Since 1850 the concentration of atmospheric methane (CH4), a potent greenhouse gas, has more than doubled. Recent studies suggest that emission inventories may be missing sources and underestimating emissions. To investigate whether offshore oil and gas platforms leak CH4 during normal operation, we measured CH4 mole fractions around eight oil and gas production platforms in the North Sea which were neither flaring gas nor off-loading oil. We use the measurements from summer 2017, along with meteorological data, in a Gaussian plume model to estimate CH4 emissions from each platform. We find CH4 mole fractions of between 11 and 370 ppb above background concentrations downwind of the platforms measured, corresponding to a median CH4 emission of 6.8 g CH4 s-1 for each platform, with a range of 2.9 to 22.3 g CH4 s-1. When matched to production records, during our measurements individual platforms lost between 0.04% and 1.4% of gas produced with a median loss of 0.23%. When the measured platforms are considered collectively, (i.e. the sum of platforms’ emission fluxes weighted by the sum of the platforms’ production), we estimate the CH4 loss to be 0.19% of gas production. These estimates are substantially higher than the emissions most recently reported to the National Atmospheric Emission Inventory (NAEI) for total CH4 loss from United Kingdom platforms in the North Sea. The NAEI reports CH4 losses from the offshore oil and gas platforms we measured to be 0.13% of gas production, with most of their emissions coming from gas flaring and offshore oil loading, neither of which were taking place at the time of our measurements. All oil and gas platforms we observed were found to leak CH4 during normal operation and much of this leakage has not been included in UK emission inventories. Further research is required to accurately determine total CH4 leakage from all offshore oil and gas operations and to properly include the leakage in national and international emission inventories.
Schwartz, Jacob; Emdee, Eric; Goldston, Robert; Jaworski, Michael
The lithium vapor box divertor is a potential solution for power exhaust in toroidal confinement devices. The divertor plasma interacts with a localized, dense cloud of lithium vapor, leading to volumetric radiation, cooling, recombination, and detachment. To minimize contamination of the core plasma, lithium vapor is condensed on cool (300°C to 400°C) baffles upstream of the detachment point. Before implementing this in a toroidal plasma device with a slot divertor geometry, we consider an experiment with a scaled baffled-pipe geometry in the high-power linear plasma device Magnum-PSI. Three 15 cm-scale open cylinders joined by 6 cm diameter ‘nozzles’ are positioned on the plasma beam axis upstream of a target. The central box may be loaded with several tens of grams of lithium, which can be evaporated at 650°C to produce a vapor predicted, using a simple plasma-neutral interaction model, to be dense enough to cause volumetric detachment in the plasma. The power delivered to the target and box walls as measured by increases in their temperatures after a 10 s plasma pulse can be compared to determine the effectiveness of the vapor in detaching the plasma. Direct Simulation Monte Carlo simulations are performed to estimate the flow rates of lithium vapor between the boxes and to estimate the trapping of H2 delivered by the plasma in the boxes, which could inadvertently lead to detachment. Details of the geometry, simulations, and possible diagnostic techniques are presented.
Berryman, Eleanor J.; Winey, J. M.; Gupta, Yogendra M.; Duffy, Thomas S.
Stishovite (rutile-type SiO2) is the archetype of dense silicates and may occur in post-garnet eclogitic rocks at lower-mantle conditions. Sound velocities in stishovite are fundamental to understanding its mechanical and thermodynamic behavior at high pressure and temperature. Here, we use plate-impact experiments combined with velocity interferometry to determine the stress, density, and longitudinal sound speed in stishovite formed during shock compression of fused silica at 44 GPa and above. The measured sound speeds range from 12.3(8) km/s at 43.8(8) GPa to 9.8(4) km/s at 72.7(11) GPa. The decrease observed at 64 GPa reacts a decrease in the shear modulus of stishovite, likely due to the onset of melting. By 72 GPa, the measured sound speed agrees with the theoretical bulk sound speed indicating loss of all shear stiffness due to complete melting. Our sound velocity results provide direct evidence for shock-induced melting, in agreement with previous pyrometry data.
In 2017, seven members of the Archive-It Mid-Atlantic Users Group (AITMA) conducted a study of 14 subjects representative of their stakeholder populations to assess the usability of Archive-It, a web archiving subscription service of the Internet Archive. While Archive-It is the most widely-used tool for web archiving, little is known about how users interact with the service. This study intended to teach us what users expect from web archives, which exist as another form of archival material. End-user subjects executed four search tasks using the public Archive-It interface and the Wayback Machine to access archived information on websites from the facilitators’ own harvested collections and provide feedback about their experiences. The tasks were designed to have straightforward pass or fail outcomes, and the facilitators took notes on the subjects’ behavior and commentary during the sessions. Overall, participants reported mildly positive impressions of Archive-It public user interface based on their session. The study identified several key areas of improvement for the Archive-It service pertaining to metadata options, terminology display, indexing of dates, and the site’s search box.
Spontaneous multi-keV electron generation in a low-RF-power axisymmetric mirror machine
X-ray emission shows the existence of multi-keV electrons in low-temperature, low-power, capacitively-coupled RF-heated magnetic-mirror plasmas that also contain a warm (300 eV) minority electron population. Though these warm electrons are initially passing particles, we suggest that collisionless scattering -- mu non-conservation in the static vacuum field -- is responsible for a minority of them to persist in the mirror cell for thousands of transits during which time a fraction are energized to a characteristic temperature of 3 keV, with some electrons reaching energies above 30 keV. A heuristic model of the heating by a Fermi-acceleration-like mechanism is presented, with mu non-conservation in the static vacuum field as an essential feature.
Experiments and predictions of surface wave damping in liquid metal due to a surface aligned magnetic field and externally regulated j × B force are presented. Fast-flowing, liquid-metal plasma facing components (LM-PFCs) are a proposed alternative to solid PFCs that are unable to handle the high heat flux, thermal stresses, and radiation damage in a tokamak. The significant technical challenges associated with LM-PFCs compared to solid PFCs are justified by greater heat flux management, self-healing properties, and reduced particle recycling. However, undesirable engineering challenges such as evaporation and splashing of the liquid metal introduce excessive impurities into the plasma and degrade plasma performance. Evaporation may be avoided through high-speed flow that limits temperature rise of the liquid metal by reducing heat flux exposure time, but as flow speed increases the surface may become more turbulent and prone to splashing and uneven surfaces. Wave damping is one mechanism that reduces surface disturbance and thus the chances of liquid metal impurity introduction into the plasma. Experiments on the Liquid Metal eXperiment Upgrade (LMX-U) examined damping under the influence of transverse magnetic fields and vertically directed Lorentz force.
Active control of the toroidal current density profile is critical for the upgraded National Spherical Torus eXperiment device (NSTX-U) to maintain operation at the desired high-performance, MHD-stable, plasma regime. Initial efforts towards current density profile control have led to the development of a control-oriented, physics-based, plasma-response model, which combines the magnetic diffusion equation with empirical correlations for the kinetic profiles and the non-inductive current sources. The developed control-oriented model has been successfully tailored to the NSTX-U geometry and actuators. Moreover, a series of efforts have been made towards the design of model-based controllers, including a linear-quadratic-integral optimal control strategy that can regulate the current density profile around a prescribed target profile while rejecting disturbances. In this work, the tracking performance of the proposed current-profile optimal controller is tested in numerical simulations based on the physics-oriented code TRANSP. These high-fidelity closed-loop simulations, which are a critical step before experimental implementation and testing, are enabled by a flexible framework recently
developed to perform feedback control design and simulation in TRANSP.
Hvasta, M. G.; Dudt, D.; Fisher, A. E.; Kolemen, E.
A 'weighted magnetic bearing' has been developed to improve the performance of
rotating Lorentz-force flowmeters (RLFFs). Experiments have shown that the new bearing
reduces frictional losses within a double-sided, disc-style RLFF to negligible levels.
Operating such an RLFF under 'frictionless' conditions provides two major benefits.
First, the steady-state velocity of the RLFF magnets matches the average velocity of the
flowing liquid at low flow rates. This enables an RLFF to make accurate volumetric flow
measurements without any calibration or prior knowledge of the fluid properties. Second,
due to minimized frictional losses, an RLFF is able to measure low flow rates that cannot
be detected when conventional, high-friction bearings are used. This paper provides a
brief background on RLFFs, gives a detailed description of weighted magnetic bearings,
and compares experimental RLFF data to measurements taken with a commercially available
Geochemical and geomechanical perturbations of the subsurface caused by the injection of fluids present the risk of leakage and seismicity. This study investigated how flow of acidic fluids affects hydraulic and frictional properties of fractures using experiments with 3.8 cm-long specimens of Eagle Ford shale, a laminated shale with carbonate-rich strata. In low-pressure flow cells, one set of samples was exposed to an acidic brine and another set was exposed to a neutral brine. X-ray computed tomography and x-ray fluorescence analysis revealed that samples exposed to the acidic brine were calcite-depleted and had developed a porous altered layer, while the other set showed little evidence of alteration. After reaction, samples were compacted and sheared in a triaxial cell that supplied normal stress and differential pore pressure at prescribed sliding velocities, independently measuring friction and permeability. During the initial compaction, the porous altered layer collapsed into fine particles that filled the fracture aperture. This effectively impeded flow and sealed the fracture, resulting in a decrease in fracture permeability by 1 to 2 orders of magnitude relative to the compressed unaltered fractures. During shear, the collapsed layer of fine-grained particles prevented the formation of interlocking micro-asperities resulting in lower frictional strength. With regard to subsurface risks, this study showcases how coupled geochemical and geomechanical processes could favorably seal fractures to inhibit leakage, but also could increase the likelihood of induced seismicity. These findings have important implications for geological carbon sequestration, pressurized fluid energy storage, geothermal energy, and other subsurface technologies.