Category: Energy and Decarbonization

The Primary Energy Fallacy

The Primary Energy Fallacy- or, Committest Thou NOT the 2nd Sin of Thermodynamics! TL&DR Summary:  if anybody starts talking to you about “primary energy” in a discussion about decarbonization, please punch them in the mouth.  Energy is like currency- there’s an exchange rate between heat (chemical energy) and work (electricity)- they are not  worth the […]

Why Direct Air Capture (DAC) Sucks- and Not in a Good Way!

UPDATED August 8, 2023 You’ve likely heard the sales pitch before: What am I talking about? Direct air capture- the act of using active mechanical/chemical equipment and vast quantities of renewable energy, in a totally pointless fight against entropy, to try to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere for either durable burial or “use”. You’ve […]

Scaling Example #2: Water Electrolysis

Scaling Object Lesson #2: Water Electrolyzers For Hydrogen Production We learned about vertical scaling in the 1st article in this series: …and about horizontal scaling or “numbering up” in the 2nd: Now we’ll use these tools to examine the scaling future of an extremely important decarbonization technology: electrolyzers for producing hydrogen from renewable electricity. My readers will […]

Scaling Example #1: Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Now, let’s used the tools we’ve learned, to took at some examples from the effort to decarbonize our economy. The first example to take a swing at with our new understanding of vertical and horizontal scaling is the small modular nuclear reactor, or SMNR for short. SMR means something else to me- steam methane reformer- […]

Blackish Blue Bruise Coloured Hydrogen Part 2: the Ghost of Blue Hydrogen’s Future

Blackish-Blue Bruise Coloured Hydrogen Part 2: The Ghost of Blue Hydrogen’s Future As we found in Part 1, conventional hydrogen production from natural gas using steam methane reforming (SMR) coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is easily written off as a waste of everyone’s time and money. It’s fooling nobody. Because nearly half the […]