Natural Gas NOW Picks of the Week – June 2, 2018

natural gas now - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

Natural Gas NOW readers pass along a lot of stuff every week about natural gas, fractivist antics, emissions, renewables, and other news relating to energy. As usual, emphasis is added.

The Truth Has Changed Says Josh Fox, Who Should Know

A big announcement from Josh Fox, the flaming faucet liar who told that whopper about a $100,000 offer that didn’t happen:


The water has changed. The climate has changed. The rules have changed. There’s toxic data everywhere. How do we know what’s true?

Josh Fox traces his personal arc from 9/11 to present day America with chilling proximity. A story that offers both a warning and a way forward for our besieged democracy…

He became one of America’s firsthand witnesses to systemic corruption and a deeply terrifying shift towards a kind of authoritarian government that we have not before seen in the USA. Through his complex, funny and often dramatic storytelling, Josh portrays a dizzying and confused landscape in which THE TRUTH HAS CHANGED.

Sounds like yet another attempt to add a milli-second to his much too long 15 minutes of fame. Still, it’s unlikely anyone knows more about changing truth than a guy who once bragged that “everything in the film was planned, every scene was either scripted or outlined beforehand – but everything really happened, because it was real, in a sense, we were immersed in that reality.” And, of course, who can forget this:

11,000 Tons of Lead, 800 Tons of Cadmium? Say It An’t So!

No doubt this is a solvable problem, but the story illustrates the nonsensical idea there is any form of perfectly clean energy. All have consequences and they must be evaluated factually without the intrusion of ideology. Even the Germans are learning this:

…a new study commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economics dubbed: “Release of Hazardous Material from Photovoltaic Modules,” found “serious environmental consequences” from solar modules. Formerly it was claimed that solar modules posed no real danger to the environment…

researchers in Stuttgart checked if toxic substances could be transported from the modules to the environment by water…

Natural Gas Now

Two German water tanks with solar panels on top (panels that probably include lead and cadmium)

Though 100% recycling may be almost achievable in rich, industrial countries, Welt cites the experts, who say there is the high likelihood the modules will simply end up littering the landscape in poor countries.

Poor countries, often located in sunny equatorial regions where solar energy is more effective, face the potential of being blanketed by vast swaths of hazardous material as used, worn-out modules get thrown out.

The researchers say that currently there are about 3,700 square kilometers of solar modules installed globally and estimate that, as of 2016, the modules contained 11,000 tons of lead and 800 tons of cadmium, reports Welt, citing the study.

Welt adds that the EU banned the use of toxic heavy metals and solder by the electrical industry, but the solar industry was exempted on the behest of the solar lobby. The solar industry needs to be included in the ban as well, the experts say, so that the global spread of heavy toxic metals can be curbed.

The solar folks have lobbyists who got them an exemption? Was that another Halliburton Loophole? Well, no. There never was a Halliburton Loophole. The fractivists pushing solar made that one up.

A Truly Innovative Clean Energy Option That Uses Natural Gas and Captures CO2

You want truly innovative clean energy? Try this from NetPower:

Fossil fuel-based power plants produce large quantities of harmful air emissions.  Natural gas power plants produce large quantities of nitrogen oxides (NOX) and carbon dioxide (CO2).  Coal plants add sulfur oxides (SOX), mercury, and fine particulate matter to the mix.  Each of these have major impact on the health of people and our environment.

In order to address these emissions, traditional power plants have taken the tack-on approach: they add expensive, energy-intensive equipment to help reduce emissions or clean-up emissions once they’ve been produced.  These systems degrade the performance, reliability, and cost of power plants because they are costly to build, complex to design, and energy intensive to operate.

NET Power plants employ a process called oxy-combustion, where fuel is burned with pure oxygen instead of ambient air. Oxygen is preferable to air because air is nearly 80% nitrogen.  When burned, nitrogen can convert to NOX, a precursor to acid rain. Oxy-combustion enables NET Power plants to eliminate all NOXproduction and air emissions…

natural gas now

The CO2 produced by combustion in the Allam cycle is recycled back to the combustor multiple times, producing a working fluid that is mostly pure, high-pressure CO2. By using a CO2 working fluid at very high pressures as opposed to steam, NET Power can avoid the “phase changes” that cause steam cycles to be so inefficient. Instead of driving a steam cycle and losing heat energy up a stack, NET Power keeps heat within the system, meaning less fuel is needed for the turbine to reach the required operating temperature.

Additionally, because NET Power uses a mostly pure, high-pressure stream of CO2 as its primary means of producing power, it has turned a major problem for other power systems – the energy and processes needed to capture, cleanup, and compress carbon dioxide emissions – into a solution.  NET Power plants produce “carbon capture-ready” CO2 as a function of how they efficiently operate, not as an extra, costly process…

Because NET Power plants utilize oxy-combustion, they do not produce NOx. This greatly improves environmental performance, enables plants to operate more flexibly, eliminates the need for complex NOx emissions reduction equipment, and allows plants to be built in areas where others cannot due to strict regulations…

NET Power produces a high-pressure, high-quality CO2 byproduct that is pipeline-ready. This CO2 can be sequestered or used in industrial processes, such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which is a decades-old process that uses CO2 to extract significantly more oil from mature oilfields while permanently storing CO2 underground. In the United States alone, 85 billion barrels of oil are recoverable using EOR.  Most industrial CO2 capture technologies cannot produce cost-effective, EOR-ready CO2, despite the fact that the industry is tremendously CO2-starved. NET Power will have both the capacity and economics to enable the EOR industry to unlock this vast resource while simultaneously sequestering CO2 from thousands of power plants below ground.

Unmentioned is the fact captured CO2 can also be be used to frack oil and gas wells. Now, that’s clean and the very definition of sustainable. I wonder what fractivists will find to oppose. Well, don’t worry, they’ll think of something.


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