A Net-Hydrogen Liquid Fuel Called METROL®
- What is Metrol?
- Scope of Impact
- Renewable Energy-to-Fuels: Energy-dense Carbon-Neutral Liquid Fuels
- Economics of Metrol Production
- Economics of Carbon Production
- Metrol Efficiency
- A New Perspective
- The Bridge to Sustainability
- Conclusion: Enabling the Hydrogen Economy
A Net-Hydrogen Liquid Fuel Called METROL®
Substances that rot or burn, including renewable and fossil substances, such as methane, can be separated into hydrogen and carbon: The hydrogen is used for fuel. The carbon is used to profitably manufacture durable goods. In this way, carbon-waste is diverted from being a toxic-pollutant and greenhouse gas driver of climate change, into a driver of economic development. Further, use of this carbon to manufacture carbon-enhanced energy-harvesting equipment can sustainably convert solar, wind, moving water and geothermal energy into far more electricity, hydrogen, and heat (every day in many applications) compared to burning such carbon one time to harmfully produce CO2. This production process can be an exponential multiplier of economic and environmental values. As a result, this new technology enables sustainable and scalable co-production of low-cost hydrogen.
The purpose of this whitepaper is to describe how Roy McAlister’s hydrogen-carbon production technology can simultaneously: (a) serve a sustainable growth-economy; (b) protect the environment from wasted carbon to overcome local pollution and global climate change; (c) establish direct financial incentives for more rapid adoption of renewable energy; and (d) create highly desirable local manufacturing jobs for the 21st Century.
“Net-hydrogen fuel” means fuel of a composition that produces the same environmental impact as using hydrogen in a fuel cell or an internal combustion engine. Thus, net-hydrogen liquid fuel applications in both fuel cells and heat engines produce condensable water vapor as the net-emission outcome.
With the world-wide adoption of hydrogen for fuel cells now progressing, the hydrogen fueling infrastructure is being built. Irrational arguments against hydrogen (fearful myths) have been invalidated. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier. Metrol® is made by combining hydrogen with nitrogen and carbon dioxide from the air, not unlike other nitrogenous compounds similar to ammonia [NH3] or urea [CO(NH2)2]. Metrol® chemically stores and distributes energy for on-demand use of hydrogen as a fuel for internal combustion engines and fuel cells; it provides storage, transport, and user convenience as an energy-dense liquid.
Metrol® is the registered trademark of McAlister Technologies for net-hydrogen liquid fuel that can be stored in existing gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel tanks. In fuel cell and heat engine applications the hydrogen in Metrol produces water vapor and the nitrogen and carbon dioxide can be endlessly re-utilized to produce, store and deliver net-hydrogen Metrol liquid fuel.
Metrol® is a net-hydrogen liquid fuel that can both: (1) match the energy-density of gasoline; and (2) be stored at ambient temperature and pressure in existing gasoline and diesel fuel tanks. Metrol® is even better than a zero-emissions fuel. When used in an internal combustion engine, it becomes a minus-SMOG emission fuel. The combustion of hydrogen actually removes particulates, pollen, soot, and smog, and thereby cleans the intake air. An engine powered vehicle converted to net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel can clean the air and thus be environmentally better than a battery powered electric vehicle (BEV – zero emissions vehicle).
Better yet, when Metrol® is made from fossil hydrocarbons or biomass it becomes a minus-CARBON emission fuel. Unlike any other current green technology — Metrol® actually lowers atmospheric carbon counts (i.e. parts-per-million – ppm) by preventing large amounts of carbon (originally absorbed from the air during photosynthesis by biomass) from returning to the air via rotting or burning. As shown by Keeling data regarding global carbon dioxide concentration, green plants can reduce atmospheric CO2 at the rate of about 5 μmol/mol per year if human activity would preemptively remove substantial amounts of carbon from substances that ordinarily rot or burn.[i] Metrol® deployed on a large scale will thus significantly mitigate climate change damages.[ii]
Most people do not know that: (a) existing internal combustion engines can run better on clean hydrogen fuel by using the appropriate fuel injectors; (b) when hydrogen burns the exhaust is condensable water vapor; and (c) 1.2 billion existing engines in transportation, electricity-generation, farming, and mining applications can be converted to run better and clean the air.
The following illustration shows two product streams and the resulting economic incentive to stop burning carbon.
Roy McAlister’s development of Metrol® creates very different outcomes than have been achieved in the previous 150 years of burning hydrocarbon fuels. The Metrol® story has two distinct pathways of innovation/invention of how we produce, transport, store, and use low-cost hydrogen as fuel and how we produce high-value carbon by manufacturing durable goods that can be stronger than steel, lighter than aluminum, and more conductive than copper.
21st Century material science is now producing new products from carbon graphene, carbon fibers, and carbon composites. Durable carbon products provide countless opportunities to be worth far more than the sacrificial fuel revenue.[iii] Accordingly, profits from two revenue streams improve the economics of production. Gaining revenue from durable carbon products is significantly more appealing than attempting to bury CO2 in the ground or deep oceans with huge costs and major unsolved technological obstacles. [iv]
The McAlister “Metrol Strategy” overcomes the most important barriers of hydrogen adoption: At the front-end of production, by conversion of the immense global resources of natural gas or methane (CH4) and biowaste/biomass methane into hydrogen fuel and carbon products; at the back-end, by production of a liquid hydrogen carrier for ease of storage, distribution, and safety. The scope of impact spans distributed power generation (electricity), transportation, farming (food and water production), new construction materials, and mining applications. The existing asset of 1.2 billion internal combustion engines in transportation applications can be re-purposed to be cleaner than Zero-Emissions-Vehicles (ZEV). Metrol provides a carbon-neutral zero-emissions fuel source to charge electric vehicles (BEVs, plug-in hybrid PHEVs), and to run hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs), thereby overcoming environmental and infrastructure concerns for more rapid adoption of these new technologies.
For the last several years the US Department of Energy has conducted various studies in Energy-dense Carbon-Neutral Liquid Fuels (CNLFs).[v] A liquid carrier of hydrogen provides a disruptive technology in relation to existing gaseous hydrogen storage and distribution. Technology innovation of CNLFs hold the potential to meet and exceed the technical targets identified for successful commercial rollout of hydrogen vehicles (fuel-cell and internal combustion engines). This simultaneously achieves pollution-emissions reduction and sustainability targets.[vi] In December 2016, ARPA-E published a current status of the DOE program, Renewable Energy to Fuels (REFUEL), dedicated to advancing and supporting this innovation opportunity:[vii]
“Innovation Need: Carbon-neutral liquid fuels as defined by REFUEL are hydrogen-rich and made by converting molecules in the air (nitrogen or carbon dioxide) and hydrogen from water into an energy carrying liquid using renewable power. While existing fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) use pure hydrogen as a fuel, the limitations of hydrogen storage and transportation have made it difficult and expensive to build transmission, distribution, and refueling infrastructure for mass adoption of these vehicles…
“Potential Impact: Security: The U.S. transportation sector is heavily dependent on petroleum for its energy. Increasing the diversity of energy dense liquid fuels would bolster energy security and help reduce exposure to energy imports. Environment: Liquid fuels created using energy from renewable resources are carbon-neutral, helping reduce transportation sector emissions. Economy: Fuel diversity reduces exposure to price volatility. By storing energy in hydrogen-rich fuels instead of hydrogen in pure liquid or gaseous form, transportation costs can be greatly reduced, helping make CNLFs cost-competitive with traditional fuels.”
Metrol® net-hydrogen liquid fuel is produced by McAlister-patented thermal dissociation of renewable or fossil substances (that ordinarily rot or burn) into carbon and hydrogen. The hydrogen is used to produce Metrol® fuel, and the carbon is used to manufacture durable goods. This represents an exponential multiplier for revenue production because the new durable goods can be used to increase the efficiency and capability to sustainably harvest renewable energy to produce even more hydrogen and durable carbon products.
Illustratively 50 lbs of renewable or fossil methane can typically be delivered by pipeline for about $2.00 and burned to produce one million BTUs (heat / work value) and about 135 lbs of CO2 (emissions by-product). However, a much better outcome is achieved by thermal dissociation of 50 lbs of methane into 37 lbs of durable carbon goods and 13 lbs of hydrogen. Both the durable carbon and the hydrogen are provided as economic values and the carbon is prevented from producing local pollution and causing global climate change damages.
- The 13 lbs of hydrogen can replace 6 gallons of gasoline. For transportation, storage, and user convenience the 13 lbs of hydrogen can be combined with atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide to produce net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel to replace 6 gallons of gasoline for at least $3.00 gross income.
- The 37 lbs of carbon can be used to reinforce equipment that is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum for at least $37.00 gross income.
- Thus $2.00 for pipeline delivered methane can enable profitable production of hydrogen and durable carbon for gross income of $40.00 or more. This illustrates the base multiplier of value of the Metrol® production process.
The 21st Century material science of carbon graphene,[viii] carbon fibers,[ix] and carbon composites[x] launches new technologies for sustainable economic development.[xi] Capture and use of carbon is ushering in a golden age of new local manufacturing and remarkable product innovations.[xii] Carbon that previously was a waste-product and pollutant now becomes a primary feedstock for durable goods and equipment. Such carbon-enhanced equipment can sustainably convert solar, wind, moving water or geothermal energy into more electricity, hydrogen and heat (every day in many applications) in comparison to wastefully burning such carbon one time. The heat required for dissociation of methane (CH4) into durable carbon and hydrogen can be provided by a small fraction of the renewable energy collected by carbon-reinforced equipment.[xiii]
- Annual conversion of renewable energy into hundreds of times more electricity, hydrogen and heat than burning such carbon one time provides an economic multiplier for virtually every peaceful community. Profit motives for making and utilizing carbon-reinforced transportation and energy conversion equipment stimulates rapid adoption of net-hydrogen liquid fuel which is so direly needed to overcome the urgent problems of local pollution and global climate change damages.
- Manufacture and installation of “next-generation” carbon-enhanced equipment to sustainably harvest greater quantities of solar, wind, moving water and geothermal energy (and with increased efficiency) illustrate the exponential economic multiplier value of the durable carbon and Metrol® production process.
- Another example of carbon-enhanced equipment and economic-multiplier is demonstrated in the remarkable performance breakthrough of the Boeing 777 and subsequent 787 Dreamliner. The new 787 airplane was built with over 50% carbon fiber reinforced plastics and other composites which reduced weight on an average of 20% compared to conventional aluminum designs.[xiv]
“When it comes to airliners, weight is money. The heavier a plane is, the more fuel it takes to drive it through the air. The more fuel it takes, the more it costs. … The key to a composite material like carbon fiber is that it is incredibly strong for its weight.”[xv]
The 787’s lighter weight carbon reinforced structures have greater fatigue endurance strength than aluminum, steel, and titanium so maintenance costs are reduced and the useful life is extended. Over the extended useful life, fuel savings continue to be compounded for the 787 Dreamliner.
- Research compiled by the Rock Mountain Institute (RMI), “Comparison of carbon fiber vs. steel manufacturing costs” describes the following:
“Automotive manufacturing cost can be cut by 80% with carbon fiber-based autos vs. steel-based one due to greatly reduced tooling and simpler assembly and joining. However such cost saving are currently overshadowed with carbon fiber material prices upward of $16/lb. If carbon fiber cost can be driven down to $5/lb (for large-tow, standard-modules, automotive-grade creel fiber, a carbon-fiber-cased auto would become cost-competitive with a steel-based auto.”[xvi]
McAlister’s proprietary carbon-fiber production process is designed to hit this all-important $5/lb price point with its important consequent impact on manufacturability, reducing fuel costs, and increased safety.
- It is for these and many other similar benefits Roy McAlister adopted the marketing phrase: “Carbon is too profitable to burn!” If economic development solutions to climate change are profit motivated, they deserve to be eagerly adopted by capitalist societies. Sustainable profit motives assure widespread action for making carbon-reinforced goods and equipment and utilizing the hydrogen (or net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel) to provide environmental protection by overcoming local pollution and global warming damages.
A widely repeated criticism of hydrogen is that it takes more energy to produce a unit of hydrogen than the hydrogen produces as work by an engine or fuel cell. In most instances this “bad rap” is based on the myopic assumption that the “energy” is electricity from a 20% to 45% efficient power plant and the “hydrogen” is produced by electrolysis of water. Actually it is far more energy efficient to dissociate substances that rot or burn including renewable and fossil fuels such as methane into carbon and hydrogen. Illustratively, Equation 1, shows 237.13 kJ/mol H2 (Energy1) is required for electrolysis of water. As shown in Equation 2, far less thermal energy 37.45 kJ/mol H2 (Energy2) is needed for co-production of high value durable carbon “C” and hydrogen.
H2O + Energy1 >>> H2 +.5O2 Electricity Energy1 = 237.13 kJ/mol H2 Equation 1
CH4 + Energy2 >>> 2H2 + C Heat Energy2 = 37.45 kJ/mol H2 Equation 2
The carbon is utilized to profitably produce durable goods including equipment for converting solar, wind, moving water and geothermal energy into far more electricity, hydrogen and heat (every day in many applications) compared to burning such carbon one time to harmfully produce CO2. Because a small fraction of the renewable energy harvested by such carbon-reinforced equipment is sufficient to dissociate the renewable or fossil fuel,[xvii] sustainable production of low-cost renewable hydrogen is assured.[xviii]
In use as a fuel for internal combustion engines and hydrogen fuel cells Metrol improves the respective thermodynamic cycles to provide increased energy conversion efficiencies. McAlister's Metrol strategy addresses the key barriers to hydrogen fuel adoption:
- Metrol production is not based in Stream Reformation of Natural Gas which is expensive and emits waste CO2 into the atmosphere. Over 90% of US hydrogen is currently produced by steam reformation of natural gas. In contrast, Metrol is produced by hydrocarbon cracking or dissociation of natural gas. This enables both hydrogen and carbon-solids to be harvested for economic values.
- In Metrol production the problem of carbon dioxide emissions is addressed at the front-end, rather than as a burdened cost on the back-end (i.e., “carbon dioxide capture” by chemical collectors or filters after combustion). Why pay the burdened cost of capturing CO2 and then pumping it to harmfully acidify the ocean or oil wells which may leak?
- The Metrol approach is an example of Carbon Capture & Recycling (CCR). When carbon is used as a manufacturing resource to make “green machines” (carbon-enhanced energy harvesting equipment like solar collectors, wind and water turbines, or into light-weighting/super-strong vehicle parts or construction materials) then the economic payback of harvesting carbon multiples a hundred-fold per year for thirty years or more. Thus the economic value of a carbon-wind-blade with a thirty-year product life for harvesting energy, is remarkably higher than burning 1.37 tons of carbon to emit five tons of CO2 into the atmosphere? This is a strategic turning point in global economic solutions to local pollution and climate change (i.e., unleash the profit incentive of the free market world-wide).
- Metrol does not depend upon installation of a new infrastructure of storage and transport. Everyone recognizes that the transportation fuel system has inherent resistance to change because so many people count on fuel access, convenience and affordability. Metrol is a liquid fuel which can be stored in existing gasoline or diesel fuel tanks for delivery of gasoline gallon equivalent energy (GGE). Therefore, Metrol avoids the high burdened cost for expensive equipment and high energy costs for either pressurizing a gaseous fuel, or cryogenically-liquefying hydrogen for storage and transport.
- McAlister’s technology includes a hydrogen fuel injector that allows combustion to advantageously take place after “top dead center” of the piston travel in unthrottled air for extracting maximum work from the hydrogen pressure addition and rapid combustion. This avoids most of the parasitic losses that reduce gasoline and diesel engine efficiency. See McAlister’s fuel injector demonstration “Hydrogen Car & Multi-Fuel DVD” (Knowledge Publications, 2005). The value of an internal combustion engine (compared to a fuel cell) is that McAlister uses the ICE “waste heat” to condition the Metrol liquid fuel into net-hydrogen fuel delivery for combustion by pressurized direct injection – to burn clean with higher efficiency.
The scientific and technological value of hydrogen as fuel has been known for many decades.[xix] Metrol® overcomes the challenges of pundits claiming that hydrogen won't work as a fuel today, or why the “hydrogen highway for transportation” is an unrealistic dream, or why a “solar-hydrogen economy” appears so distant in the future as to not be relevant to the pressing urgency of the global climate crisis.[xx] Metrol® answers the critics with a cost savings approach to hydrogen infrastructure (therefore fuel availability along with end-user convenience) by providing a new answer to production, storage, transport and distribution.[xxi]
The new “Metrol® and Durable Carbon Goods” perspective can be understood as follows: Carbon can be preemptively harvested and – instead of burned – can be an integral step in the hydrogen production process to profitably offset the overall costs of fuel production. This enables hydrogen to be economically produced for about $0.50/GGE as a liquid fuel at ambient temperature / ambient pressure, and burned on demand without net production of N2 or CO2. Accordingly, hydrogen fuel has a new and wide-spread viability. Hydrogen is an energy carrier but Metrol® provides it as storable, transportable, and denser energy carrier compared to electricity. The importance of Metrol® as a liquid carrier of hydrogen to replace gasoline, diesel and jet fuel can hardly be overstated. Mind-sets opposing hydrogen typically uses the following as arguments against adoption of hydrogen fuel: cost, fueling infrastructure/capital investment, on-board storage, safety and liability, life-cycle, and mass production of hydrogen fuel.
Metrol® addresses these barriers with safety, economic and environmental protection benefits:
- Co-production of high-value durable carbon goods along with low-cost hydrogen to make Metrol® enables new cost reduction scenarios at both distributed and centralized sites.
- 95% of all current hydrogen production is based on Steam-Methane-Reformation (SMR) of natural gas. This incurs a very large opportunity cost because the carbon is wastefully converted into CO2 instead of making durable carbon goods. In contrast, McAlister’s methods for co-production of hydrogen and durable carbon goods enable economic viability of this new approach.
- With Metrol®, the goal of carbon-free electricity generation is within reach: both in centralized and widely distributed power generation installations.
- Similarly, with Metrol®, the goal of overcoming carbon pollutants in transportation applications is within practical reach – applied to rail, marine, aircraft, trucking, automobiles and motorcycles.
- The low energy-density of a gaseous fuel is overcome by net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel. Metrol® uses the same fuel infrastructure that exists already for distribution, transport and storage. There is no need for energy-intensive cryogenic liquefaction of hydrogen and an expensive cryogenic infrastructure.
- The problem previously facing the adoption of hydrogen as a viable fuel is a classic “chicken or egg” stalemate: No one wants to switch to a new fuel technology without fuel infrastructure (adequate production, distribution, transport and storage) being in place for logistical-distribution reliability and customer convenience. On the other hand, no one will invest in a new fuel infrastructure if there are no users who have already eagerly adopted the new technology and are willing to bear the costs – demonstrating market demand. Metrol® overcomes the chicken or egg stalemate because it allows use of existing liquid fuel distribution methods and equipment, so no change-over of equipment to cryogenics or gaseous fuels is required.
- With Metrol®, the same liquid tanks (large and small / stationary and in vehicles) can be used. Not only is the expense mitigated, but fuel availability anxiety is also mitigated.
- With Metrol®, the existing global inventory of 1.2 billion internal combustion engines is now a ready market to be retrofitted with hydrogen fuel injectors (McAlister’s SmartPlugs™). The converted engines can function as “air cleaners” rather than air polluters. The world’s enormous installed base of engines can immediately be put into service to proactively overcome local pollution and global Climate Change damages.
- Hydrogen has an established history of being safer to use than gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel because: A) If hydrogen leaks from storage it escapes by rapidly expanding and diffusing into the air to form non-ignitable mixtures. This compares to gasoline, diesel and jet fuels that release heavier than air vapor to form mixtures that can easily be ignited for hours or days. B) If hydrogen is burned it forms water vapor. Burning gasoline, diesel or jet fuel produces carbon monoxide, benzene, particulates and various other poisons and carcinogens. C) Water can be sprayed on a net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel fire to quickly mix, cool and depress vapor formation as air is displaced by steam to extinguish the fire. Water does not mix with gasoline, diesel or jet fuels that float above the water to continue burning. D) Hydrogen can be safer than natural gas which is piped to the vast majority of homes and businesses by the national natural gas grid which is one of the largest interstate technologies ever built.
- There are valid issues surrounding the life-cycle of hydrogen production by steam-methane-reformation (SMR) of natural gas with its inherent high CO2 There is no doubt that when hydrogen is burned, it is clean. But hydrogen is not completely clean if the process of making it is objectionable (e.g. SMR, because the carbon is wasted to harmfully produce CO2). With Metrol®, the CO2 emissions problem is overcome at the beginning of the production process.
- Carbon is not burned and therefore does not enter the atmosphere as a pollutant and driver of climate change. Carbon is utilized to profitably produce durable goods including equipment for converting solar, wind, moving water and geothermal energy into far more electricity, hydrogen and heat compared to burning such carbon one time to detrimentally produce CO2.
- Natural gas is made “green” by the Metrol® and Durable Carbon Goods process. Whether from fossil or renewable biomass feedstocks, methane can serve as a feedstock for ecologically “green” hydrogen. When hydrogen is burned it combines with oxygen to become clean water vapor that returns to the ecosystem for sustainable use. Therefore, Metrol® is adaptive to many “green energy” applications to:
- Charge Electric Vehicles (EV)
- Fuel Internal Combustion Engines (ICE)
- Fuel Fuel-Cell Vehicles (FCV)
- Store On-Demand Energy
- Facilitate Distributed Power Generation (fed by the natural gas grid)
Transforming natural gas into a “green” natural resource by the Metrol® technology has immense environmental and economic benefits.[xxii]
- McAlister devoted Chapter 3 (“Methane…Friend or Foe? Converting Greenhouse Gases into Profitable Products”) in The Solar Hydrogen Civilization to a discussion of the crucial value of methane.[xxiii] CH4 is a harmful greenhouse gas if it leaks into the atmosphere or is pollutively burned, but it is a vital chemical carrier of both hydrogen and carbon in Waste-to-Energy Conversion and in Metrol® production.[xxiv]
- The ability to harvest, store and transport renewable energy (from wind, solar, geothermal, moving water, and biomass conversion) for later use on-demand establishes reliability in the energy supply chain. This reliability / dependability are essential for the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy to be successful and to be adopted quickly. No-emission, on-demand power delivery using McAlister technology overcomes intermittency and peak power fluctuations that have been the primary barriers to renewable energy adoption. The result is to greatly increase the market potential for wind and solar installations.
See the graphic below called the “Bridge to Sustainability” which illustrates the importance of “greening” of natural gas.
- McAlister’s patented technologies are focused on hydrogen production. This includes processing operations on land, permafrost, ocean floor deposits of methane hydrates, and the ocean surface with SOTEC (solar-supplemented ocean thermal energy conversion) to harvest energy, carbon, and potable water. This means that the adoption of McAlister’s Metrol® technology can be used as a systematic solution for harvesting methane hydrates from melting permafrost and from ocean bottom deposits which are destabilizing threats (i.e. ecological tipping points) for runaway global warming.
- Current natural gas and oil production which embraces this practical strategy of “Carbon-Reinforced Energy Conversion Equipment and Net-Hydrogen Metrol® Liquid Fuel” can provide the bridge to the “energy multiplier” needed to meet present and future liquid fuel demands with much more profitable business operations.
- Such hydrogen production can be cost-effective in both centralized (large plant) installations, and widely distributed installations (farms, industry, business, and even home installations). This mass production capability of hydrogen can meet the scale of transportation and power generation demand not only for the current population but for the inevitable growth in human population. It is vital that energy production not only solve today’s need, but future growth needs as well.
- Metrol® enables distribution and storage for on-demand use of energy. This profitability solves the crucial intermittency problem of renewable energy (with back-up and peak-power generators), stimulating a much wider market adoption of solar and wind for business, agriculture, and industry that require uncompromised power availability and reliability.
- The following illustration shows the power of the Metrol Production method to address a variety of environmental, economic and social concerns through mass production of net-hydrogen fuel: (a) reclaims water (through harvesting technologies specific for fresh water, wastewater and ocean salt water purification and reclamation), and (b) prevents the carbon-emissions GHG problem (through carbon harvesting technologies specific for petroleum/fossil feedstocks, biowaste methane, and biomass methane).
- Rapid economic growth, expanding populations and increasing prosperity are driving up demand for energy, water and food, especially in developing countries. It is estimated that by 2050, global demand for energy will nearly double; and water-food demand is set to increase by over 50%.[xxv] This surge in demand presents tremendous challenges to solve competing needs for limited resources within a context of increasingly critical climate change effects. Nationally and globally we need new technology to leverage how we produce and consume energy in the water and food sectors of the economy.
- Inter-dependency between water, energy and food supply systems is often referred to as the nexus of energy-to-water, and energy-to-food production. The importance of energy affecting the water supply and food supply can hardly be over-stated.[xxvi] The water-energy-food nexus is a major issue in regional sustainable development. It is fundamental to national security because of its far-reaching social, environmental, and economic effects.
The world economy is engaged in the largest transition to new energy in history. [xxvii] The need is to: (a) move away from the futile addiction to fossil fuels; (b) stop burning carbon in fossil fuels into the atmosphere with its harmful environmental and public health consequences; and (c) urgently adopt sustainable energy generation/resource management that is ecologically beneficial and healthy for present and future generations. Several authors have used the term “The Great Turning” (cultural-economic-political) to characterize the global transition from finite-depletive energy to renewable-energy/sustainable-economics because of its fundamental impact on the health of planetary ecology and human civilization.[xxviii]
Co-production of hydrogen fuel and harvested carbon manufacturing empowers local communities with an array of new resources. To thrive, individuals, families, communities and nations all require abundant access to low-cost energy. With ecologically healthy energy, a beneficial cascade of resources becomes available for all civilization’s current “Global Grand Challenges”: energy, food, water, security, environmental protection, poverty, transportation, global health, education and space.[xxix]
To be successful, the “Bridge to Sustainability” must produce distributed power (electricity and fuel) from renewable energy: responsive to local needs – now and for the future – and use local resources efficiently and with conservation wisdom; protect against and reverse environmental harm; and offer powerful economic incentives for immediate solution adoption.
- McAlister’s Metrol® technology can play a crucial role in “greening” natural gas and bio-methane because it is driven by the economic incentives to make net-hydrogen fuel and carbon durable goods.
- The carbon durable goods, in turn, utilize the emerging materials science of graphene, carbon fiber, and carbon composites to design and manufacture “green machines”. These “green machines” hold the potential harvest even greater quantities of renewable energy, at even greater efficiency, to create an exponential economic growth impact.
- Examples of McAlister’s “green machines” include next generation carbon-enhanced: solar panels, wind turbines, ocean-wave turbines, electrolyzers, filters and membranes, roofing, construction materials, light-weight transportation components, water purification systems, hydroponics and irrigation systems for food production, and much more.
- The traditional Oil & Gas industry is organized around supply chain of production milestones: Upstream: exploration and extraction; Midstream: storage and transport; Downstream: refining/processing, distribution of products; End-Use: Generation: power and heating plants; End-Use: Transportation. The industry has severe carbon emissions problems at each of these stages. McAlister’s Metrol production method offers significant potential to mitigate environmental-emissions and economic-costs in the Downstream and End-Use stages of the Oil and Gas value chain.
- On an annual basis, the global energy system currently releases 36.7Gt of CO2 into the atmosphere. 52% of these emissions come from Oil & Gas. That equates to 5.2Gt of Carbon that can be used to build stronger, lighter durable goods with beneficial derivative effects on the global energy and climate systems.
- The recognition of new economic value for carbon provides the needed economic incentive for oil and gas producers to become leaders in the environmental movement to mitigate climate change and local pollution. Roy McAlister has said: “We can destroy the world with Carbon-dioxide or build the world with Carbon”
- The most dramatic target customers of McAlister’s Technology are utility owners of natural gas fired power generation plants where the carbon can be extracted and clean burning hydrogen can be used to produce electricity and drinking water. The centerpiece of this installation is the McAlister Hydrogen-Carbon Furnace. The economic value of carbon products are designed to offset, reduce, or control the cost of clean fuel, thereby providing utility power owners with an environmental carbon-emissions solution that will not increase production costs.
- The mission of the American Energy Innovation Council (AEIC) is to foster strong economic growth, create jobs in new industries, and reestablish America’s energy technology leadership through robust, public investments in the development of world-changing energy technologies. The founding members included some of the luminaries in industrial-economic leadership: Norman Augustine, John Doerr, Thomas Fanning, Bill Gates, Mike Graff, Chad Holliday and others. The AEIC is comprised of CEOs and business leaders who believe in clean energy, and work to advance AEIC’s mission: http://americanenergyinnovation.org/
- In 2010, the AEIC published A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future in which Bill Gates made the following statement, emphasizing the vital role of new technology:
“The world faces many challenges, but none more important than taking immediate and decisive action to develop new, inexpensive clean-energy sources that avoid the negative effects of climate change. Low-cost clean energy is the single most important way to lift poor countries out of poverty and create more stable societies. The whole world would benefit from this, and the United States can and should lead the way. Decreasing our dependence on coal, oil, and natural gas also will reduce the greenhouse gas pollution that is causing the earth to warm. If we do not dramatically reduce CO2 pollution associated with the use of high-carbon fuels, the earth will continue to get hotter, causing the sea to rise and creating unpredictable weather patterns with potentially catastrophic consequences.”[xxx]
- Roy McAlister’s answer to a business plan for a global energy future, and an answer by which business communities can thrive: “Make Carbon too profitable to burn.”
Hydrogen has long been recognized as a vitally important resource for clean energy. What has not been long recognized is the economic opportunity of “waste” carbon. Solving mass-scale production of hydrogen from hydro-carbon feedstock requires accounting for both components: hydrogen and carbon. In 2005 McAlister published The Solar Hydrogen Civilization with the message that Hydrogen is a clean and renewable energy carrier for the immense renewable energy resources derived from the Sun. The sub-title of the book is: “The Future of Energy is the Future of Our Global Economy.” McAlister described a new, sustainable, renewable resources carbon cycle.[xxxi] Quotations from the book can be found here: https://metrol-hydrogen-fuel.com/the-solar-hydrogen-civilization/. The role of engineered fuel as described in his book can now be understood to refer to Metrol®. Metrol is a chemical-energy storage bank that solves the intermittency problem of renewable energy sources (overcoming seasonal, regional and daily intermittency). The immensely abundant energy from solar, wind, biomass, and moving water can be harvested and stored (“banked”) to provide on-demand fuel or electricity. Thus, it is an energy currency you can count on: hydrogen-Metrol-fuel can be produced, bought, sold and traded as a fungible liquid commodity in the same way that liquid gasoline, diesel, and sweet crude oil are bought, sold and traded by the barrel.
Metrol® is designed to serve as a liquid fuel for every class of transportation vehicle – large and small – from rail, marine, aircraft, to trucking, automobiles and motorcycles. However, Metrol® is not only a transportation fuel; it is also a fuel for reducing the cost of distributed power generation. Hydrogen and net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel provides adaptive and cost-efficient harvesting, storage and distribution that enables the widest adoption of distributed power generation. This can transform our vision of architecture and energy — enabling electrical power generation from virtually any built structure: homes, farms, businesses, and industry.
In the words of Jeremy Rifkin, “In the 21st century, hundreds of millions—and eventually billions—of human beings will transform their buildings into power plants to harvest renewable energies on site, store those energies in the form of hydrogen and share electricity, peer-to-peer, across local, regional, national and continental inter-grids that act much like the Internet.”[xxxii]
Green plants provide the oxygen we breathe and convert atmospheric CO2 to the food we eat and so many other substances that can be dissociated into plentiful supplies of durable carbon for reinforcing the transportation and energy conversion equipment to sustainably produce electricity, hydrogen and heat. Civilization will never run out of water and solar energy including wind, moving water, and biomass wastes to make the hydrogen needed to replace all the presently used fuels that wastefully burn carbon. Adoption of a new renewable energy regime based in local, distributed power generation, resource harvesting, and local manufacturing means a multitude of new highly desirable jobs for hydrogen/carbon/Metrol infrastructure that cannot be outsourced – a grassroots community development movement across the nation and globally with economic incentive to protect the environment.
Energy independence, security and resilience can become the birthright of every nation and community. No individual should be prevented from learning how to work effectively to overcome energy poverty affecting his or her access to food, water, sanitation, housing, lighting and warmth, safety, communication, education and transportation. The progress of the 20th century was a story of the quality of life improvement through energy resource developments. The progress of the 21st century can be the story of bringing improved quality of life opportunities to all peaceful people throughout the world with no harm to the planet Earth which we gladly call home. We can protect our good Earth by utilizing net-hydrogen Metrol® liquid fuel.
Virtue 1: Climate-Change Mitigation. Many current renewable energy schemes tout themselves as “net-zero carbon” technology. But with current atmospheric levels being so alarmingly high — over 400 parts per million — “net zero” isn’t good enough. We need carbon-removal technology. METROL uniquely achieves this by use of patented technology that harvests carbon from: (a) all forms of biomass; and (b) all forms of fossil fuel. The captured carbon is then used to make durable goods rather than returned to the atmosphere. Like no other current technology, METROL has the potential to REDUCE atmospheric-carbon counts to pre-industrial levels. The METROL approach preemptively deals with the carbon problem at the beginning of the fuel production value-chain.
Virtue 2: Smog Elimination. Because of the kinetics of combustion and the small size of its atom, hydrogen behaves differently than gasoline or diesel fuel when burned. Within an internal-combustion engine, hydrogen converts particles from the intake air such as soot, fumes, particulates of smog, into harmless substances. METROL is based on hydrogen, so METROL-powered vehicles will actually clean the air that they drive through. Because of this factor, the 1.2 billion (and growing) internal-combustion engines in the world (motor vehicles and power plants) — if converted to METROL—could literally become air-cleaning devices. We could completely eliminate smog from the cities of the world.
Virtue 3: Limitless, Clean, Affordable Energy. Because METROL burns clean and can be made from ANY source of hydrogen ... including all forms of biomass, fossil-fuel, sewage, wastewater, solar & wind-energy (via electrolysis) ...and because it is available everywhere and is as safe, affordable, and easy to use as gasoline or diesel, it makes for an ideal all-purpose energy currency ... one that has no limits to supply. It can supply all our mobile fuel needs and all our electricity needs. Because the world has never had this before, many current forms of human conflict could be avoided permanently.
Virtue 4: Clean & Sustainable Waste Disposal. The raw materials for making METROL typically include the very same substances that are today’s major pollution headaches. We’re talking about sewage, land-fill garbage, industrial waste, farm waste, forest waste, cow poop, old tires, plastic bags ... you name it. These things can all be turned into clean energy and profitable hi-tech manufacturing materials. Widespread use of METROL could realistically rid the world of almost all forms of pollution ... land, water, and air.
Virtue #5: Water Reclamation and Purification. For multiple reasons, METROL technology can deliver huge amounts of fresh water to the world. It provides a means to deliver lower-cost support for: (a) energy intensive food and agricultural processes; and (b) energy-intensive water purification/ reclamation processes that can be adaptive to fresh water, wastewater, and seawater-desalination technologies. It also offers an alternative to water-intensive energy production such as steam-turbines with their immense water requirement for evaporative cooling.
Virtue #6: Industrial Carbon Revolution. A key by-product to the making of METROL is captured carbon which — even at current market prices— can be sold by the pound for substantially more than the METROL fuel itself. Add to that, new technological breakthroughs make possible a new generation of ‘wonder materials’ based on carbon fiber, graphene, and carbon nanotubes. This new class of materials is stronger than steel and lighter than aluminum. One McAlister patent holds promise to cut the cost of carbon fiber production in half, which — according to industry analysts — would greatly expand its manufacturing applications. Carbon — Instead of being a villain to the world — is destined to play a uniquely heroic role in the new economy.
Virtue 7: Sustainable Prosperity. Because of the potential worldwide scale of the METROL fuel Industry coupled with the decentralized nature of its acquisition and production, there will be huge new business opportunities and multitudes of new, well-paying, non-outsource-able jobs. Combine this with the profitability of the new carbon industry and the savings from no longer having to deal with environmental cleanup and resource wars, there is a realistic possibility here for economic revitalization and long-term sustainable prosperity.
Richard Otto is co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (IFSP) dedicated to community development and global education initiatives related to McAlister Technology integrated platform (fuel injectors, waste-to-energy, fuels, and carbon products) and installation of FuSE™ renewable energy communities (energy-industry-agriculture synergistically connected). IFSP’s mission is to launch entrepreneurship in the emerging green economy to achieve dramatic positive environmental, economic and social impact with new technology and new jobs. Mr. Otto co-founded Technology Initiatives for Peace in 2005 with Dr. Sri Sridharan and the work with Roy McAlister is a continuation of that mission. He has over thirty years experience in organizational development, training, and executive leadership positions.
Roy McAlister is a professional engineer, author, entrepreneur and inventor. For more than fifty years, he has worked to create solutions to the multiple problems associated with our dependence upon burning the carbon in fossil fuels: energy resource depletion, pollution, climate change, public health diseases, national energy insecurity, and economic stagnation. In 2005, he published The Solar Hydrogen Civilization: The Future of Energy is the Future of Our Global Economy, “Hydrogen Car & Multi-Fuel DVD” and “Hydrogen Generator, Fuel Cells and ElectroChemistry DVD”. His book offers a constructive and uplifting social, environmental, and economical vision of a sustainable future that is technologically achievable now.
Roy McAlister has been granted over 200 United States and Foreign patents. His patent portfolio includes pioneering contributions in the following technologies: renewable energy systems; new engines; systems for reducing pollutive emissions and improving the efficiency and performance of alternative fuels in conventional engines; compact hydrogen storage systems; hydrogen production technology; fuel engineering, including Metrol; extraction of hydrogen and carbon from bio-wastes and natural gas; new materials fabrication; advanced fuel cells and electrolyzers; water purification systems; and tooling for manufacturing processes. He co-founded the Hydrogen Association / American Hydrogen Association in 1966, and the Institute for Sustainable Prosperity in 2013.
Bromberg,L. and W.K. Cheng, “Methanol as an alternative transportation fuel in the US: Options for sustainable and/or energy-secure transportation”; Prepared by the Sloan Automotive Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge MA 02139, September 27, 2010 (Finalized November 2, 2010; Revised November 28, 2010)
Consumer Reports: “Driving the 2016 Toyota Mirai – on the hydrogen highway: The promise of free fuel for three years makes this fuel-cell car an intriguing option”, 4-21-2015; http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/2016-toyota-mirai-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car/index.htm
Dahl, J., K. Buechler , R. Finley , T. Stanislaus , A. Weimer , A. Lewandowski , C. Bingham , A.Smeets , and A. Schneider: Rapid Solar-thermal Dissociation of Natural Gas in an Aerosol Flow Reactor. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0424; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401-3393
Despommier, Dickson, The Vertical Farm: Feeding the World in the 21st Century, Thomas Dunne Books, 2010
EIA (US Energy Information Administration). “Annual Energy Outlook 2012 with Projections to 2035”, DOE/EIA-0383(2012), June 2012, Online: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/pdf/0383(2012).pdf
Hall, Charles (editor), Maximum Power: Ideas and Applications of H. T. Odum, University Press of Colorado, 1995
Hall, Charles and Kent Klitgaard, Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy, Springer Media, 2012,
Chapter 15 “Peak Oil, EROI, Investments, and our Financial Future” page 321
Chapter 18 “Peak Oil, Market Crash, and the Quest for Sustainability: Economic Consequences of Declining EROI” page 369
Hall, Charles; Tharakan, Pradeep; Hallock, John; Cleveland, Cutler; Jefferson, Michael; “Hydrocarbons and the evolution of human culture”, Nature 426, 318-322 (20 November 2003) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6964/abs/nature02130.html
Hawken, Paul, Amory Lovins, L. Hunter Lovins. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, Little, Brown and Company, NY, 1999.
Lovins, Amory B., Reinventing Fire, Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2011; http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire
Lovins, Amory B., Winning the Oil End Game, Rocky Mountain Institute, 2005. http://www.rmi.org/Winning%20the%20Oil%20Endgame
McAlister, Roy, The Solar Hydrogen Civilization: The Future of Energy is the Future of Our Global Economy, Hydrogen Association, 2006
Chapter 3 “Methane…Friend or Foe? Converting Greenhouse Gases into Profitable Products”, page 32
Chapter 10 “The Solar Hydrogen Economy”, page 142
McAlister, Roy and Steve Harris. Hydrogen Car and Multi Fuel DVD (2005); published by www.KnowledgePublications.com
McAlister, Roy and Steve Harris. Hydrogen Generator, Fuel Cells and ElectroChemistry DVD (2005); seven hours of classroom and lab video, published by www.KnowledgePublications.com
MIT. “The Future of Natural Gas, An Interdisciplinary MIT Study, Interim Report”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010, pg. xi.
Odum, Howard T., Environment, Power and Society for the Twenty-First Century: The Hierarchy of Energy; Mark T. Brown (Contributor); Columbia University Press, 2007.
Ogden, Joan. “Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier: Outlook for 2010, 2030 and 2050”, Institute of Transportation Studies , University of California, Davis. From workshop proceedings 2001, “The 10-50 Solution: Technologies and Policies for a Low-Carbon Future.” The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Commission on Energy Policy.
Ogden, Joan. “Where Will the Hydrogen Come From? Systems Considerations and Hydrogen Supply”, to appear in Hydrogen Transitions, ed. D. Sperling and J. Cannon, the Proceedings of the 9th Biennial Conference on Transportation and Energy, Asilomar, Ca, July 30-Aust 1, 2003.
Ogden, Joan and Lorraine Anderson. “Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways: A Research Summary for Decision Makers”, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, 2011.
Olah, George A., G. K. Suray Prakash, Alain Goeppert (2009). "Chemical Recycling of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol and Dimethyl Ether: From Greenhouse Gas to Renewable, Environmentally Carbon Neutral Fuels and Synthetic Hydrocarbons". Journal of Organic Chemistry 74 (2): 487–498.
Olah, George A., Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy, Wiley-VCH, 2006
Rifkin, Jeremy, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power is Transforming Energy, The Economy, and the World, Chapter 1 “The Real Economic Crisis Everyone Missed”, page 9; Chapter 9 “Morphing the Industrial to the Collaborative Era”, pg. 259; Palgrave Macmillan, 2011;
The Foundation on Economic Trends (FOET), http://www.foet.org/
Rockström, J., W. Steffen, K. Noone, Å. Persson, F. S. Chapin, III, E. Lambin, T. M. Lenton, M. Scheffer, C. Folke, H. Schellnhuber, B. Nykvist, C. A. De Wit, T. Hughes, S. van der Leeuw, H. Rodhe, S. Sörlin, P., K. Snyder, R. Costanza, U. Svedin, M. Falkenmark, L. Karlberg, R. W. Corell, V. J. Fabry, J. Hansen, B., Walker, D. Liverman, K. Richardson, P. Crutzen, and J. Foley. 2009. “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity”. Ecology and Society 14(2): 32.
Romm, Joseph. The Hype about Hydrogen, Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. New York: Island Press (2004).
Romm, Joseph. Elon Musk Is Right: Hydrogen Is ‘An Incredibly Dumb’ Car Fuel, ThinkProgress.org (part of a series of articles discussing the economic and technical variables between electric car and fuel cell car). 2-12-2015; https://thinkprogress.org/elon-musk-is-right-hydrogen-is-an-incredibly-dumb-car-fuel-d0f37a4c9bee#.63zgm22
Senge, Peter; Smith, Bryan; Kruschwitzh, Nina; Laur, Joe; Schley, Sara; The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations Are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World, Random House (2010)
Smil, Vaclav. Energy Myths and Realities: Bringing Science to the Energy Policy Debate, The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, Washington, D.C., 2010.
Sovacool, Benjamin and Marylyn Brown (Editors). Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths. Springer, 2007.
“Energy Myth Four – The Hydrogen Economy is a Panacea to the Nation’s Energy Problems.” J. Romm, p 103;
“Energy Myth Six – the Barrier to New and Innovative Energy Technologies are Primarily Technical: The Case of Distributed Generation.” B Sovacool and R. Hirsh, p 145
“Energy Myth Seven – Renewable Energy Systems Could Never Meet the Growing Electricity Demand in America.” R. Sobin, p 171
Sperline, Daniel and James Cannon (Editors). The Hydrogen Energy Transition: Moving Toward the Post Petroleum Age in Transportation. Elsevier, 2004
Sperline, Daniel and James Cannon (Editors). Driving Climate Change: Cutting Carbon from Transportation. Elsevier, 2007
[ii] In order to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations at levels that avoid irreversible climate change, we must stop emitting industrial-scale carbon into the atmosphere (exceeding nature’s inherent ability to process it), and we must cleanse the atmosphere of the existing excess carbon which is driving greenhouse gas global warming. Fossil fuels ushered in the modern era with access to cheap energy to raise the quality of life in developed nations. However, with rising costs to health, environment degradation, climate change, energy security, economic inequity (energy poverty) and economic progress the continued use of fossil fuels is destabilizing the original prosperity and security that was first achieved.
Hansen, J., M. Sato, P. Hearty, R. Ruedy, M. Kelley, V. Masson-Delmotte, G. Russell, G. Tselioudis, J. Cao, E. Rignot, I. Velicogna, B. Tormey, B. Donovan, E. Kandiano, K. von Schuckmann, P. Kharecha, A.N. LeGrande, M. Bauer, and K.-W. Lo, 2016: “Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: Evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2°C global warming could be dangerous”. Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 3761-3812, doi:10.5194/acp-16-3761-2016;
Rockström, J., et al. 2009. “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity”. Ecology and Society 14(2): 32. http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol14/iss2/art32/
Melillo, Jerry M., Terese (T.C.) Richmond, and Gary W. Yohe, Eds., 2014: Highlights of Climate Change Impacts in the United States: The Third National Climate Assessment. U.S. Global Change Research Program, 148 pp. http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report
Radford, Tim. “West Antarctic ice cascades towards crisis,” Nov 11, 2015, Scientists warn that continued ocean warming will lead to ice loss in the Amundsen Sea region that could raise sea levels by three meters. “Sixty years of melting at the presently observed rate are enough to launch a process that is unstoppable and goes on for thousands of years.” http://climatenewsnetwork.net/west-antarctic-ice-cascades-towards-crisis/
“Rapid submarine ice melting in the grounding zones of ice shelves in West Antarctica,” Ala Khazendar, et al, Nature Communications, Oct 25, 2016, http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms13243
[iii] Peak, Matt (Editor, 2011). “Carbon Capture & Recycling Industry Overview: A review and analysis of technologies and organizations that recycle industrial carbon dioxide emissions into beneficial new products,” Prepared by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. for Prize Capital, 2011.
Hydrogen Generation Market worth $152.09 Billion USD by 2021. "Hydrogen Generation Market by Generation & Delivery Mode (Captive, Merchant), Technology (Steam Methane Reforming, Partial Oxidation, Gasification, and Electrolysis), Application (Refinery, Ammonia Production, and Methanol Production), & Region - Global Forecast to 2021." The hydrogen generation market is expected to grow from an estimated USD $117.94 Billion in 2016 to USD $152.09 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 5.2% during the forecast period. Major factors such as cleaner fuel as compared to others, government regulations for desulfurization of petroleum products, and decreasing crude oil quality are driving the market worldwide. http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/hydrogen-generation-market-494.html
[iv] Oloman, Rowan. “Carbon Recycling: An Alternative To Carbon Capture And Storage,” Pipeline & Gas Journal, August 2009 Vol. 236 No. 8, https://pgjonline.com/2009/08/06/carbon-recycling-an-alternative-to-carbon-capture-and-storage/ Carbon Capture and Recycling (CCR) is economically and technologically distinct from carbon sequestration (CCS) which seeks to bury CO2 in the ground.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) (or carbon capture and sequestration) is the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide (CO2) from large point sources, such as fossil fuel power plants, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, normally an underground geological formation. The aim is to prevent the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere (from fossil fuel use in power generation and other industries).
Carbon capture and recycle (CCR) (or carbon capture and reuse): “An industry is emerging with a new option to mitigate industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions while generating additional revenue. Dubbed ‘Carbon Capture and Recycling’ (CCR), this new industry dispels the notion that CO2 is a liability that needs to be buried – as is the case with carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) – and instead views the gas as a resource to be capitalized upon, using it as a feedstock in the production of valuable products such as fuel, building materials, animal feed, specialty chemicals, and plastics, among other things. In the near-term, this new industry represents a paradigm change that could avert the need to resolve complex issues associated with CCS and instead prompt renewed action on CO2 mitigation. Such action is essential as a carbon constrained world emerges.” (Peak, 2011)
[v] Ahluwalia, R.K., et al. “Technical Assessment of Organic Liquid Carrier Hydrogen Storage Systems for Automotive Applications” (June 2011). https://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/liquid_carrier_h2_storage.pdf
[vi] “Targets for Onboard Hydrogen Storage Systems for Light-Duty Vehicles” (September 2009). US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) and The FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership. https://www1.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/storage/pdfs/targets_onboard_hydro_storage_explanation.pdf
[vii] Renewable Energy to Fuels Through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL).
REFUEL Program Overview (scientific and technical summary).
REFUEL Current ARPA-E Sponsored Project Descriptions:
[viii] Graphene: “an allotrope of carbon in the form of a two-dimensional, atomic-scale, honey-comb lattice in which one atom forms each vertex… Graphene has many extraordinary properties. It is about 100 times stronger than the strongest steel. It conducts heat and electricity efficiently and is nearly transparent… The global market for graphene is reported to have reached $9 million by 2012 with most sales in the semiconductor, electronics, battery energy and composites industries.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphene
[ix] Carbon Fiber: “are fibers about 5–10 micromeres in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms… To produce a carbon fiber, the carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber as the crystal alignment gives the fiber high strength-to-volume ratio (making it strong for its size). Several thousand carbon fibers are bundled together to form a tow, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fibers The global demand on carbon fiber composites was estimated at around US$15.75 billion in 2015.
[x] Composite materials: a material made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The individual components remain separate and distinct within the finished structure. The new material may be preferred for many reasons: common examples include materials which are stronger, lighter, or less expensive when compared to traditional materials. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composite_material
Carbon fiber reinforced polymer, carbon fiber reinforced plastic or carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRP, CRP, CFRTP or often simply carbon fiber, or even carbon), is an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic which contains carbon fibers, …CFRPs can be expensive to produce but are commonly used wherever high strength-to-weight ratio and rigidity are required, such as aerospace, automotive, civil engineering, sports goods and an increasing number of other consumer and technical applications. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fiber_reinforced_polymer
The global carbon fiber reinforced plastic market (CFRP) is projected to reach USD 35.75 Billion by 2020. .http://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/carbon-fiber-composites.asp
[xi] Peak, Matt (Editor, 2013). “Commercializing the CO2-Asset Industry: A comprehensive industry creation and commercialization engine to catalyze a world where CO2 is an asset,” Prepared by Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. for Prize Capital, 2013.
[xii] Gore, Al. The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. Random House, 2013. Chapter 1 is about the emergence of a deeply interconnected global economy, includes sections on
“Rethinking Resources” p 27 describes the impact of emerging new carbon technology, and
“The Rise of 3D Printing” p 30 describes the impact of emerging additive manufacturing as technology learns to directly assemble atoms and molecules.
[xiii] Dahl, J., K. Buechler, R. Finley , T. Stanislaus , A. Weimer , A. Lewandowski , C. Bingham , A.Smeets , and A. Schneider: Rapid Solar-thermal Dissociation of Natural Gas in an Aerosol Flow Reactor. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0424; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401-3393
[xiv] http://www.boeing.com/commercial/aeromagazine/articles/qtr_4_06/article_04_2.html : “The result is an airframe comprising nearly half carbon fiber reinforced plastic and other composites. This approach offers weight savings on average of 20 percent compared to more conventional aluminum designs.”
[xv] http://www.bbc.com/news/business-25833264: “When it comes to airliners, weight is money. The heavier a plane is, the more fuel it takes to drive it through the air. The more fuel it takes, the more it costs. The drive to increase fuel efficiency and improve the aerodynamic performance of new aircraft is leading designers to move away from using aluminum in airframes. Instead today's latest planes like Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and Airbus's A350 rely on lightweight carbon fibre composites - woven mats of carbon which are embedded in plastic. The key to a composite material like carbon fibre is that it is incredibly strong for its weight.”
[xvi] “Comparison of carbon fiber vs steel manufacturing costs”. http://www.rmi.org/RFGraph-carbonfiber_vs_steel_manufacturing ; Cramer, David and D. Taggart (2002). “Design and Manufacture of an Affordable Advanced-Composite Automotive Body Structure”. http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/T02-10_AdvancedCompositeAutomotiveBody
Fuchs, Erica R. H., Frank R. Field, Richard Roth, and Randolph E. Kirchain. 2008. “Strategic Materials Selection in the Automobile Body: Economic Opportunities for Polymer Composite Design.” Composites Science and Technology 68 (9): 1989–2002. http://s3.amazonaws.com/zanran_storage/msl1.mit.edu/ContentPages/17971621.pdf
Boeman, Raymond G., and N. L. Johnson. 2002. Development of a Cost Competitive, Composite Intensive, Body-in-White. Publication 2002-01-1905. Oak Ridge National Laboratory http://aprs.ornl.gov/~webworks/cppr/y2001/pres/113371.pdf
Park, Chung-Kyu, C. Kan and W Hollowell. “Invesigation of Opportunities for Light-weighting a Body-on-frame Vehicle Using Advanced Plastics and Composites”. http://www-esv.nhtsa.dot.gov/Proceedings/23/files/23ESV-000023.PDF
[xvii] Ibrik K., Al-Meer M. and Ozalp N., (2012), Catalytic solar thermochemical processing for enhance heat transfer and emission-free production of hydrogen, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 29, 499-504 499;
Dahl, J., K. Buechler , R. Finley , T. Stanislaus , A. Weimer , A. Lewandowski , C. Bingham , A. Smeets , and A. Schneider: Rapid Solar-thermal Dissociation of Natural Gas in an Aerosol Flow Reactor. Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309-0424; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO 80401-3393
[xviii] Hall, Charles and Kent Klitgaard, Energy and the Wealth of Nations: Understanding the Biophysical Economy, Springer Media, 2012.
Energy Returned On Energy Invested (EROEI). “In physics, energy economics, and ecological energetics, energy returned on energy invested (EROEI); or energy return on investment (EROI), is the ratio of the amount of usable energy delivered from a particular energy resource to the amount of energy used to obtain that energy resource. It is a distinct measure from energy efficiency as it does not measure the primary energy inputs to the system, only usable energy. A fuel or energy must have an EROEI ratio of at least 3:1 to be considered viable as a prominent fuel or energy source. When the EROEI of a resource is less than or equal to one, that energy source becomes a net "energy sink", and can no longer be used as a source of energy, but depending on the system might be useful for energy storage (for example a battery). A related measure Energy Store On Energy Invested (ESOEI) is used to analyze storage systems. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_returned_on_energy_invested
[xix] Ogden, Joan. “Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier: Outlook for 2010, 2030 and 2050”, Institute of Transportation Studies , University of California, Davis. From workshop proceedings 2001, “The 10-50 Solution: Technologies and Policies for a Low-Carbon Future.” The Pew Center on Global Climate Change and the National Commission on Energy Policy. http://www.c2es.org/docUploads/10-50_Ogden.pdf
Hall, Charles; Tharakan, Pradeep; Hallock, John; Cleveland, Cutler; Jefferson, Michael; “Hydrocarbons and the evolution of human culture”, Nature 426, 318-322 (20 November 2003) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6964/abs/nature02130.html
[xx] Romm, Joseph (2004). The Hype about Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate. New York: Island Press.
Romm, Joseph. Elon Musk Is Right: Hydrogen Is ‘An Incredibly Dumb’ Car Fuel, ThinkProgress.org (part of a series of articles discussing the economic and technical variables between electric car and fuel cell car). 2-12-2015; https://thinkprogress.org/elon-musk-is-right-hydrogen-is-an-incredibly-dumb-car-fuel-d0f37a4c9bee#.63zgm22lu
Consumer Reports: “Driving the 2016 Toyota Mirai – on the hydrogen highway: The promise of free fuel for three years makes this fuel-cell car an intriguing option”, 4-21-2015; http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/2016-toyota-mirai-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car/index.htm
[xxi] Ibid. Romm (2004) addresses the cost of production and availability of hydrogen (primarily focused on the limitations of Stream Methane Reforming of natural gas) in Chap 4 in the section “Hydrogen Generation Today and Tomorrow” (p 72) with a set of key questions that Metrol can now answer in new and innovative ways:
- Is there enough natural gas to both meet the growing demand for gas-fired power plants and supply a significant fraction of a hydrogen-based transportation system?
- What would happen to the prices of natural gas, hydrogen, and electricity with a dramatic increase in the demand for natural gas to make hydrogen?
- Can the delivered cost of hydrogen from natural gas become competitive with the delivered cost of gasoline?
- Can the infrastructure costs be reduced to manageable levels? Current estimates are as much as a trillion dollars or more.
- Which will be cheaper and/or more practical, reforming methane at small local filling stations or at large centralized planes? Could technological advances change the answer to that question?
- Are the global warming benefits from methane-based hydrogen sufficient to justify building an infrastructure around SMRS (steam methane reforming system), or should we wait until we can build the infrastructure around a CO2-free source of hydrogen?
- Can automakers build an affordable and practical PEM vehicle that will use the hydrogen?
[xxii] MIT. “The Future of Natural Gas, An Interdisciplinary MIT Study, Interim Report”, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2010.
[xxiii] McAlister, Roy. Chapter 3 “Methane…Friend or Foe? Converting Greenhouse Gases into Profitable Products”, p 32; Chapter 10 “The Solar Hydrogen Economy”, p 142, The Solar Hydrogen Civilization: The Future of Energy is the Future of Our Global Economy, Hydrogen Association, 2005.
[xxiv] Romm, Joseph. ThinkProgress.org. “Methane CH4, the primary component of natural gas, is a very potent greenhouse gas. On a 20 year timescale, CH4 is 86 times more powerful at trapping heat than CO2.” http://yearsoflivingdangerously.com/story/chasing-methane/
Ibid. McAlister (2005) teaches that the existing pipeline infrastructure has a vital role to play in enabling methane (both fossil and renewable sources) to serve as a transport delivery system for hydrogen (energy) and carbon (manufacturing feedstock): “…modern steel pipelines now carrying natural gas can readily transport mixtures of renewable hydrogen and methane along with natural gas. This facilitates an important opportunity to link producers of hydrogen from solar-rich, wind-rich, falling-water and wave-rich areas with markets in far- away cities that are presently served by natural gas.” p 30.
[xxvi] International Institute for Sustainable Development, “The Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus: Toward a practical planning and decision-support framework for landscape investment and risk management,” 2013. http://www.iisd.org/library/water-energy-food-security-nexus-towards-practical-planning-and-decision-support-framework
[xxvii] Heffner III, Robert. The Grand Energy Transition: The Rise of Energy Gases, Sustainable Life and Growth, and the Next Great Economic Expansion. Wiley (2009).
[xxviii] Korten, David. The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. Berrett-Koehler Pub., 2006.
Macy, Joanna. Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy. New World Library, 2012
Senge, Peter, et al. The Necessary Revolution: How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable world. Doubleday, 2008.
McKibben, Bill. Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and Durable Future. Henry Holt & Co., 2007.
Gore, Al. Earth in the Balance: Forging a New Common Purpose. (2006 edition / 1992)
[xxix] “Accelerating technologies and abundance thinking create entirely new and unprecedented opportunities to solve humanity’s grand challenges…Education, Energy, Environment, Food, Global Health, Poverty, Security, Space and Water” (p 23)
“Becoming deliberately expansive instead of contractive, we ask, ‘How do we think in terms of wholes?’ If it is true that the bigger the thinking becomes the more lastingly effective it is, we must ask, ‘How big can we think?’” (Buckminster Fuller, Operating Manual for spaceship Earth, 1969, p 59 )
[xxx] Gates, Bill. “A Business Plan for America’s Energy Future,” p. 9, American Energy Innovation Council, 2010. http://americanenergyinnovation.org/2010/06/the-business-plan-2010/
“By Bill Gates: Why I’m investing $1 billion of my own money into clean energy research,” August, 3, 2015. https://qz.com/470592/by-bill-gates-why-im-investing-1-billion-of-my-own-money-into-clean-energy-research/
Gates, Bill. “We need an Energy Miracle,” The Atlantic, an interview with Bill Gates on the Future of Energy, Nov 2015. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/11/we-need-an-energy-miracle/407881/
[xxxi] Ibid. McAlister (2005). Figure 10.1: Renewable Resources Revolution’s Carbon Cycle, p. 148
[xxxii] Rifkin, Jeremy, The Foundation on Economic Trends (FOET), http://www.foet.org/; quoted in “Will Biosphere Consciousness change Our Economy? By Maria Fonseca 7-26-2014, http://www.intelligenthq.com/innovation-management/9-quotes-by-jeremy-rifkin/