 11:32 AM
Fair enuff re roofing Evan.
We're at opposite ends of the climatic and geographic scale :)

wierdscience
05-18-2008, 01:39 PM
I think both Abiogenic and Fossil formation are bunk.

It's possible that hydrocarbons came to be here the same way water did.By being present in the debris the Earth formed from and over time under the infuence of pressure and heat became liquid and migrated towards the surface.The lighter components such as natural gas being trapped in pockets where impermiable clays are the overlay and oil being trapped in sedimentary fossil layers which are more pourous than the surronding rock.Course this is just a theory I have:D

Swarf&Sparks
05-18-2008, 01:44 PM
And, of course, lumps of carbon under the same pressure for millenia, become tools and/or abrasives :D


Stand up that boy!
"A girl's best friend", pah!

wierdscience
05-18-2008, 02:00 PM
And, of course, lumps of carbon under the same pressure for millenia, become tools and/or abrasives :D


Stand up that boy!
"A girl's best friend", pah!

Nah,if it had not have been for Earth's very violent past we might not even have any natural metallic elements at the surface.

Imagine how things would be now if way back when copper could not have been picked up,heated,purified and forged into tools.

If all availible metals had been as obscure as aluminum was things would be vastly different.Everything would still be made from wood or stone.

On the otherhand a mill drill made from granite and oak would be an improvement:D

Swarf&Sparks
05-18-2008, 02:09 PM
Hey Weird, that I'd like to see!

Hmm, granite column and oak ways (maybe lignum vitae, but....)

Hey, didn't they do that on the real mills?
hmm, wind, water,
bloody great stone wheels
wooden power train
hornbeam cogs

Wholemeal, rye...... ?
:D

Evan
05-18-2008, 03:49 PM
I think both Abiogenic and Fossil formation are bunk.

It's possible that hydrocarbons came to be here the same way water did.By being present in the debris the Earth formed from and over time under the influence of pressure and heat became liquid and migrated towards the surface.The lighter components such as natural gas being trapped in pockets where impermeable clays are the overlay and oil being trapped in sedimentary fossil layers which are more porous than the surrounding rock.Course this is just a theory I have

That is the source of a very small percentage of some hydrocarbons, less than 1 percent according to the helium isotope ratios. It is instructive to remember that the Earth was once entirely liquid magma with no crust. Light elements migrated by convection to the surface and if gaseous such as methane would have formed an early and very hot atmosphere. It would probably still be here if it weren't for the enormous impact of another object that eventually resulted in the formation of the Moon.

Take note, the Moon did not impact the Earth, it formed from the debris that resulted from the impact of another body. The Earth lost a majority fraction of the lighter elements in this impact as they were blown into space. The main evidence for this is the chemical makeup of the moon which is extremely rich in aluminum but very poor in heavy metals. Hot elements of the early atmosphere were lost entirely since it didn't take much additional kinetic energy added to the already hot gas molecules to exceed escape velocity.

The Earth is still almost entirely liquid. The crust that we live on is thinner than the skin on an apple, comparatively. That crust is composed of two main components, great solid islands of basalt that have remained essentially unchanged since they floated to the top of the magma and cooled and the margins where the subduction and rift zones exist.

The central area of North America is composed of a giant island of basalt. Great portions of it are exposed in the Northern Canadian Shield where the oldest rocks on Earth have been found to be about 4.5 billion years old by various techniques that confirm each other.

In a very few places away from the margins of that island are perforations of the basalt by magma upwellings, the most notable being the Yellowstone Park zone. For the most part though that bedrock is unpenetrated and unmoving and does not take place in any sort of cycle of renewal or change in position relative to the surface or magma below.

Yet, it is home to the largest reservoirs of hydrocarbons on the planet. The reservoirs are in the very top layer of the crust at depths that are either at the surface or just below it. They have absolutely nothing to do with geologic features that have been subducted or heaved up during geologic times. In fact, they are associated with the most ancient geologically stable features that are not composed of rock, salt domes.

Salt domes are the remains of ancient oceans that once flooded the entire interior of North America from what is now the Gulf Coast to Northern Alberta. They are also the final resting place of millions of years worth of accumulated vegetable matter, especially huge mats of algae which were the predominate or even only form of life early in the history of the Earth.

Under the pressure of the sedimentary overburden combined with the heat from below they have variously been chemically transformed from the essential ingredients from which they formed, back into simple combinations of carbon and hydrogen. The oxygen has been reacted with surrounding matter to make such compounds as silicon dioxide and other minerals. Early contaminants of the atmosphere were trapped along with the oxygen and nitrogen. Helium is the most notable and since it will not react with anything it is left in the resulting oil and related compounds. It serves as an indicator of the source of the oil since some of the helium is from the original atmosphere that the planet formed with directly, and some, a different isotope, is produced by the decay of the radioactive elements in the crust.

The proposed abiotic or abiogensis origins for oil utterly fail to explain how all the oil came to be in the zones in which it is found. The explanations given are utter nonsense as they do not take into account the extremely stable nature of those zones.

Nothing has been changing in those zones other than the very slow accumulation of sedimentary deposits over eons since the Earth cooled sufficiently to have land masses.

dp
05-18-2008, 04:06 PM
There's more than one way to create oil:
http://www.divediscover.whoi.edu/expedition1/guaymas.html

Evan
05-18-2008, 04:10 PM
It's still just pressure and heat applied to sedimentary deposits. The geology is unusual, that's all. It isn't common at all.

Teenage_Machinist
06-30-2008, 06:52 PM
Typical young-earth creationist @#$%^&*().

WHile abiotic production could be true, we shold be getting bacteria in our oil,shouldnt we?

wierdscience
06-30-2008, 08:25 PM
Typical young-earth creationist @#$%^&*().

WHile abiotic production could be true, we shold be getting bacteria in our oil,shouldnt we?

Actually there is a strain or two of bacteria that does very well living in diesel.It's common enough that long term storage requires bacteriacide.

Sames goes for coolant in machinetool sumps.

John Stevenson
06-30-2008, 08:35 PM
Sames goes for coolant in machinetool sumps.

Then again like that stuff in your stomach there is good bacteria and bad.

The stuff in my coolant tank is good.

It has been know to lunge out and grag the H&S guy by the legs before he realises he's been had :D

.

Evan
06-30-2008, 09:07 PM
WHile abiotic production could be true, we shold be getting bacteria in our oil,shouldnt we?
You mean instead of phytoplankton skeletons? There is no reason to think that abiotic oil "could be true". The fact that there are huge quantities of methane further out in the system does not argue that it should also be here as a result of planetary formation. The Earth is too close to the sun for that to happen in significant quantity. It's too hot. There is no significant methane on any of the inner planets or moons that can be traced to planetary formation.

Incidentally, there is a reason that Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars are called "inner planets". They are in a very different zone compared to the rest of the solar system. If you aren't familiar with the scale and distances between planets then this chart should make it apparent why we shouldn't expect to see the same sort of planetary makeup as is seen on the outer planets.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics4/planets.gif

Guido
06-30-2008, 09:07 PM
One of the bigger problems in the oilfield to the west of Cisco, Texas was drilling through the shallow reservoir, which was loaded with grease worms. Would eat the metal off the drill bit.

G

Evan
06-30-2008, 09:11 PM
Sounds a lot like the problems we have with snow snakes.

oldtiffie
06-30-2008, 09:20 PM
Sounds even more like the "DT's" or "Horrors" or hallucinations.

And cheap booze - and lots of it!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delerium_tremens

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_in_Wonderland_syndrome

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=hallucinations&fulltext=Search

wierdscience
06-30-2008, 09:21 PM
Then again like that stuff in your stomach there is good bacteria and bad.

The stuff in my coolant tank is good.

It has been know to lunge out and grag the H&S guy by the legs before he realises he's been had :D

.

Brilliant!Now can you get it to make beer? Be nice to tap off a quart every so often from the Bridgy sump:D

doctor demo
06-30-2008, 10:41 PM
http://vts.bc.ca/pics4/planets.gif[/IMG]
Hey Evan, Cool graph. If Our other non planet were still a planet where would it fall on Your graph ?
Steve

psomero
06-30-2008, 11:02 PM
We may as well depend on astrology for designing bridges.



don't forget the requisite prayer that they don't fail if/when they are built...

Evan
07-01-2008, 12:44 AM
If Our other non planet were still a planet where would it fall on Your graph ?

Pluto, I presume? Pluto has a very eccentric orbit and is currently about the same distance from the sun as Neptune. It's summer on Pluto and the nitrogen lakes are steaming hot. :)

doctor demo
07-01-2008, 03:34 AM
Pluto, I presume? Pluto has a very eccentric orbit and is currently about the same distance from the sun as Neptune. It's summer on Pluto and the nitrogen lakes are steaming hot. :)
Nothing like being out on the lake in the summertime:eek: , catch some rays, do a little fishin and maybe soak those weary old winter bones in the nice warm NITROGEN!:rolleyes: .
Steve

Lew Hartswick
07-01-2008, 09:20 AM
Pluto, I presume? Pluto has a very eccentric orbit and is currently about the same distance from the sun as Neptune. It's summer on Pluto and the nitrogen lakes are steaming hot. :)
I think he meant the asteroid belt.
...lew...

Evan
07-01-2008, 10:20 AM
Pluto was recently demoted to minor planetoid status because it doesn't fit the profile for being a member of the regular planetary complement of a star.

We really have been able to determine that there is weather on Pluto and the best guess is that liquid nitrogen is evaporating and then condensing, forming nitrogen frost. This changes the albedo (light reflected) which can be seen with the Hubble Space Telescope.

The Asteroid belt isn't the remains of a planet. It is a jumble of proto planetary material that has been shepherded into that general orbit by the gravitational influence of Jupiter .