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first_img24 July 2007South African petrochemical company Sasol has become the first in the world to register a project that uses a secondary catalyst to convert the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into harmless nitrogen and oxygen, which could earn the company significant income through the sale of carbon credits.Sasol said in a statement on Monday that a share of the revenue derived from the carbon credit sales would be invested in local community-based sustainable development projects.A carbon credit – one credit is equivalent to a ton of carbon dioxide reduced – is a tradable permit scheme used as an incentive for countries and businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.Countries that have signed the Kyoto Protocol have fixed quotas for greenhouse emissions. The protocol’s clean development mechanism allows businesses to generate carbon credits, which can then be sold or exchanged with businesses that have exceeded their quota limits.Sasol Nitro, which commissioned its nitrous oxide emission abatement technology during the first quarter of 2007, expects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of about a million tons of carbon dioxide a year.According to the company, one ton of nitrous oxide has the greenhouse impact equivalent to 310 tons of carbon dioxide.The technology will be used to reduce emissions at two nitric acid plants in Sasolburg in the Free State province and Secunda in Mpumalanga province.“This is the first time that a project using a secondary catalyst has been registered as a clean development mechanism project in terms of the Kyoto Protocol,” said Sasol Chemical Businesses’ group general manager Reiner Groh.The project offered “significant environmental benefits for Sasol, our local communities and South Africa,” Groh added.Sasol said it had developed the project with assistance from MGM International, a specialist in the development of greenhouse gas emission reduction projects worldwide, and Heraues, a provider of catalyst technology for nitric acid production facilities.SouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgProduction will start at South Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December, it was announced at the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Fuel cells use platinum, and the country is the world’s leading platinum producer.Production will start at South Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December 2017. The plant will have a role to play in making clean energy vehicles. (Image: Brand South Africa)Brand South Africa reporterFuel cell components and using platinum as a catalyst was one of the hot topics at the Investing in African Mining Indaba this week. The annual conference took place from 6-9 February 2017 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.The indaba is dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining interests in Africa. It was announced during the conference that production would begin at Africa’s first fuel cell component plant by December.What are fuel cells?Fuel cells are eco-friendly; use hydrogen or hydrogen-rich fuel, such as natural gas, biogas, and methanol, and oxygen; and they reduce harmful emissions.Fuel cells also generate electricity and heat from the electrochemical reaction between hydrogen, platinum and oxygen.The fuel cell component plantAfrica’s first fuel cell component plant using platinum as a catalyst would start production by December this year, Reuters reported.The announcement comes after Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies launched a R15-million feasibility study a year ago. The Isondo Precious Minerals study is to identify particular components that can be manufactured for fuel cell units.It was intended to accelerate mineral beneficiation and localisation of fuel cell manufacturing in South Africa.The fuel cell component plant – a first in Africa – aimed to take advantage of rising demand for clean energy cars, said officials from Isondo Precious Metals.The group has secured a licence from the American company Chemours Technology to gather components for fuel cells using platinum, which has mainly been used in catalysts to clean up car emissions.The new plant will be located in a special economic zone either in Johannesburg or Durban.Fuel cell activity in South Africa:A hydrogen economyThe organisations partnering in fuel cell technology are HySA Catalysis, HySA Systems and HySA Infrastructure. They all fall under HySA (Hydrogen South Africa). HySA was initiated by the Department of Science and Technology, in its research, development and innovation strategy. It was launched in 2008.HySA Catalysis is co-hosted by the University of Cape Town and Mintek; HySA Systems is hosted by the University of the Western Cape; and HySA Infrastructure is hosted by North West University and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.The parent company’s focus areas include the use and displacement of strategic minerals, and ways of harnessing South Africa’s mineral endowments to promote the hydrogen economy and renewable energy use.HyPlat is a spinoff company of HySA Catalysis. “Essentially HyPlat is a success story of HySA Catalysis. The technologies developed by HySA Catalysis have been licensed to HyPlat making HyPlat the commercialisation arm of HySA Catalysis,” said HyPlat’s chief executive officer, Dr. Sharon Blair.“HyPlat sells customised platinum-based fuel cell components in South Africa. These products are sold to foreign customers and exported globally. South Africa has very little fuel cell activity; that’s why most of the customers are companies from abroad.”Structures that use fuel cellsIn the Chamber of Mines building, a 100kW fuel cell produces 70% of the organisation’s electricity. The fuel cell runs on platinum and natural gas.Explaining the use of South African platinum in the fuel cell, Chamber of Mines spokesperson Charmane Russel said: “The platinum used is the catalyst in an electrochemical process. The platinum is a once-off amount that is never used up.“However, after about 10 years, the platinum membrane becomes warped and it is then smelted and reapplied in the same fuel cell,” she said. “The platinum reacts with hydrogen to produce electricity – 35kW of heat and 5l of water per hour as a by-product.”The source of the hydrogen in the chamber’s fuel cell was low pressure natural gas, and it used 420GJ of gas a month, said Russel.Watch South Africa’s first hydrogen fuel cell forklift and refuelling station at work at Implats:The fuel cell forklift prototype and its refuelling station had been running since November 2015, said Fahmida Smith, the fuel cell co-ordinator at platinum group metals mining house Impala Platinum (Implats). “It’s operating very well.”South Africa’s first prototype hydrogen fuel cell forklift and refuelling station, it is installed at Impala Refining Services in Springs, Gauteng. Over the past three years, Implats has spent R6-million with HySA Systems in developing the prototype. The miner plans to use hydrogen fuel cell technology as its main source of energy for material handling and underground mining equipment.“We are looking at a wider industry collaboration on commercialisation of this. This is a very early stage and we still need to develop a formal commercialisation strategy,” said Smith.The fuel cell forklift was refuelled once a week, she explained. “Where this unit is different from a normal battery forklift is in its availability. A pure battery system can operate between four to six hours pending battery size and load.“It takes at least eight hours to recharge before it can be used again. The fuel cell forklift has a higher availability rate and takes less than 10 minutes to refuel.”Investments in fuel cell vehiclesAnglo American Platinum was investing $4-million (R53.764m) to help reduce the delivered costs of hydrogen, the mining company said on its website. The investment promised to support the development of hydrogen refuelling stations for fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the north-east corridor of the United States.FCEVs are powered by hydrogen and have the potential to revolutionise transport. FCEVs are fuelled with pure hydrogen gas stored directly on the vehicle. They will only produce water and heat.Furthermore, the mining house’s investment in United Hydrogen Group, a hydrogen production and distribution business in the United States, was aimed at bolstering the demand for platinum, it said.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest With heavy rains and high humidity expected to continue for the next few weeks across parts of the Midwest, a Purdue Extension specialist is advising corn and soybean producers to check their stored grain more frequently for signs of spoilage.“The prolonged rains lately, which have caused flooding, and the high ambient humidity are not favorable for grain storage,” said Klein Ileleji. “Therefore, it is time to check your grain bins weekly.”Spoilage and grain crusting typically occur more often in summer and especially when conditions are wet, Ileleji said. Solar load – direct sunlight on a grain bin roof – heats the space inside the bin. When the roof cools down at night, condensation can form, dripping back onto the warm grain surface. The excess moisture could cause caking and spoilage.To avoid warming up the grain bulk, which could cause spoilage, Ileleji recommended running a ventilation fan installed in the headspace at night to replace warm humid air with cooler air.He said farmers also needed to exercise caution when checking stored grain by taking samples using a probe known as a grain trier.“There is always a risk of entrapment when going into bulk grain in a confined space like a bin,” he said. “But there are a few things one can do to prevent damage or injury.”Before entering a bin, farmers should make sure the headspace is well ventilated, he said. Deteriorating grain produces carbon dioxide and other gasses, which at high concentrations in a confined space could overcome a person.“Aerate the bin headspace for about 30 minutes before entering by turning on the fans with the roof hatch open, or just run the headspace exhaust fan prior to entry,” Ileleji said.Farmers should also work in teams when inspecting grain bins.“Enter with a safety line and have someone keep a lookout for you,” Ileleji said. “If you are alone and something happens, you could be lost for some time before someone realizes you are gone and calls for help.”last_img read more

first_imgWith the dispute over Mahanadi river water sharing between Odisha and Chhattisgarh reaching a flashpoint, experts and civil society groups have urged the two governments to discuss all the contentious issues for a meaningful solution.At the second Odisha river conference, which concluded on Monday, experts said competitive politics over the Mahanadi water sharing was only making the matter complicated.A group of civil society organisations, river and water experts and academics from across the country and the two States gathered here to build an Inter-State Cooperation Framework for the resolution of the Mahanadi river water dispute.Politics over conflicts“There have been a lot of politics and inter-State river water conflicts in the country. But in the process of fighting, let the rights of the river as an ecological entity not get snatched. While the dispute between Odisha and Chhattisgarh is rife, it is unfortunate that both the States are treating the Mahanadi as a commodity and not a natural resource,” said Ranjan Panda, the convenor of Water Initiatives Odisha.“No doubt Chhattisgarh has constructed many dams and barrages without the consent of Odisha and has obstructed a lot of water, but that does not mean we can conclude that Chhattisgarh has siphoned off water from Odisha’s share,” said Mr. Panda.“We need a comprehensive understanding and analysis of the impacts of all these structures and availability of water in the basin. Let the tribunal decide how to make such an analysis and instruct Chhattisgarh to stop these obstructions if they are illegal,” Mr. Panda said, urging the two States not to close the door on dialogue.Internationally renowned climate change expert Saroj Dash hoped good sense would prevail and the two States would climb down from their stand and make space for dialogue. “The premise for the discussion should be cooperation, not conflict,” Mr. Dash said.“We don’t need either Odisha-centric or Chhattisgarh-centric approach. People’s rights on the river should be the guiding principle for dialogue,” said Premananda Panda, an academic.Mahanadi, the sixth largest river in India, originates from Chhattisgarh and enters the Bay of Bengal travelling 851 km, of which 357 km lies in Chhattisgarh and 494 km in Odisha. Odisha has been grumbling that the Mahanadi is witnessing an 80% reduction of water flow in non-monsoon months while Chhattisgarh says it is only storing river water.last_img read more