The Decline of Fossil Fuels and Limits of Renewable Energy


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  • #87763 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Honesty being “inconvenient” for psychopaths like Truss as evidence of “government cruelty” is simply a symptom of the global rush towards fascism, which in turn is a symptom of ‘peak oil’ i.e. ‘Energy Returned On Energy Invested’ becoming too uneconomic for extractors to invest in future supply demand i.e. fuel is too expensive to carry on running civilization.

    The world’s self-organizing economy can be expected to act strangely, as energy supplies deplete

    Truss and all the other political / corporate / military psychopaths know this at least at some basic emotional level, i.e. that modern civilisations’ primary energy – FOSSIL FUEL – supply is fast running out and CAN’T BE REPLACED by wind or solar (since they require high energy density fossil fuels to build).

    David Fridley, LBNL scientist, on why alternative energy won’t save us

    When (medium energy density) coal took off in the early 1800’s (replacing low energy density water, wind & wood) globally only 1 billion people were alive. Burning coal for about 120 years enabled global population to double to 2 billion in 1927 when oil was beginning to take off. Over the next 50 years it doubled again to 4 billion in 1974. And over the last 50 years its doubled again to nearly 8 billion today.

    Without cheap plentiful fossil fuels human civilization is collapsing already : expect global population numbers to shrink at a much faster rate than the historic population growth outline above i.e. complexity cannot be sustained and elites like Truss will do all they can to cheat others everywhere out of fair shares of diminishing resources.

    Chris Hedges is recently beginning to understand this inevitability too.

    Chris Hedges: The Final CollapseConsortium News, 15 August 2022

    #87765 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    As I may have mentioned before, Natasha, fossil fuels aren’t running out and they CAN BE REPLACED by wind and solar energy because you don’t need fossil fuels to build wind turbines and photo-voltaic panels since you can use biofuels instead. Biofuels are already being used on an immense scale, such as bio-ethanol from corn / maize making up around 10% of US petrol – or ‘gas’ as they call it over there.

    #87767 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    At last! Finally Lapsed Agnostic agrees that low energy density solar and wind energy flow harvesting machines NEED high energy density liquid hydrocarbons to power machinery to mine and refine (i.e. process heat that electricity CAN’T provide) ALL the raw materials, and heavy transport (not battery powered skate boards but 20 ton trucks and earth movers) to build, connect to the grid, maintain and replace wind & solar farms every 25 years! Hurray ?

    Not even Liss Truss has gotten this far in logical reasoning about the world!

    But then Lapsed Agnostic mistakenly claims that:

    ” […] you can use biofuels instead [of fossil fuels to build net energy sink wind & solar infrastructure]. Biofuels are already being used on an immense scale”

    and that therefore its possible to build net energy sink wind and solar infrastructure.

    However this is utter nonsense. The most obvious fact is that LAND use can’t scale anywhere near sufficiently for biofuel to not remain a tiny niche since they require huge amounts of land to convert low energy density solar radiation into useful hydrocarbon liquid fuels, as some quick search engine powered reading around this topic would reveal. For example, let’s look at the impossible scale of biomass required (from a 2010 paper):

    • 150 EJ/year = 15 billion metric tons of plant biomass = 200 billion cubic meters of bales, wood chips, pellets, etc. Agricultural products: Rice, wheat, soy, corn, etc: 2 billion tons, 2.75 billion cubic meters.
    • Coal: 6.2 billion cubic meters, Oil: 5.7 billion cubic meters. Therefore, the biofuel biomass required would be much larger than all energy and agricultural commodities now.

    https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.1189139

    https://energyskeptic.com/2018/power-density-of-biomass-wind-solar-requires-too-much-land-to-replace-fossil-fuels/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2017/alternative-energy-reading-list/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2016/are-biofuels-sustainable-and-viable-energy-strategy/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2015/biofuels-do-not-scale-up-enough-to-power-society/

    So why does Lapsed Agnostic (like far too many others) still fail to do some rudimentary reading behind such unrealistic “Biofuel” (and many other similar e.g. hydrogen) claims? Why not read what those you disagree with are saying? Why not know your enemy? Why not do some basic scientific / logical reasoning, before offering such fantasy beliefs here in comments on this blog?

    I give links to everything I claim here, yet once again Lapsed Agnostic fails to cite any references to support the mantra of what climate scientist James Hansen labels “tooth fairy” ideas and misguided dangerous beliefs such as: ‘biofuels will save us’. Such failures of logic perhaps amount to too many people being victims of mainstream ‘grooming’ into believing that humans can continue on our recent trajectory of growth forever into the future ignoring all the obvious limits of living on our solitary ‘Pale Blue Dot’ by taking on trust the anti-scientific ‘hot air’ pedalled by for example the so called ‘Green New Deal’ idiots, Greenpeace and dozens of other similar outfits?

    https://www.withouthotair.com/

    https://archive.org/details/atomichumanismthecasefornuclearpowerv1

    Meanwhile where to grow all these monoculture biofuels when the UK’s 250,000Km2 is 57% farm, 35% natural, 3% green urban, and 6% built on? (BBC summary based on 2017 Corine data)? And if grown abroad, what about ‘extractivism’ i.e. locals getting pissed of with colonialism stealing their land and resources for foreign corporate profit? And fast running out irrigation water?

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=extractivism&ia=web

    Not even Liss Truss has gotten this far in logical reasoning about the world!

    But then Lapsed Agnostic mistakenly claims that:

    ” […] you can use biofuels instead [of fossil fuels to build net energy sink wind & solar infrastructure]. Biofuels are already being used on an immense scale”

    and that therefore its possible to build net energy sink wind and solar infrastructure.

    However this is utter nonsense. The most obvious fact is that LAND use can’t scale anywhere near sufficiently for biofuel to not remain a tiny niche since they require huge amounts of land to convert low energy density solar radiation into useful hydrocarbon liquid fuels, as some quick search engine powered reading around this topic would reveal. For example, let’s look at the impossible scale of biomass required (from a 2010 paper):

    150 EJ/year = 15 billion metric tons of plant biomass = 200 billion cubic meters of bales, wood chips, pellets, etc. Agricultural products: Rice, wheat, soy, corn, etc: 2 billion tons, 2.75 billion cubic meters.
    Coal: 6.2 billion cubic meters, Oil: 5.7 billion cubic meters. Therefore, the biofuel biomass required would be much larger than all energy and agricultural commodities now.
    https://www.science.org/doi/full/10.1126/science.1189139

    https://energyskeptic.com/2018/power-density-of-biomass-wind-solar-requires-too-much-land-to-replace-fossil-fuels/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2017/alternative-energy-reading-list/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2016/are-biofuels-sustainable-and-viable-energy-strategy/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2015/biofuels-do-not-scale-up-enough-to-power-society/

    So why does Lapsed Agnostic (like far too many others) still fail to do some rudimentary reading behind such unrealistic “Biofuel” (and many other similar e.g. hydrogen) claims? Why not read what those you disagree with are saying? Why not know your enemy? Why not do some basic scientific / logical reasoning, before offering such fantasy beliefs here in comments on this blog?

    I give links to everything I claim here, yet once again Lapsed Agnostic fails to cite any references to support the mantra of what climate scientist James Hansen labels “tooth fairy” ideas and misguided dangerous beliefs such as: ‘biofuels will save us’. Such failures of logic perhaps amount to too many people being victims of mainstream ‘grooming’ into believing that humans can continue on our recent trajectory of growth forever into the future ignoring all the obvious limits of living on our solitary ‘Pale Blue Dot’ by taking on trust the anti-scientific ‘hot air’ pedalled by for example the so called ‘Green New Deal’ idiots, Greenpeace and dozens of other similar outfits?

    https://www.withouthotair.com/

    https://archive.org/details/atomichumanismthecasefornuclearpowerv1

    Meanwhile where to grow all these monoculture biofuels when the UK’s 250,000Km2 is 57% farm, 35% natural, 3% green urban, and 6% built on? (BBC summary based on 2017 Corine data)? And if grown abroad, what about ‘extractivism’ i.e. locals getting pissed of with colonialism stealing their land and resources for foreign corporate profit? And fast running out irrigation water?

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=extractivism&ia=web

    #87769 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    Thanks for your reply Natasha. Heavy-duty mobile mining equipment doesn’t need liquid hydrocarbon-based fuels to operate – think of the power generated by electric locomotives etc – it’s just far more convenient for it not to have to be connected to high-voltage power cables or overhead wires. Neither do blast furnaces for ore refining – think about the heat generated by electric arc welding equipment etc.

    Using biofuels to make renewable infrastructure isn’t utter nonsense or even partial nonsense – it makes perfect sense. Biofuel may not be able to replace all the fossil fuel used today, but it doesn’t have to since at present most fossil fuel is used for mass transportation and domestic heating, whereas comparatively little is used to make wind turbines and solar panels. If, as most Western politicians desire, in 20 years’ time most people in the developed world are either driving electric vehicles or using public transport, the amount of biofuel being used is likely to be much less than gets used now.

    Provided they are sited at suitable locations, wind turbines and solar panels are not net energy sinks because over their operational lifetimes they produce a *lot* more energy than it takes to make them. This is a demonstrable fact. Here is an analysis of (mostly land-sited) wind turbines, which shows them to have a mean energy return of about 20 [TWENTY] times:

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S096014810900055X

    I do read people who disagree with me, not least on this blog (see my jousts with Bayard etc). I also don’t think that neo-Malthusians, such as yourself and most of the people you cite, are the enemy – I just think they are misinformed and misguided.

    Most of your links are to a neo-Malthusian blog called ‘Energy Skeptics’. However, you did provide one to the late Prof David Mackay’s ‘Sustainability without the Hot Air’, which I’ve read in full and think is a bit of a tour de force. So what were the professor’s conclusions? Did he think it was all hopeless and we should either resign ourselves to either keep burning fossil fuels and letting global temperatures keep rising and rising, or be prepared to reduce our Western lifestyles to something close that of peasants in the Middle Ages? Or did he think that it was genuinely possible to maintain our current lifestyles and still get to net zero carbon, both in the UK and the wider world? Pretty much the latter as far as I could make out. You can do it in many different ways – as he stated, all you need is a plan that adds up.

    P.S. In case you haven’t already seen it, I’ve replied to your reply to my comment about the land areas required for crops on the first page of comments on the ‘Don’t Look Back in Anger’ blogpost, and included a link to a YouTube video from George Monbiot which you may find interesting.

    #87773 Reply
    Laser mcLaserface
    Guest

    heat generated by electric arc welding equipment,

    Hmmmm. Arc welding creates a high temperature, highly localised, not a lot of heat. This sentence jarred me as much as people claiming million degree lasers are the answer (to anything).

    #87775 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    Thanks for your reply Mr mcLaserface. Apologies for not clarifying the exact difference between heat and temperature for what I would imagine is a largely non-scientific readership (assuming anyone apart from Bayard & Natasha actually does read this shit). I was trying to think of a reasonably familiar example for Natasha of electricity being used to make things very hot. Perhaps I should have written: ‘think of the heat generated by an electric arc furnace’.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_arc_furnace

    Hope you are feeling less jarred now.

    #87777 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Lapsed Agnostic, Thanks for the opportunity to help other readers here understand this vitally important issue. And thanks for the opportunity to review my position on a “plan that adds up”. But you cast as a straw man David Mackay’s ‘Hot Air’ book, and you are completely wrong about his intended message.

    Mackay does NOT ask us to

    “…. resign ourselves to either keep burning fossil fuels and letting global temperatures keep rising and rising, or be prepared to reduce our Western lifestyles to something close that of peasants in the Middle Ages?”

    Nor

    “as far as [you] could make out […] did he think that it was genuinely possible to maintain our current lifestyles and still get to net zero carbon, both in the UK and the wider world.”

    First off, fossil fuels are fast running out – TODAY – they are rapidly getting too energy expensive to bother extracting i.e. global warming is self-limiting.

    Second, the single link (to a mealy mouthed one paragraph abstract with the text behind a pay-wall) to support the low-energy-density-wind-water-solar-energy-will-save-us ‘fairy tale’ you (and many others) appear attached to, but which admits that the authors’ have simply written a “review” of recent work based upon “viewing the EROI as function of power rating”.

    In other words analysing “power rating[s]” is context free, and thus utterly useless, something David Mackay’s ‘Hot Air’ book was entirely aimed at pointing out. Power stations don’t operate outside of their supporting environments, which by (political / ideological / financial / psychopathic) design or ignorance are ignored by such (so called scientific) papers. For example Mackay calculated we would need about twice the land area of the UK just to power the UK with solar or wind electricity. Even more for bio-fuels (whatever George Monbiot may say).

    The types of analysis in the link you give ignores too many externalities, such as the entire raw materials supply chain needed to build the power supply infrastructure itself, land thereby taken out of other uses (e.g. growing food etc.) nor roads, bridges, workers’ overheads, transport, their education, etc. etc…. to the sites, then connect it to a grid and power balance / seasonal storage (when the sun and wind ‘aint shining or blowing) to maintain and decommission at end of life (remembering that all the rare materials require too much HEAT energy to recover), and/or also mistakenly believes that supply & demand market forces on $£ prices will yield all the materials / inputs needed.

    Is it not clear to everyone, that ignoring externalities is fatal, rendering (for example) the analysis in the link you give useless, as the following homework reading (none from your bête noire ‘Energy Skeptics’) clearly and repeatedly demonstrates ?

    https://www.resilience.org/stories/2017-06-27/100-renewables-a-few-remarks-about-the-jacobsonclack-controversy/

    http://euanmearns.com/the-cost-of-100-renewables-the-jacobson-et-al-2018-study/

    https://www.masterresource.org/renewable-energy-and-jobs/stanfords-jacobson-spins-misinformation-in-the-energy-debate-100-renewables-fantasy/

    http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2008/12/review-of-masrk-z-jacobsons-review.html

    https://environmentalprogress.org/big-news/2017/11/1/stanford-university-professor-mark-z-jacobson-sues-prestigious-team-of-scientists-for-debunking-100-renewables

    https://www.mercurynews.com/2017/07/10/opinion-100-percent-renewable-energy-in-california-by-2050-needs-nuclear-in-the-mix/#comments

    Meanwhile, such obfuscation (as highlighted in the abstract you linked to and torn to shreds in the multiple links I provide here) is rampant amongst those still in love with the idea that since the total energy from the sun hitting the earth is so large surely we must be able to harness it and carry on with 8 billion people and growing until it goes supernova? Sorry but thermodynamics prevent this.

    And labelling me and those I cite (such as ‘Energy Skeptics’ Alice Friedemann’s blog and several of her books too, in which EVERY post since it began in 2010 includes multiple reference to books and papers) as “neo-Malthusians” (as far as physics goes but NOT the politics or policy implications) is a BIG complement (not the ridicule you perhaps intended) since it is axiomatic we live on a finite planet, and human population growth has undeniably been in a rapid exponential growth spurt since coal and oil began to be burned c250 or so years ago e.g. population has doubled since I was born 60 odd years ago. If you think such populations and future growth is even remotely sustainable, please pass on whatever it is you are imbibing, so I too can enjoy the delusions so produced!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malthusianism

    https://ourworldindata.org/uploads/2018/11/Annual-World-Population-since-10-thousand-BCE-for-OWID.png

    If such people genuinely want to learn about energy supply technology they would have noticed these glaring omissions in their ‘pet’ analysis’. So here’s some (more) basic homework for all those here genuinely interested in learning about Energy Returned on Energy (not £$) Invested.

    http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

    https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/175-the-surplus-energy-economy/

    Enjoy!

    (PS please excuse my inclusion of this ‘authority’ logical fallacy but as a retired industrial electro magnetics designer / physics / maths / 3D design practitioner project manager and teacher, I have some experience in ‘whole-system’ analysis.)

    #87782 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Natasha, a little (hopefully) hopeful fact for you. You wrote:

    “human population growth has undeniably been in a rapid exponential growth spurt since coal and oil began to be burned c250 or so years ago e.g. population has doubled since I was born 60 odd years ago”

    Exponential population growth stopped some decades ago; humanity has already passed peak births on every continent but Africa, which is also heading in the same direction. Many of the richest countries already have birth rates below the replacement rate. Population is still increasing, but primarily due to people living longer.

    I’m not suggesting that there is no problem; eight billion people, topping out somewhere between ten and twenty billion people is still a massive challenge. But it does make the problem potentially tractable.

    Lapsed Agnostic told us that David Mackay “stated, all you need is a plan that adds up”. That would be nice, but making a plan is the easy part, and we haven’t even tried making one yet. We would then need to implement the plan, and this is the stage at which we would discover multiple practical difficulties.

    Natasha, I strongly agree that humanity is in deep shit. It looks to me possible to climb out, but I’m just not seeing nearly enough of the activities necessary to achieve it. Instead I’m seeing excessive and increasing activity that’s digging us ever deeper in, so the odds are getting worse every day.

    In early September I’ll be London with Extinction Rebellion, making a nuisance of myself, because we need Citizens’ Assemblies practising deliberative democracy to address this; the politics we already have is clearly dysfunctional, to put it politely. Extinction Rebellion doesn’t have an energy policy; energy policy is for the people to decide, not a bunch of activists. Extinction rebellion are just teeth and claws, but our demand is for a functional brain:

    https://rebellion.global/about-us/

    #87783 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    Thanks for your reply Natasha. I see that after veering off-topic, we’ve been moved onto the forums to continue our exchange – fair enough. I doubt that I’m completely wrong about Prof Mackay’s intended message – if he’d have thought we were all doomed, it’s unlikely he’d have spent much of his short time left on Earth writing a book about it. You, however, are wrong about him calculating that we’d need twice the area of the UK to generate enough wind or solar energy to meet our requirements. For example, he states that we’d need to cover 5% of the UK with cheap 10% efficient solar PV panels to generate on average 50 kilowatt-hours of electricity per person per day:

    https://www.withouthotair.com/c6/page_41.shtml

    Later on, he explains that, by making a few efficiencies, we can obtain a situation where each person in the UK only requires on average 68 kilowatt-hours of electrical energy per day:

    https://www.withouthotair.com/c27/page_204.shtml

    Therefore we’d only need about 7% of the UK’s land area to be covered with solar panels (even with no wind turbines), not 200% – and remember the UK is one of the dullest countries in the world.

    Sorry that the link I cited is behind a pay-wall – academic publishers like making money*, even though most of what they publish is paid for by taxpayers. I haven’t got time to read all the references you cited, but I did read this one:

    http://euanmearns.com/eroei-for-beginners/

    If you look at Figure 4, you will see that the EROI figure quoted for wind turbines is 18, which is fairly similar to that stated in the reference in my previous comment. The figure quoted for solar panels is 6-12. For comparison, the average EROI for oil at the present time is around 10 and has been for several years. Yes, these figures will be reduced slightly by the ‘externalities’ you mentioned, but not to anywhere near 1.

    The materials in solar panels and wind turbines don’t require too much heat to recover – in fact it requires less energy than extracting them from their respective ores – it’s just not deemed economical to do it at the moment because it can’t be carried out on a sufficiently large scale yet.

    Fossil fuels are not fast running out – far from it. According to several sources, there are 1.5-1.7 trillion barrels of proven oil reserves remaining (that’s reserves that have a 90% chance of economic recovery at today’s prices with today’s technology):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_proven_oil_reserves

    At the moment, we get through around 28 billion barrels of oil a year globally, so that’s enough for 50 years at today’s rates of consumption (and this doesn’t include probable reserves with a 50% chance of recovery, or shale / tight oil reserves in the US). Then there’s coal and natural gas reserves, which in energy terms are far bigger. What do you think would happen if you approached James Hansen and told him not to worry about AGW as fossil fuels will soon become too expensive to extract, so it will be ‘self-limiting’? Would he accuse you of believing in ‘tooth fairy tales’?

    Glad you appreciate being called a neo-Malthusian. Of course the human population can’t keep doubling every few decades, that’s not sustainable – no exponential is – but that’s almost certainly not going to happen since the population is predicted to peak at between 10 and 11 billion around 2050.

    There is no law of thermodynamics that means that we can’t harness a fraction of the Sun’s energy for our requirements, since it generously provides us with about as much energy in an hour as humans use in a year. By the way, the Sun is not predicted to eventually become a supernova, since it would need to be at least nine times as massive for that to happen – instead in about five billion years it should just become a red giant and then a white dwarf, like most stars.

    If we’re engaging in credentialism, I should tell you that I have a PhD in chemistry from a Russell Group university (though it was 1994 Group in my day – that dates it) and a first class BSc partially in physics prior to that. Finally, if I may be permitted to offer a little advice: if I was you, I wouldn’t waste your remaining years worrying about AGW, and even less about fossil fuels running out. If you need something to worry about, try all-out thermonuclear war between NATO and Russia and/or China, which should be far more concerning to anyone in the Western world.

    * Many moons ago, I was paid a flat fee of around 700 euros (with no royalties) after being cajoled into writing roughly half of a hefty tome about some fairly arcane chemistry that in its first print run was changing hands for 3000 euros a copy. I won’t be doing anything like that again in a hurry.

    #87789 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Lapsed Agnostic, I agree that thermonuclear war is a worry, though the US is unlikely to have intended that or they wouldn’t have provoked the Russian government so much. But why wouldn’t you worry about AGW? Do you go as far as not worrying about its context, the ecological crisis, the apparent onset of mass extinction?

    As to hydrocarbons not running out, I suppose I’ve come to think of this in a different way – hydrocarbons are forever running out, in one place after another. The US “lower 48 states” oil peaked and went into decline in the mid 1970s, and the North Sea in the late 1990s, I think. But the “proven reserves” you linked to came as a surprise to me.

    So maybe US military aggression is about having effective control of production, ie. liquid fuel can only be produced at a rate determined by existing development and infrastructure, so whichever empire controls the most of existing production can fight the most vigorously in war.

    #87790 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    EROEI seems a decent “running out” gauge, and it has already fallen to 10:1. To help assess hydrocarbon availability and depletion, should we look at graphs of EROEI against time, consumption against time, and EROEI against consumption?

    #87791 Reply
    ET
    Guest

    Lot of stuff to read through and mull over. I like Prof McKay’s use of energy produced per metre squared. Is there a way to merge EROEI.

    For interest’s sake, here is an article on Finland’s heroic efforts a in dealing with nuclear waste.
    Solving the rock-hard problem of nuclear waste disposal .

    #87797 Reply
    Steven Newbury
    Guest

    @Clark The 10:1 figure is for new oil developments, that is drilling, extraction, transportation, processing etc and the supporting infrastructure for that project. Existing or legacy oil producers can stil produce oil from existing fields, using existing infrastructure at a much higher ERoEI. Oil exploitation started when the ERoEI was *much* higher than today, with 100s:1 returns.

    Existing infrastructure makes quite a difference to the viability of oil extraction, and this extends to society at large. There’s also non-energy uses for oil, a substantial portion of the heaviest oil, asphalt, is used for road surfaces, just replacing this use, with for example concrete is not without consequences.

    Our entire system has been built on fossil fuel exploitation, and substitution would require additional expenditure of energy and resources, so it’s difficult to compare different sources 1:1.

    I mostly agree with what @Natasha wrote above, except all the evidence is that AGW is self sustaining at this point. Major tipping points have already been crossed, and even if that wasn’t the case, I find it extremely likely momentum and ignorance will lead us to pursue net negative strategies which will produce exponentially more emissions before we lose the capability to do so. In fact we’ve already begun.

    #87804 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    ET, we’d produce a fraction as much spent nuclear fuel if only we didn’t put uranium 238 in our reactors. Our “fuel” is 97% U238, an impurity which contributes very little energy. Nearly all the U238 that does anything at all (about 20% of it I think) just transmutes into problematic transuranics. The U238 is included for political rather than engineering reasons.

    #87805 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Steven Newbury, thanks.

    My feelings about humanity’s future can vary from wild optimism, through numbness or curiosity, to wild pessimism, the pessimism being a lot more prevalent than the optimism. Things look to be going pretty badly, but there are some great technologies that could support a comfortable standard of living for all. But we need to get on and build them before we squander the resources we have, and we’re not.

    Regarding the climate and the Earth system, I think it’s very hard to predict. It’s an organic, biological system and they’re inherently unpredictable; as it says in Murphy’s Law (Arthur Bloch), “under the most rigorously controlled conditions of temperature, pressure, humidity and all other variables, the organism will do as it damn well pleases”. The partial success of climate modelling so far is because the system hasn’t yet been pushed far from its familiar stable state; the system has massive resilience . But climate modelling beyond the melting of the Arctic sea ice, for instance, seems speculative to me.

    We have to stop the harm.

    #87807 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    Thanks everyone for your contributions. To address people’s points:

    From a personal point of view, I’m not overly worried about AGW because I live in a developed country and it will most severely affect people in developing world countries – whereas thermonuclear war will mostly severely affect people in developed world countries, and according to the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk there’s a 1 in 80 chance of it happening in a given year. Based on figures of the number of people currently dying in natural disasters per year, I would roughly estimate that the maximum number of deaths caused by AGW of 2-3 degrees versus pre-industrial levels would be around 300,000 per year, whereas as all-out thermonuclear war would leave at least 500 million dead within a year.

    As regards mass extinctions, even if their habitats change completely, most plant species won’t go extinct because their seeds are being collected and stored in low-temperature seedbanks, such as the one on Spitzbergen. It will be harder to revive animal species, but should be possible in the not-too-distant future provided a few cells from the animal have been kept frozen in suspended animation.

    This analysis of 30 large oil companies, including Saudi Aramco, Rosneft & the National Iranian Oil Co, shows that the average EROEI for oil is around 10, and over the last 20 years it has been roughly constant against time:

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41247-021-00095-6#Abs1

    Natural uranium is 99.3% U-238 – separating out the U-235 takes a lot of energy. The problem with radioactive waste isn’t the transuranic elements though, which aren’t really that radioactive – it’s the long-lived fission products like caesium-137 and strontium-90.

    #87808 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Lapsed Agnostic, good to hear back from you.

    Caesium-137 and strontium-90 are medium-lived fission products, not long-lived. They have half lives of about 30 and 29 years respectively. The rule-of-thumb is that radioactive isotopes decay to background levels of radioactivity in about ten half lives, so caesium-137 and strontium-90 are not responsible for the multi-millennium storage problem.

    There is a summary of long-lived fission products here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-lived_fission_products

    “After [caesium-137 and strontium-90] have decayed to low levels, the bulk of radioactivity from spent fuel come not from fission products but actinides, notably plutonium-239 (half-life 24 ka), plutonium-240 (6.56 ka), americium-241 (432 years), americium-243 (7.37 ka), curium-245 (8.50 ka), and curium-246 (4.73 ka).”

    I can’t remember the slight technical difference between the meanings of “actinides” and “transuranics”, but both refer to isotopes of higher atomic number / atomic mass than uranium, and they do mostly descend from U-238, simply because there is around 30 times more of it in fresh fuel rods than there is U-235. Yes, they can be reprocessed out, resulting in a smaller long-term storage problem at the expense of greater immediate risk.

    I’ll have to get back to you about your climate change comments.

    #87809 Reply
    Bob (not OG)
    Guest

    Natasha is 100% correct.
    Our entire culture and way of life is based on cheap energy, which is becoming less cheap as the easy resources are (naturally) used up first, leaving only the more difficult and more expensive ones (e.g. oil extracted from beneath the sea bed is more expensive (in terms of energy) to extract than onshore oil).

    Why is this so hard for people to grasp, as it seems pretty obvious, given even just the slightest bit of thought?
    Is it just a refusal to accept the truth?

    After all the debates it really doesn’t matter what anyone believes, the result (end of cheap energy / way of life built on it) will be the same anyway. That is not a political statement – it’s just physics.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by degmod.
    #87811 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Lapsed Agnostic, thanks for the interesting link to the paper “Deriving EROI for Thirty Large Oil Companies Using the CO2 Proxy from 1999 to 2018″, which I will have to read in full. For now I’ll just draw attention to figure 10, the Euan Mearns diagram; with EROI near 10 we look perilously close to sliding off the “energy cliff”.

    #87817 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    And oil’s EROEI is bound to fall. I really don’t like the look of that steepening gradient on the right-hand side of that graph.

    #87820 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Bob, it does matter what people believe because what people believe determines how people behave, and the future is not yet written. With EROEI of oil already lower than that of wind turbines, the cheapest energy (by physical rather than monetary measures) has already transitioned to being renewables; the supposedly all-seeing market is just frustratingly (and dangerously) slow on the uptake.

    #87836 Reply
    Bob (not OG)
    Guest

    Clark, it’s not quite true to say the cheapest energy has transitioned to being renewables because, as someone referred to earlier, renewables are dependent on fossil fuels. Their construction requires high temperature process heat, which can only be delivered by fossil fuels. This is due to their incredible energy density.

    The reality is we’ve squandered this limited resource due to our short-term perspective (perhaps understandable, given our long evolutionary history and short lifespans).
    Countless tons of disposable plastic crap ‘products’ have been / are being made, all in the name of economic growth. Such folly will be judged harshly by any surviving future historians.

    The best way forward would be to end the pursuit of economic growth, consume far, far less (energy and products) and use our remaining fossil fuels to create durable and easily maintainable renewables.
    Even if this happens the world population will probably shrink due to the end of fossil-fuel-derived nitrogen fertilisers used in our current intensive farming practices.

    #87838 Reply
    Bob (not OG)
    Guest

    I just want to add that if my previous post sounded a bit like the WEF’s agenda (global depopulation, owning “nothing” etc.) I in no way whatsoever endorse the WEF or any of its criminal gang of psycopaths.
    It’s a safe bet that if the world were to make a transition to a very low-energy, low-consumption existence, the oligarchs and global cult will not be living like that. They only intend it for the masses (a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’).

    #87849 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Bob, I almost entirely agree, and the two aspects of your comment about the WEF are, together, amusing and highly refreshing.

    But I continue to argue that renewables are already the cheapest (in physical terms) because fossil fuel production itself is dependent upon fossil fuels – we’d get more bang by spending our fossil fuel bucks on renewables than on dwindling fossil fuels. Law of diminishing returns.

    Did you look up the electric arc furnace that Lapsed Agnostic linked to? Several times as energy efficient as smelting with combustion, particularly well suited to recycling scrap, and it can be started and stopped at short notice, without significant efficiency loss, thus helping to balance a grid powered by intermittent renewables. One of those great technologies that gives me hope.

    That said, I find Lapsed Agnostic’s position overly optimistic – which I must get around to posting some comments about…

    #87852 Reply
    Bob (not OG)
    Guest

    Clark, I agree we need to at least attempt some kind of transition over to renewables (together with a vast reduction in energy use) and we should be using the remaining fossil fuels for that purpose. Whether that can be done without society collapsing first, I don’t know (but you’re right, we must have some hope).
    I will look into the electric arc furnace mentioned by you and LA, cheers.

    #87949 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Lapsed Agnostic writes:

    “I haven’t got time to read all the references you cited…”

    In which case you will continue to believe in the fantasy nonsense you write, for example:-

    “There is no law of thermodynamics that means that we can’t harness a fraction of the Sun’s energy for our requirements, since it generously provides us with about as much energy in an hour as humans use in a year.”

    Such ‘arm waving’ simply exposes that you don’t understand that thermodynamics is telling us: that going uphill costs energy. Further IF it were so easy then Q: WHY aren’t industrialist / governments falling over themselves to build infrastructure as fast as possible to gather all this cheap easy energy?

    Re: David Mackay ‘Without the Hot Air’.

    My claim it would take 200% of the land in the UK for renewables to replace existing ENERGY supply (i.e. not just electricity i.e some form of liquid hydrocarbon synthesis) is based upon a full system view at the current average UK demand of 125Kwh/day.

    Further, in claiming 5% ‒ 7% land use, you ignore the context that Mackay gives elsewhere in the book. In other words solar and wind needs back up storage which takes up land you do not account for.

    In any case, these sorts of estimates are a waste of time, since even at first blush – in the link you give, Mackay observes that

    “The solar power capacity required to deliver this 50 kWh per day per person in the UK is more than 100 times all the photovoltaics in the whole world [and] paving 5% of the UK with solar panels seems beyond the bounds of plausibility in so many ways.”

    Regards,

    #87950 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Clark writes about electric arc furnaces, but they can’t smelt raw iron ore i.e. add carbon to iron to make steel i.e. iron ore is used for 70% of current global steel production the remaining 30% is recycled steel.

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/06/global-steel-production/

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/270835/world-steel-production-and-scrap-consumption/

    In other words using only electric arc furnaces would mean having to cut global steel production by 70% and given recycling would consequently decrease too, probably even lower.

    It’s simply not possible to build renewable infrastructures that requires steel (and dozens of other metals) production to multiply dozens of times larger than current quantities to replace fossil fuels.

    https://energyskeptic.com/2021/metal-recycle-limited-by-many-factors/

    https://energyskeptic.com/2022/why-how-mining-metals-for-renewables-will-destroy-the-planet-not-prevent-the-energy-crisis/

    #87975 Reply
    ET
    Guest

    “Clark writes about electric arc furnaces, but they can’t smelt raw iron ore “

    On reading this statement my memory was stirred to recall reading that some company has indeed begun to use electric arc furnaces to smelt iron ore (if smelt is still the correct terminology) in a process they claim completely carbon free.
    https://newatlas.com/materials/ssab-volvo-green-steel/

    “SSAB’s HYBRIT process uses hydrogen as the reductant as iron ore and limestone are combined to create steel, replacing “coke,” or baked coal. The traditional coal-fired blast furnace is also replaced with an electric arc furnace.”

    The steel delivered to Volvo is a trial run I guess. I realise Natasha that the (extra) electricity to replace the previously used energy source still needs generation somehow and especially hydrogen has inefficiencies but electric arc furnaces CAN and already do replace the entire (former coking) steel production process. The company SSAB intends to move to “fossil free” steel completely by 2030 according to their website blurb.

    I’m not exactly sure what “fossil free” ore sources or mining is and I’m not sure how they ensure the electricity used comes from “fossil free” sources but my main point was that electric arc furnaces can be used for the entire process.

    As a side note, my brain baulked at the idea electricity cannot produce enough heat in a furnace. I’ve also heard people say that elsewhere in arguing the limitations of renewable energy sources. To my mind, as long as you can put in enough heat energy into a furnace, from whatever source, it should do its job. I’m not aware of any absolute temperature limitations of electricity as long as you have enough of it (excepting esoteric temperatures like plasmas etc.).

    #87979 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    ET

    “as long as you can put in enough heat energy into a furnace, from whatever source, it should do its job”

    One problem is: what do you make the heating element from? It has to be electrically conductive; most substances melt, or get close enough to their melting temperature to become fragile. This is where the electric arc is a clever solution. But for an arc to work, the stuff you’re attempting to melt has to be sufficiently conductive. I was wondering if iron ore could be arc smelted by mixing in enough scrap steel.

    There are multiple potential technical solutions to all sorts of problems, but the task of evaluating and developing them, and then replacing current infrastructure presents enormous practical difficulties. And the argument has polarised, as all arguments seem to these days.

    #87981 Reply
    ET
    Guest

    “One problem is: what do you make the heating element from?”

    I didn’t think there was a heating element in electric arc furnaces. My, perhaps wrong, understanding is that they hit the furnace charge, the stuff you want to melt, with what amounts to a mini lightning bolt. If the furnace charge is conductive you’ll get some heat from the resistance to conduction; but even if not, the charge is heated by the radiant energy evoked by the arc.

    #87987 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    ET

    “I didn’t think there was a heating element in electric arc furnaces”

    That’s absolutely right. That’s why I called the arc furnace a clever solution; it gets around the need for heating elements.

    #88005 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Thanks ET,

    I remember SAAB’s claim “to smelt iron ore […] in a process they claim completely carbon free.”

    But SAAB are literally ‘grooming’ us with their pilot steel-making process – in the same way psychopaths ensnare their victims – by depositing dollops of bovine poop trying to skip round THERMODYNAMIC limitations.

    How?

    Steel contains carbon between 0.05 up to 2.1 percent by weight, so you have to get it from somewhere. If it’s from lime, then lime needs mining, milling and transport, which can only be done with fossil fuels, then heating it to 900°C to get the carbon, using electricity from windmills and solar panels, which can’t be built without fossil fuels, nor maintained, nor connected to electricity and storage grids, nor finally recycled at end of circa max 25 years life spans.

    Then SAAB relies on hydrogen electrolysis, which is a net energy sink, also using electricity from windmills and solar panels that can’t be built etc. without fossil fuels. Even fuel cells can’t scale since nowhere near enough platinum group metals, tantalum, niobium etc. to make catalytic converters exists anywhere on this pale blue dot.

    Another option is shipping hydrogen, but “tell that to the people who’ll have to ship it across the globe at hyper-cold temperatures close to those in outer space”. There are three prototype ships in experimental stages with many technical challenges to overcome. The hydrogen has to be chilled to minus 253 degrees Celsius (just 20 degrees above absolute zero, the coldest possible temperature) just to keep it in liquid form and keep the vessel from cracking. That’s even colder than liquefied natural gas (minus 160 C). To prevent embrittlement, new high-strength steel, super insulation, and welding techniques will be necessary. The costs will be extremely high though none of the prototype makers were willing to say what the cost might be (Saul 2021). The same problems apply just to storing hydrogen where it’s made, even without piping or shipping it anywhere.

    Plus hydrogen can be bad for your health. Burning hydrogen in power plants can produce lung-damaging nitrogen oxides as a by-product (Chediak 2022).

    Thus, hydrogen needs far too much energy to create at any scale, then more energy to build storage infrastructure (especially if made with intermittent electricity) and then pipe to steel making equipment without leaking (smallest molecule of all) or exploding. Hydrogen is the dumbest & most impossible renewable.

    https://energyskeptic.com/2019/hydrogen/

    The energy conversion processes anticipated (dream-wish-magic) by the green hydrogen economy (electrolysis, compression, storage and fuel cells) are thus extremely inefficient: wasting energy as low grade heat. A huge amount of new renewable electricity capacity would be needed to compensate for the wasted energy.

    https://greenallianceblog.org.uk/2021/02/11/pursuing-the-hydrogen-economy-as-a-climate-solution-will-be-a-big-mistake

    https://cassandralegacy.blogspot.com/2020/12/the-hydrogen-hoax-confessions-of-former.html

    https://www.volkswagenag.com/en/news/stories/2019/08/hydrogen-or-battery–that-is-the-question.html

    Conclusion: You cannot levitate above the ground in defiance of gravity by pulling on your shoelaces.

    SAAB are politically signalling unadulterated ‘Green Wash’ which they achieve by ring-fencing their analysis, thereby magically vanishing externalities, i.e. the hidden fossil fuel consumption and CO2 – let alone ecological & social i.e. extractivism footprints of material inputs outlined above.

    https://popularresistance.org/extractivism-and-resistance-in-north-africa/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extractivism

    https://columbanjpe.org/article/what-extractivism

    In other words it is deeply disingenuous of SAAB to be advertising such ‘investor story time’ performative nonsense, on the back of running a tiny steel-making demonstration plant, thereby hoping to convince other global steel production infrastructure managers and investors to copy them and switch from using the current coke & raw iron ore steel making process, when the above THERMODYNAMIC limitations will ALWAYS apply on hydrogen, electricity, lime & iron ore steel making processes.

    #88006 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    ET asks whether electricity can produce enough heat to make steel etc. in an electric arc or induction furnace?

    Yes they can, but the question misses the point that electric arc or induction furnaces can’t process mined iron or other metal ores, they can only input scrap steel iron (or other scrap metals) or raw pig-iron from a standard fossil fuel smelter (or other similarly processed metals).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_arc_furnace#Operation

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/electric-furnace

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/electric-arc-furnace-process

    #88020 Reply
    ET
    Guest

    “Yes they can, but the question misses the point that electric arc or induction furnaces can’t process mined iron or other metal ores,”

    Natasha, you have repeated a statement that I have shown is no longer the case. Electric arc furnaces CAN, HAVE and ARE producing steel from mined iron ore. Your other arguments may well be pertinent but, even if only on a trial basis, the fact that it HAS been done shows that it CAN be done. To continue to insist that it can’t be done undermines your other arguments.
    So, can we move on please.

    #88024 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    “Green hydrogen” via renewable electricity is greenwash by which the fossil fuel companies promote “blue hydrogen” derived from natural gas, pretending that “blue hydrogen” is a stepping-stone to the impractical “green hydrogen”.

    Hydrogen is a pain. As the smallest, lightest molecule, it diffuses out of any container you attempt to use, and just to add to the fun it embrittles metals, increasing the explosion risk. As some joker once quipped, “if you want to store and transport hydrogen, your best bet is to bond it to carbon first”, and you’re back to hydrocarbons.

    You can bond hydrogen to nitrogen instead and get ammonia; there were trams powered by ammonia in the 1900s, I think. And you can mix hydrogen into natural gas; I understand the UK gas grid already delivers around 10% hydrogen.

    “Burning hydrogen in power plants can produce lung-damaging nitrogen oxides”

    Indeed. Burning anything with Earth’s nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere produces nitrogen oxides, especially at high temperatures.

    #88029 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Natasha, I agree that humanity is in a multi-system crisis that is fast getting worse. What do you think we should do about it? I think our best bet is to learn to get by with as little energy and technological products as possible.

    Optimism vs. pessimism – is our cup half full or half empty? What I mean is, instead of looking at our predicament from our first-world perspective of how much we lose without abundant cheap energy, consider a third-world perspective of how much easier life becomes when gaining very minimal energy and technology.

    #88039 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Thanks ET, you are correct, I apologise for being careless in how I worded my comment, some electric furnace processes can indeed input iron ore (or other metal ores), such as the SSAB’s HYBRIT process you linked to which “uses hydrogen as the reductant as iron ore and limestone are combined to create steel, replacing “coke,” or baked coal.”

    Nonetheless, my main point remains, that:-

    a)   electric furnaces usually only input scrap steel, pig iron, or direct-reduced iron, and

    b)   that all methods of making steel will always be limited by fossil fuel availability in their input materials supply chains.

    For the avoidance of doubt here are some further details.

    Scrap steel generally isn’t melted in a blast furnace because the heat for the blast furnace is supplied by the reduction of the iron by the coal. In an electric arc furnace (EAF) the heat is supplied by electricity. That’s why EAF generally used to melt scrap. It’s less economical to supply heat to a process when you don’t need to. That being said, you could just load up coke and ore in an EAF, heat it up, and the chemistry works itself out in the same way.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Blacksmith/comments/60397h/make_steel_from_an_electric_arc_furnace/

    Steel is produced via two main routes: the blast furnace (BF) and electric arc furnace (EAF) route. The key difference between the routes is the type of raw materials they consume. For the BF route these are predominantly iron ore, coal, and recycled steel, while the EAF route produces steel using mainly recycled steel and electricity. Depending on the plant configuration and availability of recycled steel, other sources of metallic iron such as direct-reduced iron (DRI) or hot metal can also be used in the EAF route.

    ►   A total of 70.7% of steel is produced using the blast furnace route. First, iron ores are reduced to iron, also called hot metal or pig iron. Then the iron is converted to steel.

    ►   Steel made in an EAF uses electricity to melt recycled steel. Additives, such as alloys, are used to adjust to the desired chemical composition. Electrical energy can be supplemented with oxygen injected into the EAF. Downstream process stages, such as casting, reheating and rolling, are similar to those found in the BF-BOF route. About 28.9% of steel is produced via the EAF route.

    https://www.dancarbon.com/q/eaf/105.html

    DRI is produced by the direct reduction of iron ore or other iron bearing materials in the solid state by using non-coking coal or natural gas. Processes which produce DRI by reduction of iron ore below the melting point of the iron are normally known as the direct reduction processes. The reducing agents are carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2), [as used in the SSAB’s HYBRIT process] coming from reformed natural gas, syngas, or coal. Iron ore is used mostly in pellet and/or lumpy form. Oxygen (O2) is removed from the iron ore by chemical reactions based on H2 and CO for the production of highly metalized DRI.

    https://www.ispatguru.com/use-of-direct-reduced-iron-in-electric-arc-furnace/

    #88040 Reply
    Natasha
    Guest

    Clark,

    In answer to your question: what should we do about humanity being in a multi-system crisis?

    First, to best manage and lessen the impacts of the otherwise certainty of extremely violent collapse over a matter of the next few decades or so (i.e. at same rate of fossil fuel decline), then ‘we’ have to weed out the psychopaths running the political-corporate-military-banking show we call ‘modern civilization’. At the very least, ‘our’ first step must be that ‘we’ stop voting for psychopaths, for example by encouraging all those on ballots to publish their psychological test results.

    https://www.change.org/p/psychological-assessments-for-political-candidates-and-other-high-level-positions

    https://www.bps.org.uk/psychologist/problem-pathocracy

    http://web.archive.org/web/20200727163211/https://sites.google.com/site/flagenglish/why-we-should-psych-test-political-candidates—psychopath-test-all-policymakers

    Until then, I sort of don’t care that much and am neither for nor against optimism or pessimism. Humans have dealt with psychopaths in previous earlier civilizations and tribal societies. Perhaps the group arranges for any greedy violent troublemakers to have an “accident” whilst the group was out hunting or whatever and were left to die alone.

    I’ve lived and travelled throughout the so-called third-world so have adsorbed some perspective(s) already, but I’ll be too old and dead soon enough. Meanwhile, be nice to people, grow a few vegetables and dwell on physics & engineering details that psychopaths can’t manipulate. I may even enjoy the process of seeing through their lies, deceptions and manipulations!

    #88041 Reply
    Clark
    Guest

    Natasha, I encountered an interesting saying or rule-of-thumb in a sci-fi book:

    – “Macrocosm dominates microcosm”

    The science of the sci-fi concerned biologists, and the phrase referred to organisms adapting to their environment. Of course, organisms also modify their environments, but that’s generally a slower process.

    My point is that people with psychopathic tendencies get elevated to positions of power due to structural processes. A whole swathe of them could be removed, but the structures would just select and promote another bunch. Therefore we need to change the structure. History confirms this; significant, lasting change occurs when widespread pressure forces structural change, eg. the Suffragettes forced a change of the voting system rather than trying to get a load of somewhat less sexist men elected.

    That’s why I’m in Extinction Rebellion rather than any of the single-issue pressure groups, because XR’s objectives are: face the truth, act upon that truth with the urgency it demands, and devolve power to the general population.

    #88096 Reply
    Lapsed Agnostic
    Guest

    It seems like people have been busy on here in my absence. Too much to deal with in one go – but I should be able to take a brief time-out from celebrating Celtic’s latest battering of the Huns to address some of Clark’s points:

    Firstly, hydrogen doesn’t diffuse out of any container you attempt to use, otherwise airships wouldn’t have been able to make it across the Atlantic in the 1920’s etc. It can cause metals with which it comes into contact to become more brittle but that’s not a major problem, especially since most existing iron gas pipes are being replaced with plastic ones anyway:

    https://www.energynetworks.org/newsroom/replacing-britains-old-gas-pipes-from-safeguarding-the-public-to-laying-the-foundations-of-a-zero-carbon-gas-grid

    Town gas, which was used in the UK before North Sea gas came on stream, contained on average 50% hydrogen (and sometimes up to 60%). North Sea gas doesn’t contain 10% hydrogen – it’s probably less than 1%. However, in a 2021 trial, the supply to the Tyneside village of Winlaton had 20% hydrogen added to it. The engineers reckon that there’s no need to modify boilers or burners until the hydrogen content gets up to 23%, which came as a surprise to me but, unlike some people on this thread, I’d imagine they know best seeing as they do this shit for a living.

    https://hydeploy.co.uk/about/news/green-light-for-first-hydrogen-blending-on-a-public-gas-network/

    Burning hydrogen doesn’t produce nitrogen oxides, and neither does burning anything else that doesn’t contain nitrogen atoms because nitrogen gas in the air is very unreactive: to get it to react with pretty much anything you need to either use temperatures of over 400 Celsius *and* pressures of over 200 atmospheres *and* iron-based heterogenous catalysts as in the Born-Haber process – or get some highly specialised bacteria to do it for you using some pretty complex enzymes and a shitload of ATP:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diazotroph

    Finally, here’s a bit of light weekend reading courtesy of XR founder Roger Hallam:

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-perverse-fantasies-of-xr-s-founder

    I sometimes wonder if XR, Insulate Britain and the like aren’t security service / Big Fossil false flags to discredit the Green Movement – it’s not as if the former doesn’t have plenty of previous in infiltrating environmental groups. Enjoy the rest of the weekend people.

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