to show its plans for hydrogen fuels
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The state petroleum monopoly said that it is ready to outline its
project to produce and store hydrogen, a gas lauded as a potential
The presentation of the project by the Refinadora Costarricense de
Petróleo S.A. will take place at the Ad Astra Rocket Co.
laboratories near Daniel Oduber airport Thursday.
Ad Astra, the creation of former U.S. astronaut Franklin Chang Diaz, is
collaborating with the petroleum firm and other government agencies in
developing techniques for producing and storing hydrogen.
The announcement by the refinery Tuesday said that it would be
announcing plans for an experimental plant to produce and store the
hydrogen. Also involved is EARTH University and the Ministerio de
Ambiente y Energía.
Last September Cummins Power Generation said an electrical generator
performed successfully with a mixture of hydrogen and biogas in a pilot
project test. That firm has been working with Ad Astra since 2011.
Costa Rica has sought to reduce its reliance on imported petroleum for
a long time. The country also is committed to becoming carbon neutral
Ad Astra also is experimenting with windmills that produce electricity
to liberate hydrogen atoms from water or to extract it from methane
gas. These can be costly processes.
There was a breakthrough announced Tuesday by researchers unrelated to
the Costa Rica experiment. Scientists in Lyon, France, who are
associated with the Deep Carbon Observatory project, said they found a
way to quickly produce hydrogen on a very small scale.
The breakthrough suggests a better way of producing the hydrogen that
propels rockets and energizes battery-like fuel cells, said a report on
the Phys.org news Web site. In a few decades, it
could even help the world meet key energy needs — without carbon
emissions contributing to the greenhouse effect and climate change, it
The research is being presented at American Geophysical Union's annual
fall meeting in San Francisco, California, this week.
The researchers found that including aluminum in the process to make
hydrogen speeds up the chemical reaction from seven to 50 times faster
than a natural process deep in the ocean under great pressure.
Researchers noted that the usual method of extracting hydrogen from
methane gas results in the creation of carbon dioxide, the notorious
The scientists say that commercial versions of what they did in the lab
on a very small scale might take 50 years, but that the use of hydrogen
in fuel cells probably will give the technology a push.
Ad Astra says on its Web site that
its alternative energy division is "focusing on the hydrogen cycle as a
means to produce, store, and deliver clean renewable energy primarily
from wind-driven power sources.
"The hydrogen cycle is considered to have strong potential for use in
rural areas of the developing world with no access to low-cost fossil
fuels or low cost electrical power from the grid. Moreover, the use of
hydrogen in combination with a bio-digestor (methane) gas could have a
strong impact on the energy economy of small farming communities and
other niche markets."
museum gears up for Christmas holidays
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Museo Nacional begins its Christmas celebration Thursday with a
blessing of the institution's portal or nativity scene.
The figures used in the display representing the traditional birth of
Jesus Christ are more than 100 years old, the museum noted. That
display is in the Casa Colonial on the north side of the museum.
There will be choruses, bands and a musical group. The museum also is
offering three workshops for the creation of seasonal decorations
starting at 9 a.m.
Appearing at 10 a.m. will be the children's chorus of the Escuela
Josefita Jurado in Curridabat. At noon there is more Christmas music
provided by the Banda Rítmica Alajuelense. At 1 p.m. the chorus
of Saint Francis School performs followed at 2 p.m. by the band El Club.
Thursday is the first day of public school
Museo Nacional photo
These statues are more
than 100 years old
vacations, which is why the museum scheduled the events during a
Other institutions as well as the Museo Nacional will be holding
vacation events for school children. There is a charge for the
workshops, which are limited to 30 participants each.
can find two holiday markets in city this week
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Expats can find not one but two holiday markets in east San José
The Banco Nacional sponsors the Feria Nacional Empresarial IMAS 2013,
which opens today for a three-day run in the Antigua Aduana, the
restored customs warehouse on Calle 23 north of Avenida Central.
An estimated 150 small business operators will be showing their wares
to visitors. The event is linked to the Instituto Mixto de Ayuda
Social, the government's antipoverty agency.
Just east of the Antigua Aduana on the same property will be the
Mercado Tropical that begins
and ends Sunday. The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud is
sponsoring this fair.
The location is that glass-walled two-story structure called the Casa
The ministry said that the Mercado Tropical will have original products
that break with the commercial tradition of the holidays.
An estimated 58 artists and crafts persons will participate, said the
ministry. Products include independent editorial books, jewelry,
graphic design, natural cosmetic products, culinary arts, graphic
design and art works. There also will be workshops.
Those participating were selected from more than 100 who applied, said
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