ENERGY INDEPENDENT TREATMENT OF EFFLUENT

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Seaside located effluent treatment that does not rely on an external energy source has been identified as a Technology Landmark for an OmegaMap. Its successful application would lessen the pollution caused by interruptions in power supply which result in untreated effluent being discharged into the ocean.

The information presented here is sourced from an article written by David Szondy, “Blue power”could make wastewater plants energy-independent”, New Atlas, July 30 2019.

Research at the University of Stanford has pointed to a process that is energy independent and carbon neutral. Its principle of operation is to use the salinity gradient that occurs when effluent is mixed with seawater. When this mixture is washed over electrodes made of Prussian Blue and polypyrrole, a battery is created.

The functionality focus is Process-Energy. Its position in the Functionality Grid is illustrated in the diagram below.

Two functional performance metrics (FPMs) can be considered. A functional performance metric that is used to express the reduction in energy needed for producing one unit of treated effluent. This would reflect an increase to the theoretical limit as external energy input becomes zero. Another functional performance metric could be output of energy related to the input of effluent. In this case: 0.65 kW/h of electricity per 1 cubic meter of effluent. Data on the improvement of this ratio is not available. 

The Technology readiness level on a scale of 1-10 seems to be at TRL 4 – i.e., “Technology validated in lab”.

Technical terminology is covered in: Van Wyk, Rias, (2017) Technology: Its Fundamental Nature, Beau Bassin, Mauritius, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, (http://amzn.to/2Avsk3r)
For descriptions of: 

  • Technology Landmark; pp. 83-84, Diagram 11.1, Stage 3
  • Principle of operation; p. 20
  • Functionality; pp. 24-25
  • Functional performance metrics; pp. 40-43
  • OmegaMap; pp. 92-93
  • Functionality Grid; pp. 29-32
  • Technology readiness levels; pp. 22-23


STEEL BLAST FURNACE POWERED BY HYDROGEN

Steel blast furnaces powered by hydrogen would contribute significantly to a reduction in carbon emissions. This development is considered a Technology Landmark for an Omegamap.

The information presented below is based on an article; “How to Power a Steel Blast Furnace Using Only Hydrogen” written by Carolene Delbert on November 15 2019, in the Popular Mechanics Newsletter. This was based on an article published in Renew Economy written by Michael Mazengrab on November 13 2019. It was brought to our attention by Alan Brent in a post on LinkedIn.

Steelmakers in Germany moved toward carbon neutral steel production by using hydrogen to power a blast furnace. The company, ThyssenKrupp at its facility in North-Rhine Westphalia, used a new principle of operation. In its “furnace 9” it fed hydrogen into one of 28 tuyeres, or nozzles, that otherwise supply coal into the blast furnace. Following the successful trial, ThyssenKrupp plans to scale up the injection to all 28 tuyeres within the furnace and aims to eventually run at least three furnaces completely on hydrogen by 2023. It has committed to reducing emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

The functionality focused on here is Process-Energy. It is illustrated in the Functionality Grid below. To make 1000 kilograms of steel requires 780 kilograms of coal. Data could not be found on the input requirements of hydrogen. It is therefore not possible to calculate Functional Performance Metrics. However the company aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The technology readiness of this innovation is judged to be TRL 5 on a scale of 1 to 9, i.e. “Technology validated in relevant environment”.

Technical terminology is covered in: Van Wyk, Rias, (2017) Technology: Its Fundamental Nature, Beau Bassin, Mauritius, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, (http://amzn.to/2Avsk3r)
For descriptions of: 

  • Technology Landmark; pp. 83-84, Diagram 11.1, Stage 3
  • Principle of operation; p. 20
  • Functionality; pp. 24-25
  • OmegaMap; pp. 92-93
  • Functionality Grid; pp. 29-32
  • Technology readiness levels; pp. 22-23

BIOGAS FROM CACTUS

Image: REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

Biogas from cactus is a TechnologyLandmark for use in an OmegaMap. The information is derived from an article written by Sean Fleming on March 22, 2019 and presented by the World Economic Forum.

Since 2016 a new form of biogas has been used in Mexico to power agricultural equipment. Rogelio Sosa López, is a farmer and tortilla producer from Zitácuaro. He was always searching for new ways to keep operating costs down. Working with a colleague, Antonio Rodríguez they pulped cactus to make biogas.

It is now being used by the city of Zitacuaro to fuel a fleet of its vehicles. The fuel is made by a company called Nopalimex. The fuel has a number of advantages. Its functionality is improved – it costs about $0.65 per litre which is about one third cheaper than gasoline or diesel. It is said to burn much cleaner than conventional fuel. It is derived from a biological source, the prickly pear, commonly called the nopal and more formally Opuntia. This source grows prolifically to a height of seven or eight metres. Furthermore the nopal grows in areas not used for the cultivation of food.

Biogas from cactus contributes to the functionality of Process-Energy. Its position in the Functionality Grid is illustrated below. Its level of maturity is estimated at a technology readiness level of TRL 7. This level is described as: “System prototype demonstrated in operational environment”.

Technical terminology is covered in: Van Wyk, Rias, (2017) Technology: Its Fundamental Nature, Beau Bassin, Mauritius, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, (http://amzn.to/2Avsk3r)
For descriptions of: 

  • Technology Landmark; pp. 83-84, Diagram 11.1, Stage 3
  • Principle of operation; p. 20
  • Functionality; pp. 24-25
  • OmegaMap; pp. 92-93
  • Functionality Grid; pp. 29-32
  • Technology readiness levels; pp. 22-23