As the sole piped town gas provider to more than 870,000 homes and businesses islandwide, City Energy recently announced that it is deepening feasibility studies on the application of green hydrogen in town gas production, for the renewable energy does not emit carbon dioxide during production or combustion.
To accomplish this, the leading energy provider has embarked on studies in partnership with industry counterparts to evaluate the technical and commercial feasibility of the production, importation, and storage of green hydrogen into Singapore. This includes City Energy’s initial announcements on such industry collaborations in 2020, and most recently on 29 March 2022, City Energy’s involvement in NTU Singapore-led research and commercial development of technologies to extract hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carriers.
Through these studies, City Energy hopes to develop a long-term sustainable supply chain of green hydrogen for town gas production.
Energy for the Next Generation
Before it rebranded on 1 December 2021, City Energy was formerly known as City Gas. The 160-year-old company announced that it would augment its piped gas service with IoT solutions via Life by City Energy (www.cityenergylife.com.sg) and electric vehicle charging services via Go by City Energy (www.cityenergygo.com.sg). The pivot to these innovative green energy solutions will sharpen the competitive edge of its commercial and industrial customers, and help end customers adopt greener and smarter living.
City Energy Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Perry Ong, says, “With almost a million homes and businesses receiving piped gas, and foundations and generations of knowledge in gas, we view enormous potential in exploring the utilisation of green hydrogen and other low-carbon technologies to maintain our nation’s energy security, and support Singapore’s vision of being a world-class eco-city within this generation’s lifetime.”
In the production of town gas, City Energy is currently the largest carrier of hydrogen molecules as it produces grey hydrogen using the process of steam-methane reforming. During this process, natural gas is used as feedstock in hydrogen production, producing carbon dioxide as a by-product in the process.
By substituting grey hydrogen with imported green hydrogen, City Energy will be able to reduce carbon emissions from town gas production while continuing to provide for a stable and safe supply of town gas for the nation.
The two studies City Energy is conducting include:
• Extracting hydrogen from Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carriers (LOHC): Following a MOU in March 2020, City Energy, alongside a consortium of companies comprising Chiyoda Corporation, PSA International, Sembcorp Industries, Jurong Port, Singapore LNG Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation, will support Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) in its efforts to develop technologies for the extraction of hydrogen from liquid organic hydrogen carriers. The project, made possible by a grant awarded under the Low-Carbon Energy Research Funding Initiative (LCER FI), will have the potential to allow for more efficient and economical transport of hydrogen, which can in turn contribute to the expansion of global hydrogen supply chains.
• Long-term, stable supply chain of sustainable Liquid Hydrogen (LH2): City Energy signed a MOU in December 2021 with Woodside Energy Ltd , Keppel Data Centres Holding Pte Ltd , Osaka Gas Singapore Pte Ltd. and City-OG Gas Energy Services Pte Ltd. to study the feasibility of developing a long-term, stable supply chain of sustainable LH2 from Western Australia into Singapore and potentially Japan. Hydrogen can be liquefied by cooling it to below -253°C. In its liquid state,LH2 occupies significantly less volume and can be stored and transported more easily.
The Path Forward
With a target to conclude the feasibility studies within this year, City Energy will then evaluate outcomes to determine the most technically and commercially suitable green hydrogen deployment option for Senoko Gasworks.
For more information, please visit www.cityenergy.com.sg.
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ART AND TECHNOLOGY COLLABORATION
Artist Lakshmi Mohanbabu and the NTU Singapore team led by Prof. Matteo Seita – Karl A Sofinowski, Jude E Fronda, Nair Adarsh R, Mallory Wittwer
The Moon Gallery Foundation is developing an art gallery to be sent to the Moon, contributing to the establishment of the first lunar outpost and permanent museum on Earth’s only natural satellite. The international initiative will see one hundred artworks from artists around the world integrated into a 10 cm x 10 cm x 1 cm grid tray, which will fly to the Moon by 2025. The Moon Gallery aims to expand humanity’s cultural dialogue beyond Earth. The gallery will meet the cosmos for the first time in low Earth orbit in 2022 in a test flight.
The test flight is in collaboration with Nanoracks, a private in-space service provider. The gallery is set to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the NG-17 rocket as part of a Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply mission in February of 2022. The art projects featured in the gallery will reach the final frontier of human habitat in space, and mark the historical meeting point of the Moon Gallery and the cosmos. Reaching low Earth orbit on the way to the Moon is a pivotal first step in extending our cultural dialogue to space.
On its return flight, the Moon Gallery will become a part of the NanoLab technical payload, a module for space research experiments. The character of the gallery will offer a diverse range of materials and behaviours for camera observations and performance tests with NanoLab.
In return, Moon Gallery artists will get a chance to learn about the performance of their artworks in space. The result of these observations will serve as a solid basis for the subsequent Moon Gallery missions and a source of a valuable learning experience for future space artists. The test flight to the ISS is a precursor mission, contributing to the understanding of future possibilities for art in space and strengthening collaboration between the art and space sectors.
STRUCTURE & REFLECTANCE CUBE
Our every perception, analysis, and thought reflect the influences from our surroundings and the Universe in a world of collaboration, communication and interaction, making it possible to explore the real, the imagined and the unknown. The ‘Structure and Reflectance’ cube, a marriage of Art and Technology, is one of the hundred artworks selected by the Moon Gallery, with a unifying message of an integrated world, making it a quintessential signature of humankind on the Moon.
Ms Lakshmi Mohanbabu, a Singaporean architect and designer, is the first and only local artist to have her artwork selected for the Moon Gallery. Coined the ‘Structure and Reflectance’ cube, Lakshmi’s art is a marriage of Art and Technology and is one of the hundred artworks selected by the Moon Gallery. The cube signifies a unifying message of an integrated world, making it a quintessential signature of humankind on the Moon.
The early-stage prototyping and design iterations of the ‘Structure and Reflectance’ cube were performed with Additive Manufacturing, otherwise known as 3D printing, at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore’s (NTU Singapore) Singapore Centre for 3D Printing (SC3DP). This was part of a collaborative project supported by the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC), a national programme office which accelerates the adoption and commercialisation of additive manufacturing technologies. Previously, the NTU Singapore team at SC3DP produced a few iterations of Moon-Cube using metal 3D printing in various materials such as Inconel and Stainless Steel to evaluate the best suited material.
The newest iteration of the cube comprises crystals—ingrained in the cube via additive manufacturing technology— revealed to the naked eye by the microscopic differences in their surface roughness, which reflect light along different directions.
“Additive Manufacturing is suitable for enabling this level of control over the crystal structure of solids. More specifically, the work was created using ‘laser powder bed fusion technology’ a metal additive manufacturing process which allows us to control the surface roughness through varying the laser parameter,” said Dr Matteo Seita, Nanyang Assistant Professor, NTU Singapore, is the Principal Investigator overseeing the project for the current cube design.
Dr Seita shared the meaning behind the materials used, “Like people, materials have a complex ‘structure’ resulting from their history—the sequence of processes that have shaped their constituent parts—which underpins their differences. Masked by an exterior façade, this structure often reveals little of the underlying quality in materials or people. The cube is a material representation of a human’s complex structure embodied in a block of metal consisting of two crystals with distinct reflectivity and complementary shape.”
Ms Lakshmi added, “The optical contrast on the cube surface from the crystals generates an intricate geometry which signifies the duality of man: the complexity of hidden thought and expressed emotion. This duality is reflected by the surface of the Moon where one side remains in plain sight, while the other has remained hidden to humankind for centuries; until space travel finally allowed humanity to gaze upon it. The bright portion of the visible side of the Moon is dependent on the Moon’s position relative to the Earth and the Sun. Thus, what we see is a function of our viewpoint.”
The hidden structure of materials, people, and the Moon are visualized as reflections of light through art and science in this cube. Expressed in the Structure & Reflectance cube is the concept of human’s duality—represented by two crystals with different reflectance—which appears to the observer as a function of their perspective.
Dr Ho Chaw Sing, Co-Founder and Managing Director of NAMIC said, “Space is humanity’s next frontier. Being the only Singaporean – among a selected few from the global community – Lakshmi’s 3D printed cube presents a unique perspective through the fusion of art and technology. We are proud to have played a small role supporting her in this ‘moon-shot’ initiative.”
Lakshmi views each artwork as a portrayal of humanity’s quests to discover the secrets of the Universe and—fused into a single cube—embody the unity of humankind, which transcends our differences in culture, religion, and social status.
The first cube face, the Primary, is divided into two triangles and depicts the two faces of the Moon, one visible to us from the earth and the other hidden from our view.
The second cube face, the Windmill, has two spiralling windmill forms, one clockwise and the other counter-clockwise, representing our existence, energy, and time.
The third cube face, the Dromenon, is a labyrinth form of nested squares, which represents the layers that we—as space explorers—are unravelling to discover the enigma of the Universe.
The fourth cube face, the Nautilus, reflects the spiralling form of our DNA that makes each of us unique, a shape reflected in the form of our galaxy.
FINAL CUBE – 0.98cmX0.98cmX0.98cm
Supported by: NRF, NTU Singapore, NTUitive, NAMIC
The ‘Structure and Reflectance’ Cube Project Team:
The project team comprises of NTU Singapore researchers: Dr Matteo Seita (Principal Investigator), Karl Sofinowski, Nair Adarsh Ravikumaran, Mallory Wittwer and Jude Fronda.
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