Month: February 2023

Shanxi Province completes first fifteen “Virtual Power Plant”  Shanxi Province completed the construction of its first batch of 15 virtual power plants (VPPs), which were applied for by the first nine power sellers. The total aggregated capacity is 1,847,400 kW and the adjustable capacity is 392,000 kW, Science and Technology Daily reported. The virtual power plant is a power coordination and management system that uses advanced information and communication technology and software systems to aggregate, coordinate, and optimize distributed energy such as distributed power sources, energy storage systems, controllable loads, and electric vehicles distributed in the power grid, and participate in the power market and power grid operation as a special power plant. The construction of virtual power plants is an important means of increasing the power grid’s capacity to accept and use clean energy, promoting the transformation of the power supply into a green, low-carbon model, and meeting the demand for the development of a new type of power system.

Sinopec pioneers hydrogen made from methanol on site at a filling station Sinopec is China’s leading petrochemical corporation and operates petrol stations country-wide. At one of its gas stations in Dalian, Liaoning Province, it has now integrated a methanol-based hydrogen production system which provides up to 1000 kg per day of hydrogen gas with a purity of 99.999% . The “five-in-one” filling station offers gasoline, natural gas, electricity, hydrogen and service. Sinopec claims that the cost of producing hydrogen directly at the filling station is 20% less than transporting it from a distant production site. China has abundant coal reserves but is orienting its energy supply towards clean and renewable energies. As a result, the development of a coal-based chemical value chain including methanol, ethanol or hydrogen are of high priority.

China leads the world in IoT According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MII) the number of mobile Internet of Things (IoT) users in China is growing rapidly, with a net increase of 447 million to 1.845 billion IoT connections at the end of 2022, accounting for 70% of the global total.

China sees remarkable progress in cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater By Han Xin (People’s Daily) 10:19, January 30, 2023 A manufacturing base of Baoshan Iron & Steel Co., Ltd., known as Baosteel, in Shanghai, upgrades its industrial water utilization system to lower water consumption, July 14, 2021. (People’s Daily Online/Zhang Yong) How much water is used for industrial purposes in China, the world’s largest industrial country? In 2021, China’s industrial water consumption stood at 104.96 billion cubic meters, which accounted for 17.7 percent of the country’s total water consumption. China’s water-use efficiency in steel and petrochemical industries has reached the international advanced level though the per capita water resource share in the country is only a quarter of the global average. However, that in some other industries is still seeing room for improvement due to certain reasons such as the backwardness in key technologies and equipment. With the rapid development of industry, the varieties of industrial products are more diverse and the components of industrial wastewater becoming more complex. Apart from nitrogen, phosphorus and suspended matter, more poisonous and hazardous substances that are difficult to handle have been found in industrial wastewater, such as heavy metal and oil contamination. Achieving efficient and cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater is key to promoting green development and balancing the supply and demand of water consumption. After years of efforts, China has made positive progress in the cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater and has seen remarkable results in industrial water conservation. The discharge of industrial wastewater in the country dropped to 1.34 million tons in 2019 from 2.37 million tons in 2010, a reduction of around 44 percent. A robotic arm manufactures sewage treatment products in a workshop of an environmental protection technology company in Tongling, east China’s Anhui province. (People’s Daily Online/Gao Lingjun) Among industrial enterprises above designated size, or those with annual main business revenue of 20 million yuan (about $2.95 million) or more, the recycling rate of industrial water went up from 89 percent in 2015 to 92.9 percent in 2021, and water consumption per 10,000 yuan of industrial added value in 2020 dropped 39.6 percent compared with 2015. The recycling rate of industrial water of enterprises above designated size in steel and petrochemical industries stands at 97 percent and 95.2 percent, respectively. Between 2016 and 2020, key medium- and large-sized iron and steel manufacturers in China reduced wastewater discharge by about 300 million cubic meters and saved 2.1 billion cubic meters of water consumption. Internal recycling and treatment is the major way of cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater. To tackle the difficulties in the whole process of cyclic utilization, collaborative research in innovations of relevant technologies and equipment is proved to be effective solutions. An enterprise in Zibo, east China’s Shandong province has launched cooperation with a university to develop technologies that recycle and treat wastewater generated by water jet looms. The enterprise has not only optimized the recycling and treatment of industrial and domestic sewage, but also succeeded in biochemically degrading the sewage, which helps tackle pollution in a targeted manner. As a result, the recycling rate of industrial water of the enterprise was improved by 6 percent, which saves an annual water cost of 2 million yuan. Many enterprises are actively exploiting big data, cloud computing and other new-generation information technologies to improve digital management and internet-based collaboration in wastewater recycling and treatment. In Luzhou, southwest China’s Sichuan province, a chemical enterprise, by installing a monitoring system that covers production links including the reuse of reclaimed water, sewage treatment and circulating water, has basically realized automatic program control. Photo shows sewage treatment tanks of an environment and energy enterprise in Xianju county, Taizhou, east China’s Zhejiang province. (People’s Daily Online/Wang Huabin) A big screen in a control room shows whether the industrial wastewater is discharged up to the standard and whether production equipment is running safely. The system can alert users to potential equipment dangers in time, and monitor the cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater in real time. In north China’s Tianjin municipality, a steel mill has replaced regular water sources with treated local municipal sewage and reclaimed water from sewage treatment works in nearby towns. The steel mill now achieves zero discharge of wastewater and zero exploitation of groundwater. Some industrial parks in Beijing have also accelerated their steps of sewage utilization, providing high-quality treated water for production. “In 2020, the utilization rate of reclaimed water in all Chinese cities stood at around 24 percent. The utilization of urban wastewater treatment is unsatisfactory, which could be further expanded for industrial use,” said Yang Benxiao, senior engineer with the China Electronic Product Reliability and Environmental Testing Research Institute, also known as the Fifth Electronic Research Institute of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Yang believes that increasing the use of urban reclaimed water will remain a key direction for industrial enterprises and parks in cyclic utilization of wastewater. A plan on cyclic utilization of industrial wastewater jointly released by the MIIT and other departments at the end of 2021 noted that by 2025, the utilization rate of industrial water of enterprises above designated size should reach around 94 percent, and their water consumption per 10,000 yuan of industrial added value should decrease 16 percent compared to 2020, which is expected to build a new paradigm of efficient cyclic utilization in major water-consuming industries. (Web editor: Chang Sha, Liang Jun)

Digitization boosts access to ancient Chinese books (People’s Daily Online) 14:50, January 31, 2023 Restorer Tian Tingting demonstrates the process of the restoration of an ancient book during an activity held by the National Library of China in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 11, 2019. (Xinhua/Yin Gang) Recently, 6,786 volumes of digitized ancient Chinese books were launched online by the National Center for Preservation and Conservation of Ancient Books at the National Library of China (NLC) and five other institutions, bringing the total number of digitized ancient books available online to 130,000. This is the seventh expansion of the country’s national database of ancient Chinese books since its establishment. The NLC established the Chinese Ancient Books Resources Database in 2016 and launched digital resources including ordinary ancient texts, oracle bone inscriptions, and Dunhuang documents discovered in the Mogao Grottos in northwest China’s Gansu Province, according to Nan Jiangtao, an associate researcher at the NLC, adding that the digital resources were available online. The national database of ancient Chinese books consequently took shape thanks to the joint efforts of the NLC and other institutions. So far, the NLC has released digitized ancient Chinese books along with 39 institutions. Data shows that among the current 130,000 volumes of digitized ancient books recorded in the national database, over 102,000 volumes are from the Chinese Ancient Books Resources Database. These 130,000 digitized ancient books are of great significance to researchers, said Yang Haizheng, a professor at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Peking University (PKU). It is not enough just to turn paper-based ancient books into digital texts. Yang explained that most of the existing digital ancient Chinese books are based on scanned images and usually lack a search function. The rapid development of artificial intelligence brings tremendous changes to the collation of ancient books. A digital ancient book platform co-launched by the Center for Digital Humanities of PKU and Chinese tech company ByteDance serves as a vivid example. “Unlike some other digital platforms, this platform is free and offers a full-text search function,” said Tang Kaixin, product general manager at the social responsibility department of Douyin, a subsidiary of ByteDance. Tang explained that technologies including text recognition and automatic punctuation generation were applied to process texts on photocopies of ancient books. “The platform has released 685 classic ancient books with over 79 million characters,” Tang said. “We have excellent product managers, designers and software engineers who constantly optimize the functions of the digital ancient book platform,” Tang added. (Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Du Mingming)

2023/01 Efficient biosynthesis of starch and protein from corn stalks by yeast displaying cellulolytic enzymes Researchers at the CAS Institute of Industrial Biotechnology have developed a highly efficient biosynthesis of artificial starch and microbial proteins from available and abundant agricultural residues. A one-pot biotransformation using an in vitro coenzyme-free synthetic enzymatic pathway and baker’s yeast can simultaneously convert dilute sulfuric acid-pretreated corn stover to artificial starch and microbial protein under aerobic conditions. The β-glucosidase-free commercial cellulase mixture plus an ex vivo two-enzyme complex containing cellobiose phosphorylase and potato α-glucan phosphorylase displayed on the surface of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, showed better cellulose hydrolysis rates than a commercial β-glucosidase-rich cellulase mixture. This is because the channeling of the hydrolytic product from the solid cellulosic feedstock to the yeast mitigated the inhibition of the cellulase cocktail. Animal tests have shown that the digestion of artificial amylose results in slow and relatively small changes in blood sugar levels, suggesting that it could be a new health food component that prevents obesity and diabetes.

Scroll to top