Connect with us



Credit score: Pixabay/CC0 Public Area

Scientists have found methods to considerably enhance the sustainability of the sugarcane trade by turning a serious by-product right into a helpful chemical utilized in meals, medicines and cosmetics.

In a challenge carried out in partnership between scientists within the U.Ok., together with from the College of York, and Indian and UK firms, researchers discovered a strategy to flip bagasse—the fibrous materials left after crushing the sugarcane plant—into citric acid.

India is the world’s second largest producer of sugar, and the trade is likely one of the largest rural employers. Nonetheless the trade generates vital industrial waste within the type of bagasse. This biomass is at the moment burnt to energy the sugar factories, however this course of is inefficient and doesn’t use all the accessible bagasse.


Professor Simon J McQueen Mason from the Division of Biology on the College of York mentioned: “To evaluate the financial potential of this course of, the subsequent step is to draw additional funding to hold out processing trials at 100L scale. If that goes nicely, the Indian sugar firm Natems Sugars are very taken with constructing a manufacturing facility to run this course of, which might be the primary of its type on the planet.”

Scientists on the challenge, which obtained £1.8 million in funding from the Newton Bhabha Fund, found that pre-treating the bagasse by warming it and including a dilute alkaline resolution breaks down the fibrous construction of the biomass making it simpler to deal with and for chemical substances to work together with it.


The researchers and trade consultants then optimized this course of, creating a bespoke enzyme cocktail that breaks down the bagasse into a combination wealthy in sugars.

A fungus referred to as Aspergillus is then added to this sugary combination. The power of the fungus to feed on the and switch it into citric acid was extensively studied and optimized throughout the challenge by researchers and the entire course of was put collectively and examined at a bigger scale utilizing state-of-the-art services on the Biorenewables Growth Middle.


Dr. Deborah Rathbone, bioscience innovation workforce chief, Biorenewables Growth Middle mentioned: “We have now proven on this challenge that we are able to use the sugars from this to supply . This versatile chemical has functions in plenty of completely different sectors, similar to meals, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and so forth, as a result of it is usually considered protected and a fabric that may be eaten.”

Dr. Ramnath Nandakumar, managing director, Natems Sugars added: “We now wish to take the to the subsequent step by way of scale up and commercialization. If that is profitable, Natems’s final objective could be to construct a manufacturing facility to run this course of which might be the primary of this sort, each on the planet and in India.”

Researchers pioneer alternate use for sugarcane waste

Scientists clear up downside of business waste from sugarcane processing in India (2022, Could 11)
retrieved 12 Could 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any truthful dealing for the aim of personal research or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is offered for info functions solely.

Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

Homes fitted with new technology could make the grid smarter



Homes fitted with new technology could make the grid smarter

Credit score: Pacific Northwest Nationwide Laboratory

Researchers at Pacific Northwest Nationwide Laboratory (PNNL) have developed a management system that would make most of America’s properties extra succesful companions in managing the nation’s electrical energy sources.

The management system successfully transforms present house heating and cooling items and sizzling water heaters into sensible home equipment that may handle their electrical energy use in ways in which assist the coordinate provide and demand. The system may benefit an estimated 120 million properties.

“From the start, our objective has been to develop an answer that is cheap, easy to put in and use, and places residents in control of its operation,” stated PNNL’s Michael Brambley, who leads management system improvement. “In return for serving to the grid, households should obtain an incentive, resembling a extra favorable electrical energy price.”

What’s a related house?

A comprises sensible home equipment with communication and management capabilities, which allow the home equipment to routinely reply to data from an electrical utility. Examples embody sensible, related thermostats, which make heating and cooling techniques related, and specifically geared up water heaters. Some newer properties have already got all these home equipment, however most properties don’t.

Specialists imagine related properties will play a key function in America’s transition to a decarbonized future energy system, which depends much less on conventional non- and extra on clear {solar} and wind energy.

As a result of {solar} and are “variable”—that’s, their energy output ebbs and flows with the rise and fall of the solar and wind—the grid typically should rapidly pivot to different kinds of electric technology or handle demand in methods to keep away from grid instability and meet electrical energy wants economically. The technology sources that at the moment assist bridge the hole are, basically, fossil-fuel-fired vegetation, which improve carbon dioxide emissions and contribute to international local weather change.

Related properties might help tackle the variable nature of {solar} and wind energy in addition to different situations on the grid. Dwelling home equipment with sensible controls that think about occupant consolation preferences, working in live performance with utilities and the grid, can rapidly and routinely change their to assist even out variations and in the end scale back the quantity of greenhouse gases coming into the ambiance.

This “versatile demand” functionality, if realized in tens of tens of millions of properties, would give the grid extra headroom to coordinate provide and demand at instances when clear energy is probably not out there. Evaluation performed by PNNL and others reveals that this flexibility can even scale back prices for each invoice payers and utilities.

“Related properties have gotten more and more extra frequent, whether or not by or by up to date constructing energy codes,” stated Marc Costa, director of coverage and planning at The Energy Coalition. Costa served on a BTO peer-review committee that evaluated the progress of PNNL’s management system.

“As prospects try to save cash on their payments, change main home equipment, or are simply curious about handy methods to work together with their properties, there’s a main want for goal analysis on this area. The work of PNNL is important to understanding the potential impacts and options for shoppers and for the decentralization of our energy system,” Costa added.

Management system affords a related properties resolution

Properties use greater than one-third of the nation’s electrical energy and signify an enormous alternative for attaining versatile demand.

“We imagine an efficient and cheap management system put in in present properties not solely is nice for grid operations, however for offering lower-cost energy to households. Our resolution is designed for the tens of millions of properties that would profit from this methodology however do not desire or cannot afford to purchase ,” Brambley stated. “Our retrofitable system ought to allow them to make the most of rising applications that provide helpful electric charges and different incentives for properties conscious of grid wants.”

PNNL labored collaboratively with BTO to create a improvement technique for the management system and has partnered on the mission with two sensible expertise companies—ecobee and Shifted Energy—in addition to the College of Oklahoma.

Management system addresses 4 equipment sorts

The researchers targeted on 4 home equipment in present properties—electric resistance furnaces, electric resistance water heaters, warmth pumps, and air conditioners. The management system employs a that is designed to assist join the home equipment to the grid and handle their demand.

In testing, the recent water heater and air con outcomes have been significantly promising.

  • For water heaters, the management system demonstrated the potential to attain electrical energy demand reductions from 34% to 83% over seven hours, relying on sizzling water utilization ranges.
  • The management system helped air conditioners preserve cool temperatures and reduce electrical energy consumption. In a single instance, electrical energy demand was decreased as much as 46% throughout four-hour assessments wherein cooling was sustained inside a three-degree vary thought of acceptable to occupants. This was based mostly on a 20-degree distinction between indoor and outside temperatures. Reductions can be larger for bigger temperature variations.

Electric furnace assessments additionally yielded demand reductions of 25%. By having the management routinely preheat the house by three levels above the standard thermostat setting proper earlier than a peak grid interval, the discount could be elevated to just about 46 p.c over a four-hour span.

In 2022, the mission workforce will put together the management system for deployment in occupied properties. “Ideally, our outcomes will appeal to trade companions and result in a industrial product that can be utilized nationwide,” Brambley stated.

How a smart electric grid will power our future

Extra data:
Distribution System Operation with Transactive (DSO+T) Examine. … s-program/dsot-study

A Nationwide Roadmap for Grid-Interactive Environment friendly Buildings.

Properties fitted with new expertise may make the grid smarter (2022, Could 17)
retrieved 17 Could 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any truthful dealing for the aim of personal examine or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is supplied for data functions solely.

Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

Shale reservoirs could be a ‘substantial source of lithium’



Shale reservoirs could be a 'substantial source of lithium'

Credit score: CC0 Public Area

It might sound paradoxical, however producing oil and fuel from shale reservoirs may truly assist the world transition to cleaner energy sources.

One of many keys to a profitable energy transition might be sufficient lithium to make the wanted for , energy storage initiatives and different energy-efficient gadgets that may energy the low carbon way forward for the world.

Whereas there won’t be a scarcity of lithium out there on this planet, there may be presently a scarcity of lithium out there within the and its worth has fluctuated considerably lately. Firstly of this yr, lithium from China, one of many main international locations supplying lithium globally, was priced at $40,000 per ton. Examine that to early 2020 when Chinese language lithium was simply $6,000 per ton at first of the COVID-19 pandemic. At present, lithium on the spot markets is buying and selling at $70,000 a ton.

The scarcity might be attributed to a couple elements, together with provide chain bottlenecks attributable to the pandemic and unstable worldwide affairs, elevated demand from companies, together with governments hesitant to green mild lithium mines due to the environmental prices.

That is the place the analysis of Kyung Jae Lee, an assistant professor of petroleum engineering on the College of Houston’s Cullen School of Engineering comes into play. In a paper revealed in Energy Studies, Lee lays out the potential of petroleum-based rock brines as a brand new supply of lithium.

By means of her analysis of Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale play, Lee discovered that extremely concentrated lithium was discovered within the produced water (water produced as a byproduct through the extraction of oil and ) together with produced pure fuel and oil.

“We discovered lithium within the petroleum-based rock brines, which opens new pathways to handle the shale performs as a considerable supply of lithium, on condition that they’re ubiquitous within the U.S.,” Lee stated.

She is working with a Pennsylvania-based lithium processing firm that’s buying the produced water from the oil and fuel firms working in Marcellus Shale and extracting lithium from it.

“The U.S. has just one energetic brine mine to provide lithium so there is a push to get crucial minerals like from unconventional or current sources, that is what we’re making an attempt to determine, so it is well timed analysis,” Lee stated.

As a petroleum engineer, Lee is anxious about local weather change and needs to make use of her tutorial {and professional} background to assist with the energy transition.

“Multifaceted efforts needs to be made for the clear energy transition to mitigate the influence of ,” she stated. “We wish to use our information of petroleum engineering to contribute to the clear transition by offering artistic new options such because the one which we’re pursuing in our analysis—harnessing crucial minerals from pure petroleum programs.”

Portugal picked for Europe’s biggest lithium treatment plant

Extra info:
Kyung Jae Lee, Potential of petroleum supply rock brines as a New Supply of Lithium : Insights from basin-scale modeling and native sensitivity evaluation, Energy Studies (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.egyr.2021.11.279

Shale reservoirs might be a ‘substantial supply of lithium’ (2022, Might 17)
retrieved 17 Might 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Other than any honest dealing for the aim of personal examine or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is offered for info functions solely.

Source link

Continue Reading

Energy Tech

How NZ could become a world leader in decarbonization using forestry and geothermal technology



How NZ could become a world leader in decarbonization using forestry and geothermal technology

Credit score: Shutterstock

Energy is the double-edged sword on the root of the local weather disaster. Low-cost energy has improved lives and underpinned huge financial development. However as a result of most of it comes from burning hydrocarbon fuels, we’re now left with a legacy of excessive atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) and an emissions-intensive economic system.

However what if we may flip the energy-emissions relationship on its head? We would wish a expertise that each generates electrical energy and removes CO2 from the ambiance.

The excellent news is that this expertise already exists. What’s extra, New Zealand is completely positioned to do that “decarbonization” cheaper than wherever else on the planet.

And the timing could not be higher, with the federal government’s first Emissions Reduction Plan (launched yesterday) calling for daring initiatives and revolutionary options.

We analysis the way to burn forestry waste for electrical energy whereas concurrently capturing the emissions and trapping them in geothermal fields. Since forests take away CO2 from the ambiance as they develop, this course of is emissions unfavourable.

This additionally means a carbon “tax” could be become a income. With New Zealand’s CO2 worth at an all-time excessive of NZ$80 per metric ton, and abroad corporations saying billion-dollar funds to buy offsets, now’s time for cross-industry collaboration to make New Zealand a world chief in decarbonization.

Bioenergy with carbon seize and storage

Synthetic carbon sinks are engineered methods that completely take away CO2 from the ambiance.

Bioenergy with and storage (BECCS) achieves this by trapping the CO2 from burned natural matter—bushes, biowaste—deep underground. An added bonus is that the energy launched throughout combustion can be utilized as an alternative choice to hydrocarbon-based energy.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change (IPCC) has said local weather mitigation pathways should embrace important quantities of BECCS to restrict international warming to 1.5℃. Nonetheless, the expertise continues to be new, with only a few plants world wide at the moment working at scale.

How NZ could become a world leader in decarbonisation using forestry and geothermal technology
Wairakei geothermal energy station with its current pipelines, wells and steam generators. Credit score: Shutterstock

Price is a serious barrier. New initiatives want costly pipelines to maneuver the CO2, and deep injection wells to retailer it underground. As a result of CO2 is extra buoyant than water, there are additionally issues that any fuel saved underground may leak out over time.

That is the place geothermal fields will help.

Geothermal methods for BECCS

Geothermal is a dependable supply of energy in New Zealand, supplying virtually 20% of our electrical energy. We use deep wells to faucet into underground reservoirs of scorching water, which then passes by a community of pipes to a steam turbine that generates electrical energy.

Afterwards, the water is pumped again underground, which prevents the reservoir from “drying out.” New Zealand corporations are world leaders at managing , and a few are even experimenting with reinjecting the small quantities of CO2 that provide you with the geothermal water.

Herein lies the chance. Geothermal methods have already got the infrastructure wanted for a profitable BECCS mission: pipelines, injection wells and generators. We simply want to determine the way to marry these two renewable applied sciences.

We suggest that by burning forestry waste we will supercharge the geothermal water to larger temperatures, producing much more renewable energy. Then, CO2 from the biomass combustion could be dissolved into the geothermal water—like a soda stream—earlier than it’s injected again underground.

Initiatives in Iceland and France have proven that dissolving CO2 in geothermal water is best than injecting it straight. It cuts the price of new infrastructure (liquid CO2 compression is pricey) and means reinjection wells constructed for regular geothermal operation can proceed for use.

Not like pure CO2 that’s much less dense than water and tends to rise, the reinjected carbonated water is about 2% heavier and can sink. So long as equal quantities of geothermal water are produced and reinjected, the CO2 will keep safely dissolved, the place it may slowly flip into rocks and be completely trapped.

How do the numbers stack up?

Our initial modeling exhibits that geothermal BECCS may have unfavourable emissions within the order of -200 to -700 grams of CO2 per kilowatt hour of electrical energy (gCO2/kWh). In comparison with about 400 gCO₂/kWh of constructive emissions from a pure fuel energy plant, this can be a dramatic reversal of the energy-emissions trade-off.

Utilized to a geothermal system the dimensions of Wairakei (160 megawatts), a single geothermal BECCS system may lock away a million metric tons of CO2 annually. That is equal to taking 200 thousand vehicles off the street and, at present costs, would internet tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars} in carbon offsets.

These may very well be traded through the Emissions Buying and selling Scheme to purchase worthwhile time for industries which were gradual to decarbonize, akin to agriculture or cement, to get right down to internet zero.

Even higher, most of New Zealand’s geothermal fields are situated close to massive forests with expansive forestry operations. Estimates put our forestry waste era at round three million cubic meters annually. Quite than leaving it to rot, this may very well be become a worthwhile useful resource for geothermal BECCS and a decarbonizing New Zealand.

We will begin doing this now

In keeping with the IPCC it’s “now or never” for international locations to dramatically decarbonize their economies. Geothermal BECCS is a promising device however, as with all new applied sciences, there’s a learning curve.

Teething issues should be labored by as prices are introduced down and manufacturing is scaled. New Zealand has an opportunity to get on that curve now. And the entire world will profit if we do.

The success of geothermal BECCS will activate new partnerships between New Zealand’s geothermal mills, producers and the forestry sector. Forestry house owners will help transition wooden waste right into a worthwhile useful resource and drive down gate prices.

Most significantly, geothermal operators can leverage their huge injection properly inventories and detailed understanding of the underground to completely lock up atmospheric carbon.

With the federal government tightening emissions budgets and investing billions in a Climate Emergency Response Fund, now’s the right time to make geothermal BECCS work for Aotearoa New Zealand.

New case study shows potential of geothermal energy for reducing carbon emissions

Offered by
The Conversation

This text is republished from The Conversation below a Inventive Commons license. Learn the original article.The Conversation

How NZ may turn out to be a world chief in decarbonization utilizing forestry and geothermal expertise (2022, Could 17)
retrieved 17 Could 2022

This doc is topic to copyright. Aside from any honest dealing for the aim of personal research or analysis, no
half could also be reproduced with out the written permission. The content material is supplied for data functions solely.

Source link

Continue Reading