Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

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Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby george matthews » Thu Apr 27, 2017 6:56 pm

philipmartin wrote:I enjoy your information about the rail situation in the UK before Beeching . The same diminution of rail lines happened in the US for economic reasons. We didn't need Dr. Beeching. Doctor dollar sign did it. The last paragraph is your usual boilerplate.

If you keep going on about the glories of steam, I will keep pointing out the disadvantages of steam: it's high cost and inefficiency; its medical effects; its climate damaging effects.
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Re: British Railways 1946

Postby johnthefireman » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:40 am

Why don't we just accept that some of us love to remember the days of steam and also to celebrate the small number of remaining heritage steam locomotives at every opportunity, and that George loves to criticise steam at every opportunity, and just live and let live without getting too heated about it?
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Re: British Railways 1946

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:05 pm

I've just seen this interesting piece on African Arguments:

Life and coal: The other way Africa can leapfrog on energy

Basically it argues that renewable energy alone will not suffice for Africa's development and that coal will need to be a part of the mix.

Sub-Saharan Africa must of course be part of tackling climate change. But especially given that the region has contributed the least to the problem yet faces many of the direst consequences of it, the burden should not lie with a power-starved Africa.


But what really interested me was this quote:

the latest iterations of coal power plants emit less than 100g of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. That’s almost as little as a traditional photovoltaic solar panel.
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Re: British Railways 1946

Postby george matthews » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:15 pm

johnthefireman wrote:I've just seen this interesting piece on African Arguments:

Life and coal: The other way Africa can leapfrog on energy

Basically it argues that renewable energy alone will not suffice for Africa's development and that coal will need to be a part of the mix.

Sub-Saharan Africa must of course be part of tackling climate change. But especially given that the region has contributed the least to the problem yet faces many of the direst consequences of it, the burden should not lie with a power-starved Africa.


But what really interested me was this quote:

the latest iterations of coal power plants emit less than 100g of CO2 per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated. That’s almost as little as a traditional photovoltaic solar panel.

I am really not in favour of sneaking more coal use in and making claims that it won't add to the growth of CO2 in the atmosphere. It will. Coal must remain in the ground, doing the job it has been doing since the Carboniferous age - keeping carbon low in the atmosphere. The coal industry is probably sponsoring this spurious argument. I notice the article doesn't mention biogas, which has a huge, mostly untapped, possibility and does not add CO2 to the atmosphere.
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Re: British Railways 1946

Postby David Benton » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:38 pm

From the various google searches . the 100 grams is a goal , not currently achieved. The technology required to achieve it would cost way more than Africa could afford , and make it a more expensive option than solar etc anyway .
I would think biomass would be a better option for them .
I am currently excited by the prospect of mangroves to both store carbon , and as a food / biomass source. It burns nearly as hot as coal
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Re: British Railways 1946

Postby george matthews » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:42 pm

David Benton wrote:From the various google searches . the 100 grams is a goal , not currently achieved. The technology required to achieve it would cost way more than Africa could afford , and make it a more expensive option than solar etc anyway .
I would think biomass would be a better option for them .
I am currently excited by the prospect of mangroves to both store carbon , and as a food / biomass source. It burns nearly as hot as coal

As there is actually a steam locomotive reported here working on biomass, this is at least a workable possibility.
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby David Benton » Mon May 01, 2017 2:09 am

Split from British Railways 1946 thread.
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby David Benton » Mon May 01, 2017 2:13 am

http://www.steamrailway.co.uk/steamnews ... e-of-steam

A zoo In the USA runs its steam engine on "Bio Coal".
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby george matthews » Mon May 01, 2017 10:08 am

In industrialised countries at least the main energy source for railways will be nuclear electricity. Despite all its disadvantages, it does not emit CO2 and will not exacerbate the climate problem.
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby johnthefireman » Sat May 27, 2017 1:58 am

UK achieves solar power record as temperatures soar

A record amount of solar power was generated on Friday as Britain basked in sunshine and temperatures of up to 28C...

8.7 gigawatts (GW) had been generated at lunchtime, representing 24.3% of total generation across the UK...

Alongside the contribution from solar, 23% of power came from nuclear sources, 30% from natural gas and just 1.4% from coal.

Wind, hydro power and biomass were also used...

In April, Britain went a full day without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the 1880s.

The government hopes to close all coal-fired power plants by 2025 and coal accounted for just 9% of electricity generation in 2016 - down from 23% the year before...
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby David Benton » Sat May 27, 2017 2:05 am

The concept of England having a sunny day is quite amazing!
Seriously, I never realized Britain had so much solar installed, it seems incredible it can produce so much .
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby george matthews » Sat May 27, 2017 6:12 am

David Benton wrote:The concept of England having a sunny day is quite amazing!
Seriously, I never realized Britain had so much solar installed, it seems incredible it can produce so much .

We have had several days with excellent sunlight and also a long period with rather low rainfall. It remains to be seen whether we are going to experience a drought.
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:22 am

The coal truth: how a major energy source lost its power in Britain

Only five years ago, the fuel was generating more than 40% of the UK’s electricity, but new analysis by Imperial College London reveals coal supplied just 2% of power in the first half of 2017...
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby george matthews » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:15 am

None have ceased operation this year but coal supplies so little power today that in April the National Grid reported the UK had gone the first day without the fossil fuel since Thomas Edison opened the country’s first coal power station at Holborn, London, in 1882. In 2017 so far, there have been more than 300 hours without coal.


That date seems later than I thought for "first coal power station". In the 1950s I went down a coal mine in Cumbria with a small school party. It's long been closed. All that carbon should stay in the ground where it prevents the climate changing.
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Re: Biomass, biofuel, wood fuel for steam locomotives

Postby johnthefireman » Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:10 pm

george matthews wrote:All that carbon should stay in the ground where it prevents the climate changing.


Agreed, and this article demonstrates that, at least in the UK, that is what is now happening, with only 2% of electricity generated using coal, with some days when it is actually zero, and plans to make that zero permanent before long.
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