The Anonymous Widower

A Massive Task For Ukraine?

After the Russians are thrown out of Ukraine, it will be a massive task to rebuild Ukraine.

But one of Ukraine’s traditional industries can also be used to transform the world.

The Transformation Of Energy Production To Floating Offshore Wind

I believe that over the next few years, we will see an enormous transformation of zero-carbon energy to floating offshore wind.

  • The floating offshore wind industry is planning to use the next-generation of larger wind turbines of up to 20 MW.
  • These turbines are too large and intrusive to install onshore.
  • Floating wind turbines generally have a higher capacity factor of over 50 %, than onshore turbines.
  • Each wind turbine will be mounted on a substantial semi-submersible float, which is built out of large-diameter steel tubes
  • The wind turbines are of the same design, as those installed onshore.
  • There are several designs for the floats and they are usually based on designs that have worked in the oil and gas industry.

The world will need millions of floating turbines and an equivalent number of floats to fully decarbonise.

Could The Ukrainians Build The Floats?

Consider.

  • The Russians have destroyed Mariupol, whilst the Ukrainians have defended the city in the steelworks.
  • Mariupol used to have a large shipbuilding industry.
  • Ukraine is in the world’s top ten of iron ore producers.
  • There is a lot of scrap steel available in the Ukraine, that the Russians have left behind.
  • The Ukrainians probably have a lot of workers, who have the skills to build the floats.

I’m sure something could be arranged for the benefit of everybody.

April 28, 2022 Posted by | Energy | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

HS2 Reveals Dramatic Carbon Saving With Ambitious Modular Design For Thame Valley Viaduct

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

This is the first paragraph.

HS2 today revealed the final designs for the Thame Valley Viaduct and the pioneering pre-fabricated construction methods that will see the 880m long structure slotted together like a giant Lego set, cutting its carbon footprint by an estimated 66%.

This is one of the pictures released in this photoset.

This second picture shows a closer view of a pillar and the catenary.

It does appear in these two views that the catenary and the gantries that support it are more elegant than those that tend to be used on most electrification schemes at the present time.

These paragraphs describe how the design saved carbon emissions.

Applying lessons from recent high speed rail projects in Spain, the design team cut the amount of embedded carbon by simplifying the structure of the viaduct so that every major element can be made off site.

In a major step forward for viaduct design in the UK, the team opted for two wide ‘box girder’ beams per span instead of eight smaller beams – to simplify and speed up assembly.

The production of steel and concrete is a major contributor to carbon emissions, with the new lighter-weight structure expected to save 19,000 tonnes of embedded carbon in comparison to the previous design. That’s the same amount of carbon emitted by one person taking a flight from London to Edinburgh and back 70,000 times.

It would appear that saving weight and using less steel and concrete can save a lot of carbon emissions.

I once got a bonus at ICI because I saved ten metres on the height of a chemical plant. My boss said, I’d saved nearly a million. by using a mathematical model on an analogue computer to show that a vessel in the plant wasn’t needed and this eliminated a complete floor of the plant.

How much concrete and steel has been saved by High Speed Two on this viaduct, by making it more basset than Afghan hound?

Ever since I watched the building of Crossrail’s Custom House station, I have been in favour of off-site construction.

I wrote about it in An Express Station and am pleased to see it being used on High Speed Two.

April 8, 2022 Posted by | Design, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New HS2 Pilot Project Swaps Steel For Retired Wind Turbine Blades To Reinforce Concrete

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from High Speed Two.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Worn-out wind turbine blades destined for the incinerator will instead be used to create carbon-friendly reinforced concrete on Britain’s new high speed rail network, HS2 Ltd has said today (12.03.21).

The innovative project will swap steel rebar, traditionally used to reinforce concrete, with sections of glass fibre reinforced polymer turbine blades that have reached the end of their operational lives generating low carbon electricity.

By 2023, around 15,000 turbine blades will have been decommissioned across the UK and EU. Until now, expired blades have either been ground down to be used as building materials or sent to energy-from-waste incinerators.

Replacing reinforcing steel with sections of retired wind turbine blades is claimed to cut up to 90 % of the carbon generated by steel reinforcement.

It would appear to me, that this is a worthwhile process.

  • In 2018, 295,000 metric tons of steel reinforcing bars were produced in the UK.
  • Retired blades don’t end up in landfill or incinerators.
  • Could we export them as eco-friendly reinforcing bars, to countries with smaller wind industries.

As we have more wind farms, than most other countries, we will probably have more blades to recycle, so perhaps we should research other secondary uses for these blades.

March 12, 2022 Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Startup Promises Green Steel By 2025 As Decarbonisation Race Heats Up

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

This is the first paragraph.

A new player has emerged in the developing field of zero-emissions steel making, promising to deliver commercial quantities of green steel by 2025 without using hydrogen.

It sounds too good to be true.

But.

  • The process uses electricity, which of course can be renewable.
  • The process comes from research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
  • The process doesn’t use hydrogen, coal or even a blast furnace.
  • Electricity is used to turn iron ore into liquified metal.
  • It is based on a technique called Molten Oxide Electrolysis (MOE), which is used in aluminium refining.

A American startup called Boston Metal is developing the technology.

If it can be made to work, it is truly game-changing technology.

Any area in the world, with large amounts of renewable energy, (Think Scunthorpe and Teesside) can transform their steelmaking to zero-carbon in a few years.

February 10, 2022 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

How To Build A Liverpool-Style Optical Bench

When I worked at ICI in Runcorn, one of the guys had developed a very accurate instrument for measuring trace chemicals in a dirty process stream. I remember one of these instruments was used to measure water in parts per million in methyl methaculate, which is the misnomer or base chemical for Perspex.

All the optical compliments needed to be mounted on a firm base, so a metre length of nine-inch C-section steel beam was chosen. The surface was then machined flat to a high accuracy.

In the end they found that instead of using new beams, old ones decades-old from the depths of a scrap yard gave better accuracy as the steel had all crystallised out. Machined and spray-painted no-one knew their history.

But they were superb instruments and ICI even sold them abroad.

October 14, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BECCS Beats Hydrogen For Decarbonizing Steel In Europe: ArcelorMittal

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on S & P Global Platts.

This is the first paragraph.

Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) offers a more cost-effective, readily available solution for decarbonizing the steel industry in Europe than clean hydrogen, steel producer ArcelorMittal’s head of strategy David Clarke said May 17.

So what do they mean by bioenergy?

To make iron from iron ore, you need a reducing agent like carbon or hydrogen.

Iron ore is rich in oxides of iron.

The carbon is usually some form of coal, which produces large amounts of carbon dioxide with the oxygen from the iron oxides.

Hydrogen produces lots of water with the oxygen.

David Clarke of ArcelorMittal explains the process in the article.

“We know biomass worked as a replacement for coal,” he said. “We’ve been using it in our operations in Brazil and other places for many, many years. We have a project in Belgium that we’ll be starting up next year using waste wood, using that to make bio-coal,” with a project to take the emissions from the bio-coal to produce bioethanol.

Is this a case of Back-To-The-Future? If I remember my history, didn’t Iron Age men use charcoal to smelt iron and other metal ores?

If those scientists from Velocys can make Sustainable Aviation Fuel and biodiesel from household waste and used disposable nappies, can they apply their magic to make bio-coal?

I see great cost advantages with this process, as surely it would enable existing blast furnaces to be used, provided they were fitted with carbon capture and storage.

May 17, 2021 Posted by | World | , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Orsted In Gigawatt-Scale Offshore Wind To Green Hydrogen Plan With Steel Giant ArcelorMittal

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

The title says a lot and at the heart of the plan is a 1 GW electrolyser.

Now that is enormous.

Will it be made in Rotherham by ITM Power?

The article is a must read.

April 1, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Hydrogen | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Ex-Steelworks To Make Wind Farm Parts In Plan For 6,000 Green Jobs

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

The government will invest almost £100 million creating new wind turbine ports in northeast England, with a big renewables company announcing plans to make crucial parts in Teesside.

The two ports will be on Teesside and North Lincolnshire.

The next generation of wind turbines in the North Sea will be very different.

Larger Turbines

They will be larger and the blades will be bigger, so building them close to, where they will be installed is a sensible idea.

We are also very good at aerodynamics in the UK. This is the reason Airbus designs and builds wings in the UK.

Floating Turbines

The next generation of wind farms will be floating, as for some reason, they have a higher capacity factor.

I am personally pleased about this, as it appears they are based on a patented but failed design of floating oil production platform from the 1970s, where I performed the calculations on how to install them.

Some of these floating wind turbines can also be floated into port for major services and upgrades, which probably means we need local manufacturing of as many parts as possible.

Hydrogen Rather Than Electrical Connection

They will also create hydrogen, rather than electricity, by using a combination of wind turbine and hydrogen electrolyser.

As distances between shore and wind farm get longer, it is cheaper to use a gas pipe, rather than a DC electricity link.

Hydrogen can also be stored in worked out gas fields and also brought ashore in redundant pipelines.

The hydrogen electrolysers will probably be built in the world’s largest electrolyser factory in Rotherham, owned by ITM Power; a UK company.

Conclusion

As we are going to build almost 70 GW of offshore wind in the next few years, we’re going to need a turbines and I believe increasingly, they will be built in the UK.

So these two wind ports at Teesside and in Lincolnshire are a good idea.

March 11, 2021 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage, Hydrogen | , , | Leave a comment

Fossil-​Free Steel A Giant Step In Scania’s Decarbonisation

This title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Automotive World.

This is the introductory sub-title.

“Now we are gearing up in our journey towards completely emission-free products!” This is how Scania’s Head of Purchasing Anders Williamsson sees the company’s decision to invest in and enter into a partnership with the company H2 Green Steel (H2GS).

Other points from the article include.

  • Each Scania truck contains five tonnes of steel.
  • Scania will have a close partnership with H2GS.
  • Scania will be able to get 90 % of their steel from H2GS.

H2GS will change steelmaking, when they start production in 2024.

March 2, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Green Hydrogen To Power First Zero Carbon Steel Plant

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

This is the two introductory paragraphs.

A new industrial initiative, backed by EIT InnoEnergy, will build the world’s first large-scale steel production plant powered by green hydrogen, in north Sweden.

The H2 Green Steel industrial initiative, which will mobilise €2.5bn of investment, aims to deliver a project that will create a new green steel producer from inception.

These further points are made.

  • There will be downstream steel products manufacture.
  • The initiative will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Production could start in 2024.
  • Up to five million tonnes of steel could be produced by 2030.

The plant will be built in the Boden-Lulea area of Northern Sweden.

Note.

  1. Boden is in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. Lulea is in the South-East corner of the map.

H2 Green Steel has a web site, which explains more.

What About Scunthorpe?

Surely, the obvious location for green steel production plant in the UK would be Scunthorpe.

  • The HumberZero network can bring in hydrogen and take away any carbon dioxide.
  • The steelworks makes world-class products like railway rails.
  • It is a massive site.
  • The site has good rail access.

But there don’t seem to be any plans for hydrogen steelmaking at Scunthorpe.

Conclusion

I hope we’ve not missed the boat for hydrogen steelmaking.

  • We’ve certainly got the sites, the renewable energy and the hydrogen technology.
  • On the other hand, I can remember sensible arguments for lots of much smaller steel plants from fifty years ago, as an alternative to nationalisation of the steel industry by the Wilson Government in 1967.
  • I can also remember proposals for nuclear steelmaking.

I just wonder, if a design of hydrogen steelmaking plant could be developed, perhaps even using a small modular nuclear reactor to generate the hydrogen.

If we are going to have a steel industry in the future, we must do something radical.

February 27, 2021 Posted by | Energy, World | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments