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In-Situ Microbial Conversion of Sequestered Greenhouse Gases

Description: The objectives of the project are to use microbiological in situ bioconversion technology to convert sequestered or naturally-occurring greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, into methane and other useful organic compounds. The key factors affecting coal bioconversion identified in this research include (1) coal properties, (2) thermal maturation and coalification process, (3) microbial population dynamics, (4) hydrodynamics (5) reservoir conditions, and (6) the methodology of getting the nutrients into the coal seams. While nearly all cultures produced methane, we were unable to confirm sustained methane production from the enrichments. We believe that the methane generation may have been derived from readily metabolized organic matter in the coal samples and/or biosoluble organic material in the coal formation water. This raises the intriguing possibility that pretreatment of the coal in the subsurface to bioactivate the coal prior to the injection of microbes and nutrients might be possible. We determined that it would be more cost effective to inject nutrients into coal seams to stimulate indigenous microbes in the coal seams, than to grow microbes in fermentation vats and transport them to the well site. If the coal bioconversion process can be developed on a larger scale, then the cost to generate methane could be less than $1 per Mcf
Date: September 6, 2012
Creator: Scott, A R; Mukhopadhyay, M & Balin, D F
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Balancing Cost and Risk: The Treatment of Renewable Energy inWestern Utility Resource Plans

Description: Markets for renewable electricity have grown significantly in recent years, motivated in part by federal tax incentives and in part by state renewables portfolio standards and renewable energy funds. State renewables portfolio standards, for example, motivated approximately 45% of the 4,300 MW of wind power installed in the U.S. from 2001 through 2004, while renewable energy funds supported an additional 15% of these installations. Despite the importance of these state policies, a less widely recognized driver for renewable energy market growth is poised to also play an important role in the coming years: utility integrated resource planning (IRP). Formal resource planning processes have re-emerged in recent years as an important tool for utilities and regulators, particularly in regions where retail competition has failed to take root. In the western United States, recent resource plans contemplate a significant amount of renewable energy additions. These planned additions - primarily coming from wind power - are motivated by the improved economics of wind power, a growing acceptance of wind by electric utilities, and an increasing recognition of the inherent risks (e.g., natural gas price risk, environmental compliance risk) in fossil-based generation portfolios. The treatment of renewable energy in utility resource plans is not uniform, however. Assumptions about the direct and indirect costs of renewable resources, as well as resource availability, differ, as do approaches to incorporating such resources into the candidate portfolios that are analyzed in utility IRPs. The treatment of natural gas price risk, as well as the risk of future environmental regulations, also varies substantially. How utilities balance expected portfolio cost versus risk in selecting a preferred portfolio also differs. Each of these variables may have a substantial effect on the degree to which renewable energy contributes to the preferred portfolio of each utility IRP. This article, which is based on ...
Date: September 1, 2005
Creator: Wiser, Ryan & Bolinger, Mark
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trip report for field visit to Fayetteville Shale gas wells.

Description: This report describes a visit to several gas well sites in the Fayetteville Shale on August 9, 2007. I met with George Sheffer, Desoto Field Manager for SEECO, Inc. (a large gas producer in Arkansas). We talked in his Conway, Arkansas, office for an hour and a half about the processes and technologies that SEECO uses. We then drove into the field to some of SEECO's properties to see first-hand what the well sites looked like. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) made several funding awards under a program called Low Impact Natural Gas and Oil (LINGO). One of the projects that received an award is 'Probabilistic Risk-Based Decision Support for Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Facilities in Sensitive Ecosystems'. The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has the lead on the project, and Argonne National Laboratory is a partner. The goal of the project is to develop a Web-based decision support tool that will be used by mid- and small-sized oil and gas companies as well as environmental regulators and other stakeholders to proactively minimize adverse ecosystem impacts associated with the recovery of gas reserves in sensitive areas. The project focuses on a large new natural gas field called the Fayetteville Shale. Part of the project involves learning how the natural gas operators do business in the area and the technologies they employ. The field trip on August 9 provided an opportunity to do that.
Date: September 30, 2007
Creator: Veil, J. A. & Division, Environmental Science
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Scenarios for Benefits Analysis of Energy Research, Development,Demonstration and Deployment

Description: For at least the last decade, evaluation of the benefits of research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RD3) by the U.S. Department of Energy has been conducted using deterministic forecasts that unrealistically presume we can precisely foresee our future 10, 25,or even 50 years hence. This effort tries, in a modest way, to begin a process of recognition that the reality of our energy future is rather one rife with uncertainty. The National Energy Modeling System (NEMS) is used by the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EE) and Fossil Energy (FE) for their RD3 benefits evaluation. In order to begin scoping out the uncertainty in these deterministic forecasts, EE and FE designed two futures that differ significantly from the basic NEMS forecast. A High Fuel Price Scenario and a Carbon Cap Scenario were envisioned to forecast alternative futures and the associated benefits. Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) implemented these scenarios into its version of NEMS,NEMS-LBNL, in late 2004, and the Energy Information Agency created six scenarios for FE in early 2005. The creation and implementation of the EE-FE scenarios are explained in this report. Both a Carbon Cap Scenario and a High Fuel Price Scenarios were implemented into the NEMS-LBNL. EIA subsequently modeled similar scenarios using NEMS. While the EIA and LBNL implementations were in some ways rather different, their forecasts do not significantly diverge. Compared to the Reference Scenario, the High Fuel Price Scenario reduces energy consumption by 4 percent in 2025, while in the EIA fuel price scenario (known as Scenario 4) reduction from its corresponding reference scenario (known as Scenario 0) in 2025 is marginal. Nonetheless, the 4 percent demand reduction does not lead to other cascading effects that would significantly differentiate the two scenarios. The LBNL and EIA carbon scenarios ...
Date: September 7, 2005
Creator: Gumerman, Etan & Marnay, Chris
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Health, Safety, and Environmental Screening and Ranking Frameworkfor Geologic CO2 Storage Site Selection

Description: This report describes a screening and ranking framework(SRF) developed to evaluate potential geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) storage sites on the basis of health, safety, and environmental (HSE) risk arising from possible CO2 leakage. The approach is based on the assumption that HSE risk due to CO2 leakage is dependent on three basic characteristics of a geologic CO2 storage site: (1) the potential for primary containment by the target formation; (2) the potential for secondary containment if the primary formation leaks; and (3) the potential for attenuation and dispersion of leaking CO2 if the primary formation leaks and secondary containment fails. The framework is implemented in a spreadsheet in which users enter numerical scores representing expert opinions or general information available from published materials along with estimates of uncertainty to evaluate the three basic characteristics in order to screen and rank candidate sites. Application of the framework to the Rio Visa Gas Field, Ventura Oil Field, and Mammoth Mountain demonstrates the approach. Refinements and extensions are possible through the use of more detailed data or model results in place of property proxies. Revisions and extensions to improve the approach are anticipated in the near future as it is used and tested by colleagues and collaborators.
Date: September 19, 2005
Creator: Oldenburg, Curtis M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Coal combustion waste management at landfills and surface impoundments 1994-2004.

Description: On May 22, 2000, as required by Congress in its 1980 Amendments to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a Regulatory Determination on Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels. On the basis of information contained in its 1999 Report to Congress: Wastes from the Combustion of Fossil Fuels, the EPA concluded that coal combustion wastes (CCWs), also known as coal combustion by-products (CCBs), did not warrant regulation under Subtitle C of RCRA, and it retained the existing hazardous waste exemption for these materials under RCRA Section 3001(b)(3)(C). However, the EPA also determined that national regulations under Subtitle D of RCRA were warranted for CCWs that are disposed of in landfills or surface impoundments. The EPA made this determination in part on the basis of its findings that 'present disposal practices are such that, in 1995, these wastes were being managed in 40 percent to 70 percent of landfills and surface impoundments without reasonable controls in place, particularly in the area of groundwater monitoring; and while there have been substantive improvements in state regulatory programs, we have also identified gaps in State oversight' (EPA 2000). The 1999 Report to Congress (RTC), however, may not have reflected the changes in CCW disposal practices that occurred since the cutoff date (1995) of its database and subsequent developments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the EPA discussed this issue and decided to conduct a joint DOE/EPA study to collect new information on the recent CCW management practices by the power industry. It was agreed that such information would provide a perspective on the chronological adoption of control measures in CCW units based on State regulations. A team of experts from the EPA, industry, and DOE (with support from Argonne National Laboratory) was established to ...
Date: September 8, 2006
Creator: Elcock, D.; Ranek, N. L. & Division, Environmental Science
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reduction of Non-CO2 Gas Emissions Through The In Situ Bioconversion of Methane

Description: The primary objectives of this research were to seek previously unidentified anaerobic methanotrophs and other microorganisms to be collected from methane seeps associated with coal outcrops. Subsurface application of these microbes into anaerobic environments has the potential to reduce methane seepage along coal outcrop belts and in coal mines, thereby preventing hazardous explosions. Depending upon the types and characteristics of the methanotrophs identified, it may be possible to apply the microbes to other sources of methane emissions, which include landfills, rice cultivation, and industrial sources where methane can accumulate under buildings. Finally, the microbes collected and identified during this research also had the potential for useful applications in the chemical industry, as well as in a variety of microbial processes. Sample collection focused on the South Fork of Texas Creek located approximately 15 miles east of Durango, Colorado. The creek is located near the subsurface contact between the coal-bearing Fruitland Formation and the underlying Pictured Cliffs Sandstone. The methane seeps occur within the creek and in areas adjacent to the creek where faulting may allow fluids and gases to migrate to the surface. These seeps appear to have been there prior to coalbed methane development as extensive microbial soils have developed. Our investigations screened more than 500 enrichments but were unable to convince us that anaerobic methane oxidation (AMO) was occurring and that anaerobic methanotrophs may not have been present in the samples collected. In all cases, visual and microscopic observations noted that the early stage enrichments contained viable microbial cells. However, as the levels of the readily substrates that were present in the environmental samples were progressively lowered through serial transfers, the numbers of cells in the enrichments sharply dropped and were eliminated. While the results were disappointing we acknowledge that anaerobic methane oxidizing (AOM) microorganisms are predominantly found ...
Date: September 6, 2012
Creator: Scott, A. R.; Mukhopadhyay, B. & Balin, D. F.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

RESULTS FROM THE U.S. DOE 2006 SAVE ENERGY NOW ASSESSMENT INITIATIVE: DOE's Partnership with U.S. Industry to Reduce Energy Consumption, Energy Costs, and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Description: In the wake of Hurricane Katrina and other severe storms in 2005, natural gas supplies were restricted, prices rose, and industry sought ways to reduce its natural gas use and costs. In October 2005, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Energy Secretary Bodman launched his Easy Ways to Save Energy campaign with a promise to provide energy assessments to 200 of the largest U.S. manufacturing plants. A major thrust of the campaign was to ensure that the nation's natural gas supplies would be adequate for all Americans, especially during home heating seasons. In a presentation to the National Press Club on October 3, 2005, Secretary Bodman said: 'America's businesses, factories, and manufacturing facilities use massive amounts of energy. To help them during this period of tightening supply and rising costs, our Department is sending teams of qualified efficiency experts to 200 of the nation's most energy-intensive factories. Our Energy Saving Teams will work with on-site managers on ways to conserve energy and use it more efficiently.' DOE's Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) responded to the Secretary's campaign with its Save Energy Now initiative, featuring a new and highly cost-effective form of energy assessments. The approach for these assessments drew heavily on the existing resources of ITP's Technology Delivery component. Over the years, ITP-Technology Delivery had worked with industry partners to assemble a suite of respected software decision tools, proven assessment protocols, training curricula, certified experts, and strong partnerships for deployment. Because of the program's earlier activities and the resources that had been developed, ITP was prepared to respond swiftly and effectively to the sudden need to promote improved industrial energy efficiency. Because of anticipated supply issues in the natural gas sector, the Save Energy Now initiative strategically focused on natural gas savings and targeted the nation's largest manufacturing plants--those that consume a ...
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Wright, Anthony L; Martin, Michaela A; Gemmer, Bob; Scheihing, Paul & Quinn, James
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. DOE Industrial Technologies Program – Technology Delivery Plant-Wide Assessment at PPG Industries, Natrium, WV

Description: PPG and West Virginia University performed a plantwide energy assessment at the PPG’s Natrium, WV chemical plant, an energy-intensive manufacturing facility producing chlor-alkali and related products. Implementation of all the assessment recommendations contained in this report could reduce plant energy consumption by 8.7%, saving an estimated 10,023,192 kWh/yr in electricity, 6,113 MM Btu/yr in Natural Gas, 401,156 M lb/yr in steam and 23,494 tons/yr in coal and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 241 mm lb/yr. The total cost savings would amount to approximately $2.9 mm/yr. Projects being actively implemented will save $1.7 mm/yr; the remainder are undergoing more detailed engineering study.
Date: September 28, 2007
Creator: Lester, Stephen R.; Wiethe, Jeff; Green, Russell; Guice, Christina; Gopalakrishnan, Bhaskaran & Turton, Richard
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generation and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Carbon Sequestration in Northwest Indiana

Description: The objective of the project is to develop the technology capable of capturing all carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from natural gas fueled Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system. In addition, the technology to electrochemically oxidize any remaining carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide will be developed. Success of this R&D program would allow for the generation of electrical power and thermal power from a fossil fuel driven SOFC system without the carbon emissions resulting from any other fossil fueled power generationg system.
Date: September 30, 2007
Creator: Peavey, Kevin & Bessette, Norm
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dilute Oxygen Combustion Phase 2 Final Report

Description: A novel burner, in which fuel (natural gas) and oxidant (oxygen or air) are separately injected into a furnace, shows promise for achieving very low nitrogen oxide(s) (NOx) emissions for commercial furnace applications. The dilute oxygen combustion (DOC) burner achieves very low NOx through in-furnace dilution of the oxidant stream prior to combustion, resulting in low flame temperatures, thus inhibiting thermal NOx production. The results of a fundamental and applied research effort on the development of the DOC burner are presented. In addition, the results of a market survey detailing the potential commercial impact of the DOC system are disclosed. The fundamental aspects of the burner development project involved examining the flame characteristics of a natural gas turbulent jet in a high-temperature (~1366 K) oxidant (7-27% O2 vol. wet). Specifically, the mass entrainment rate, the flame lift-off height, the velocity field and major species field of the jet were evaluated as a function of surrounding-gas temperature and composition. The measured entrainment rate of the fuel jet decreased with increasing oxygen content in the surrounding high-temperature oxidant, and was well represented by the d+ scaling correlation found in the literature. The measured flame lift-off height decreased with increasing oxygen content and increasing temperature of the surrounding gas. An increase in surrounding-gas oxygen content and/or temperature inhibited the velocity decay within the jet periphery as a function of axial distance as compared to isothermal turbulent jets. However, the velocity measurements were only broadly represented by the d+ scaling correlation. Several DOC burner configurations were tested in a laboratory-scale furnace at a nominal firing rate of 185 kW (~0.63 MMBtu/h). The flue gas composition was recorded as a function of furnace nitrogen content, furnace temperature, burner geometric arrangement, firing rate, and fuel injection velocity. NOx emissions increased with increasing furnace nitrogen content and ...
Date: September 30, 2005
Creator: Ryan, H.M.; Riley, M.F. & Kobayashi, H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Lean NOx Trap Catalysis for Lean Natural Gas Engine Applications

Description: Distributed energy is an approach for meeting energy needs that has several advantages. Distributed energy improves energy security during natural disasters or terrorist actions, improves transmission grid reliability by reducing grid load, and enhances power quality through voltage support and reactive power. In addition, distributed energy can be efficient since transmission losses are minimized. One prime mover for distributed energy is the natural gas reciprocating engine generator set. Natural gas reciprocating engines are flexible and scalable solutions for many distributed energy needs. The engines can be run continuously or occasionally as peak demand requires, and their operation and maintenance is straightforward. Furthermore, system efficiencies can be maximized when natural gas reciprocating engines are combined with thermal energy recovery for cooling, heating, and power applications. Expansion of natural gas reciprocating engines for distributed energy is dependent on several factors, but two prominent factors are efficiency and emissions. Efficiencies must be high enough to enable low operating costs, and emissions must be low enough to permit significant operation hours, especially in non-attainment areas where emissions are stringently regulated. To address these issues the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission launched research and development programs called Advanced Reciprocating Engine Systems (ARES) and Advanced Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines (ARICE), respectively. Fuel efficiency and low emissions are two primary goals of these programs. The work presented here was funded by the ARES program and, thus, addresses the ARES 2010 goals of 50% thermal efficiency (fuel efficiency) and <0.1 g/bhp-hr emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx). A summary of the goals for the ARES program is given in Table 1-1. ARICE 2007 goals are 45% thermal efficiency and <0.015 g/bhp-hr NOx. Several approaches for improving the efficiency and emissions of natural gas reciprocating engines are being pursued. Approaches include: stoichiometric engine operation with ...
Date: September 1, 2007
Creator: Parks, James E., II; Storey, John Morse; Theiss, Timothy J.; Ponnusamy, Senthil; Ferguson, Harley Douglas; Williams, Aaron M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Effect of stress on the microstructure of a graywacke sandstone from the site of the Rio Blanco gas-stimulation experiment

Description: Project Rio Blanco was designed to increase rock permeability in an existing gas reservoir by fracturing the rock with a vertical array of three simultaneous nuclear explosions. The project site was CER Geonuclear hole RB-E- 01, Section 14, T35, R98W, Rio Blanco County, in the Piceance Creek Basin of northwest Colorado. The most essential part of this project was to produce fracturing in, and thereby to increase the permeability of, the reservoir rock. This report contains the results of optical and scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies done on unstressed and laboratory-stressed samples of graywacke sandstone from the 6458-ft level of the emplacement hole. Laboratory-stressed samples were from uniaxial-stress and uniaxial-strain tests made as part of equation-of-state measurements used to provide input parameters for preshot code calculations. (auth)
Date: September 30, 1975
Creator: Dengler, L.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Fuel Cell Applied Research Project

Description: Since November 12, 2003, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has been operating a 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell to provide electrical and thermal energy to its campus. The project was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as by a partnership with the provincial Alberta Energy Research Institute; a private-public partnership, Climate Change Central; the federal Ministry of Western Economic Development; and local natural gas supplier, ATCO Gas. Operation of the fuel cell has contributed to reducing NAIT's carbon dioxide emissions through its efficient use of natural gas.
Date: September 15, 2006
Creator: Richardson, Lee
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of Public Discourse Methods in Energy Policy Decision-Making: A Summary of What You Told Us and What We Learned

Description: The ground is littered with projects that failed because of strong public opposition, including natural gas and coal power plants proposed in Idaho over the past several years. This joint project , of the Idaho National Laboratory, Boise State University, Idaho State University and University of Idaho has aimed to add to the tool box to reduce project risk through encouraging the public to engage in more critical thought and be more actively involved in public or social issues. Early in a project, project managers and decision-makers can talk with no one, pro and con stakeholder groups, or members of the public. Experience has shown that talking with no one outside of the project incurs high risk because opposition stakeholders have many means to stop most (if not all) energy projects. Talking with organized stakeholder groups provides some risk reduction from mutual learning, but organized groups tend not to change positions except under conditions of a negotiated settlement. Achieving a negotiated settlement may be impossible. Furthermore, opposition often arises outside pre-existing groups. Standard public polling provides some information but does not reveal underlying motivations, intensity of attitudes, etc. Improved methods are needed that probe deeper into stakeholder (organized groups and members of the public) values and beliefs (sometimes called /heuristics) to increase the potential for change of opinions and/or out-of-box solutions. The term “heuristics” refers to the mental short-cuts, underlying beliefs, and paradigms that everyone uses to filter and interpret information, to interpret what is around us, and to guide our actions and decisions. This document is the final report of a 3-year effort to test different public discourse methods in the subject area of energy policy decision-making. We analyzed 504 mail-in surveys and 80 participants in groups on the Boise State University campus for their preference, financial support, and ...
Date: September 1, 2010
Creator: Team, Analysis; DeShazo, Eileen; Freemuth, John; Giannini, Tina; Hall, Troy; Hunter, Ann et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geopressured-geothermal test of the EDNA Delcambre No. 1 well, Tigre Lagoon Field, Vermilion Parish, Louisiana: Analysis of water and dissolved natural gas: Final report

Description: The presence of large volumes of hot water (250-425 F) containing dissolved natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico coastal areas at depths of 5,000 to 25,000 feet (the geopressured zone) has been known for several years. Because natural gas and oil from conventional production methods were relatively inexpensive prior to 1973, and because foreign oil was readily available, no economic incentive existed for developing this resource. With the oil embargo and the resulting rapid escalation in prices of oil and gas since 1973, a new urgency exists for examining the economic potential of the geopressured-geothermal resource. The main objective of the research reported here was to determine the volume of gas dissolved in the geopressured water, as well as the qualitative and quantitative composition of the water and the dissolved gas. A further objective was to use an existing shut-in gas well so that drilling time and the attendant costs could be avoided.
Date: September 1, 1978
Creator: Hankind, B.E. & Karkalits, O.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hydrogen-Assisted IC Engine Combustion as a Route to Hydrogen Implementation

Description: The 'Freedom Car' Initiative announced by the Bush Administration has placed a significant emphasis on development of a hydrogen economy in the United States. While the hydrogen-fueled fuel-cell vehicle that is the focus of the 'Freedom Car' program would rely on electrochemical energy conversion, and despite the large amount of resources being devoted to its objectives, near-term implementation of hydrogen in the transportation sector is not likely to arise from fuel cell cars. Instead, fuel blending and ''hydrogen-assisted'' combustion are more realizable pathways for wide-scale hydrogen utilization within the next ten years. Thus, a large potential avenue for utilization of hydrogen in transportation applications is through blending with natural gas, since there is an existing market for natural-gas vehicles of various classes, and since hydrogen can provide a means of achieving even stricter emissions standards. Another potential avenue is through use of hydrogen to 'assist' diesel combustion to permit alternate combustion strategies that can achieve lower emissions and higher efficiency. This project focused on developing the underlying fundamental information to support technologies that will facilitate the introduction of coal-derived hydrogen into the market. Two paths were envisioned for hydrogen utilization in transportation applications. One is for hydrogen to be mixed with other fuels, specifically natural gas, to enhance performance in existing natural gas-fueled vehicles (e.g., transit buses) and provide a practical and marketable avenue to begin using hydrogen in the field. A second is to use hydrogen to enable alternative combustion modes in existing diesel engines, such as homogeneous charge compression ignition, to permit enhanced efficiency and reduced emissions. Thus, this project on hydrogen-assisted combustion encompassed two major objectives: (1) Optimization of hydrogen-natural gas mixture composition and utilization through laboratory studies of spark-ignition engine operation on H{sub 2}-NG and numerical simulation of the impact of hydrogen blending on the physical ...
Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: Boehman, Andre & Haworth, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementing Strategies for Drying and Pressing Wood Without Emissions Controls

Description: Drying and pressing wood for the manufacture of lumber, particleboard, oriented strand board (OSB), veneer and medium density fiberboard (MDF) release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. These emissions require control equipment that are capital-intensive and consume significant quantities of natural gas and electricity. The objective of our work was to understand the mechanisms through which volatile organic compounds are generated and released and to develop simple control strategies. Of the several strategies developed, two have been implemented for OSB manufacture over the course of this study. First, it was found that increasing final wood moisture by about 2-4 percentage points reduced the dryer emissions of hazardous air pollutants by over 70%. As wood dries, the escaping water evaporatively cools the wood. This cooling tapers off wood when the wood is nearly dry and the wood temperature rises. Thermal breakdown of the wood tissue occurs and VOCs are released. Raising the final wood moisture by only a few percentage points minimizes the temperature rise and reduces emissions. Evaporative cooling also impacts has implications for VOC release from wood fines. Flaking wood for OSB manufacture inevitable generates fines. Fines dry out rapidly because of their high surface area and evaporative cooling is lost more rapidly than for flakes. As a result, fines emit a disproportionate quantity of VOCs. Fines can be reduced in two ways: through screening of the green furnish and through reducing their generation during flaking. The second approach is preferable because it also increased wood yield. A procedure to do this by matching the sharpness angle of the flaker knife to the ambient temperature was also developed. Other findings of practical interests are as follows: Dielectric heating of wood under low-headspace conditions removes terpenes and other extractives from softwood; The monoterpene content in trees depend upon temperature ...
Date: September 7, 2007
Creator: Banerjee, Sujit & Conners, Terrance
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of Cutting-Edge Horizontal and Underbalanced Drilling Technologies and Subsurface Seismic Techniques to Explore, Drill and Produce Reservoired Oil and Gas from the Fractured Monterey Below 10,000 ft in the Santa Maria Basin of California

Description: This project was undertaken to demonstrate that oil and gas can be drilled and produced safely and economically from a fractured Monterey reservoir in the Santa Maria Basin of California by employing horizontal wellbores and underbalanced drilling technologies. Two vertical wells were previously drilled in this area with heavy mud and conventional completions; neither was commercially productive. A new well was drilled by the project team in 2004 with the objective of accessing an extended length of oil-bearing, high-resistivity Monterey shale via a horizontal wellbore, while implementing managed-pressure drilling (MPD) techniques to avoid formation damage. Initial project meetings were conducted in October 2003. The team confirmed that the demonstration well would be completed open-hole to minimize productivity impairment. Following an overview of the geologic setting and local field experience, critical aspects of the application were identified. At the pre-spud meeting in January 2004, the final well design was confirmed and the well programming/service company requirements assigned. Various design elements were reduced in scope due to significant budgetary constraints. Major alterations to the original plan included: (1) a VSP seismic survey was delayed to a later phase; (2) a new (larger) surface hole would be drilled rather than re-enter an existing well; (3) a 7-in. liner would be placed into the top of the Monterey target as quickly as possible to avoid problems with hole stability; (4) evaluation activities were reduced in scope; (5) geosteering observations for fracture access would be deduced from penetration rate, cuttings description and hydrocarbon in-flow; and (6) rather than use nitrogen, a novel air-injection MPD system was to be implemented. Drilling operations, delayed from the original schedule by capital constraints and lack of rig availability, were conducted from September 12 to November 11, 2004. The vertical and upper curved sections were drilled and lined through the ...
Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: Witter, George; Knoll, Robert; Rehm, William & Williams, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of Phytoremediation of Coal Bed Methane Product Water and Waters of Quality Similar to that Associated with Coal Bed Methane Reserves of the Powder River Basin, Montana and Wyoming

Description: U.S. emphasis on domestic energy independence, along with advances in knowledge of vast biogenically sourced coalbed methane reserves at relatively shallow sub-surface depths with the Powder River Basin, has resulted in rapid expansion of the coalbed methane industry in Wyoming and Montana. Techniques have recently been developed which constitute relatively efficient drilling and methane gas recovery and extraction techniques. However, this relatively efficient recovery requires aggressive reduction of hydrostatic pressure within water-saturated coal formations where the methane is trapped. Water removed from the coal formation during pumping is typically moderately saline and sodium-bicarbonate rich, and managed as an industrial waste product. Current approaches to coalbed methane product water management include: surface spreading on rangeland landscapes, managed irrigation of agricultural crop lands, direct discharge to ephermeral channels, permitted discharge of treated and untreated water to perennial streams, evaporation, subsurface injection at either shallow or deep depths. A Department of Energy-National Energy Technology Laboratory funded research award involved the investigation and assessment of: (1) phytoremediation as a water management technique for waste water produced in association with coalbed methane gas extraction; (2) feasibility of commercial-scale, low-impact industrial water treatment technologies for the reduction of salinity and sodicity in coalbed methane gas extraction by-product water; and (3) interactions of coalbed methane extraction by-product water with landscapes, vegetation, and water resources of the Powder River Basin. Prospective, greenhouse studies of salt tolerance and water use potential of indigenous, riparian vegetation species in saline-sodic environments confirmed the hypothesis that species such as Prairie cordgrass, Baltic rush, American bulrush, and Nuttall's alkaligrass will thrive in saline-sodic environments when water supplies sourced from coalbed methane extraction are plentiful. Constructed wetlands, planted to native, salt tolerant species demonstrated potential to utilize substantial volumes of coalbed methane product water, although plant community transitions to mono-culture and limited diversity communities ...
Date: September 30, 2008
Creator: Bauder, James
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field Demonstration of a Membrane Process to Separate Nitrogen from Natural Gas

Description: The original proposal described the construction and operation of a 1 MMscfd treatment system to be operated at a Butcher Energy gas field in Ohio. The gas produced at this field contained 17% nitrogen. During pre-commissioning of the project, a series of well tests showed that the amount of gas in the field was significantly smaller than expected and that the nitrogen content of the wells was very high (25 to 30%). After evaluating the revised cost of the project, Butcher Energy decided that the plant would not be economical and withdrew from the project. Since that time, Membrane Technology and Research, Inc. (MTR) has signed a marketing and sales partnership with ABB Lummus Global, a large multinational corporation. MTR is working with the company's Randall Gas Technology group, a supplier of equipment and processing technology to the natural gas industry. Randall's engineering group found a new site for the project at a North Texas Exploration (NTE) gas processing plant, and we continue, but have as yet been unsuccessful in our attempts, to negotiate with Atmos Energy for a final test of the original project demonstration unit. In the meantime, MTR has located an alternative testing opportunity and signed a contract with Towne Exploration for a demonstration plant in Rio Vista, CA, to be run through May 2007. Several commercial sales have resulted from the partnership with ABB, and total sales of nitrogen/natural gas membrane separation units are now approaching $2.6 million.
Date: September 30, 2006
Creator: Lokhandwala, Kaaeid
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department