Keynoters get it right

Keynotes at the Yokogawa User Group Conference were Charlie Cutler, a member of the Process Automation Hall of Fame, and one of the fathers of Advanced Process Control, who gave a look into the future of APC; and Mark Peters, publisher of Hydrocarbon Processing magazine, who gave a look into the future of the oil and energy business. Charlie volunteered to write an article on APC for CONTROL, for early next year, and Mark Peters and I had an excellent conversation that mirrored Terry McMahon's recent column in CONTROL about the hydrogen economy. "Where are we going to get the hydrogen?" I asked Mark Peters. He said the same thing McMahon did...we're not. Until somebody comes up with a way to crack water that doesn't require more energy than you get out of it, we are stuck with some very nearly insoluble problems in distribution and storage of hydrogen. Further, the other place to get hydrogen, natural gas, is fading as a resource, and becoming more expensive all the time. I asked Peters for his slides, and some of them will find their way into CONTROL in the next few issues. Walt