HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) under the Solent for two gas pipelines. 4500 tonnes of arisings went to proximity farm land.
From a farming point of view, offering to accept the arisings from HDD (Horizontal Directional Drilling) has advantages, other than getting a little cash from crossing through your gate (a “gate fee”). Generally, the “cuttings” from drilling will add mineral particles to replace erosion losses. (2 to 3 million tonnes are lost to the sea every year.) Sometime, the drill has gone through chalk and this is probably less contaminated than agricultural lime. There may be some very small advantage from the spent fluids, too.
From a wider environment point of view, recycling to proximity land gets trucks off the public road and does not waste space in declining landfill. Regulation and permissions? Well, there are usually good, soil science-based arguments to support this recycling but it does take time. Fortunately, there are changes coming in the Environment Agency which may make recycling to land easier (where there are good science-based reasons and evidence) and, hopefully, quicker.
In the UK , around 80 % of the cultivation energy we use is to undo previous traffic compaction and around 50 % of the energy we use to manufacture and spread fertiliser goes into the groundwater. This is neither profitable in the short run nor sustainable in the long.
The nature of the Nitrogen molecule carrier/store dramatically affects not only N fertiliser losses to groundwater, but how it gets into the plant and promotes growth.
Nitrogen fertiliser can be applied in two forms; as soluble in water (such as ammonium nitrate) and as organically bound N (as part of long, Carbon-chain molecules).If the molecule is relatively small and in-organic (mot part of a Carbon chain molecule), then it can be absorbed across the root-hair wall and progressively built up by the plant metabolism into amino acids and plant proteins. This route has served us well and saved countless billions from starving and postponed their death.
There is a problem. While “artificial” or “synthetic” fertiliser N certainly has its place, the energy cost of manufacture and the losses to groundwater are unsustainable. The alternative will be discussed in the next post on this blog.
Also see “Reversing global Warming for Profit” by Bill Butterworth published on Amazon.
A normal pond? Not quire – note the white colouration of the water, This is spent drilling fluid from drilling through chalk to bring cables off the North Sea wind farms.
The attached below link is to the Dutch drilling company, VSH website. The pictures (scroll down a bit) are of the drilling operation bringing cables off the North Sea wind farms to the site at Holt in North Norfolk. This brings renewable energy to the UK consumers. What Land Research does is to take the cuttings and spent fluids from such operations and re-use them, usually on agricultural land to replace the 2.5 million tonnes of top soil which the UK loses by wind and rain erosion, down into the sea, every year. Renewable energy with zero waste from such construction operations.
According to UN sponsored research, I tonne of N nutrient, made in a modern, efficient USA fertiliser factory, typically takes 21,000 (yes, twenty one thousand) kWh to manufacture and deliver to farm. Yet, we lose around half to groundwater with rain or irrigation. This will dramatically affect how we farm. Part of the answer is to recycle waste to farm land. How to do this safely and how doing this can also reduce irrigation need by up to 90 % is detailed in a referenced work on sustainable agriculture. All these and how the global population will reach crisis, and when, can be downloaded for free on the Sunday 12 Feb. Search Survival” by Bill Butterworth Amazon.
There is an advertisement on at least one commercial radio station inviting us to dial 105 if we have a power cut. This implies that not only does the establishment know we are on the edge of power cuts on a large scale but they want us to prepare for it. Now, I have colleagues who know far more about the national grid power supply than I do and they are quite certain that we are close to significant power cuts and, if all the relevant strains come on at once in a cold spell, then we may get a national shut down. If we do, they some will be off for days rather than hours. It will be inconvenient for most of us, will be very expensive for industry and cost lives.
Whatever we ought to do in terms of renewable power, the truth is that the quickest way, and lowest cost, to secure our power supply is to build gas-fired power stations. Other than nuclear (of which many of us have some reservations), gas is an almost totally clean burn. We area standing on enormous reserves of gas. What does common sense tell us?
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd, 1 January 2017
Some will remember the flood of Lynmouth in 1952 in which 34 people died. Lynmouth, however, has a much more positive contribution to world power history. In 1890, a small scale hydro-power system was built in the gorge above Lymouth and it was the first in the world to provide pump-back storage at the top to provide a reserve of water to produce power at peak demand. In 1987, a 500m long, 500mm diameter pipe with a 77m head was commissioned to drive a 300kW turbine. Since, the feed pipe diameter has been increased to 700mm and two more turbines. The organisers want to expand further and, to our national shame, get political prevarication and ignorance from the authorities. The truth is that hydro here lives quite satisfactorily with an SSSI and a very pretty area of natural beauty of significant tourist attraction and an example to the rest of the world. Hydro is one of the answers to reducing global warming and we need more urgently, very urgently.
Bill Butterworth, Land Research Ltd., 10 November 2016