Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Group Seeks Alternative Uses for Marcellus Shale Gas

06.07.2011
A new industry-led initiative to promote in-state utilization of Marcellus Shale natural gas by developing combined-heat-and-power (CHP) systems was announced Thursday at the Natural Gas Utilization Workshop at Penn State.

The Commonwealth Recycled Energy Economic Development Alliance (CREEDA) wants to jumpstart development of CHP systems, which recover waste heat from the generation of electricity and then use it for additional purposes including humidity control, cooling and heating and refrigeration.

“Marcellus Shale-natural gas powered CHP systems are more efficient than conventional electricity generation. They also are the lowest cost method for reducing carbon emissions because they have longer operating hours throughout the year than solar photovoltaic or wind-powered systems,” said Richard Sweetser, senior advisor with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center, who introduced the initiative.

Held June 29 and 30 at Penn State’s University Park campus, the workshop drew more than 130 invited participants from natural gas companies, state agencies, local and state government and University researchers who examined three high-value uses for the long-term supply of natural gas being produced in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale.

Besides CHP systems, the use of natural gas in transportation and as a fuel and feedstock for local manufacturing were discussed, with input from international companies with experience in the economics of large scale energy projects, which the Marcellus has the potential to support.

The Marcellus, stretching from West Virginia through much of Pennsylvania and into New York, is thought to be the largest of about two dozen shale gas plays in the nation with as much as 500 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. The increasing supply of domestic natural gas represents a new fuel source for manufacturers, public transit systems, schools and hospitals.

Marcellus natural gas, for instance, has the potential to reinvigorate the petrochemical industry in eastern Pennsylvania and create new petrochemical production in western Pennsylvania, said Tom Richard, director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE).

“This is not just about clean energy or about creating a demand for cheap energy but about economic development,” Richard said. “Industries that use natural gas as a feedstock produce eight times more jobs than those that simply burn the fuel.”

Energy-intensive businesses in Pennsylvania that could potentially use Marcellus Shale natural gas include furnaces and foundries, lumber and wood products and food processing.

Workshop participants also explored the advantages of transitioning from petroleum-based fuels to natural gas-based fuels for transportation, advantages which include reductions in emissions and lower costs on a gasoline-gallon equivalent.

But switching involves significant challenges, from the cost of converting engines to natural gas to the limited refueling infrastructure across both the state and the nation. Regulatory barriers to conversions and bi-fuel vehicles also must be overcome.

“We need high-profile demonstrations with vehicle deployment to show that we can make this work,” said Andre Boehman, professor of fuel science in the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

While as recently as 60 years ago, many of Pennsylvania’s state institutions were powered by CHP, one of the biggest challenges facing adoption of these systems is lack of awareness by potential users, policy makers and the public of the benefits, such as greater fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions. The target users of CHP include schools, hospitals and industrial plants.

But the development of CHP systems also faces regulatory and investment barriers. CREEDA, an alliance of natural gas utilities, end users, developers, manufacturers and academic researchers, will be key in developing a statewide CHP energy policy that addresses those barriers, Sweetser said.

Developing new uses and new markets for Marcellus Shale natural gas will take concerted and sustained efforts to educate stakeholders from elected officials and public policy makers to citizens, said Tom Murphy, co-director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR).

“We need to rally the public with good science and good information,” Murphy told the group. “We need to let the public know the process of getting energy to them, so they can decide their own energy future. And we need to let parents know that there will be good jobs available for their children through wise use of our natural resources.”

The workshop was co-hosted by the Ben Franklin Technology PArtners, Central and Northern Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Department of Energy Clean Energy Application Center and was organized by the Penn State Industrial Research Office, Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, and the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment.

For more information , contact John Siggins at Penn State’s Industrial Research Office, 814-865-2879, or johnsiggins@psu.edu. Tom Richard can be contacted at trichard@psu.edu. Richard Sweetser, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy, Mid-Atlantic Clean Energy Application Center can be reached at 703-707-0293 or

rsweetser@exergypartners.com.

John Siggins | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.psu.edu

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Laser sensor LAH-G1 - optical distance sensors with measurement value display
15.08.2017 | WayCon Positionsmesstechnik GmbH

nachricht Engineers find better way to detect nanoparticles
14.08.2017 | Washington University in St. Louis

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>