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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Metallurgy of CO2 absorption with resulting Hydrogen gas production _Wedge a War

The first post on this theme was entitled "Wedge-A-War: Any Old Iron?, Corrosion & Natures Processes, the latter "Nature's Processes" being the title of a book of poems by John Updike. It draws attention to the role of corrosion of iron in a wet (humid-H20) carbon dioxide (CO2) environment resulting in the production of iron carbonate and hydrogen gas as the products of the reaction. This is repeated in the chemical form below together with a little poem written for the occasion. Full references were given in the previous entry "Wedge-a-War. Any Old Iron?"

Fe(s)+ H2O(l) +CO2(g)=> FeCO3(s) +H2(g)
iron +water+carbon dioxide => iron carbonate + H2
(where s=solid, l=liquid, g=gas.)

Let the Heavenly Steel Chorus hear -
Metallurgists, Steelmakers, Geologists, dear
Chemical Engineers and Ecologist's plea.
From humble steelmaking, sometime war-mongering,
To white knight planet saviour - eco-engineering,
For "Now's the time and now's the hour" for CO2 sinking,
For scientific method and controlled tinkering.
The above corrosive reaction begs the question:
Any old iron?

ref: to initial back-ground from "Corrosion Mechanisms & Control in Hydrocatbon Exploration and Production Operations", by Dr. Dan Kirkwood in the now, out of print; "Journal of the Metallurgical Club -Strathclyde University" 1992-93, p43-58.

In fact it is well known that several other metals behave in a similar fashion in these matters. A fairly recent reference to such metals and reactions has been echoed by Kurzweil [Link] reported initially and at more length in CNet news [Link].

Both tech watchers, Kurzweil and CNet report two approaches:

I. Involves Aluminium catalysed,dis-inhibited by Gallium,The method is outlined, costs estimates given, patents filed and a company, "AlGalCo", created to exploit the inventions and innovations.

"Purdue University professor Jerry Woodall has discovered a way to make hydrogen out of a reaction of water and an alloy of aluminium and gallium. Woodall estimates that the technique could produce fuel that would compete with gas at $3 a gallon (assuming current prices for aluminium, which are above $1 a pound). Woodall considers that the higher actual fuel cost could be off-set by the higher efficiencies of hydrogen engines.

The Purdue Research Foundation holds title to the primary patent, which has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and is pending. An Indiana start-up company, AlGalCo, is licensing the patent and will try to commercialize the idea."

II. Involves Magnesium. The company Ecotality associated with the Jet Propulsion Lab (USA) managed by CalTech [Link] to exploit the the so called Hydratus principle[Link]. More on the uses of magnesium may be found at's[Link]

III. Involves extracting hydrogen from a reaction between sodium, water and silicon. The company exploiting this avenue is New York's Signa Chemistry [Link]

IV. Last but not least is the EU and Israel's Weizmann Institute, Zn powder produced H2, Solzinc process[Link] Unlike the previous examples whereby hydrogen is obtained from corrosion like processes the Solzinc project is a classical reduction of zinc oxide by carbonaceous material at elevated temperatures (>1000°C)readily depicted by the Richardson-Ellingham Diagramme. High temperatures are obtained by using mirror concentrated solar power installation at the Weizmann Institute in Israel.

If this is not sufficient, the biologists too, seem keen to "Wedge some Wars" from their angle, if only to keep the metallurgists on their toes. CNet news reports again
"Stanford University professor James Swartz, who by contrast,has found a micro-organism that takes sunlight and splits water molecules. Swartz's work has generated a start-up called Fundamental Applied Biology."

I would not like to end on a note highlighting our biologist colleagues no matter how highly distinguished.

Let me point out that there is a very interesting list of metals and their carbonates all of which by definition are capable of absorbing CO2, and most likely producing Hydrogen subject to determining the correct thermodynamic, kinetic conditions. Choices will subject to the economic, "social and environmental" climate in which they are required to operate.

The efficiency of the hydrogen energy vector for combustion has been dealt with in depth in a very well reference section of the free Encyclopaedia "Wikipedia" [Link].

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Maney Publisher for the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining

I have just reviewed Maneys extended collection of Material Science Series[Link] ; Materials, Energy, Environment ... As a professional, I found the collection of great interest and warmly recommend browsing[Link] by Chemists,Absorption Chemists,Physicists,Materials Scientists,Metallurgists, Ceramisists,Applied Earth Sci,Chemical Engineers,Extractive and Process Metallurgists,Fuel Technologists, Surface Engineering, etc... to visit this collection and check whether they have, through their respective institutions and professional association access to online material, and free trial subscriptions as I have with great pleasure and benefit.

No_Holds_BARD "wedges wars"

As in the previous weblog, I am trying to make up for some lost time.

Straight to the point,here, I wish to lay a claim to the above title, "No_Holds_BARD."[Link]

The reader will by now, if he has taken the time to browse at some length, realise the auther's predisposition for prose and when inspired for poetry, the authers taste for originality, the exceptional,the extraordinary, perhaps, as an anti-dote for the run-of-the mill, the mundane...

However, here I must acknowledge (& log) that the title arose on a chance encouter on the RER_Rail Express Reseau the Paris High Speed Rail, between the Paris West beautiful town of St. Germain-en-Laye and Place Charles de Gaulle-Etoile.

Sitting opposite my wife and I was a compatriot, in full Scottish traditional dress, kilt, jacket,stockings-hose, the whole bit! Not only was Archie Robertson, from my native Scotland, he hails from my own home county's main town, Ayr, the county being named Ayrshire. It is now part of the Strathclyde region which includes the City of Glasgow. We, Archie & I, were neighbours, distant only of some 15kms appart.

I mentioned that I had two or three websites, blogs or personal pages in which he may enjoy my translation to french of the Scots poet Hugh Macdiarmid (ref in earlier logs, archives..) and maybe even find it of use in his english classes at the School of Commerce in St. Germain-en-Laye, adding "please feel free, just mention me as either the translator (Macdiarmid) and the auther of some original science based poems, and use them as you wish, No holds barred". In the true Scottish tradition, the quip came fast, "No Holds Bard",
[Link P3.],[Link P4.],[Link P5.], [Link P6.],[Link P7.] ,[Link P8.]

and he waited a second or two (I was a bit slow) to allow me to pick up the play on words - "le jeu de mots", same sound different meaning! I took this as an undeserved compliment since he had not yet read my efforts. I trust he (and any chance reader) has read them by now and appreciates them.

The Church in St.Germain-en-Laye, West Paris,just opposite the Castle, is host to the remains of the Scot, King James VI (of Scotland) & I (of Great Britain, UK) and incidently the rather posh town of Ayr in Scotland is twinned with equally posh town, Saint Germain-en-Laye,in France.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Belated Acknowledgement to Virginia Tech (vt) Pilar of Doctoral Thesis Repositaries

In guise of heart felt sympathy for the victims in the still recent killings at Virginia Tech (VT); staff and students, but also extended to the survivors, fellow students,victims families, relatives and friends, for the disgrace no doubt felt by the innocent members of the killers family, I wish to write a few lines of of appreciation for the work of the Tech.

I learned to truely apppreciate VT. through their support for the Masters and Doctoral Thesis Repository, to my knowledge the first freely available public online Doctoral Thesis Library.[Link] What better tribute to humanity, the availability of high level useful science and technology.

I am pleased to add that their example has been joined by many of the most important Schools and Universities in the USA, Doctoral Thesis Library (FR).[Link_1] Pastel:Paris Institute of Technology_Doctoral Thesis Library (FR)_[Link_2]
NB. I support movements, in modern democracies, whose aims are the strict, tight control and eventually full abolishion of small hand arms often more accureately descibed as "weapons of war")