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#51 2019-05-09 14:53:55

elderflower
Member
Registered: 2016-06-19
Posts: 1,115

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Hydrogen is very good as a fuel gas when you consider it on the basis of energy per unit mass. On the basis of energy per unit volume it really isn't so good. Its density is very low by comparison to other energy rich gases such as methane or propane. In addition it is very hard to liquefy it  and to maintain it as a liquid which impacts any long term storage proposal.

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#52 2019-05-09 17:35:05

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For Elderflower ...

elderflower wrote:

Hydrogen is very good as a fuel gas when you consider it on the basis of energy per unit mass. On the basis of energy per unit volume it really isn't so good. Its density is very low by comparison to other energy rich gases such as methane or propane. In addition it is very hard to liquefy it  and to maintain it as a liquid which impacts any long term storage proposal.

Ammonia is a chemical which carries hydrogen in a dense form.  There has been extensive discussion of this chemical on the forum in recent weeks, led in significant part by kdb512, who gave multiple examples of how effective it is in competition with other energy carriers.

That said, SpaceNut recently posted a link to an article about the use of modern carbon containment structures for hydrogen which provide for a couple of hours of flight time for larger drones, using fuel cell technology to deliver electricity.

(th)

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#53 2019-05-09 18:14:58

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

The use of hydrogen falls into how cold it is versus what pressure it is at. When its cyro its harder to hold onto as it boils off and slides through the walls of the tank that it is being stored in. Its one of the reasons for why its a horrible long term fuel for going to mars from earth orbit. Its slightly better for going to the moon but there are still losses to account for in either senerio.

The high pressure nearer to room temperature does not have those issues and is expected to be use soon there after from the tank. The on demand systems that use other elements as carriers for the hydrogen require power to free it up quick enough for it to be used also very near term to its creation.

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#54 2019-05-10 02:38:43

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 4,892

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Yes, so when stored as a normal fuel, you need much heavier/more expensive tanks. It's not the way to go. I understand there has been research into storing hydrogen in other forms e.g. pellets.

I can't really see much benefit to a nationwide hydrogen-based energy system. A nationwide electric power economy (electric power for heating, transportation and industrial uses) makes more sense - powered by green energy plus storage.

I think the storage issue is going to be resolved via a combination of chemical batteries, artificial methane manufacture, pumped hydro, pressurised water into old oil or gas wells, potential-energy storage, EV "battery reserve", continental level grids and reserves of other renewable energy (e.g. energy from waste and bio fuels).  The solutions are nearly all there now in various forms but are currently too expensive.


SpaceNut wrote:

The use of hydrogen falls into how cold it is versus what pressure it is at. When its cyro its harder to hold onto as it boils off and slides through the walls of the tank that it is being stored in. Its one of the reasons for why its a horrible long term fuel for going to mars from earth orbit. Its slightly better for going to the moon but there are still losses to account for in either senerio.

The high pressure nearer to room temperature does not have those issues and is expected to be use soon there after from the tank. The on demand systems that use other elements as carriers for the hydrogen require power to free it up quick enough for it to be used also very near term to its creation.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#55 2019-05-10 16:56:41

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Louis the "artificial methane for storage" is an on demand hydrogen delivery system of which yes we can burn it and we can also use a fuel cell as well. The same can be done with straight hydrogen, its the other carrier elements which can be used to make a safe delivery and storage will be use at the user site location as an on demand system to burn or use in a fuel cell. Only the methane will cause coaking build up for the fuel cell. Which allows for the ammonia fuel cell to be a slightly better option as there is no carbon.

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#56 2019-05-10 22:36:36

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Per unit of volume, liquid anhydrous ammonia / LNH3 stores 1.5 times as much Hydrogen as LH2 and, obviously, contains no Carbon.  Roughly speaking, methane / gasoline / kerosene / diesel also contain about 1.5 times as much H2 as LH2.  LNH3 can be stored at 70°F at 114.1psi.  Semi-tractor trailer truck tires are inflated to around 110psi, give or take 5psi or so.  Basically, truck tires is the kind of pressure we're talking about to keep LNH3 liquid above its -28°F boiling point.  However, any pressure vessel would have to be strong enough to withstand 250psi or so and that's a prototypical / industry standard value shared by liquid propane tanks.

Here's where that 114.1psi figure comes from:

Tanner Industries - Customer Manual - Anhydrous Ammonia

At 70°F, LCH4 must be pressurized to 4,641.2psi to remain liquid.  That's a bit less than half of the pressure of the Toyota Mirai's 10,000psi gaseous H2 tanks.  Volumetrically speaking, CH4 contains about 3.2 times as much energy as pure H2 at any pressure.

BEGIN EDIT
Source for the 4,641.2psi room temperature pressure figure:

Why is propane stored in household tanks but natural gas is not?

LNG Storage, for those who are curious:

LNG America - About LNG
END EDIT

Since everyone is so concerned about the safety of these new solutions, here's an interesting study:

Comparison of the Safety-related Physical and Combustion Properties of Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Natural Gas in the Context of the SF-BREEZE High-Speed Fuel-Cell Ferry

Excerpt from the Summary of Conclusions:

LH2 and LNG are similar in their combustion properties, with hydrogen having a wider flammability range. Vapors of both are easily ignited by weak (thermal) ignition sources and become flammable at low percent volume mixtures with air. H2 and NG vapors can both directly explode, but require confinement with a geometry larger than the detonation cell size, a strong (shock wave) initiation source and a fuel/air mixture in the LEL – UEL range for direct detonation. Both fuels can experience DDT depending on the geometry with hydrogen being more susceptible to DDT than methane due in part to its smaller detonation cell size. DDT would be unlikely in the SF-BREEZE application (even in the event of a ventilation failure) because of the lack of confinement on the Top Deck, and the reduced physical dimensions in the Starboard and Port Fuel Cell Rooms that limit “run-up.” LH2 fires burn out faster than LNG fires, and produce significantly less thermal radiation, with the hydrogen fire thermal radiation also strongly absorbed by humidity in the air. In a hypothetical scenario (judged not to be a credible accident threat by the U.S. Coast Guard) where the entire 1200 kg fuel complement of the SF-BREEZE were released and ignited, the temperature of the Top Deck would still be below room temperature due to the combined effects of cryogenic cooling and hydrogen fire radiant heating. Although a LNG spill would cool the aluminum deck more, the higher radiant flux would heat the deck more, producing a similar final temperature. The results show it is safe to use aluminum for the Top Deck of the SF-BREEZE from the point of view of large fuel pool fires because the Top Deck does not approach 150 °C if the fuel complement were spilled and ignited.

Since LH2 and LNG are similar in their physical and combustion properties, they pose similar safety risks. For both LH2 and LNG ships, precautions are needed to avoid fuel leaks, minimize ignition sources, minimize confined spaces, provide ample ventilation for confined spaces, and monitor the enclosed spaces to ensure any fuel accumulations are detected and controlled (via H2 supply shutoff) far below the fuel/air mix thresholds for any type of combustion.

Last edited by kbd512 (2019-05-10 22:47:22)

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#57 2019-05-11 08:47:05

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For kbd512 re #56 ...

Thanks for this concise comparison of the several fuels/energy carriers in this post.

In particular, I appreciated the link to the comparison of propane and methane, including discussion of household applications and risk factors.

The analysis of risks for the SF-Breeze case was interesting as well. 

(th)

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#58 2019-05-11 13:55:51

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

tahanson43206,

Louis makes good points about how methane is a superb energy transfer medium, as all hydrocarbons are, given that all of the infrastructure to use methane is already built and expanding into shipping and trucking by the day.  My principle concern is that if global warming is deemed a major problem, then this solution doesn't seem to mitigate the problem.  I think it has to be predicated on using even more hydrocarbons as energy demands increase.  Let's be honest with ourselves here.  Our energy demands only go in one direction as industrialization and population increase.

It's also impractical to put CO2 collectors on every tailpipe, which would be why we don't do it.  It's a lot more practical to put CO2 collectors on stationary power plants that don't have significant mass and volume constraints.

So...  Given that we know we need ever increasing amounts of energy to achieve greater economic prosperity and to lift everyone else out of crushing abject poverty, we need cleaner sources of energy.  I simply fail to see how making methane with a chemical process, rather than simply extracting it from the ground, would help achieve that goal.  There has to be a transition point somewhere in the near future where we begin using more efficient energy production methods.

Anyway, such topics could be argued endlessly, which still won't help solve the underlying problem.  Like I said before, choose a workable solution using current or very near term technology and get on with it.

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#59 2019-05-11 15:15:03

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

While its not practicle for a car or small truck why not on desiels or even a wood stove?

I only see the power station as a result of size and not on pure number of all of the others that are contributing even more co2....

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#60 2019-05-11 17:06:04

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

SpaceNut,

We could absolutely run commercial transport vehicles off of LNG and we're already doing that at limited scale.  It's somewhat cleaner than gasoline or diesel and roughly twice as clean as the best grades of coal, but all hydrocarbons produce CO2 emissions that require copious amounts of input energy to recapture.  The Russians even flew converted LNG powered airliners at the tail end of the Cold War.  In any event, after the myriad of design issues involved with implementing any new power technology have been addressed, what makes one approach "better" than another is largely a matter of pure ruthless efficiency.

That's a quaint way of saying that we don't have any elegant solutions to overcome simple physics, although we do have quite a few rather clever design principles that minimize the energy expenditure required to perform a given amount of mechanical work.  If you want to "go faster" or "carry more useful load", then you need more horsepower, period and end of story- from an engineering perspective.  That says nothing at all about greater efficiency as it relates to weight or mass to provide a given level of structural integrity and the efficiency of the power plant or prime mover.

The reason I relentlessly harp on weight reduction through the use of better materials like CNT, that have incomparably greater strength-to-weight ratios when compared to the only other available alternatives that consist of various significantly heavier and mechanically weaker metal alloys, and lighter fuels like LNH3 that retain substantial Hydrogen density, is that it has such a dramatic effect on the input power requirements from the prime mover, thus the overall efficiency of the design.

My point about centralizing CO2 emissions is that doing so makes it possible to engineer the CO2 removal process "to the nines", without considerable regard to the overall weight of the solution.  Apart from the existing manufacturing and transport infrastructure, the other significant reason I favor LNH3 for energy storage is that after initial production using the Haber-Bosch process, which already takes place in centralized facilities, much like our present day oil refineries, is that the CO2 capture only needs to be accomplished at those centralized locations.  Thereafter, the resultant energy carrier product produces no CO2 emissions or other objectionable emissions when reacted in fuel cells.  It de-couples the need for Carbon capture process from the rest of the energy utilization chain.

Methane is still a cleaner product than, say, gasoline or diesel or kerosene, but not by nearly as wide a margin as compared to coal.  Burning ever-greater quantities of methane still requires ever greater quantities of energy to capture the CO2 that will inevitably be released into the atmosphere.  The alternative is that we don't capture the CO2, because it's impractical in most transportation related applications, and the emitted CO2 just continues to build up in Earth's atmosphere.  That's what we're currently doing and that's the status quo.  I'm trying to convince people to move away from the status quo, but my proposal uses economic arguments instead of coercive force from governments.

We have this one product that we "make" in staggering quantities, namely CO2, that's causing an environmental problem.  Instead of complaining that the CO2 is causing a problem, I'm proposing what I think are practical solutions.  Since we have that product coming out the yin-yang and we're in no danger of running out any time soon, then we should invest in more lucrative applications for it, as our oil companies already have.  Sewage companies don't complain about the fact that they take shit from everyone, for example.  Instead, they collect the sewage, treat it, and turn it into fertilizer products.

Assuming people still want to make money, there's an inherent opportunity for an entirely new industry to make incredibly useful products that are nothing short of revolutionary in nature.  If we start treating our CO2 as a valuable precursor product for CNT, as it already is in some CNT manufacturing processes, in order to transform the CO2 into an astonishingly valuable structural fabrication material on account of its superior mechanical properties, instead of an unwanted waste product to be dumped wherever convenient- typically into our atmosphere, then companies will start capturing CO2 of their own volition in order to make a lot of money.  That's my coercion-free and free market solution to our CO2 emissions problem.

The markets for these new materials are exceptionally well established.  We're not trying to convince anyone to turn in their horses for these new fangled horseless carriages.  The aerospace, automotive, and wind power industries already have voracious appetites for composite fabrication materials.  I'm simply proposing that we mass manufacture a vastly superior product using a base stock (CO2) that virtually anyone anywhere in the world can get their hands on.  Ubiquity through mass manufacture will take care of initially high prices, as it always does.  CNT's have already been price-reduced through limited scale manufacturing from exorbitantly expensive R&D curiosities to materials useful to the aerospace industry.  I just want to help speed up that process through a commitment to CO2 capture infrastructure.

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#61 2019-05-11 20:47:33

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For kbd512 re #60 ...

At the risk of getting in over my head, would you be interested in developing your proposal into a business plan?

In past posts, you have provided some attractive monetary values for pure carbon, which (I gather) is a feedstock for advanced carbon materials.

CO2 is "free" from the air, but costs of extracting it are related to the (relatively) small proportion of molecules to be secured from "ordinary" air.

CO2 is available from power plants, and it is even possible plant owners would pay someone to take it away, but the costs involved include dealing with concentrated waste molecules and even solid particles.

The equipment needed to secure pure Carbon will require purchase, maintenance and eventual replacement over time.

Louis, you have hinted at having some experience with or knowledge of finances ... can you assist with projections?

It ** should ** be possible to write a business plan that makes sense in today's world, ** if ** kdb512's estimates of product value are within the ballpark of correct.

(th)

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#62 2019-05-11 20:53:18

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

https://www.britannica.com/technology/H … ch-process

Ammonia paper, Haber-Bosch process
https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Avai … _Final.pdf

https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/article … ivAbstract


From what I can surmise from my reading on all of the various versions of reactors and or processes to use hydrogen they all require not 1 bar pressure but many many barrs more, they require a variety of catylists to make the reactions happen and they are all at 100'c or higher for the combining to create the desired outcome.

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#63 2019-05-12 14:08:04

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

tahanson43206,

I think what you're asking for is beyond the capability of any single individual.  You'd need a team of people to do what you're asking and it'd take several months if they were working on it full time.  You can stop reading here, if you want.

I've only written project plans for software projects in the $10M to $20M range, along with the technical documentation and custom code for those projects.  The custom software was written to support business processes or data integration between enterprise resource planning systems, production scheduling systems, and reporting using business intelligence tools.  My technical background is in database application programming for business applications, mostly Java / pl-sql / JavaScript (dynamic HTML used in "rich" web apps) and connected to Oracle databases.  A heavy amount of data analysis (to determine how to best set up the forecast tree for statistical analysis, identify data entry mistakes or manual / user forecasting mistakes- like a user or team of users is forecasting 10% above or below what historical trends would indicate is required due to some error in a calculation or formula used, resolve data-related issues, improve processing, etc) and code optimization (use execution plans to improve query performance through more appropriate index selection or query hints, alter data structures appropriately, etc) was required for every solution I've done.  Some of that is just DBA type work and some of it is understanding how the query engine works.  I have about 15 years of total experience with database application programming, with the past 12 years spent in supply chain and the first 3 years spent in health care services and as a contractor for the federal government.  My functional / business background is as a consultant implementing forecasting software solutions used in supply chain planning for major manufacturers ($2B/yr+).  Unfortunately, the manufacturers that can't clear at least $2B per year can't afford the software or infrastructure- money for upgrades always comes from profits.  I've spent a great deal of personal time and effort trying to change that, but I don't know how to write an analytical engine and there's almost certainly nothing I can do to "reinvent the wheel" that'll work any better than existing but expensive and complicated solutions.  In my estimation, I used a much better data storage mechanism (object databases) and UI solution than what is currently in common use, assuming that speed of execution or rendering of results was any sort of consideration.  There's no relational database in existence that holds a candle to a decent object database for raw speed and throughput.  However, an analytical engine is very specialized software that requires quite a bit of mathematical expertise to write.  Most of my experience is with foodstuffs / beverages / pharmaceuticals / consumer electronics / appliances / steel, if that helps you to understand where I'm coming from.

All of those companies use their forecasting solutions to reduce supply chain costs associated with carrying excess inventory (you have to pay taxes on inventory) or failing to meet demand (lost revenue opportunities from stock-out).  The reduced supply chain costs associated with those products is directly passed on to the consumer in the form of lower prices.  Every company I've worked for ultimately uses accurate forecasts to lower prices to undercut their competitors or to remain price competitive with their competitors through supply chain cost reductions.  The effectiveness of those solutions varies wildly with the business users' understanding of the solution and adherence to procedures.  Those who know how to use the solution and why they're doing what they're doing tend to reap benefits out of all proportion to the initial and ongoing investment.  Paying to keep an experienced demand planner on staff really helps, in that regard.  I can spend less time on training users and more time on business process improvement and resolving technical problems.  Good documentation is obviously required in all cases, but some questions can't be adequately answered without Q & A with someone who understands the big picture.

That was a long winded way of saying that I've never written a business plan for an entire company or industrial sector, although I know people who do.  Maybe I could get their help to do that, but I can't make any promises.  I only know one policy advisor from a think tank in DC, but IIRC the group she works for does advise on energy policy.  Hopefully, that explained what I do know how to do.  That said, I also know how to follow examples.  If you have an example business investment plan you can post that relates to the power industry, then I can probably follow it, and do the leg work to write the plan for your requested proposal.  However, input from industry experts would still be required.  There may be things I'm unaware of because I don't work for a public utility.  EPA regulations that put a damper on these plans immediately come to mind.  I mostly post on facially economically and technologically feasible ideas that smarter or more experienced people could then take and develop into more comprehensive plans or practices using their expertise.  All I want is a better outcome.  I don't have infinite knowledge and I've never met anyone else who did, either.  I really don't care who gets credit or who makes a profit off of an idea that they took from these posts.

I proposed using Haber-Bosch to start with because it uses methane that we suck out of the ground and those plants are current and well-understood technology, as Louis pointed out.  We don't need to make methane when we can extract it from the ground.  The same type of reverse fuel cell technology that would ultimately enable the manufacture of methane from its chemical constituents would also enable the manufacture of ammonia from its chemical constituents.  Thereafter, reacting the ammonia in a fuel cell produces only Nitrogen and water, which is exactly what went into the process in the first place.

Any CO2 that does get extracted from the air is more valuable as a base stock for manufacture of CNT fibers.  CNT products are the only type of product that would be vastly more cost-effective to make with CO2 extracted from the air.  The price of the product from ClimeWorks atmospheric CO2 extraction solution is very far below the cost of extracting pure Carbon from the ground because it requires far less energy to refine the product.  That's the only application that makes complete combined economic and environmental sense in a totally unambiguous way.  CO2 captured from Haber-Bosch would be cheaper still, because it's a concentrated byproduct created from the ammonia manufacturing process, although likely not as pure as the CO2 from ClimeWorks on account of Sulfur contamination, but there won't be enough CNT to service demand and keep prices competitive if Haber-Bosch is the only source.  Maybe ClimeWorks can supply the aerospace industry and Haber-Bosch can supply the automotive and construction industries.

So long as we have a plentiful supply of methane from the oil and gas industry, and we're in no danger of running out of methane any time soon, then the concentrated CO2 produced by the Haber-Bosch process can be captured for future fracking efforts or to serve as a feedstock for the production of microscopically fine Carbon powder to turn into CNT.  We don't need separate energy-intensive mining processes that extract Carbon from the ground and the demand for energy-intensive metals will plummet as CNT supplants metal as the structural material of choice.  The consumption of metals will be relegated to use as catalysts, gas and liquid storage containers, and high temperature components.  All of the Aluminum and low grades of steel alloys, such as those found in construction materials like rebar, can be supplanted by CNT.  Lesser quantities of high grade steels for high temperature or high pressure applications will remain in place.  This is about synergistic fabrication and fueling processes.  There's no reason to dump the O2 from the CO2, either.  There's no technical reason why we can't single-source our oxidizers, fuels, and fabrication materials.  Dual source, actually, by also utilizing atmospheric CO2 capture in parallel.

We're roughly tripling our energy efficiency by using ammonia fuel cells instead of combustion engines, assuming the combustion engines are about 25% efficient and the fuel cells are about 75% efficient.  Some of the combined cycle gas turbine power plants can get up to 65% efficient, but the combined heat and power fuel cells can be up to 85% efficient.  Since the ammonia fuel cells don't require CO2 capture, unlike coal fired boilers or methane powered gas turbines, the energy efficient improvement that comes from not needing additional power output to capture the CO2 amounts to at least another 10% if the power plants are using the as-yet-undeployed RamGen supersonic CO2 compressor technology (there's only one coal fired pilot power plant that's so-equipped, to my knowledge).  The current generation of deployed subsonic 10 to 12 stage CO2 compressors consume significantly more power (meaning more than the 10% of total plant output required to drive RamGen's electric motor / prime mover) to drive the compressor and it's the size of a house instead of something that fits within the footprint of a standard fold-out table.  The actual efficiency of these power plant setups with CO2 capture included is typically no more than 50%.  The ammonia fuel cells obviously don't have that problem.

The use of CNT in the primary structures of transport vehicles would at least halve their weight when compared to Aluminum or Carbon Fiber.  My surmise is that tripling the energy use efficiency of the prime mover and halving the weight is more than sufficient to make future energy input requirements a more sustainable proposition.  The use of CNT in concrete increases its useful service life by at least a factor of 5 (we don't ultimately know how long it'll last, but rail yards that had to replace the concrete every 6 months from the crushing weight they're subjected to have already gone more than 3 years without another foundation replacement), as demonstrated by current pilot projects that I've already posted about.  Thus, this revolutionary new material is a major part of the bridge (both figuratively and quite literally) to a future where better batteries and solar panels or wind turbines is possible.  When steel and steel reinforced concrete were the only sufficiently durable fabrication materials, they were acceptable for their uses.  We have something much better know and it's time to start using it.  This will ultimately reduce prices by reducing the number of product replacements or repairs required and, most importantly, greatly reducing the amount of energy required.  If a 2,000 pound SUV that's every bit as functional as a 6,000 pound SUV only requires 1/3 the power to perform exactly as the heavier variant performed, then I see that as a major improvement.  If the CNT reinforced concrete roadways and bridges that it travels along only have to be replaced every 50 years, then I see that as another major improvement.  Both improvements also benefit everyone equally.  It's not picking and choosing winners and losers, it's taking stock of what we have and what we can do with what we have.  Incremental improvements are still highly desirable, as I don't think most of us have any desire to go back to using craptastic 1970's engine technology, but I'm looking for dramatic improvements using existing and near term technology.

A facility like Tonawanda can make fuel cells just as easily as it can make combustion engines.  I'm quite confident that the union that operates that facility has the technical know-how to make any type of fuel cell, electric motor, or piston-driven combustion engine.  The point is, there's no shortage of methane production capacity, fabrication facilities for fuel cells or motors, or knowledge required to make this transition.  The initial mass manufacture of CNT's is also well underway.  We're producing around 100t of material per year, at present, but the facilities have been designed to ramp-up production as demand dictates.  We have everything we need, we only need someone to light the fuse.  Public support from our politicians and academia would certainly help.

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#64 2019-05-12 14:29:24

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For kbd512 re #63 above...

Thank you for this guide, and for the summary of points made previously, but collected here .... I am creating a tag which will bring me to this post.
Anyone else who would like to find kbd512's post again is welcome to use the tag as well.

I'll take a look at my (small) collection of books on business plans, to see if there is anything that can be adapted to the scale of this undertaking.

For anyone who would care to see the resources I have available, your can see a list at the post found by using the search argument below:

S e a r c h T e r m:  and :B u s i n e s s P l a n D e f i n i t i o n  Remove the spaces inside the strings (of course).

If there is anyone on the forum, or any forum reader willing to register, who can support the development of a business plan on this scale, please do join in.

I agree with and subscribe to the "open source" concept which kbd512's post expresses.  As far as I'm concerned the global need is sufficient to support multiple investment groups working towards the same or similar ends, and the best way for that to happen is for the intellectual property to be made public from the beginning.   There is plenty of intellectual property already in play, that needs to be licensed for particular activities.

SearchTerm:BusinessPlanCarbon

I'll try to add links to forum posts that relate to this undertaking, as they become available.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-12 16:27:04)

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#65 2019-05-12 20:34:51

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

The business model plan for fuel cells is in a factory setting must mass produce them and still make money selling them. These are a low volume seller at this time so these will not be cheap. So unless you can make them for other application these are going to remain in a low volume mode for quite some time. Such application would need to take in vehicle use of all forms, home residential use if you want to produce in quantity to keep manufacting not being idle.
You need to setup warrantee repair, general on site construction install and maintenance of the systems to add to the manufacturing of the devices.

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#66 2019-05-12 20:57:00

kbd512
Moderator
Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

SpaceNut,

Yes, fuel cells require mass manufacture to lower costs.  All mass manufactured objects are cheaper than ones made in very limited production runs.  After industrialization was in full swing, it's pretty much always worked that way.  It should come as no surprise that the same economic principles apply to fuel cells.  There are plenty of cars that are made with combustion engines every year.  If they were all made with fuel cells, the production costs would unquestionably come down.  Free market industry has a very funny way of always managing to do that.

My thought process on this is that Alkaline fuel cells with cheaper catalysts are sufficient for power plants, ships, backup generators, and motor vehicles.  We can relegate the expensive Platinum group metal catalysts to aviation grade fuel cell systems.

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#67 2019-05-14 08:06:23

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

kbd512 wrote:

tahanson43206,

I think what you're asking for is beyond the capability of any single individual.  You'd need a team of people to do what you're asking and it'd take several months if they were working on it full time.

We are embarked upon a two Earth year journey around the Sun.  Today is the 50th Sol since New Years on Mars.

I'd like to suggest a goal of completing at least one business plan suitable for presentation to investors, arising from opportunities revealed during discussion here on the NewMars forum.

The fact that this would be a team effort is well taken.   In fact, it is my impression that ALL successful business activities are team efforts.  Even the sole practitioners depend upon a network of service providers to sustain their businesses.

In the case of NewMars forum, it is apparent that there is significant talent and experience circulating in the main lobby of the forum.  Every now and then two or more members set up a temporary huddle to discuss a topic in depth.  The neat thing about the process is that there is a permanent, searchable record which participants can review later, or anyone can discover later.

I trust that Louis is willing to tolerate a continued discussion of a specific idea that came up in the topic.  If not, it might make sense to create a new topic that has focus on building a business to provide pure carbon to the market.

Speaking of the market ... I am starting with a clean slate.  Can anyone (would someone) look into the existing market for pure carbon?  While the market for pure carbon will surely grow as all the applications kbd512 described (and more) are developed for sale, there is already a nascent market, judging from kbd512's report.

It should be possible to identify potential buyers for pure carbon.  Each will have requirements for purity, packaging and perhaps other aspects.

At the same time, assuming based upon kbd512's report, there must already exist suppliers of pure carbon, and these would potentially want to grow instead of confronting new competition.

In that case, if those entities are publicly held, then they would represent investment opportunities for private citizens with a limited budget.

(th)

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#68 2019-05-14 19:36:37

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Incidentally, I was wrong about current CNT production.  I read something about annual production, but it was dated further back than I recalled that it was.  Apparently, it's much more than that now.  We now have several manufacturers with the ability to produce more than 100t per year.

Capacity of Single Plants:

LG Chem recently completed a CNT plant in South Korea that can produce 400t per year.  SUSN Sinotech has a plant in China that can produce 600t per year.  C-Nano in the US and Japan can produce 500t per year.  We need a capacity-focused infusion of capital for this blossoming industry.  Years of R&D are finally bearing fruit, as these products find their way into wiring, structural composites, and concrete additives to enhance strength and abrasion resistance.  The research efforts need to focus on purity (reducing occlusions) and length (the longer, the better).

HIGH VOLUME FRACTION CARBON NANOTUBE COMPOSITES FOR AEROSPACE APPLICATIONS

Global revenue estimates for the aerospace and aviation market impacted by carbon nanotubes

The Global Carbon Nanotubes (CNT) Market (2018-2023) is Projected to Grow at a CAGR of 16.7% - Technological Advancements and Decreasing Production Cost is Driving Growth

Carbon Nanotube Manufacturers and Suppliers

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#69 2019-05-15 11:20:47

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For kbd512 and all who may be interested in seeing a business plan for supply of carbon to the Carbon Nanotube industry...

One of the companies engaged in nanotube manufacture is Zyvex Technologies (www.zyvextech.com).

I visited their web site, filled out their contact form, chose the option of "reporter writing an article", and posted the following;

Per how can we help you ... the choices you offer do not exactly cover this situation, but it is close enough.  I am participating in a discussion on newmars.com, which is affiliated with the Mars Society, founded by Dr. Robert Zubrin.  The specific question under discussion is the business case for supply of pure carbon to the Carbon Nanotube industry.  Can you direct me to your specifications for ordering carbon? Thanks! (th)

I'll report back as soon as a reply arrives.

Meanwhile, I am rereading materials on hand for developing a business plan.  At this point, it is unclear how to approach the problem, or even what the market opportunity might be.

Because the size of the market, and the potential for growth, are critical factors in determining potential for a business, I've decided to approach one of the numerous nanotube manufacturers to see if they are willing to provide encouragement (on the one hand) or useful feedback (on the other).

Edit: It is worth noting that any business that can supply pure carbon for customers on Earth MOST CERTAINLY would be a candidate to supply pure carbon to customers on Mars.  Industry on Mars might be incentivized to use Carbon more than other materials for construction and manufacturing, because of the relative availability of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Edit: corrected URL per kbd512 note. (th)

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-16 11:15:06)

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#70 2019-05-15 18:36:09

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

Given to Mr. Google: direct air capture of co2

Direct Air Capture (DAC) is a largely theoretical technique in which CO2 (and potentially other greenhouse gases) are removed directly from the atmosphere. The current technique uses large fans that move ambient air through a filter, using a chemical adsorbent to produce a pure CO2 stream that could be stored.May 24, 2018
Direct Air Capture (Technology Factsheet) – Geoengineering Monitor
www.geoengineeringmonitor.org/2018/05/direct-air-capture/

From the article at geoengineeringmonitor.org:

DAC requires considerable energy input. When including energy inputs for mining, processing, transport and injection, energy requirements are greater still, perhaps as much as 45 gigajoules per tonne of CO2 extracted.15

It should be noted that the article is concerned with sequestration, and not with sale of CO2 for new applications.

In any case, more energy will be required to extract carbon from the captured CO2.

The article includes a mention of the potential of nuclear energy as a supply.

This might be an alternative for existing nuclear plants which are under cost pressure from natural gas. 

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-15 18:39:18)

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#71 2019-05-15 20:16:16

SpaceNut
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From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 16,135

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

The co2 extraction from air is also done by https://www.climateworks.org/carbon-dioxide-removal/
The removal of other bad stuff can occur at the same time https://www.climateworks.org/non-co2-mitigation/

https://energyinnovation.org/wp-content … Delay1.pdf
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a … 2114005450

The capture of co2 to become pure carbon comes with the extra energy penalty
Why not split harmful carbon dioxide into harmless carbon and oxygen?

So unless you are using nuclear, solar, wind or water created energy then you are not going to win as the law of thermodynamics tells us that the net result will be more CO2 than you started with.

Other forums that are talking about co2 as well
https://www.thenakedscientists.com/foru … ic=53177.0
https://www.quora.com/Is-there-any-devi … ure-carbon

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/5407 … f-from-it/

Carbon fibers are increasingly being used as a structural material on the aerospace, automotive, and other industries, which value its strength and light weight.

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#72 2019-05-15 21:41:07

tahanson43206
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Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For SpaceNut re #71 ...

The first link in #71 itself provides a link to a paper that describes a favorable situation for DAC (Direct Air Capture) (of CO2).

https://rhg.com/wp-content/uploads/2019 … elease.pdf

This paper was published a few days ago, in May of 2019.

There are no technical details about specific methods.

Instead, the paper describes the economic and political climate that (according to the author) are favorable for development.

In post #71, you reminded your readers of the need to plan to use sources of energy which themselves do not create CO2.

While that need may seem obvious, old habits (like old habits of centuries duration) die hard, so the reminder is needed.

In the post immediately above #71, the text points out that there are nuclear reactor businesses which are under pressure due to success of natural gas as a competitor to supply power, so it might turn out that the nuclear energy would be better invested in CO2 capture and separation to deliver pure carbon to the nanotube industry, as kbd512 has suggested earlier in this topic.

A company which owns a nuclear reactor (or a fleet of them) would have to discover the potential market for pure carbon, estimate the sales opportunity, and then work backward to determine the likely cost of equipment that would be needed to produce carbon in the purity and quantity needed.

Earlier in this topic, kbd512 provided some figures which suggest there may be sufficient spread to justify investment at the levels that would be needed.

(th)

Last edited by tahanson43206 (2019-05-15 21:42:58)

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#73 2019-05-15 21:44:55

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

tahanson43206,

Thanks for posting the link to Zyvex Technologies.  You may want to edit the link in Post #69 because it's unusable, as is.  In any event, I like the comparison between ZNT-fuse and Hysol.  It demonstrates just how much stronger a bond that a CNT additive can create in an epoxy application.  Epoxies are an integral part of nearly all structural composites.  Loctite's Hysol is an epoxy product that those who fabricate homebuilt aircraft using carbon fiber composites would be familiar with.  Both the aerospace and wind turbine industries use mass quantities of this product.  However, I especially find the incredible fracture toughness of their Arovex SC products to be interesting, as aircraft landing gear struts could be made from specially engineered composites instead of steel or Titanium alloys.

SpaceNut,

There is one technology that we know of that produces staggering EUV emissions.  This would be the "Hydrino" reactor technology from Blacklight / Brilliant Light Power.  Whether or not it can actually produce massive amounts of thermal photon output from some form of previously unknown nuclear reaction, it most certainly generates insane levels of Extreme Ultraviolet emissions for minimal energy input.  It's inventor, Dr. Mills, has been trying, apparently unsuccessfully thus far, to convince people that it's the new "cold fusion".  His people don't seem to have demonstrated much control over the reaction, but the EUV emissions from the device are very well documented.  This technology could be used to split CO2 into C and O2.  Since nobody has demonstrated any ability to use it to generate power, this would be an equally useful secondary application.

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#74 2019-05-16 11:33:26

tahanson43206
Member
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 1,047

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

For kbd512 re 73 ...

Thanks for correction ... I may have typed the URL instead of copying it. 

Thanks for feedback on link to Zyvex, and notes on two of their products!  I hope they get back to me, but recognize they may (must) prioritize responses to public inquiry, so I'll not be surprised if they don't have time.

And! Thanks for the tip about Dr. Mills' work, which is new to me, and certainly sounds interesting for the potential CO2 split operation.

As a follow up to the discussion to this point .... An advantage of going for a market for pure Carbon is that there are so many locations on Earth where it could be pursued.  The only limiting factor would be availability of solar or wind energy, or of a nuclear reactor whose output could be allocated in full or in part to the activity.

The output of pure Carbon, while still measured in tons based upon (what I understand to be) current need, would be relatively compact and transportable in a number of convenient ways, depending upon plant location and customer site.

In re-reading my business planning reference, I was reminded last night of the complexity of trying to slip into an established market.  Ideally, a new entity would try to enter an established market when there is a new demand which the established players would have to invest to meet.  In that circumstance, the new entry would not represent a threat to established sales flows.

I like the idea of purifying carbon because of the simplicity of the concept.  While the technology that actually does the work can be quite complex, it should be possible to explain the business to someone like Warren Buffett, who famously only invests in businesses he can understand.

(th)

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#75 2019-05-16 18:47:32

kbd512
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Registered: 2015-01-02
Posts: 2,957

Re: Power to gas is the way forward for storage

tahanson43206,

I don't think any aerospace manufacturers need to be convinced of the utility of CNT since major manufacturers like Airbus are already using it in epoxies, companies that make shielding for wiring already use it in satellites,  NASA is already using CNT composites in Helium COPV's, and mass manufacture would permit fabrication of structures that are substantially lighter and stronger than carbon fiber.

Here's a good list of potential applications from products that have already been fabricated with CNT's:

CNT/Polymer Applications

Hammering a razor blade into a CNT sheet on a block of wood without cutting the CNT film or even damaging it:

CNT Film Impact Test

CNT Wiring for Electric Motors:

Carbon Nanotube Yarn Rotates Electric Motors at LUT

CNT "Muscles" that Operate between Absolute Zero and 1600C:

Giant Stroke Artifical Muscles

Most applications that traditionally use metal alloys can be significantly enhanced by using CNT.

Edit:

Here's an interesting and promising idea:

Heat Trap: A New Way to Generate Electricity Using Nanotechnology?

Last edited by kbd512 (2019-05-16 19:20:58)

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