The Anonymous Widower

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

Energy Scavenging Nanogenerator Finds Power All Around Us

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

These are the opening two paragraphs.

Imagine a mobile phone charger that doesn’t need a wireless or mains power source. Or a pacemaker with inbuilt organic energy sources within the human body.

Australian researchers led by Flinders University are picking up the challenge of “scavenging” invisible power from low-frequency vibrations in the surrounding environment, including wind, air or even contact-separation energy (static electricity).

I’ve known people with pacemakers, including someone with a nuclear-powered one. But surely this would be better, as the power source would be everlasting.

I don’t think I know anyone with one now! Are they less common?

Conclusion

If this can be commercialised, it is a very interesting development.

 

October 21, 2020 Posted by | Energy, Health, World | | Leave a comment

Neutrino Energy And Renewable Energy Decisions

The title of this post, is the same as that pn this article from Cision.

This is the introductory paragraph.

While Fossil fuels pose serious dangers to the future of human civilization, the Neutrino Energy Group proposes safe, clean solutions to the modern energy crisis that will help humanity take genuine leaps forward in development.

I’ve read the whole article and it is interesting.

It could be the biggest development in energy since our ancestors discovered fire or the largest load of hype since ZETA  was built at Harwell in 1957. The latter was supposed to provide electricity too cheap to meter.

Every ten years or so, something like this pops up. The only thing different about this one, is that it has come from the Germans! Although in the 1930s. it was in Germany, where people like Otto Hahn and Lise Meitner were leading the world in nuclear research. They discovered nuclear fission for which Hahn won the Nobel Prize.

Meitner spent her last years in Cambridge and I’ve always wondered, if she ever met Rosalind Franklin, the other great female scientist of the time, who many believe should have also received a Nobel Prize. If they did or even if they didn’t, it would surely make a wonderful drama, in the style of Copenhagen.

Luckily for the world, these German nuclear scientists were often Jewish, so they left, probably robbing the Nazis of an atomic bomb. Many ended up on the Manhattan Project.

June 13, 2020 Posted by | World | , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Equilibrium INR Has Risen Under Lockdown

For something like four years my Warfarin regime has been to take 4 mg.  every day and to self test every Monday and Friday. It has been a simple regime that has worked well and my INR has stayed between two and three, with 2.4-2.6 being the common readings.

In other words what I would call as a Control Engineer, my equilibrium INR is spot on.

In the past, I have noticed that in times of hot weather my INR  has tended to rise and in times of cold weather, it has occasionally dropped. A change of dose to three or five mg. has generally kicked it back towards 2.5 mg.

Doctors and this Control Engineer would say that you shouldn’t chase the INR by constantly changing the dose.

Warfarin also seems to have a cumulative property. A couple of years, I had to have a small operation. I dropped the INR to 2.1 for the operation over three days, by cutting back to 3 mg. After the operation three days at 5 mg. brought it back to 2.5.

Under lockdown, my equilibrium INR rose initially to 3 on a dose of 4 mg. every day.

In a telephone conversation with my GP, we agreed to alternate the dose between 3 and 4 mg. every day. My INR now seems to be stabilising between 2.5 and 2.8.

Why has my equilibrium INR risen under lockdown?

My house can get hot, as it wasn’t designed and built correctly and because of that I am drinking a lot of fluids. When I prick my finger for the self-test, the blood seems more watery than usual, so are all those fluids diluting my blood and causing my INR to rise?

Bodies can’t disobey the laws of physics!

Oh! For a walk by the sea in the sun!

 

May 5, 2020 Posted by | Health | , , , | 1 Comment

Could Modern Energy Systems Have A Secondary Role?

Close to where I live is a small heat and power system, that I wrote about in The Bunhill Energy Centre.

I first went over the centre during Open House.

Several of these modern systems are very good demonstrations of the principles of maths, physics and engineering.

So do these innovative energy systems do their bit in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers?

Some of the modern systems, that are in development like Highview Power’s energy storage using liquid air would be ideal for a secondary education role!

Most too, are very safe, as there are no dangerous processes or substances.

And in the next few years, there will be more systems all over the country and many in the hearts of towns and cities. Some schools, colleges and especially universities, will have their own innovative energy sources.

Liverpool University already has a system, which is described here.

January 16, 2020 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Cambridge Going To Save The World From Global Warming?

Watch this video!

And then visit Superdielectrics web site.

It does appear to be a  bunch of mad scientists in Cambridge, who’ve come up with the bizarre idea of using the material in soft contact lenses as an energy storage medium.

Link Up With Rolls-Royce

And then there’s this press release on the Rolls-Royce-Royce web site, which is entitled Rolls-Royce Links Up With UK-based Superdielectrics To Explore Potential Of Very High Energy Storage Technology.

Conclusion

I have been observing technology since the 1960s.

This is either one of those scientific curiosities , like cold fusion, that appear from time-to-time and then disappear into the scientific archives or a game-changer

I suspect we’ll know in a couple of years.

But even if it is isn’t the solution to affordable and massive energy storage,, that will save the world, I believe that one of the teams of men and women in white coats, somewhere in the world will crack the problem.

 

May 2, 2019 Posted by | Energy Storage | , , , , | Leave a comment

More About Steamology Motion

In Grants To Support Low-Carbon Technology Demonstrators, I talked about a company called Steamology, who were given a grant by the Department for Transport to develop a method of converting hydrogen into energy.

The company is called Steamology Motion and in Issue 872 of Rail Magazine more details are given in an article, which is entitled DFT Hands Out £350,000 Each To Five Rail Green Schemes.

This is said in the article.

Steamology Motion, the final recipient, aims to create a new zero-emmissions power train for a Vivarail Class 230 train. The W2W system generates steam from compressed hydrogen and oxygen stored in tanks. The steam then drives a turbine to generate electricity.

The concept is aimed at being a ‘range extender’ able to charge onboard battery packs.

My mathematical modelling skills for this type of system have never been strong, but I’m sure that others will know how much hydrogen and oxygen are needed to charge a 200 kWh battery.

  • A quick search of the Internet reveals that small steam turbines could be available
  • I very much suspect, that as the system is a ‘range extender’, rather than a power unit to take the train hundreds of miles, that the physical size of the gas tanks will be smaller than those proposed by Alston for their hydrogen conversion of a Class 321 train.

I also don’t think that the DfT would have given £350,000 to the company, if the the physics and the mathematics weren’t credible.

Conclusion

If this technology is successful, I suspect it could have other applications.

February 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy Of Physics

On the One Show on BBC television, yesterday there was a report about a man called Ian Tansley, who has invented a vaccine fridge for use in places like Africa, where the electricity is not reliable.

This Wikipedia entry for Sure Chill Technology describes the technology and this report on the BBC, describes how the invention has been backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Physics to many is a dull subject at school, but to me, it’s the key to so many interesting inventions and ideas that will shape our lives in a better way.

October 24, 2017 Posted by | Health, World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Strange Fog

On Monday night, it was hot in the house and I was listening to the radio and typing up a few things for my blog.

The window was open for fresh air and as I often am, I was just wearing a pair of small black briefs for comfort, modesty and to keep cool.

Id been to the vigil by Tower Bridge and I’d had rather a nice ready meal from Marks and Spencer for supper.

I was also drinking heavily, but it was only endless mugs of tea!

So I laid down on the Chinese carpet on the floor and must have dosed off for half-an-hour.

When I awoke and stood up, I found that I couldn’t see very well.

I was worried at first, but after going into my bedroom to the toilet, I found I could see alright in the other room.

I then thought that the living room must be full of smoke or steam like you’d get if you left a saucepan of water on a lighted stove.

But the kettle and stove were cold, all taps in the house were switched off and there was no obvious source of the fog.

I then weighed myself, as I often do before I go to bed and found that I lost a kilo since Sunday night, despite eating well and drinking a lot.

And then it dawned what the fog was.

The temperature and humidity in the room had been such, that it had drawn the water through my skin and I was looking through a fog of my own perspiration.

I should say, that regularly, I lose a kilo overnight.

All very strange, but totally explained by the laws of physics and my extraordinary skin, which baffles medics, as if say they inject me or take blood, I don’t bleed afterwards and don’t need a plaster, despite being on Warfarin.

 

 

June 7, 2017 Posted by | Health | | Leave a comment

A High Speed Train With An IPEMU-Capability

Bombardier were reported by Ian Walmsley in the April 2016 Edition of Modern Railways, to be developing Aventra, with a 125 mph capability.

Bombardier have also told me, that all Aventras will be wired so they could be fitted with on-board energy storage.

I don’t know all the masses and speeds, but imagine if an Aventra with an IPEMU capability ran at high speed down an electrified main line and then with its on-board energy storage full to brimming, turned on to line with a reasonably high speed, where it might make a number of calls before returning.

A typical line could be London to Norwich via Cambridge, along the Breckland Line, which is not electrified from Ely to Trowse Junction south of Norwich. Parts have a 90 mph speed limit and I’m sure the speeds could be improved.

The train would need to use the energy storage, but this storage would be partially recharged every time the train stopped, by the regenerative braking of the train.

An interesting fact, is that the kinetic energy of a train is given by half the mass times the square of the speed. So if the train leaves the electrified section, as fast as is reasonably possible, it is carrying extra energy.

Because of the regenerative braking of Aventras and for that matter, Electrostars and some other trains. some of this energy can be recovered and stored in the on-board energy stoppage of an IPEMU, every time the train stops at a station

Intuition and many years of doing this sort of dynamic simulation, tells me, that the faster the train goes at the start, lengthens the range if on-board energy storage is available.

It is worth noting the energy levels involved. If you take the energy of a train travelling at 40 mph as one, the energy of a train travelling at 60 mph is 2.25 times as much and one travelling at 125 mph, a massive 9.76 times.

I think that other factors will also help.

  • A track built for speed.
  • Modern signalling.
  • An efficient train.
  • Low dwell-times in stops.
  • Advanced driving aids.
  • Good driving.

I suspect that Network Rail and Bombardier are doing extensive simulations of possible routes for trains with an IPEMU capability.

These calculations will probably show some routes are more suitable than others.

A route that could might be ideal, would be a branch where the line speed was high to a single station, so that by the use of the regenerative braking, the train could start the return journey with a high level of energy in the storage.

London to Norwich via Cambridge, is not a line to a single station, but both ends are electrified, so the trains will start the journey with full storage, probably losing a proportion of the energy at each stop.

I’d love to be doing those simulations. But it’s all physics that Isaac Newton would have understood.

 

 

April 23, 2016 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 5 Comments