Articles for October 8, 2012
ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.
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The following summary appeared in the September 3, 2012, issue of
Consumption: Acid Esterification vs. Glycerolysis: Which Really Consumes More
Energy?" was written by Kirk Cobb, Senior
Process Design Engineer, Superior Process Technologies Inc.; it was published in
the July/August 2012 installment of Biodiesel Magazine. It takes issue with
Critical Component," which was authored by Erin
Voegele, Associate Editor, Biodiesel Magazine and which appeared in the January/February 2012 issue of the same
journal. The Voegele article author, relying on identified practitioners in the
field of biodiesel production, uses a table from JatroDiesel that includes the
information questioned by Cobb. The Cobb article asserts that while acid
esterification uses little energy initially, this advantage is cancelled out by
the resulting creation of acidic methanol that requires a great deal of energy
As has been kindly pointed out by author Kirk Cobb, the above summary included
incorrect information: "It is not the 'neutralization' of the acidic methanol
that uses a large amount of energy.
It is the subsequent 'distillation' needed to recover the neutralized methanol
that uses the large amount of thermal energy." That
is an important distinction and this is an opportunity to make it clear.
The following three articles were
published in the September 2012 issue of
Biosciences, U.S. Military Contribute to Biojet Project,"
by Applied Research Associates, describes the cooperation among governments and
private sector companies that aims to test and evaluate a renewable jet fuel
that is "100 percent drop-in."
Portable Energy," by Erin Voegele, discusses a
pilot project for a biomass gasification system for a diesel generator that runs
on a ratio of about 9:1, bio-based synthetic gas to diesel fuel.
(It is said that the system is able to
use 100% bio-based syngas with spark-ignited engines.) The genset in this project is
installed in a shipping container.
The technology for the syngas genset is well described and interesting. Corn cobs are the feedstock for the
demo genset – wood chips have been used for others – and the on-site
gasification of the cobs is an integral part of the system. Waste heat from the gasifier and the
engine is captured and used to treat tar before it leaves the reactor.
Paper to Power," by Anna Simet, describes how an
economically-depressed, pulp-and-paper town is transformed into a power
generating center. The town's last
(and closed) paper mill is being re-purposed to function as a biomass power
plant with the conversion of a black liquor recovery boiler into a bubbling
fluidized bed boiler.
Massachusetts Still #1 State for Energy Efficiency, While Oklahoma, Montana, and
South Carolina Are among Most Improved"
is an October 3, 2012 press release from the ACEEE (American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy) highlighting some of the findings of the full report "2012 State Energy Efficiency
Scorecard." The top 10 list includes a tie for
3 New York
7 Rhode Island
PUMPS / MOTORS / DRIVES
The following two articles, the second of which is a case study, appeared in the
September 2012 issue of Pumps & Systems:
of Centrifugal Pumps" by Sharon James, Rockwell
Automation, connects the characteristics to energy efficiency.
Upgrades Improve Efficiency at Midwest Refinery,"
by Dave DePasquale, Seimens Industry, Inc., is a five-web-page case study.
Cracking is used to divide hydrocarbon
chains into smaller units for the refinery to make additional types of products. The upgrades to the refinery's
catalytic cracking units (CCUs) and the energy efficiencies gained are
described. The upgrades included new
motors that are differently designed in several ways and are connected to
variable frequency drives for more flexibility.
RESIDENTIAL EFFICIENCY STRATEGIES
and Winter Energy-Saving Tips" is a webpage, revised (and
re-named) seasonally, from the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Office of
the U.S. Department of Energy. The
site is now offering many tips for energy savings for the cooler months.
The following five articles appeared in the September 2012 issue of
the Heat of Combustion for Natural Gas,"
by Art Morris, Thermart Software, explains why the calculations are necessary
and how to make them accurately. The
author, additionally, offers the Web addresses of free sources for thermodynamic
Silicon Carbide Heating Element" was written by Mitsuaki Tada,
Tokai Carbon USA, Inc. The author
begins with some background information.
He explains the context in which Tokai Konetsu Kogyo Co., Ltd. (TKK)
functions in Japan, given a particular national regulation that requires
attention to saving energy. He,
then, describes how one of the ways that furnaces lose heat is addressed by his
company's product, EREMA EH, a kind of heating element.
Atmosphere Conversion – Exothermic Gas to Hydrogen/Nitrogen,"
by Bob Esper, Praxair Inc., identifies problems in a plant that makes tubing
using the cold-drawn process. The
company's two annealing furnaces included exothermic generated atmospheres
which, it is explained, were found to be more expensive initially but slightly
cheaper to run than H2N2 atmospheres.
However, H2N2 atmospheres produce better and more reproducible tubes with
higher-quality surfaces which, it is said, might result in saving pickling time. These advantages were judged to be
worth the higher cost of operating H2N2 atmospheres. The article shows how the conversion
from exothermic atmospheres to H2N2 atmospheres was accomplished. The final paragraph sums up the
positive results of the conversion.
Materials and their Heat Treatment"
was co-authored by Daniel H. Herring, President, The Herring Group, Inc.;
Frederick J. Otto, Midwest Thermal-Vac; and Fred R. Specht, Ajax-Tocco
Magnethermic. This is a valuable
introduction to the various heat-treating options for gear materials. It includes a clear review of
atmosphere heat-treating (carburizing, carbonitriding, nitriding, and
nitrocarburizing) and of vacuum heat-treating (induction hardening
via single shot or tooth-by-tooth).
Nitrogen Availability as a Nitriding Process Parameter"
was written by Jerzy Michalski, Institute of Precision Mechanics; Warsaw,
Poland. The author presents a
two-component input atmosphere and two types of single-component input
atmospheres. He finds that the
first, with two-components, is the only one where nitrogen availability is not
simply a function of nitriding potential – the alteration of the former does not
alter the latter. Since availability
can be understood as a process parameter, he believes such atmospheres have more
possibilities in manufacturing.
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