Saturday, January 31, 2009

Coal liquifaction & gasification roundup for Feb 1, 2009

Coal, it's this phrase that stuck in my head since nearly 20 years of living in Kentucky, it's Kentucky's Ace in the Hole. Coal is this very dirty fuel, it's rock that can be burned. It's plentiful however, and cheap, and it's one of the core causes of the greenhouse gas emissions which is leading us to an environmental disaster.

Air Force drops plan to make fuel from coal in Montana: Apparently the Air Firce has been planning to build a coal-to-liquid plant at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. They want to source liquid fuels other than fossil oil. There is an obvious geopolitical gamble going on in that the U.S. Military is dependent on liquid fuels to maintain U.S. hegemony over the world, and increasingly the source for those liquid fuels is in countries that ahem are not exactly friendly to the U.S. Hence how can the U.S. maintain hegemony over the world if we can no longer access liquid fuels used to drive our war machines?

In WWII the German Army also faced the same problem. They did not have access to liquid fuels and their scientists had fortuitously developed a coal liquifaction process, Fischer-Tropsch, and were able to convert their abundant coal into liquid fuel that ran their war machines and made them dangerous to the rest of the world.

The Air Force has a goal to certify that all aircraft could fly on a 50-50 blend of coal liquifaction fuel by 2011. It's been purchasing fuel made from coal from Sasol of South Africa, most recently 300,000 gallons, said Air Force spokesman Gary Strasburg.

Liquid fuel from coal produces more than twice the greenhouse gas emissions as conventional petroleum-based fuel.

Top 10 alternative fuel breakthroughs in 2008: Goes into various alternative energy sources being investigated by the military. Such as "ASTM International moved on 7 December to allow any qualified fuel company to sell synthetic jet fuel, with its industry standards-setting committee proposing to amend ASTM D1655 and allow Fischer-Tropsch-processed fuels to power aircraft in 2009." Likewise in the U.K. "The Aviation Fuels Committee and UK Ministry of Defence amended DEFSTAN 91-91" to approve use of coal-to-liquids fuel from Sasol.

US Air Force completes F-22 synthetic fuel trials: The US Air Force has concluded analysis of the effects of using a natural gas-based synthetic fuel with its Lockheed Martin F-22, as work to trial the technology accelerates through its trainer, transport and fighter fleets.

Fairbanks Considering a Coal-to-Liquids Plant: The Fairbanks Economic Development Council (FEDC) is encouraging local business leaders to consider the benefits of a coal-to-liquid plant. The Interior Issues Council, Cost of Energy Taskforce, spent several months identifying possible energy solutions that could help mitigate the crippling high energy cost. The goals of the task force were to identify solutions that reduce the cost of energy, create a sustainable fuel supply, reduce particulate (PM2.5), reduce CO2 and sulfur emissions, and address local solid waste disposal issues. Proponents tout benefits of coal-to-liquids facility: More discussion in Alaska to build a coal-to-liquids plant.

Ohio River Clean Fuels Receives Final Air Permit: The Ohio EPA awarded the final air permit for the Ohio River Clean Fuels project to Baard Energy. The Ohio River Clean Fuels LLC (ORCF) project is a 53,000 barrel alternative fuels coal-to-liquids project that will be located near Wellsville, Ohio. The estimated cost of the plant is $5 billion. ... The facility will have three Fischer-Tropsch trains and produce 50,000 barrels per day of ultra-clean diesel and jet fuel, 3,000 barrels per day of LPGs and 250 MW electricity. Baard’s presentation at the Coal Gasification Technology conference in 2005 referenced Rentech’s Fischer-Tropsch technology, but this has not been confirmed with a news release. The CO2 will be removed using the Linde Rectisol process. Once the CO2 is removed it will be used for injection into existing oilfields for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). Baard has had discussions with Marathon Oil regarding an offtake agreement for the CO2. There are oil fields in production within 20 miles of the plant site that can utilize the CO2 for EOR.

Biosyncrude Gasification Process Could Produce Motor Fuel at Cost of Around $3/gallon The Bioliq biosyncrude gasification process (earlier post) used in a large plant with a capacity of > 1 Mt/a can produce biosynfuel for about €1.04 per kg or €0.8 per liter (US$3.08/gallon US), according to an analysis by researchers at Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Germany, which is co-developing the process with Lurgi....

Idaho National Lab Developing Highly Carbon-Efficient Biomass-to-Liquids Process Combining High Temperature Steam Electrolysis and Biomass Gasification: Researchers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are developing a process—Bio-Syntrolysis—that combines high temperature steam electrolysis (HTSE) and biomass gasification to produce syngas for subsequent conversion into synthetic fuels and chemicals. The process results in the highly efficient conversion of biomass carbon to syngas (>90%). Given the efficiencies of a typical Fischer-Tropsch process, Bio-Syntrolysis would thus convert about 90% of the carbon in biomass to liquid synthetic fuel, INL says. By comparison, INL notes, conventional biomass or coal gasification to liquid fuels converts only ~35% of the carbon to liquid fuel. Likewise, conventional biological routes for ethanol production convert only ~35% of biomass carbon to liquid fuel....

External Media

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Optimal Ride

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A blog exploring gas-free travel options that are available today. Reviews electric vehicles such as all-electric cars, scooters and electric motorcycles. We also review commuter bikes, folding bikes, velomobiles (bike cars). We cover long-distance cycling and public transit options.

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Michigan Green

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Michigan GREEN is a non-profit group that consists of energy companies and consultants, together with government agencies, schools, colleges, universities and likemided individuals; that have joined forces to champion the cause of renewable energy and energy efficiency in Michigan and throughout the Nation.

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Energy Power Alternatives

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Getting the world aware of gasoline alternatives.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Clothesline Shop

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An online store specializing in clothes lines and related low power stuff for drying clothes.

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The Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance

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A non-profit dedicated to developing practices for sustainability in the U.S. biodiesel industry. The SBA focuses on the Environmental, Social and Economic sustainability issues facing biodiesel. Together with stakeholders nationwide the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance has pledged to develop guidelines and tools for the industry, and biodiesel users of today. The SBA believes the key to the sustainability of biodiesl in the U.S. is the local model. Local feedstocks, local production and localized distribution of sustainably produced fuels meets and community's energy needs, creates jobs, community involvement and energy security.

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The California Biodiesel Alliance (CBA)

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A non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting biodiesel in California. CBA was founded in 2006 by California biodiesel pioneers and industry leaders and represents the biodiesel industry in government relations in California and Washington, D.C. We believe that biodiesel can be a significant contributor to improving local air quality, reducing California’s dependence on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Biofuel Recycling Cooperative

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Provides vision and technical expertise to ecological energy and utility infrastructure projects with a focus on converting waste to energy. Our work has been a key element in developing and implementing San Francisco's innovative SFGreasecycle program, which helps fuel the City's diesel fleets with biodiesel made from used grease collected from local restaurants.

The Biofuel Recycling Cooperative is the architect of the SFGreasecycle program, a citywide effort by the City of San Francisco to create a waste vegetable oil (WVO) recovery program that diverts Fats, Oils & Grease (FOG) out of the trash, away from the sewer and eventually into City fleet. To make this happen, the San Francisco Public Utility Commission (SFPUC) has established a Commercial Waste Oil Transfer Station located at the Southeast Waste Water Treatment plant to handle all material from commercial establishments and residents in the City. This waste oil will be processed and sold to the biofuel industry, turning trash into fuel.

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Peoples Fuel

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A worker owned cooperative based in San Francisco, California, is dedicated to providing communities with the highest quality ASTM certified biodiesel. Our goal is to increase access to sustainably produced biodiesel for transportation purposes. We do not use or sell any petroleum diesel. Instead we seek to provide the most economical, ecological, high quality biodiesel on the market today.

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Further exploration with lower power clothes drying

A few weeks ago the clothes dryer at my house broke down which led me on an exploratory journey: Powering down on drying clothes is a serious look into what it would take to replace an aspect of modern American living with a lower power equivalent. If it is true we face a future of dwindling energy resources we as people need to learn, or perhaps relearn, ways of living with lower energy inputs. I've done a bit more exploration, have a better solution in hand, but it is not yet completely satisfactory.

Lazy Line Dry was very interesting to read. Of course, so simple, this isn't complicated at all, it just requires a clothes line.

Clothes Line is a specific kind of rope available pretty much everywhere. I found a 100 foot length available for a few dollars at the local hardware store, bought that and some nails.

Location presents a little challenge with clothes lines. Drying clothes outdoors runs the risk of them being rained on, right? But drying them indoors means taking up living space with clothes on a line. Currently I've run my clothes line in the garage between a pair of nails.

One problem with the current situation is drooping line. The line is pretty long and droops in the middle, and the clothes tend to bunch at the droop. Not good. Perhaps it's going to require a shorter line and certainly keeping the line taught minimizes the droop.

The Lazy Line Dry article offers an interesting labor saving suggestion. Simply put the clothes directly on a hanger, and hang the hanger on the line. The stereotype for clothes line use is to use clothes pins to pin clothes to the line. But if you put the clothes directly on a hanger it saves a fair bit of work, especially over the work required with a machine dryer. Running clothes through a machine dryer takes a lot of steps of unloading the washer, loading the dryer, unloading the dryer, folding clothes, hanging clothes, etc. Clipping clothes to a clothes line is fewer steps but still more steps than simply putting the clothes on a hanger in the first place.

It's suggested to use plastic hangers rather than steel wire ones. Hurm. I have a collection of wire hangers I've owned for 30+ years. They were inherited from my father and they're still in good shape and still do a great job. But the article has a good point, that steel can rust and stain clothes. But given that I've owned these hangers for over 30 years and they haven't rusted yet I wonder how valid that concern is.

One thing I found is for drying pants the hangers which have clips on them are essential. You clip the pants to the hanger, and the pants hang straight down. I've for decades hung pants folded on a wire hanger but have found that wet pants hung this way do not dry very well on the folded part. Pants hung straight have an easier time of drying out.

There is another option besides the traditional clothes line. I found plastic clips that hang on the top of a door. These are strong and can easily hold wet clothes to dry. Simply buy enough of these clips to hang on all the doors in your house, then spread the clothes (on hangers) among those clips.

External Media

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Newsletter #1: Restarting the newsletter

Restarting the 7gen.com newsletter

Early in running the 7gen.com blog I thought it might be nice to have a newsletter, but then found I didn't know what to put into a newsletter. The newsletter subscription form was on 7gen.com for several months and a dozen people signed up. So I turned off the newsletter subscription form and disabled that feature.

I now have an idea of how to handle the newsletter and have turned the features back on. You are reading the first of the reconstituted 7gen.com newsletters. In future issues I expect the format will be: a) Main article that's representing some big/main topic, b) recent updates to 7gen.com. I think this will be published monthly with occasional special issues if there is breaking news to cover.

Since it will have been awhile (cough cough) since you signed up for this newsletter, you may have forgotten about 7gen.com .. please visit http://www.7gen.com. If you do not wish to remain on this newsletter there is a link at the bottom allowing you to unsubscribe.

My interest with 7gen.com is exploring our humanity as we live in a sea technology and how that impacts us. The name of the site obviously derives from the law of the Iroquois Confederacy "In our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." While that's a marketing slogan for a particular household products company in the U.S. I thought it was an interesting point of view, an interesting way of looking at the world and a useful benchmark for making decisions about living in this world.

Rather than simply have that be a nice feel-good slogan on some of the household products I buy, it called me towards exploring how it would work for real in real life.

It seems clear to me a lot of the problems we face in the world are the result of short term thinking driven by the desire to fulfill short term needs. Ignoring the long term is leading us towards catastrophes that threaten our life on this planet.

Consider the combination of oil supplies and and the "Drill Here Drill Now" mantra shouted during the U.S. elections last year. The high likelihood is that soon our fossil oil production will enter an inevitable and unavoidable decline. This is called "Peak Oil" and it's an effect that's been observed in oil field after oil field all over the world. The global oil peak has either already happened or will happen soon.

The Peak Oil effect is that once oil production reach their peak even the mightiest efforts of the oil companies cannot increase the amount of oil being produced. The U.S. passed its peak of oil production in 1971 and it is folly to think drilling in oil fields within the U.S. will affect oil supplies in any huge way. The "Drill Here Drill Now" mantra is short term delusional thinking that was meant for political games but makes zero practical sense.

Yes there are untapped oil fields in the U.S. However some of them are in sensitive wildlife refuges and I fail to understand how the operation of an oil field is compatible with a wildlife refuge. Next, drilling an oil field is not an overnight operation, it takes 10 years or more to take an oil field into production along with billions of dollars in investment. Next, it is perhaps strategically important to keep the oil in the ground for later use rather than use it all up now. Last, the amount of oil in these untapped fields is a drop in the bucket compared to the demand for oil.

Rather the practical useful sensible choice is to find alternate ways to accomplish the purposes for which we use fossil oil. Fossil oil is primarily used for transportation. Hence finding other ways of moving our butts around town is a critical need. Thankfully the "Drill Here Drill Now" did not get elected but it is a powerful mantra shared by many people in the U.S.

Those outside the U.S. may be more resilient to the coming oil shortages since their countries did not adopt cars as completely as we have done so in the U.S.

Recent updates on 7gen.com

A major addition to 7gen.com is the Seven Generations Technosanity Podcast. http://www.7gen.com/technosanity .. The episodes are both in audio and video and are covering a range in topics. Last year I did several episodes about Peak Oil and most recently am building a new electric bicycle and am making construction videos as I go along.

Peak Oil websites: http://www.7gen.com/taxonomy/term/1691

Peak Oil blog posts: http://www.7gen.com/topics/energy/peak-oil

Electric Bicycle websites: http://www.7gen.com/website-categories/electric-bicycles


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Monday, January 12, 2009

Southwest Windpower Whisper 100 Wind Turbine -- Model 44447

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Southwest Windpower Whisper 100 Wind Turbine -- Model 44447

Southwest Windpower Whisper 100 Wind Turbine -- Model 44447

Ultraquiet wind turbine is designed to operate in a site with medium to high wind speed averages of 12 MPH and greater. Provides 100+ kWh per month (3.4 kWh per day) in a 12 MPH average wind. The Whisper 100 is one of the quietest wind turbines ever tested by the National Renewable Energy Labs. Ideal for cabins, 12V battery charging, remote power and backup power. Adjusts from 1248V DC and features overspeed protection. U.S.A. Application: Cabins, Volts: 1248V DC, Watts: 900 at 28 MPH, Blade Material: Polypro/carbon glass reinforced blades, Speed (MPH): 120, Material: Cast aluminum body, Rotor Size (ft.): 7, Overspeed/Overcrank Shutdown: Patented side furling *Rated power: 900 Watts of power at 28 MPH wind speed *Delivers 100 kWh per month (3.4 kWh per day) in a 12 MPH average wind *Works in winds as low as 7.5 MPH *Adjusts from 1248V DC in minutes *Includes controller to protect turbine and storage batteries *Sidefurling overspeed protection turns alternator & blades out of high winds without cutting power output *Survival wind speed: 120 mph *7ft. dia. rotor has polypro/carbon glass reinforced blades *Alternator has cast aluminum body *4bearing spindle for long life *Bronze bushing and largediameter furling pin for smooth furling action *Uses 2.5in. Schedule 40 mount *Installs in a few hours with no welding or concrete work required *1year limited warranty *U.S.A. *Model 44447

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Fuel Alternative

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Fuel Alternative is a leading consulting company, providing high-professional service in the business and research of alternative types of fuel and energy. Our field of expertise are bioethanol, biodiesel, biogas and pellets, sun and wind energy, and also energy efficient technologies and equipment. www.fuelalternative.com.ua, is the first large scale internet information resource, which illuminates events and tendencies in the alternative energy markets of the CIS. We also publish the International magazine the “Alternative fuel”. It was the first and now the most respected trade magazine on CIS territory, which covers intensively the markets and businesses related to alternative fuel and energy.

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Energetica-India

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Energ√©tica XXI is now expanding into India. This diverse and lucrative market is fast becoming a major attraction for power generation companies from all over the world. ENERG√ČTICA INDIA will be the first technical power generation magazine dedicated to giving your companies products maximum coverage to industry professionals all over India and also at internationally recognised events, exhibitions and conferences.

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Bioenergy, Bioenergy News, Bioenergy Articles, Bioenergy Photos

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Devoted to the global bioenergy industry from a farming/agricultural perspective. Our intention, with your help, is to continually develop the site as a global bioenergy hub for the farming industry. If the information you're looking for is not on our site, hopefully we will have a link to a site that does have the information. TheBioenergySite comprises several different sections and it is important to understand what is in each section so you are able to find what you are looking for:

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Green Energy for Earth

Description: 

A blog covering Alternative Energy, Renewable Energy, Solar, Wind, Hydroelectric, Hybrid, Biofuels, Geothermal, Conservation. A site for information on all aspects of Green Energy or Alternative Energy for the planet earth. It is imperative that we reduce our use of the traditional energy sources of coal and petroleum based fuels as the earth’s population continues to grow and the developing countries populations strive for better living conditions that result in greater use of energy.

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