tech

Japan carbon pledge boosts hopes of ammonia backers

20 Comments
By Etienne BALMER

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2020 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


20 Comments
Login to comment

"Ammonia Backers" sounds like a great name for a rock band.

"Here's a new song by the Ammonia Backers..."

Fun facts:

Ammonia was the fuel of the X-15 rocket plane.

Ammonia is toxic to aquatic life.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The plan to become carbon neutral is all over the place, wind, geothermal not getting much mention. Rather these expensive unproven Ideas that currently need massive injection of funds for dubious results. What a MOX up.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Right on Cricky...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Just another pollutant and poison. Go go green renewables. Sunshine wind water and land.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Ammonia is the cheapest and most viable option" for Japan, Shigeru Muraki, executive vice president and representative director of the Green Ammonia Consortium

Amonia is Good -, says the Amonia Consortium
5 ( +5 / -0 )

Go go green renewables

None of the several renewable energy sources currently known are available all day every day for a baseload, which is an absolute necessity to operate and electrical grid. Wind, solar and tidal power are all episodic. On a calm stinking hot humid night you won't have solar or wind power to run an air conditioner on, nor will you have power for your heater on a calm subfreezing winter night. For those occasions you need something else. There is no way around it. Hydropower has its own set of environmental drawbacks, some of which are severe. Batteries I would argue are as big a source of pollution and of hazardous waste as many current sources of thermal energy. It's nice to toss off glib slogans but what is a realistic means to generate power at night when there is no wind and between tides? Just suffer? Shut factories, businesses and public services? What is your realistic, doable solution? Please be specific. Hint, there won't be one silver bullet that solves the problem. Using ammonia as a fuel might be a partial solution.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Historically, baseload of power would be about 25% of total power 24/7 which is currently provided by coal.

Gas turbines can run the base load. Worked with ammonia, nasty stuff. Many countries like the UK are generating much higher levels of renewable energy than Japan.

At this moment even though dark renewable's are providing 32% of power. 0% of coal

https://gridwatch.co.uk

Geothermal could produce 15% of total power.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Dessert Tortoise - 100% behind what you wrote. It takes an electrical engineer to fully understand the implications of having to have a solid baseload, and most of the greens aren*t one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gas turbines can run the base load.

Gas turbines are used as peakers, not for baseload. Their benefit for use as peakers is fast start up, lots and lots of power in a relatively compact space and they can sit for extended periods of time unused. Their drawback is high fuel burn and time between overhaul is shorter than for steam turbines.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Worked with ammonia, nasty stuff

Every big refrigerated warehouse or any big freezer in a business is uses ammonia as the refrigerant. It's ubiquitous.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

By the way, for those who don't know a "gas turbine" is a technical name for a jet engine. When used to generate power the high pressure exhaust gases that normally propel an airplane are used to spin what's called a "free power turbine", basically a big fan right in the jet exhaust and that fan spins a big generator to make electrical power. You can also use the free power turbine to spin a big gearbox and propel a ship or spin the rotors of a helicopter. Jet engines turn up making power in lots of different settings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Misinformation about baseload renewables has distorted the discussion about the least-cost future renewable energy mix. There are renewable baseload power sources with generation profiles that can economically replace other retiring electricity sources megawatt for megawatt, thereby avoiding incurring additional costs from purchasing and then balancing renewable intermittent power sources with storage or new transmission."

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104061901500024X

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Combined Cycle Gas Turbine - These use Natural Gas to power a Turbine which turns a Generator. A second system uses the heat to produce steam which is used to turn a turbine which powers a generator.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are two key disadvantages to using ammonia as a refrigerant: It is not compatible with copper, so it cannot be used in any system with copper pipes. Ammonia is poisonous in high concentrations. Not used in domestic fridges.

Ammonia is a toxic refrigerant, and it is also flammable at certain concentrations. That is why it has to be handled with care, and all ammonia systems have to be designed with safety in mind.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Misinformation about baseload renewables has distorted the discussion about the least-cost future renewable energy mix. There are renewable baseload power sources with generation profiles that can economically replace other retiring electricity sources megawatt for megawatt, thereby avoiding incurring additional costs from purchasing and then balancing renewable intermittent power sources with storage or new transmission."

Hydroelectric power destroys habitats, sometimes whole fisheries. Big dams on rivers in California has killed off many salmon and steelhead runs. Where salmon was once so abundant it was called "poor mans steak: today it is scarce and commands high prices. Towns like Fort Bragg that once thrived on salmon fishing are now decrepit shadows due to lack of fish to catch. The dams change natural river flows, retain sediments that would otherwise replenish river banks and beaches and slower water below the dams is warmer, often too warm for other native fish species to survive in. Damming rivers leading to the Sacramento River Delta has reduced fresh water flow so much that salt water intrudes many miles upstream into regions of formerly fresh water, causing problems for farms that rely on fresh river water adjacent their fields. Where the Sacramento River once had four distinct salmon runs two are now extinct and the other two survive only though human intervention in the form of salmon hatcheries and significant flow management that is fought every step of the way by farm groups that want the water for irrigation. The days of building big hydropower dams in North America in particular are long past.

Geothermal power requires a hot spot in the earth's surface and water. The necessary hot spots are not globally distributed. They only occur in volcanic zones. We have an established geothermal field nearby that may have to to shut down as they have depleted the local aquifer. If the volcano(s) a geothermal plant are situated near erupts you can see your power generating station destroyed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are two key disadvantages to using ammonia as a refrigerant: It is not compatible with copper, so it cannot be used in any system with copper pipes. Ammonia is poisonous in high concentrations. Not used in domestic fridges.

Industrial sized refrigeration plants use anhydrous ammonia almost exclusively. Ammonia based systems are less expensive to build because they use smaller diameter pipes, are more efficient, have better heat transfer qualities and ammonia costs much less than CFC or HCFC refrigerants.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The post is about Japan and not what is happening in other countries. Off topic. Hydroelectric here is just about maxed out without any new locations available. Pumped hydro can be increased.

The biggest hydroelectric dam is Kurobe in Omachi and owned by Kansai Electric. Prior to the construction of the dam the area suffered from flooding with the melting alpine snow. The dam has operated since 1963 without incident. Nearly 60 years.

Japan has about 50GW of installed hydropower including pumped hydro. 69.2 TWh. Conventional hydropower plants account for about 20 GW.

There are many geothermal sites but most are located within national parks. Many reports claim Japan could produce 15-20% of total power from geothermal if permission was given.

Nuclear energy has only achieved about 14% of total world power and many countries can not afford to build the reactors. Nuclear energy here will not be a major source of power again. Fukushima nuclear plant was destroyed by a powerful natural disaster and lack of safety plant design because of costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ammonia is used in many industrial processes and products. Ammonia is one of the most important chemicals produced globally with approximately 85% being used as fertiliser for food production.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also it's smelling like urine too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The post is about Japan and not what is happening in other countries. Off topic. Hydroelectric here is just about maxed out without any new locations available. Pumped hydro can be increased.

The deleterious aftereffects of building big hydroelectric dams are common around the world. The lessons learned elsewhere are fully applicable to Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites