Technologies principal to the energy of future: St. Petersburg hosted the “Energy of Thought” scientific Symposium.
Today, within the second day of the Global Energy Prize laureates` week Saint Petersburg hosted “The energy of Thought scientific symposium that was held on the site of “Power machines”. It united the Global Energy Prize laureates and the winners of the “Energy of Youth” program with the specialists of engineering and technical services of the company. They discussed the technologies which are principal for the energy of the future of energy. Particular these technologies are being developed by the Global Energy Prize laureates and the winners of All-Russian contest of youth scientific projects.
The first developer of these technologies is the 2016 Global Energy Prize laureate Valentin Parmon. He was awarded for a breakthrough development of new catalysts in the area of petroleum refining and the renewable sources of energy as a principal contribution into the energy of the future. In particular, the first domestic technology of processing oil-associated gases into the mixture of liquid aromatic hydrocarbons has been developed and tested under his leadership. According to the scientist, “enormous amounts of associated gas are released during oil extraction. About 30 million tons are burned because of oil-associated gas propane – butane content. Valentin Parmon proposed the method of processing of heavy components of associated gas methane which is used in diesel power stations. The energy produced by them can be used for energy supply of oil-extracting towns.
As well the GEP laureate is involved in the catalytic combustion of fuels of different origin. Five full-sized environmentally friendly boilers were built under his leadership. They can run on a low-quality coal with no smell and no fumes. New boilers are more mobile in comparison to the traditional ones and they allow changing their power up to 10 times. This gives real savings due to more efficient use of fuel – up to 2-4 times. Moreover, in some regimes, the new boilers can be also used for the plant-waste recycling (for example, rice hulls and oat husks) which is accumulated in millions of tons. Valentin Parmon found the way to burn this type of plant-waste, and even its usage for production of some side-products that can be used for water purification as adsorbents.
And one more unbelievable achievement of Valentin Parmon: he has found an efficient way of direct transforming of various types of energy into chemical one. For example, catalytic cycles developed by the scientist make it possible to convert nuclear energy into chemical energy within a nuclear reactor and then store it as long as needed and to use it on demand. The same catalytic processes can be used with solar energy. Valentin Parmon headed the design and testing work of solar catalytic reactors, which convert solar energy into chemical fuel at an unsurpassed 43% efficiency rate with useful capacity of 2 kW. The chemical fuel produced with their help could be stored for a long long time and could be mechanical transported.
Another developer of new technologies is the 2012 Global Energy Prize Laureate Rodney John Allam. He deals with power plants running on natural gas, which represent completely clean energy systems with full carbon dioxide capture. They run on the so-called Allam’s cycle – with the superheat of hydrocarbons under high pressure and high temperatures. The efficiency of this system is in the carbon dioxide capture, its high-pressure compression and full recycling. Therefore, the unit cost of this system is surprisingly low. In addition, the cost of electricity produced in such system is equal to or even lower than the cost of power generation at the best thermal power plants. That’s why the unit cost of this system is surprisingly low. And the cost of electricity in this model is equal to or even below the cost of electricity production at the best technology thermal power stations. According to Rodney Allam, “depending on the quality of the natural gas going to turbines, the efficiency of the processes in the power plant ranges from 58 up to 60%. In case of coal, the useful capacity is at 50-52%. The first small demonstration systems are being built now near Houston. They will be launched in the beginning of the next year. The first commercial plant of this type will be commissioned at the end of 2019”.
The young scientists, the winners of the “The Energy of Youth” program are engaged the development of equally important technologies. In 2014 they received the “Global Energy” grant of RUB 3 million for the continuation of their researches. Their projects are devoted to solving important challenges - energy supply of the remote areas of the North, the use of substandard fuels without harm to the environment and the protection of mankind from electromagnetic radiation. All projects have great potential for practical application.