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Govt Still Pushing Hydrogen Fantasy

January 8, 2018
tags: ,

By Paul Homewood

 

It appears that the crackpot idea of feeding hydrogen into our gas mains has not gone away.

Jillian Ambrose offers a typically, and naively, uncritical report of the latest developments in the Telegraph today:

 

 

Energy networks are preparing to dilute Britain’s natural gas grid with low-carbon hydrogen for the first time in a radical bid to cut emissions from the country’s heating system.

Within weeks, a consortium of grid operators and experts will begin safety work in 130 homes and businesses before blending hydrogen into the methane-rich gas which has been used to heat British households and companies for over 50 years.

For over a year National Grid’s gas network spin-off Cadent Gas and Northern Gas Networks have studied plans to pipe hydrogen directly into the natural gas grid in partnership with Keele University. The Hydeploy consortium plans to inject enough hydrogen to fill 20pc of the gas grid, before rolling out the project across larger ­areas.

Blending hydrogen across the whole of the UK could save 6m tons of carbon every year, or the equivalent of removing 2.5m cars from the roads.

A report from KPMG found that converting the UK to hydrogen gas could be £150bn to £200bn cheaper than rewiring British homes to use electric heating powered by lower-carbon sources.

However, it could still mean a £170 hike in annual gas bills by 2050.

 


Read the full story here.

There are a number of problems with this strategy, which for some reason young Jillian forgot to mention:

1) Where will all this hydrogen come from?

There is only one process capable of producing hydrogen in the quantities required – steam reformation.

Alternatives such as electrolysis are small scale and cost prohibitive.

But there are also a number of problems with reformation, the principle one being that the process itself produces large quantities of CO2.

The Industrial Efficiency Technology Database describes the process:

In steam reforming, hydrogen is produced by reforming the hydrocarbon feedstock, producing synthesis gas containing a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The carbon monoxide is then reacted with steam in the water-gas-shift reaction to produce carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The carbon dioxide is recovered for urea production, exported as co-product, or vented to the atmosphere. In the final synthesis loop, the hydrogen reacts with nitrogen to form ammonia.

http://ietd.iipnetwork.org/content/steam-reforming

Unless the carbon dioxide can be re-used, it either has to be vented, (which nullifies the object of the exercise), or piped away and stored.

[It is worth noting here that urea, which can be used as a fertiliser, rapidly decomposes to ammonia and carbon dioxide in the presence of water, so the problem of CO2 emissions remains. Also if you vent carbon monoxide, this quickly turns back to CO2 as well]

Lord Oxburgh’s Parliamentary Report, “Lowest Cost Decarbonisation for the UK: The Critical Role of CCS”, published in Sep 2016, was very clear about all of this:

image

http://www.ccsassociation.org/news-and-events/reports-and-publications/parliamentary-advisory-group-on-ccs-report/

 

2) Cost of Steam Reformation

Reformation is not a cheap process. It is designed to produce hydrogen, which is in itself a valuable product.

The process involves taking natural gas, (which of course you would otherwise simply have burnt),  and mixing it with steam, (which needs huge amounts of energy).

The DOE give this summary:

Most hydrogen produced today in the United States is made via steam-methane reforming, a mature production process in which high-temperature steam (700°C–1,000°C) is used to produce hydrogen from a methane source, such as natural gas. In steam-methane reforming, methane reacts with steam under 3–25 bar pressure (1 bar = 14.5 psi) in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a relatively small amount of carbon dioxide. Steam reforming is endothermic—that is, heat must be supplied to the process for the reaction to proceed.

Subsequently, in what is called the “water-gas shift reaction,” the carbon monoxide and steam are reacted using a catalyst to produce carbon dioxide and more hydrogen. In a final process step called “pressure-swing adsorption,” carbon dioxide and other impurities are removed from the gas stream, leaving essentially pure hydrogen. Steam reforming can also be used to produce hydrogen from other fuels, such as ethanol, propane, or even gasoline.

https://energy.gov/eere/fuelcells/hydrogen-production-natural-gas-reforming

 

So there is an expensive process which itself requires energy (where from, one might ask?).

On top of that, there is the added cost of transporting and storing the CO2 produced.

While this makes sense to produce hydrogen per se, there seems absolutely no sense at all when all it will do is to produce hydrogen for homes to burn instead of the natural gas used to make it in the first place!

This truly is a sign of madness.

 

 

3) Cost to consumers

Ambrose faithfully regurgitates the claim that gas bills will only go up by £170pa. But she does not say where the figure comes from. Worse still, in typical Ambrose fashion, she fails to challenge it.

Coincidentally, maybe, the same figure was wheeled out by Northern Gas Networks, in their feasibility study two years ago.

As I pointed out at the time, their costings did not stack up:

According to the article, every gas boiler, cooker and fire would need to be replaced or upgraded, at an estimated cost of £3,000 per household.

Horrifying though this cost is, it does not cover everything. As the Telegraph also state, all in, it estimates the plan to convert Leeds could cost £2bn, with ongoing running costs of £139m a year, on top of the cost of the natural gas.

Leeds has a population of 320,000 households, at the last census. A cost of £2 billion therefore works out at £6250 each.

On a national basis, this would amount to £163 billion.

In addition, we have ongoing running costs of £139m a year, on top of the cost of the natural gas. This equates to £434 per household, or £11.3 billion pa nationally.

https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/green-heat-could-hydrogen-solve-the-climate-challenge-of-britains-reliance-on-gas/

The current proposals talk about only adding 20% of hydrogen to the gas supply, so it may be that £170pa makes sense. But my guess is nobody has the slightest clue of the real costs involved.

But in any event, a reduction of 20% will make such a small difference to UK CO2 emissions that there seems little point in even starting what is clearly a ridiculous project.

Currently the UK uses just 2% of the world’s natural gas, and only two thirds of that is consumed in domestic households.

Perhaps one of the most telling comments came from Professor Jim Skea, a member of the Committee on Climate Change , when he said at the time of the feasibility study, “I don’t think we have found in our analysis that using hydrogen networks for residential heating is necessarily the most cost effective way to do things”.

Bear in mind that he was comparing hydrogen networks with technology like heat pumps, which we know are already much dearer than natural gas. As Centrica ND, Ian Conn, also said at the time “We pay 5p/kwh for gas, and 15p/kwh for electricity – so this whole idea of electrifying everything is mad, especially when we have got natural gas plumbed into all of the homes.”

 

 

This latest development is just a small affair to test safety. However, these things have a habit of developing a life of their own.

The public have already had massively higher energy bills imposed on them as a result of government climate policies, on which they have had little say or had the chance to vote on.

There should be no further move to hydrogen networks or other forms of decarbonising domestic heating until they have been fully and properly costed, and a full public consultation carried out.

It is simply intolerable that ordinary, working households be forced to pay ever higher energy bills, just so that the government can pursue its ridiculous climate targets.

49 Comments
  1. Ian Phillips permalink
    January 8, 2018 2:43 pm

    May sounds plausible at a quick glance to the unscientific. But the rest of us know that, according to the laws of thermodynamics, you can not get more energy out of a system than you put in. The efficiency must always be less than 100%. And if the residual carbon still has to been oxidised there is then no gain to the atmosphere. Or have they found a way to get it to fall to the ground as soot?! I doubt whether the extra energy derived from the burning of Hydrogen to water would exceed that needed to achieve the removal of the Carbon atom in the first place. Does someone know the exact answer to this?
    However, in terms of politically correct climate science, 10 out of 10!

    • January 8, 2018 3:05 pm

      From wikipedia:

      “Depending on the quality of the feedstock (natural gas, rich gases, naphtha, etc.), one ton of hydrogen produced will also produce 9 to 12 tons of CO2.”

    • HotScot permalink
      January 8, 2018 9:55 pm

      Perpetual motion, the clarion call to all scientifically ignorant socialists.

      In other words, something for nothing.

      How enduringly socialistic.

  2. bob sykes permalink
    January 8, 2018 2:57 pm

    There is also the problem of hydrogen embrittlement of steel piping. This, in fact, is one of the issues holding up hydrogen gas pipelines and compressed hydrogen storage tanks at refueling stations and on vehicles.

    While the concentration in the gas mixture is supposed to be only 20%, and the line pressures near homes will be relatively low, this is a real safety issue. Moreover, the line pressures in the main distribution lines that feed the local mains will be much higher, and embrittlement depends on the hydrogen partial pressure.

    The first time a gas main blows up, everyone will think it’s just normal aging and corrosion. After a few hundred have blown up, someone might get a clue.

    • Malcolm Bell permalink
      January 8, 2018 4:01 pm

      Bob
      Hydrogen embrittlemeny only occurs in very high tensile steels. It is, to my knowledge, only the result of working the steel (welding, forging and rately, plating).

      So, a good scare story but normal grades of mild steel will do the job just fine – as it does daily all over tge world as I write this.

      Sorry friend.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 8, 2018 9:59 pm

        Malcolm Bell

        Aren’t gas pipelines plastic by now?

        Would plastic gas pipelines be affected by embrittlement?

      • January 8, 2018 10:40 pm

        However Hydrogen diffuses out through most materials, and gas mains are indeed plastic, though older mains are cast iron subsequently lined with plastic. So there will be considerable losses from the grid, especially when under pressure.

        As a PS, and be careful at home, hydrogen can be easily made by shredding aluminium kitchen foil and mixing it with a strong solution of domestic soda. Watch out as the reaction itself is exothermic and it also consumes the water in the solution quite fast once it gets going. But great fun though!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 9, 2018 1:42 pm

        Yes, hydrogen dissolving into the weldpool is a major issue in high strength welds. It wouldn’t be an issue in cold pipes.

        What would be an issue is the molecule size. In leak testing, helium is used to find the smallest leaks. And for testing air purging of ex-haz equipment, argon is used as it is heavy and needs to be chased out of any corners. Hydrogen is much closer to helium than methane, which is much closer to argon. So there is a much greater chance of small leaks of hydrogen than methane, although being fair to the morons, they are using a mixture with 205 hydrogen.

  3. January 8, 2018 3:24 pm

    Hydrogen is extremely explosive. I have seen a first hand example. I wonder if the individuals who did the cost analysis factored in the replacement cost of the houses (and lives) lost in this proposed experiment.

    • HotScot permalink
      January 8, 2018 10:01 pm

      James,

      Coal gas and natural gas are explosive. It’s not really an argument to condemn hydrogen gas.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 9, 2018 1:44 pm

        Yes, it is! Hydrogen produces a much higher explosion pressure than coal gas or methane. In ex-haz testing of flameproof enclosures, hydrogen is used to find the peak explosion pressure for a 1.5 times static water test of the enclosure.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 9, 2018 10:50 pm

        Gerry,

        Can’t it be diluted with something, say air?

  4. January 8, 2018 3:49 pm

    Just put this comment on the article:

    I wonder if our gas pipes could take hot water from power stations – any kind – even CCGTs have condensers. CHP technology boosts electricity generation efficiencies tremendously.

    It might even control the scam of paying windfarm owners to shut the turbines off when they’re producing electricity we don’t need. Stuff it into a big kettle – at least we’d get a hot bath or a snug living room from this useless technology.

    • HotScot permalink
      January 8, 2018 10:06 pm

      Colin,

      Fine, assuming one lives close to the power plant that produces the hot water. Too bad if you live several miles away.

      Electricity was developed, intentionally or not, to overcome the energy loss of volume heated water transfer. Just my guess.

      And I’m not sure how one would energise light bulbs by hot water either.

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 10, 2018 11:50 am

      CHP economics work well if you have a 24×7 use for low grade heat nearby – such as in a paper mill. Otherwise, it isn’t really very cost effective.

  5. January 8, 2018 3:55 pm

    With a bit of luck, perhaps Christopher Booker will, in his next article, put Silly Jilly in her proper place. As energy editor at the Telegraph for all of three months, she has the right experience. Yes, you guessed it: BA in Journalism and Media Studies; English Literature.

    • Curious George permalink
      January 8, 2018 4:02 pm

      For a rounded education, the Futurist Lady may consider adding a BA in Women’s Studies and a Conflict Resolution.

      • John Palmer permalink
        January 8, 2018 6:26 pm

        Not to mention ‘Gender Equality’!

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 9, 2018 1:45 pm

      The ability to breathe automatically is a cruel waste in many cases.

  6. Teddy permalink
    January 8, 2018 4:00 pm

    How do the different methods of manufacturing hydrogen compare in terms of cost?
    Only a little seems to be produced currently using electrolysis to split water. Is this because it is a relatively expensive way of doing? Is hydrogen a potential way of story the energy produced by wind turbines and solar panels?

    • Graeme No.3 permalink
      January 8, 2018 8:51 pm

      Teddy:
      Yes, electrolysis is more expensive, and that using the preferred industrial method of high pressure continuous process (which also requires heat input).
      Intermittent hydrolysis with renewables is a fantasy suitable only for those who never think about the cost e.g. greenies and politicians.

      • January 8, 2018 10:56 pm

        Maybe we should go back to the old producer gas/water gas mix (which was used to supplement ‘coal gas’ in the olden days). Using a coke bed, first it was raised to glowing heat using a blast of air which generated N2 & CO if carefully controlled, then steam was passed through the glowing coke bed which generated H2 and more CO. During the war this was used as fuel for buses and even cars. The gas was kept in a small balloon.

        Incidentally (and definitely off topic) the initial cause of the cascade of errors that led to Titanic’s sinking was the fact that a coal bunker below deck was on fire when she set sail. You cannot put out a coal fire like that by pouring water on it as that would generate hydrogen and CO and an explosion. So the only chance was for the wretched stokers to shovel the burning coal into the boilers. The Captain feared that if they merely let off steam to dispose of the excess heat generated then the ship could run out of coal before reaching New York – a PR disaster. So he ordered the ship to go at top speed instead – and as a result ploughed into the famous Iceberg!

  7. CheshireRed permalink
    January 8, 2018 4:43 pm

    I believe Mrs May is going to make a major speech on the environment this coming Thursday. Expect lots more of this ‘tackling climate change’ BS, with policy announcements to match. She might even launch another fuel price cap to show how in touch she is with the JAM’s.

    • Athelstan permalink
      January 8, 2018 9:42 pm

      A speech from the mother on t’ Environment and er green – very green, matt not bright green stuff!

      Our ‘PM’ and perpetually gullible, a fervent believer in multcult, the UN+EU and merchant of statist solutions and purveyor of political inertia. So, mother may and of delusional wittering, a lass who knows nothing and about not much. Thus she’ll drone on, pontificating about a chimera and proposing spending £billions on totally useless palliatives in order to counter a non existent threat.

      Though, I’m pretty darned sure that, she’ll not mention the millions siphoned off to the back pockets of her husband’s mates in the investment banking sector nor the large amounts of dosh that fraudulent snake oil pedlars like windfarm genius Dale Vince and preaning NGOs, nutters filling the ranks of the rank bad BEIS and Chinese whirlygig manufacturers.

      I’ll be willing to bet though that ‘missus maybe’ will tell us all about shutting down our remaining coal fired plant by 2025 and gloating about it, “deindustrialization here we come – hip blumin hooray !”

      The astonishing and sheer stupidity of it and boasting – shouting about it! How crass is it, or could it get………….even? In a competition, inclusive of everyone (ex UK PMs) from ted heath onwards for sheer ignorance and closed minded idiocy, theresa the green, would give laughing boy ted and bliar a run for their money.

      In anticipation (of said oration) , I can feel a very big headache coming on.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 8, 2018 10:16 pm

        Athelstan

        Applauding you as I read.

        Say anything about Trump one wants, but at least the guy has the balls to makes decision.

        Any decision is better than no decision in my opinion. We can right a wrong, but we can’t right a nothing.

    • dennisambler permalink
      January 8, 2018 11:22 pm

      Probably the 25 year environment plan noted here:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-northern-forest-gets-government-backing
      http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/hull-east-yorkshire-news/new-northern-forest-50-million-1023156

      Perhaps we should be planting trees in the US to replace the ones fuelling the Northern Powerhouse, aka Drax. Other critics mention the thousands of trees lost to HS2.

      Osborne’s NP claimed 850,000 jobs will be created. Didn’t mention tree planting.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      January 9, 2018 1:49 pm

      I am sure the JAMs will be happy with the price increases that will result from her stupid meddling. Still, one can hope the energy companies will be much more open about where the cost increases come from. I suspect their plan might actually be to withdraw all variable tariffs. And to think that this party is called Conservative.

  8. tom0mason permalink
    January 8, 2018 4:48 pm

    Hydrogen fueled economy yet another wet dream of political fools and idiots spurred on by very greedy crony profiteers.
    Jillian Ambrose is no reporter, not even a journalist, just a compliant dolt for any crony capitalist marketeer who whispers in his ear. I wonder if he is not paid by these morons?

  9. George Let permalink
    January 8, 2018 4:54 pm

    This is like a horror movie. It is like Britain has been invaded by aliens set out to destroy it on the basis of a scam.

    • HotScot permalink
      January 8, 2018 10:25 pm

      George,

      Not even a Martian could come up with a scam like climate change.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        January 9, 2018 1:49 pm

        Can’t help but recall the classic Smash advert.

      • HotScot permalink
        January 9, 2018 10:51 pm

        For mash, get Smash. 😂

  10. David Cooper permalink
    January 8, 2018 5:51 pm

    Energy will be obtained from the Combustion of Hydrogen gas. When combusted, the Hydrogen reacts with Oxygen to produce water vapour. Water vapour is a well known atmospheric greenhouse gas. To my mind, if you follow the Warmist’s logic – the increasing concentration of ANY greenhouse gas is to be avoided.

    As we all know water vapour concentrations vary widely in our atmosphere and can be up to 100 times that of CO2.

    So I thought that I could check out the precise wording in the UK Climate Change Act of 2008. And to my great surprise, water vapour is NOT on the ‘targeted greenhouse gas’ list along with CO2 and other trace gases. How cute of them.

    There is provision in the Act for the Secretary of State to include water vapour on the targeted list. This should follow if there is to be any new large-scale use of hydrogen. Once listed it’s concentration can then be monitored, it can be given a ‘carbon unit’ (their words) and then taxed.

    Hydrogen may be explosive and its production uneconomic, but look on the brightside – there will be millions pounds of research grants available for those who claim they can track water vapour variations in our atmosphere.

  11. January 8, 2018 6:06 pm

    They are thrashing around desperately looking for ‘climate solutions’. It’s all nonsense but they can’t see that, so keep making fools of themselves with ever more absurd and expensive non-solutions.

  12. Geoffb permalink
    January 8, 2018 9:27 pm

    Town gas produced from coal was about 50% hydrogen, so I would think the old metal pipes would be O.K. Now we have plastic pipes for our natural gas I would be more concerned that if hydrogen was added it would leak through the pipe.
    It is much more efficient to burn the natural gas in your home boiler rather than convert it to hydrogen at a source and inject. Should scrap the project it.makes no sense .

    • HotScot permalink
      January 8, 2018 10:27 pm

      Geoffb,

      Left wing ideology at work, perpetual motion is real!

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      January 10, 2018 12:04 pm

      Town gas was produced in towns: I remember as a child we had a gas works on the river, fed by coal barges, with a whole small scale coal refinery on site (they produced tars and soaps as by-products – the whole area smelt of coal tar soap). It was not distributed nationally via high pressure transmission lines. Distribution was at low pressure. When they came to connect us to North Sea gas in the late 1960s, they had to replace all the burners in the stove and the boiler, because the different molecular composition meant that the flame would not seat properly otherwise. The meter had to be replaced as well.

  13. Keith R permalink
    January 8, 2018 10:41 pm

    Have a look at the Hazer process. It’s a relatively cheap and very low-emissions alternative to steam-methane reforming which is approaching commercialisation in Australia. The process uses abundant iron ore as a catalyst to convert methane into hydrogen and high-quality synthetic graphite, and even graphene. The result is extremely useful products with barely any CO2 emissions, since carbon is turned into solid graphite.

    Provided the leap to commercial-scale plant is successful, it has the potential to open up stranded gas resources and largely decarbonise areas of heavy industry and transport. http://www.hazergroup.com.au

  14. daveR permalink
    January 9, 2018 12:48 am

    Off-topic but related.

    SNP MSP, Christina McKelvie, is today quoted in the pro-independence / pro- all stuff EU (green energy and otherwise), The National, ‘newspaper’.

    Some excerpts illustrate the gist:

    ‘A LOCAL scheme to offer energy vouchers to food bank clients could be extended across Scotland after an SNP MSP called on the country’s biggest power companies to help tackle fuel poverty. […]

    With many people forced to use food banks also at risk of fuel poverty, the scheme offers credit vouchers of £49 – up to three in a year – to help them heat their homes and cook meals. […]

    In an ideal world we wouldn’t need such measures at all. In an energy-rich nation like Scotland we should all be able to heat our homes and cook for our families at fair and competitive rates and everyone should have the means to do that. The reality is that more and more people across Scotland are being driven into fuel poverty by the relentless austerity of the Tory government at Westminster.’ (my bold).

    There’s no doubting the last quote is purposefully deceitful. All Scottish political parties have long since been advocates of the so-called renewables roll-out and intend to continue towards recently reidealised 90% CO2 emissions (all energy) reduction targets by 2050.

    Hey, Christina and fellow political travellers. Westminster policies and austerity responsible? Liar. Recall subsidies and green tariffs anywhere? As a Scot within Scotland, I’ve a rough idea how ‘energy rich’ we have been and need to be for prosperity – you know, all that increasingly reliable energy that enabled a C19-20th competetive economy – like jobs, health and education etc. None of this is happening here nor anytime soon. It’s distinctly your politicised ideology that’s enforcing increasing poverty. Forget about death rates from cold or dampness.conveniently exported elsewhere.

    Admit it, Christina and Scottish Parliament: your energy policies have now reached begging proportions. You’ve ramped hype on renewables that provenly cannot deliver yet expect us to increasingly fund yur grand experiment?

    Last word here to Isobel Graham who manages the Hamilton District Food Bank,

    ‘We can also prepare a package of groceries that don’t have to be cooked or heated – such as tins of corned beef or packets of foodstuffs – that will keep them going until they can contact their electricity or gas supplier.’

    Welcome to your EU-centred Brave New Scotland.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/15812816.Big_Six_urged_to_back_Scottish_food_bank_s_pioneering_energy_scheme/

  15. Alan Davidson permalink
    January 9, 2018 1:39 am

    Jillian’s introduction refers to “low-carbon hydrogen”!!! Combustion bi-product presumably will be low-carbon water. Is this adoption of UK Govt new generation scientific terminology or Jillian’s invention?

    • Ian permalink
      January 9, 2018 11:04 am

      Low carbon water – not fizzy then? That won’t go down well.

  16. Tim permalink
    January 9, 2018 8:07 am

    Paul, the correct term is “steam reforming”, not reformation. FWIW

  17. riveness permalink
    January 9, 2018 8:58 am

    The reason for choosing Keele was it was a private network and upgrading the burners to accept hydrogen was possible and many had to be changed anyway due to age. However the concept really should not need much demonstration given the known and expensive cost of electrolysis.

    Any large scale demonstration of hydrogen should be placed either beside a refiner who can upgrade their refinery gas or near an integrated steel works where COG can be upgraded to produce hydrogen. There are not too many of those around but the steel sites (Scunthorpe and Port Talbot) are sitting near communities that can be isolated easily from the grid and have undergone extensive mains replacement so pipework integrity would not be expected to be an issue. Further embrittlement is not an issue for carbon steels

    A new distribution system would be required in any case so built it on the steel site.

    Except it would not happen as the steelworks are not particularly gas rich and they are using their gasses already in their process. So they would need a fairly large premium.

    And it is still based no coal.

  18. Coeur de Lion permalink
    January 9, 2018 2:14 pm

    It’s all b@@lls if CO2 doesn’t matter

  19. Vernon E permalink
    January 9, 2018 5:02 pm

    Ms Ambrose (Telegraph) is a prime example of “a little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing”. She clearly understands only the headline issues and not the technology – and not just on this topic. However it has to be recognised that if the madness of reducing carbon emissions persists – as it will – hydrogen has couple of things going for it. First, it is not novel . In the towns gas era and the pre north sea natural gas era (when naphtha was steam reformed) hydrogen was always a primary component of our gas system. No problem there then with 20% in our supplies. Secondly, the CO2 released from the absorber is pure CO2 , not diluted by 80% nitrogen which is the case in combustion processes. Hence the much hyped CCS solution does under these circumstances only) become viable. If the greenies insist on pursuing the madness this is probably the least damaging way to do it.

  20. Richard Phillips permalink
    January 9, 2018 6:12 pm

    There seems to be no comment on the fact that volume for volume, at equal pressure, methane contains about three times as much energy as hydrogen. From equal volumes of the two gases, methane CH4 contains twice as much hydrogen, and having burned that, the carbon remains to be burned.

    To deliver the same amount of energy to a user, three times the volume of hydrogen has to be burned, and supplied through the system. This means either the pipe size of the mains network has to be enlarged, or the pressure has to be tripled. But the network already operates at 50 atmospheres, about 750 psi. The present pipework could not possibly be used at triple this pressure.

    The hydrogen/nuclear dream is, I am afraid, just a dream.

    The answer to our electricity generation is 60-70% nuclear; the rest methane from, if possible, fracking in the UK. With the aim to convert to fast reactors, I was pert of a team working on the Demonstration Commercial Fast Reactor in 1989 when a certain M Thatcher closed the whole nuclear programme at weeks notice, and offered all the research staff other jobs or early retirement; end of nuclear- the market would take care of it all.

    Richard Phillips

  21. Charles Wardrop, permalink
    January 9, 2018 6:26 pm

    In view of trivial % of greenhouse gases from very indebted UK, and non-participation of ” big emitters” we need not and can not not help with CO2 targets.
    Climate Change Acts (2008,9) are also irrelevant.

  22. Richard Phillips permalink
    January 10, 2018 10:16 am

    Yes, Charles, quite right, the nonsense only continues because renewables make a lot of money, and HMG are not in the least enlightened on science or engineering.

    The role of CO2 is not well understood. Water vapour is some 50 or 60 times more abundant. CO2 is supposed to produce warming which increases the humidity and thus the efficacy of water vapour as a greenhouse gas. The questions are; by how much, and by what mechanism. My note on this subject to various luminaries in the climate world receives no answer to this point.

    CO2 is nothing like the danger as which it is portrayed, on the contrary it is the very staff of life; no CO2, no plants no animals, a dead planet.

    Richard Phillips

    • Charles Wardrop, permalink
      January 10, 2018 1:56 pm

      In this field of activities, the love of money, other people’s, is the root of all, or much, evil, and one suspects back-handers galore!
      Politicos could help by repealing the CC Acts but admitting errors, apart from sexual pecadillos, is not their forte!
      So what could be done, in practice, to reduce the waste?

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