Saturday, 4 August 2012


As this article says there seems to be a battle not only in the UK, but also in the EU between the green puritans who demand that using fossil fuels is a sin and those who recognise that without them we will be left in the industrial slow lane. The USA is the role model on how to make use of home-produced fossil fuel, and the UK and the EU can see the sense of following suite. 

1 comment:


    A rational energy policy is one which integrates delivering 2 Utilitarian 'goods':

    1 Maximum reasonable degree of decarbonisation.

    2 'Whole system' cost of energy less than incumbent fossil fuels.

    The debate about how to deliver these twin goals has become polarised by 2 factors;

    1 Decarbonisation having become synonymous with electrication of energy supplies.

    2 Excessive policy support for 'non-dispatchable' renewables.

    In the 1970's and 80's, the British Government and British Gas Corporation (BG) planned to supply the whole of UK gas demand using Synthetic Natural Gas. BG developed the World's most efficient Carbon Capture Ready SNG technology. This is easily converted to Carbon Capture and Sequestration(CCS)with a net fuel to SNG efficiency in excess of 76%.

    Over 50% of the Carbon throughput was separated as a nearly pure CO2 by-product. If the input fuel is around 50% biogenic Carbon content, near zero emissions Carbon Neutral SNG (or decarbonised SNG) is produced.

    In the intervening period of time to now, the BG gasification technology has been proven running at industrial scale on a mixture of up to 80% waste and biomass, and 20% coal and briquetted lignite. The catalysts have been proven at Gt. Plains Synfuel plant, Dakota, which is the World's largest and longest running combined SNG and CCS plant. BGL gasifiers are currently being built in China.

    Combining these features, and using a 50+% biogenic mixed fuel: 80% Refuse Derived Fuel, hazardous and non-hazardous waste; woody and contaminated biomass, and 20% coal, petcoke, briquetted lignite or Tyre Derived Fuel at industrial scale produces large quantities of Carbon Neutral, or decarbonised, SNG with electricity co-production at the following costs:

    1 Low Carbon SNG: 45 p/therm. (60 bar injected into high pressure gas transmission grid)

    2 Low Carbon peak load electricity: £45/MWh.

    3 CO2 at £17.50/tonne. (150 bar supercritical injected into CCS grid)

    Carbon Natural or decarbonised SNG produced from wastes, biomass and coal is sustainable, storable, dispatchable, economica; reuses the existing gas grid and storage infrastructure, and delivers reliable low Carbon energy at a fraction of the cost of non-dispatchable renewable electricity. All downstream gas consumers are decarbonised at zero cost. As energy flows from the gas grid to the electricity grid, decarbonising gas at source, must also decarbonise electricity supplies.

    In short, decarbonising the gas grid meets the 2 fundamental environmental and economic objectives set out at the top of this post. The technology to do so already exists, and is well proven.

    Best wishes,

    Tony Day


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