Table of Contents

Inverse Infrastructures

Inverse Infrastructures

Disrupting Networks from Below

Edited by Tineke M. Egyedi and Donna C. Mehos

The notion of inverse infrastructures – that is, bottom-up, user-driven, self-organizing networks – gives us a fresh perspective on the omnipresent infrastructure systems that support our economy and structure our way of living. This fascinating book considers the emergence of inverse infrastructures as a new phenomenon that will have a vast impact on consumers, industry and policy. Using a wide range of theories, from institutional economics to complex adaptive systems, it explores the mechanisms and incentives for the rise of these alternatives to large-scale infrastructures and points to their potential disruptive effect on conventional markets and governance models.

Chapter 11: Building a Syngas Infrastructure: Translating Inverse Properties into Design Recommendations

Paulien M. Herder and Rob M. Stikkelman

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, technology and ict


Paulien M. Herder and Rob M. Stikkelman INTRODUCTION The current energy infrastructure and energy sourcing in the Netherlands, as in most developed countries, is rigid and inflexible. Power stations and oil refineries have spent decades converting one specific energy carrier into just a few products. The energy system has evolved into a system where most coal becomes electricity, crude oil is typically turned into transport fuels and natural gas is used to fuel power plants in order to produce power and heat. Unstable politics concerning fossil fuel reserves lead to price volatility in the market and are a serious threat to the worldwide security of supply of oil, coal and gas. Since the current energy conversion system is quite inflexible in its need for the various feedstocks, it is important to reduce the dependency on specific fossil fuels by increasing the feedstock flexibility. At the same time, the increase in feedstock flexibility should not harm the current industry’s abilities to feed downstream plants and processes with appropriate hydrocarbons. The Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is a prime example of a large energy-based industrial cluster that needs to address fuel flexibility in order to survive in the long term. As a possible answer to the uncertainties in fossil fuel supply, the development of a synthesis gas infrastructure may be considered (Herder et al. 2008a). Synthesis gas or syngas (not to be mistaken with synthetic natural gas) is a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen (H2). It can be produced by...

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