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Hydrogen-powered transport key to climate targets, says Shell PDF Print E-mail

Oil firm says gas could account for 10% of global energy consumptionby end of century

 

 Planes and trucks powered by hydrogen will be a crucial part of efforts to cut carbon emissions to safe levels, according to oil giant Shell.

For the first time, the Anglo Dutch firm, which is facing calls by activist shareholders to take stronger action on global warming, has mapped out how the world could hit the Paris climate deal’s target of keeping temperature rises below 2C.

While development of hydrogen cars has stalled in the face of rapid growth in battery-electric vehicles, Shell believes the gas could account for 10% of global energy consumption by the end of the century.

The company’s Sky scenario, published on Monday, envisages that as fossil fuel use declines, old oil and gas facilities will be repurposed for hydrogen storage and transport.

 Shell has no large scale hydrogen production but is a major player in natural gas, from which hydrogen can be made. The company launched its first hydrogen refuelling station in the UK last year and on Tuesday will open a second at a service station in Buckinghamshire.

 The scenario envisages the first intercontinental flight in 2040. By 2070, the majority of trucks will be powered by hydrogen or batteries, as Tesla is planning.

Shell sees oil demand stagnating in the 2020s, followed by gas demand falling rapidly from 2040 as competition from renewables bites.

Many power grids will be forced by legislation to become entirely run off solar, wind and hydro power by 2040. But the biggest impact from governments will come from carbon taxes or prices put in place by 2030 across rich countries and China.

Industry watchers noted that the Sky scenario would still see temperatures rise to around 1.7-1.8C, above the Paris accord’s goal of pursuing efforts to limit rises to 1.5C, in addition to “well below” 2C.

 
Waterfront to Add Four More Methanol-Fueled Ships PDF Print E-mail
zoomImage Courtesy: Waterfront Shipping Company

Canada-based Waterfront Shipping Company (WFS) and partners have unveiled an investment to build four new ocean-going vessels powered by clean-burning methanol fuel.

The parties, including Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (Mitsui), NYK Group (NYK), Marinvest/Skagerack Invest (Marinvest) and IINO Kaiun Kaisha (IINO), would see the four 49,000 dwt tankers delivered in 2019 from the South Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Mipo Dockyard.

WFS will charter the quartet to replace older tonnage and support growing demand for methanol around the world. Two of the vessels will be owned in a joint venture between WFS and Marinvest, one will be owned by NYK and the fourth will be owned in a joint venture between IINO and Mitsui.

To feature MAN B&W ME-LGI 2-stroke dual-fuel engines that can run on methanol, fuel oil, marine diesel oil or gas oil, the newbuildings will join the existing seven methanol-fueled vessels chartered by WFS.

In 2016, WFS, Marinvest, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Westfal-Larsen Management received the seven previously ordered fuel-efficient ocean-going vessels.

“With seven engines already in operation and proven in the field, this new order confirms the ME-LGI concept as a mature technology. Since this dual-fuel engine entered the market in 2016, its price has dropped considerably, which makes it an even more attractive propulsion option,” René Sejer Laursen, Promotion Manager, MAN Diesel & Turbo, said.

Paul Hexter, President at Waterfront Shipping, informed that 40 percent of the company’s fleet would be powered by methanol-fuel technology in the coming year.

 
IGP Methanol Partners with COSCO and Jinguotou to Further Develop IGP's Gulf Coast Methanol Park PDF Print E-mail

NEWS PROVIDED BY

IGP Methanol 

Mar 14, 2018, 08:40 ET

 HOUSTON, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- IGP Methanol (IGP), COSCO, and Jinguotou (JGT) agreed to cooperate to construct up to two methanol plants in IGP Methanol's Gulf Coast Methanol Park to supply feedstock for Jinguotou's Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) facility at Jin Zhou Port. The plants will each have a capacity of 1.8 million tons of methanol per year.

IGP Methanol Chairman Mr. James S Lamoureaux said, "IGP is pleased to begin this cooperation with internationally esteemed logistics company COSCO and JGT. The project will assure long-term stable and low-priced pure methanol for JGT's MTO projects as well as supply ultra-clean fuels to China, from abundant US natural gas resources. IGP's local US construction and operations will create thousands of jobs in Louisiana and the local communities in the US Gulf Coast."

The cooperation with IGP and JGT brings opportunity for COSCO to access and participate in the new Green Energy Revolution Market. It is a key step for COSCO to move toward new clean transportation fuels, promoting the transformation and upgrading of traditional businesses for COSCO Energy Transportation, while providing strong support for IGP Methanol and JGT methanol distribution.

Methanol is the fastest-growing New Energy fuel in China being used to replace coal in industrial boilers while reducing pollution by 95%. It is also growing globally as a low-sulfur, low NOx marine fuel that also reduces PM2.5 by 95% and SOx by 99%.

China COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co., Ltd, IGP Methanol LLC and Jinguotou (Dalian) Development Co., Ltd (JGT) signed a "Memorandum of Understanding on US Gulf Coast Methanol Project Cooperation" (MOU) in Shanghai. Mr. Huang Xiaowen, Executive Vice President of China COSCO Shipping Corporation Limited attended and witnessed the signing ceremony. Mr. Liu Hanbo, President of COSCO Shipping Energy Transportation Co., Ltd and Mr. James S. Lamoureaux, Chairman of IGP Methanol LLC and Mr. Ning Hongpeng, Vice President of Jinzhou Port Co., Ltd signed the MOU on behalf of the three Parties.

The companies also intend to discuss the feasibility of building new shipping vessels for the project, which can run on methanol, supporting government policies for clean energy and blue skies.

 
Add Cow Manure to Your List of Renewable Energy Sources PDF Print E-mail
The future of energy is smelly.
March 14, 2018, 4:00 AM EDT

 The average Holstein cow produces over 100 pounds of manure a day. It’s a lot of poop. It’s also a lot of potential power. 

On some farms, that energy is already being collected: The manure's tossed into an anaerobic digester system where gas concentrates and then has to be stripped of water, carbon dioxide and other elements before being mixed with traditional natural gas and used for heat. David Simakov, assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, is working to make that process more efficient. He and his colleagues are researching ways to boost the energy content of this raw biogas with a refining process that uses hydrogen in a chemical reaction to convert carbon dioxide into methane. This conversation doubles the production rate of the older separation techniques, producing so much renewable natural gas that the volume could be stored and eventually used as a natural battery. As a bonus, the new method results in lower carbon dioxide emissions.

“We’re not inventing any chemical reaction or process,” said Simakov, who co-authored a paper on biogas published in January in the International Journal of Energy Research, said in an interview. It’s just “a bit of engineering” to lower the cost of the refining, he said.

Ironically, producing the hydrogen needed for the chemical reaction takes a lot of electricity and constitutes the most expensive input in the whole process. The key to making it economically viable? Renewable power from solar, wind or hydroelectric sources.

Methanation, as the process is called, can be viewed as a way to improve the performance of solar or wind power, according to Patrick Serfass, executive director of the American Biogas Council. Wind and solar power is intermittent and must be stored for use at times when there is no sun or wind. Rather than storing that power in batteries, it can be used to create renewable natural gas that can be utilized during those energy gaps. The process can “bridge the variability of wind and solar with the reliability of energy from biogas systems,” Serfass said.

Manure, you see, is just a smelly natural battery.

Simakov’s research is still three to five years from producing renewable natural gas economically, but the eventual payoff is promising. The U.S. has the potential to produce enough raw biogas to power 7.5 million homes and reduce emissions that contribute to global warming by equivalent of as many as 15.4 million vehicles, according to the biogas council.

Overall, more than 2,200 sites in the U.S. produce biogas, with the potential to add 13,500, according to the biogas council. Europe has more than 10,000 operating digesters, and some communities are already essentially fossil fuel-free because of them.

“The potential is very big because, once we have this technology for converting animal waste, we can apply it at other places, such as landfill sites,” Simakov said.

 

 
Hydrogen-powered drones take flight in Sydney PDF Print E-mail

Heralding a new era of clean technology in the aircraft industry

In a world first, a team of researchers from Sydney have successfully powered an unmanned aircraft flight with a triple hybrid propulsion system featuring one of the cleanest energies on Earth – hydrogen.

 

Led by University of Sydney aerospace engineering PhD candidate Andrew Gong, the team of researchers – including Dr Dries Verstraete from the University’s School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering (AMME), Dr Jennifer Palmer from Defence Science and Technology Group, and support from Northrop Grumman Australia – successfully piloted test flights late last month using a hydrogen fuel cell/battery/supercapacitor triple hybrid propulsion system.

The recent tests follow on from four test flights using hydrogen fuel cells at the end of last year. The new results show that the supercapacitor improves the dynamic response of the overall propulsion system and also provides load smoothing for increased fuel-cell life.

The team’s overarching goal is to improve the flexibility and robustness of hydrogen fuel cell-based hybrid power systems in remotely piloted aircraft, also known as ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ or drones.

“Hydrogen power provides much greater range and endurance compared to existing small electric unmanned aircraft. In the future, this may be useful for extended-duration inspection or surveillance tasks, such as surveying large agricultural properties or inspecting pipelines and other infrastructure,” Mr Gong said.

“Hydrogen fuel cells are also more environmentally friendly because they produce zero CO2 emissions and are much quieter than other fossil-fuelled aircraft.”

Despite these benefits, Mr Gong said aircraft manufacturers had traditionally been reluctant to implement hydrogen fuel cells because they are costly, limited in power and respond relatively slowly to load changes.

The team had overcome these issues by developing a solution using hybrid systems – where fuel cells are combined with batteries and supercapacitors – to improve peak power and load response for better performance during take-off and manoeuvres.

“Conceptually, this is similar to a hybrid car where the battery is an auxiliary power source,” Mr Gong said.

“Our hybrid system improves the performance capabilities of existing fuel cell systems, and provides new options for quiet, long-endurance propulsion in the rapidly growing unmanned aircraft industry.

“The hybrid system enables greater flexibility and performance for drones compared to fuel cell-only propulsion, including faster take-offs, better ability to climb and manoeuvre away from obstacles, and increased fuel cell life.”

Mr Gong’s PhD research is supported by an Aerospace Engineering Industry Link (top-up) scholarship, jointly supported by Northrop Grumman and the University of Sydney’s School of AMME.

“Northrop Grumman remains committed to academic institutions, and the progression of research and development. The investments we make today can be seen in Australia’s future capability for decades to come,” said Ian Irving, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman Australia.

“We take great pride in the investments we’re making to advance science and technology in the advancement of Australian workforce.”

This research was supported by DST Group through its Strategic Research Initiative on Advanced Materials and Sensing.

https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2018/03/12/hydrogen-powered-drones-take-flight-in-sydney.html

 
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