Friday, November 16, 2012

HTGRs: One Revolutionary Key to an Abundant Energy Future

The importance of cheap, plentiful, high quality industrial process heat cannot be overstated . . .

Here is a short link list of some things that you can do with cheap, virtually unlimited high quality process heat:

  1. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in oil sands (PDF)
  2. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in coal to liquids and gas to liquids (PDF)
  3. Unlock the trillions of barrels oil equivalent in shale oil kerogens 
  4. Provide abundant industrial process heat for production of fertilisers, refining fuels, making plastics, etc 
  5. Split CO2 into CO to use as a hydrogen carrier 
  6. Overturn conventional fears of EROEI and Peak Oil 
Those things, and many more -- including biomass to liquids and gas hydrates to liquids -- will be accomplished by next generation gas-cooled high temperature nuclear reactors.
A group of far-sighted companies, including AREVA, ConocoPhillips, Dow Chemical, Entergy, Graftech International Ltd., Mersen, Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada, SGL Group, Technology Insights, Toyo Tanso Co. Ltd., and Westinghouse are pursuing the development of a true next-generation nuclear technology referred to as the High Temperature Gas Cooled Reactor (HTGR) for the past few years. Without too much technical detail, HTGRs are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors with robust ceramic-coated fuel that operate at temperatures at or above 750 Degrees Celsius (1400 Fahrenheit) where conventional light water reactors operate at temperatures less than half that. In short:

The design is intrinsically safe. It requires neither active or passive systems nor operator interventions to remain safe, thereby allowing co-location near major industrial facilities.
High temperature output that allow direct substitution for fossil fuel use in industrial process heat applications.
Much higher efficiency leading to lower energy cost, making it competitive with natural gas in many places of the world today without any price for carbon. _NGNPAlliance_via_NBF
NGNPAlliance Home Page

4 Page PDF HTGR Description w/ Images

The image above matches different industrial processes with the level of heat required. Since HTGRs can provide abundant heat up to 850 C or 900 C, all of the lucrative processes listed in the image suddenly come within economical reach -- once HTGRs are perfected, licensed, and mass produced in factory-built modular units.

The image above provides thumbnail images of different processes that will become more profitable with the abundant availability of high temperature, high quality process heat.

Why do we at Al Fin Energy continue to emphasise the importance of HTGRs? Because if the US government had devoted half as much attention to developing and perfecting the mass production of safe, relatively inexpensive, and reliable HTGR modules -- instead of wasting hundreds of $billions on intermittent unreliable forms of energy -- the "energy crisis" would have been solved by now.

The fact that this has not been done, reveals for a certainty that government is not serious about providing inexpensive, clean, abundant energy for industry and society at large. Government energy policy is instead based upon more corrupt and ideological motivations, which delay the era of energy abundance unnecessarily.

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