The Anonymous Widower

ZERRCI – Zero Emissions Repowering Of Railway Construction Infrastructure

This project was one of the winners in the First Of A Kind 2022 competition run by Innovate UK.

In this document, this is said about the project.

Project No: 10037562

Project title: ZERRCI – Zero Emissions Repowering Of Railway Construction Infrastructure
Lead organisation: EMINOX LIMITED
Project grant: £59,852

Public description: Eminox, HS2 and SCS Railways propose a solution for the delivery of a low emissions, greener
railway. Our solution covers the development of an electric motor and battery system, which can be
retrofitted into existing construction equipment, replacing the traditional diesel engine with a quieter,
cleaner, zero emissions drivetrain. These pieces of plant and equipment will be used as direct
replacements for diesel machines in the constructing and maintaining railway infrastructure.

Eminox is leading this project with its experience in providing cost effective retrofit emissions
solutions and together with HS2 and SCS JV will be involved in demonstrating the first repowered
construction equipment in a real-world rail infrastructure environment.

This proposed venture has been instigated by HS2 in line with their ambition as set out in their Net
Zero Carbon plan for diesel free construction sites by 2029. As the solution will extend the life
expectancy of the machine, it will contribute to HS2’s vision of net-zero by 2035.

This solution will offer a more cost-effective route to zero emissions construction compared to
purchasing similar new electric powered equipment by extending the life expectancy of existing
plant and machinery. With a target of 50% the price of purchasing new excavators it is expected to
incentivise the broader uptake of demand in electric plant and equipment at scale across the
industry supply chain.

Phase 1 of this project aims to deliver a proposal for a prototype zero-emissions excavator. By
performing a feasibility study on the conversion principals, we intend to extract a broad
understanding of the challenges associated with integration and develop an optimised battery and
motor system specification.

Phase 2 will involve the conversion, commissioning and delivery of a repowered excavator, and
subsequent in-service validation. By using this converted machine to conduct initial trials, it will be
proven that no machine functionality or safety features have been compromised during conversion,
and we will establish power storage requirements to provide adequate duty cycle performance.

This will result in a fully proven demonstrator with real-world validation enabling further
development of optimised battery solutions.

My Thoughts And Conclusion

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Carbon-Neutral Concrete Prototype Wins €100k Architecture Prize For UK Scientists

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Architect’s Journal.

Under a picture of two white-coated scientists with their protective boots on concrete samples, the story and their invention is outlined.

A pair of PhD students at Imperial College London have won a global architecture prize for devising a groundbreaking method of creating carbon-neutral concrete

Material scientists Sam Draper and Barney Shanks landed the €100,000 2022 Obel Award with their ‘simple way’ to capture carbon from industrial production processes and create an end product that can eliminate the CO₂ footprint of concrete.

The prototype technology, dubbed Seratech, takes industrial CO₂ emissions directly from flues and produces a carbon-negative cement replacement material (silica). According to the scientists, when this is used in combination with Portland cement, the carbon capture associated with producing the silica means the concrete products can be zero carbon.

One of the products, we will need in the world is concrete and if we can make it in a carbon-neutral manner, then that will surely reduce worldwide carbon emissions.

The Technology Explained

This page on the Seratech website is entitled Our Technology.

It gives this description of the technology.

Seratech has developed a process that consumes olivine and waste CO₂ from flue gases and produces two products which both have significant value in construction.

Silica is produced which can be used as a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) in concrete meaning the amount of Portland cement in the concrete can be reduced by up to 40%. As the silica comes from a process that captures CO₂ it is “carbon negative” and the concrete can become carbon neutral.

Magnesium carbonate is produced that can be used to make a range of zero carbon construction materials and consumer products, including alternatives to building blocks and plasterboard.

The aim is for humanity to be able to continue building robust cities and infrastructure, but without the climate cost of traditional cement mixes and with the Seratech technology this goal is achievable!

Note that olivine in Europe is generally mined in Norway.

Replacement Of Steel By Concrete

Could we also replace steel in some applications with concrete?

In UK Cleantech Consortium Awarded Funding For Energy Storage Technology Integrated With Floating Wind, I talked about some of ground-breaking methods used by a company called RCAM Technologies to create infrastructure using 3D printing of concrete.

If Imperial’s concrete, which is called Seratech can be 3D printed, I can see lots of applications for the technology.

So you could kill two sources of large carbon emissions with one technology.

Conclusion

I have said on this blog before, that we will have to keep or even build more gas-fired power stations, as they can be an efficient source of pure carbon dioxide, that will be needed as a feedstock to create an increasing number of agricultural and building products.

October 10, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ITOCHU, Taisei Corporation And Mineral Carbonation International Announce Collaboration

This collaboration is reported in this article on Market Screener, which is entitled ITOCHU : Announces Collaboration With Taisei Corporation In Initiative With MCi Testing Uses Of Concrete From Calcium Carbonate With Mineral Carbonation.

This paragraph described MCi’s mineral carbonation technologies.

MCi is a company that has pursued fifteen years of research and development into mineral carbonation and possesses the technology to produce a range of low carbon embodied materials including calcium carbonate by carbonating minerals in slag and other by-products of the steelmaking process (mainly steelmaking slag), coal ash produced by thermal power plants, and other industrial waste materials containing magnesium or calcium (mine tailings: by-products from the collection of metals and ore).

It also appears that ITOCHU invested in MCi last year.

I have read the whole article and I suggest that this collaboration could grow into something very big.

August 16, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | Leave a comment

What Goes Up Must Come Down

This morning, I went for a walk in the City, with the aim of looking at progress on the new Southern entrance to Bank station.

I took these pictures, where they were dismantling the main crane on the Bank station site.

Does this dismantling mean that the main work is coming to an end?

One of the guys, I spoke to said that the station would be finished by the end of the year.

I also took this picture from the Northernmost cross tunnel between the two Northern Line platforms.

Note the Way Out sign behind the hoarding, which also shows Central Line straight on. This looks like it could be the start of the travelator to the Central Line.

 

August 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Lime Kiln Fuelled By Hydrogen Shown To Be Viable

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

Lime is one of those materials that plays a large part in our lives without our even knowing it. The Wikipedia entry lists a multitude of uses.

The article starts with these paragraphs.

The trial, led by Tarmac at its Tunstead site near Buxton, was the culmination of a project to demonstrate the potential to use hydrogen as a viable fuel alternative to natural gas for commercial-scale production of lime.

A number of trials were conducted with differing energy replacements, which culminated in a 100% replacement of the natural gas.

While it has been shown to be feasible, we have not yet been told how soon it might be practical or affordable.

The article finishes with this optimistic statement.

Tarmac, a CRH company, has cut CO2 by 24% per tonne of product since 1990; it is aiming for 45% by 2030.

This article illustrates how some important industries create a lot of carbon emissions and how decarbonisation would be fairly easy with a plentiful supply of hydrogen.

This is also the sort of industry, that would benefit from blending up to twenty percent of hydrogen into the UK’s natural gas supply, as is currently being investigated by the HyDeploy project.

August 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , | 1 Comment

Moorgate Station’s Facade At The New Entrance – 17th June 2022

These pictures show, the  new facade of the Moorgate station’s new entrance.

 

This entrance is in addition to the original entrance on Moorgate and it has stairs and lifts to the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan Lines and a giant escalator and a lift to the Elizabeth Line.

It does look as though, the construction of the offices on top of the entrance is coming to a completion. Two escalators will be fitted in the space guarded by the green hoarding to give access to the offices and the walkways, that will lead to the Barbican.

 

 

June 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 4 Comments

HS2 Starts Work On First Pioneering ‘Green Tunnel’

The title of this post is the same as that of this press release on the High Speed Two web site.

These three paragraphs introduce the work at Chipping Warden.

HS2 today [Friday 10th June] announced the start of construction at the site of its first innovative ‘green tunnel’, designed to blend the high speed railway into the landscape and reduce disruption for communities.

Unlike a normal underground tunnel, the one-and-a-half mile (2.5km) Chipping Warden green tunnel in Northamptonshire is being built on the surface using a pioneering off-site manufacturing approach to speed up construction and improve efficiency.

This approach will see more than five thousand giant concrete tunnel segments made in a factory in Derbyshire before being assembled on site. The completed tunnel will then be covered by earth, with trees, shrubs and hedgerows planted to fit in with the surrounding countryside.

Note.

  1. High Speed Two are building five of these tunnels between London and Birmingham.
  2. I know from talking to engineers at Custom House station, which was also built in a factory, that the quality is excellent.
  3. But is it also cheaper and quicker, as all segments on the five tunnels are identical, no expensive tunnel boring machine is required and conventional equipment can be used?

These are some images from High Speed Two, which show the erection of the first segments of the green tunnel.

There is also this video, which shows more about the green tunnels.

I suspect we’re going to see a lot more of these tunnels.

June 13, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Story Behind The Concrete Panels On The Elizabeth Line

These are a selection of the pictures I took yesterday inside Elizabeth Line stations.

Note.

  1. The walls and ceilings appear to be covered in light grey panels with holes.
  2. The material appears to look like concrete.
  3. Every one is a totally different shape, so how were they manufactured?

This article on Ian Visits is entitled How Crossrail Is Using 3D-Printing To Build Its Stations.

This is the two opening paragraphs.

When you start to use the new Elizabeth line stations, among its many achievements will be the first large scale use of 3D-printing in concrete.

The use of 3D printing has made possible one of the more distinctive features of the future Elizabeth line stations — the curved concrete panels that will line the inside of the passenger tunnels and some stations, and sinuously glide around corners in a way never seen before in a tube station.

There will be a total of something like 36,000 of these panels and although printing each in concrete is possible, Crossrail would probably have been delivered in the 2040s or 2050s.

The contractors used an innovative process called FreeFAB, which had been invented by an Australian architect.

  • The process creates a wax mould for each panel using 3D printing.
  • This mould is then used to create the actual panel.
  • After each panel is cast, the wax is melted off and recycled.
  • The panels are made in a factory in Doncaster.

We will see a lot more of this technique used in the construction industry.

May 25, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This Company Does What It Says In The Name

I took these pictures on Tottenham Court Road.

This is a Google Streetview from a few months ago.

I don’t think it will be missed. But it looks like another Crossrail related redevelopment.

May 10, 2022 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

List Of 34 New Train Stations And Wish List Schemes Leading The UK Railway Upgrade

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

On the list are.

This is a fairly comprehensive list.

April 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 9 Comments