A company from British Columbia claims it can remove CO2 for less than $100/tonne. Significantly the company is financially backed by large companies like Chevron, Occidental and coal giant BHP.
Lithium-ion batteries are short-lived, which is fine for phones but not for grid applications. Liquid metal batteries were born from the practice of electrochemical aluminium smelting (electricity in, aluminium from oxide out), but operating in reverse. Electrons come from the lighter metal on top, where the corresponding ions are travelling downwards through the electrolyte in order to recombine with the electrons at the boundary of the heavier liquid metal at the bottom. For the rest, no mixing takes places and the three layers remain separate. During discharge the top layer gets thinner and bottom layer thicker, during charging this reverses. There is no need for membranes. Degrading of the system is nearly absent. Donald Sadoway c.s. formed a company now called Ambri.
P.S. in a latest development, Sadoway seems to be using a membrane after all, see Nature link below.
[wired.com] – Inside the race to build the battery of tomorrow
[wbur.org] – A Low-Tech Approach To Energy Storage: Molten Metals
[wikipedia.org] – Donald Sadoway
[wikipedia.org] – Molten-salt battery
[news.mit.edu] – A new approach to rechargeable batteries
[greentechmedia.com] – Ambri Still Chasing Its Liquid Metal Battery Dreams
[ambri.com] – Company site
[phys.org] – New battery made of molten metals may offer low-cost, long-lasting storage for the grid. Liquid electrodes solve the problem of degrading solid ones.
[nature.com] – Faradaically selective membrane for liquid metal displacement batteries
[chemistryworld.com] – Solid electrolyte boosts liquid metal battery
[wikipedia.org] – Donald Sadoway
He is a noted expert on batteries and has done significant research on how to improve the performance and longevity of portable power sources. In parallel, he is an expert on the extraction of metals from their ores and the inventor of molten oxide electrolysis, which has the potential to produce crude steel without the use of carbon reductant thereby totally eliminating greenhouse gas emissions… As a researcher, Sadoway has focused on environmental ways to extract metals from their ores, as well as producing more efficient batteries. His research has often been driven by the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while improving quality and lowering costs. He is the co-inventor of a solid polymer electrolyte. This material, used in his “sLimcell” has the capability of allowing batteries to offer twice as much power per kilogram as is possible in current lithium ion batteries…. In August 2006, a team that he led demonstrated the feasibility of extracting iron from its ore through molten oxide electrolysis. When powered exclusively by renewable electricity, this technique has the potential to eliminate the carbon dioxide emissions that are generated through traditional methods… In 2009, Sadoway disclosed the liquid metal battery comprising liquid layers of magnesium and antimony separated by a layer of molten salt that could be used for stationary energy storage. Research on this concept was being funded by ARPA-E and the French energy company Total S.A. Experimental data showed a 69% DC-to-DC storage efficiency with good storage capacity and relatively low leakage current (self discharge). In 2010, with funding from Bill Gates and Total S.A., Sadoway and two others, David Bradwell and Luis Ortiz, co-founded a company called the Liquid Metal Battery Corporation (now Ambri) in order to scale up and commercialize the technology.
What a difference technology makes! Where some, mostly in the doomer corner, claim that it costs more energy to extract tar sands and convert it into fuel than you get in return, here a study that paints a different picture. While tar sands do indeed have a very low EROI, perhaps in another 7 years they could surpass a value of 10 and as such could contribute to complete the energy transition.
[mdpi.com] – Energy Return on Investment of Canadian Oil Sands Extraction from 2009 to 2015
DONG of Denmark did it again. After acquiring the 1.4GW Hornsea-UK project in the North Sea, they now will build an even bigger 2GW project off the West coast of Canada. For DONG this means an expansion beyond European borders and the Danish wind energy giant could ascend to become one of the global players in wind power that in a few decades will have replaced the mainly Anglo oil majors (“Seven Sisters”). European Seven Brothers, anyone?
[cleantechnica.com] – DONG Partners With NaiKun Wind Energy Group To Develop 2GW BC Offshore Wind Site
[4coffshore.com] – Naikun Haida Energy Field Offshore Wind Farm
[4coffshore.com] – Events on Naikun – Haida Energy Field
[deepresource] – DONG to Build World’s Largest Offshore Wind Park Hornsea-UK
[wikipedia.org] – Seven Sisters (oil companies)
[deepresource] – The Seven Brothers – Europe Taking Lead in US Offshore
A team of the Dutch national news NOS traveled to the northern tip of Canada (68 degrees Northern latitude), that is Fort McPherson, to report about the visible effects of climate change. Note that both men are dressed in shirts (18-20 degrees Celsius), the environment is surprisingly green and there is no snow or ice and instead lots of mosquitoes. In the old days winter temperatures of minus 30-40C were normal, nowadays minus 20C is the new normal.
[wikipedia.org] – Fort McPherson, Northwest Territories
New energy big picture book by Vaclav Smil: “Energy and Civilization”.
[amazon.com] – Energy and Civilization: A History
[anoutsidechance.com] – Energy And Civilization: a review
[deepresource] – Vaclav Smil on Energy Transitions
[wired.com] – This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading
People turning their ordinary garden in a vegetable garden. We did it as well. A freezer full with food from your own garden and powered by your own solar panels, that’s a new quality of well-begin.
Gepubliceerd op 14 dec. 2015
“I’m not a millionaire but I feel like one,” declares Gabriel Pliska. This Vancouver, B.C. urban farmer gives a tour of a residential front yard garden, including planted boxes in the boulevard strip beside the curb. Several homeowners provide him yard space and water for cultivating veggies, flowers, herbs, wildlife habitat and beauty. They receive beautifully tended gardens all year round (and some produce, too!) Gabriel harvests veggies for CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) boxes and sells the surplus at a weekly growers market. Gabriel’s “hyper-local” enterprise is achieved almost entirely on bike. We finish with images of his “guerrilla garden” on an unused railway spur, accompanied by a music track of with his own lyrics “Garden Nostalgia.” Episode 298.
The chairman of ASPO Kjell Aleklett reports of a recent visit to the Canadian oil sands mining operation in Fort McMurray.
[Google Maps] – Fort McMurray
[aleklett.wordpress.com] – A visit to the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry – Fort McMurray
The road Fort McMurray to Fort McKay passes the heart of the Canadian oil sands industry.
I travelled from Fort McMurray to Fort McKay, a distance of 58 km. Along that route I passed near part of the heart of Canada’s oil sands industry including Suncore Mine, Syncrude Mine and Shell Mine.
Before I arrived in Fort McMurray I had no real understanding of the size of the area from which oil sands are mined. If one draws a circle of 50 km radius then that will encompass the heart of the mining activity. A little less than I had imagined… Places where industrial activity is ongoing, especially where mining activity is occurring, are not pretty to look at. The oil sand mining along Highway 63 is a clear example of this. But they show also that it is possible to rehabilitate these areas.
The oil production rate is currently 1.9 million barrels per day (Mb/d). The current lower oil price makes it uncertain whether this production rate will increase. In our 2007 publication we predicted maximal possible production from the oil sands in 2015 at 3.5 Mb/d so it is clear that current production is not following our “crash programme scenario”. According to Canada’s prognoses production in 2025 will be 4.5 Mb/d, a rate that seems far from possible…. In the OSCA text on the oil sands they give Canada’s producible oil reserves as 173 billion barrels, of which the oil sands represent 168 billion. If the production rate increases to 2.7 Mb/d then sufficient oil sands exist for over 150 years of oil production.
Editor: report confirms that from an energy perspective, Canada is probably the country one needs to worry about least. Low population density, lots of hydro-power, lots of space with large wind power potential.
[youtube.com] – Fort McMurray
With all the US sabre-rattling vis a vis the Gulf region over the past decades, one would expect that the Gulf is the most important supplier of oil to the US. Well, it is not, Canada is. In fact Canada exports nearly twice as much oil to the US as Saudi-Arabia does.
The diagram shows that the US is in a relatively comfortable geopolitical position when it comes to energy security, as more than half of its supply originates from the western hemisphere, and as such threatened by no one and access is limited only by the scruples of the US military, which is even at shorter supply than the oil involved.
So why all this US interest in the Gulf region? Take a look at this map (see page 9 source, the explosive German army peak-oil study):
After the demise of the USSR, the US is the only political entity left with global hegemonic ambitions. Although the US does not have the resources to occupy every piece of land on the globe, it does have the resources to control access to ca. 3/4 of the world’s fossil fuel reserves (mostly sealanes), confined to a relatively small part of the world (‘strategic ellipse’ as the German army study calls it). Control the oil, control the oil dependent nations.
Published 25 March 2013 – Energy transitions: a future without fossil energies is desirable, and it is eventually inevitable, but the road from today’s overwhelmingly fossil-fueled civilization to a new global energy system based on efficient conversions of renewable flows will be neither fast nor cheap. Distinguished Professor and author Vaclav Smil explores technological transitions of past, present and future that are critical for understanding how to shift to a low carbon future.
Vaclav Smil presents as part of WGSI’s Energy 2030 Summit (June 5-9, 2011).
Ontario, Canada now has 1200 windturbines in operation. This should be doubled in the next few years. In the end that figure could be as high as 6,400. Ontario’s original goal was to have 10,700 megawatts of power from wind, solar and bio-energy in place by 2018. An Energy Ministry spokesperson said it appears that target — enough energy to power millions of homes — will be hit three years earlier, by 2015. At the end of 2013, we will decide whether to raise the 10,700-MW target,” he said. Citizens are not amused and fear for the value of their property. Read more…