Electrical energy can be captured as liquid air – A Spiritual Insight

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When discussing the topic of energy, and renewable energy, what usually comes up are solar power, wind technology, harnessing ocean wave energy, and possibly a number of other exotic technologies that are feats of engineering. The goal for renewable energy is to move away from fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the most reliable form of energy today remains the fossil fuel energy technologies. The reason being, the wind may not blow, or the sun may not shine, whereas coal or gas power stations always has something to burn. The major limiting factor for these alternative energy technologies is not just reliability, but also storage, low cost, and scale-up. The current state of the art is the use of batteries to story energy. Batteries are used every day in applications like mobile phones, electric cars, wrist watches, they are reliable, scalable, and very well understood. Most alternative energies are clumsy, poorly understood, and not scalable. Recently, there was a publication of a new type of energy storage that puts together engineering technologies that are routinely used elsewhere and are proven to work that might give lithium ion batteries a run for their money. This new technology is called “liquid air.” [1]

References

  1. Ding, Y.; Tong, L.; Zhang, P.; Li, Y.; Radcliffe, J.; Wang, L., Chapter 9 – Liquid Air Energy Storage. In Storing Energy, Letcher, T. M., Ed. Elsevier: Oxford, 2016; pp 167-181. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-803440-8.00009-9

Liquid air energy storage (LAES) refers to a technology that uses liquefied air or nitrogen as a storage medium. This is a cryogenic energy storage technology. A typical LAES system is composed of three steps, (i) the charging process when one uses off-peak electrical energy to compress and liquify air. Note that when a gas is compressed to a high enough pressure, generally it will condense to a liquid. (ii) the storage process in which the liquefied air is stored, usually in an insulated tank to minimize heat loss (at -196 C). (iii) the discharging process is the step that recovers the energy that was used during the compression of the gas, the liquefied gas is generally expanded through a turbine to generate electricity during peak hours when energy is in high demand and expensive.

The concept of LAES technology was first proposed by researchers at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the United Kingdom in 1977. This work was theoretical but led to the development of this technology. Both simulation and experimental systems suggest that the cryogenic energy storage system could exceed 70% as long as the regenerator was efficient. No fully integrated energy system has been demonstrated however.

“Working with the University of Leeds, Highview Power Storage started to design and build the world’s first integrated LAES pilot plant (350 kW, 2.5 MW h) in 2009. The pilot plant was colocated with a Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) biomass power plant in Slough (United Kingdom) and the whole plant became operational from 2011. The pilot plant has now been relocated to the University of Birmingham (United Kingdom) for further research and development. In collaboration with Virido and with the support of the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, Highview Power Storage is currently building a 5 MW/15 MW h demonstration plant in Virido’s Manchester (United Kingdom) landfill gas power plant.”

“Learn more about Cryogenic Energy Storage,” https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/cryogenic-energy-storage, Accessed Nov. 2019

The Spiritual Insights we receive from this type of research is related to the concept “though we are in the world, we are not of the world.” (John 17) This type of research reminds me of the Scripture from John 17:14-24.

John 17:14-24
17:14 ‘I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17:15 ‘I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 17:16 ‘They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17:17 ‘Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 17:18 ‘As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 17:19 ‘For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 17:20 ‘I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 17:21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 17:22 ‘The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 17:23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. 17:24 ‘Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. (NASB)

There is a lot that is going on in these few verses. Yeshua say that the world hates us because we are not of this world. This is the result of Yeshua having given us God’s Word. Yeshua says that he does not pray so that we are taken out of this world, but that we are protected from the evil one. He reiterates that we are not of the world just as Yeshua himself is also not of the world. He then asks the Father in heaven to sanctify us in truth and points out the Word of God is truth. This suggests that it is the Word of God in our lives that sanctifies us, meaning that we are set apart from the world because of God’s Word. And finally, Yeshua speaks of the Father knowing him and loving him from before the foundation of the world. This is a most significant section of Scripture. John wrote in his epistle (1 John 2:15) that we are commanded not to “love the world, nor the things that are in the world.” Considering this statement from the epistle of John, what exactly does “the world” mean in the context of these Scriptures and John’s words? The parallel from the Scientific research, off peak power is used to compress air to a liquid state. Air is composed of 21% O2 and 79% N2, and in its standard state is a gas consisting mostly of these two components oxygen and nitrogen. In order to store energy, electricity is used to compress air changing its state from a gas to a liquid. This new state of air (liquid, -197 C) is set apart because it now has an intrinsic capacity for producing energy whenever it is needed. When we think about what is taking place by Yeshua’s and John’s words in the Scriptures, The sanctifying nature of the Word of God is to set us apart from the world, to be used for God’s kingdom.  The English word for “the world” may refer to (i) the physical earth itself, (ii) a particular period of human history (the ancient world) (iii) the societies and institutions of human beings in general (mankind), (iv) a specific area of culture or intellect, (v) a generalization of the world in the sense of the nations (the people of the world) or (vi) the physical universe (everything). There is a large amount of variation in the usage of “the world” as it is used in the Scriptures. In addition to these things, we are told not to love the world, yet Yeshua states in John 3:16-17 that God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that the world might be saved through Him. The Research speaks of using a part of this world by changing its state such that it can be used for the greater good, to generate energy. The Lord God calls us out from the world in the sense of setting us apart such that we may bear his testimonies to the world. In Parashat Mishpatim, we read the opening passages saying, “Now these are the mishpatim (judgments/rules) that you shall set before them” – וְאֵלֶּה הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר תָּשִׂים לִפְנֵיהֶם (Shemot / Exodus 21:1). The sages say this verse implies that the giving of the Torah is the very reason for the creation of the world. God created the universe because he wanted a “dwelling place” in the hearts of men (Shemot / Exodus 25:8). Note the design here, the maximum, peak, or climax of the revelation of the torah of God is that the Mishkhan (מִשְׁכָּן) and the altar of God would prefigure the divine presence in the Messiah Yeshua himself. The goal of the creation and of the giving of God’s Torah was so we could know God, we would have the expectation of the Lord God Almighty living in our midst, of the Living Word of God becoming flesh and dwelling among men (John 1:1-14). The giving of the Torah was so that we would know that God redeems us from destruction, and is the explicit reason why it says at the beginning of the Ten Commandments: אָנכִי יְהוָה אֱלהֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתִיךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery” (Shemot / Exodus 20:2). This is the eternal message of God to His people, our redemption leads to sanctification as God’s people. This is why we are repeatedly instructed to delight in the Torah and to meditate on its precepts day and night (Joshua 1:8, Tehillim / Psalm 1:2, 19:8, 119:15, 47, 97; Nehemiah 8:12, etc).  Based upon the Scriptures, regardless of what others say, the Word of God sanctifies us and draws us near to the Lord God of Israel!

John wrote that the world (kosmos) represents the collective condition of lost humanity that lives in direct opposition to God’s ways as a defiant society or culture, characterized by “darkness” (unrighteousness, wickedness) and who is ruled by the devil (Satan, the Evil One, John 3:16-21, 12:31, 16:11). Yeshua spoke of two worlds, one which is above (heaven) and the one which is below (earth). In the research, air is drawn off from the atmosphere for a special use.  In parallel fashion, the Lord God must draw us out from this world and transform us into a different state, just as in the research, liquid air has the capacity to do work (generate electricity) after it has been compressed, we too must be transformed in order to be used of God. Yeshua said, “You are from below (ἐκ τῶν κάτω), I am from above (ἐκ τῶν ἄνω); you are of this world (ἐκ τούτου τοῦ κόσμου), I am not of this world” (John 8:23). The basic conclusion is that the world is essentially in conflict with the Kingdom of God. We are not to love this world, nor the things this world values, since doing so embraces a philosophy of life that is at war with the Father and contrary to the truth of eternity (1 John 2:16; James 4:4). This is why we are called to seek a connection with God, with His presence in our lives through faith in His Son Yeshua the Messiah! Our identity must be in the Lord God Almighty, the God of the Bible, and in the Son (Yeshua). This is the reason why we must understand what “the world” means. If we find a connectedness in our lives to this world, 100% of the time this enters into our lives as a form of idolatry. Idolatry is essentially trying to find one’s identity, one’s worth, one’s satisfaction, and ultimately one’s fulfillment in things, and ways of this world, in what is passing away, as opposed to finding these things in the Lord God of Israel. This is why we are warned of worldliness and are admonished in the Scriptures, and even through the example of the history of Israel, to abstain from the culture of this world and its values. This is why we are called to remember, to study the Scriptures, to recognize that God has designed this world such that we must seek Him for our redemption. Paul wrote, in Colossians 3:1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 3:5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 3:6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 3:7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. (NASB) Paul wrote “you have died” which indicates that this is the condition granted to us by the power of God. This is how the Lord God has set us apart from this world sanctifying us in His Word! We are made alive to a spiritual reality of the redemption of God and His presence in our lives. We are called to focus our thoughts on this reality rather than upon “the world” which is passing away.

A final thought, many of the sages believe the phrase “in the beginning” (בְּרֵאשִׁית) refers to the wisdom of the Torah. Solomon wrote in Mishley / Proverbs 8:22, that God created the world for the sake of Torah, what they call רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ (the beginning of His ways). In other words, wisdom (חָכְמָה) is personified as the Torah of God, literally God’s spoken word and the power of the word of God is what created the universe. With the revelation given in the New Testament, we understand the divine wisdom of the Torah was personified as Yeshua our Messiah. The sages say the Word of God from the Torah is the expression of God’s will in creation. The Word of God is the Strong Arm of the Lord in His created power to make the universe from nothing (tohu u’vohu) The NT teaches us how Yeshua is the Living Torah and the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. He is the One revealed before creation (John 17:24) He is both the beginning and the end! (Revelation 1) This is what John was writing in his gospel when he said, בְּרֵאשִׁית הָיָה הַדָּבָר “in the beginning was the Word,” וֵאלהִים הָיָה הַדָּבָר “and God was the Word…” הַכּל נִהְיָה עַל־יָדוֹ and “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1,3). Through these things, the Lord God Almighty receives the glory of His creation (Revelation 4:11) and in His Son Yeshua the Messiah, we are given the truth, that this world is transient, and those things that are unseen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18).

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!