Power and Clean Water from Local Resources
Frans Bezuidenhout the inventor of Ardau living in South Africa saw that on much of the continent local communities have no access to electricity and clean water. He resolved to find a way to bring these to remote locations using materials local people would have available. This was one of his two drivers for the design of the Ardau system. The second driver was the wasteful and polluting nature of electricity generation that he saw in power stations. He designed Ardau to address both these areas of concern.
He knew that to meet them required a system that could use local resources and could easily be transported to the communities that needed it.
So he designed Ardau with these needs in mind. A system that could use local waste and sewage as well as any other locally available materials. A system that could fit into a standard 40 foot container and be delivered by truck or helicopter. A system that would provide electricity and drinking water reliably and continually.
The smallest Ardau unit can provide 5MW of power. That is enough for around 3,000 families. For larger communities, units of up to 50MW are available.
Ardau is a system that converts any carboniferous material into energy. A chemical reaction inside an enclosed carbon reactor extracts the maximum energy from the fuel. Heat and power are generated . The process is extremely efficient, and a wide range of materials can be used as fuel.
The core technology has been developed and tested over the last 20 years. Ardau is now ready to apply this technology to provide for the world’s growing energy needs.
Ardau in Operation
An Ardau installation consists of a multi-purpose carbon reactor and a turbo-expander together with devices to handle the inputs to the system and its outputs. The reactor produces supercritical fluid (a form of superheated steam) at a very high temperature and pressure. This drives the turbo-expander to generate electricity. (Turbo-expanders with generator sets are very efficient producers of electricity and are a well-established technology.) As well as electricity the system outputs potable water.
Inorganic (unconsumed) matter drops out of the reactor without disturbing its operation. Any valuable metals in this material can be recovered and sold. The residue is sterile and inert and can be sold for hardcore.
Ardau installations can operate 24/7 with only two hours downtime for cleaning each year, and a two-day maintenance programme every five years.
Ardau systems are not expensive to install or maintain and the space required is roughly that of a tennis court.
Any carboniferous material can be used to feed the chemical reaction. These include:
- Fossil Fuels – Coal; Lignite; Coal Waste; Oil; Petroleum Coke
- Biomass – Wood and Wood Waste; Agricultural Waste; Livestock Waste
- General Waste – Plastics; Municipal Waste; Factory Waste; Medical Waste; Sewage
Outputs from Ardau systems:
Electricity As described earlier.
Output Gases The turbo expander outputs a mixture of gases, primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen. These can all be captured and stored (carbon capture and storage). If required the different gases can be separated and sold.
Hydrogen Current methods of generating hydrogen are expensive. The output from an Ardau system can be used to produce hydrogen at a lower cost in two different ways:
- Some of the supercritical fluid from the reactor is passed directly to a conventional ‘steam reforming’ installation where it supplies the heat necessary for that process.
- Some or all of the electricity from the turbo-expander is used to ‘split’ water to generate hydrogen in a standard ‘electrolyser’.
Because the reactor generates power so efficiently the cost of the hydrogen produced is reduced significantly in both cases.
Clean Water Clean water is a by-product of the Ardau process, so the installation can function as a low cost desalination facility.
Sterile and inert inorganic matter that can be sold for hardcore.
Who or What Can Benefit By Using Ardau?
- Local Communities that can have their lives transformed by the availability of power and clean water
- Regions and Countries seeking a better quality of life for their people