White Papers on Energy, the Environment, Water, Risk Management and Counter-Terrorism
M.E.T.T.S. has produced a selection of positional papers. These can be viewed at this site, and quoted and used for academic and other research purposes, providing that attribution is clearly given to the author(s).
Hydrogen as a Constituent of Natural Gas
The potential of hydrogen to be a replacement for methane in worldwide energy provision has become part of the Hydrogen Economy (H-E) concept/mantra/dream. Having endless hydrogen is a crucial feature of the H-E since hydrogen is expected to be the energy conduit between production nodes (transportable raw fuel, green electricity generation) and user nodes (transport, reticulated energy, commerce and societal demand). Hydrogen is looked upon as the replacement for Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in ship-borne energy transport; however, liquid hydrogen is not LNG.
Unfortunately hydrogen derived from hydro-power using electrolysis units to produce hydrogen (and oxygen) will never be sufficient to meet the H-E demand; there will never be enough hydro generation to achieve a functioning H-E. Although the H-E concept is greatly overblown as a feasible concept, niche additional uses of hydrogen can and should be developed. Success will depend on the existence, discovery and recoverability of vast amounts of natural (mineral) gaseous hydrogen. So Petroleum Explorationists should get their exploring boots on and start looking.
Battery Backups for Nuclear Power Plants
In March 2011 an earthquake followed by a tsunami hit the Fukushima power plants. The power plants' SCRAM mechanisms worked well with the nuclear cores being shut down as expected however the tsunami that followed the earthquake inundated the emergency diesel generators (EDGs) and prevented that power source providing emergency electricity to the reactor and spent fuel-rod cooling system. Questions can now be asked: (i) if the EDGs are the best emergency power supply for this type of power station complex, (ii) could remote power supplies take a greater role, and (iii) could modern and developing power batteries be a replacement or supplementation of the EDGs? Increasing the reliance on external power supplies was quickly discounted (the earthquake knocked out the power grid), and batteries became the focus of this brief study. Providing another level of Nuclear Power Plant functional security is the essence of this paper.
JORC and PRMS, Resource and Reserves Reporting
The JORC Code is a reporting tool that has provided additional certainty to investors, executives, workers, government and the community with respect to the veracity of quoted mineral resources and reserves from the early exploration stage (the "find" stage) to the mining and shipping stages. Investments opportunities can be scrutinised with the JORC Code. A major element of the Code are Modifying Factors (MFs) that are used to analyse specific components that will determine the veracity of an Extractive Industry (EI) project. Applying MFs to petroleum resources is a logical extension of using the tool to increase the veracity of petroleum reporting.
Note: This White Paper was in production as the COVID-19 Crisis was developing into a world-wide catastrophe. In the future Table 2 could reasonably include Pandemics and other major health challenges. An immediate effect of considering Pandemics would be examining the reliance of EI projects on Fly-In-Fly-Out (FIFO) staffing. A future White Paper may discuss the effect of COVID-19 on the EIs.
Helium: will it be the next mineral to boom in Australia?
Helium is a strategic mineral that is presently produced in Australia as a by-product of natural gas liquefaction. There are, however, other potential natural gas resources of helium that have higher raw concentrations of helium than that presently being processed. This white paper discusses such potential resources in terms of their geological occurrence and separation/recovery technologies.
Energy Security in Australia
An extract (by Dr. Mike Clarke and Dr. Duncan Seddon) from the book Next Generation Disaster and Security Management. This book can be purchased here.
Low Rank Coal/Lignite Upgrading Technologies
Although high rank thermal coal prices have significantly decreased during 2012-2013, there is still interest in low rank coal for securing long-term fuel cost reductions, utilising indigenous fuel to save foreign exchange and high rank coal conservation.
Cleaning Underground Coal Gasification Synthesis Gas, Prospects and Challenges
Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) and Coal-to-Liquids (CTL): New Energy Resources with Major Liquid Fuel Security Ramifications
Australia is running out of liquid transport fuels. In this paper, presented at the Future Liquid Fuels for Australia seminar (Institution of Engineers, Australia, Brisbane, September 20, 2011), Mike Clarke reviews available unconventional fuel sources, and discusses their conversion into liquid transport fuels and their role in meeting Australia's future energy needs. [PDF document]
Lignite: A New, Dedicated Approach
Lignite, being a fuel with a relatively low energy content, requires dedicated conversion technology for power generation to efficiently utilise its energy whilst minimising carbon emissions. The technology requirements include pre-preparation of the lignite fuel and thence compatible combustion systems. This paper examine one such system.
Coming to Grips with Carbon Capture and Storage
The world fossil fuel power industry needs to come to grips with the reality (political and possibly scientific) of having new plant carbon capture ready. A roadmap, that can be applied to specific situations, is required that provides a framework to achieving carbon capture readines. This paper discussed the essential features of such a roadmap.
Power Generation Systems: Matching Capacity, Load and System Requirements for Cleaner, Adequate, Secure, Reliable and Affordable Energy Supply
Across and within different economies there is need for power generation plants that match specific requirements for capacity and meeting the base, intermediate and peak load requirements. Developing economies have different needs to developed economies, whilst the desire for renewable (carbon neutral) energy has seen the proliferation of small and distributed generation schemes in both developing and developed economies. This paper examines some of the challenges in matching divergent generation systems and various ways of meeting those challenges.
Liquified Natural Gas (LPG) Carbon Footprints and Development of Methodologies for CDM Estimation and Verification
Natural Gas (NG) is promoted as an intermediate fuel between the traditional fossil fuels (oil and coal) and renewable energies in terms of its carbon intensity and footprint. In LNG project proposals where the reduction in emissions is coming from improvements in fugitive emissions management, then monitoring that provides sufficient certainty over business-as-usual emissions should provide eligibility for the creation of carbon credits.
Hybrid VAM and Coal Waste Fired Power Generation
A coal-fired power generation system that reduces the overall greenhouse footprint of coal mining and conserves virgin coal.
Clean Coal Technology and Enhanced Oil Recovery - Matches and Mismatches
Clean coal technology and enhanced oil recovery from a resource perspective.
UCG-CSM Interrelationships and Synergies
Underground coal gasification and coal seam methane: what are the synergies?
Coal: Does it have a Future in the Face of the Nuclear Challenge?
Will coal meet the nuclear challenge?
The Ethics of Kyoto
An examination of the science and politics behind the Kyoto Protocol.
Business Continuity Management and the Terrorist Threat
Strategies for the circumvention of a terrorist incident by business and government.
Bushfire, Storms and Soil Erosion. A. P. Hammond and M. C. Clarke.
Risk management in controlled burning practices.
The Missing Link in Clean Coal Technology: the Proper Use of Waste Coal as an Environmental Measure.
The use of colliery wastes in power generation.
The Realities of Solutions to the Energy Question. Are Renewable and Sustainable Options Practical?
Cyanide Usage in the Gold Mining Industry Under Wet Tropical Conditions Bryne Ansin Morna, SMAusIMM and M. C. Clarke.
It's No Bed of Roses: The Development of an EMS for Weed Management at Binna Burra Mountain Lodge, Lamington National Park. Kerry Yates, FCPA and M. C. Clarke.
Energy For and From the Northern Territory (Australia)
A brief review of some energy and infrastructure options for the Northern Territory.
The Use of Risk Management Tools in Countering the Terrorist Threat
Some strategies for countering terrorism by analysing the terrorist threat are presented, whilst Philippine terrorism is used as an example of a multi-directional threat that has proved awkward to counter.
Engineering and Terrorism: their Interrelationships
A review of the threat from increasing technically literate terrorists.
Desalination and Power Generation
A paper presented at the Water Management in Power Generation Conference, Brisbane, Australia, June 2006.