The Anonymous Widower

Rolls-Royce Secures Funding To Build Direct Air Capture Demonstrator

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

These are the two introductory paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce has secured £3m from the UK Government to build a demonstrator Direct Air Capture (DAC) system, which could play a vital role in keeping global temperature rises to below 1.5C by removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The demonstrator funding comes from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and helps deliver on the UK Government’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It follows initial Phase 1 funding of £250,000 awarded in 2021, that allowed Rolls-Royce to design the demonstrator in partnership with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

These two paragraphs, give a few clues to the technology.

Jess Poole, Direct Air Capture Lead for Rolls-Royce, said: “Every credible climate change model requires us to decarbonise today’s emissions, as well as removing CO2 already in the atmosphere via carbon negative technologies such as DAC. Our system combines our expertise in moving large quantities of air efficiently and integrating complex systems, which have been gained from designing world-leading jet engines, with novel DAC technology developed by CSIRO.

“Together the system works like a giant lung, sucking in air, absorbing the CO2, and releasing what is not wanted. We use a water-based liquid to wash around 50% of the CO2 from the captured air. Our technology is distinctive because very little water is used, and the liquid is recycled at low temperatures, making it energy efficient. Other technologies consume a lot of water and require substantial amounts of energy to generate heat for the separation of the CO2.

I was unaware of CSIRO, but that is not surprising, as they are Australian. They are introduced like this in their Wikipedia entry.

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.

CSIRO works with leading organisations around the world. From its headquarters in Canberra, CSIRO maintains more than 50 sites across Australia and in France, Chile and the United States, employing about 5,500 people.

Their motto is “We imagine. We collaborate. We innovate.”

There’s certainly been several brilliant ideas and projects from the country in the last few years.

Is this another?

Another Problem With Carbon Dioxide

When I’m in an optimistic mood, I feel that scientists and engineers may develop so many ideas for the use of carbon dioxide, that we may need to burn natural gas in power stations, so we have the carbon dioxide for industrial or agricultural uses.

I know of one tomato grower, who uses a gas-powered combined heat and power boiler to heat his greenhouses. The carbon dioxide is fed to the tomatoes and any spare electricity is sold to the grid.

Direct Air Capture (DAC) systems might be needed to provide a carbon dioxide feedstock for some processes. Suppose in the tomato example, the grower is heating his greenhouses with an energy source, that doesn’t generate carbon dioxide, he might want to obtain his carbon dioxide from the air.

July 12, 2022 Posted by | Finance | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

York And Church Fenton Electrification

This news item from Network Rail is entitled Yorkshire’s First New Electric Railway In 25 Years Set To Cut Carbon And Slash Journey Times.

This section summarised the work

Work began on the York to Church Fenton electrification scheme in October 2019, and to date has delivered:

  • 17 kilometres of new, more reliable track, ready to run faster trains
  • An innovative 65-metre-wide under-track crossing
  • 270 new steel masts, which carry the overhead electric wires

When the new wires are energised, they will allow more environmentally friendly hybrid trains to run along this section at speeds of up to 125mph – that’s 30mph faster than they currently run.

This OpenRailwayMap shows between York and Church Fenton.


red lines indicate 25 KVAC overhead electrification.

York is in the North-East corner of the map.

Church Fenton is in the South-West corner of the map.

The track marked in red going South is the Selby Diversion, which was built in 1983 to avoid the Selby coalfield. It joins the York and Church Fenton route at Colton Junction.

The Colton Junction and Church Fenton section is marked in red and black, indicating this section is being electrified.

This second OpenRailwayMap shows between Church Fenton and Neville Hill TMD in the East of Leeds.


  • Church Fenton is in the North-East corner of the map.
  • Neville Hill TMD is the big black blob in the middle of the West edge of the map.
  • The route marked in red and black will probably be the next to be electrified.
  • Between Leeds and Neville Hill is electrified.

Electrification of Church Fenton and Neville Hill TMD means that the electrification between Leeds and York would be complete.

These services use this route between Leeds and York.

  • TransPennine Express – 1 tph – Liverpool Lime Street and Newcastle
  • TransPennine Express – 1 tph – Manchester Airport and Redcar Central
  • CrossCountry – 1 tph – Plymouth and Edinburgh Waverley

In addition, the new electrified route will have other effects.

Electric trains will have direct electrified access to Neville Hill TMD from York.

Micklefield is only 42 miles from Hull and with charging at Hull, I suspect TransPennine’s Manchester Piccadilly and Hull service could go battery-electric.


July 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 11 Comments

Speed Limit To Be Lowered To 20mph In Wales

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

These four paragraphs describe the policy.

Speed limits in built-up areas look set to be reduced from 30mph to 20mph in Wales from next year – a UK first that is controversial among some drivers.

Ministers say a 20mph speed limit will lower road collisions and traffic noise and encourage people to walk and cycle.

The slower limit has been divisive in areas where there have been trials with some motorists complaining of more congestion and journeys taking longer.

The proposed new law will be put before a Welsh Parliament vote on Tuesday.

I’m not sure that it will work.

I live in a 20 mph zone in Hackney.

But cars and motor bikes still speed through at up to 50 mph, as there is no visible enforcement.


July 12, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 3 Comments