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Alternative Fuels Michael Fink, Steve Haidet, & Mohamad Mohamad

Alternative Fuels Michael Fink, Steve Haidet, & Mohamad Mohamad

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  • Slide 1
  • Alternative Fuels Michael Fink, Steve Haidet, & Mohamad Mohamad
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  • Thorium
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  • Molten Salt Reactor
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  • Energy Generation Comparison 6 kg of thorium metal in a liquid-fluoride reactor has the energy equivalent (66,000 MW*hr electrical*) of: = 230 train cars (25,000 MT) of bituminous coal or, 600 train cars (66,000 MT) of brown coal, (Source: World Coal Institute)World Coal Institute or, 440 million cubic feet of natural gas (15% of a 125,000 cubic meter LNG tanker), or, 300 kg of enriched (3%) uranium in a pressurized water reactor. *Each ounce of thorium can therefore produce $14,000-24,000 of electricity (at $0.04-0.07/kW*hr)
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  • Energy Extraction Comparison Uranium-fueled light-water reactor: 35 GW*hr/MT of natural uranium 1000 MW*yr of electricity 33% conversion efficiency (typical steam turbine) 3000 MW*yr of thermal energy 32,000 MW*days/tonne of heavy metal (typical LWR fuel burnup) 39 MT of enriched (3.2%) UO 2 (35 MT U) Conversion and fabrication 365 MT of natural UF 6 (247 MT U) 293 MT of natural U 3 O 8 (248 MT U) Thorium-fueled liquid-fluoride reactor: 11,000 GW*hr/MT of natural thorium Conversion to UF6 1000 MW*yr of electricity 50% conversion efficiency (triple- reheat closed-cycle helium gas-turbine) 2000 MW*yr of thermal energy 914,000 MW*days/MT 233 U (complete burnup) 0.8 MT of 233 Pa formed in reactor blanket from thorium (decays to 233 U) Thorium metal added to blanket salt through exchange with protactinium 0.8 MT of thorium metal 0.9 MT of natural ThO2 Conversion to metal Uranium fuel cycle calculations done using WISE nuclear fuel material calculator: http://www.wise-uranium.org/nfcm.html
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  • Waste generation from 1000 MW*yr uranium-fueled light-water reactor Mining 800,000 MT of ore containing 0.2% uranium (260 MT U) Uranium fuel cycle calculations done using WISE nuclear fuel material calculator: http://www.wise-uranium.org/nfcm.html Generates ~600,000 MT of waste rock Conversion to natural UF 6 (247 MT U) Generates 170 MT of solid waste and 1600 m 3 of liquid waste Milling and processing to yellowcakenatural U 3 O 8 (248 MT U) Generates 130,000 MT of mill tailings Enrichment of 52 MT of (3.2%) UF 6 (35 MT U) Generates 314 MT of depleted uranium hexafluoride (DU); consumes 300 GW*hr of electricity Fabrication of 39 MT of enriched (3.2%) UO 2 (35 MT U) Generates 17 m 3 of solid waste and 310 m 3 of liquid waste Irradiation and disposal of 39 MT of spent fuel consisting of unburned uranium, transuranics, and fission products.
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  • Waste generation from 1000 MW*yr thorium-fueled liquid- fluoride reactor Mining 200 MT of ore containing 0.5% thorium (1 MT Th) Thorium mining calculation based on date from ORNL/TM-6474: Environmental Assessment of Alternate FBR Fuels: Thorium Generates ~199 MT of waste rock Milling and processing to thorium nitrate ThNO 3 (1 MT Th) Generates 0.1 MT of mill tailings and 50 kg of aqueous wastes Conversion to metal and introduction into reactor blanket Breeding to U233 and complete fission Disposal of 0.8 MT of spent fuel consisting only of fission product fluorides
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  • or put another way
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  • Mining waste generation comparison Mining 800,000 MT of ore containing 0.2% uranium (260 MT U) Uranium fuel cycle calculations done using WISE nuclear fuel material calculator: http://www.wise-uranium.org/nfcm.html Generates ~600,000 MT of waste rock Conversion to natural UF 6 (247 MT U) Generates 170 MT of solid waste and 1600 m 3 of liquid waste Milling and processing to yellowcakenatural U 3 O 8 (248 MT U) Generates 130,000 MT of mill tailings Mining 200 MT of ore containing 0.5% thorium (1 MT Th) Generates ~199 MT of waste rock Milling and processing to thorium nitrate ThNO 3 (1 MT Th) Generates 0.1 MT of mill tailings and 50 kg of aqueous wastes 1 GW*yr of electricity from a uranium-fueled light-water reactor 1 GW*yr of electricity from a thorium-fueled liquid-fluoride reactor
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  • Operation waste generation comparison Uranium fuel cycle calculations done using WISE nuclear fuel material calculator: http://www.wise-uranium.org/nfcm.html 1 GW*yr of electricity from a uranium-fueled light-water reactor 1 GW*yr of electricity from a thorium-fueled liquid-fluoride reactor Enrichment of 52 MT of (3.2%) UF 6 (35 MT U) Generates 314 MT of DUF 6 ; consumes 300 GW*hr of electricity Fabrication of 39 MT of enriched (3.2%) UO 2 (35 MT U) Generates 17 m 3 of solid waste and 310 m 3 of liquid waste Irradiation and disposal of 39 MT of spent fuel consisting of unburned uranium, transuranics, and fission products. Conversion to metal and introduction into reactor blanket Breeding to U233 and complete fission Disposal of 0.8 MT of spent fuel consisting only of fission product fluorides
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  • Abundant?
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  • Negatives Risk of accidents Highly radioactive nuclear waste
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  • Future?
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  • Ammonia, Natural Gas Household Alternative Fuels
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  • Ammonia Fuel? NH3 Common uses: cleaning supplies, fertilizer, explosives Ammonia: 21.36 BTU/g Oil: 45.97 BTU/g, Requires minor modifications to carburetors/injectors
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  • Sources Atmospheric nitrogen and free hydrogen HaberBosch process Electrolysis Coal gasification http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Production_of_ammonia.svg
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  • HaberBosch process CH4 + H2O CO + 3 H2 N2 (g) + 3 H2 (g) 2 NH3 (g) It is estimated that half of the protein within human beings is made of nitrogen that was originally fixed by this process http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Haber-Bosch-En.svg
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  • Natural Gas fuel? Methane: 53.88 BTU/g used in over 12 million vehicles reliable and safe Fuel storage occupies a large amount of space http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e0/Carroagas.jpg
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  • Domestic Natural gas supplies http://www.roperld.com/science/minerals/FossilFuels.htm#USGas
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  • World Natural gas supplies http://www.roperld.com/science/minerals/FossilFuels.htm#WorldGas
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  • World Natural Gas Supplies Including Shale Gas http://www.roperld.com/science/minerals/FossilFuels.htm#WorldGas
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  • Conclusions Ammonia would function as a fuel, but why not use natural gas only sustainable for several decades with optimistic supplies reduced environmental impact partially existing infrastructure http://www.eia.gov/pub/oil_gas/natural_gas/analysis_publications/ngpipeline/ngpipelines_map.html
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  • Plasma Arc Waste Disposal Turning Everyday Garbage into Everyday Energy
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  • The Technology Garbage is passed through a plasma arc, which reaches 10,000 deg F, instantly vaporizing it. Organic material turns into syngas, which can be used to drive electrical turbines. Inorganic material turn into slag.
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  • Renewability America produces about 675,000 tons of garbage a day. 1500 tons of trash = 60 MW Almost all of the trash is converted into usable byproducts, eliminating landfills.
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  • Pros After initial energy is spent to ignite the plasma arc, the process is self-sustaining. Electricity prices will be able to compete with natural gas. Ability to turn medical and hazardous waste inert. Material made from non-organic waste can be sold commercially.
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  • Cons Dumping garbage at a plasma arc facility costs $137 more per ton. Some CO 2 produced. Performance based on the content and consistency of the waste. Current plant designs are less than 50% efficient at best. Expensive liners need replaced every year Unproven in a large-scale setting
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  • Questions?