October 05, 2022, 10:28:18 AM
Forum Rules: Read This Before Posting


Topic: Ersatz for Natural Gas?  (Read 7660 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #60 on: March 15, 2022, 09:48:17 AM »
Cryptocurrencies work over the Internet, so Law enforcement agencies can know exactly who does what.

The law repelled yesterday would have banned the validity checks on cryptocurrencies to my understanding, which would prevent their use in the EU. Or rather, that law demanded to feed the computers with green electricity.

How many chips used for cryptocurrencies mining: the sales of nVidia vary strongly with the activity of miners
  Financial Times - South China Morning Post
and gamers can't buy the high-end video chips from nVidia, monopolized by the miners. nVidia is among the big chips sellers, and manufacture is by Tsmc, so mining can very well provoke a general shortage of chips.

The other factor is that Intel hasn't progressed for years, so Apple switched to ARM processors made by TSMC (and Samsung?), after AMD and nVidia sourced from TSMC too. Even Intel announced recently they would buy the hi-perf chips from TSMC. Two major manufacturers less in few years, leaving only TSMC and Samsung to produce all the fastest processors, that can't go smoothly.

Offline rolnor

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1980
  • Mole Snacks: +135/-10
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #61 on: March 15, 2022, 10:25:12 AM »
Is this true? Does the rig need to be online when mining?
Edit: I checked this, and yes, its done online.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2022, 11:01:44 AM by rolnor »

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2022, 05:52:28 AM »
The production of palm oil leaves much biomass: 26×1010kg/year from 74Mt/year palm oil worldwide in 2019 and 22% oil contents. This exceeds the 11.5×1010kg/year natural gas sold by Russia to the EU.
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_oil

How much of this biomass serves already? A decade ago, papers urged not to waste it. Dead leaves, old trees increase the amount further.

Maybe the pressed mesocarps and the leaves can feed cattle to save corn, or the fields that grow it, for human consumption.

What doesn't feed cattle, notably the shells and the old trees, can be burnt in Europe for heat and electricity. Transformation into pellets is best done near the palm trees plantations.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy
« Last Edit: March 20, 2022, 06:17:05 AM by Enthalpy »

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #63 on: March 24, 2022, 06:34:33 PM »
Most straw is presently dug in the fields where it decomposes and is a fertilizer for the next harvest. We could let straw produce biomethane and dig the residue instead.

I thought it was my bad idea, but it's the excellentissima idea by other people.
  wiki.de - wiki.fr - wiki.en
Check especially "Biomethan" in the German article. Biomethane from straw could produce 2.5GW in Germany alone.

The amounts are good. 2.5*1010kg/year straw in France. Scaling according to the wheat production would give 10*1010kg/year straw in the EU. Only a fraction becomes gas, but biomethane can replace a useful part of the 11.5*1010kg/year natural gas we import from Russia. If you prefer, this biomethane can produce 30GW over the EU, wow.

We can build the digesters before this summer and the gas is directly usable. It emits no CO2 and avoids the possible methane emission by straw decomposing in the fields.

Offline rolnor

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1980
  • Mole Snacks: +135/-10
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2022, 10:51:26 PM »
But it does emitt CO2? If you could avoid breakdown biologicaly and just do nothing you would store CO2 instead if releasing it?

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #65 on: March 28, 2022, 03:02:16 PM »
In the present situation, my first goal is to replace Russian gas, and straw can contribute strongly. The EU grows as many kg straw as it used to import gas from Russia, and about 1/6 the straw mass can become methane, wow. To compare, Canada and the USA will export 100 000 barrel/day more, that makes 0.5×1010kg/year, or 0.3× what European straw would offer, or 0.05× the imports from Russia. Methane from European straw is worth 200G€/year, figure that!

Fantastic: tapping this resource is easy. The technology exists, the designs too, and methane is directly usable. We only need to build many methanizers before this summer's harvest. Ask Swedish or American engineers, not German ones, as the operation needs action right now, the big way.

Yes, straw could re-create the coal, oil and gas deposits that we have burnt, and absorb the CO2 we have emitted. But fields need that organic matter to grow new crop, and this has absolute priority. The fantastic news is that we can tap the methane from straw, bury the rest in the fields, and it's still as efficient. So the operation wouldn't reduce the atmospheric CO2, but give us energy that emits no CO2, huge progress.

Even better: I suppose raw straw in the soil emits methane, which is a greenhouse gas more potent than CO2. Conducting the first decomposition in methanizers should avoid that, so we would improve the greenhouse gas emissions.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #66 on: March 30, 2022, 06:46:29 AM »
Methane from European straw is worth 200G€/year, figure that!

Re-re-recomputing it, now I converge to more credible 30G€/year of methane from European straw.

Which is a fabulous bonus, not to be missed!

Offline billnotgatez

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4340
  • Mole Snacks: +221/-61
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #67 on: March 31, 2022, 02:40:38 AM »
Irony for me maybe
I know it has been some time since this thread started but I have some time now to comment.
I saw this thread start just after I watched a video on Youtube titled
Quote
America Was Wrong About Ethanol - Study Shows
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-yDKeya4SU
Basically making the argument that using corn as a source for ethanol (gasoline additive and bio-fuel) was not a good idea.
Later on they suggest that
Quote
switchgrass
is a better plant.
Well I had never heard of Switchgrass before and I started doing GOOGLE and eventually came to this site by Smithsonian Magazine
Quote
The Next Generation of Biofuels Could Come From These Five Crops
Quote
Researchers are currently developing biofuels from these abundant species, which require relatively little land, water and fertilizer
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/next-generation-biofuels-could-come-from-these-five-crops-180965099

The concept being that crops can take carbon from the air and be turned into biofuel and thus be carbon neutral.

I do recollect a talk (some time ago at the National Press Club maybe) given by an individual begging us not to convert farmland into bio-fuel but produce more food for the hungry instead.  I am remembering that the expanding world population needs to have the USA produce more food. (Almost sounds like we are polluting the world with people.)
(I see that the OP has also started a page on food production.
https://www.chemicalforums.com/index.php?topic=111118.0)

two sides to every coin i guess

I have always been interested in bio-fuels in general and will continue to watch (and maybe add to) this thread.

Thanks for starting it
« Last Edit: March 31, 2022, 02:52:23 AM by billnotgatez »

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2022, 03:00:15 PM »
Hi Billnotgatez, nice to read you here!

A general word of caution from me: the fossil fuel industry and their politicians have huge interests against biofuels, so don't believe everything you hear and read.

Bioethanol consuming more gasoline to produce: I know farmers who produce their own bioethanol to run their own machines. They do it because it saves gasoline.

Brazil switched massively to bioethanol (from sugar cane) before I went there in 1995. Not like 5% additives in gasoline, rather 1/4 ethanol for about every car
  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_Brazil
Any increase  in gasoline consumption would be known by now.

I have no opinion about switchgrass. Simple selection criteria include:
  • How much does a hectare produce? Maize and sugar cane are hard to beat.
  • What kind of fuel can it produce, in what proportion? Wood and grass typically make methanol, sugar makes ethanol. Palm makes triglycerides.
In 2022 and possibly 2023, Mankind faces food shortage. It's absolutely obvious to me that food is more important, even if we have to emit more CO2 temporarily.

What we can do right now to have more fuel and food without emitting more CO2, as I suggested here:
  • Obtain methane from straw. Should be done always, the 2022 harvest is a good time to start.
  • Obtain methane and combustible from palm oil production leftovers, if available.
  • Make palm oil healthy, use the saturated fraction as fuel.
  • No fallow fields this year.
  • Eat less meat, feed less cattle with cereals.
  • Use more firewood at power plants. Conversion can be quick if action is taken.
  • Collect coppice and dead foliage?
Other actions are useful but take more time hence don't address the urgent crisis: hydrogen economy (if sensible), wind and sun, and so on.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2022, 03:07:57 PM »
Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have stopped importing Russian gas
  aljazeera
Poland announced stopping all imports of Russian coal, oil and gas by the end of 2022
  npr

Offline billnotgatez

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4340
  • Mole Snacks: +221/-61
  • Gender: Male
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2022, 06:15:12 PM »
Hello  Enthalpy

I am still pondering your post but one line stuck out to me

...
  • No fallow fields this year.
...

I would have said 
Quote
No fallow fields this year and plant food or bio-fuel crops instead
or something similar and more grammatically correct
Obviously, I am agreeing with you on this item but more so.

By the way this news article talks about this very topic
Quote
Food Security: EU to Aid Farmers, Free Up Fallow Land- U.S. Farm Groups Request CRP Flexibility
https://farmpolicynews.illinois.edu/2022/03/food-security-eu-to-aid-farmers-free-up-fallow-land-u-s-farm-groups-request-crp-flexibility/
A quote from the above
Quote
Bloomberg News reported yesterday that, “The European Union is proposing a 1.5 billion-euro ($1.65 billion) funding package for farmers, plus freeing up fallow land for crops as it seeks to shore up food security after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2022, 03:30:26 PM »
Seaweed and phytoplankton are said to grow quickly, they need no soil and accept seawater. Trials were conducted even in boxes in deserts.

Would they provide food for humans, food for cattle, food for fish farms, biomass? I can't make an opinion about amounts and costs. I suppose this promising direction should be considered.

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #72 on: April 17, 2022, 07:48:26 AM »
To transport electricity underground or underwater, a coaxial line with a good insulator is efficient. But because small radii concentrate the electric field, a wider and hollow central conductor can reduce the insulator thickness and volume at identical conductor volume, hence reduce the cost.

The central conductor can also comprise wires in a thinner tube, possibly of different alloys. A near-axisymmetric arrangement reduces the stray magnetic field.

Appended is an optimization of the radii ratio. It's independent of line length, power, material performance and costs. Some near-optimum values are also given for engineering freedom. I assume breakdown above a field threshold anywhere, which is approximative.

All this may be already well known. I didn't check, as usual.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy


Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #73 on: April 19, 2022, 07:54:57 PM »
A long powerful line, for instance the coaxial one in last message, needs a good cheap insulator.

Vacuum and pressured air would be the cheapest, but I feel them too unreliable over continent distances.

I don't see how to produce and install very long segments of the expected diameter. It needs many joins at high voltage, which I believe exclude solid insulators.

This leaves liquid insulators, but leaks shall be no ecological disaster. Mineral oils don't fit. Vegetable oils and similar are possible and well-known as insulators.

To resist ageing, insulator molecules must be saturated, but saturated triglycerides are solid. Some possible solutions towards liquid saturated fatty esters:
  • Isolate the short saturated fatty acids from palm kernel oil. Lauric acid C12 makes 48%. Reconstruct light triglycerides from them.
  • Saturate palm kernel oil. Collect glycerides of three short acids by warm vacuum distillation. Transesterify the rest, repeat.
  • Saturate triglycerides or their fatty acids, make glycol diesters, or monoesters of a fatty alcohol.
  • Saturate triglycerides, transesterify with a short acid or ester so most triglycerides have only two long fatty acids.
The insulator for a long powerful line is expected to cost 1G€. This affords development and production means.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

Offline Enthalpy

  • Chemist
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3826
  • Mole Snacks: +300/-59
Re: Ersatz for Natural Gas?
« Reply #74 on: April 24, 2022, 09:44:42 AM »
The fatty diesters of 1,6-hexanediol and 1,4-butanediol might have a lower melting point than the diester of ethylene glycol. Just a wild guess.

Sponsored Links