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Hi there, so just wondering where I should start on this short piece.
While at school (over 40 years ago now) I became interested in science. I enjoyed physics and biology. However, it was chemistry that I seemed to struggle most with. Whether this was down to me trying to keep up with the dictation (never been able to write fast and absorb simultaneously) method of teaching our resident chemistry teacher employed I don’t know, but I have steered away from the subject ever since. That said, I do know a few basics, for example, CH4 is the compound methane, it has 1 carbon atom bonded to 4 hydrogen atoms. I also know that methane is a greenhouse gas (warms the atmosphere) and that it can be a by-product of industrial processes. Just before getting to the point, I also know that compounds can be broken down into their constituent atoms.
Ok, so recently DesignSpark has mentioned both hydrogen and carbon (in the form of graphene) as protentional materials for use in innovative industrial developments. Hydrogen is a clean fuel source and graphene is a super material for use in electronics and construction industries amongst others.
This is where a company called Levidian came into my orbit. Whilst watching the SKY TV Climate Show they introduced a piece called “The shipping container fighting climate change”. Ok now, this sounds interesting I thought. So, when they mentioned turning something we don’t want “methane in the atmosphere into two things we do” I guessed hydrogen and carbon, I was 50% correct it was hydrogen and graphene (graphene a single layer of carbon tightly bound in a hexagonal lattice). But now I’m really interested in this and I needed to find out more so listened on. If you missed it you can view the Climate Show segment here.
So, Levidain is the company behind the shipping container that turns methane into the clean energy fuel of hydrogen and the super material graphene, yes it really is a shipping container.
Image source https://www.levidian.com/press-and-news
Essentially the process works by bombarding the methene with microwaves, this gives it energy and causes it to break into its component atoms of hydrogen and carbon as graphene. Once extracted both can be stored for future use and resale. Now the clever bit, the shipping container houses the process known as LOOP and can be retrofitted to existing infrastructure. Levidian state that this can help businesses to decarbonise instantly and reduce the CO2 potential of their natural gas by up to 40% and replace it with hydrogen. Deployment of the shipping container (or static installation I would assume) can be delivered to any site that produces methane. Levidain themselves have used the device at their own Cambridge site for over ten years.
If you find this as interesting as I did, you can find out more by viewing the video below and by visiting Levidian here.