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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Coal and Natural Gas power plants

The World Coal Association says a 600 MWe coal-fired power station operating at 38% efficiency and 75% overall availability will consume approximately 1.5 million tonnes per annum of bituminous coal (Calorific Value (CV) 6000 kcal/kg Net As Received (NAR)).
Coal-fired Power Station Model
Coal-fired Power Station Model

Using this information from the World Coal Association we can calculate how much electricity the coal power plant will produce each year (600 MWe x 24 hours a day x 365 days a year x 75% availability) which is 3,942,000 MWh.

The cost of coal will vary from time to time. For any price of coal we can calculate the yearly cost of coal and the unit fuel cost for the electricity produced.

Coal Price
($ per tonne)
Annual Cost
MWh fuel cost
(per MWh)
60 90 $14.33
80 120 $19.11
100 150 $23.88
120 180 $28.66

The same amount of electricity could be produced by a natural gas power station.

A 600 MWe combined cycle gas turbine power plant operating at 60% efficiency and 75% overall availability will consume approximately 23.85 million gigajoules of natural gas per annum.

The yearly cost of natural gas and the unit cost of the electricity produced will be the same as the coal power plant with the following prices of natural gas:

Coal Price
($ per tonne)
Natural Gas
($ per GJ)
Annual Cost
MWh fuel cost
(per MWh)
60 $3.81 90 $14.33
80 $5.07 120 $19.11
100 $6.34 150 $23.88
120 $7.71 180 $28.66

Carbon dioxide emissions from the coal power plant will be about 0.8 tonnes per MWh of electricity produced and about 0.3 tonnes from the gas power plant.

If coal costs $60 per tonne and natural gas costs $7.71 per gigajoule the information above implies that electricity from a natural gas power plant will have double the fuel cost of the coal power station.

Cheap coal can be converted into natural gas. 

Why would anyone ever build a coal power plant?

If coal that costs $60 per tonne is converted into natural gas at 80% efficiency, then the fuel for the natural gas power plant can be produced from 1.18 million tonnes of coal costing only $70.6 million a year. This is a saving of $19.4 million every year on the $90 million cost of coal that a coal power plant needs to produce the same amount of electricity as the natural gas power plant.

Further reading -

U.S. Department of Energy. Coal gasification offers one of the most versatile and clean ways to convert coal into electricity, hydrogen, and other valuable energy products.

Basin Electric, through its for-profit subsidiary, Dakota Gasification Company (Dakota Gas) owns and operates the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. The Synfuels Plant is the only commercial-scale coal gasification plant in the U.S. that manufactures natural gas. It is located five miles northwest of Beulah, North Dakota.

The Coal Can Do That article "Coal-to-Gas is Off-the-Shelf Energy Solution" from February 2009 by Dr. Frank Clemente.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The carbon tax is a crime

An example of media bias against a price on carbon

Further details in the article: What does media bias look like?

A post from The Telegraph blog of Piers Akerman - original at this link

The Telegraph
The carbon tax is a crime

Piers Akerman The Daily Telegraph June 23 2013 (12:00am)

HOLDEN workers meet at the company's Elizabeth plant in Adelaide this week to discuss a proposed 500 job cuts. The company has previously called the carbon tax "heavy and unfair"

The Coalition's plan to dump Labor's failed carbon dioxide tax will give the nation a boost should it put the government to rout in 82 days - but the renewable energy scam must be also be axed.

Australians are paying a huge price for nothing more than Green feel-good vanity politics that do nothing for the environment, the economy, the nation or the globe.

Last week, Maurice Newman, a former chairman of the Australian Stock Exchange and the ABC, and long regarded as one of the country's most respected business figures, told The Guardian that continuing taxpayer subsidies for the renewable energy target (RET) represented a "crime against the people".

Newman owns a property near a proposed wind farm in the NSW southern highlands and may be considered to have a conflict. But his argument against the expensive subsidies relies also on their effect on poorer households, and the apparent collapse of the scientific argument.

"When we look at the experience of Germany, they have not been successful in reducing emissions; when we look at the science it no longer supports the global warming theory; and when we look at the health and economic effects of wind farms and the obscene wealth transfer from poor to rich we have to ask: 'why are we persisting with them?' I think it is a crime against the people," he said.

The view of Newman, who would chair the opposition's proposed Business Advisory Council, is important.

"It is inevitable energy prices will be one of the issues that will be of concern to business," he said.

"Low energy prices are what has always made Australia internationally competitive and because of the RET and the carbon tax we have lost that advantage."

Newman wants to get Australian business back on its feet and so does Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who last week spoke at a Canberra rally against renewables.

Boswell, one of the hardest working senators, will retire at the election, but he is going to fight renewables until his last day in office.

Wind power, which costs up to four times as much as coal or gas-fired power, can generate electricity only 30 per cent of the time, he told me.

"Those times are impossible to predict; wind has a reliability factor of a very low 8 per cent or less. Yet we are funnelling billions to set up unreliable wind turbines across Australia: money not from out of government's coffers but from the hip pockets of every energy user in Australia."

He then rattled off the names of some of the businesses endangered or killed because of the Green fetishists.

"This week, it was Simplot sending out a warning shot that its food manufacturing plants in Bathurst and Devonport are on the brink," he said. "Their energy costs have risen 80 per cent. "Last week, it was SPC Ardmona saying that unless it received emergency safeguards, more of its jobs would go. Its energy costs have risen. It is struggling to compete with home brand imports."

"Last month, it was farmers up in Bundaberg saying they couldn't afford to turn on irrigation pumps. The cost of electricity to pump water to their farms is set to jump 17.5 per cent a year for the next seven years.

"And we have already seen Heinz move its food processing operations to New Zealand, where it is 50 per cent cheaper to do business. Golden Circle closed its Northgate facility, costing 160 jobs, while Rosella closed all together," he said.

In parliament on Thursday, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott highlighted the absurdity of Labor's position by asking Prime Minister Julia Gillard to confirm that the carbon tax would increase to more than $24/tonne on July I and up to $25/tonne next year if the government is re-elected.

He wanted to know why her government kept raising the price when the European tax fell to $6/tonne and just 75c in New Zealand. Per usual, Prime Minister Gillard blustered about climate change and failed to provide a clear answer to a straightforward question.

Senator Boswell says farming and manufacturing in Australia are going under before our eyes. According to his figures, these policies are penalising Australians $13 billion a year, with the carbon tax costing $8 billion and the RET $5 billion.

Our food processing and manufacturing sectors are being annihilated. In 2011-12 alone, 7000 food processing jobs disappeared and 355 businesses closed or moved overseas. Since 2008, 110,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost.

Across Australia, food processors and manufacturers are cutting back to save costs: BlueScope Steel in Victoria, 170 jobs gone; Boral, 790 jobs gone; Penrice Soda in SA, 60 jobs gone; Pentair in western Sydney, 160 jobs; and Amcor, 300 jobs gone. Goodman Fielder will shut 15 factories, costing 600 jobs. Norsk Hydro aluminium smelter near Newcastle is closing, costing 350 jobs. Caltex is shutting its Kurnell refinery, costing 330 jobs.

Other companies are shifting overseas: Kerry Foods, 100 jobs gone; Kresta Blinds, 72 jobs; Cussons soaps, 75 jobs; Aerogard, 190 jobs; Harley-Davidson, 212 jobs; and Bosch, 380 jobs. Golden Circle has moved processing lines and jobs to New Zealand, while our second-last Australian-owned cannery, the Windsor Farm at Cowra, closed in March, costing 70 jobs.

The flow-on effects when a processor like Golden Circle or SPC Ardmona shuts its doors are devastating. Two years ago business warned Climate Change Minister Greg Combet that the carbon tax threatened the future of oil refinery investment in Australia, with Shell saying it would "break the camel's back". That same year, Holden said the carbon tax was a "heavy and unfair cost", since 85 per cent of the vehicles imported to Australia have no carbon tax associated with them.

The carbon tax has added around $412 to the price of a local car, while renewables have added about $200. That's twice Europe's car manufacturing costs and four times Asia's costs. Now Holden has shed 500 jobs and is asking those left to take pay cuts.

The Gillard government and unions have tried to put the blame for rising costs on other factors like the high Australian dollar. The truth is that Labor has given away our natural advantage of cheap and abundant energy in favour of expensive and unreliable renewables.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Australian power prices among highest in world

In June 2012, retail electricity prices paid by Australian households were among the highest in the world. 

No carbon price contributed to these prices - the carbon price did not take effect until 1 July 2012. It is a very small component of the price households pay for electricity. 

Tony Abbott simply ignores this fact. 

Australian power prices among highest in world

Tanya Nolan reported this story on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Retail electricity prices
Retail electricity prices

ELEANOR HALL: Research commissioned by Australia's top 100 power users suggests that Australians pay some of the highest electricity prices in the developed world.
TANYA NOLAN: In many ways this report confirms what many households already know, electricity bills are soaring and there's little end in sight.

But what is revealing is that in a comparison of 91 international jurisdictions and including all states and territories, Australia's energy costs are among the highest in the developed world.
The Federal Government acknowledges that electricity prices are likely to keep growing due to large amounts of investment required to maintain network infrastructure ...

The draft Energy White Paper released in December predicted that as much $240 billion worth of investment would be needed to be spent on generation, transmission and distribution in the period to 2030.

Can carbon tax explain power price hikes?

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Broadcast: 19 June 2012
Reporter: Greg Hoy

Electricity prices are on their way up around the country, but how much of that is the carbon tax and how much is due to other factors?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Coal - them and us or teamwork

Research in a number of fields may make new nuclear energy technology available with little warning.
Research and development of new applications for coal in petrochemical industries in parallel with reducing reliance on coal for energy can avoid any loss of jobs and State government mining royalties. If the new applications increase the value of coal then the interest groups that rely on coal can share growing revenues, wages and royalties over the period in which cleaner energy sources gradually replace coal in the energy industry.

The development of a widely acceptable transition plan for the coal industry is a good investment for the future of the industry regardless of lobbying for clean energy. Research in a number of fields has the potential for breakthroughs that make new energy technology available with little warning.

Physicists add another element to table

Dani Cooper | ABC Science News | 2 May 2014

A new superheavy element looks set to be added to the periodic table with the help of Australian researchers.

"We've managed to find four atoms of the same element 117, that hopefully will be sufficient to allow it to be officially recognised and then named," says co-author Professor David Hinde, at the Australian National University.

He says the creation of element 117 "is at the absolute boundary of what is possible right now".

"That's why it's a triumph to create and identify even a few of these atoms."

Understanding the atom

The main benefit of the creation of these superheavy elements is to better understand nuclei.

"If we push beyond what is already known we can refine models and determine what are the proper physical descriptions of nuclei and the chemical properties of elements," says Hinde.

Nuclear energy technology is in its infancy.  Consider a breakthrough that commercialises an Accelerator Driven Reactor designed to smash radioactive waste nuclei into fragments which are scarce and high-valued isotopes - and produces energy as a by-product that can be distributed at no charge...

Professor Nanda Dasgupta - Nuclear Fusion: Quantum coherence and its consequences
Professor Nanda Dasgupta - Nuclear Fusion: Quantum coherence and its consequences
The budgets of State and Federal Governments rely heavily on mining exports. The Queensland budget in June 2013 forecast royalties from coal mining to be $11 billion over the next 4 years. Similarly the New South Wales (NSW) budget in June 2012 (the 2013 budget is to be released in a few days) shows the extent to which the NSW government budget relies on coal mining royalties.

Year Qld
2012-13 $1.743 $1.878
2013-14 $2.125 $2.112
2014-15 $2.643 $2.363
2015-16 $2.961 $2.518
2016-17 $3.356 -

Employment relies too on coal mining. NSW reports that total employment in mining grew from 19,000 jobs in 2001 to 39,000 jobs ten years later in 2011. The Hunter region is most reliant on mining where jobs increased from 9,000 to 17,000 in the ten years from 2001 to 2011.

The interests of coal mining investors, the mining industry workforce and State governments are largely overlooked in lobbying to build a renewable energy industry. This lobbying is often narrowly focused on the goal of displacing fossil fuel use within Australia. Domestic use of fossil fuels is a fraction of production so this goal is wide of the mark needed to achieve a reduction in global emissions. It would however send a controversial marketing message: asking overseas customers to buy a product that Australia itself no longer uses.

There is no need to engage in a conflict between vested interests. Technology for a staged transition of energy sources can avoid loss of capital value of coal-fired power stations. See the article "Combining Technologies to Increase Usefulness and Value" for an example. Using solar/coal/gas/biomass fuel with the same gas turbine and generator minimises the capital expenditure for reliable power generation plants. An indirectly fired gas turbine can burn any fuel - even coal. The same turbine and generator can be driven by concentrated solar thermal energy - adjustable up to 100 percent coal as required for reliable power generation.

Research and development of new applications for coal in petrochemical industries in parallel with reducing reliance on coal for energy can avoid any loss of jobs and State government mining royalties. If the new applications increase the value of coal then the interest groups that rely on coal can share growing revenues, wages and royalties over the period in which cleaner energy sources gradually replace coal in the energy industry.

Related posts - 

Future Nuclear Power Reactors Must Be Safe

Driven nuclear reactions on minimum acceptable safety standards for nuclear technology.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Aussie farmers and coal miners take on gas

If CSG is made uneconomic by a lower-cost gas supplier it won't happen

Farmers and coal miners have the opportunity to profit in three ways from the doubling of natural gas prices expected to arrive by 2015 (SANTOS is confident Australia's east coast gas prices will rise to two or three times current prices). Failing to take this opportunity means accepting a double blow to profits with this doubling of energy costs and a steep rises in fertiliser prices.

A preview of the impact of natural gas prices was reported by ABC Rural - after extreme cold weather in the U.S. pushed natural gas prices to a five-year high:
"A $40 a tonne increase in the US in December has led Australian farmers paying up to $200 a tonne more for DAP. [diammonium phosphate (DAP). Natural gas is a major feedstock in ammonia production.]" (Read more ...)

Methane produced from crop residues, coal and coal waste - at a price below coal seam gas - means:
  • More revenue for farmers and more jobs for coal miners.
  • Cheaper fertiliser at stable prices for farmers by selling methane to fertiliser manufacturers.
  • No coal seam gas wells. 
First biogas upgrading plant in the UK to be equipped with Pentair Haffmans’ technology
Pentair Haffmans’ biogas upgrading technology according to the company outperforms conventional techniques by providing two additional advantages. Biogas primarily consists of a mixture of methane and CO2. The technique used makes it possible to recover 100 % of the methane, thus eliminating the environmentally harmful ‘methane slip’. In addition, the CO2 by-product is recovered for use in a variety of applications, including greenhouse growing.
Use these three steps:
  • Convert crop residues and coal into a methane and carbon dioxide mixture.
  • Separate the methane and sell it as synthetic natural gas to fertiliser manufacturers and LNG exporters.
  • Sell the remaining carbon dioxide to algae farms to produce edible oil, bio-diesel and livestock feed. Researchers feeding marine algae to lambs have increased the level of healthy omega-3 fatty acids in their meat by almost three times. (Read more ...)

Source: Science creates possibilities - farming energy and food

It should be a crime to have CSG on this land

FARMERS have declared they are ready for war as the CSG industry eyes their land for mining.

A meeting of 500 landowners and protesters yesterday issued a message of defiance to Arrow Energy, which is seeking approval to sink gas wells at Cecil Plains on the Darling Downs.

A large part of Arrow's gas lies under the best cereal and cotton farming land in Queensland.

Source: Arrow takes aim at Darling Downs farmers for coal seam gas mining

The coal sector has its troubles - thin margins, job losses

Falling commodity prices and rising operating costs is wreaking havoc on Australia’s coal sector with one industry association saying over 9000 jobs have gone in the last 15 months.

The lower-priced thermal coal is selling at about $US87 a tonne and according to a Wood Mackenzie report more than 40 of the 71 thermal mines surveyed had cash operating costs above this level. Painting an even bleaker picture, some traders have reported recent thermal coal sales as low as $US72 a tonne.

Source: Thin margins, job losses: Coal sector troubles

Concerns mounting over soaring gas prices and a looming domestic supply shortage.

The Government Minister for Resources Mr Gray's position was echoed by his opposition counterpart Ian Macfarlane, who said any move to mandatory domestic gas reservation would be a "bad signal to investment in Australia" and would not resolve the issue.

Natural gas was essential to farming, making up 15 to 40 per cent of the cost base of common products like fertiliser.

Source: Canberra to probe domestic gas market

Fertiliser manufacturer Incitec Pivot that uses huge amounts of gas is livid

Coal seam gas (CSG) would go for export as liquefied natural gas (LNG), shipped out of Gladstone to Asian markets. LNG plants producing millions of tonnes per annum are hungry beasts – nowhere else in the world had they been hooked up to thousands of CSG wells. 20,000-30,000 wells are to be drilled across the Darling Downs over the next two decades.

Domestic gas prices on the east coast are expected to double by around 2015, as they reach ‘export parity’. In simple terms, for the first time Australian gas users – commercial and residential – in the eastern states are competing for gas with energy-hungry Asian nations like Japan, Korea and China.

Source: Campbell Newman and his flying pig economics

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Campbell Newman and his flying pig economics

Campbell Newman and his Flying Pig economics
Campbell Newman and his Flying Pig economics

Natural gas will fuel growth surge

AAP  | 

PREMIER Campbell Newman says Treasury hasn't been too optimistic by forecasting state economic growth will double by mid-2015.

Tuesday's Budget predicts liquefied natural gas exports will drive an economic resurgence, pushing the state's growth to 6 per cent in 2015-16 and helping achieve a $1 billion surplus in that year.
(Read more at the Advertiser...)

LNG exports to hit domestic gas prices

Mark Ludlow  | 

“Gas prices have been creeping up over the last few years but the real crunch will come near 2015-16 when all the LNG stuff ramps up.”
(Read more at the Financial Review...)

Coal Seam Gas under pressure

Paddy Manning  | 

Queensland’s CSG would go for export as liquefied natural gas (LNG), shipped out of Gladstone to Asian markets. LNG plants producing millions of tonnes per annum are hungry beasts – nowhere else in the world had they been hooked up to thousands of CSG wells. But in 2010-11 three giant CSG-to-LNG projects worth $60 billion – BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG, Santos’ Gladstone LNG and Origin Energy’s Australia-Pacific LNG – were rushed through state and federal government approvals, with 20,000-30,000 wells to be drilled across the Darling Downs over the next two decades.

The LNG plants are under construction and will be up and running from 2014-15. A fourth project, Arrow LNG, proposed by Shell and Petrochina, is hoping for approval.

Queensland’s big CSG-to-LNG projects may enhance Australia’s energy security – we are poised to overtake Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter by 2017 – but their impact on domestic energy prices and greenhouse gas emissions is highly debatable.

Domestic gas prices on the east coast are expected to double by around 2015, as they reach ‘export parity’. In simple terms, for the first time Australian gas users – commercial and residential – in the eastern states are competing for gas with energy-hungry Asian nations like Japan, Korea and China.

Manufacturers like Dow Chemical and Incitec Pivot, who use huge amounts of gas and are already struggling with our high dollar, are livid. Households battling rising electricity prices will be shocked to find their gas prices doubling too.
(Read more at Government News...)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Qing-Bin Lu revives debunked claims about cosmic rays and CFCs

(Copy of Post by Climate Science Watch)

Link to debunking 2011 peer-reviewed paper has been disabled in original

A new paper by Qing-Bin Lu in the International Journal of Modern Physics B is gaining coverage for its claim that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not CO2, is causing global warming. This sensationalist headline is often repeated with little mention that Lu’s claims are not new, and have not held up to scientific scrutiny in the past. 

The following is a guest post by Climate Nexus. Text in PDF format here.

Qing-Bin Lu Revives Debunked Claims About Cosmic Rays and CFCs

A new paper by Qing-Bin Lu in the International Journal of Modern Physics B is gaining coverage for its claim that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), not CO2, is causing global warming. This sensationalist headline is often repeated with little mention that Lu’s claims are not new, and have not held up to scientific scrutiny in the past. In fact, Lu has been promoting his theories about CFCs for years, and mainstream scientists have found no merit in them. Critics have said Lu makes a fundamental scientific error by confusing correlation with causation, and does not effectively challenge the physical evidence of the warming effects of CO2, a body of knowledge built up over 150 years.

The claim:

Lu argues that CFCs are responsible for causing global warming. He uses a complicated chain of logic starting with the premise that it is cosmic rays, not UV rays as most scientists think, that break down CFCs, and ending with the finding that after his calculations, the estimated warming impact of CFCs matches up closely with actual measured surface temperatures. He concludes that it must be CFCs, not CO2, that are causing surface temperatures to rise.

The facts:

-       This theory has been considered and dismissed before. A 2010 report by the National Academies of Science was commissioned by Congress to examine all the evidence surrounding global warming including the theory that cosmic rays might influence Earth’s climate. It concluded that “a plausible physical mechanism… has not been demonstrated” and “cosmic rays are not regarded as an important climate forcing.”

-       In 2011, a peer-reviewed paper [new link to copy of peer-reviewed paper] found that Lu’s conclusions “are based solely on correlation… do not have a physical basis… and the findings of the IPCC… remain unchallenged.”

-       In response to Lu’s most recent publication, several different scientists interviewed by the Vancouver Sun each said that Lu’s conclusions “[go] against 150 years of very fundamental physics.”

-       Critics point out that Lu’s paper fails to make the leap from correlation to causation, one of the most basic and most common scientific failings. This error is simply illustrated in the classic fable of the rooster who believes the sun rises because he crows. Two things may happen at the same time, but this does not mean one causes the other. A “physical mechanism” by which the two events are connected must be known, in order to fully understand causation.

-       In contrast, there is strong experimental evidence of the physical mechanism by which CO2 warms the planet, evidence that (as scientists have mentioned already in response to Lu) dates back 150 years.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Orangutans, rainforests, human health, coal seam gas and algae

Anyone interested in
  • saving orangutan habitat, 
  • reducing clearing of rainforest for palm oil plantations,
  •  improving human health, and 
  • ending the coal seam gas industry 
may find the following information helpful.
Orangutan gives idea the "thumbs up"
Orangutan gives idea the "thumbs up"

The same information may also help if you are concerned about mine closures, job cuts and losses on coal infrastructure investments.

The orangutan project

Palm Oil Plantations Endangering Orangutans

During the past decade the orangutan population has decreased by approximately 50 percent in the wild. This is primarily due to human activities including rainforest destruction for palm oil plantations. At present, 80 percent of orangutan habitat has been altered or lost.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUNC) has classified the Bornean orangutan as Endangered with approximately 55,000 left with 5,000 killed a year. The Sumatran orangutan is Critically Endangered with approximately 6,300 left and 1,000 being killed a year.

What Products Contain Palm Oil?

Palm oil is the second most widely produced edible oil. Each year, Australia imports approximately 130,000 tons of palm oil.

Palm oil and its derivatives are found in around 50 percent of all packaged foods on Australian shelves. It has a longer shelf life than other vegetable oils making it more appealing for food production. Palm oil is found in many food products including biscuits, chips, crackers and batters. It is also found in toothpaste, soap, shampoo and cosmetics.

In recent years palm oil based biodiesel has entered the European market. While biofuel has been promoted as an effective means of reducing emissions, establishing palm oil plantations increases greenhouse emissions. Although Australia does not currently offer palm oil based biodiesel, if crude oil prices continue to rise the demand for biofuels may increase.
(Read more ...)

The dangerous ingredient you’re eating—
and don’t even know it

By Gretel H. Schueller, December 7, 2012

Palm kernel oil sounds harmless and even “natural,” right? And in recent years, it’s been finding its way into many packaged foods as manufacturers look for low-cost oils to replace trans fats. (After federal rules mandated all packaged foods list the amount of heart-damaging trans fats they contain on their "Nutrition Facts" labels, many manufacturers reformulated their products to ferret out the offending fat and earn a better-looking label.) Highly saturated fats turn rancid more slowly, so food companies often use them to help preserve taste and texture. Trans-fat-free—and relatively inexpensive—palm oil fit the bill. Its long shelf life and semi-solid state at room temperature make it appealing to food companies.

Palm Oil is High in Saturated Fats

About 80 percent of unmodified palm kernel oil fat is saturated. Saturated fats raise levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in the blood. That’s damaging to the heart and arteries, since excessive LDL accumulates in artery walls and can trigger inflammation, eventually leading to a heart attack or stroke. (Confusingly, palm fruit oil—also known as palm oil or red palm oil—is rich in a form of vitamin E that preliminary research indicates may help fight cancer and prevent strokes; it is also lower in saturated fat.)
(Read more ...)

Synthesis Energy Systems (SES)

SES is the provider of a highly efficient, cost effective, and commercially proven coal and biomass conversion technology based on U-GAS® gasification that has been developed over the last 40 years. The U-GAS® process is the result of a Department of Energy (DOE) and Gas Technology Institute (GTI) joint development program that began in the early 1970s. The technology was initially developed for the conversion of coal to synthetic natural gas, followed by power and chemicals. The U-GAS® gasification technology has been piloted, demonstrated, and commercially operated on a wide range of feedstocks including bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal, lignite, biomass, coal char and wastes, and metallurgical coke. The technology enables customers to realize higher project returns through greater fuel flexibility, higher availability, lower operating costs, and lower capital investment.

The primary advantage of U-GAS® relative to other leading gasification technologies is its ability to produce syngas from all ranks of coal (including low rank, high ash and high moisture coals, and lignite), many coal waste products and biomass feed stocks. This process is highly efficient at separating carbon from waste ash, which allows for the efficient processing of certain low rank coal and many coal waste products that cannot otherwise be utilized in the entrained flow and fixed bed gasifiers offered by our competitors. 

After cleaning, the syngas can be used for many applications such as power and synthetic natural gas. Other byproducts such as sulfur, carbon dioxide, steam and ash are viable commercial products. 
(

All about oil from algae

Applications and Health Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. DHA specially is essential for the proper functioning of the brain and for the development of nervous system and visual abilities during the first 6 months of life.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids as a part of diet help lower the risk of heart diseases.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids may delay or prevent the progression of certain psychotic disorders in high-risk children and adolescents.

Algae Strains Producing Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Microalgae can supply omega-3 fatty acids at high concentrations. Species of Crypthecodinium, Thraustochytrium, Ulkenia and Schizochytrium are rich the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, while species of Phaeodactylum, Chlorella, Monodus, and Nannochloropsis are rich in EPA.

Crypthecodinium cohnii is a heterotrophic algal species that is currently used to produce the DHA used in many infant formulas. Research efforts have revealed that approximately 50% Thraustochytrium aureum’s total fatty acids are DHA.

Phaeodactylum tricornutum is a high EPA-producing algal species with EPA comprising 30-40% of its total fatty acids when grown using optimum culture conditions.
(Read more ...)

Algae.Tec Ltd

The enclosed modular high-yield algae bioreactor system uses waste carbon dioxide and sunlight

Our algae technology has demonstrated exceptional performance, providing step-change improvements in productivity, product yield, carbon dioxide sequestration, plant footprint requirements and substantial capital/cost savings versus agricultural crops [such as palm oil plantations] and other competitive algae processes in the industry.

Algae.Tec Technology

Photosynthesis is a biochemical process during which:
  • algae absorbs light energy from sunlight and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or a industrial (eg stackgas) source,
  • utilizes water and critical nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous and other key nutrients), and 
  • undergoes multiple step light and dark phase reactions to biologically produce primarily lipids (fats and oils), carbohydrates (sugars) and proteins subsequently generating oxygen off-gas. 

The fundamentals of algae production and the downstream conversion to renewable fuels [or edible oils] are relatively “old” chemistries, but the optimal path to feasible commercialization does require step-changes in system design and process innovation for economic viability.
(Read more...)