Posts tagged ‘State Administration of Work Safety’

13/12/2016

Can jet engines clean up Delhi’s foul air? – BBC News

Sometime next year, if all goes well, a retired jet engine will be mounted on a flatbed trailer and taken to a coal-fired power plant in Delhi.

With the exhaust nozzle pointed at the sky, the engine will be placed near the smokestack and turned on.

As the engine roars to life, it will generate a nozzle speed of 400 metres per second (1,440km/h; 900mph), which is more or less the speed of sound.

The exhaust will create powerful updrafts that will, to put it simply, blast the emissions from the plant to higher altitudes, above a meteorological phenomenon called temperature inversion, where a layer of cold air is held in place by a warmer “lid” trapping smog.

The jet exhaust will act as a “virtual chimney”, drawing in and transporting the smog, which makes Delhi’s air some of the most toxic in the world. A single jet engine can deal with emissions from a 1,000 megawatt power plant.

Temperature inversion

Can Delhi ever clean up its foul air?

So can jet engines help clean up Delhi’s foul air? A team of researchers from the US, India and Singapore believes so.

“This could lead to a successful implementation of a new technology for smog mitigation all over the world,” the lead researcher, Moshe Alamaro, an aeronautical engineer and atmospheric scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells me.

“The programme could use retired and commercial engines and has the possibility of adding value to numerous retired propulsion systems available.”

Delhi is an ideal candidate for this experiment. The widespread use of festival fireworks, the burning of rubbish by the city’s poor, plus farm waste from around the city, vehicular emissions and construction dust, all contribute to the city’s thick “pea-soup” fogs.

The jet engines will be mounted on a flatbed trailer

Things get worse in winter: last month, schools were shut, construction and demolition work suspended, people wore face masks and were asked to work from home.

The move came after levels of PM2.5 – tiny particles that can affect the lungs – soared to over 90 times the level considered safe by the World Health Organization and 15 times the federal government’s norms.

Carrying out the jet engine experiment outside a coal-fired electricity plant makes sense as coal accounts for more than 60% of India’s power generation. In two years, the country could surpass China as the biggest importer of thermal coal.

Coal-fired energy may be linked to more than 100,000 premature deaths and millions of cases of asthma and respiratory ailments. Also, emissions from a 1,000-megawatt coal-fired plant are equivalent to emissions from roughly 500,000 cars.

Scientists say that jet engines were used in the Soviet Union 45 years ago to enhance rainfall.

“They achieved some success,” says Dr Alamaro. “As far as I know nobody tried using jet engines for smog mitigation.”

Noise concerns

Farmers have also rented helicopters to hover over their fields to “agitate and disrupt the inversions” to protect their crops.

Next month, Dr Alamaro will join some of India’s top scientists and collaborators from government agencies at a workshop to plan the experiment.

There are concerns: noise from the jet engine, for example.”In the beginning,” he says, “the jet engine will be tested in remote location and not necessarily near a power plant, to observe the jet properties and for optimisation.”

The scientists say that fears about emissions from jet engines fouling the air are unfounded as their emissions “are much cleaner than that of the power plant per unit of power”.

There are reportedly offers of retired jet engines from air forces in India and the US for the experiment.

Scientists are talking to Tata Group, a private power producer, to use one of their plants for a site for the experiment.

Before the test, meteorological data on the area, along with information on frequency of smog will be essential. Drones will be used before and after the experiment.

Coal-powered thermal power plants meet most of India’s energy needs

Critics of the planned experiment doubt whether the jet exhausts will be powerful enough to create a virtual chimney and blow out the smog, and question whether expensive jet engines can be used on a large scale to control air pollution in a vast city such as Delhi.

But Dr Alamaro is optimistic.

“Each new technology should start with the least resistant path for success,” he says.”The concentration of emission from coal is very high near the power plant.”

So a jet engine that elevates this emission is more effective near the power plant than somewhere else in the city that is plagued by smog.

“That said, we also plan to try to elevate the less concentrated smog in and around the city by jet systems.”

For example, the jet system can be placed near highways where vehicle emission is high, so the jet is more effective than somewhere else in the city.

If successful, Dr Alamaro says, this method can be used “anywhere and anytime, away from a power plant and during normal atmospheric conditions” to control air pollution.

Fairly soon, we may know if jet engines can really help to clean Delhi’s foul air.

Source: Can jet engines clean up Delhi’s foul air? – BBC News

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10/11/2016

China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

Chinese state media has warned the U.S. president-elect against isolationism and interventionism, calling instead for the United States to actively work with China to maintain the international status quo.

President-elect Donald Trump threatened to tear up trade deals and pursue a more unilateral foreign policy under his “America First” principle during a tempestuous election campaign.

But China and other foreign governments are uncertain how much of Trump’s rhetoric will be translated into policy because he has at times made contradictory statements and provided few details of how he would deal with the world.

Trump often targeted China in the campaign, blaming Beijing for U.S. job losses and vowing to impose 45 percent tariffs on Chinese imports. The Republican also promised to call China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. U.S. isolationist policies had “accelerated the country’s economic crisis” during the Great Depression, warned a commentary by China’s official Xinhua News Agency, though it added that “election talk is just election talk”.

The commentary also cautioned against any tilt towards intervention.

POTENTIAL PRAGMATIST

The Chinese media in the past have criticized the United States and other Western powers for intervening in Afghanistan and Iraq and meddling in international hot spots such as Ukraine.

“History has proven that U.S. overseas military interventionism causes them to pay disastrous political and economic costs,” the commentary said. Hillary Clinton was widely seen in China as the more hawkish of the two candidates, while some Chinese commentators saw Trump as a potential pragmatist on foreign policy. But Beijing fears the unpredictability of a Trump presidency as it seeks to maintain an equilibrium in Sino-U.S. relations while dealing with the daunting tasks of a reform agenda to combat a slowing economy at home.

A second Xinhua commentary published on Thursday morning said the new U.S. president and China should “jointly build a new model of major power relations”. That echoes the position of Chinese President Xi Jinping that says global powers should work to accommodate, not contain, a rising China in the international system.

‘SHOCK OF HERESY’

Trump’s victory was watched closely on the Chinese internet with the tag “Trump has won” becoming the most-searched term on Weibo, a popular Chinese microblog service, on Wednesday afternoon in Asia, well before the race was conceded.

Some of the posts agreed that Trump might be just the change agent the United States needs now.

The U.S. has chosen indeterminacy in order to create change,” according to a post by Tsinghua University professor Sun Liping on Thursday that has been shared over a thousand times. “When the usual, determined method has already been unable to solve the problems, then you need the shock of heresy instead.”

Chinese state media had previously said the U.S. election process reflects a troubled political system, and showed an increasingly divided, disillusioned and indignant U.S. citizenry. “This election has also made clear that the U.S. political system is already caught in a predicament,” a third Xinhua commentary said. “As for when it will exit this predicament, the answer is still unknown.” The Global Times, a tabloid published by the ruling party’s People’s Daily newspaper, said Trump’s victory had “dealt a heavy blow to the heart of U.S. politics” but that he would be unable to make many changes in U.S. foreign policy.”

In an elite-controlled U.S., most of those holding power don’t support Trump. And U.S. allies across the world will pressure Washington to restrain Trump from isolationism,” it said.

Source: China state media warns Trump against isolationism, calls for status quo | Reuters

09/01/2014

China energy safety probe exposes 20,000 potential risks | Reuters

China has uncovered nearly 20,000 disaster risks in its oil and gas sector during a nationwide safety probe following a pipeline blast that killed 62 people last year, the country\’s safety watchdog said on Thursday.

A man wears a mask while walking past a debris-covered basketball court of a school a day after an explosion at a Sinopec Corp oil pipeline in Huangdao, Qingdao, Shandong Province November 23, 2013. REUTERS/Aly Song

Checks on some 3,000 petrochemical firms and oil storage sites found nearly 20,000 potential hazards, Wang Haoshui, an inspector with the safety agency, told reporters.

\”Oil and gas pipelines are buried underground… It is hard to inspect (them) and find the hidden dangers,\” said Wang, adding that the agency had already urged the parties involved to fix the problems.

China has 655 trunk oil and gas pipelines with a total length of 102,000 km. Some of them have been operating for as long as 40 years, making them vulnerable to corrosion, Huang Yi, a spokesman for the State Administration of Work Safety, told a news briefing.

\”What worried us is that some oil pipelines overlap with urban infrastructure pipes, causing many hidden dangers.\”

The government launched the probe in December.

The November explosion at the Dongying-Huangdao II pipeline owned by top Asian refiner China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) was attributed to pipeline corrosion, irregular work practices and a tangled network of underground pipes, Huang said.

The blast in the eastern city of Qingdao that killed 62 people resulted from pipeline corrosion that led to a leak, which was ignited in turn by sparks from a hydraulic hammer used on the day of the accident, he said.

The probe team has submitted its findings to China\’s cabinet, the State Council, and the results will be released to the public after they have been approved, he added.

Industry officials expected stiff punishment for Sinopec over the blast, which also injured 136 and caused direct economic loss of 750 million yuan ($123.9 million).

via China energy safety probe exposes 20,000 potential risks | Reuters.

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05/01/2014

* China to launch nationwide safety overhaul – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China will launch a nationwide work safety overhaul this month to prevent the occurrence of major accidents, the country\’s work safety watchdog said on Saturday.

The State Administration of Work Safety will send 16 teams to oversee safety checks in 31 provinces, regions and municipalities and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps., with each team in charge of two places.

Safety measures should be enhanced in industries including coal mines, transportation, hazardous chemicals and fireworks, as well as in public places, according to the administration.

A special safety overhaul on the country\’s oil and gas pipeline will begin in early March, the administration said.

China witnessed a series of tragedies in 2013. A fire at a poultry factory on June 3 in northeast China\’s Jilin Province claimed 121 lives. In November, 62 people died in an oil pipeline blast in Qingdao City of east China\’s Shandong Province.

via China to launch nationwide safety overhaul – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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