The Anonymous Widower

Are There Any Medical Application For Large Amounts Of Electricity?

I ask this question, as an eminent medical researcher has just thanked me by text for my energy posts.

It could be that he sees some benefit in having lots of energy available from wind.

I have a few thoughts.

Are Electricity Bills Getting To Be A Larger Proportion Of The Running Costs Of Hospitals Or Medical Research Establishments?

We are all suffering to some extent from higher electricity prices, but some of the latest medical equipment with large electromagnets and powerful X-rays must be expensive on electricity.

Proton Therapy

Does proton therapy use very large amounts of electricity and is this one of the reasons, that these seemingly-powerful machines are thin on the ground?

So if electricity is much more plentiful and hopefully more affordable, is this going to mean that proton therapy is used more often?

Synchrotrons

The Diamond Light Source is described like this in Wikipedia.

Diamond Light Source (or Diamond) is the UK’s national synchrotron light source science facility located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire. Its purpose is to produce intense beams of light whose special characteristics are useful in many areas of scientific research. In particular it can be used to investigate the structure and properties of a wide range of materials from proteins (to provide information for designing new and better drugs), and engineering components (such as a fan blade from an aero-engine) to conservation of archeological artifacts (for example Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose).

There are more than 50 light sources across the world. With an energy of 3 GeV, Diamond is a medium energy synchrotron currently operating with 32 beamlines.

When the history of the pandemic is written, Diamond may well turn out to be one of the heroes.

This page on the Diamond web site, lists some of the applications of a particular analysis, that Diamond can perform.

Under Life Sciences and Bio-Medicine, this is said.

One of the remarkable exploits of SRIR microspectroscopy is probing single isolated cells and tissues at sub-cellular resolution, collecting broadband molecular information with excellent spectral quality via the diffraction limited microbeam. Studying individual cells is important because it reveals the cell-cell differences (e.g. due to cell cycle or biological variability) which are averaged together in conventional IR imaging or spectroscopy. This is important for identifying the subtle underlying spectral differences of interest in the research.

Applications include developing spectral biomarkers for disease diagnosis – particularly cancer research, location of stem cells within tissues, following effects of natural and synthetic chemicals on stem-cell differentiation and quantifying drug sensitivity.

A key development recently achieved is moving from fixed and dried samples to ex vivo, living conditions in the natural aqueous environment and time-dependent studies of biological processes. The combined requirements of high spatial resolution, rapid data acquisition and high photon flux (due to strong IR absorption by water) make synchrotron radiation an invaluable microanalysis tool.

In the THz part of the spectrum, very bright (coherent) synchrotron radiation (CSR) is useful in the study of low energy modes, especially in highly absorbing samples. The THz properties of biological materials is a rapidly growing field, from the organism level (imaging) down to fundamental spectroscopy at the biochemical level, where, for example, the solvation shell around proteins can be studied via changes in low energy hydrogen bonds.

That all sounds impressive.

As with NMR, which I used in the 1960s and as since been developed into MRi, I wonder if important hospitals and universities will have their own mini-Diamonds to do the analyses described above.

Again what will be the electricity bill?

Conclusion

I suspect that electricity may be a significant cost of the running some of these new machines and an abundance of wind power, which reduces the cost of electricity, may improve medical research and treatment.

 

 

May 9, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Health | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Study Suggests Solar Energy Can Be Cleanly’ Converted Into Storable Hydrogen Fuel

The title of this post, is the same as that, as this news item from Strathclyde University.

This section entitled Green Hydrogen, describes the research.

Most hydrogen is still made from natural gas, producing greenhouse gasses, and green hydrogen production is urgently needed. Green hydrogen is produced from water using a photocatalyst – a material which drives the decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight.

The study, ‘Photocatalytic overall water splitting under visible light enabled by a particulate conjugated polymer loaded with iridium’ is published in Angewandte Chemie, a journal of the German Chemical Society. It suggests that using a photocatalyst under simulated sun light facilitates the decomposition of water when loaded with an appropriate metal catalyst – in this case iridium.

When used in a fuel cell, hydrogen does not emit any greenhouse gasses at the point of use and can help decarbonise sectors such as shipping and transportation, where it can be used as a fuel, as well as in manufacturing industries.

Using this photocatalyst may not be the final solution, but I do believe from my mathematical modelling of catalysts in an unrelated application in the 1970s, that this research could lead to an affordable way to create green hydrogen.

May 6, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , | Leave a comment

Birds And Offshore Renewable Energy

I have worried about this for some time, as die-hard wind farm opponents use birds being scythed to pieces in wind farms as an emotional reason for not building wind farms.

I searched the Internet and found this academic report from the University of Rhode Island, which is entitled How Are Birds Affected by the Block Island Wind Farm and How Do They Interact With the Wind Turbines?.

Note.

  1. Block Island Wind Farm is a mildly controversial 30 MW wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island.
  2. Block Island wind farm is the first commercial offshore wind farm in the United States.

The report gives three ways about how birds interact with wind farms.

Birds Fly Out Of The Way

First, many birds do not experience any interaction with the turbines at all as they fly either at a higher altitude or closer to the shore than the turbines’ locations.

Wind Farms Become A Food Source

The second interaction between birds and offshore wind turbines is a positive one that has been documented throughout Europe; but, with only the Block Island Wind Farm, it is too early to document in the United States. Researchers have found that the base of a wind turbine can create artificial reefs that act as an attractive site to both fish and shellfish. These artificial reefs provide a feeding ground for certain species of birds as the turbines essentially become a central habitat for many bird species’ prey.

Displacement Of The Birds

The final interaction that birds have with offshore wind turbines is displacement. This primary negative effect is experienced when wind turbines are constructed in areas that birds would naturally like to be; but, due to the structures, no longer have access to. To put it simply, he says, “if you put the turbines where the birds want to be, you take away these areas from the birds”.

Conclusion

It appears to me, that if you are putting up wind farms, whether they are offshore or onshore, that it is essential you do your research.

As in this case, experts from the local university are often a good resource to call upon.

 

April 3, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , | 3 Comments

Fortescue And E.ON To Supply Europe With Green Hydrogen

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Hydrogen Fuel News.

This is the introductory paragraph.

Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd. of Australia and E.ON SE, energy giant from Germany, have teamed up to supply green hydrogen to Europe. This strategy is meant to help the EU to reduce its reliance on Russian energy.

These are other points from the article.

  • FFI intends to supply five million tonnes of hydrogen per year by 2030.
  • The hydrogen will be produced by renewable hydrogen in Australia.
  • E.ON will handle the distribution.
  • Five million tonnes is about a third of Germany’s energy imports.

I have some further thoughts.

How Much Energy Is Needed to Produce Five Million Tonnes Per Year Of Hydrogen?

In Can The UK Have A Capacity To Create Five GW Of Green Hydrogen?, I said the following.

Ryze Hydrogen are building the Herne Bay electrolyser.

  • It will consume 23 MW of solar and wind power.
  • It will produce ten tonnes of hydrogen per day.

The electrolyser will consume 552 MWh to produce ten tonnes of hydrogen, so creating one tonne of hydrogen needs 55.2 MWh of electricity.

55.2 MWh/tonne is 55.2 kWh/kg.

To produce five million tonnes of hydrogen will need 55.2 * 5.000,000 / 10 MWh.

  • This is 27,600,000 MWh or 27,600 GWh.
  • It works out at an average of 75.6 GWh per day or 3.15 GWh per hour.

This article on vox is entitled The Economic Limitations Of Wind And Solar Power, where this is said.

“Capacity factor” refers to how often a power plant runs and thus how much power it produces relative to its total potential (capacity). Nuclear power plants in the US run around 90 percent of the time, so they have a 90 percent capacity factor. On average, the capacity factor of solar ranges anywhere from 10 to just over 30 percent. For wind, it ranges from 20 to just over 50 percent, averaging around 34 percent in the US.

If FFI is using solar to generate electricity in Australia, I suspect that the capacity factor will be around twenty percent at best.

So will FFI need around 16 GW of solar power to satisfy the supply to Germany?

The Wikipedia entry for Solar Power In Australia gives a good insight into its capability of providing the 16 GW of energy needed. This statement is key.

Using solar to supply all the energy needed would use less than 0.1% of land.

It does look that Australia could provide Germany with some of the hydrogen it needs.

Would It Be Cheaper To Produce The Hydrogen In The North Sea?

This is probably heresy to Andrew Forrest, who is the Australian billionaire behind Fortescue Future Industries.

Consider.

  • North Sea Hydrogen could be piped to Germany.
  • Australia and Germany would probably need transfer by liquid hydrogen tanker.
  • Electrolysers would need to be used to create hydrogen from renewable energy in both Australia and the North Sea.
  • Floating wind farms in the North Sea could be more efficient than solar in Australia, as the capacity factor is higher.

We obviously won’t know until both wind and solar technologies are fully developed.

Will There Be Price Competition Between Australian And North Sea Hydrogen?

It does appear that Andrew Forrest believes in research and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his company developing ideas that drop the price of solar-produced hydrogen.

Research and good engineering on both sides will also drop prices, so I suspect price competition will occur.

Will Fortescue Future Industries Develop North Sea Hydrogen?

Given the ambition being shown by Andrew Forrest to be the Hydrogen King, I wouldn’t be surprised if he joined the streams of international investors in the North Sea, who are developing wind farms.

Conclusion

Go! Aussie! Go!

 

 

April 2, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Embraer, Widerøe And Rolls-Royce Announce Partnership To Research Innovative Technologies For Sustainable Regional Aircraft

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the body of the press release.

Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce have today announced plans to study a conceptual zero-emission regional aircraft.

The 12-month cooperation study – in the context of pre-competitive research and development – will address passenger requirements to stay connected in a post Covid-19 world, but do so sustainably, and seeks to accelerate the knowledge of the technologies necessary for this transition. Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

Advances in scientific research can make clean and renewable energy a major enabler of a new era of regional aviation and the three companies will share their combined in-depth knowledge of aircraft design, market demand, operations and propulsion solutions to further develop their understanding of zero-emission technologies and how they can be matured and applied to future regional aircraft.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

These are my thoughts.

An Aircraft For Existing Infrastructure

This is an extract from the press release.

Such technologies will allow national governments to continue to support passenger mobility while reusing most of the existing infrastructure in a more sustainable way.

If I was the CEO of an airline, I’d want an aircraft that fitted the airports and their facilities, where I wanted to fly.

No Propulsion System Is Ruled Out

This is an extract from the press release.

Among other topics, the study will cover a wide range of applications for new propulsion technologies to examine a range of potential solutions – including all-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or hydrogen fueled gas turbine powered aircraft.

It would appear no propulsion system is ruled out.

In LNER Seeks 10 More Bi-Modes, where I talked about LNER ordering ten new trains, they also said they would accept any type of power, that was suitable.

Embraer

Embraer are a successful Brazilian aerospace company, who according to Wikipedia, are the third largest producer of civil aircraft, after Boeing and Airbus.

I first flew in one of their EMB 110 Bandeirantes in the 1970s from Norwich to Stavanger and I’ve flown on several of their aircraft since.

Embraer’s current jet aircraft line-up includes.

  • Embraer E-Jet – Twin-jet regional airliner – 66-124 passengers – 1596 produced
  • Embraer E-Jet E2 – Twin-jet regional airliner – 88-146 passengers – 50 produced

Note.

  1. The E-Jet E2 is the successor to the E-Jet with new engines, new avionic, fly-by-wire controls and other improvements.
  2. Production numbers are as of 31st March 2021.
  3. Embraer don’t seem to produce turboprop aircraft any more, although a lot of their former products are still flying.

I certainly wouldn’t avoid flying in Embraer products, as I would in other aircraft and on some airlines.

Have Embraer identified a market for a smaller sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft that could extend their product range below the jets?

Widerøe

Widerøe are a long-established and well-respected Norwegian airline.

Their fleet consists of forty De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop aircraft of various variants and three Embraer E-Jet E2 jet airliners.

Wikipedia says this about their fleet.

Widerøe plans to replace most of its Dash-8 by 2030.

Given that the Dash 8 seats between 40 and 80 passengers, I wonder if a sustainable or even zero-carbon aircraft with an appropriate number of seats and the STOL performance of the Dash 8, would suit Widerøe’s route network, which includes many small airfields.

Rolls-Royce

In What Does 2.5 MW Look Like?, I talked about Rolls-Royce’s development of a 2.5 MW Generator.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

This press release on the Rolls-Royce web site is entitled Rolls-Royce Generator Delivered For Most Powerful Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System In Aerospace.

This Rolls-Royce picture shows the generator installed on a test bed.

These are the first three paragraphs of the press release.

The generator that will be at the heart of the most powerful hybrid-electric aero power and propulsion system in aerospace has arrived for installation at our specialist testbed.

The generator, and related power electronics, was delivered to the newly-renovated Testbed 108 in Bristol, UK, from the Rolls-Royce facility in Trondheim, Norway, having completed an extensive development test programme. It will form part of the 2.5 megawatt (MW) Power Generation System 1 (PGS1) demonstrator programme, for future regional aircraft. In addition to hybrid-electric propulsion, the generator could also be used as part of a “more-electric” system for larger aircraft or within future ground or marine applications.

PGS1 forms an important element of our sustainability strategy, which includes developing innovative electrical power and propulsion systems.

I must say that as an engineer this 2.5 MW generator really excites me, as I see so many possibilities.

Could this engine become the power unit of a hydrogen-powered regional airliner?

Rolls-Royce, Tecnam And Widerøe

In Rolls-Royce And Tecnam Join Forces With Widerøe To Deliver An All-Electric Passenger Aircraft Ready For Service In 2026, a similar deal to the Embraer, Widerøe and Rolls-Royce deal is discussed.

I am inserting the start of the linked post.

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from Rolls-Royce.

This is the first paragraph.

Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are joining forces with Widerøe – the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, ready for revenue service in 2026. The project expands on the successful research programme between Rolls-Royce and Widerøe on sustainable aviation and the existing partnership between Rolls-Royce and Tecnam on powering the all-electric P-Volt aircraft.

This picture from Rolls-Royce shows the proposed aircraft.

The P-Volt aircraft is based on the Tecnam P2012 Traveller.

Conclusion

Perhaps, the first deal is progressing so well, Rolls-Royce and Widerøe decided to repeat the exercise.

 

 

February 18, 2022 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Biggest Breakthrough’ On Pancreatic Cancer Is On The Horizon As Scientists Hail Two-In-One Teatment That Could Even CURE The Disease

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

These three paragraphs give an introduction to the research.

Scientists are on the cusp of the ‘biggest ever’ breakthrough in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

UK researchers have developed a two-in-one treatment that could dramatically improve survival and even cure the disease, which is one of the deadliest cancers.

Survival rates for pancreatic cancer have barely improved in the last 50 years and it has the worst prognosis of any common cancer.

It is a state, that you don’t want to go near.

This is the heart of the new two-in-one treatment.

One of the treatments is immunotherapy, whereby a drug fires up the immune system to fight the cancer.

The drug is a checkpoint inhibitor, which means it blocks proteins that stop the immune system from attacking cancer cells. It has had stunning results against some types of cancer.

But pancreatic cancer tumours have a thick outer layer which stops the drug in its tracks.

The second treatment, known as high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), involves blasting the tumour with pulses of sound waves.

This creates tiny bubbles in the cells, which bounce around with such force that they puncture holes in the protective barrier – allowing the immunotherapy drug to get to work.

I find it strange that I when I wrote Glencore & Strategic Partner Britishvolt Strengthen Relationship And Agree To Build Battery Recycling Ecosystem In The UK, I found that a similar technique is being investigated by the Faraday Institute in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries.

In this article on the BBC, which is entitled As The World looks To Electrify Vehicles And Store Renewable Power, One Giant Challenge Looms: What Will Happen To All The Old Lithium Batteries?, I found this paragraph.

The team has also found a way to achieve direct recycling of the anode and cathode using an ultrasonic probe, “like what the dentist uses to clean your teeth,” he explains. “It focuses ultrasound on a surface which creates tiny bubbles that implode and blast the coating off the surface.” This process avoids having to shred the battery parts, which can make recovering them exceedingly difficult.

Umpteen million tiny bubbles can’t be wrong! It sounds to me that engineers from the Faraday Institute and Medics from the Institute of Cancer Research have been imbibing pints of the thinking man’s liqueur; real ale in a serious meeting in a pub.

But if it works don’t knock it! Just use the technique on your project to remove an awkward coating.

My son, who died of pancreatic cancer was a coeliac like me, but he had never been tested and as he was a sound engineer in the music business, he lived on a diet of Subways, cigarettes and high strength cannabis.

I asked the Professor at Liverpool University’s Pancreatic Cancer Research Unit, if this had contributed to his death and he nodded.

But my son certainly, didn’t have my strong immune system, which is because I’m coeliac and have been gluten-free for nearly thirty years. I know it is strong, as it gave the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine a good kicking. But by the time I got the second dose, it had worked out it was a friend, so I got no reaction.

I have three questions.

What is the hard skin of the pancreatic cancer made from?

Do all cancers have hard skins?

When patients are given immunotherapy drugs, do they go gluten-free for a Tesco effect (Every little helps!)?

February 7, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hydrogen Refuelling Station For Vehicles Lands At Teesside Airport

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

A refuelling station that will serve hydrogen-powered vehicles based in the Tees Valley is now up and running at Teesside Airport as part of a £2.5million region-wide trial.

A selection of vehicles and equipment is being trialled, including some for the emergency services.

The trial will be overseen by Teesside University.

The University also runs the Tees Valley Hydrogen Innovation Project, which is described on this page on the University web site.

January 28, 2022 Posted by | Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Covid Leaves Wave Of Wearied Souls In Pandemic’s Wake

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

It is the usual excellent article by Tom Whipple and it discusses long covid.

I haven’t knowingly had long covid or even common-or-garden short covid for that matter.

The Asian Flu of 1957-1958

But go back to 1957-1958 and the outbreak of Asian Flu.

This was another present from China to the world. Wikipedia says this about its severity.

The number of excess deaths caused by the pandemic is estimated to be 1-4 million around the world (1957–1958 and probably beyond), making it one of the deadliest pandemics in history.

According, to this page on Wikipedia, deaths from Covid-19, were approaching 5,500,000 at the first of January 2022.

But then the world population is now 7.9 billion as opposed to 2.8 billion in 1957. This is 2.8 times bigger.

If the Asian Flu of 1957-1958 had had a Covid-19 death rate around two billion would have died.

Was There A Long Form Of The Asian Flu?

In Long Covid And Coeliac Disease, I started the post like this.

I recently heard an interview with Adrian Chiles on Radio 5 about the so-called long covid

I am 73 and the more I read about Long Covid, the more I think I had something similar around 1958, when I had just started Minchenden Grammar School, where I missed most of the Spring Term. This was at the time of the 1957-8 flu pandemic., which killed between one and four million people worldwide.

This article on New Decoder is a personal memory of that pandemic, from an experienced journalist called Harvey Morris.

Last night, I was listening to another program about kids with long covid and they seemed to be describing how I felt all those years ago.

One of those two programs, also said that one doctor tested patients for coeliac disease.

So did I have a long form of Asian Flu which kept me off school for a long time?

I can remember a conversation between my late wife and my mother that took place before we got married in 1968.

My mother described how I was badly ill at around ten and how our GP, the excellent Dr. Egerton White kept coming to see me, whilst I was recovering at home, as he couldn’t fathom out what was wrong with me.

But he did seem to take particular care of me, even coming to visit me in hospital, when I had my tonsils out at around five. Could it be, that as he had brought me into this world, that he felt differently about me? It should be noted that he was probably from the Caribbean and either black or mixed-race.

Is Long Covid Linked To Undiagnosed Coeliac Disease?

As I said earlier that one doctor tested long covid patients for undiagnosed coeliac disease, at least one doctor must believe so.

Looking at the statistics in The Times article, I can make the following deductions.

  • 42 % of sufferers from long covid are over fifty?
  • 58 % of sufferers from long covid are female?
  • It is not stated how many sufferers had been diagnosed as coeliac and were on a long-term gluten-free diet.

These statistics would fit roughly with the statistics for coeliac disease.

  • According to the NHS, there are three times as many female coeliacs as male.
  • There was no test for coeliac disease in children until 1960, so it is likely, that many undiagnosed coeliacs are over 60.
  • Since around 2000, coeliac disease is tested for by means of a simple blood test.
  • Doctors understand coeliac disease better now, so I suspect more coeliacs under about thirty have been diagnosed.

I am certainly led to the conclusion, that undiagnosed coeliac disease could be a factor in long covid.

Treating Long Covid

The article on The Times has a section which is entitled How Do We Deal With It (1)?, where this is said.

One of the great challenges of pathology is that you have to know what you are looking for before you can find it.

“People with long Covid go to the clinician, give blood, and none of the results that come back show that these individuals are sick,” says Resia Pretorius, from Stellenbosch University. The doctors look through the metabolites in their blood, seeking something unusual, and find nothing. “The end result is their clinician tells them it’s psychology — go for a run or whatever. Some of these patients can’t even walk up a set of stairs. They think: are we mad?”

She had an idea. What if it was about the blood structure, as much as its composition? Her laboratory has looked at the blood of both acute Covid patients and long Covid sufferers. They have found tiny clots.

Something in the disease seems to cause malformation, and they can’t be removed.

They have also found preliminary evidence that treating patients with antiplatelet and anticoagulants leads to significant improvement. Although, she stresses, it’s a risky procedure that requires careful monitoring, in case people bleed dangerously.

When I read the bit about anticoagulants, the bells in my head started ringing.

I am a coeliac on a long-term gluten-free diet, who suffered a serious stroke in 2011, from which I made a remarkable recovery. I am now on Warfarin, which is the old-fashioned anti-coagulant and test myself regularly with a meter, so I don’t bleed dangerously.

Note remarkable is not a word of my choosing, but one that has been used several times by doctors referring to the recovery in my stroke. But then there are masses of Jewish, Huguenot and Devonian survival genes in my cells.

At the time of the panic about blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine I wrote A Danish Study On Links Between Coeliac Disease And Blood Clots, of which this is an extract.

This morning I found on the Internet, a peer-reviewed Danish study which was entitled

Coeliac Disease And Risk Of Venous Thromboembolism: A Nationwide Population-Based Case-Control Study

The nation in the study was Denmark.

This was the introductory paragraph.

Patients with coeliac disease (CD) may be at increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), i.e. deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its complication pulmonary embolism (PE), because they are reported to have hyperhomocysteinaemia, low levels of K-vitamin-dependent anticoagulant proteins, and increased levels of thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor.

One thing in this summary screams at me. The mention of vitamin-K!

Ten years ago, I had a serious stroke, that because of modern clot-busting drugs failed to kill me.

I am now on long-term Warfarin and know I have to eat a diet without Vitamin-K.

There are too many coincidences in all this for me not to shout, “Do More Research!”

 

 

January 17, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 4 Comments

Prevalence Of Celiac Disease Among Blood Donors in SÃO PAULO – The Most Populated City In Brazil

The title of this post, is the same as that of this scientific paper from Brazil.

I am posting, so I can find the paper when I need it.

I will only point out one sentence.

Furthermore, an increase in the ingestion of wheat in the country in recent decades may have favored the increase in CD in our society.

I wonder if this statement can be confirmed, as this could explain the increase in coeliac disease in some countries.

January 8, 2022 Posted by | Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Walking The Line

A friend asked, if I’d like to accompany her on a walk along the tunnels of the Post Office Railway.

I said yes, went along and took these pictures.

Note.

  1. The tracks are only two-foot gauge.
  2. The trains were driverless and electrically powered.
  3. The two modern trains with the plastic roofs; one of which is red and the other green, are used to take Postal Museum visitors along the tunnels.
  4. The yellow train was painted that colour for its part in the Bruce Willis film; Hudson Hawk.
  5. A large number of the sleepers had plaques on them, indicating their sponsors. The sleeps looked to be nearly all original.
  6. The paintings on the wall show the Twelve Days of Christmas and date from when Christmas parties for children were held in the tunnels.
  7. The tunnels were dug by hand using a Greathead Shield.
  8. There was no evidence of rodents.

It is a unique railway that is well worth a visit.

A few other facts and thoughts.

New Tunnels

Most modern tunnels like Crossrail, High Speed Two and the Thames Tideway are now dug by tunnel boring machines or TBMs. These pictures show Millicent and Ursula preparing to start boring the Thames Tideway.

Not all tunnels though use a TBM. Recently, the new running tunnel at Bank and pedestrian tunnels at Paddington and possibly Moorgate have been dug in the traditional way, but probably with the aid of some of the likes of JCB’s finest.

There was also the innovative way, that Whitechapel station was built, that I described in Coal Mining in Whitechapel.

Tunnel Life Research

This is a paragraph from the Wikipedia entry for the Post Office Railway.

A team from the University of Cambridge has taken over a short, double track section of unused Post Office tunnel near Liverpool Street Station, where a newly built tunnel for Crossrail is situated some two metres beneath. The study is to establish how the original cast-iron lining sections, which are similar to those used for many miles of railway under London, resist possible deformation and soil movement caused by the new works. Digital cameras, fibre optic deformation sensors, laser scanners and other low-cost instruments, reporting in real time, have been installed in the vacated tunnel. As well as providing information about the behaviour of the old construction materials, the scheme can also provide an early warning if the new tunnel bores are creating dangerous soil movement

This is worthwhile research, as there have been some problems with London’s older tunnels.

Building The Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Project

This was done in and around the Paddington end of the Post Office Railway.

There is a link to a professional presentation about this complex project in Paddington Bakerloo Line Link Project, London.

Royal Mail Group assets at Paddington helped in the comstruction of the link.

December 29, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments