The Anonymous Widower

London Underground Gets Approval For Walthamstow Central Tube Station Upgrade

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

It is from over a year ago and I’m only including it, as it includes a cutaway of the upgrade.

I go regularly to Walthamstow Central station and hopefully, this will make my journeys easier in busy times.

This paragraph from Wikipedia  describes some of cost-cutting design features of the current station.

The underground station, like many stations on the Victoria line, was built to a low budget. White ceiling panels were never fixed to the ceilings above the platforms; instead the steel tunnel segments were painted black and used to support the fixtures and fittings, cutting lighting levels. A concrete stairway sits between two escalators instead of a third; this economy caused a disruptive station closure for several weeks in 2004 when both escalators went out of service.

Hopefully, these short comings will be addressed in the upgrade.

But it doesn’t appear there will be step-free interchange between Underground and Overground.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Even A Relic Of The True Cross Couldn’t Keep The 12,500-ton Moskva Afloat

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on The Times.

The relic and what happened to it, is described in this extract.

More unusually, it was also carrying a purported splinter from the cross on which Jesus Christ was said to have been crucified. The holy relic was purchased from a Catholic church in Europe by Russian Orthodox Christian businessmen and handed over to the cruiser in 2020. Just a few millimeters across, it was stored inside a 19th-century cross that was kept in the cruiser’s on-board chapel, the Tass news agency reported.

The article also claimed that an unnamed Russian businessman paid $40 million for the relic and that Putin’s admirals believed the thin sliver of wood deflected missiles and torpedoes.

This is comedy gold of the highest class.

It is time to unleash the dogs of comedy!

April 17, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Will Twiggy Save The World?

This article on the Sydney Morning Herald is entitled ‘No One’s Married To Coal’: How Forrest Is Taking On The World To Save The Climate.

The article is the story of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s Damascene conversion to hydrogen.

 

These three paragraphs sums up Andrew Forrest‘s vision and ambitions.

Forrest’s companies, including its mining arm, Fortescue, and its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries, would be net zero by 2030. This would necessitate inventing and then developing hydrogen-powered trucks, trains and ships. This way the mining operation would avoid burning up to a billion litres in diesel a year.

The project would include the construction of vast solar and wind power stations in the Pilbara that would create green hydrogen to first fuel the trains, trucks and ships of the iron ore empire and then for export to a clean-energy starved world. The electrolysers needed to make the hydrogen for the early phases of the plan would be built by a vast new factory in Queensland, that itself would double the global supply of the machines.

Hydrogen would soon become the world’s largest shipborne trade. The Fortescue revolution would occur at a blistering pace set by the demands of addressing global warming, and it would be done for profit, to remove the excuses of governments and businesses that objected to ambitious climate action.

Note.

  1. How many other companies are intending to be net-zero by 2030?
  2. Certainly not many Chinese, German or Russian companies.
  3. And how many companies have planned to achieve net-zero at a profit?

If Forrest achieves his ambitions, the world will be a much better place.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cycle Paths To Run Alongside HS2 For 200 Miles

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the first paragraph.

The route of HS2, the high-speed railway line from London to Manchester, is to become an unlikely tourist and leisure destination, with a trail for cyclists and walkers that will eventually run for 200 miles.

The article says this about the design of the proposed trail.

  • The cycle path is expected to be 3m wide.
  • The walkers path is expected to be 2.5m wide.
  • The two paths would be separated by a grass verge.

I am pleased that the combined path will be set at some distance from the High Speed Two track, as I don’t like to be near speeding trains.

I have some thoughts.

Rest Areas

In some places, there should be rest areas. Some of these could be close to towns or villages, where there is a convenient cafe or pub.

In Burnley, there is even a Premier Inn on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and the manager told me, that in the summer, they get cyclists staying the night, as it’s the mid-point between Leeds and Liverpool.

Mobility Scooters

Will rules for these to use the trail be developed?

Health And Safety

In Edinburgh to Inverness in the Cab of an HST, I talked about a memorable trip, that I made to Inverness.

The route to Inverness is for a long way alongside the A90 and driver told me how on one trip, there was a serious multiple car crash in heavy snow.

So he stopped the train, alerted the emergency services  and even asked the passengers, if there were any medical staff on board.

Obviously, stopping a High Speed Two train from 225 mph is not as practical as stopping an InterCity 125 from perhaps 90 mph.

But the drivers’ eyes or the CCTV systems on the train would probably spot a minor accident on the path, so the appropriate assistance can be called.

Conclusion

I like this idea.

It should be fully developed.

 

 

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Torvex Energy

Hydrogen And Chlorine Production At ICI Mond Division in The 1960s.

In my time in the late 1960s, when I worked For ICI Mond Division, I spent time in the Castner-Kellner works trying fairly unsuccessfully to develop an analyser to detect mercury-in-air in the Castner-Kellner process, that created chlorine and hydrogen from brine.

The process is not a nice one as it uses a mercury cathode and Wikipedia says this about safety.

The mercury cell process continues in use to this day. Current-day mercury cell plant operations are criticized for environmental release of mercury leading in some cases to severe mercury poisoning (as occurred in Japan). Due to these concerns, mercury cell plants are being phased out, and a sustained effort is being made to reduce mercury emissions from existing plants.

ICI felt that a mercury-in-air analyser would help to make the plant safer.

But ICI did have an alternative way to produce the chlorine they needed for selling as a gas or liquid or using as a base chemical for products like disinfectants, bleaches and dry cleaning fluids, without the use of mercury.

It was only a small plant and I was taken their once.

As with the Castner-Kellner process, it used a series of electrolyser cells.

  • These were smaller and had a tub, with a concrete lid.
  • The anode and cathode and the pipes collecting the hydrogen and the chlorine went through the lid.
  • They were rebuilt regularly.
  • As with the Castner-Kellner process, brine is electrolysed.
  • The process was old and probably dated from before the Castner-Kellner process.

But of course as there was no mercury, the hydrogen and chlorine were pure and could be used for certain types of manufacture like pharmaceuticals.

Torvex Energy

This article on Hydrogen Fuel News is entitled Stockton R&D Firm Unveils New Hydrogen From Seawater Production Process.

These are some points from the article.

  • Torvex Energy, a Stockton research and development company, recently unveiled a new technique for producing hydrogen from seawater.
  • This unique method of producing hydrogen from seawater does not result in oxygen gas emissions.
  • As such, it is clearly quite different from more traditional water electrolysis methods used for producing green H2.
  • The team behind the production method call it an environmentally friendly technique.
  • There is no desalination process.
  • The firm has patents pending on this unique form of electrochemical process.
  • It worked with the Material Processing Institute to establish proof of concept for this purpose.

I originally felt that Torvex Energy may have updated the ancient ICI process, that I saw over forty years ago, but when I asked the company, they said it was different.

It now appears that they haven’t, which means they must have found a totally new process.

There is certainly an ongoing patent application with a number of gb1900680.8.

How Efficient Is The Torvex Energy Process?

This will be key and there is nothing on their web site or on the Internet to indicate, if the Torvex Energy process is more or less efficient than traditional electrolysis.

Offshore Hydrogen Production

The main application for the Torvex Energy process must surely be in the production of hydrogen offshore.

  • A fleet of floating wind turbines could surround a mother platform with a Torvex Energy process.
  • The hydrogen could then be sent ashore in a pipeline.
  • If there to be a handy depleted gas field, the this could be used to store the gas.

Depending on the efficiency of the Torvex Energy process, this could be a more cost-effective way to bring energy ashore, as gas pipelines can be more affordable, than HVDC electrical links. Especially, if the pipeline already exists.

Conclusion

Torvex Energy would have appeared to have made a major breakthrough in the production of hydrogen.

April 17, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments