green techno – alternative, sustainable energy, products, production, technologies

Retrofitting giant sails could cut ships’ carbon emissions quicker than switching to alternative fuels such as hydrogen
green techno – sustainable technologies – see also energy sustainability

> carbon capture, geoengineering 30-11-2023 Carbon capture: What is it and how does it fight climate change? By Jonah Fisher

…The technology has been around for decades. It’s mainly been used in industries where captured CO2 can be reused, for example to force out oil and gas from underground reserves. There are no such plans to use the CO2 from the new proposed power stations. The cost of a new gas power station, providing electricity for nearly a million homes, is around £350m. Catherine Raw of energy company SSE told the BBC that building a similar sized gas power station with carbon capture would roughly double the cost. The hope is that the price might fall over time. The cost of renewable energy for example has plummeted in the last decade.

There are those who see carbon capture as too expensive and believe the money would be better spent on renewables and power storage (like batteries). “These power stations look like another excuse for the government to show preference to their friends in the oil and gas industry, making energy more expensive to everyone else’s disadvantage,” says Dr Doug Parr of campaign group Greenpeace UK.

In September 2022 there were just 30 carbon capture facilities in the world, according to a report from the Global CCS Institute. Almost all of these are attached to industrial plants carrying out activities such as natural gas processing or fertiliser production. Once built, it is hoped other industries would use the UK power station’s pipeline to store CO2 under the North Sea…. 24-3-2023 Forget geoengineering. We need to stop burning fossil fuels. Right now – Pie-in-the-sky fantasies of carbon capture and geoengineering are a way for decision-makers to delay taking real action – by Rebecca Solnit

…”…They come up with endlessly creative ways to continue extracting and using fossil fuel. One of their favorites is to make commitments that can be punted off to the future, which is why one recent climate slogan is “delay is the new denial”. Another is to pretend that they are somehow still looking for a good solution and once they find it they will be very happy to use it. A holy grail, a hail Mary pass, a magic bullet, a miracle cure – or just a distracting tennis ball that too many journalists, like golden retrievers, are happy to chase.

That was clear when Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced its nuclear-weapons-related fusion breakthrough last winter, which the Bulletin of the Atomic Physicists noted had “at best, a distant and tangential connection to power production”. But many news stories latched on to it as if we were waiting for some miraculous solution when the solutions already exist and just need to be scaled up. It was as if they were selling us a dream of a lifeboat eventually reaching our shipwreck when viable lifeboats are all around us.

Dr Jonathan Foley, who heads Project Drawdown, joked that “fusion is here now. Look up in the sky.” The sun gives us far more energy than we can ever possibly use, now that solar panels let us convert some of that to electricity.

Among the worst of the excuses for not doing the one thing we must do is carbon capture, which has absolutely not worked at any scale that means anything and shows no sign of so doing on a meaningful scale in the near future. But while it is dangled as a possibility, it creates a justification to keep burning fossil fuel. So does geoengineering, which along with posing many kinds of disruptions is a way to compensate for continued emissions from burning things rather than stop burning them. These centralized hi-tech solutions seem to appeal to technocrats and beneficiaries of large corporations and centralized power, who perhaps don’t like or don’t comprehend the decentralization of power coming from sun and wind.

The decision-makers here often seem like a patient who, when told by a doctor to stop doing something (smoking, say, or maybe mainlining drain cleaner), tries to bargain. All the vitamins and wheatgrass juice on Earth won’t make toxic waste into something nontoxic, and all these excuses and delays and workarounds and nonexistent solutions don’t replace what the IPCC tells us: stop burning fossil fuel.

Move fast. Step it up. Now. Which brings us back to something that climate organizers have told us for a long time and the new report brings home. We know what to do, and we have the solutions we need to do it, so the biggest problems are political. They’re banks, politicians, financiers and the fossil fuel industry itself. We don’t need any magic technology to defeat them, just massive civil society willpower set in motion. 13-3-2023 Optimism grows for Acorn Project carbon capture scheme – By Kevin Keane

Optimism is growing that Scotland’s first carbon capture and storage facility is finally about to be given the go-ahead.

The Acorn Project at the St Fergus gas terminal in Aberdeenshire would pipe harmful greenhouse gas emissions under the North Sea. …

… Redundant gas pipelines from the north east to the refinery at Grangemouth would be put into reverse to carry the CO2 back north. Energy firm SSE Thermal has said it wants to build a new power station at Peterhead which would incorporate CCS. The existing terminal at St Fergus would be used to turn natural gas into so-called blue hydrogen with the carbon dioxide being pumped back offshore. There is even a proposal for direct air capture which would suck CO2 out of the air for storage.

However some environmentalists are opposed to the technology which they feel is a “dangerous distraction” from the urgent need to cut our emissions. Friends of the Earth Scotland has long been vocal in its view that the money would be better spent on delivering a “just transition” away from fossil fuels.

Last week, Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee published the findings of its inquiry into CCS in Scotland. It said the Acorn Project could hold the key to the technology being rolled out at scale across the UK and called on Jeremy Hunt to provide backing in his budget.

BBC Scotland understands that the company behind the Scottish Cluster, Storegga, has not been given any more details about the Chancellor’s forthcoming budget announcement. However the company is believed to be optimistic that it would be good news.

see also on bbc Carbon capture and storageGreenhouse gas emissions

> energy, electricity, solar 13-3-2023 Solar panels could be installed in the spaces between railway tracks in world first

…”…Roadsides, reservoirs and farms are all finding space for solar systems. And Germany’s Deutsche Bahn is also experimenting with adding solar cells to railway sleepers. …A train developed by Swiss track maintenance company Scheuchzer will travel along the rails, laying photovoltaic panels as it goes. It’s just “like an unrolling carpet”, says Sun-Ways. The specially designed train uses a piston mechanism to unfurl the one-metre-wide panels, pre-assembled at a Swiss factory. Electricity produced by the PV system will be fed into the power grid and used to power homes as feeding it into railway operations would be a more complicated process…”..

TRAINS ENERGY TRANSITION RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLAR POWER RAIL TRANSPORT 10-3-2023 Scientists discover how to make electricity ‘out of thin air’ – Huc enzyme means ‘sky is quite literally the limit for using it to produce clean energy,’ researchers say – by Anthony Cuthbertson

“We’ve known for some time that bacteria can use the trace hydrogen in the air as a source of energy to help them grow and survive, including in Antarctic soils, volcanic craters, and deep in the ocean,” said Professor Chris Greening from Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute. “But we didn’t know how they did this, until now.” The discovery was detailed in a paper, titled ‘Structural basis for bacterial energy extraction from atmospheric hydrogen’, published in the journal Nature …”…

> carbon dioxide removal, pollution 9-3-2023 Diverse carbon dioxide removal approaches could reduce impacts on the energy–water–land system – by Jay FuhrmanCandelaria BergeroMaridee WeberSeth MonteithFrances M. WangAndres F. ClarensScott C. DoneyWilliam Shobe & Haewon McJeon

Abstract – Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) is a critical tool in all plans to limit warming to below 1.5 °C, but only a few CDR pathways have been incorporated into integrated assessment models that international climate policy deliberations rely on. A more diverse set of CDR approaches could have important benefits and costs for energy–water–land systems. Here we use an integrated assessment model to assess a complete suite of CDR approaches including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, afforestation, direct air capture with carbon storage, enhanced weathering, biochar and direct ocean capture with carbon storage. CDR provided by each approach spans three orders of magnitude, with deployment and associated impacts varying between regions. Total removals reach approximately 10 GtCO2 yr−1 globally, largely to offset residual CO2 and non-CO2 emissions, which remain costly to avoid even under scenarios specifically designed to reduce them.

>energy, hydrogen 2023 Switching to hydrogen fuel could prolong the methane problem – by Princeton University

…”… Hydrogen is theoretically the fuel of the future,” said Matteo Bertagni, a postdoctoral researcher at the High Meadows Environmental Institute working on the Carbon Mitigation Initiative. “In practice, though, it poses many environmental and technological concerns that still need to be addressed.”

Bertagni is the first author of a research article published in Nature Communications, in which researchers modeled the effect of hydrogen emissions on atmospheric methane. They found that above a certain threshold, even when replacing fossil fuel usage, a leaky hydrogen economy could cause near-term environmental harm by increasing the amount of methane in the atmosphere. The risk for harm is compounded for hydrogen production methods using methane as an input, highlighting the critical need to manage and minimize emissions from hydrogen production…

…”Managing leakage rates of hydrogen and methane will be critical,” Bertagni said. “If you have just a small amount of methane leakage and a bit of hydrogen leakage, then the blue hydrogen that you produce really might not be much better than using fossil fuels, at least for the next 20 to 30 years.” The researchers emphasized the importance of the time scale over which the effect of hydrogen on atmospheric methane is considered…”….

> alt energy, domestic, solar ,wind 11-2022 Insane Rooftop Wind Turbine Halves Solar Panel Costs

>energy, co2, methanol 4-11-2022 World’s largest plant for making methanol fuel from CO2 opens in China – The first commercial-scale plant for making methanol from carbon dioxide will save an estimated 500,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year compared with making methanol from coal – by Michael Le Page

“The world’s largest facility for converting carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methanol is now up and running in China….”…

>carbon capture, carbon storage, decarbonisation 4-11-2022 CO2 capture and storage: Environmental lifeline or blank cheque for polluters?

…”…The French Institute of International Relations counted a record 76 CCS projects on the go in Europe in a 2021 report. … The market for CO2 capture and storage equipment is expected to quadruple over the next three years, reaching some $50 billion in 2025, according to Norwegian research firm Rystad Energy. Thanks to surging investment in Europe and North America, the CCS industry should be able to sequester 150 million tonnes per year, up from 40 million at present. This is nevertheless a drop in the ocean when compared to the 38 billion tonnes of CO2 emitted by humans in 2019…”…

> building, cement 17-10-2022 Seratech carbon-neutral concrete wins Obel Award 2022 – by Rima Sabina Aouf

“British company Seratech has won the architecture-focused Obel Award with its prototype carbon-neutral concrete, which it says is low-cost and easy to scale. Founded by PhD students Sam Draper and Barney Shanks to commercialise their research at the Imperial College London, Seratech replaces part of the cement content of concrete with a type of silica created using carbon dioxide captured directly from factory flues.

Only a maximum of 40 per cent of the cement content of concrete can be replaced in this way. However, according to Seratech, the carbon capture and storage (CCS) involved to make the replacement material means that more carbon is stored in the concrete than is emitted in its cement production, making it overall carbon-neutral…”…

>energy 20-10-2022 Can floating turbines harvest the world’s wind? By Justin Rowlatt

…”…This is not a passive structure, explains Greg Campbell-Smith, of Principle Power, the UK company that developed the platform technology. The floats need to adapt to changes in the wind and sea conditions. In strong winds the tower “heels” or leans away from the wind, says Mr Campbell-Smith. A network of pumps and valves shift liquid ballast between the three floating cylinders to rebalance the platform and set the turbine at the ideal angle for the wind. Below the surface, weighted subsea cables attached to huge anchors make sure the platform is firmly secured to the seabed…”… 10-2022 Europe hopes Finland’s new reactor will hail a golden atomic age 13-10-2022 Finland hopes new nuclear reactor eases energy crunch 13-1-2022 Underwater turbines tipped to provide 10% of UK energy – By Catherine Kennedy

Undersea turbines could generate a tenth of Britain’s power in the future, according to a government-backed sustainable energy research company. Tidal stream energy uses turbines to extract energy from moving water in oceans and rivers, with UK waters holding around half of Europe’s tidal stream resource. Stephen Wyatt, director of of research and disruptive innovation at Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (ORE) – which was established in 2013 by the government – said the 2020s could be a “golden decade” for the approach…”…

>products, electric 17-10-2022 How Schneider Electric’s CEO Made It One of the Most Sustainable Companies in the World – by

…”…Tricoire engineered Schneider’s transformation from a traditional electrical products merchant to a supplier of digital systems and solutions. Today, the 186-year-old multinational is at the forefront of digital automation and energy management, handling offices, homes, data centers, infrastructure and factories. Consistently ranked among the world’s most sustainable companies, Schneider is one of only 60 whose carbon neutrality objective has been certified by Science Based Targets initiative. Tricoire says 70% of Schneider’s turnover is green impact revenue, which participates in carbon reduction. …”… 1-2022 In Focus: Schneider Electric’s massive environmental efforts

>products, textiles 9-2022 Finland wants to transform how we make clothes By Maddy Savage

>green techno, re-use, circular, recycling 14-1-2022 Clean energy tech needs to be designed for recycling, experts say – Too many adhesives impede disassembly today – By Maddie Stone

Companies like Apple and Samsung aren’t the only ones making high-tech devices that are hard to take apart and recycle. So are the manufacturers of critical clean energy technologies like solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicle (EV) batteries — and unlike the consumer tech industry, which is slowly starting to reverse some of its unsustainable design practices, there isn’t much being done about it. …

“Design for recycling hasn’t really come to that market yet,” says Andy Abbott, a professor of chemistry at the University of Leicester who recently co-authored a review paper on de-bondable adhesives and their potential use in clean energy. Instead, Abbott says, manufacturers tend to “overengineer” their products for safety and durability. Take EV batteries, which are composed of anywhere from dozens to thousands of individual, hermetically-sealed cells glued together inside modules and packs. While the heavy use of adhesives helps ensure the batteries don’t fall apart on the road, it can make them incredibly difficult to take apart in order to repurpose individual cells or recycle critical metals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel. “At the moment, because everything is bonded together, lots of batteries end up getting shredded,” study co-author Gavin Harper, an EV battery recycling expert at the University of Birmingham in the UK, tells The Verge. “The material is mixed together, which makes subsequent steps in the recycling process more complicated.”…

>transport 4-2021 Attaching giant sails to cargo ships could slash their greenhouse gas emissions – by Graeme Paton,

…”…Fitting giant sails to cargo ships could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 per cent, research shows. Reducing speeds to use less fuel when the engines are running would cut emissions by a further 10 per cent, according to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The government should part-fund a demonstration ship using retrofitted sails as part of the UN Cop26 climate change conference in Glasgow in November to improve understanding of the potential of wind power, the institution said. The government announced this week that emissions from international shipping would be included in the UK’s climate change targets. However, the institution’s report said rapid action was needed to clean up shipping because of slow progress on the issue…”…