The Anonymous Widower

Equinor And SSE Eye Green Hydrogen Production For 1.32 GW Dogger Bank D

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

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Renewables and Equinor, the developers of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm in the UK, are exploring two options for Dogger Bank D, the fourth wind farm the partners are looking to build as part of the development. These include using Dogger Bank D for electricity that would feed into the UK grid and/or for green hydrogen production.

This says to me, that depending on need, electricity from the Dogger Bank Wind Farms and D in particular, can be distributed in the grid or converted into green hydrogen.

  • The article says that the electrolyser could become the UK’s largest green hydrogen project
  • There will be plenty of hydrogen storage in the salt caverns at Aldbrough, which can currently store the equivalent of 320 GWh of electricity, It is currently being expanded to be one of the largest hydrogen stores in the world according to this page on the SSE web site.
  • There are currently two gas-fired power stations at Keadby and they will in a few years be joined by a third, that will be fitted with carbon-capture and a hydrogen-fueled power station.

The various wind farms, power stations and gas storage on Humberside are growing into a very large zero-carbon power cluster, with an output approaching six GW.

Any shortfall in wind output, could be made-up by using the Keadby 3 gas-fired power station with carbon capture or the Keadby hydrogen power station.

Conclusion

Humberside is getting a cluster of power stations and wind farms, that can produce almost twice the electricity of Hinckley Point C nuclear power station.

 

February 6, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

SSE Thermal Charts Path To Green Hydrogen Future With First-Of-A-Kind Project

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

This is the sub-heading.

SSE Thermal is developing a first-of-a-kind project in the Humber which would unite hydrogen production, storage and power generation in one location by the middle of this decade.

These paragraphs explain the project.

The Aldbrough Hydrogen Pathfinder project will support the evidence base for wider deployment of flexible hydrogen power in the UK’s net zero journey and is a major enabler of SSE Thermal’s wider Humber ambitions.

Located at SSE Thermal and Equinor’s existing Aldbrough Gas Storage site on the East Yorkshire coast, the project is designed to demonstrate the interactions between hydrogen electrolysis, hydrogen cavern storage and 100% hydrogen dispatchable power.

The concept would see green power sourced from grid through Renewable PPAs, in compliance with the Low Carbon Hydrogen Standard. Hydrogen would then be produced via a 35MW electrolyser before being stored in a converted salt cavern and then used in a 100% hydrogen-fired turbine, exporting flexible green power back to grid at times of system need. In future, hydrogen storage will also benefit offtakers in other sectors, for example in industry, heat or transport.

Note.

  1. The Aldbrough Gas Storage site currently can store the equivalent of 320 GWh of electricity, It is currently being expanded to be one of the largest hydrogen stores in the world according to this page on the SSE web site.
  2. SSE Thermal are proposing to build a hydrogen-powered power station at Keadby to the South of the Humber. The press release says this power station could have a peak demand of 1,800MW of hydrogen.
  3. Aldbrough at its current size could keep the Keadby hydrogen-powered power station going for a week. But Aldbrough will be a lot bigger than the current 320 GWh.
  4. The Hornsea and Dogger Bank wind farms off the coast of East Yorkshire will have a capacity of at least 13.5 GW.
  5. A 35 MW electrolyser will produce 15.2 tonnes of hydrogen per day.

SSE and Equinor hope to be storing hydrogen by 2025.

Conclusion

It is an enormous project and it will surely grow with more electrolysers and hydrogen-powered power stations.

December 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Landmark CCS Project In Humber Becomes UK’s First To Gain Planning Consent

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on the SSE web site.

This is the first paragraph.

SSE Thermal and Equinor’s Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station in the Humber has become the first power CCS project in the UK to receive planning permission.

Note.

  1. This will be one of four power stations at Keadby with Keadby 1, Keadby 2 and Keadby Hydrogen Power Station.
  2. Keadby 3 will have a capacity of 910 MW.
  3. It will capture up to 1,500,000 tonnes of carbon per year.
  4. It could be operational as early as 2027.

The news item, also says this about SSE’s other power stations and hydrogen storage.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also collaborating on Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station in the north-east of Scotland. In addition, they are developing Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be the world’s first large-scale 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, which could provide vital storage to balance intermittent supply and demand.

This all fits nicely with the proposed strategy I wrote about in Increased CCS Can Decarbonise GB Electricity Faster On Route To Net Zero.

I think we can expect more new gas-fired power stations with carbon capture to be built by SSE.

December 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , | Leave a comment

Increased CCS Can Decarbonise GB Electricity Faster On Route To Net Zero

The title of this post, is the same as that of this news item on the SSE web site.

This is the first paragraph.

Building more power carbon capture and storage plants (Power CCS) could significantly accelerate the UK’s plans to decarbonise the GB electricity system on route to net zero, according to new analysis commissioned by SSE.

I am not surprised, as in my time, I have built several production, storage and distribution mathematical models for products and sometimes bringing things forward has beneficial effects.

These three paragraphs summarise the findings.

The UK Government’s proposed emissions reductions from electricity for 2035 could be accelerated to 2030 by combining its 50GW offshore wind ambition with a significant step up in deployment of Power CCS. This would require 7-9GW (equivalent to 10-12 plants) of Power CCS compared to the current commitment of at least one Power CCS plant mid-decade, according to experts at LCP Delta.

Replacing unabated gas with abated Power CCS generation will deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis suggests that adding 7-9GW Power CCS to the UK’s 2030 offshore wind ambition will save an additional 18 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040, by preventing carbon emissions during periods when the sun isn’t shining, and the wind isn’t blowing.

Gas consumption for electricity generation would not significantly increase, given the 7-9GW Power CCS would displace older and less efficient unabated gas power stations already operating and reduce importing unabated gas generation from abroad via the interconnectors. Importantly, Power CCS can provide a safety net to capture emissions from any gas required to keep the lights on in the event of delays to the roll out of renewables or nuclear.

The report is by LCP Delta, who are consultants based in Edinburgh.

The report says this about the transition to hydrogen.

Power CCS also presents significant opportunities to kickstart, then transition to, a hydrogen economy, benefitting from the synergies between CCS and hydrogen, including proximity to large-scale renewable generation and gas storage facilities which can support the production of both electrolytic and CCS-enabled hydrogen.

And this about the reduction in carbon emissions.

The existing renewables ambition and the accelerated Power CCS ambition are expected to save a total of 72 million tonnes of CO2 by 2040 compared to commitments in the UK’s Net Zero Strategy from October 2021.

I don’t think there’s much wrong with this analysis.

But of course the greens will trash it, as it was paid for by SSE.

I have a few thoughts.

Carbon Capture And Use

I believe we will see a great increase in carbon capture and use.

  • Carbon dioxide is already an ingredient to make Quorn.
  • Carbon dioxide is needed for fizzy drinks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be fed to tomatoes, salad plants, herbs and flowers in giant greenhouses.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make animal and pet food.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used to make building products like plasterboard and blocks.
  • Carbon dioxide can be added to concrete.
  • Carbon dioxide can be used as a refrigerant and in air-conditioning. There are one or two old Victorian systems still working.

Other uses will be developed.

Carbon Capture Will Get More Efficient

Carbon capture from power stations and boilers, that use natural gas is a relatively new process and its capture will surely get better and more efficient in the next few years.

Gas From INTOG

I explain INTOG in What Is INTOG?.

One of INTOG’s aims, is to supply electricity to the oil and gas rigs and platforms in the sea around the UK.

Currently, these rigs and platforms, use some of the gas they produce, in gas turbines to create the electricity they need.

  • I have seen reports that ten percent of the gas that comes out of the ground is used in this way.
  • Using the gas as fuel creates more carbon dioxide.

Decarbonisation of our oil and gas rigs and platforms, will obviously be a good thing because of a reduction of the carbon dioxide emitted. but it will also mean that the gas that would have been used to power the platform can be brought ashore to power industry and domestic heating, or be exported to countries who need it.

Gas may not be carbon-neutral, but some gas is more carbon-neutral than others.

SSE’s Plans For New Thermal Power Stations

I have taken this from SSE’s news item.

SSE has deliberately chosen to remain invested in the transition of flexible thermal electricity generation due to the key role it plays in a renewables-led, net zero, electricity system and is committed to decarbonising the generation.

Together with Equinor, SSE Thermal is developing two power stations equipped with carbon capture technology. Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station is based in the Humber, the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, while Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station is located in the North East of Scotland. Combined, the two stations could capture around three million tonnes of CO2 a year.

Studies have shown that Keadby and Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Stations could make a lifetime contribution of £1.2bn each to the UK economy, creating significant economic opportunity in their respective regions. Both will be vital in supporting the huge amount of renewables which will be coming on the system.

SSE Thermal and Equinor are also collaborating on Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, and Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

Note.

  1. SSE appear to think that gas-fired power stations with carbon capture are an ideal backup to renewables.
  2. If gas is available and it can be used to generate electricity without emitting any carbon dioxide, then why not?
  3. Hydrogen is coming.

Things will get better.

Is A Virtuous Circle Developing?

Consider.

  • Spare wind electricity is turned into hydrogen using an electrolyser or perhaps some world-changing electro-chemical process.
  • The hydrogen is stored in Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage.
  • When the wind isn’t blowing, hydrogen is used to backup the wind in Keadby Hydrogen power station.
  • The other Keadby power stations can also kick in using natural gas. The carbon dioxide that they produce, would be captured for storage or use.
  • Other users, who need to decarbonise, can be supplied with hydrogen from Aldbrough.

Note.

  1. Gas turbines are throttleable, so if National Grid wants 600 MW to balance the grid, they can supply it.
  2. As time progresses, some of the gas-fired power stations at Keadby could be converted to hydrogen.
  3. Rough gas storage is not far away and could either store natural gas or hydrogen.
  4. Hydrogen might be imported by tanker from places like Africa and Australia, depending on price.

Humberside will be levelling up and leading the decarbonisation of the UK.

If you have an energy-hungry business, you should seriously look at moving to Humberside.

 

December 7, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lincolnshire Wind Powerhouse

In August 2022, reports started to appear about the Outer Dowsing Wind Farm, like this article on offshoreWIND.biz, which is entitled Corio, Total Submit Scoping Report For 1.5 GW Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind Project.

There is now a web site.

  • Outer Dowsing Offshore Wind  is a 1.5GW project located approximately 54km off the Lincolnshire coast.
  • It is a joint project between TotalEnergies and Corio Generation.

This map from the Outer Dowsing Wind Farm web site, shows the location of the wind farm.

These are the sizes of the various windfarms, that are shown on the map.

  • Dudgeon – 402 MW
  • Hornsea 1 – 1218 MW
  • Hornsea 2 – 1386 MW
  • Hornsea 3 – 2852 MW
  • Hornsea 4 – 1000 MW – Not shown on map.
  • Humber Gateway – 219 MW
  • Lincs – 270 MW
  • Lynn and Inner Dowsing – 194 MW
  • Norfolk Vanguard West – No information, but Norfolk Vanguard is 1800 MW
  • Outer Dowsing – 1500 MW
  • Race Bank – 580 MW
  • Sheringham Shoal – 317 MW
  • Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Extensions – 719 MW
  • Triton Knoll – 857 MW
  • Westernmost Rough – 210 MW

Note that these total up to 11724 MW, but with Norfolk Vanguard the total is 135224 MW.

Gas-Fired Power Stations

There are also several active gas-fired power stations.

  • Immingham – 1240 MW
  • Keadby – 734 MW
  • Keadby 2 – 893 MW
  • Keadby 3 – 910 MW – Planned to be fitted with carbon capture.
  • Saltend – 1200 MW
  • South Humber Bank – 1365 MW
  • Spalding – 860 MW
  • Sutton Bridge – 819 MW

Note that these total up to 8021 MW.

Viking Link

The Viking Link is a 1.4 GW interconnector, that links Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and Denmark, that should be operational at the end of 2023.

Gas Storage

There are two major gas storage facilities in the rea.

Both will eventually be converted to store hydrogen, which could be used by local industrial users or the proposed hydrogen power station at Keadby.

November 21, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chancellor Confirms England Onshore Wind Planning Reform

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng has confirmed that onshore wind planning policy is to be brought in line with other infrastructure to allow it to be deployed more easily in England.

The announcement is the strongest sign yet that the Conservative Party could be poised to reverse its 2015 ban on new onshore wind farms being built in England.

I take a scientifically-correct view of onshore wind, in that I am sometimes against it, but on the other hand in certain locations, I would be very much in favour.

These pictures show Keadby Wind Farm in Lincolnshire.

As the wind farm sits next to two gas-fired power stations and is surrounded by high voltage overhead electricity cables, this is probably a more acceptable location, than beside a picturesque village.

In this page on their web site, SSE says this about the construction of the 68 MW wind farm.

After receiving planning permission in 2008, construction began in 2012 and the first turbine foundation was complete in February 2013. The final turbine was assembled on 11 December 2013 and the project was completed in summer 2014.

If this is typical, and I think it is, it would take six years plus the time arguing about planning permission, to get a new onshore wind farm built.

But supposing, you are a farmer who wants to decarbonise. One way might be with a 10 MW wind turbine and a hydrogen electrolyser, so you had your own hydrogen source to power your tractors and other equipment.

On the other hand, solar panels on house, shed and barn roofs  might be a more discrete alternative.

 

September 24, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Significant Step Forward For Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station

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

These three paragraphs outline the project.

A landmark project in the Humber which could become the UK’s first power station equipped with carbon capture technology has taken a major leap forward following an announcement by the UK Government today.

Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which is being jointly developed by SSE Thermal and Equinor, has been selected to be taken forward to the due diligence stage by the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) as part of its Cluster Sequencing Process.

This process will give the project the opportunity to receive government support, allowing it to deploy cutting edge carbon capture technology, and to connect to the shared CO2 pipelines being developed through the East Coast Cluster, with its emissions safely stored under the Southern North Sea. The common infrastructure will also supply low-carbon hydrogen to potential users across the region.

The press release also says this about the power station.

  • Keadby 3 power station could have a generating capacity of up to 910MW.
  • It could be operational by 2027.
  • It would capture up to one and a half million tonnes of CO2 a year.

It would provide low-carbon, flexible power to back-up renewable generation.

The H2H Saltend Project

The press release also says this about the H2H Saltend project.

Equinor’s H2H Saltend project, the ‘kick-starter’ for the wider Zero Carbon Humber ambition, has also been taken to the next stage of the process by BEIS. The planned hydrogen production facility could provide a hydrogen supply to Triton Power’s Saltend Power Station as well as other local industrial users. In June, SSE Thermal and Equinor entered into an agreement to acquire the Triton Power portfolio.

I wrote about H2H Saltend and the acquisition of Triton Power in SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions.

In the related post, I added up all the power stations and wind farms, that are owned by SSE Thermal and it came to a massive 9.1 GW, which should all be available by 2027.

Collaboration Between SSE Thermal And Equinor

The press release also says this about collaboration between SSE Thermal and Equinor.

The two companies are also collaborating on major hydrogen projects in the Humber. Keadby Hydrogen Power Station could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations, while Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities. In addition, they are developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station in Aberdeenshire, which would be a major contributor to decarbonising the Scottish Cluster.

This collaboration doesn’t lack ambition.

I also think, that there will expansion of their ambitions.

Horticulture

Lincolnshire is about horticulture and it is a generally flat county, which makes it ideal for greenhouses.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a large acreage of greenhouses built close to the Humber carbon dioxide system, so that flowers, salad vegetables, soft fruit, tomatoes and other plants can be grown to absorb the carbon dioxide.

It should also be noted that one of the ingredients of Quorn is carbon dioxide from a fertiliser plant, that also feeds a large tomato greenhouse.

We would have our carbon dioxide and eat it.

Other Uses Of Carbon Dioxide

Storing carbon dioxide in depleted gas fields in the North Sea will probably work, but it’s a bit like putting your rubbish in the shed.

Eventually, you run out of space.

The idea I like comes from an Australian company called Mineral Carbonation International.

We would have our carbon dioxide and live in it.

I also think other major uses will be developed.

A Large Battery

There is the hydrogen storage at Aldbrough, but that is indirect energy storage.

There needs to be a large battery to smooth everything out.

In Highview Power’s Second Commercial System In Yorkshire, I talk about Highview Power’s proposal for a 200MW/2.5GWh CRYOBattery.

This technology would be ideal, as would several other technologies.

Conclusion

Humberside will get a giant zero-carbon power station.

 

 

 

August 14, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SSE Thermal And Equinor To Acquire Triton Power In Acceleration Of Low-Carbon Ambitions

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

These are the first three paragraphs.

SSE Thermal and Equinor have entered into an agreement to acquire Triton Power Holdings Ltd from Energy Capital Partners for a total consideration of £341m shared equally between the partners.

The transaction represents another step forward for the two companies’ existing collaboration, supporting the long-term decarbonisation of the UK’s power system whilst contributing to security of supply and grid stability through flexible power generation in the shorter term.

Triton Power operates Saltend Power Station which is 1.2GW CCGT (Combined Cycle Gas Turbine) and CHP (Combined Heat & Power) power station located on the north of the Humber Estuary in East Yorkshire.

This deal is more complicated than it looks and these are my thoughts.

What About The Triton Power Workers?

The press release says this.

The 82 existing employees will continue to be employed by Triton Power. In line with just transition principles, the joint venture is committed to transitioning the assets for the net zero world through responsible ownership and operation, and in consultation with the local workforce and representatives.

It does sound that they are following the right principles.

Saltend Power Station

Saltend power station is no tired ancient asset and is described like this in Wikipedia.

The station is run on gas using single shaft 3 × Mitsubishi 701F gas Turbines machines with Alstom 400 MWe generators. The station has a total output of 1,200 MW; of that 100 MW is allocated to supply BP Chemicals. Each gas turbine has a Babcock Borsig Power (BBP) heat recovery steam generator, which all lead to one steam turbine per unit (single shaft machine means Gas turbine and Steam Turbine are on the same shaft). The waste product of electricity generation is steam at the rate of about 120 tonnes/h which is sold to BP Chemicals to use in their process. This makes Salt End one of the most efficient[clarification needed] power stations in the UK. The plant is scheduled to use hydrogen from steam reformed natural gas for 30% of its power.

Note.

  1. It was commissioned in 2000.
  2. It appears there are seven CCGT power stations in England that are larger than Saltend.
  3. The power station seems to have had at least four owners.

The press release says this about SSE and Equinor’s plans for Saltend power station.

The transaction underscores SSE Thermal and Equinor’s shared ambition to decarbonise the Humber, which is the UK’s most carbon-intensive industrial region, as well as the UK more widely. Initial steps to decarbonise Saltend Power Station are already underway, targeting partial abatement by 2027 through blending up to 30% of low-carbon hydrogen. In addition, carbon capture provides an additional valuable option for the site. SSE Thermal and Equinor will continue to work towards 100% abatement.

Note.

  1. It appears that initially, Saltend power station will move to running on a mixture of 30 % hydrogen and 70 % natural gas.
  2. Carbon capture will also be applied.
  3. It looks like that in the future all carbon-dioxide emitted by the power station will be captured and either stored or used.

The press release says this about the source of the hydrogen.

Saltend Power Station is a potential primary offtaker to Equinor’s H2H Saltend hydrogen production project. H2H Saltend is expected to kick-start the wider decarbonisation of the Humber region as part of the East Coast Cluster, one of the UK’s first carbon capture, usage and storage clusters.

H2H Saltend is described in this page on the Equinor web site, which has a title of The First Step To A Zero Carbon Humber, where this is said.

This project represents a bold but practical first step towards delivering the world’s first net zero industrial cluster by 2040. This unparalleled project can play a leading role in the UK’s journey to net zero by 2050, renew the UK’s largest industrial cluster, and unlock technology that will put the UK at the forefront of a global hydrogen economy.

There is also a video.

SSE Thermal And Equinor Low-Carbon Thermal Partnership

This is a section in the press release, where after giving their policy about the workers, it says this about the acquisition of Triton Power.

This acquisition strengthens SSE Thermal and Equinor’s portfolio of joint projects, which bring together expertise in power, natural gas, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. This portfolio includes three development projects within the Humber region:

  • Keadby 3 Carbon Capture Power Station, which could be the UK’s first flexible power station equipped with carbon capture.
  • Keadby Hydrogen Power Station, which could be one of the world’s first 100% hydrogen-fuelled power stations.
  • Aldbrough Hydrogen Storage, located in East Yorkshire, which could be one of the world’s largest hydrogen storage facilities.

The two companies are also developing Peterhead Carbon Capture Power Station, situated on the Aberdeenshire coast in Scotland and there are further opportunities for hydrogen blending across SSE’s generation portfolio, including at Keadby 2.

Note.

  1. There is no mention of the three Dogger Bank Wind Farms, each of which will be 1200 MW, that are owned by SSE Renewables and Equinor.
  2. I wrote about Aldbrough Gas Storage in The Massive Hydrogen Project, That Appears To Be Under The Radar.
  3. According to this press release from Equinor, which is entitled SSE Thermal And Equinor Join Forces On Plans For First-Of-A-Kind Hydrogen And Carbon Capture Projects In The Humber, Keadby Hydrogen power station will have a capacity of 1800 MW.

The Complete System

The system has the following power sources.

  • Dogger Bank A – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2023/24
  • Dogger Bank B – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Dogger Bank C – 1200 MW – Expected commissioning in 2024/25
  • Keadby power station – 735 MW
  • Keadby 2 power station – 893 MW – Could be Part-Hydrogen
  • Keadby 3 power station – 910 MW – Carbon Capture
  • Keadby Hydrogen power station – 1800 MW – Hydrogen
  • Saltend power station – 1200 MW – Part-Hydrogen

That totals up to 9138 MW.

Fuel will come from three sources.

  • The God of the winds.
  • Natural gas
  • Hydrogen

Hydrogen will be sourced from.

  • Blue hydrogen from H2H Saltend
  • Green Hydrogen could come from electrolysers driven by wind power.

Hydrogen would be stored in Aldbrough Gas Storage.

I am by training a Control Engineer and controlling these power sources is either a wonderful dream or your most entwined and complicated nightmare.

Conclusion

I suspect on an average day, this cluster of power stations and sources could reliably supply as much zero-carbon power as two large nuclear stations.

 

June 30, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Is Carbon Dioxide Not Totally Bad?

To listen to some environmentalists, there views on carbon dioxide are a bit like a variant of George Orwell’s famous phrase Four legs good, two legs bad from Animal Farm, with carbon dioxide the villain of the piece.

I have just read the Wikipedia entry for carbon dioxide.

For a start, we mustn’t forget how carbon dioxide, water and sunlight is converted by photosynthesis in plants and algae to carbohydrates, with oxygen given off as waste. Animals like us then breathe the oxygen in and breathe carbon dioxide out.

Various web sites give the following information.

  • The average human breathes out 2.3 pounds of carbon dioxide per day.
  • As of 2020, the world population was 7.8 billion.

This means humans breathe out 17.94 billion pounds of CO2 per day

This equates to 6548.1 billion pounds per year or 2.97 billion tonnes per year.

And I haven’t counted all the other animals like buffalo, cattle, elephants and rhinos, to name just a few large ones.

Wikipedia also lists some of the Applications of carbon dioxide.

  • Precursor To Chemicals – Carbon dioxide can be one of the base chemicals used to make other important chemicals like urea and methanol.
  • Foods – Carbon dioxide has applications in the food industry.
  • Beverages – Carbon dioxide is the fizz in fizzy drinks.
  • Winemaking – Carbon dioxide has specialist uses in winemaking.
  • Stunning Animals – Carbon dioxide can be used to ‘stun’ animals before slaughter.
  • Inert Gas – carbon dioxide has several uses, as it is an inert gas.
  • Fire Extinguisher – Carbon dioxide is regularly used in fire extinguishers and fire protection systems.
  • Bio Transformation Into Fuel – It has been proposed to convert carbon dioxide from power stations  into biodiesel using a route based on algae.
  • Refrigerant – Carbon dioxide can be used as a refrigerant. It was used before CFCs were developed and I know of a large Victorian refrigeration system on a farm in Suffolk, used on a store for apples, that still is in regular use that uses carbon dioxide.
  • Dry Ice – The solid form of carbon dioxide has lots of applications, where cooling is needed.

Other important applications are under development.

  • Agriculture – Carbon dioxide is piped to greenhouses to promote growth of crops. It is also used at higher concentrations to eliminate pests.
  • Low Carbon Building Products – Companies like Mineral Carbonation International are developing ways of creating building products from carbon dioxide.
  • Synthetic Rubber – Research is ongoing to create replacements for synthetic rubber.

I can only assume, that the demand for gaseous carbon dioxide will increase, as scientists and engineers get more innovative about using the gas.

Solving A Shortage Of Carbon Dioxide

At the present time, there is shortage of carbon dioxide, that I wrote about in Food Shortages Looming After Factory Closures Hit Production.

In the related post, I said this.

Perhaps we should fit carbon capture to a handy gas-fired power station, like SSE are planning to do at Keadby and use this carbon dioxide.

Consider.

  • The Keadby complex of gas-fired power stations is close to a lot of depleted gas fields, some of which are in Lincolnshire and some are off-shore.
  • Some gas fields are already being used to store natural gas imported from Norway.
  • SSE plan to fit the later power stations with carbon capture.

I talk about SSE’s plans in Energy In North-East Lincolnshire.

If SSE were to build four large gas-fired power stations at Keadby, I calculated that they would produce 5.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

It could be used or stored in depleted gas fields according to demand.

But the complex at Keadby would not release any carbon emissions.

Could Carbon Capture Be A Nice Little Earner?

If demand for carbon dioxide continues to rise, I could see power companies installing carbon capture on gas-fired power stations to generate an extra income stream.

Incidentally, there are 55 operational gas-fired power stations in the UK, that can generate a total of 30 GW, which are owned by perhaps ten different companies.

Development of carbon capture systems could be helped by Government subsidy.

Conclusion

I have long forgotten all the calculations I did with gases, but I do know that when one molecule of methane combusts it produces two molecules of water and one of carbon dioxide.

So I am fairly convinced that if you took X cubic kilometres of natural gas out of a gas field, after combustion there wouldn’t be anything like as much volume of carbon dioxide to put back, specially if a proportion could be used profitably in other processes.

If we are going to use gas to generate zero-carbon power, we probably need to do it with gas fields under our control either onshore or in the seas around our coasts. This is because the depleted gas fields can be used to store the carbon.

Gas-fired power stations with carbon capture supporting industries that need supplies of carbon dioxide will become a large part of our energy economy.

 

September 18, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Food Shortages Looming After Factory Closures Hit Production

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

This is the first paragraph.

Acute food shortages were feared last night after high gas prices forced most of Britain’s commercial production of carbon dioxide to shut down.

In some ways, this is rather ironic, when on the one hand we are trying to stop the emission of carbon dioxide and on the other we haven’t got enough for important uses in the food industry.

Perhaps we should fit carbon capture to a handy gas-fired power station, like SSE are planning to do at Keadby and use this carbon dioxide.

If the shortage continues, there’ll be no dry ice for the pantomimes this Christmas.

September 17, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Food, World | , , , , | 3 Comments