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Monday, October 30, 2006

WEDGE-A-WAR: Corrosion- Nothing lost nothing gained?

"Nothing lost nothing gained?
A degrading, dissipative world
or a slice of cake to take?”

Once again, the topic of corrosion has been brought to my attention.

Of course most people are familiar with the macroscopic sort in the form of common rust.

Some of us, who were privileged, to live near the seaside, coupled with an important industrial and research employer the nearby chemicals & research plant, -ICI's Nobel Division no less, have early experience of corrosion in other materials than steel.

However it was upon reading news in the field of nanotechnology size comparison between atoms and common objects-Link ) and more specifically nano-corrosion that I finally retained an indicator for the magnitude of the cost involved

"The effect of corrosion has an impact on about 3% of the world's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). From a positive point of view, however, chemical attack of metal surfaces may result in surface nano-structures with very interesting technological applications such as catalysts and sensors. Therefore, a better understanding of corrosion processes is required to both prevent it and make the most of it." quoted from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) based in Grenoble, France.

Previously I had learned that such was the loss of durability that whole industries have grown around this field. One must do a thing or two to generate a 3% world GDP. In fact I probably knew this for a long time, but since variety is the spice of life, I may be pardoned for some forgetfulness. )More on Economic Impact of Corrosion

It is common today either in the specialised technical or business or in the main general, economic and financial press to enquire whether this fight is being won or lost?

This is not just a philosophical question. It has a particular significance when the question in the technological, innovative sense:

"Can this industry; from research to market, constitute-or contribute to, a Wedge (in the Socolow sense?) This is a timely question since now infamous, CO2 is known to contribute to rust, corrosion in iron and steel.

(So too does the elder infamous, brother sulphur dioxide [SO2 forming sulphuric acid of notorious for its acid rain, referred to earlier in the poem "Open sky coal mine")

Now, one may wish to ask the "Who, how, why, when and where?" that classical unbeatable holistic search series.

The last question is particularly pertinent. Where?

Murphy’s law (entropy-exergy analysis) will tell you that places of most concern will be those which are difficult to get at and therefore costly.

We are not in outer space though!

If this was a marginal issue one could sort of live with, it is mostly not lethal. But when it concerns the worlds most used metal in terms of tonnage; carbon steel and some of the important things “wrapped in it” carbon steel corrosion, cannot be brushed aside.

Yes, I do mean common ordinary rust, hidden in some structure, which we know will rust sooner or later!

We can do some smart modelling to allow us to buy time. We can calculate and even measure thickness change, which allows us to estimate if there is safe structural strength left.

How on earth can it be detected, reliably, precisely, preferably without taking the "set-up" to pieces? We want it to be a NDT, a non-destructive test, as non-intrusive as possible.

For want of a catch phrase we could call it the "Wee-wiki peek Spy-Shy method"

I am not talking about some mineral on Mars.

No, just that common physico-chemical compound called rust: Ferrous, or Iron Hydroxide, Fe2O3.xH2O, where x is variable. [If x=3 Fe2O3. 3H2O is equivalent to 2Fe (OH)3.]

Yes, even common rust can be a real bugbear to detect when it is in some difficult to access-costly to repair place!

From Macro - to nano to macro &....? Link

Nothing lost nothing gained?"
A degrading, dissipative world
or a slice of cake to take?”

Serious, but not vulgar, even amusing, for innovative; comments, questions or suggestion very welcome, but "don't be evil" (In French or English.)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

WEDGE-A-WAR follows from Theory to Practice

I wish simply to draw the chance visitor's attention to my additions "Socolow Wedge Best Practice" in my field of Metallurgy, Materials & Processing cf. also Links Section. The processes (1st one) invented by Fray-Farthing-Chen (FFC) known as the Cambridge Process [UK] following its University Start-Up Co., has produced two full companies, * BTi-British Titanium and, for a full range of metals and alloys, Metalysis and, (2nd one) Geopolymer Institute, Davidovit's cement, work at 1/3 to 1/2 the temperatures used by more classical routes (promising energy economies). Lets add to the previous two initiatives: process-product-market, approaches, a stricly process oriented "inventions & innovations" that of the recently created Thermokin ,by the inventor, J. Haiun. Thanks to it's; "blade-less turbine"-thermokinetic-compressor which controls, heat and speed, using and canalising the propeties of gases during reversible -forced transitions; subsonique to supersonic and back. Thermokinetics is the name coined for this field. Thermokin announces considerable potential energy saving of about 10% at low investment and maintenance costs.

I found these developments to be encouraging therefore I shall be pleased to help readers (at least among the less specialised) formulate any comments or questions to the people directly involved.

*PS. since 1st post, I have learned, BTi, that a conflict has arisen between BTi and Metalysis together with major Tech. backer QinetiQ.

.Je souhaite, simplement, tirer à l'attention des visiteurs mes additions: "Cales de Socolow - Meilleures Pratiques" dans mes domaines de spécialisations Métallurgie, Matériaux, Procédés cf. Links Section. Les procédés (1) inventé par
Fray-Farthing-Chen (FFC) nommé le FFC Cambridge Procédé [UK] (électrolyse avec sels fondus comme électrolytes ) et après ses débuts comme un "start-up" universitaire, à conduit à la création de deux sociétés; BTi-British Titanium et, pour une large gamme de métaux et d’alliages, Metalysis puis (le 2ème) , Geopolymère: par l'ingénieur chimiste distingué Davidovit's - ciments, béton ; travaillent à températures 1/3 à 1/2 des températures de fabrication classiques. Ajoutons aux inventeurs-innovateurs précédents et leurs sociétés: "procédés – produit - marché", la société Thermokin, récemment crée par J.Haiun, dans le domaine des procédés. Grâce à sa "turbine (sans pales) - compresseur thermocinétique" exploitant et canalisant les proprietés des gazes lors des transitions "réversible forcée" ; subsonique=>supersonique=> subsonique (nommé thermocinétique). Thermokin annonce des économies d’énergie potentielles, importantes de l'ordre de 10% pour un investissements en équipement et maintenance relativement modeste.

Ces développements méritent encouragement. Je serai heureux de vous aider (les moins spécialisés entre vous, tout au moins) à formuler commentaires, suggestions ou questions à destination des intéressés.

Enjoy your visit.
Lire avec plaisir.

Monday, October 16, 2006

WORK in HAND & Glenn MacDonald's from Theory to Practice June06 post

The image (left) was taken by ESA managed satellite Proba under the Earth Observation programme.Earth Observation programme

I have tried, specifically, to avoid the topic of Coal,almost the most used energy source on earth. and have concentrated on much needed weblog clean-up & crawling, if not ramping-up the weblog learning curve. This led me to acknowledge the pertinence of Adsense and in so doing justify at more length my decision to recommend it, throught the referral plan. I posted this further down the the WLog, under the heading "Innovation - Firing on all Cylinders started in June 06. (Downs & unders; not to be confused with the Aussie's "down-under."-with the World Cup Rugby, France 2007 approaching difficult to avoid refs. to southern hemisphere, one step from the Antartic and its importance in the climate engine ! ) I also added more thought reminders to the "Pensieve", Thought-recipient or Block Note, for later sifting. cf earlier post -SCROLL -DOWN.


"The European Union must maintain its leading position
in combating climate change, ensure global
competitiveness for European industry, and deliver
long-term security of the energy supply. The European
Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil
Fuel Power Plants has been set up to play a crucial
role in enabling Europe to fulfil this commitment,
with the development and deployment of new competitive
power plant options over the next fifteen
years." (ref. A vision for zero emission fosil fuel power plants
Aug. 2006 European Union)
The future of Coal, vision from MIT ,Boston, USA. [Link].
I intended to avoid the topic of coal,
As a man afraid of "facing" the dole
Money, monies the man on this payroll,
China! Aussie's too, what's the toll?

The most used, so abused source of energy
In much of our blue planets territory,
Mine, down-under, beneath our feet,
Can't you just touch, the feel of its heat.

This could be, well.., the name of this street?
Mine, down-under, beneath our feet,
Not for long, in this Newfoundland
Sounds of Nova Scotia-Caledonia's band

Wash the Pug! Close the rail-carriage window,
Children, Tunnel ahead! Heads in, bow!
Getting nearer, nearer, to our chosen home yard
Open-sky mine project, -Jeune Garde.

Route 58, from. Sancerre's vineyards scene
Fond memories of a mining Pole, La Machine
In South Nivernais, Lucenay
Silly cause or Silicoses? Cossaye

Glasgow-black and Auld Reeckie lang gone
The cities fathers ruled Sulphur out-right
Crying -"Grime's a Crime,
against Humanity"! , prose?
Shaking-off smog’s mildew -as a rose.

(The song continued long after, "Acid rain, acid rain"
At the time this was a well known refrain
Today from space 5 tonnes of Sulphur, let's sprinkle
Over carbon dioxide concentrations, a grave to kindle)

Victor Hugo, Dumas & Zola would be proud
No Persian Letters these, Alexander endowed.
Buildings, monuments, sandblasted bright
No gas candles for them, but LED- light.
from Coal!

Its focus now on this new match

Shall we choose the tourist trade today?
Working mines as in bygone days, the long way.
Or shall innovation & invention,make their mark,
In some sophisticated scientific way, as the quark?
Through some subtle eco mix, a trail

By non-friction super-conductive rail, race
Or pneumatic closed dust-confining tube-ace
Bring temptation's call, this coalface
To the devils melting-place

I did not mention at any time before
Our devils burning desire is therefore
Some thermal combined harvester's drum
For Heat & Electricity to make a planet turn

As in ancient times, black as night's mantle

Miner and mineral, indistinguishable

Memories of a Mining Pole, "La Machine"

In Never's "pastures green"
Land of "the waters still"

Psalm 23, Refreshing chill,
s' Nuclear & Coal alike.

-As the friendly greeting goes, in the heydays & hay days of coal,
"Lang may yur lum reek!" -meaning long-life and good health, ce qui signifie en français; longue vie, bonne santé. The tradition of welcoming a New Year first footer with a lump of coal as a sign of good wishes also is more debateable with regard to the global performance of coal exploitation and effective use in the current context of climate change and cheap & and easy access to energy sources.

(I shall try to remain as poetic as possible in "our project" of the century Open-Sky Coal mine with Thermal powered combined thermal electric power "plant" 1st draft 16 Oct. 06 ) and needless to say as helpful as possible eg. =>
PS. Add to mining: "Re-Investment in Renewables" & "Carbon Chemistry" with the usual ramifications, socio-cultural-economic... to use a bio/agro analogy.
Why are we waiting? Natures first response.

"The European Union must maintain its leading position
in combating climate change, ensure global
competitiveness for European industry, and deliver
long-term security of the energy supply. The European
Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil
Fuel Power Plants has been set up to play a crucial
role in enabling Europe to fulfil this commitment,
with the development and deployment of new competitive
power plant options over
the next fifteen
years." (ref. A vision for zero emission fosil fuel power plants, Aug. 2006 )

Post Scriptum: I am lead to believe (media TV A2 report) that immediate current best choice will be exploitation (locally) of Frances forestry (renewable energy) as a heat source in many small towns & villages?