Developing Power Generation Technology For Low Grade Waste Heat Above 31 C or 89 F
Utilizing low grade waste heat with supercritical CO2 is a Pandora’s Box for developers, mainly because of the high pressures involved. High pressure means expensive engineering and components. The best methodology is to develop smaller working CO2 turbine prototypes, and learn lessons on a small scale, with less costly results. Infinity has developed a platform to do this prototyping, using a modular cart, high pressure components, and a turbine that fits in a off-the-shelf high pressure filter housing.
Traditional Versus Fast Track Development
Traditional steam turbine development was slow and expensive. Conventional turbine development today may involve computational flow, CAD/CAM, and other tools which reduce development time, however there is still a trial-and-error testing period. Our methodology is to use 3D printing to decrease the testing period by first doing a plastic print to test on air and parts fitting, then do a metal 3D print, or more conventional vertical milling or waterjet machining for the turbine rotor, stator, and housing parts.
3D Turbine Generator Development
Using a 3D printer can greatly reduce the time to machine and test turbine designs. There are limitations with designs over 3 inches for metal 3D prints however. We’ve found that our prints using a ExOne metal additive system resultings in poor tolerance, from the shrinking of the metal during the sintering phase (heat curing oven). With a six inch and above rotor, we have found that additional post processing needs to be included for balancing the rotor, or finish.
Solid State Turbine
Retrospective of steam, rankine, organic, and supercritical cycles, the Holy Grail of prime movers would be a static turbine, with no moving parts. The cost and maintenance reduction, would then move the price point to such a level which would make power more affordable on any scale. To that end, Infinity is developing a method to generate electrostatic electricity, from the expansion of CO2 (which goes supercritical at 31 C or 89 F). This proess would reduce the footprint and costs by 100 times.
What Does the Future Hold ?
Converting low grade waste heat to power allows for point-of-use power generation, and access to solar thermal, geothermal, industrial waste heat, and computer server waste heat. The ability to utilize the waste heat in a solid-state turbine, with no moving parts will allow cost-effective power generation at any scale.
Spinning Disc Reactors, or SDRs, are a very new type of processing unit that has had new applications discovered every year. All the articles used in this report are under 10 years old, with the newest one being published this year. This demonstrates how new SDRs are, especially in this field. While there is no publicly available information on using SDRs to make quantum dots, I believe that it is possible and most likely is being optimized currently in the private market.
A big field of interest as of lately has been process intensification which is a design approach that focuses on smaller, cleaner, safer, and more energy efficient processes. One design that has received considerable attention as of late has been the spinning disc reactor (SDR). Its basic design includes one or more liquid streams being flowed onto a quickly rotating disc.
The centrifugal acceleration from the rotation creates a very thin liquid film which significantly heightens the mass transfer and micro-mixing ability of the liquid streams. It also allows for more process control due to additional variables in the process including RPMs of the disc, the texture on the disc, the disc temperature, the injection site along the disc, disc size, pressure in the reactor, and environment in the reactor (can include speciality gas injection into reactor space). It also is a continuous feed reactor which can be applied to many processes that have relied on large volume and high residence time designs like batch or continuously stirred tank reactors (CSTR).
While the SDR can be used for many different processes, it excels greatly in a specific few. These include processes that rely on precipitation and uniformly mixed reactants. These traits allow for SDRs to be used in the “bottom-up” production of nanoparticles, where particles are created through nucleations and subsequently crystal growth. This is where batch reactors and CSTRs aren’t as easily applied due to their high volumes and lack of sufficient mixing ability. “Top-down” processing where bulk material is ground down into nanoparticles is typically avoided when trying to achieve nanoparticles of a certain size and narrow size distribution due to the lack of control over the process.
In 2010, the global market for quantum dots was low, sitting at $67 million . It was projected to have an amazing 59.3% compound annual growth rate, which was mostly realized and by 2016 it has become a $610 million global market (with the estimated CAGR it was predicted to reach $670 million by 2015) . The current growth rate is estimated at 41.3% now for 2016 to 2021, predicting the global market to reach $3.4 billion by 2021 .
Both silver and titanium dioxide nanoparticles have a realized and open market to enter with predicted growth and new applications coming out consistently. The cost to produce the materials is rather low and the production ability seems high enough, especially with silver, that a company could actively pursue using an SDR to produce the nanoparticles with success. Since the proof of concept and idea is already detailed, there would be a low cost of entry into these markets as well. The revenue from such could be used to support R&D into quantum dots or pharmaceutical nanoparticles.
Infinity Turbine has developed a micro-sized CO2 Turbine Generator which fits inside a standard high pressure 1.5 liter filter assembly. The compact turbine generator can be used to utilized waste heat to energy, such has solar thermal, industrial waste heat, computer server waste heat, and other sources of heat at or above 30C (89F).
What is unique about this concept is that the waste heat can be used to generate power at the point of use. Now server farms (Amazon, Google, and GoDaddy) can use their low-grade (140F) waste heat to generate power. Green power (even in small amounts) on a small distributed grid, is better than powering a chiller to provide all the cooling of waste heat sources.
The Perfect Hurricane Factory – What’s Wrong With Current Predictive Computer Historic Modeling
By G. Giese
In light of Hurricane Irma, with Jose quickly following its track, it leads one to wonder the variables at work. We know all the computer models, many based on historical data, upper level winds, upper level pressure charts, steering currents, etc. But what if there are other factors at work ?
Storms need fuel to form, and continue. A typical life cycle of a thunderstorm is 30 minutes (http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/tstorms/life.html), but when they start training, other factors come into effect.
The main constituents of a hurricane are warm water (above 27 C), Coriolis force (near equatorial spin), high relative humidity, and weak vertical wind shear (no strong winds aloft).
But what keeps them going ?
I started tracking hurricane Irma with my pilot app on my iPhone, called ForeFlight. With this app, I would put a waypoint in the middle of the eye of hurricane Irma periodically. Then I noticed something odd, as soon as hurricane Jose formed, it followed almost identically, the same path as Irma. Conventional (USA and European Models) predicted a north turn, but Jose continues to follow Irma. Were the models wrong ? What else could be effecting the track ?
Usually, when hurricanes move over seawater, they produce cold water by upwelling, which (in theory) would prevent any hurricane from following. “Less well known is the fact that the passage of a hurricane over the ocean can cause the upper ocean to cool substantially, which can influence subsequent hurricane development.”
So why is Hurricane Jose following so closely in the same track ?
The dirty edge of the storm is in deep ocean water, up to 13,000 ft, while the receding edge is in the shallow zone, less than 300 feet. I started thinking that CO2 must play some role, so I researched it. The oceans have 50 percent more CO2 than air. The ocean provides a conveyor belt of CO2 absorption. (https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/oceanography/ocean-earth-system/ocean-carbon-cycle)
But why, or how does CO2 effect storm development ?
To look closer, I also had to look at one of the byproducts of thunderstorms, which is static electricity (Tribo effect) which builds until a corona discharge (lightning). The atmosphere statics can alter the evaporation rate (i.e. fuel) of moisture from seawater. Even more interesting, is that static electricity can be formed by dust storms.
Where are some of the biggest dust storms which can produce static electricity ?
The large plumes of dust blowing from the Sahara Desert and into the Atlantic Ocean, coincidentally, exactly where hurricanes form. Conventional theory is that a cyclone may form from the African Easterly Jet, which is unstable.
So, in my opinion, a new hurricane (tropical cyclone) model, would incorporate CO2 concentrations, dust (from dust storms, forest fires, etc.), and electrostatics. All of which increase the potency and longevity of a hurricane. Are they more dominant than steering winds aloft ? Are they a more important factor than traditional forecasting models ?
Here is my research:
CO2: Acidic solids acquire negative charge from water vapor, while basic solids become more positive. CO2 concentration can enhance triboelectric effect, and also evaporation. “Ion partition during water vapor adsorption is the basis of the recently discovered metal electrification by adsorption of water vapor, also known as hygroelectricity.”
(Ducati, T. R. D.; Simões, L. H.; Galembeck, F.; Langmuir2010, 27, 13763.)
“Charge partition and transfer during water vapor adsorption led to the recognition of the atmosphere as a source and sink of electric charge.”
( Rezende, C. A.; Gouveia, R. F.; da Silva, M. A.; Galembeck, F.; J. Phys.: Condens. Matter2009, 21, 263002. and Burgo, T. A. L.; Rezende, C. A.; Bertazzo, S.; Galembeck, A.; Galembeck, F.; J. Electrost.2011, 69, 401. ) From and article: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-50532016000200229
Electrostatics Tribo-Effect: Wind and vertical moisture upheaval produces tribo-effect (static electricity). Lighting in a thunderstorm is a result from moisture and ice pummeling up and down in a thunderstorm. Lighting is also found during the eruption of a volcano, from the dust friction. Sandstorms also exhibit static charges. Applying electrostatics removes water quickly and effectively, states Hoenig. With thermal evaporation, for example, “many of the water molecules that escape from the liquid go right back in.
With the Asakawa system, the molecules acquire a charge that repels them from the liquid water.” (http://www.achrnews.com/articles/84092-evaporation-with-electrostatics)
Evaporation: What increases rate of evaporation more than temperature ? Static charge. Combine warm surface water with static charge, and you get an increased evaporation cycle. Evaporation of water vapor builds clouds, and vertical development results in thunderstorms.
Thunderstorms produce static charge. Wind also increases evaporation. (http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0103-50532016000200229)
Salinity: Fresh water evaporates faster than saltwater. Less saline content, results in faster evaporation. Hurricanes produce huge amounts of fresh water, decreasing salinity at the surface.
Reduced Pressure: Hurricanes produce a vortex, and decreased pressure from huge updrafts of towering cumulus. Decreased pressure results in increased evaporation.
Lightning: “The amounts of ozone and nitrogen oxides created by lightning surpass those generated by human activities in that level of the atmosphere.”
“The half life of ozone in water is about 30 minutes.” (http://www.lenntech.com/library/ozone/faq/faqozone.htm)
Magnetic Effect on Solubility of CO2 in Seawater:
“Water, being dipolar, can be partly aligned by an electric field and this may be easily shown by the movement of a stream of water by an electrostatic source.“
( S. T. Bramwell, Ferroelectric ice, Nature, 397 (1999) 212-213. http://www1.lsbu.ac.uk/water/magnetic_electric_effects.html)
“The magnetic-field effect on CO2 solubility is twice as large, from which we surmise that geomagnetic field variations modulate the carbon exchange between atmosphere and ocean. A 1% reduction in magnetic dipole moment may release up to ten times more CO2 from the surface ocean than is emitted by subaerial volcanism.”
(Magnetic effect on CO2 solubility in seawater: A possible link between geomagnetic field variations and climate Alexander Pazur1 and Michael Winklhofer2 Received 17 April 2008; revised 25 July 2008; accepted 29 July 2008; published 30 August 2008. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 35, L16710, doi:10.1029/2008GL034288, 2008 )
CO2 changes states at different temps and pressures. This gives us the abilitility to control very specifically what kind of solvent we are using, as well as, overall yield. So it is possible to lower settings to achieve a softer solvent extraction, or higher settings to get a stronger solvent extraction. The extraction process with CO2 makes it possible to control separator settings, that drop-out the extracted oil from the CO2 gas solvent. This can effect carry-over amounts as well as quality of the final product. To limit loss of collection and fractionation of both terpenes, THC, and Cannabinoids, you need to lower the pressure of the CO2 and entrained oil. As the CO2 expands, and drops pressure, a huge amount of temperature drop occurs, which necessitates the use of heat during expansion. For lower CO2 gas pressure, a heat exchanger or chiller can be utilized to lower gas temperatures on the back end of the collection vessels, which lowers the pressure.
There are a number to techniques to help reduce or eliminate carry-over. One innovation that Infinity Supercritical has developed, is using electrostatic precipitation. A small charge is introduced (passively) into the CO2 gas and entrained oil, which charges the oil and makes it stick to the nearest opposite charged surface (collection vessel).
Cannabis oil which is not collected (termed carry-over), will continue through the closed-loop system and can clog the diaphragm pump, or the liquid CO2 pump, which will required down-time and maintenance to change the spring energized seals, and o-ring seals. This is such a problem with many commercial extraction systems, that many operators have complete spare pumps which they can replace, so that the downtime of the processing is kept to a minimum.
Contributors: Clinton S and Infinity Supercritical Staff.
What are Terpenes ?
Terpenes are found in the essential oils (flavinoids) of plants,
consisting of a large group of volatile unsaturated hydrocarbons.
Found commonly in conifers and citrus trees. In Cannabis,
terpenes are the oily compound, and the main building block
of resin that contribute to the flavor, scent and color of the oil.
The aeromatic nature of the Terpene give Cannabis its
unique smell. Terpenes are volatile molecules that evaporate
easily, and are oily compounds secreted by the plants
Trichomes. Cannabinoids and Terpenoids develop from THC
and Terpenes that infuse the plants flower tops,
share the same biochemical precursor (Geranyl
Pyrophosphate). Terpenes have the aroma, while Cannabinoids
In extraction, Terpenes can be extracted separately than the
Cannabinoids, and recombined at the end of the extraction
process. Terpenes are generally extracted in lower pressure
and no heat.
What about Terpenes during Decarboxylation ?
“ Besides cannabinoids, the cannabis plant contains a range of terpenes, which are the volatile compounds that give cannabis its distinct smell and may act synergistically with cannabinoids. Although preheating the plant material may release more of the known active (neutral) cannabinoids, it may simultaneously also cause loss by degradation or evaporation of components such as terpenes. Our tests were intended to better clarify the balance between desired decarboxylation and unwanted degradation. Unheated cannabis material was analyzed as a control.”
Source: Cannabis Oil: chemical evaluation of an upcoming cannabis-based medicine
Luigi L Romano, Arno Hazekamp
Department of Pharmacy, University of Siena, Italy
Plant Metabolomics group, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands
Cannabis Cannabinoids, Terpenes and Flavonoids
Boiling point: 157° C / 314.6° Fahrenheit
Properties: Euphoriant, Analgesic, Anti Inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiemetic
What is Decarboxylation, and why do I need to convert THCA to THC ?
Decarboxylation (or decarbing) is removing the CO2 and water vapor (COOH) from the botanicals, which can be done in an oven, or over time via air drying. It’s a chemical reaction which carboxylic acids loose a carbon atom in the carbon chain, that converts THCA to THC. 30 minutes at 240 F or 115 C. The results are dramatic. With a 30 minute decarb, THC in Kief can go from 3.8 percent to 25.4 percent. The THCA with 30 minutes goes from 24.5 percent to 2.6 percent. Longer times did not result in any statistically better percentages, but no more than 60 minutes is required. For Cannabis Trim, the THC goes from .6 percent to 4.8 percent, while the THCA goes from 6.5 percent to 2.9 percent. Again, a longer decarb did not result in much better percentages, however depending on moisture content, times do not need to exceed 60 minutes. However, decarbing might reduce or destroy Terpenes (see below). A combined Terpene extraction, followed by decarb, and then extraction may be worth trying. Moisture content will effect time in the oven. More moisture = more time.
Carry Over is a term used in Supercritical CO2 Extraction when the extracted oil is not collected after the extraction process, and cycles through the closed-loop system. Typically this results in pump fouling (clogging).
What is Electrostatic Precipitation (ESP) and why is it important with Cannabis Oil collection ?
Infinity Supercritical is the first in the industry to introduce its patent-pending electrostatic precipitation collection, which enhances the rate and amount of collection of the Cannabis Oil extract. This means that more oil is collected in the vessel where you can access it, rather than having the oil have the opportunity to go through the entire system, potentially clogging the pump system. Oil carry over is a problem with all extraction systems in the industry, and is the leading cause to time consuming maintenance, pump failure, and continual replacement of valve and pump seals.
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