This Natural Gas Plant Has Achieved Zero Emissions


For millions of years the earth has been perfectly good at absorbing carbon dioxide our forests seas and streams suck the gas up acting as natural carbon sinks that was until humans came along and tipped the scales if we Continue to burn fossil fuels at ever rising rates We could warm the planet by 7 and 9 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century and the impacts of that would be catastrophic there have been various attempts to capture this harmful co2, but they’ve all come with significant compromise until now Five four three two, one igniter on The reason this team is so happy is because they’ve just Completed the first successful ignition of the first co2 powered turbine in the world’s first carbon neutral Natural gas power plant, their company is called net power It’ll be the first truly zero emission power plant in the world in a traditional gas power plant The burning gas creates steam which turns a power generating turbine creating a lot of excess co2 in the process Previous attempts to capture that co2 have reduced efficiency and led to higher costs of production Generally, it was thought that carbon capture on natural gas was not economic So what we had to do was start with a blank sheet of paper enter this man Rodney alum He developed the system now referred to as the alum cycle. I set myself the objective of Devising something which would remove hundred percent of the co2 from the fossil fuel with no increase in the cost of electricity Rodney actually did most of his work on what’s called quadrille paper He has a point five millimeter mechanical pencil and a four function calculator And booked tables to look up his data when a complex computer model was created to check Rodney’s calculations Rodney’s pretty much right I Selected co2 is the fluid in the turbine rather than the steam or air which we use previously in steam systems or gas turbine systems And it worked We in effect turned the problem into the solution In Rodney’s design since the co2 is used to spin the turbine and as part of an entirely closed loop it never enters the atmosphere It’s captured by default And because the co2 power system is just as efficient as traditional natural gas plants the cost per kilowatt hour is the same We’ve designed a power cycle that is cheaper and cleaner rather than more costly imagine when you have economics driving a solution instead of policy aspirations Although the co2 never enters the atmosphere the alum cycle still generates a carbon by-product Which leaves us with the problem of what to do with all that carbon? 4,000 miles away engineers in Iceland have an interesting take on how to keep the captured co2 out of the atmosphere Shoving it directly into the ground Perfect is an R&D project that we started about 12 years ago with the objective of developing methods and technologies for capturing otherwise emitted co2 injecting it into basaltic formations we know that certain chemical processes are already happening in nature for example in vicinity of Volcanoes this year – dissolves into groundwater and forms new types of rock by interacting with themselves And we thought why not try and accelerate this process at an industrial scale Very simply carb fix takes the captured carbon and mixes it with water which basically creates Seltzer They then take the fizzy liquid and inject it deep into the earth where the carbon chemically bonds to the basalt rock Instead of co2 turning into rock in hundreds to thousands of years This would happen within the timeframe of a few years Here we have an example of a vein This is then a small fracture Where we would have dissolved part of the Passats and then we fill it up again with the carbonates and that’s where we see these pores filling up with cold sites If we take all passes available on earth, theoretically we could use it to Permanently store much more than all co2 that we would emit from burning all fossil fuel available globally But carb fix is still operating at a small scale and it would take Serious interest from industries and governments to grow to a size that would affect climate change worldwide In The meantime net power won’t be burying its co2 under the ground. They’ll be selling it for cold hard cash But cause for the first time we capture carbon dioxide it very inexpensive prices We open up whole new industries for reuse and recycling co2 that can be useful in building materials chemicals plastics in a myriad of other applications But one of the most common uses of industrial co2 is actually extracting fossil fuels from the ground In the u.s. You’re actually injecting over 20 million tons a year of co2 for enhanced or recovery at the moment. I Think I think if you do if you’re sensible about the way that hydrocarbons are used and you have a integrated idea as to how you’re going to how you’re gonna utilize that hydrocarbon in a clean way and that part is key if net powers excess co2 Essentially leads to more oil being extracted. It’s not a stretch to imagine It will mostly be used in traditional carbon spewing plants not clean ones like net power It very much appears that you know, the age of fossil fuels is likely coming to a close some of these technologies for capturing a sequestering carbon Might help provide sort of that bridge It’s gonna take a decade or two to to really make that transition in our global energy economy. I’m very optimistic All the technologies there and we just need the will That’s really happening now If we really want to succeed in in fighting climate change and we need to bring down the co2 levels in the atmosphere There is no silver bullet. There is no one solution. We have to use all the methods available

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