rilpoint_mw113

VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy . Jan-Feb 2003

Register FREE
for additional services
New and Renewable Energy Jan-Feb 2003

ISSN: 0971-5630

VATIS Update New and Renewable Energy (formerly Non Conventional Energy)* is published 4 times a year to keep the readers up to date of most of the relevant and latest technological developments and events in the field of New and Renewable Energy. The Update is tailored to policy-makers, industries and technology transfer intermediaries.

———————
* This update has been renamed as 'VATIS Update: New and Renewable Energy' from Jan-Mar 2015 onwards.

Editorial Board
Latest Issues
New and Renewable
Energy
VATIS Update Non-conventional Energy Jul-Sep 2017
Bio
Technology
VATIS Update Biotechnology Jul-Sep 2017
Waste
Management
VATIS Update Waste Management Oct-Dec 2016
Food
Processing
VATIS Update Food Processing Oct-Dec 2016
Ozone Layer
Protection
VATIS Update Ozone Layer Protection Sep-Oct 2016
Tech
Monitor
Asia-Pacific Tech Monitor Oct-Dec 2014

Contents

__NOTOCNUM__

IN THE NEWS

IFC announces fuel cell financing

International Finance Corp. (IFC), a private sector affiliate of the World Bank Group, is pioneering efforts aimed at introducing stationary fuel cells as a preferred technology for distributed power in several developing countries. IFC is an executing agency for the Global Environment Facility (GEF). It will utilize funds earmarked by GEF to develop the market for fuel cell technologies in privately financed and distributed stationary power applications in a few GEF-eligible countries.


In May 2002, the GEF Secretariat agreed to consider providing up to US$54 million in two stages for the programme. The first stage of this project is expected to include up to three fuel cell demonstration projects in at least two countries. These programmes will involve various stakeholders and are expected to result in a total installation of 5-7 MW of fuel cells by 2005. 


Contact: Mr. Dana Younger, IFCs GEF Coordinator, the United States. Tel: +1 (202) 4734 779; E-mail: dyounger@ifc.org; Or Mr. Byron Washom, Interim Programme Manager for IFC, the United States. Tel: +1 (925) 7439 196; E-mail: spencermgt@aol.com


Website: www.fuelcells.org 

Next-generation energy technologies

General Electric (GE), ExxonMobil and Stanford University have agreed on a multi-million dollar collaborative research project to identify and develop alternative and next-generation energy technologies, including wind and solar. The Global Climate and Energy Project (G-CEP) is unique in that the research results will be shared globally with governments, private institutions and scientists, thereby accelerating development of these technologies. GEs future plans focus on generating, storing and distributing hydrogen as a fuel source, exploring the viability of fuel cells and finding new ways to make the material systems in solar panels more efficient.


The noteworthy alliance will involve Stanford engineers and scientists, along with researchers and other resources from GE, ExxonMobil and other corporations. Total investment for the project could reach US$225 million over the next 10 years, with US$50 million being invested by GE, up to US$100 million from ExxonMobil and US$25 million by Schlumberger, a global technology services company. Energy sources that would be scrutinized involve a wide array of technologies including: advanced transportation systems; the production, distribution and use of hydrogen and biomass fuels; geo-engineering; combustion; power storage; and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.


Website: www.export.gov.il 

 Japan and EU lead in automotive fuel cell deployment

A recent study by Allied Business Intelligence, the United States, has uncovered that support for fuel cell technology in the European Union (EU) and Japan has been increasing. The number of fuel cell-based automobiles anticipated to be introduced in the world over the next 10 years will reach 800,000 by 2012. Automotive Fuel Cells Global Market Issues, Technology Dynamics and Major Players analyses the market openings for automotive fuel cells from passenger cars to buses and trucks. Niche market opportunities have also been investigated, from fleet applications to airport ground support vehicles. The report delves into the technical challenges and opportunities from market, economic and environmental outlook.


Contact: Mr. Atakan Ozbek, Allied Business Intelligence, Oyster Bay, New York, the United States. Tel: +1 (516) 6243 113; Website: www.alliedworld.com.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

US$64.7 million for solar project in the Philippines

The Spanish government will provide a US$64.773 million mixed credit facility to finance the Solar Power Technology Support (SPOTS) programme in the Philippines. SPOTS is an integrated social development project aimed to alleviate poverty in at least 80 unenergized Agrarian Reform Communities (ARCs) through the application of photovoltaic (PV) systems. This solar power-based package focuses on agricultural productivity, agribusiness development, community and social development. PV-based systems set up in select ARCs under the programme include community lighting, incubators and hatcheries for agribusiness activities, water pumps for irrigation and vaccine refrigerators for rural health clinics. Slated for commissioning in January 2003, the project is divided into two phases of 18 months each. Phase I will cover 40 ARCs in Mindanao while Phase II will be implemented nationwide with the same number of target beneficiary ARCs.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com 

New player in Indian wind energy sector

In India, Shriram Group marked its entry into the field of power generation with the successful launch of its US$12 million wind energy project at Chitradurga District in Karnataka. Shriram Group has commissioned 17 wind energy generating systems with a total installed capacity of 10.2 MW. These machines, each with a capacity of 600 kW, along with a 66 kVA sub-station are connected to the power grid of Karnataka Power Transmission Corp. Ltd. The supply, installation and commissioning of these machines were undertaken by Enercon India. Shriram Group plans to supply 25.5 million units per year of electricity from this project.


Chemical Engineering World, October 2002

Renewable energy target on schedule

In Australia, an interim report on the nations renewable energy industry has found that the sector is set to achieve its primary sales target by 2010. This report lists the industrys progress during the first two years under the Renewable Energy Action Agenda, a 10-year plan drawn up for the industrys growth. Progress in the second year of the Agendas implementation has been outstanding. Achievements to date include:
  • Establishment of the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy;
  • Establishment of the Renewable Energy Technology and Innovation Network Australia;
  • A very successful trade mission in Latin America yielding prospective business; and
  • Completion of the Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap.
Contact: Ms. Melanie James, Australian Greenhouse Office, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 6272 1859; Or Mr. Rick Belt, Industry Department, Australia. Tel: +61 (2) 6213 7208.


Website: www.ea.gov.au

 Review of RE Act

In Australia, the Minister for Environment and Heritage has stated that the mandated independent review of the Renewable Energy (Electricity) Act 2000 will begin in January 2003 and called for submissions to assist in determining its terms of reference. This Act implements the governments Mandatory Renewable Energy Target (MRET), which currently prescribes that an additional 9,500 GWh/y of electricity must be generated from renewable sources by 2010, resulting in annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction of approx. seven million tonnes.


MRET, an important element of the governments response to climate change, was introduced to achieve reductions in GHG emissions and aid the development of a sustainable energy supply. The Act stipulates particular matters that have to be considered in the Review, including the extent to which MRET has encouraged additional generation of electricity from renewable energy resources, mix of technologies that have resulted from its implementation and the levels of the interim and overall targets.


Contact: Manager, Energy Futures, Australian Greenhouse Office, GPO Box 621, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia. E-mail: mret.review@greenhouse.gov.au.


Website: www.ea.gov.au 

 Fuel cell transport in China

China has initiated a US$120 million R&D programme on commercial fuel cell vehicles. The first commercial cars are expected to roll out in five years, with mass production slated to begin within the next 10 years. Two main reasons for this investment are air pollution in and around major cities, and dependance on imported petroleum. With support from the government, automakers and other companies are expected to invest another US$360 million. Powerzinc and the Zhejiang University lab are in talks with the bus-making arm of China First Automobile Works, to bid together for an order of up to 400 electric buses to run in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Renewable energy certificates in Russia

A tradable renewable energy certificates (TRECs) initiative has been launched in Russia. This project will result in a series of renewable energy systems being installed in a region south-east of the Baikal Lake. Conventional energy technologies are not economically viable in this region, owing to low population density and fuel transportation distances. This is the first candidate project that could be used to generate TRECs in the country. Russias Greentie Liaison Office will assist in the process of establishing a TREC system.


Website: www.greentie.org 

Innovative ideas at solar energy park

The Solar Energy Park in India has showcased battery-operated cycles and solar cars for toddlers. Solar-powered buses will run on a track along the park for a distance of 1 km through a traction system. This park spread over 20 acres is an extension of Delhi Tourisms Garden of Five Senses project, which will display butterflies, aromatic herbs, scented flowers, etc. Twenty-five per cent of the project cost will be borne by the Union Government while the State Government will pump in the balance. The park will have a friendship pavilion, which would serve as an exhibition hall. Some of the exhibits showcased here will include power generating drum, micro hydel power plant and paddle power.


Website: www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com

INVENTIONS/NEW PRODUCTS

Full-spectrum solar cell on the anvil

In the United States, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and crystal-growing teams from Cornell University report that the band-gap of indium nitride semiconductor is not 2 electron volts (eV) as previously thought, but a much lower 0.7 eV. This serendipitous discovery means that a single system of alloys integrating indium, gallium and nitrogen can convert virtually the full spectrum of sunlight into electricity, from the near infrared to the far ultraviolet.


A fundamental limitation inhibiting solar cell efficiency is the band-gap of the semiconductor from which the cell is made. In a photovoltaic cell, negatively doped (n-type) material, with extra electrons in its otherwise empty conduction band, makes a junction with positively doped (p-
type) material, with extra holes in the band otherwise filled with valence electrons. Incoming photons of the right energy knock electrons loose and leave holes; both migrate in the junctions electric field generating current. Photons with less energy than the band-gap slip through while photons with energy higher than the band-gap are absorbed. The peak conversion efficiency that a solar cell fabricated using a single material can achieve is about 30 per cent. However, researchers and manufacturers stack different band-gap materials in multi-junction cells in order to raise the efficiency. Dozens of different layers can be augmented to harness photons of all energy levels, reaching efficiencies over 70 per cent, but too many problems intervene.


Previously, the band-gap of indium nitride was measured on samples created by sputtering, a technique in which atoms of the components are knocked off a solid target by a beam of hot plasma. To obtain the best possible samples of indium nitride, researchers utilized molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) technique wherein the components are deposited as pure gases in high vacuum at moderate temperatures and clean conditions. The exquisitely pure crystals band-gap width increases smoothly and continuously as the proportions shift from indium towards gallium, until having covered every part of the solar spectrum it reaches the well-established value of 3.4 eV for simple gallium nitride.


Website: www.sciencedaily.com 

Energy from water machine

A radical device that can produce electricity from water has been invented in Iceland. The Thermator works by translating the difference between the temperature of hot and cold water into energy. According to Prof. Thorstein Sigmarsson at the University of Iceland, in between the hot and cold side are crystals made of semiconductors. As the heat is transferred through these crystals, part of it is transformed from heat energy to electrical current. Prof. Sigmarsson opines that all sorts of excess heat could be used to fuel Thermators.


Website: www.evworld.com 

Low-pressure hydrogen reactor

In the United States, Hydro Environmental Resources Inc. has intro-
duced an industrial-scale Electrical Chemical Hydrogen Fuel Reactor (ECHFR). This is amongst the first hydrogen reactors that do not need an outside energy source to yield pure commercial-grade hydrogen at low pressure. The proprietary technique ensures cost-effective, highly mobile and physically safe production of hydrogen fuel compared with alternative methods that require an outside energy source electricity, solar power or fossil fuels.


ECHFR embodies a closed system electrical chemical procedure that produces hydrogen gas and residual heat generated from the reaction. Multiple safe compounds are added to any water-based liquid to produce a reaction between 16C to 149C, depending on the atmosphere. Low voltage electrical activity takes place within the system. Apart from the production of hydrogen gas, distilled potable water for human consumption is obtained as a by-product. This system can easily be integrated with fuel cells/combustion engine driven generator sets to produce electricity, or utilized for heat energy applications.


 Contact: Ms. Katherine Yackley, Hydro Environmental Resources Inc., the United States. 
Tel: +1 (360) 8835 949;E-mail: katey@hydrogenerate.com  .
Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Monitoring wind turbine condition

Swantech LLC, the United States, offers SWANguard WTM-800, the latest addition to SWANguard product range that is specially tailored to provide a predictive maintenance solution for wind turbine drive units. WTM-800 has been designed as a cost-effective solution for mechanical condition monitoring of wind turbine drive systems. It monitors the drive system, including main bearings, gearboxes and generators through external sensors. Machinery condition data is collected and stored and can then be polled by the wind farm control system or SCADA, and uploaded by wind farm technicians for trending and analysis.
SWANguard WTM-800 is based on proprietary Stress Wave Analysis (SWAN) technology that measures high-frequency sound produced by friction or shock between machinery moving parts. The energy content of sound is analysed to detect damage, identify its cause and trend the failure process. The new system can be deployed as a stand-alone condition monitoring device, as well as in networked operations with multiple units. 


Contact: Swantech LLC, 6682 N.W. 16th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309, the United States. Tel: +1 (954) 9752 205; Fax: +1 (954) 9752 112; E-mail: info@swantech.com .
Website: www.swantech.com 

Mobile hydrogen fuelling system

Air Products and Chemicals Inc., the United States, has introduced a new hydrogen fuelling system. This addition has enhanced the Air Products hydrogen fuelling services for the transportation sector. Hydrogen Fueller, complete with fuelling hook-ups and dispenser, is mounted on a trailer and as such can be used to refuel vehicles at the customers site or conveyed to promotional events or even for remote endurance testing of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles.


The Hydrogen Fueller is available on a lease basis to companies with hydrogen fuelling needs, especially automobile concerns. The Fuellers ability to be used without installation or utility hook-up allows customers greater latitude in hydrogen-fuelled vehicle programme planning. Moreover, the fuelling system features a safe, compact design and quiet operation without the need for a compressor. It is remotely monitored and designed to ensure daily, around-the-clock, hydrogen fast-fill vehicle fuelling ability. The remote system measures the units hydrogen fuel level, and Air Products will replace or exchange it for a full unit when the hydrogen storage quantity is reduced to a prearranged level. Components used in the self-contained Fueller fulfils the Department of Transportation, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers criteria. 


Contact: Mr.Art George, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., the United States. Tel: +1 (610) 4811 340; E-mail: georgeaf@apei.com .
Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Fuel cell minivan

In the United States, a new fuel cell concept vehicle has won Popular Science magazines 2002 Best of Whats New award. Natrium, based on the companys popular minivan, made its first test drive in the spring of 2002. It uses a unique fuel and fuel cell system for delivering hydrogen needed by the vehicles fuel cells to produce electricity. The minivan is powered by recyclable sodium borohydride, basically laundry detergent combined with hydrogen. Hydrogen is extracted from the sodium borohydride fuel by patented Hydrogen on Demand technology supplied by Millennium Cell Inc. The novel fuel and fuel cell systems give Natrium a range of 480 km, comparable to a petroleum-powered vehicle.


Website: www.eyeforfuelcells.com 

Towards lasting energy source

At the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (NIAIST), Japan, researchers have developed a photocatalyst that uses visual light, constituting 43 per cent of solar energy, to produce hydrogen from water. This breakthrough has brought a limitless source of clean-burning fuel a step closer to reality. Photocatalysis is the use of energy from absorbed light to commence chemical reactions. Semiconductors are useful in such reactions as they could be designed such that their electronic traits change when they absorb radiation. However, energy band-gaps are often large, implying that only photons with short wavelengths and high energies, such as ultraviolet (UV) photons, can promote electrons from the valence 
band to the conduction band.


The NIAIST team added nickel to the semiconductor indium tantalum oxide. This reduced its energy band-gap from 2.6 to 2.3 eV, which means that visible photons carry enough energy to make electrons jump the band-gap. Researchers immersed the semiconductor in water and then illuminated it with an arc lamp. As the semiconductor absorbs energy from the photons, electrons jump from the valence band to the conduction band, leaving positive holes in the valence band. Provided that the conduction band is at a higher energy than the reduction potential of hydrogen, promoted electrons drift to the surface of the semi-
conductor where they combine with hydrogen ions in water, thus yielding hydrogen gas. To balance this reaction, the valence band must be at a lower energy than the oxidation potential of oxygen. This allows the positive holes to surface and accept electrons from oxygen ions in water, creating oxygen gas.


Website: www.physicsweb.org

SOLAR ENERGY

Solar power from moon-based systems

In the United States, a physicist at the University of Houston has been formulating plans and the justification for building bases on the moon to harness solar energy and beam it through space for use on Earth. According to Mr. David Criswell, by the year 2050, a civilization of nearly 10 billion will require 20 terawatts of energy or 3-5 times the amount of commercial power now generated. The moon receives over 13,000 terawatts of solar power and utilizing just 1 per cent of this could fulfil Earths power requirements.


Mr. Criswells lunar-based system to supply solar energy involves building large banks of solar arrays on the moon to collect sunlight and send it back to receivers on Earth through microwave beams. Energy collected in this manner is then converted into electricity and fed to the power grid. Such an eco-friendly system could easily supply over 20 terawatts of electricity. Moreover, the moon is not affected by clouds or rain, since it essentially has no weather, and as such provide uninterrupted power. The system could be built from lunar materials and operated using existing technologies. New developments at the University may increase the options for a successful lunar power base.


Contact: Mr. Amanda Siegfried, University of Houston, the 
United States. Tel: +1 (713) 7438 192; E-mail: asiegfried@uh.edu .
Website: www.globaltechnoscan.com 

Solar electric system

Astropower Inc., the United States, has launched a new line of residential solar-electric power units featuring solar arrays that fully integrate into a homes roof. The systems enable faster installation time, lower installation costs and superior aesthetics when compared with traditional rooftop-mounted solar power systems. All the necessary components have been incorporated for easy installation and operation, including a power meter that enables householders to monitor system performance.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

New material for PV solar cells

Photowatt, a major European manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) units, has opted for Duponts Solamet materials for its PV solar cells. Being a vertically integrated PV producer with the capability to produce solar panels from silicon, Photowatt can as such control all the intermediate processing as well as manufacturing steps, including ingot casting, solar cell metallization, silicon wire sawing, lamination and assembly. Two fully automated high volume PV cell and module production lines started operating in 2000 and can undertake screen printing of the rear and front metallization pastes, drying/firing of the pastes, sorting, deposition of the anti-reflective coating, ribbon soldering, lamination of the protective insulation layer and assembling.


At present, the standard size of a multi-crystalline silicon cell is 125 15 mm with a thickness of 300 m. Using a titanium dioxide anti-reflective coating, Photowatts solar cells exhibit an efficiency of 13 per cent. However, recently, using new silicon nitride anti-reflective coating technology the efficiency has been improved to over 15 per cent. This improvement is a result of a breakthrough achieved by Dupont in the formulation of front-side contacts for silicon solar cells.


Website: www.dupont.com 

Large solar cell

Astropower Inc., the United States, has developed APex solar cell that has been listed by R&D Magazine as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products in the year 2002. The eight-inch solar cell is suitable for a variety of applications, including building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), and offers unmatched power. Produced utilizing proprietary high-speed, continuous-sheet Silicon-Film process, APx-8 is almost twice as large as the largest cell currently available. The low-cost, high-throughput method represents an important development in the advancement of APex technology. 

Contact: Ms. Colleen Gourley, Astropower Inc., Delaware, the United States. Tel: +1 (302) 3660 400, ext. 2025.


Website: www.astropower.com 

Australian know-how on photosynthesis

An Australian company, Sustainable Technologies International (STI), has designed a large-scale solar power system based on proprietary Dye Solar Cell technology. This module will be integrated into the northern wall of a new eight-storey building at the University of Melbournes University Square Campus. It produces over 40,000 kWh/y of power, sufficient to fulfil the requirements of 20 average households.


STIs revolutionary Dye Solar Cell technology mimics the efficiency of nature by performing artificial photosynthesis, resulting in more efficient use of solar energy and lower manufacturing costs. The STI system can perform many functions like providing protection from the elements and insulation, and is ideal for vertical surfaces, indoors and shadowy conditions. The unit at the University of Melbourne will be powered by ten single-phase solar-grid-interactive inverters, all of which have in-built data ports enabling remote performance monitoring via dial-up modem. 


Website: www.ats.business.gov.au 

New solar cell

In Taiwan, Motech Ind. Inc. recently introduced a multi-crystalline solar cell that exhibits a conversion efficiency of up to 13.49 per cent and is rated at 2.03 W to 2.11 W. The MHC125E 125 125 0.31 mm cell has a blue, silicon nitride anti-reflection coating, 2 mm silver contacts and 5 mm silver-aluminium back-contact pads. Other specifications include a maximum current rating of 4.23-4.4 A and a voltage of 0.48 V. Short circuit current and open 
circuit voltage are placed at 4.73 A and 0.61 V, respectively.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

New process enables PV module recycling

Sharp Corp., Japan, has developed a solar cell resin film that permits recycling and marketing of used solar modules. Tested on an experimental basis, the resin layer is integrated between the encapsulated cells and the rear protective film. The process facilitates removal of the protective layer in the module and application of a new back protective sheet. This is followed by re-framing and attachment of a junction box. Future reprocessing and reuse of solar modules, rather than disposal, is seen as an objective along with cost reduction and efficiency improvement.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com 

Multi-crystalline cell

JDM multi-crystalline solar module offered by Chinas Shanghai Jiaoda Gofly Green Energy Co. Ltd. is available with capacities ranging from 6 W to 100 W. This module features high efficiency and long service life, and is suitable for use in homes, power plants, street lamps, traffic lights, telecommunications equipment, etc. It ranges in size from 330 220 28.5 mm to 1,452 646 28.5 mm. All units are subjected to various environmental tests such as wind and hail resistance, thermal shock, electrical isolation and water exposure. The cell has a peak voltage of 16.5-17.5 V and an insulation resistance of 100 megohms.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

Low-cost solar cell

In Australia, Origin Energy and the Australian National University have jointly developed a new type of solar cell that drastically lowers the costs involved in using solar panels. Silver Cell technology uses just one-tenth the silicon required by conventional solar panels while matching power, performance and efficiency. A solar panel fabricated using silver cell process requires the equivalent of two silicon wafers to convert sunlight into 140 W of power, while a conventional panel needs about 60 silicon wafers to achieve the same performance. Silver Cell is a radically different concept in photovoltaics, produced using micro-machining techniques and assembled into solar panels using methods similar to those used in fabricating conventional solar cells.


Website: www.solaraccess.com 

New technology

The United States-based Evergreen Solar Inc. offers the latest advancement in its String Ribbon technology for manufacturing solar cells. The recent improvement achieved involves simultaneously growing two silicon ribbons, rather than one, from each crystal growth furnace. This progress is expected to double the output of Evergreens crystal growth furnaces. The company has filed a patent for this development and intends to introduce double ribbon into production with new furnaces as well as by retrofitting existing furnaces.


String Ribbon integrates the most attractive traits of crystalline silicon and emerging thin-films. It achieves the high efficiency, stability, reliability and market acceptance of crystalline silicon without the inherent cost and waste of sawing solid silicon blocks. The technique embodies the efficient material utilization and potential for continuous processing of thin-films. In this method, two high temperature strings are pulled vertically through a shallow silicon melt, and molten silicon spans and freezes between the strings to form a ribbon of silicon. Long filaments are unwound from spools, the melt is replenished and the ribbon cut into strips.


Website: www.solarbuzz.com

BIOMASS ENERGY

Soya-based fuel

Carpenter Oil Co., the United States, offers a new fuel mixture that combines diesel with a soya mixture in an 80:20 per cent ratio. This fuel is a little costlier than regular diesel, but with more environmental benefits than the latter. It creates 98.5 per cent lower emissions compared with diesel and can be used in almost any engine without modification.


Website: www.newarkadvocate.com 

Anaerobic digestion

The United States-based, Synagro Technologies Inc. offers a variety of anaerobic digestion processes to suit different waste processing requirements. Key highlights of each process have been listed below:


  • Mobilized film technology (MFT): Offers a significantly high solids retention capability, provides over 90 per cent COD removal and treats very high strength waste streams. It has a compact facility footprint, operates in mesophilic range and has a short hydraulic retention time of less than 24 h. MFT is a technology patented by AnAerobics Inc.
  • Plug flow reactors: Handle high solids material from between 10 to 13 per cent. They have rectangular narrow tanks, operate in mesophilic range, have hydraulic retention times of up to 20 days and provide volatile solids destruction up to 50 per cent.
  • Complete mix reactors: These are designed to work with medium solids in the 4-9 per cent range. They have a circular or square tank configuration. Mixing is by hydraulic or mechanical devices or by gas recirculation, and they operate at thermophilic or mesophilic temperature.
  • Covered lagoon system: One of the cheapest processes, which is easy to operate and maintain. It requires simple construction and has long retention times in cold climates. Operates at low ambient temperatures and is suitable where land is not limited.
  • Nutrient membrane separation technology: A proven method, it permits integration with an anaerobic digestion system. The membrane separation and stripping processes result in the production of fertilizer concentrates, water and compost.
    Synagro also provides complete biogas co-generation systems to produce heat and electricity. 


Contact: Synagro Technologies Inc., 1800, Bering Drive, Suite 1000, Houston, TX 77057, the United States. Tel: +1 (713) 3691 700; Fax: +1 (713) 3691 750.
Website: www.synagro.com 

Buses run on biofuel

The University of South Florida in the United States is utilizing biodiesel made from animal fats and vegetable oils to run 22 campus shuttle buses. The non-toxic fuel emits less carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons and particulate matter than regular diesel. The biodegradable oil can be used alone or mixed together with diesel. Vegetable oils used in the production of biodiesel include soya, corn, canola, cottonseed, peanut, sunflower and rapeseed, while the animal fats portion comes from pigs, cattle and poultry.


Website: www.info.mgnetwork.com 

Biogas from sewage

The Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology in Germany has developed a high-rate processing plant to generate biogas from sewage. The Institute has been testing its new digestion process at a municipal sewage plant from last year, with successful results. Biogas is produced in five days compared with typical processing times of 20-30 days. Additionally, the digester operates at a much lower volume of 4 l compared with the normal 60 l.
According to Prof. Walter Trosch at the Institute, the combination of an excellent biological process with biochemical engineering yields biogas for power generation. Of the energy thus produced, only one-third is utilized by the process while two-thirds can be supplied to other areas of the plant or local grid. The new method offers an additional benefit in that it reduces the organic load of sewage by 50-60 per cent compared with 40 per cent in normal decomposition.


Website: www.edie.net 

Producing fuel using coco-methyl ester

In the Philippines, the use of coco-methyl ester (CME) is being fostered in the current Energy Plan since it is an ideal resource to substitute diesel. Coco-methyl ester is produced by esterification of coconut oil with methyl alcohol using sodium hydroxide as catalyst. This eco-friendly biofuel is one of the energy sources that may be produced from coconut. Studies undertaken by the Industrial Technology Development Institute have shown that CME is a renewable and indigenous source of fuel that can be used in any conventional engine. CME emits less smoke and is safe to store.


A small-scale CME plant is to be set up for demonstrating the viability of CME in an island economy. Favourable results could lead to replication in other parts of the country. The proposed plant will have a capacity to process 5,000 kg/d of copra to obtain 3,000 l/d of methyl esters. Other by-products are copra meal, and glycerine, a high-value raw ingredient for use in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries.


Website: www.dost.gov.ph

FUEL CELLS

New fuel cell

Plug Power Inc., the United States, has introduced a combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cell system. Based on proprietary know-how, GenSys 5C provides supplemental heat and electricity. GenSys captures heat generated during the production of electricity and makes it available for integration into a heating or hot water system. The new unit can generate 5 kW of electricity and 9 kW of heat.


GenSys has been evaluated and endorsed by CSA International and is certified as compliant with ANSIs standard for fuel cell power plants. Plug Power holds multiple patents relating to CHP fuel cell products. The patents cover use and control of an integrated fuel cell system for providing electricity and domestic hot water to a building.


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com 

Optimizing the efficiency of energy conversion systems

Refined fuel cell techniques could help maximize power output while lowering costs. A team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the United States, has developed novel strategies to optimize the efficiency of energy conversion systems. The team selected solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) for enhancement. Instead of the conventional ceramic-based systems, the new technique centres on a stainless steel structure that provides strength and support. This mode enables electrode-supported thin-film ceramic electrolytes to be developed, incorporating appropriate metallic supports and interconnects, together with simple fabrication procedures. A notable benefit of SOFCs operating at elevated temperatures is the ability to use both hydrogen and carbon-containing fuels directly. Embedded within microlayers of the fuel cells is an ion-conducting film where most of the electrical energy production takes place.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

New trap spells promise for fuel cells

A team of researchers in the United States has proved that hydrogen gas can be trapped inside water-ice structures to form hydrogen hydrate. This breakthrough could be the first step towards an alternative way of storing eco-friendly hydrogen. The team comprised researchers from Carnegie Institution of Washingtons Geophysical Laboratory, University of Chicago and Los Alamos National Laboratory.


The team achieved its objective by subjecting a blend of hydrogen and water to a pressure almost 2,000 times that of atmospheric pressure at sea level at room temperature. This caused two regions to form, a hydrogen bubble and liquid water. When the mixture is cooled to about -24C, these two regions reacted to form a solid compound. The material thus synthesized showed remarkable stability, persisting when heated to about 7C.


Website: www.earthvision.net 

Mobile power system

Smart Fuel Cell AG, Germany, offers the latest generation of Mobile Power system. The compact, external fuel cell power supply facilitates long run-time for laptops and other electronic devices. The new prototype is only half the size of its predecessor but contains an equal amount of energy liquid methanol stored in an exchangeable cartridge. A display informs the user precisely about the remaining run-time (fuel gauging). The cartridge can be easily replaced within seconds, even while in operation. A high storage density makes the system suitable for users requiring high processor speeds or additional features such as wireless LAN and long run-times.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

Liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell

Giner Electrochemical Systems LLC (GES), the United States, has developed a complete liquid feed direct methanol fuel cell (LFDMFC) system with a 50 W/12 V output. The light-weight, compact and portable stack utilizes a low-methanol crossover membrane fabricated by GES. The innovative membrane, in addition to reducing methanol crossover by over 60 per cent than earlier membranes, has demonstrated a long shelf-life and the ability to provide state-of-the-art LFDMFC performance.


The fuel cell provides 50 W during normal use and has a peak power output of 90 W. The use of off-the-shelf components yields a package weighing 6 kg and measures 45 33 17 cm. Optimization of system components is expected to result in a 50 per cent reduction in size and weight. The LFDMFC is entirely self-contained with sufficient on-board storage of methanol for 800 Wh of operation. The heart of this system is based on GES moulded graphite bipolar plate technology and uses membrane-electrode assemblies specifically developed by GES to exploit the advantages of the new membrane. The stack provided an average cell voltage of 464 12 mV at 100 mA/cm2 during 60C testing using low-pressure air, prior to insertion into the complete system.


Contact: Ms. Cecelia Cropley, Director, Giner Electrochemical Systems LLC, the United States.
Tel: +1 (781) 5290 506; Fax: +1 (781) 8936 470; 
E-mail: ccropley@ginerinc.com .


Website: www.ginerinc.com

Fuel cell/turbine power system

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. has developed the worlds most efficient dispersive power generation system by combining a fuel cell battery and a micro-gas turbine. The hybrid co-generation system runs on natural gas and produces lower quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide. A reformer extracts hydrogen from natural gas and CO2 generated during energy production is used to power a micro-gas turbine for further power generation. Heat generated during secondary power generation will be used as an additional energy source. The systems power generation efficiency, the ratio of electricity generated from a certain amount of gas, is 55 per cent the highest for any dispersive type power unit in the world.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Fuel cell for portable and stationary use

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. has developed the worlds most efficient dispersive power generation system by combining a fuel cell battery and a micro-gas turbine. The hybrid co-generation system runs on natural gas and produces lower quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide. A reformer extracts hydrogen from natural gas and CO2 generated during energy production is used to power a micro-gas turbine for further power generation. Heat generated during secondary power generation will be used as an additional energy source. The systems power generation efficiency, the ratio of electricity generated from a certain amount of gas, is 55 per cent the highest for any dispersive type power unit in the world.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Fuel cell for portable and stationary use

In Canada, Hydrogenics Corp. has unveiled its latest fuel cell model. HyPM-LP2 power modules are fully integrated power generators that require only hydrogen fuel to produce electricity. In addition to the fuel cell stack/s, the module includes all the associated components and subsystems essential to systemize and run the fuel cell. The low-profile configuration of the 20 kW HyPM-LP2 makes it more practical to use in a wide range of transportation and stationary applications. Power output can be increased by incorporating multiple power modules.
Website: www.powerpulse.netIn Japan, Toyota Motor Corp. has developed the worlds most efficient dispersive power generation system by combining a fuel cell battery and a micro-gas turbine. The hybrid co-generation system runs on natural gas and produces lower quantities of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide. A reformer extracts hydrogen from natural gas and CO2 generated during energy production is used to power a micro-gas turbine for further power generation. Heat generated during secondary power generation will be used as an additional energy source. The systems power generation efficiency, the ratio of electricity generated from a certain amount of gas, is 55 per cent the highest for any dispersive type power unit in the world.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

FCX fuel cell vehicle unveiled

In Japan, Honda Motor Co. unveiled a prototype of its FCX fuel cell car which is slated to be released soon. The 4.17 m long vehicle is equipped with a 157 l compressed hydrogen fuel tank. Designed to accommodate four passengers, the vehicle can achieve a maximum speed of 150 km/h and has a range of 355 km. Electricity is produced by chemical reaction between hydrogen in the on-board tank and oxygen collected from air.


Website: www.japantimes.co.jp 

Patent on fuel cell

Energy Conversion Devices Inc., the United States, has obtained a patent for its Ovonic Instant Start-up fuel cell from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent No. 6,447,942 covers a fundamentally new non-noble metal catalyst based fuel cell technology. Ovonic provides many unique benefits over conventional fuel cells, including the ability to start up instantaneously, accept recaptured energy (such as that of regenerative braking), increased efficiency and power availability, and dramatic improvement in operating temperature (-20 to 120C), when compared with a proton exchange membrane fuel cell.


The Ovonic fuel cells incorporate an anode in which the active material is a hydrogen storage alloy possessing excellent catalytic activity for the formation of atomic hydrogen from molecular hydrogen and to combine hydrogen ions and hydroxyl ions. It exhibits exceptional corrosion resistance in a corrosive environment such as an alkaline fuel cell. The anode active material is inexpensive and contains non-noble metals. The materials are robust and resistant to poison. The electrodes are easy to fabricate using proven low-cost production techniques. 


Contact: Mr. G. Koefod, Energy Conversion Devices Inc., the United States. Tel: +1 (248) 2930 440; Website: www.ovonic.com .

Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Semi-fuel cell

At the United States Naval Undersea Warfare Centre Division, a team has developed a semi-fuel cell that offers a high energy density source for underwater vehicle applications. The new systems energy density is nearly 6-7 times that of silver-zinc batteries. The semi-fuel cell is based on magnesium anode, sea water/catholyte electrolyte and an electro-catalyst of palladium (Pd) and iridium (Ir) catalysed on to carbon paper. The catalysed carbon paper offers a greater surface for the reduction of catholytes like hydrogen peroxide.


Power is generated at the anode in which magnesium ions are formed and electrons released. Electrons are moved from anode to cathode by way of an external circuit in which the electrons perform work on a load. Electrolyte may be passed through the cell at any desired flow rate, such as 200 cm3/min, and may be kept at temperatures ranging from room temperature up to 55C. A useful electrolyte consists of 40 g/l sea water, 0.1-0.5 M hydrogen peroxide and 0.1 M sulphuric acid in a 2 litre volume. Addition of acid to the sea water electrolyte in the magnesium semi-fuel cell increases theoretical cell voltage from 3.25 V to 4.14 V. Secondly, there is an increase in cathodic potential and thus cell voltage when Pd/Ir on carbon paper is employed as the electro-catalyst, compared with the use of a silver foil catalyst.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

Uninterrupted power for cell phones

Medis Technologies Ltd., the United States, has developed a fuel cell for its Power Pack product, a system that provides continuous power for users of mobile phones, PDAs and certain hand-held electronic devices. The fuel cell powered a laboratory tested Power Pack unit to operate a cell phone while simultaneously charging a totally discharged battery. Each refuelling of the Power Pack is planned to provide the equivalent of 6-9 h of talk time or two charges of the battery depending upon the pattern of use. The Power Pack for cell phone users will be about two-thirds the size and half the weight of a cell phone. 


Contact: Mr. Robert K. Lifton, Medis Technologies Ltd., the United States. Tel: +1 (212) 9358484.


Website: www.biz.yahoo.com 

Algae could tank up fuel cells

Researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute, the United States, report that algae could in the future supply hydrogen for use in fuel cells. Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is a single-cell algae. The team has mapped this plants chloroplast, the area of the plant that harvests light energy. The team is also investigating the response of C. reinhardtii to phosphates. Other potential applications include using C. reinhardtii as a bioreactor to create a variety of novel proteins for agricultural, industrial and biomedical purposes.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com 

1 kW fuel cell generator

Coleman Powermate has launched AirGen fuel cell generator, which is based on Ballard Power Systems Nexa power module. The AirGen unit can be utilized as a portable power source or as an emergency back-up power system. It automatically senses when utility power fails and facilitates continuous power supply. It also acts as a surge protector, buffering expensive electronics from dangerous power spikes and regulating voltage. This is the worlds first commercial PEM cell generator for end-users and provides up to 1kW of electricity as long as hydrogen is supplied.


The UL- and CSA-approved AirGen fuel cell unit incorporates a built-in power inverter that can produce alternating current (AC) power. An inverter converts the fuel cells direct current (DC) into electricity that can power electronic devices, PCs and appliances. A commercial/residential version of the AirGen fuel cell generator is under development.Instead of high-pressure cylinders, this unit would draw hydrogen from three smaller fuel canisters that are inserted into the unit.


Website: www.eyeforfuelcells.com 

PEM-based hydrogen fuelling system

A prototype hydrogen fuelling device that uses water and electricity to obtain pure hydrogen has been developed in Canada by Stuart Energy Systems Corp. jointly with Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International Inc. The prototype incorporates Hamiltons proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis technology that has been integrated into a totally packaged system by Stuart Energy. Based on a modular build strategy it encompasses an integrated hydrogen dispenser, compact design and newly developed packaging. The prototype can deliver 0.5 kg/h of high-purity hydrogen at 5,000 psi. Potential applications for this technology include distributed power, small industrial systems and transportation. 


Contact: Ms. Wanda Cutler, Stuart Energy Corp., Canada. Tel: +1 (905) 2827 769; Or Mr. Peter Sherba, Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems International Inc., Canada. Tel: +1 (860) 3061 552.


Website: www.fuelcelltoday.com

TIDAL/WAVE ENERGY

System to harvest wave energy

The WavePlane is a pump without moving parts that can harness wave energy at costs on par with that of offshore wind turbines. Waveplane International Ltd., Denmark, offers the Multi-WavePlane, a new design. The basic design of a WavePlane has an artificial beach and several ducts positioned above each other. All the ducts convey water to a joint horizontal turbine pipe. In the new design, the WavePlane is sectioned after wave height. While the lower and front lying ducts conduct water to the frontal turbine pipe, the upper and rear ducts conduct to one or more rear turbine pipes. Benefits provided by Multi-WavePlane include:
* It is more efficient in a larger spectrum of waves;
* It is more reliable; and
* Cheaper to manufacture and maintain.


A key feature of Multi-WavePlane is that it is the only system that can be used under all wave conditions. Each turbine pipe of the Multi-WavePlane runs a smaller turbine for producing electricity. By using more small turbines, the total production cost of a Multi-WavePlane unit is reduced. Moreover, only a small part of the total energy production is 
affected in case of turbine failure.


Contact: Waveplane International Ltd., Tagesmindevej 1, DK 2820, Gentofte, Denmark. Tel: +45 3975 1213; Fax: +45 3975 1214; E-mail: info@waveplane.com .


Website: www.waveplane.com 

Ocean power

Sintef Energy Research, Norway, has installed a sub-sea generator to harness energy from the sea. The 300 kW turbine unit is the first of 20 planned for a tidal current farm for the Kvalsund Strait by 2004. Similar in design and appearance to a wind turbine, the water current turbine sits atop a 25 m tower planted on the ocean bottom. Blades of the 20 m diameter rotor can adjust in pitch to optimize energy from tidal currents, which flow at an average of 2.5 m/s. Also, the turbine rotates 180C every 6 h as the tide changes. Designed as a maintenance-free unit, for three years, the turbine is well below the keels of passing ships and can be accessed by a diver, for repairing. 


Contact: Website: www.sintef.no .
Website: www.nrglink.com 

Harnessing ocean energy

Wavemill Energy Corp., Canada, is offering a system to convert energy present in ocean waves into usable form. The award-winning Wavemill is a new device whose unique ability to extract and convert energy from both rising and falling waves, as well as from surge forces, represents a technological feat. The Wavemill can power a variety of energy intensive processes. It has proved to be ideal for direct sea water desalination and can be used for hybrid water/power applications. Wavemill is not a tidal energy apparatus; unlike those site-specific installations, Wavemill is designed for broad-based site suitability and simple installation.


The modular ESW series of Wavemills has been designed specifically for breakwater, shoreline and very near shore installations. A patented suction chamber together with enclosed, surge wall features incorporated into these units make them the most efficient of all Wavemills. The hydraulic pumping unit (HPU) is the most basic Wavemill in this series. It provides the platform on which other systems in the series are built. The HPU systems provide pressurized sea water for a variety of applications such as integrated water/electric unit, integrated watermaker, integrated electric generator, HPR hydraulic power unit, etc. HPU devices may also be used to provide low to high pressure feed water for other RO type desalination systems modified to use diesel or electric 
powered pumps only as back-up.


Contact: Mr. Alan Vowles, Wavemill Energy Corp., Technology Innovation Centre, 1, Research Dr., Dartmouth (Halifax), Nova Scotia B2Y 4M9, Canada. Tel: +1 (204) 6877 823; 
Fax: +1 (204) 6876 745; E-mail: avowles@wavemill.com  .


Website: www.wavemill.com 

Wave energy converter

Offshore Wind Energy Ltd. (OWEL) Inc., the United Kingdom, offers a wind energy converter (WEC). This unit has been designed taking into consideration a number of criteria such as:
* Since wave energy decreases rapidly in shallow water the WEC should be sited offshore,   preferably in water deeper than 40 m;
* A floating unit should be used to facilitate offshore deployment and ensure that performance remains independent of tidal range;
* A robust structure with low maintenance is required for operation in energetic wave spectra. There must be no moving parts in contact with the water and the structure should be simple and cheap to construct;
* The horizontal component of 
wave motion should be used since wave lengths are greater than wave heights. Also, the horizontal motion is unidirectional whereas the vertical motion is oscillatory;
* Low-grade wave energy should be amplified to produce higher air pressure for supply to a turbine; and 
* Floating units should be designed to absorb only a small proportion of the energy in storm waves.


A WEC was devised in the form of a horizontal duct floating such that the freeboard would be roughly equal to the amplitude of ambient waves. A unit has a length marching the longest wave in which it is intended to operate and this feature, along with a small waterplane area, ensures that a platform formed from multiple units would remain steady in a seaway.


The duct in each unit is open at one end and the mooring system of the platform assures that this end is presented to the incoming waves. The duct has angled side-plates and an angled bottom-plate or ramp. Air in the trough behind a incoming wave is trapped since the following wave seals against the top of the duct. This air is then compressed by the angled side-plates and delivered to a compression manifold. An air take-off, through a one-way valve, feeds the compressed air to a reservoir. Adjacent to the manifold is a baffle system that disperses the remnant energy in spent waves so that they do not reflect back along the duct to interfere with following waves. Air collected in the reservoir could be used to run a compressed air turbine and thence generate electricity.


A feasibility study was undertaken, that included a mathematical modelling study, a tank-testing programme and an analysis of the commercial potential of the WEC design, and highly positive results were obtained. A full-scale prototype would comprise 6-7 tapering WEC units rigidly connected side-by-side forming a platform with a roughly triangular plan view, and with sides up to 200 m in length. The platform would have a small waterplane area so that it remains steady in a seaway. The freeboard would be adjustable so that it is maintained approximately equal to the mean amplitude of the ambient waves. The deck would be flat, with possibly some relatively small, low-profile deck-houses. Storm waves could thus break over the deck and spill the major part of their energy so that the WEC units would not be overloaded.


In series production, and possibly for the large-scale model and the prototype, it is expected that the WEC units would be constructed of concrete since increased weight is an advantage. In the production of 20 or 100 platforms, considerable reduction in unit costs is achieved. A flotilla of platforms could share a single power cable to the shore. 


Contact: OWEL, 13, St. Georges Business Centre, St. Georges Sqr., Portsmouth PO1 3EZ, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (2392) 818 745; Fax: +44 (2392) 818 740; 
E-mail: owel@sycamore.org.uk .


Website: www.sycamoreinnovation.com 

Wave generator slated for commercial development

 

Ocean wave converter

In the United Kingdom, Lancaster University and Engineering Business Ltd. (EBL) plan to start commercial development of a wave generator concept developed by the University. The Frond wave generator has a floating, paddle-like collector surface at the end of a long lever to capture wave movement. The lower end of the lever drives a hydraulic power system that is fixed to the seabed, and the floating section can rotate to face prevailing waves at all times. Trials of scale models have shown promising results. EBL has also developed a 180 t demonstration unit of the Stingray tidal stream generator.


Website: www.powerpulse.net 

WASTE TO ENERGY

Thermal combustor

Nathaniel Energy Corp., the United States, offers thermal combustion technology for eliminating problem wastes without releasing any harmful gases. This objective is achieved by a proprietary process in which waste is burned at very high temperatures so that virtually all the hazardous pollutants are destroyed. Any acid gases or particulates remaining after gasification are collected through additional processes so that the final exhaust has only trace levels of the pollutants. Some of the outputs of the combustion process include:
* Electricity;
* Thermal energy (waste heat);
* High-grade carbon dioxide;
* High-grade carbon black;
* Ash;
* Sulphuric acid; and
* Sodium carbonate.
Nathaniels thermal combustor can be used in cement plants, manufacturing units, etc. 


Contact: Nathaniel Energy Corp., P.O. Box 69, Castle Rock, CO 80104, the United States. Tel: +1 (303) 6605 582; Fax: +1 (303) 6889 806.


Website: www.nathanielenergy.com 

Anaerobic reactors

In India, Reva Enviro Systems Pvt. Ltd. is offering an anaerobic reactor that utilizes proprietary structured media attached growth (SMAG) process. The patented treatment unit is a fixed-film, fixed-bed reactor and is packed with specially designed plastic media to supply a very large surface area for the bacterial film to grow and become immobilized. This media has a void ratio of 95 per cent and provides surface area of 95-105 m2 in each cubic metre volume. The entire media is kept submerged in the reactor content. Micro-organisms attached to the specially designed media metabolize organic matter in wastewater to yield a methane-rich biogas that can be used to produce steam and electricity. The SMAG technology offers inherent multiple benefits like quick restart, low area requirement, high reliability and continuous generation of biogas with a payback period of about 24 months. It can be used to treat high strength wastewater from distilleries, pharmaceutical units, etc.


Reva also offers upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) reactors suitable for low to medium strength wastewater. Effluent is pumped to the rector and dispersed through a unique distribution system that ensures uniform distribution of effluent throughout the sludge blanket. The micro-organisms degrade organic impurities and generate biogas. A three-phase separator located in the upper portion of the reactor separates gas, liquid and sludge fractions. Biogas is collected in domes and transported while suspended solids settle back into the sludge blanket, retaining valuable bacterial population. Liquid overflows the effluent 
gutter for further treatment. 


Contact: Reva Enviro System Pvt. Ltd., 9, Sunderlal Rai Path, Ramdaspeth, Nagpur 440 010, Maharashtra, India. Tel: +91 (712) 544 817/818; Fax: +91 (712) 544 813; 
E-mail: info@revaenviro.com .


Website: www.revaenviro.com 

Reclaiming energy from waste heat

Mr. Marlan Scully from Texas A&M University, the United States, reports that a new type of laser could be employed to extract more energy from a vehicles exhaust. According to the laws of thermodynamics, a engines efficiency is ultimately limited by the temperature of the burining gases. Expanding hot gases drive a piston through a cylinder, generating power that is conveyed to the wheel. However, once expansion ends, more useful energy cannot be obtained from the gases.


Mr. Scully opines that it is possible to extract additional energy from hot exhaust gases. The secret lies in the workings of a new type of laser being developed in a handful of labs around the world. The laser works by passing single atoms through a cavity containing a pair of mirrors separated at a distance matching the wavelength of light that the atoms can emit. If the atom has sufficient energy, it gives up a photon while passing through the cavity. This process continues as other atoms pass through, also giving up photons. If a mirror allows a small proportion of photons to escape, the cavity will emit light of one wavelength, that is set by the mirror gap, just like a laser. Mr. Scully proposes to apply this principle to car exhaust. Since the exhaust is hot, atoms present in it could be induced to give up energy in the form of coherent light by passing through an appropriately sized mirrored cavity. Named as quantum afterburner, this concept is being tested using CO2 molecules.


Chemical Weekly,
15 October 2002

Producing biogas from wastewater

Arbiogaz Environmental Technologies of Turkey is offering upflow anaerobic sludge blanket (UASB) and expanded granular sludge bed (EGSB) technologies for the production of biogas while decontaminating excessive organically polluted wastewater. The novel concentrated granular sludge bed system supplied by Arbiogaz enables organic pollutant loading (COD) up to 15-20 times higher than aerobic systems and 2-4 times more than in conventional anaerobic systems. Therefore, the required area for the plant is much smaller.


EGSB differs from UASB process in operation capability and as such the EGSB reactor is tall and slender. In both systems, the temperature and pH of wastewater prepared in a conditioning tank are controlled and then pumped into the reactor. The required upflow velocity and homogeny of the pumped wastewater is accomplished by a specially designed distribution system. The organic fraction decomposes producing biogas. A patented three-phase separator (or settler) at the top of the reactor ensures separation of treated water, biogas and biomass. Biogas is then collected at the top of the reactor and used to produce energy.


Corrosion possibility is minimized for the reactor working in oxygen-free and hermetically closed conditions, which is partial in UASB and total in EGSB. Steel components inside the reactor are protected with special epoxy coating. Moreover, the design of the separator provides safety for the entire system, preventing any possible gas leakage. Some of the benefits offered by anaerobic treatment are:


* A compact design enables minimum space requirement;
* Easy adaptation to change loadings and not affected by electrical shortage;
* One-tenth less sludge production than aerobic treatment;
* Closed structure stops emission of odour, noise or aerosol;
* Less energy and nutrient consumption;
* Low maintenance costs;
* No filling media;
* Fully automatic operation with computerized system;
* Rapid start-up and suitable for seasonable operation;
* Settler self-cleaning system;
* Easy pretreatment application.


Application areas for the anaerobic processes include paper and pulp industry, sugar industry, brewery, chemical industry, cannery, dairy, fermentation industry, pharmaceuticals, etc. 


Contact: Arbiogaz Environmental Technologies, Eski Buyukdere Cad. Emektar Sok. No. 71, Kat: 3 4.Levent 80660, Istanbul, Turkey. Tel: +90 (212) 3254 495/2828 085; Fax: +90 (212) 2827 912.


Website: www.arbiogaz.com 

UASB process for soluble organics

Aquatec-Maxcon Pty. Ltd., based in Australia, provides Biopaq UASB reactors for cost-effective treatment of high COD wastewater. This unit is ideal for treating industrial effluents containing medium to high concentrations of soluble organics BOD in excess of 1,000 mg/l. Effluent with COD up to 200,000 mg/l at processing temperatures of 20-40C can be treated. Since carbon is largely converted into methane and carbon dioxide, sludge production is virtually eliminated.


Benefits offered by Biopaq UASB systems include:

* An ingenious patented influent distribution system in the UASB reactor ensures superior mixing  of influent and biomass, and facilitates backflushing;
* More intensive than conventional aerobic processes and thus has a small footprint;
* Extensive design and operating data are available for different types of wastewater;
* The modularized design easily accommodates a wide range of flows and COD strengths;
* A useful methane by-product is produced and typically 0.35 m3/kg of COD removal achieved;
* The use of plastic and hardwood in the reactoreliminates problems associated with corrosion;and
* The three layers of generously spaced gas collection hoods enable low liquid velocities and thus ensure superior gas/solid/liquid separation over single-hood designs.
Application areas include breweries, canneries, distilleries, dairies, paper mills, food plants, soft drink plants, wood panel mills, starch processing factories, etc. The company is also offering on-site testing of specific wastes using its pilot-scale UASB plant. 


Contact: Aquatec-Maxcon Pty. Limited, No. 119, Toongarra Road, Leichhardt, Queensland, QLD 4305, Australia. Tel: +61 (7) 3813 7100; Fax: +61 (7) 3813 7199; E-mail: aquateci@gil.com.au .


Website: www.aquatecmaxcon.com.au

PUBLICATIONS

Wind Power Plants: Design, Fundamentals, Construction and Operation

This handbook is essential reading for those involved in wind energy, including planning engineers, consultants on renewable energy projects, manufacturers of turbines and components, etc. It presents contributions from 14 experts in academia and industry. Some of the topics covered are:


* Wind turbine dimensioning;
* Calculation of performance characteristics and partial loads behaviour;
* Structural loads and strength issues;
* Scaling wind turbines and rules of similarity;
* Power generation;
* Control of wind turbines; and
* Dynamic problems of wind turbines.

Solar Thermal Systems: Successful Planning and Construction

This manual summarizes the theoretical and practical knowledge gained from over 20 years of research, implementation and operation of thermal solar installations. A variety of key questions that have been answered include difference between various solar collectors, performance of solar installations, causes of defects and how they can be avoided, service life of modern solar installations, etc.For any/all of the above publications; 


Contact: James and James (Science Publishers) Ltd., 8-12, Camden High Street, London NW1 0JH, the United Kingdom. Tel: +44 (20) 7387 8558; Fax: +44 (20) 7387 8998; E-mail: james@jxj.com


Website: www.jxj.com .

Wind Force 12

This book outlines the success story of wind power today and the untapped success stories of tomorrow. The blueprint for action proves that even in a business as usual scenario where global electricity consumption doubles within two decades, wind can supply 12 per cent of the worlds electricity.


Contact: European Wind Energy Association, 25 rue du Trone 1000 Brussels, Belgium. Tel: +32 (2) 5461 940; Fax: +32 (2) 5461 944; E-mail: Ewea@ewea.org


Website: www.ewea.org .


ASIAN AND PACIFIC CENTRE FOR TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY

This website is optimized for IE 8.0 with screen resolution 1024 x 768
For queries regarding this website, contact us
Copyright © 2010 APCTT | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Feedback