The Anonymous Widower

How Defunct Coal Mines Could Heat UK Homes

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

In a country with no operational coal mines, the UK Coal Authority has proposed to once again turn these operations to heating homes and businesses. But this time, they will not provide coal for burning. The plan, to take warm water from flooded mines, would turn an environmental problem into a community solution, and the idea is spreading.

The reason, I’m posting this is two-fold.

There was a report on this edition of Countryfile, which should be available until the end of 2022. The relevant section starts at 38.5 minutes into the program.

Charlotte Adams is featured in this report and the Countryfile program. I first came across Charlotte and her fascinating work at a lecture in 2018, which I wrote about in Can Abandoned Mines Heat Our Future?

 

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , | Leave a comment

BHP Joins The Party On Electric Rail

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

BHP will add four battery-electric locomotives to its Western Australian rail network, becoming the fourth major miner to improve rail decarbonisation efforts in Australia since mid-December.

These are some details of the locomotives.

  • Two are from Progress Rail and two are from Wabtec.
  • The locomotives have 14.5 MWh batteries.
  • The locomotives will be delivered by 2023.

BHP will also investigate the use of regenerative braking using the topography of the rail route.

With four companies going electric, it does seem that Australian mining, is very much driving the move to battery-electric heavy-haul freight.

Considering, that Wabtec only formally launched the FLXdrive concept in Pittsburgh in September last year, which I wrote about in FLXdrive ‘Electrifies’ Pittsburgh, that would appear to have been good going.

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Green Ships Ahoy Along Vital Corridors

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on 7 News Australia.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Australia’s biggest miners are preparing for a day of reckoning.

Shipping accounts for two to three per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions so manufacturers and retailers are no longer just considering what appears in national targets.

The article then goes on to explain how the big mining companies are cutting their emissions.

This paragraph illustrates how important mining and shipping is to Australia.

Resources and energy earnings passed $300 billion for the first time in 2020-21 and will surge towards $400 billion in 2021-22, according to December figures.

Hence the big need for ships fuelled by lower carbon fuels.

January 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Trains On Their Way To Power One Of The World’s Most Abundant Mining Regions

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

It is a comprehensive article, with maps, pictures and background information about the project I wrote about in Anglo American And Aurizon Look To Hydrogen-Powered Trains, that will create hydrogen-powered freight locomotives for Australia.

It should be noted that Aurizon operates a few hundred diesel-electric locomotives, so switching to hydrogen, would probably cut a lot of carbon emissions.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Anglo American And Aurizon Look To Hydrogen-Powered Trains

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

This is the first paragraph.

Australia’s largest rail freight operator, Aurizon, and leading global mining company, Anglo American, have agreed to work together on a feasibility study to assess the introduction of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight in Queensland.

I find it interesting and very ironic, that this partnership has been formed, partly to transport the product, with the most polluting of end uses; coal.

The article also says this about Anglo American’s policy on decarbonisation of their mines.

As part of its commitment to carbon neutral mines by 2040, Anglo American has taken a global lead in the development of green hydrogen solutions for its ultra-class 290 t payload mine haul trucking fleet. Anglo American’s unique combination of powertrain technologies, designed to operate safely and effectively in real-world mine conditions, will displace the use of the majority of diesel at its mining operations, with an advanced trial of the prototype truck at its Mogalakwena platinum group metals mine in South Africa.

It does appear that the partnership are starting from a proven base of hydrogen technology.

Conclusion

This looks like a sound real-world project to produce a hydrogen-powered zero-carbon locomotive.

December 22, 2021 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Plane Surveying Cornwall For Minerals

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

These are the first two paragraphs.

A low-flying 1940s plane doing survey work will be a common sight over mid and west Cornwall during the next two to three weeks.

The geological mapping plane is hoping to identify where lithium and other minerals may be located underground.

But the most interesting thing about the project is the aircraft that does the surveying, which is a 1943 Douglas DC3.

It is being flown by Bell Geospace and the aircraft has been upgraded into a Basler BT-67, with turboprop engines, an improved airframe and modern avionics.

Having flown aircraft at the sort of height mentioned by the BBC, I’d love to get a lift on one of their survey flights.

December 19, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Fortescue Future Industries As A First Mover In Global Green Hydrogen And Next Generation Mining Equipment

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

This is the most significant sentence in the article.

Fortescue has set an industry leading target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

The article details how Andrew Forrest’s company intends to do it.

I found the article a fascinating read.

November 6, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, World | , , , , | Leave a comment

Blue Hydrogen Is Not Clean Energy, Says Mining Tycoon

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

This is the first paragraph.

Producing “blue hydrogen” from natural gas is not a clean energy source and is being wrongly promoted as one by the oil and gas industry, a billionaire mining mogul has claimed.

The mining mogul is Andrew Forrest, who is the second richest person in Australia.

I feel he is only partly right, as there are processes coming through that use a catalyst to split the hydrogen from the carbon.

But like the taxi in the picture at the top of the article with Mr. Forrest, his words are all good publicity.

Incidentally, I do believe that in a few years, we’ll have the technology to use so much carbon dioxide efficiently, that we may see gas-fired power stations used to create both energy and carbon dioxide.

November 6, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries Inks Deal With Kingdom of Jordan For Green Hydrogen Study

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

I can’t read the contents without subscribing, but I assume the title says it all.

However, I have a few thoughts.

This Google Map shows the Kingdom of Jordan.

Jordan is outlined in red.

The map suggests how hydrogen could be produced.

  • I would assume that there is plenty of sun in Jordan and there appears to be plenty of space for solar panels.
  • What is the potential for wind energy in the desert?
  • It would appear to me, that there are two routes to export the hydrogen. By pipeline across Israel to the Mediterranean Sea or by tanker from a port on the ed Sea, which just creeps onto the map in the South-West corner.
  • Perhaps, a giant electrolyser and export terminal could be built near Aqaba, which is Jordan’s only seaport.

What I like about this plan, is that to the North-East and South-East of Jordan, lie the deserts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Could these in future be carpeted with solar panels, where the electricity is fed to Aqaba to create more green hydrogen?

Andrew Forrest is a busy man and seems to be organising a one man project to provide the world with green hydrogen.

He is the second richest Australian according to Wikipedia.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more hydrogen deals at COP26, where Andrew Forrest is involved.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wabtec and Mining’s Electric Evolution

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

It is a fascinating article, that describes how Wabtec are applying similar technology to the very large trucks used in mining and quarrying, that have been used in railway locomotives for decades.

AC electric final drives, overhead electrification and autonomous systems are all detailed.

They also talk about power agnostic technology, that can handle electricity no matter how it is provided.

It looks to me, that electric power will decarbonise these important industries.

The Quarrying Paradox

In the UK, we quarry a lot of stone and aggregate in places like the Mendips and the Peak District.

So will the quarrying companies go down the electric route for their on-site operations?

If the electric systems from Wabtec and other companies work reliably and reduce pollution, costs and carbon emissions, I can see no reason, why they shouldn’t.

But then, you have just quarried thousands of tonnes of zero-carbon aggregate and Freightliner et al, then haul it to where it is needed using a Class 66 locomotive, that emits more pollution and carbon emissions, than you have saved.

We need zero-carbon heavy-haul freight locomotives, powered by hydrogen or batteries now!

October 22, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 5 Comments