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A green hydrogen plant is planned for Southern California

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A green hydrogen plant is planned for Southern California

An energy company with big ambitions to produce clean fuels in the future announced Tuesday’s agreement with Lancaster officials to make hydrogen using plasma heating technology – originally developed for NASA – to destroy the city’s recycled paper at temperatures as high as 7,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Solena Group process has no commercial track record, and the company has not received funding to build a $ 55 million facility in Lancaster, in northern Los Angeles County. Solena is one of many companies looking for ways to produce cheap hydrogen without producing gas that warms the planet in the hope that clean fuels will one day replace oil and gas for transportation or heating.

But the company’s process, which uses what is called a plasma torch, is attracting the attention of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.

The city will speed up Solena’s licensing process and send her recycled paper company, rather than paying to dispose of it in a landfill. Several cities in the US have sent recycled waste to landfills since China stopped accepting exported waste in 2018.

If the hydrogen plant doesn’t materialize or fails, Parris said in an interview, there is little harm to the city.

The good side is pioneering technology that can dramatically reduce emissions. Lancaster will have a small stake in the factory.

“If we continue to produce energy as before, we will not be here in 50 years,” Parris said, referring to the effects of climate change. “I am pleased to see how well it works, and how quickly we can develop this through the country.”

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As a tenacious Republican, Parris has made climate change his main problem. He helped make Lancaster the first city in Southern California to dispose of privately owned and electric utilities Buy clean power for residents. He also convinced BYD Chinese car makers to build an electric bus factory in Lancaster.

As a trial lawyer, he represented thousands of people sue Southern California Gas Co. for alleged health effects of the 2015 methane explosion at the company’s Aliso Canyon storage facility.

“Most of what we do is the first time it’s done,” Parris said.

Mayor Lancaster R. Rex Parris was re-elected in April 2020, securing a fifth term.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Solena Group’s chief executive, Robert Do, has been honing his technology from fuel to fuel for decades.

Do co-founded the company in the 1980s with Salvador Camacho, a former NASA engineer who helped the space agency develop a plasma heating technique that can produce temperatures high enough to simulate re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. This technology is very important to test the heat shield that will protect the first Americans in space when they return to Earth.

A 1994 NASA publication described plasma heating as “passing a strong electric current through a gas that is purified to make plasma – ionized gas – which produces extremely hot fires.” Camacho started a spin-off company that made use of this technology in 1971.

“This is a pretty good industrial tool,” Do said in an interview.

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The Solena Group will use some of the gases produced – mostly hydrogen and carbon monoxide – to ignite plasma torches.

The company has tried and failed to build commercial facilities before. In 2015, for example, a joint venture between Solena and British Airways to produce jet fuel at a facility in London fell apart after oil prices fell, underestimate project economics.

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Do hopes that California policies that require cleaner energy will create an atmosphere where technology can develop.

“Our technology can only keep up with market demand,” he said.

There is a large demand for hydrogen in industrial processes such as petroleum refining and fertilizer production.

Fuel burns cleanly, but is usually produced from coal or natural gas, in a process that emits carbon dioxide that warms the planet. A small portion of the global supply is produced through electrolysis, which involves splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen atoms.

As solar and wind power are getting cheaper, experts are increasingly optimistic about the potential to produce hydrogen through electrolysis powered by renewable energy. In theory, it could make hydrogen an abundant and climate-friendly fuel.

In addition to cleaning up industry and transportation, “green hydrogen” can replace some of the fossil natural gas used by homes and businesses for heating and cooking, possibly heralded by Southern California Gas Co. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy, meanwhile, said last year that it would try to build the world’s first power plant fueled by hydrogen.

Intermountain Power Plant

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Energy plans to destroy the fired Intermountain Power Plant with coal outside Delta, Utah, and replace the facility with a natural gas combustion facility which will eventually be triggered by renewable hydrogen.

(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Green hydrogen is still too expensive to make a lot of global demand. But costs are moving in the right direction.

BloombergNEF consulting company released a report in March found that with public policies that support, renewable hydrogen can meet 24% of world energy demand by 2050, and reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuels and industry by one third.

The analysis does not consider the type of process proposed by the Solena Group, known as “plasma gasification.”

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Although this concept is unheard of at all, it has not yet been proven commercially, some hydrogen experts told The Times.

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a federal research institute, study gasification as part of a latest report. They found that producing hydrogen through gasification of organic waste – basically applying heat and pressure to the waste to gas – could be one of the cheaper strategies to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

How does it work? The key is to understand that organic waste – like paper goods – can be decomposed in landfills, where it will emit methane, a gas that traps heat. Diverting the waste from landfill, and turning it into hydrogen, will avoid some of the emissions. And hydrogen will also replace dirtier fuels, like diesel in heavy duty trucks.

“There are hydrogen prices that are starting to be economical,” said Sarah Baker, a chemist at Lawrence Livermore and lead author of the report.

Baker and his colleagues only considered conventional heating methods, not high temperature plasma torches.

But the Solena Group targets the same goal: Low-cost hydrogen with minimal carbon emissions and overall planetary benefits.

The company hopes to sell hydrogen to fueling station operators for hydrogen powered vehicles, a small but growing market.

“For something like passenger vehicles, we already have an increasingly inexpensive, low-carbon alternative in electric vehicles,” said Ben Gallagher, an expert in technology that emerged at Wood Mackenzie’s consulting firm. “For heavy vehicles like trucks or road sweepers or garbage trucks or buses, this is a potential road for hydrogen, because batteries will be very heavy.”

BYD electric bus

Although some clean buses are powered by hydrogen, others are electricity. In this photo, James Holtz, fleet sales manager for BYD Motors Inc., shows several battery packs used to power electric buses built at the company’s facilities in Lancaster, California.

(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Solena Group still has a lot to prove. The company has partnered with Fluor Corp, a multinational engineering and construction company, to build its factory in Lancaster, which is expected to be permitted early next year and produce hydrogen by the end of 2022.

If the company can produce hydrogen at the low price point it claims – reliable enough to attract investors, and without producing dangerous byproducts – that would be a big problem, said Jeffrey Reed, a renewable fuel expert at the University of California, Irvine.

“Gasification has the potential to be quite effective in producing hydrogen,” he said.

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Teodoro Obiang meets the Portuguese he saved from death | NEWS | DV

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Teodoro Obiang meets the Portuguese he saved from death |  NEWS |  DV

Teodoro Obiang was received on Tuesday (28.06) at the headquarters of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), where, not to mention the process of abolition of the death penalty in his country, he promised to comply with all the necessary recommendations of the membership. by organization. .

“We are ready, we are organizing to fulfill all the conditions that all CPSG member countries demand,” the President of Equatorial Guinea said in press statements without the right to ask questions.

Accompanied by Zacarias da Costa, executive secretary of the CPLP, Obiang assured that Portuguese, considered a foreign language in Equatorial Guinea, is on the rise, mainly because many young people are already learning the language in schools.

“Portuguese will become the language spoken throughout the country,” he promised.

The President of Equatorial Guinea is in Portugal as one of the senior government officials invited to the United Nations Oceans Conference, which is taking place in Lisbon until 1 July.

The presidential delegation of Equatorial Guinea includes First Lady Constance Mangue, Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono, and Mozambique Murade Muraga, former CPLP Executive Secretary, who serves as Obiang’s Special Adviser for the Portuguese Language.

Jorge Trabulo Marquez spent 38 days canoeing in the Atlantic Ocean.

The head of state of Equatorial Guinea held several bilateral meetings, including with the President of the UN General Assembly, Adullah Shahid; was at the International Craft Fair (FIA), this Wednesday will be received by his Portuguese colleague Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and will visit the Sanctuary of Fatima.

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“Obiang understood and set me free”

At the hotel where he was staying in Lisbon, Obiang received Portuguese journalist Jorge Trabulo Marques, who spent 47 years in prison in Malabo after 38 days of trying to cross the Atlantic by canoe from Sao Tome. . . .

Marquez says he was 30 years old at the time and it was Obiang, then supreme commander of the armed forces, who saved him from death.

“At that time, I was considered a spy because it was hard to believe that a European would sit in a canoe,” Jorge Trabulo Marquez told DW Africa.

“I was taken to Black Beach Maximum Security Prison and sentenced to hang. Five days later, while I was walking, the phone rang and it was Commander Obiang, the nephew of President Macias, who called me to his office to give the president a writ of execution.”

President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang receives journalist Jorge Trabulo Marquez in Lisbon.

Meeting between President Teodoro Obiang and journalist Jorge Trabulo Marquez on Tuesday (28.06)

But Obiang, then 33, went against the execution order for his uncle Macias Nguema.

“Thank God he was understanding, he was generous, he took my word for it and set me free. I was here today to thank him for life because I saw death before me. Every night I heard piercing cries; terror prison. Whoever entered alive, came out in a tomb.”

At this meeting, the journalist expressed his gratitude by offering a picture painted with a portrait of a man who saved his life in a country where the Castilian language prevails and where the death penalty has not yet been completely abolished.

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Portuguese DJ Narciso among the first advertisements of the Polish festival Unsound – Showbiz

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Portuguese DJ Narciso among the first advertisements of the Polish festival Unsound - Showbiz

Musician DJ Narciso is the only Portuguese name in the first group of artists at Poland’s Unsound festival, which will take place in Krakow in October, the organization announced today.

The Portuguese DJ Narciso appears in the dance program of the festival, reminiscent of the organization that is part of the Príncipe publishing house from Lisbon.

Narciso created RS Produções in Río de Mouro, municipality of Sintra, in the middle of the last decade, which he shares with Nuno Beats, DJ Nulo, DJ Lima and Farucox.

This year he released the EP “NXE” with London’s Endgame by Chinese publisher SVBKVLT. According to a biography available on Bandcamp at the time of launch, DJ Narciso is “bringing together a new wave of artists from Kuduro from Lisbon, [sendo] one of the youngest members of Príncipe who helped redefine the genre.”

One of the most influential European festivals, which annually collects names from various musical fields and commissions works by contemporary authors, Unsound will present projects in Krakow in its 20th edition, such as the premiere of Osmium, which features Hildur Guðnadóttir. , Slater of Sam Blanket and James Ginsburg, who will play with singer Rulli Shabara on instruments made especially for the occasion, according to a statement from the event.

Polish cellist and composer Resina will join Frenchman Aho San in the Ego Death project, also curated by Unsound.

The Contemporary Spółdzielnia ensemble, in turn, will present “Vitriolum”, in which musicians interpret works on 3D-printed instruments “based on Carpathian flutes and ancient double reeds.”

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From October 9 to 16, Unsound will also host Oren Ambarchi, Johan Bertling and Andreas Verlin as Ghosted, as well as Japanese solo artist Phew and more.

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Portuguese deep tech fund raises over €32m for blue economy projects

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Portuguese deep tech fund raises over €32m for blue economy projects

The fund’s first investment in the blue economy and climate action is in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company.

Faber, a Portuguese emerging technology venture capital firm, announces that its Faber Blue Pioneers I fund exceeded its initial target of €30 million to close at €32 million.

Southern Europe’s first venture capital fund focused on “deep tech” for ocean sustainability and climate change has already made its first investment in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company.

Announced late last year, Faber Blue Pioneers I is funded by institutional investors with an impact strategy such as the European Investment Fund (FEI) and Portugal Blue, Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos (through its part of Movendo Capital), Builders Initiative (the philanthropic arm of Builders Vision, impact platform founded by Lucas Walton, dedicated to creating a more humane and healthy planet and with an investment strategy in the oceans), the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Champalimaux Foundation, as well as entrepreneurs Peter Reeve, co-founder of SolarCity, CEO of Aqualink and president of Sofar Ocean Technologies, and Pedro Bizarro , co-founder and chief scientist of Feedzai.

Thus, the fund completes its first closure with a core of investors who are in full agreement with the thesis of the fund, with sustainable and investment programs on a global scale in this area, accompanied by successful entrepreneurs who want to support and contribute to the sustainability of the oceans and climate action, which Faber hopes to leverage with additional investors to join the fund’s closed end by the end of 2022.

AI and climate and ocean data

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Faber combines a dedicated focus on early stage deep tech startups (pre-seed and seed) with thematic funds, teams and dedicated advisors who actively work with entrepreneurs to build global artificial intelligence (AI) and climate companies. and ocean data and technology.

The goal of the fund is to invest in a portfolio of 20-25 early stage companies that develop innovative high-tech solutions with global ambitions in areas such as blue biotechnology, food innovation, ocean clean-up technologies or the decarbonization of many industries. with a clear contribution to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 14.

The fund is managed by a dedicated investment team led by Rita Souza and Carlos Esteban (Partners) and Bruno Ferreira (Venture Partner) with extensive experience in investment, entrepreneurship and technology. The team will work closely with a network of experts, including strategic adviser Thiago Pitta e Cunha (CEO of the Oceano Azul Foundation) and scientific advisors Susana Moreira and Joana Moreira da Silva (science and innovation researchers at Ciimar), as well as with other scientists and industry representatives. experts.

At the time of the first closing, the specialized investment group (based between Lisbon and Barcelona) analyzed more than 600 start-ups from all over Europe, with a particular focus on those starting in the Iberian Peninsula or elsewhere. geographically and who are looking for a suitable partner to expand their activities in Portugal and thus take advantage of the conditions that the country offers to launch high-tech and innovative projects in the blue economy.

The fund’s first investment was in Fuelsave, a German cleantech company focused on the decarbonization of the marine industry, and Faber already has additional investments nearing completion and to be completed over the next few weeks.

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“We are proud to announce Faber Blue Pioneers I’s first major plan above the original goal with a remarkable group of investors who share our strong belief that science and entrepreneurs can accelerate innovation and have a positive impact on ocean and climate resilience. action. We are also very pleased to welcome Fuelsave to the fund’s portfolio as we believe its team will pave the way for the decarbonization of the maritime industry,” says Alexandre Barbosa, Managing Partner of Faber.

Faber is the first Iberian partner of 1000 Ocean Startups, a global coalition of incubators, accelerators, venture capital funds and other platforms dedicated to accelerating innovation with a positive impact on the oceans and supporting at least 1000 startups that are transforming the sustainability of the oceans, oceans and making a significant contribution to the Goal. United Nations in the field of sustainable development 14.

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