Methane

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Methane

 

It is a continous discussion about the cars of the future. Will they be electric or driven by hydrogen?  

 

More and more facts indicate that Methane, (CNG, LNG....) will become the universal fuel of the future.  For this reason, it must be a good investment to bring methane engine technology to perfection, and the future will probably prove that demand for "methane engines"  will continue to increase.

 

Prospects of Methane for becoming an important source of energy in the future:

 

There is about twenty times as much energy in methane clathrates in the world as there is energy available in conventional oil and gas sources .

 

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It is highly likely that this abundant source of energy will be used as peak oil develops in the near future.

 

Since the most efficient way to turn biomass into fuel, is to produce Methane, either through fermentation (Anaerobic digestion) , or through gasification. Methane  will  probably play a main role in a fully sustainable society.

 

 

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The production of biomethane from fermentation is a fairly developed process, which is currently in use at a number of plants in  the world.

 

 

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Methane

 

The consumption of fossil fuels must be reduced to meet environmental and climate goals and reduce the greenhouse effect. In contrast to fossil fuels, biogas is renewable and carbon dioxide neutral. Biogas is also the cleanest fuel on the market and has the potential to replace much of the fossil fuel.

 

methane

 

The production of bio-methane appears to be a realistic means of replacing a significant proportion of the fossil fuels.

 

Methane, which is the major component of Biogas and Natural gas, is a very favourable biofuel for ground transport. The process of producing Biogas from agricultural products and waste is far more efficient than any other Biofuel production to date. For any choosen biomass, the energy yield per unit of biomass, is greater for methane than most, if not all, other biofuel alternatives. Methane production is also very unsensetive to the type of feedstock used, and to the purity of the feedstock.

 

 

94% of the EU need for road transportation

 

According to the study POTENTIAL OF BIOGAS PRODUCTION IN SUSTAINABLE_BIOREFINERY_CONCEPTS 94% of the EU need for road transportation fuel could be covered by Methane produced from agricultural products grown within the EU. This could be achieved without significantly displacing food production. The use of Biogas from agricultural produce is also considered to be CO2 negative according to the study "Biogas as a resource-efficient vehicle Fuel". When using Biogas for road transportation fuel, CO2 emissions are reduced by 140-220% compared to gasoline, seen from a life time cycle perspective.

 

With the future inevitable price on CO2 emissions, it is conceivable that the CO2 reduction from using Biogas can become an income for any producer/user of Biogas, apart from the actual production price of the product. The abundance of methane on earth, in the form of natural gas and methane hydrates in the permafrost and the ocean floors, further implies that methane is a very likely replacement for oil in the future.

 

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CO2 emissions from natural gas are smaller than for oil. If using the correct extraction technique, extracting methane trapped in the permafrost will be CO2 neutral, or even negative, according to the study Carbon Neutral Methane Energy Production from Hydrate_Deposits . Theese are important factors for any business depending on the use of energy in a future of a low carbon economy.

 

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A valuable fertilizer

 

Anaerobic digestion produces an effective nitrogen fertilizer. Nitrogen losses and environmental impacts due to ammonia and nitrous oxide emissions are minimized because plants can quickly extract the nutrients. The leaching of water-soluble nitrate is reduced. A more effective use of the nutrients in manure reduces the need for mineral fertilizers. This decreases costs for the farmer and also results in energy-savings, since fossil raw materials and energy are needed to manufacture mineral fertilizers. Digested manure smells much less when it is spread. Anaerobic digestion also reduces the number of infectious microorganisms and weed seeds in the material, especially if the digestion process is thermophilic (55 C).

 

 

The simplest alkane

 

Methane is a chemical compound with the molecular formula CH4. It is the simplest alkane, and the principal component of natural gas.

 

 

 

 

Energy density MJ/kg

 

   Energy (nuclear) 89,876,000,000 MJ/kg

   Hydrogen 143 MJ/kg

   Methane 56 MJ/kg

   Diesel 45.8 MJ/kg

   JET kerosene 42.8 MJ/kg

   Biodiesel 42.20 MJ/kg

   Ethanol 30 MJ/kg

   Methanol 19.7 MJ/kg

   Ultracapacitor 0.0206 MJ/kg

 

Methane is one of the most energy-rich fuels per kg and the world will never run out of methane. Large quantities originate from agriculture and the amounts bound in gas hydrates exceeds all other fossile fuels ever found.

 

 

 

Methane (CH4) is a greenhouse gas

 

Methane is also a primary constituent of natural gas and an important energy source. As a result, efforts to prevent or utilize methane emissions can provide significant energy, economic and environmental benefits. When Methane is burned rather than releasing it into atmosphere, greenhouse effect is reduced 20-100 times.

 

methane

 

Methane (CH4)

 

 

Properties

 

Methane is the major component of natural gas, about 87% by volume. At room temperature and standard pressure, methane is a colorless, odorless gas; the smell characteristic of natural gas is an artificial safety measure caused by the addition of an odorant, often methanethiol or ethanethiol. Methane has a boiling point of -161 °C at a pressure of one atmosphere. As a gas it is flammable only over a narrow range of concentrations (5–15%) in air. Liquid methane does not burn unless subjected to high pressure (normally 4–5 atmospheres.)

 

 

 

methane

 

Less carbon dioxide for each unit of heat

 

Compared to other hydrocarbon fuels, burning methane produces less carbon dioxide for each unit of heat released.

More heat per mass unit

 

The molecular mass (16.0 g/mol) divided by the heat of combustion (891 kJ/mol) shows that methane, being the simplest hydrocarbon, produces more heat per mass unit than other complex hydrocarbons.

 

Domestic heating

 

In cities, methane is piped into homes for domestic heating and cooking purposes. It is usually known as natural gas, and is considered to have an energy content of 39 megajoules per cubic meter,

 

Methane in the form of compressed natural gas is used as a fuel for vehicles, and is claimed to be more environmentally friendly than alternatives such as gasoline/petrol and diesel.

Rocket Fuel

 

Research is being conducted by NASA on methane's potential as rocket fuel. One advantage of methane is that it is abundant in many parts of the solar system and it could potentially be harvested in situ, providing fuel for a return journey.

Methane rivers and rain

 

shape Titan's surface

 

 

Sudden release from methane clathrates

 

At high pressures, such as are found on the bottom of the ocean, methane forms a solid clathrate with water, known as methane hydrate.

 

A very large quantity of methane is trapped in this form in ocean sediments. The sudden release of large volumes of methane from such sediments into the atmosphere has been suggested as a cause for rapid warming events in the Earth's distant past, such as the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum of 55 million years ago.

 

One source estimates the size of the methane hydrate deposits of the oceans at ten trillion tons. Theories suggest that should global warming cause them to heat up sufficiently, all of this methane could again be released into the atmosphere. Since methane is twenty-three times stronger (for a given weight, averaged over 100 years) than CO2 as a greenhouse gas; this would immensely magnify the greenhouse effect, heating Earth to unprecedented levels (see Clathrate gun hypothesis).

 

NASA: Methane has so many advantages

 

"The question is, why haven't we done this before?"

 

 

 

   Methane also gets high marks for human safety

   Methane is what we call a green propellant

 

 

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EU: Methanization of urban organic waste

 

Studies show that bio-methane could supply 20% of the global fuel consumption ,therefore, there are many reasons to defend bio-methane as bio-fuel for vehicles within the framework of European policy which is constantly looking for ‘green emission’ energy as an alternative including fuel diversity.

 

Methane data

 

   Molecular weight : 16.043 g/mol

 

Solid phase

 

   Melting point : -182.5 °C

   Latent heat of fusion (1,013 bar, at triple point) : 58.68 kJ/kg

 

Liquid phase

 

   Liquid density (1.013 bar at boiling point) : 422.62 kg/m3

   Liquid/gas equivalent (1.013 bar and 15 °C (59 °F)) : 630 vol/vol

   Boiling point (1.013 bar) : -161.6 °C

   Latent heat of vaporization (1.013 bar at boiling point) : 510 kJ/kg

   1 m3 (=422 kg) liquid Methane evaporates into 630 m3 gas at 1At and 15 °C

 

Critical point

 

   Critical temperature : -82.7 °C

   Critical pressure : 45.96 bar

 

Gaseous phase

 

   Gas density (1.013 bar at boiling point) : 1.819 kg/m3

   Gas density (1.013 bar and 15 °C (59 °F)) : 0.68 kg/m3

   Compressibility Factor (Z) (1.013 bar and 15 °C (59 °F)) : 0.998

   Specific gravity (air = 1) (1.013 bar and 21 °C (70 °F)) : 0.55

   Specific volume (1.013 bar and 21 °C (70 °F)) : 1.48 m3/kg

   Heat capacity at constant pressure (Cp) (1 bar and 25 °C (77 °F)) : 0.035 kJ/(mol.K)

   Heat capacity at constant volume (Cv) (1 bar and 25 °C (77 °F)) : 0.027 kJ/(mol.K)

   Ratio of specific heats (Gamma:Cp/Cv) (1 bar and 25 °C (77 °F)) : 1.305454

   Viscosity (1.013 bar and 0 °C (32 °F)) : 0.0001027 Poise

   Thermal conductivity (1.013 bar and 0 °C (32 °F)) : 32.81 mW/(m.K)

   1 m3 of gas at 1At and 15°C condenses into 0.68 kg liquid with volume 1.5 liters at -161.6 °C

 

Miscellaneous

 

   Solubility in water (1.013 bar and 2 °C (35.6 °F)) : 0.054 vol/vol

   Autoignition temperature : 595 °C

 

 

 

 

Major Hazards

 

   Major hazard : Fire and High Pressure

   Toxicity (Am. Conf. Of Gov. Ind. Hygienists ACGIH 2000 Edition) : Simple Asphyxiant

   Flammability limits in air (STP conditions) : 5.0-15.0 vol%

   Odour : None

   UN Number : UN1971 (gas); UN1972 (liquid refrigerated)

   EINECS Number : 200-812-7

   DOT Label (USA) : NFG

   DOT Hazard class (USA) : Flammable Gas

 

Methane Tank Systems

200 Bar pressure tank

 

Methane cannot be stored at a density as high as other fuels, and thus has an energy density approximately one-third that of gasoline, 11 MJ/l for compressed natural gas at 24.8 MPa (3600 psi) compared with 32 MJ/l for gasoline. Thus a compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel tank would need to be approximately three times larger than a gasoline tank to allow a vehicle the same driving range.

Low pressure storage tank

 

Methane can be stored in the physically adsorbed state at a pressure of 3.5 MPa (35 Bar) at energy densities comparable to methane compressed at 24.8 MPa. (248 Bar) in a carbon monolith based on carbon fibers. http://www.ornl.gov/~webworks/cpr/pres/107683.pdf

Liquid Methane tank -161.6 °C

 

According to NASA: . Liquid hydrogen fuel used by the space shuttle must be stored at a temperature of -252.9°C—only about 20 degrees above absolute zero! Liquid methane, can be stored at the much warmer and more convenient temperature of -161.6°C. That means methane fuel tanks wouldn't need as much insulation. The tanks could also be smaller, because liquid methane is denser than liquid hydrogen.

The United States Methane to Markets

 

..is all about promoting Energy from Waste

 

An action orientated initiative to reduce global methane emissions

 

ATP Production In Bacteria

 

Methanogenic bacteria live in marshes, swamps and your gastrointestinal tract. In fact, they are responsible for some intestinal gas, particularly the combustible component of flatulence. They produce methane gas anaerobically (without oxygen) by removing the electrons from hydrogen gas.

 

Compare to Diesel Fuel

 

Liquid Methane at -161.6 °C

 

   Liquid density (1.013 bar at boiling point) : 422.62 kg/m3

   Energy density 56 MJ/kg

   Energy 24 GJ/m3

 

Diesel Fuel at 0 °C

 

   Liquid density (1.013 bar ) : 820 kg/m3

   Energy density Diesel 45.8 MJ/kg

   Energy 37 GJ/m3

 

Conclusion: A Liquid Methane tank must be 54% larger than a dieseltank for the same amount of energy.

 

Example

 

Liquid Methane Truck

 

   Tank: 1540 liters Liquid Methane = 649 kg

   Consumption 77 liters/100km = 32 kg/100 km

   Range 2000 km

 

Diesel Truck

 

   Tank: 1000 liter diesel tank = 820 kg

   Consumption 50 liters/100km = 41 kg/100 km

   Range 2000 km

 

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Global climate change.

 

It is often claimed that there is a relation between CO2 and global temperature.

If the ice core science tells us the true story  

 

http://www.brighton73.freeserve.co.uk/gw/paleo/400000yrfig.htm

 

CO2 and temp. seem to be closely related during past 400,000 years

This graph indicates that we might already have an over- temperature  of approx.  10 C today,

and we will see the consequences of this after some unknown time delay.

 

If this conclusion is true, also a total stop of all CO2 emissions right now, will make us end

at +10 C or more.  On top of this comes the increased releases of Methane. It's effect is a 100 times

more powerful than CO2, as a greenhouse gas.

 

For this reason it is essential to encourage the use of Methane, CNG, LNG

and to learn more about Methane and  it's huge  potential to solve the approaching

climate change disaster.

 

This is a draft of a potential solution   http://www.1ppm.org/

Many such approaches and ideas are urgently needed.

 

The larger picture is complicated and not even the experts know for sure how fast climate change will come upon us.

 

The larger picture indicates  however

that the best thing the car industry can do to fight global warming

is to create fuel efficient cars and hybrids  optimized for Methane, CNG, LNG.

 

We think that this can be done by combining the most efficient combustion engine principles

in the world   with superior ignition technologies.