[Gasification] The Enigma of Gasification

doug.williams Doug.Williams at orcon.net.nz
Sat Jan 1 04:28:19 CST 2011

Hi Colleagues,

I address this to no one in particular, as it records for those interested in the dynamics of making things happen, the futility of assuming we are movers and shakers of our time. I meant what I said, " we are only discovering what other people forgot, or chose not to do"!

There is nothing profound left to say about what we do, unless we are pumping up the public illusions of our companies (or own) expertise, but just one fib or silly statement, will see you swing from a petard of your own making. It's not about gas making of any definition, but I personally find it alarming to see so much simplistic expectation from those who write to me, using basic gasification with air, as an opportunity to get their snout into the public $$ trough. Am I a pricker of delusional balloons, or just another failed wana-be, out to spoil others aspirations?

When I start thinking like this, I read what I wrote to this forum back in October 1997, in the German Reports, which you can read again on the Fluidyne Archive www.fluidynenz.250x.com   A year later 1998, I pulled the plug on Fluidyne Gasification as a manufacturing company, finding the graft and corruption throughout Asia, not my cup of tea, and the time in Europe wasted.  Trying to work with every company busting their brains to qualify for EU funding, isn't healthy.  From my perspective, I wasted 23 years facilitating other peoples dreams, and won the Booby prize of gasification experience, plus another 12 years of waiting for energy experts predictions to come true. 

Alex English I remember, appealed to me to save a record of what had been done, so the Fluidyne Archive came into being. It's not meant to be a history of Fluidyne, but showing what we had done,and a place to put photos from our files on topics that are discussed exclusively on this Gasification List.  I don't belong to, or read any other forum discussing gasification, so I am not exactly trying to convert the World to my way of thinking, as some might suggest. 

Remember I said that I was an Indentured Boilermaker?  I dug out my Certification Papers this morning (1st January 2011), and read again this archaic document, where- by my father signed away five years of my life, to be apprenticed to a man who would be responsible for teaching me the art of working with steel. I muse at the fact that you can be awarded an Honour Doctorate or Degree, or even buy yourself any sort of academic qualifications on-line, but no way can you become an Honour Boilermaker.  My first tool box is still under the house, filled with memories and black tools, now seeming so crude compared to their shiny modern counterparts that break when put to do real work. Similar to people really, but I slightly digress.

Gasification for me, is a survival technology. We live in a complex World of change, both political and environmentally, where overnight, we can see all we take for granted, vanish in an instant. This doesn't motivate me to save anyone, but the lights will never go out in my house, thanks to gasified engine powered generation (but only when the grid goes down). The ability to survive sudden change, has cost attached, but if considered as an Insurance Policy, gasified power generation has to be a serious contender for emergency power if nothing else. 

What then, is there to offer future generations about gasification? Teach them to do it better, faster, and cleaner, cheaper, is that the best on offer for our expertise acquired at such great expense of time and money?  As a gas, is it only considered to be chemical building blocks, and the waste char an in-thing, to be seen stuffed in the ground for carbon credits?  Can gasification open a pathway to facilitate new sciences? Hmmm.

My obligations to gasification continue for another two years, in which time, my associates will have completed a very demanding five year apprenticeship in the black art of gasification. Will their efforts be ready for 2015 when the next oil crunch comes, or is the carrot on the stick always going to remain the same? Who really cares anyway?
I'd hate to think that the time will come when gasifier commercials implore us to buy now, but wait, ring now and get a second free,etc,etc, but I jest don't I?

My free holiday time has now been consumed, and reality rules again limiting my time. My other life awaits, and I must return to being a lurker again on this Forum. 

Keep it friendly Team.
Doug Williams.

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