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Ban Household Natural Gas?

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby jedrider » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 11:57:15

Cog wrote:No bills are being passed. Dems too busy impeaching the president to worry about things that actually affect the nation.


"Government small enough to be drowned in a bathtub." Your memory is short, evidently.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 13:19:47

Newfie wrote:The cost of leaks may Or may not be inconsequential. In places like arid Arizona water is a scarce resource, some places they have to produce it from desalinization plants. In the SW USA people fight over water rights.

In Philadelphia they had pretty good access to water so the cost does not show on the production side. Although it ain’t cheap either. The cost comes in the damage to streets and buildings, etc.

Yet this misses my greater point, that our incompetence is catching up with us in demonstrable ways, the utilities are failing.

It’s rather silly to ban new construction gas pipe lines when there is no mandate to fix the existing lines. We can blame the electric company for starting fires, but we have not required them to adequately maintain their system. Look at the Detroit water fiasco.

IMHO this demonstrates a generalized segregation of our governance. Or maybe it was always this bad and we just accept it?

But the utilities are "failing" because the electorate doesn't want to PAY for the utilities to be properly maintained, as clearly, with all the problems that crop up over time, that would be expensive. Also, as PG&E has shown, you have to oversee and enforce the utilities actually making the improvements they do receive revenue for (if regulations allow somewhat higher rates to be charged, like in CA).

Bad choices don't imply doom. But given human behavior, they DO imply that the consequences won't be dealt with UNTIL they are perceived as bad enough -- and then of course, the bill might be much, much higher to clean up the ensuing mess.

To me, this is just an example of humans screwing up overall re planning. Same as it ever was. Where systems are old, like the water system, small problems becoming larger problems have had a LOT of time to fester, and I keep thinking THAT chicken will show up to roost, but thus far it's mainly more and more patch jobs.

If there were severe consequences for misspending maintenance money (e.g. strong DISincentives) for the utilities, as a rate payer, I'd be all for much higher maintenance costs on my utilities, IF various things would be done properly, such as:

(For the US, as I can't speak to utilities outside the US):

1). Key electrical parts were stored safely, underground, in Faraday cages, safe and ready to go if certain disasters were to occur with the grid, such as "the big one" re a solar storm (i.e. CME event).

2). Over time, the electrical system were moved underground to the extent practical, to minimize line damage from storms. Oh, and sections were maintained and renewed as needed to maintain reliability.

3). The aging, decrepit water and sewer system were replaced and modernized over time, as much of the system is now falling apart.

4). The natural gas storage and distribution system is maintained well enough that the random explosions that occur and destroy buildings, neighborhoods, etc. were dramatically reduced, and basically eliminated re the pipes just being too damn old.

...

But the thing is, unlike most voters, I highly VALUE safe and reliable electric power, water, and natural gas service, and I'm willing to PAY for it as long as my money is being used wisely and honestly to maintain and improve the system, vs. lining various folks' pockets who can be bribed, who will steal, etc.

I think the problem is huge, and I think there's good reason for the distrust from voters.

Now, how do you fix that huge trust gap? (For me, the PG&E fiasco in a heavily regulated state doesn't exactly inspire my trust, for a blatant example).

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/pacific-ga ... port-says/
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 14:42:29

Outcast_Searcher wrote:
But the thing is, unlike most voters, I highly VALUE safe and reliable electric power, water, and natural gas service, and I'm willing to PAY for it as long as my money is being used wisely and honestly to maintain and improve the system, vs. lining various folks' pockets who can be bribed, who will steal, etc.


Reminds me of when phone service meant having a land line connection to whatever company had the monopoly of providing phone service in your area. It wasn't cheap and phone companies made a good profit but in Canada and the US the phone companies did put a lot of effort into making their switch equipment reliable. You also didn't need local power for your phone to work -- your entire neighbourhood could be blacked out and your phone would still work. However, when the phone monopoly was broken by newer, less reliable, technologies it became evident that a lot of people really didn't care about the reliability of their phone service -- they just wanted a less expensive service.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 15:32:56

Agreed to both of the above posts.

I worked a lot in infrastructure, rail transit specifically. The situation there is no better than any other, and sometimes worse. There are many ways to mismanage a system, I’ve seen quite a few of them.

But I’ve never found a system that I thought ran well.

Waaaay back when I did my stint in the USCG I was highly critical of them, I was convinced that a for profit organization would do much better. And I did find that construction companies did do better. But Owners side and the Design sides were highly inefficient, bordering on incompetent. It got worse over the years. In hindsight the USCG was pretty darn good, and one construction company I worked with was also very good. But the Owner and Design side were near disasters, sometimes more than near.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Cog » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 17:41:58

jedrider wrote:
Cog wrote:No bills are being passed. Dems too busy impeaching the president to worry about things that actually affect the nation.


"Government small enough to be drowned in a bathtub." Your memory is short, evidently.


Congress would have plenty to do with just limiting themselves to their constitutional authority. We don't need the feds to play mommy. You might need that. Most of us do not.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Subjectivist » Wed 13 Nov 2019, 21:46:44

Newfie wrote:The cost of leaks may Or may not be inconsequential. In places like arid Arizona water is a scarce resource, some places they have to produce it from desalinization plants. In the SW USA people fight over water rights.

In Philadelphia they had pretty good access to water so the cost does not show on the production side. Although it ain’t cheap either. The cost comes in the damage to streets and buildings, etc.

Yet this misses my greater point, that our incompetence is catching up with us in demonstrable ways, the utilities are failing.

It’s rather silly to ban new construction gas pipe lines when there is no mandate to fix the existing lines. We can blame the electric company for starting fires, but we have not required them to adequately maintain their system. Look at the Detroit water fiasco.

IMHO this demonstrates a generalized segregation of our governance. Or maybe it was always this bad and we just accept it?


Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 05:33:35

No I had not heard of that. I know burning the gas unvented create a lot of moisture and what you say stands reason.

I suppose that would be a reason for California to encourage such natural gas powered generation facilities.

California, at least SoCal already has a lot of water restrictions.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 11:35:49

Newfie wrote:Yet this misses my greater point, that our incompetence is catching up with us in demonstrable ways, the utilities are failing.

This is very much what I am saying for some time.
There is a problem with intellectual capacity and critical engineering skills to run advanced civilization in the US and California is a canary in mineshaft here.
Such advanced civilization should be able to deliver electricity without wide spread fires, should have sufficient skill to deliver NG or water without excessive leaks. There are general troubles in the US with maintenance of infrastructure of all sort. About 75000 bridges need major repair or replacement, power lines in many places are of inadequate capacity, road network falling to disrepair, rail network is in advanced disrepair, troubles with water and gas pipe networks.
This is all pointing towards rather less than excellent overall situation.
On the top of it NASA is buying Russian rocket engines to send satellites to space.
These are all alarm bells to be taken seriously, if the US want to remain major global player in decades to come.
Potential is still there but some deep corrections dealing with priorities in education system need rather urgent introduction.
And IMO it is certain that encouraging more females to complete STEM courses by reserving places in universities for them, that despite of lack of adequate skill and talent, will only make existing bad situation even worse.

Regarding water pipe leaks - here in Poland water is still cheap.
Last edited by EnergyUnlimited on Thu 14 Nov 2019, 11:42:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 11:40:04

Subjectivist wrote:Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.

I would not consider such water "potable" without rather extensive treatment.
Even then I would hesitate to call it "potable".
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Subjectivist » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 12:16:09

Newfie wrote:The cost of leaks may Or may not be inconsequential. In places like arid Arizona water is a scarce resource, some places they have to produce it from desalinization plants. In the SW USA people fight over water rights.

In Philadelphia they had pretty good access to water so the cost does not show on the production side. Although it ain’t cheap either. The cost comes in the damage to streets and buildings, etc.

Yet this misses my greater point, that our incompetence is catching up with us in demonstrable ways, the utilities are failing.

It’s rather silly to ban new construction gas pipe lines when there is no mandate to fix the existing lines. We can blame the electric company for starting fires, but we have not required them to adequately maintain their system. Look at the Detroit water fiasco.

IMHO this demonstrates a generalized segregation of our governance. Or maybe it was always this bad and we just accept it?


Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.
II Chronicles 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Newfie » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 12:19:26

Yes, sort of vaguely aware of it, the basic chemistry for sure.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 15:50:47

EnergyUnlimited wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.

I would not consider such water "potable" without rather extensive treatment.
Even then I would hesitate to call it "potable".


It is pure condensed steam, just what kind of treatment do you think it would need?
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 17:38:14

Tanada wrote:
EnergyUnlimited wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.

I would not consider such water "potable" without rather extensive treatment.
Even then I would hesitate to call it "potable".


It is pure condensed steam, just what kind of treatment do you think it would need?

That would be true, assuming that NG is a pure methane or mixture of it with neutral gases like nitrogen and that combustion is complete.
But this is not the case.
There are also other hydrocarbons there, in rather small quantities but still, also traces of sulfur compounds.
https://www.uniongas.com/about-us/about ... atural-Gas
Incomplete combustion of these can result in formation small amounts of toxic compounds.
Nitrogen from air can form some nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide during combustion and these may subsequently react with incomplete combustion products of hydrocarbons already present.
This can result in formation small amounts of organic nitro compounds, derivatives of substituted hydroxylamine, amines and nitrosoamines.
None of these are good to health and some are quite bad.
Treatments to get rid of such impurities could be rather complex and expensive relatively to amount of water produced.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Tanada » Thu 14 Nov 2019, 21:20:38

EnergyUnlimited wrote:
Tanada wrote:
EnergyUnlimited wrote:
Subjectivist wrote:Are you aware that feeding the exhaust from a natural gas fired power plant through a heat exchangers gives you tons of potable water? For every molecule of CO2 produced burning methane you produce two molecules of H2O vapor.

I would not consider such water "potable" without rather extensive treatment.
Even then I would hesitate to call it "potable".


It is pure condensed steam, just what kind of treatment do you think it would need?

That would be true, assuming that NG is a pure methane or mixture of it with neutral gases like nitrogen and that combustion is complete.
But this is not the case.
There are also other hydrocarbons there, in rather small quantities but still, also traces of sulfur compounds.
https://www.uniongas.com/about-us/about ... atural-Gas
Incomplete combustion of these can result in formation small amounts of toxic compounds.
Nitrogen from air can form some nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide during combustion and these may subsequently react with incomplete combustion products of hydrocarbons already present.
This can result in formation small amounts of organic nitro compounds, derivatives of substituted hydroxylamine, amines and nitrosoamines.
None of these are good to health and some are quite bad.
Treatments to get rid of such impurities could be rather complex and expensive relatively to amount of water produced.


Considering the government in Southern California are now filtering sewage waste water and recycling it into the potable water supply removing the trace chemicals you seem concerned about is not a problem I would take at all seriously. Waste water is full of contaminants ranging from perfumes and soaps from people bathing right through medicines and recreational chemicals people consume that get released in feces and urine. Not to mention the occasional runoff from yards that are fertilized and sprayed with herbicides either from rainfall or sprinkler systems. Compared to all that multiple types of contamination the trace chemicals in condensed natural gas exhaust are either a very much easier problem to deal with or not a problem at all after the water passes through filtering systems.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Fri 15 Nov 2019, 01:13:35

Tanada wrote:Compared to all that multiple types of contamination the trace chemicals in condensed natural gas exhaust are either a very much easier problem to deal with or not a problem at all after the water passes through filtering systems.

Filtering is of no use if one want to remove soluble impurities.
Microbiological methods are mostly used but plenty of impurities are not biodegradable (or only slowly so).
Application of certain rather desperate measures to reclaim sewage water does not imply that these practices are safe.
It would be interesting to collect analytical data from such water (together with records of spikes of different chemicals which have passed by from time to time).
It would also be interesting to collect epidemiological studies of populations drinking such water and compare it to control groups.
Personally, if living in an area which must resort to such measures, I would look to move.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Newfie » Fri 15 Nov 2019, 06:47:00

California lost something like 700,000 population last year.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Tanada » Fri 15 Nov 2019, 10:20:43

EnergyUnlimited wrote:
Tanada wrote:Compared to all that multiple types of contamination the trace chemicals in condensed natural gas exhaust are either a very much easier problem to deal with or not a problem at all after the water passes through filtering systems.

Filtering is of no use if one want to remove soluble impurities.
Microbiological methods are mostly used but plenty of impurities are not biodegradable (or only slowly so).
Application of certain rather desperate measures to reclaim sewage water does not imply that these practices are safe.
It would be interesting to collect analytical data from such water (together with records of spikes of different chemicals which have passed by from time to time).
It would also be interesting to collect epidemiological studies of populations drinking such water and compare it to control groups.
Personally, if living in an area which must resort to such measures, I would look to move.


You are making a boatload of assumptions, first about what chemicals may or may not be mixed into the condensed steam and second how difficult they may or may not be to remove.

My spouse works in a hospital where they need pure water for use in making IV solution. They get the pure water by using a simple reverse osmosis pump that filters out everything but H2O including the Sodium Fluoride and and Calcium Carbonate dissolved in the tap water. Using reverse osmosis on mildly brackish well water is also done more than a few places because compared to sea water with its heavy dissolved solids content brackish water is a far cheaper option for filtering.

As for biological breakdown of dissolved materials bacteria do best when working on organic materials which are exactly the sort of materials you would get from incomplete combustion. Formaldehyde OCH2 for example is made by your own biological processes meaning your body has a capability of disposing of it in certain quantities. The percentage of Methane CH4 that is only half burnt into Formaldehyde is a very tiny percentage. Otherwise everyone down wind of a power station would be complaining about the contamination as it condensed out of the flue gasses. By properly choosing the type of bacteria in the organic digestion portion of the pretreatment process you can eliminate just about any organic materials in the condensed steam including all those amine connected organics you mentioned.
I should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, write, balance accounts, build a wall, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, pitch manure, program a computer, cook, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Fri 15 Nov 2019, 13:23:50

Tanada wrote:You are making a boatload of assumptions, first about what chemicals may or may not be mixed into the condensed steam and second how difficult they may or may not be to remove.

Many different chemicals which I didn't even mention may be present in product of incomplete burnout.
These may include for example benzene which is a bad news for water supply.
Even Californian authorities have worked it out:
https://socalgas.com/documents/business ... 65_eng.pdf

By properly choosing the type of bacteria in the organic digestion portion of the pretreatment process you can eliminate just about any organic materials in the condensed steam including all those amine connected organics you mentioned.

Much can be done but only at the price and everything is OK for as long as your in process analytical control works, your bacterial cultures did not get infected by other bacteria, your feedstock remains the same etc.

There won't be a lot of this water to recover either. My back of the envelope rough estimation shows that 1GW NG powered plant will produce about 4000m3 of water per day.
One 4 people household is using about 500 L of water per day so you could run 2000 households with water from 1 GW plant.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby EnergyUnlimited » Sat 16 Nov 2019, 01:58:18

@Tanada,
Just to clarify from where benzene may come in NG burnout products:
4CH4 + 3O2 ---> 2C2H2 + 6H2O
3C2H2 ---> C6H6

First reaction is always taking part to a degree during burning NG. Under right conditions it can be made to be a main pathway of methane burning and it is used in industrial production of acetylene.
Second reaction proceeds at 600-900*C and benzene with other aromatic hydrocarbons as byproducts is produced.
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Re: Ban Household Natural Gas?

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 16 Nov 2019, 05:00:19

EnergyUnlimited wrote:@Tanada,
Just to clarify from where benzene may come in NG burnout products:
4CH4 + 3O2 ---> 2C2H2 + 6H2O
3C2H2 ---> C6H6

First reaction is always taking part to a degree during burning NG. Under right conditions it can be made to be a main pathway of methane burning and it is used in industrial production of acetylene.
Second reaction proceeds at 600-900*C and benzene with other aromatic hydrocarbons as byproducts is produced.


Pardon the interruption but you are mixing up methane combustion designed to produce heat and methane conversion to produce cyclic hydricarbons for chemical use. Sure, you may get a tiny tiny TINY production of benzene, but the goal of a power plant is to burn the methane as completely as possible to spin a gas turbine. Allowing methane to be wasted producing anything but heat defeats the whole purpose of a power plant and they work fairly hard at getting combustion efficiency as high as they can achieve.
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