In 2021, there was a significant recovery of global demand for liquid fuels due to the economic recovery programs that many countries implemented to mitigate the fall of their economies. The massive vaccination programs, and the resulting decrease in mortality from Covid-19 made society more confident to advance in this recovery.
Globally, since late January 2022, there has been a significant decrease in cases of contagion and deaths caused by Covid-19, although there is a resurgence of cases, so far marginal, in some regions of Asia. Hence, it seems that Covid-19 is becoming an issue of the past.
Now, a new cause of uncertainty in the world energy market has arisen, that is, the war in Ukraine. The severity of sanctions against Russia and their compliance, Western Europe's support to Ukraine, Russia's response to such support, the duration of the war, and even the possible use of nuclear weapons, will be key for defining the outcome of this new event.
The foregoing, although important and painful, should not let us lose sight of the challenge for humanity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere to limit global warming. Further development of technologies and innovation are necessary in response to this challenge. Green and blue hydrogen, CO2 capture and sequestration, renewable energies, and biofuels are essential technologies to advance in the energy transition.
In this issue of CT&F, we publish several articles of interest related to this transition challenge. The use of natural gas-hydrogen mixtures as fuel in combustion systems is, without any doubt, a way to reduce emissions from chemical plants and oil refineries. The use of double-stage Ranking cycles to recover heat from geothermal systems may be relevant to make the most of the heat from the earth's crust. The modification of conventional tools to simulate processes with oxygen-containing molecules is essential for the synthesis and analysis of new processes in the fuel and petrochemical industry. Natural gas will be a key fuel in the energy transition, and efficient development of these assets will become increasingly important.
Luis Javier Hoyos