The Anonymous Widower

UK Govt Awards Almost GBP 33m To Innovative Energy Storage Projects

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

This is the first paragraph.

The UK government has awarded GBP 32.9 million (USD 39.7m/EUR 38.3m) in funding to five innovative energy storage projects under the second phase of its Longer Duration Energy Storage competition.

These are the projects.

StorTera

StorTera has secured GBP 5.02 million to create a prototype demonstrator of its single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology.

The company’s main product is the SLIQ Flow Battery, for which it gives the headline of Reliable, Economical Energy For 20 Years.

This is a description of the technology.

The revolutionary StorTera SLIQ single liquid flow battery offers a low cost, high performance energy storage system made with durable components and supported by our flexible and adaptable inverter and control system. The StorTera SLIQ battery brings the following benefits/advantages:

  • Low levelised cost of storage and capital cost
  • Long lifetime of up to 20 years (min. 7,500 cycles)
  • Long duration energy with the energy and power capacity easily and independently scalable
  • Safe with no cooling requirements and high flash point materials
  • Fully recyclable at the end of lifetime

This is said about costs – Using low cost materials and manufacturing techniques, we predict capital costs of approximately £120/kW and £75/kWh by 2022.

I feel there could be something about this technology, but we’ll only know, when the demonstrator is fully working.

Sunamp

Sunamp will get GBP 9.25 million to test its thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK.

On their home page, Sunamp has a banner of World Leading Thermal Technologies, with this description underneath.

Sunamp designs and manufactures space-saving thermal storage that makes UK homes, buildings and vehicles more energy-efficient and sustainable, while reducing carbon emissions and optimising renewables.

They do appear to have sold something, which is always a useful thing to do.

This page on their web site,  describes their Thermino Thermal Storage For Domestic Hot Water, where this is said.

Thousands of Sunamp thermal batteries are already in homes across the UK storing heat from low-carbon energy sources and releasing it for mains-pressure hot water when needed.

Our Thermino batteries replace traditional hot water cylinders – direct (for grid electricity and solar PV) or indirect (for boilers and heat pumps).

They are up to four times smaller than the equivalent hot water tank because they are filled with our energy-dense phase change material, Plentigrade. This means that heat pump systems can be installed where otherwise they wouldn’t fit, for example.

The key seems to be this substance called Plentigrade!

This page on their web site describes Plentigrade.

Under a heading of Storing Energy As Heat And Releasing It When, And Where, It’s Needed, this is said.

Sunamp thermal batteries are energy-saving thermal stores containing Plentigrade: our high-performance phase change materials (PCMs) that deliver heating or cooling reliably, safely and efficiently.

Plentigrade, with its perpetual phase changing ability, is at the core of our products.

Our breakthrough technology was created in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh, ranked among the top 20 universities in the world, and the UK’s national synchrotron particle accelerator, Diamond Light Source. To find out more about the chemistry behind Plentigrade, read our blog.

Note.

  1. This product almost looks to be too good to be true.
  2. But I’ve checked and it doesn’t seem to have appeared on Watchdog.
  3. It’s yet another breakthrough, that has used the Diamond Light Source.
  4. How many other developments would happen with a Diamond 2 in the North, as I wrote about in Blackpool Needs A Diamond?

I have a feeling, that my house needs one of Sunamp’s thermal batteries.

University of Sheffield

The article says this about a grant to the University of Sheffield.

The University of Sheffield has been awarded GBP 2.6 million to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system designed to provide optimised, flexible storage of heat within homes.

There are several thermal batteries around for houses.

RheEnergise

The article says this about a grant to RheEnergise.

With a GBP-8.24-million grant, RheEnergise Ltd will build a demonstrator of its High-Density Hydro pumped energy storage system near Plymouth. The technology uses a fluid denser than water to generate electricity from gentle slopes.

I wrote about this in Plan For £8.25m Plymouth Energy Plant To Generate Power From Cream-Like Fluid.

EDF UK R&D

The article says this about a grant to EDF UK R&D.

The government is also backing with GBP 7.73 million an initiative of EDF UK R&D and its partners, the University of Bristol, Urenco and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator using depleted uranium at UKAEA’s Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

I wrote about this in Innovative Hydrogen Energy Storage Project Secures Over £7 million In Funding.

Conclusion

They are a mixed bunch of ideas from around the UK, that I think will produce at least two good winners.

 

December 2, 2022 Posted by | Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Hydrogen Fuel Pioneer Wins £247k Funding For Carbon Capture Tech

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

UK-based waste-to-hydrogen specialist Compact Syngas Solutions (CSS) has won £246,568 from the Hydrogen BECCS (bioenergy with carbon capture and storage) Innovation Programme.

I first wrote about Compact Syngas Solutions, in Welsh Firm Wins £300K BEIS Grant To Advance Hydrogen Fuel Tech.

Compact Syngas Solutions appear to be developing a process to turn waste, that would otherwise go to landfill, into green hydrogen.

  • The first stage turns the waste into syngas using gasification.
  • This process produces carbon dioxide, which must be captured.
  • Compact Syngas Solutions seem to have found a chemical mechanism, that uses water to capture this carbon dioxide instead of ammonia-derived amines.

The last two paragraphs of the article state Compact Syngas Solutions’s plans.

Intended to be portable, CSS plans to develop ten Micro H2 hubs complete with four gasifiers.

Capable of producing 60kg of hydrogen and capturing 3.1kg of CO2 per day, the technology could contribute to full-scale Waste-to-Syngas-Liquid-Fuel facilities, leading to a 50,100 tonne CO2 capture capacity in the UK.

I feel, that if this technology can be made to work at scale, then Compact Syngas Solutions will have a viable way to make green hydrogen.

 

 

 

August 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Drax To Pilot More Pioneering New Carbon Capture Technology

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Drax.

This is the first paragraph.

Renewable energy pioneer Drax has partnered with the University of Nottingham and Promethean Particles to trial a pioneering new bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) process at its North Yorkshire power station.

Normally, carbon capture from the flue gas of a power station uses a liquid solvent, which dissolves the carbon dioxide.

However, the process that Drax are trialling, uses porous compounds called metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) to absorb the carbon dioxide.

This page on the Promethean Particles web site described how their carbon-capture works.

Traditional solvent-based carbon capture systems require a significant amount of energy to regenerate the carbon-capturing material. In power generation applications, estimates put this energy penalty at up to 35% of the power station’s output. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) capture carbon mainly through physical, not chemical means. This “trapping” process requires lower energy inputs to regenerate the MOFs and can therefore help achieve more energy-efficient carbon capture. By using MOF-based carbon capture, more of the power generated can go where it was intended, lowering the price of energy for consumers and CAPEX for the power generators.

Note.

  1. It is a physical rather than a chemical process.
  2. It is more energy efficient than traditional carbon-capture.

This Drax graphic from the press release, shows how this process can be incorporated into a power plant..

Note.

  1. The trial will last for two months and will be hosted within Drax’s BECCS incubation hub at its North Yorkshire Power Station.
  2. Metal Organic Frameworks are a unique class of solid sorbents offering lower operational costs and reducing potential environmental impacts.

Work to build BECCS at Drax could get underway as soon as 2024, with the creation of thousands of jobs.

Fifty years ago, I spent several months at ICI looking at the mathematics of different numbers and sizes of vessels of in a proposed chemical plant, to optimise the cost of the plant.

  • I suspect a similar analysis could be applied to this process.
  • It would surely be very suitable for Drax, whose main power station has four units fuelled by biomass and another fuelled by natural gas.
  • Are two columns containing MOF, the optimum number?
  • The calculation could involve a lot of permutations and combinations, which I’ve used to advantage for over fifty years.

I will follow this trial with interest.

Conclusion

This is another application of advanced physics and chemistry.

If Promethean Particles ever decide to go the crowdfunding route, I would look seriously at a small investment.

June 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Finance | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hydrophilic Polymers: The Key To A Green Future

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

This is the first paragraph.

Researchers from the University of Surrey and the University of Bristol are working on innovative devices to tame and store carbon-free renewable energy from unpredictable sources such as wind and solar.

That got me interested and I read the whole article.

This abstract on SpringerLink gives a definition of hydrophilic polymers.

Hydrophilic polymers are those polymers which dissolve in, or are swollen by, water. Many compounds of major technical and economic importance fall within this definition, including many polymers of natural origin. Many foodstuffs—containing substantial amounts of carbohydrate and protein— can be classified as hydrophilic polymers, and some have important technical and industrial uses, apart from their nutritional value. For example, although over 95% of the starches produced from corn (maize), wheat, potato, tapioca, and other vegetable sources are used as foods (human or animal), the remaining quantity represents an important part of the technical polymer market. In fact, more than two-thirds of hydrophilic or water-soluble polymers used in industry are derived from polymers of natural origin, so coming from renewable resources (harvested crops, trees, waste animal products and so on), rather than petrochemical sources of finite availability.

This paragraph from the Tech Xplore article describes the research.

The Chemistry Department at Surrey is working with collaborators at Bristol, Professors Ian Hamerton and David Fermin, and Superdielectrics Ltd., an innovative British Research Company located at the Surrey Research Park to transform simple hydrophilic polymers which were originally developed for use as contact lenses, to realize a second critical energy storage process.

This could lead to the next generation of supercapacitors.

Conclusion

This is fascinating technology and it could save the world.

November 6, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, World | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Diamond Synchrotron Sparkles And Shows Its Value To UK Economy

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Chemistry World, which is a monthly chemistry news magazine published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

This is the first paragraph.

Diamond Light Source, the UK’s synchrotron, has generated a ‘fantastic return on investment’ since it became operational in 2007. That’s according to a new study that values its socio-economic impacts at around £1.8 billion with each taxpayer contributing £2.45 a year towards it.

If you read the article about the Diamond Light Source, you will find example applications where the synchroton has been used.

  • Non-destructive testing of materials and structures. Some have been over a metre in size and a tonne in weight.
  • Drug discovery and development.
  • A team from the University of Portsmouth has used Diamond to study the bacterial enzyme PETase, which digests plastic.
  • Rolls-Royce has used Diamond to examine the stresses in fan-blades.

The article also states that it has hosted 14,000 users.

With an energy of only 3 GeV, Diamond is not the most powerful synchrotron, but it is certainly one of the most sophisticated.

Related Posts

I have written about the Diamond Light Source in these posts.

The Diamond Light Source is a serious scientific tool, that ranks with the best in the world.

 

October 24, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How To Build A Liverpool-Style Optical Bench

When I worked at ICI in Runcorn, one of the guys had developed a very accurate instrument for measuring trace chemicals in a dirty process stream. I remember one of these instruments was used to measure water in parts per million in methyl methaculate, which is the misnomer or base chemical for Perspex.

All the optical compliments needed to be mounted on a firm base, so a metre length of nine-inch C-section steel beam was chosen. The surface was then machined flat to a high accuracy.

In the end they found that instead of using new beams, old ones decades-old from the depths of a scrap yard gave better accuracy as the steel had all crystallised out. Machined and spray-painted no-one knew their history.

But they were superb instruments and ICI even sold them abroad.

October 14, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chemistry Nobel Awarded For Mirror-Image Molecules

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

Two scientists have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on building molecules that are mirror images of one another.

Strangely, I was involved in a project, when I worked at ICI, where I was trying to sort out how a reaction could be persuaded to only produce one form of a chemical. So I do understand, something about what the two scientists were trying to achieve.

The involvement in that project has left me with a belief that chemical catalysts could be one of the routes to a greener and better world.

I have invested in one company, that is developing new catalysts.

October 6, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

Could Drax Power Station Solve The Carbon Dioxide Shortage?

Drax Power station is the largest power station in the UK, with a  2.6 GW capacity when burning biomass.

It has also been a regular target of environmental activists complaining of the power station’s carbon dioxide and other emissions.

But could it be an unlikely saviour to replace the carbon dioxide that comes from two fertiliser plants run by the CF Industries, that have been shut down by high gas prices?

I wrote about the shortage in Food Shortages Looming After Factory Closures Hit Production.

Two and a half years ago I wrote Drax Becomes First Wood-Burning Power Plant To Capture Carbon, which was based on an article in the Financial Times.

I said this about the report.

This news has been treated in a more sensationalist way by other news media and sites, but the FT gives it very straight.

Drax power station is running an experiment, that removes a tonne of carbon dioxide a day.

But that is only the start of the process and most of it is released to the atmosphere.

They are currently, looking for profitable and environmentally-friendly ways of disposal, including selling it to beer manufacturers.

Didn’t we have a carbon-dioxide shortage a few months ago?

Now is probably a good time to dig a little deeper into what Drax is doing.

The Wikipedia entry for Drax power station has a section called Carbon Capture And Storage.

This is the last paragraph of the section.

In May 2018, Drax announced a new carbon capture and storage pilot scheme that it would undertake in conjunction with the Leeds-based firm, C-Capture. The focus of this pilot will be on capturing carbon post combustion from the biomass burners as opposed to the coal burners. Drax will invest £400,000 into the project. The company, C-Capture, is a side company of the Department of Chemistry established at the University of Leeds. This would yield about 1-tonne (1.1-ton) of CO2 stored per day from the process, which could be sold on for use in the drinks industry. The pilot scheme was launched in February 2019. The capture of carbon from biomas burners is known as Bio Energy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS).

Who are C-Capture?

Their web site is very informative and this page is called Our Story, which explains the project at Drax.

We designed, built, and installed a pilot plant and have been operating it on site, with real flue gas, since early 2019. The data gathered from this trial is feeding directly into the design process for a full-scale plant, with a target of 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per day captured from one of Drax’s four biomass fired boilers. A recent development has been the installation of equipment to bottle the captured CO2 to allow other organisations to test their own developing technologies with genuine Drax derived CO2.

That looks like a result to me for C-Capture.

This page is called Technology and has a very neat interactive guide to how the technology works.

Conclusion

This company has some very special technology, that has a lot of applications.

It is also significant that Drax and BP have taken a shareholding in C-Capture.

 

 

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

H2 And NH3 – The Perfect Marriage In A Carbon-Free Society

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

It is an article, which explains in detail, how we can use hydrogen and ammonia in the future.

April 23, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen, World | , | Leave a comment

This Material Can Store The Sun’s Energy For Months, Maybe Even Years

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

This is the sub-title.

Thin coatings of the material could soak up sun in summer months and provide heat to buildings in winter, all without using fuel or electricity.

This sounds like something to file under Too Good To Be True.

But the research does come from the University of Lancaster and uses a type of material called a metal-organic framework.

Conclusion

Increasingly, it seems to me, that we’re seeing lots of outstanding chemistry coming to the fore.

 

December 11, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , | 1 Comment