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Showing posts with label Power generation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Power generation. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cheap Hydrogen to combat global warming?

Hydrogen is well-known as a potential source of clean energy of the future. But it is not available in a free form; its generation from water using Electrolysis requires more energy than, a free Hydrogen can generate. It requires about 5kws power to generate 1 m3 Hydrogen gas, which means, it requires about 56 Kw power to generate 1 Kg Hydrogen using water electrolysis. But 1Kg Hydrogen can generate only about 15-20 Kw Electricity using a Fuel cell. This anomalous situation makes Hydrogen generation using water electrolysis uneconomical for the purpose of clean power generation. That is why most of the Hydrogen is currently generated by steam reforming natural gas. Another reason for using natural gas is, to reduce the cost of Hydrogen and also, to achieve a smooth transition from fossil economy to Hydrogen economy using existing infrastructures. Power generation and transportation using Hydrogen and Fuel cell has been commercially tested, proven and ready for deployment. However, we still have to deal with emission of greenhouse gas during steam reformation of natural gas due to the presence of carbon atom in natural gas. Meanwhile, one American company recently announced a break-through technology that will generate free thermal energy from atomic Hydrogen using a patented process. The inventor of the process claims, when atomic Hydrogen is allowed to react with a specific Catalyst, Hydrogen atom undergoes a transition to a new atom called “Hydrino”, releasing energy while the electron in the atom shifts to a lower orbit close to proton. It was believed so far that the electron in Hydrogen atom is at its lowest level (ground level) and the closest to proton. This is the first time somebody claims that there is a lower state than the ground state in Hydrogen atom and the amount of energy released in this transition to ‘Hydrino”, is in between by an uncatalyzed Hydrogen atom by combustion and nuclear energy. Unlike nuclear energy, this energy is non-radioactive. But the energy released by this process is more than 200 times than energy released by Hydrogen atom by normal combustion. The reaction does not create any pollution or radio-active materials as by-products. The process has been tested, verified and certified by scientists in few laboratories and universities. The above process offers great hope to generate a clean, non-polluting energy at the lowest cost. The ‘dihydrino and Hydrogen is separated and Hydrogen is recycled back to continue the process while’dihydrino’ has other potential commercial applications. The inventor has named this power as “Black power” as he hypotheses that such phenomena explain the presence of “dark matter” in Galaxies. According to quantum mechanics, the energy level of a normal Hydrogen atom is at its ground level as its minimum level (N=1), but its energy level increases at higher states such as N=2, 3, 4.When the energy level jumps from higher (excited state) to a lower level, it emits energy in the form of photon of light (Quanta).The spectrum of such emission matches the ultraviolet light of the sun. Since sub-quantum atoms are non-radioactive, the inventor claims that he is duplicating the above process of Nature by a catalytic thermal process in the state of Plasma using a specific Catalyst. If such a large thermal energy is released by formation of ‘Hydrino’atom in the above process, then such energy can be used to generate Hydrogen by conventional water electrolysis at a fraction of the cost. Then, Hydrogen economy can become a commercial reality and the above technology has a potential not only to generate power at fraction of a cost of the fossil fuel but also to generate a clean and non-polluting power. The inventor has also hypothesised a "grand new unified theory” of atom as the basis for the above invention. Mainstream scientists have always have been reluctant to support such “free energy” theories but, when someone can demonstrate the process of generating an excess energy (more than 200 times than the theoretical energy released by an exothermic chemical reaction) and it is non-radioactive then mainstream scientists may be sidelined by world community. It is always possible to demonstrate something unique without any theory and come out later with a theoretical explanation to satisfy the scientific community. Many discoveries in the past were by mere accidents and one should have an open mind to look into any new concepts without any bias, especially if the discovery can resolve serious problems of humanity at times of crisis.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Power generation with Ammonia

Majority of current power generation technologies are based on thermodynamic principles of heat and work. Heat is generated by chemical reactions such as combustion of coal, oil or gas with air or pure oxygen. This heat of combustion is then converted into work by a reciprocating engine or steam turbine or gas turbine. The mechanical energy is converted into electrical energy in power generation and as a motive force in transportation. The fundamental principles remain the same irrespective of the efficiencies and sophistications we incorporated as we progressed. The efficiency of these systems hardly exceeds 30-40 of the heat input, while the remaining 60-70 heat is wasted. We were also able to utilize this waste heat and improved the efficiency of the system by way of CHP (combined heat and power) up to 80-85%.But this is possible only in situations where one can utilize both power and heat simultaneously. In a centralized power plant such large heat simply dissipated as a waste heat through cooling towers and in the flue gas. This is a huge loss of heat because a substantial portion of heat of combustion is simply vented into the atmosphere in the form of greenhouse gases. If ‘greenhouse gas’ and ‘Global warming’ were not issues of concern to the world, probably we would have continued our business as usual. Generation of heat by combustion of hydrocarbon is one example of a chemical reaction. In many chemical reactions, heat is either released or absorbed depending upon the type of reaction, whether it is exothermic or endothermic. Sometimes these chemical reactions are reversible. It may release heat while the reaction moves forward and it may absorb heat while it moves backward in the reverse direction. By selecting such reaction one can make use of such energy transformations to our advantages. One need not release the heat and then release the product of reaction into the air like burning fossil fuels. Ammonia is one such reaction. When Hydrogen and Nitrogen is reacted in presence of a catalyst under high temperature and pressure the reaction goes forward releasing a large amount of energy as practiced in industries using Heber’s process. The heat released by this reaction can be converted into steam and we can generate power using steam cycle. The resulting Ammonia can further be heated in presence of a catalyst by external heat due to endothermic nature of the reaction and split into Hydrogen and Nitrogen. However, such heat can be supplied only from external sources. One University in Australia is trying use the above principle by using solar thermal energy as a source of external heat. The advantage of this system is power can be generated without burning any fossil fuel or emitting any greenhouse gas. One can use renewable energy sources such as solar thermal and also use Ammonia as a storage medium. Ammonia is a potential source of energy to substitute fossil fuels. However, such Ammonia is currently synthesized using Hydrocarbon such as oil and gas. The source of Hydrogen is from synthesis gas resulting from steam reformation of a Hydrocarbon. Hydrogen can also be derived from water using electrolysis using renewable energy source. In both the above cases, renewable energy is the key, without which no Hydrogen can be produced without a Hydrocarbon or an external heat is supplied for splitting Ammonia. Ammonia can also be split into Hydrogen and Nitrogen using external heat. The resulting Hydrogen can be used to generate power using a Fuel cell or run a Fuel cell car. Nitrogen also has many industrial applications.Thereoefore Ammonia is a potential chemical that can substitute fossil fuels in the new emerging renewable economy.