CO2 capture

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by bwilson4web, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    I saw a recent program on the PBS News Hour about this approach to carbon capture:
    The report says this initial effort converts 'Clean Coal' from a marketing myth to a reality. But 15% of the plant input energy is used to run the carbon capture system which means it runs into the problem of the commons. How does a CEO justify the additional expense, 15%, for an indistinct, common good? I have no great expectations given USA corporate behavior.

    There is a scaling problem too. The limit on how much CO{2} can be ground injected and the fracking problem of injection earthquakes. For example, Los Angles has huge, older oil fields but does it make sense to inject CO{2} into geographically fault filled ground structures?

    Bob Wilson
     
  2. Jeff N

    Jeff N The answer is 0042

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    As far as I can tell, CO2 capture remains largely irrelevant to decarbonizing the electric grid over the next 30 years. It might find a place here and there under highly specific local circumstances but it isn't likely to be play a significant role nationwide overall.
     
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  3. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    We agree. The energy cost of collecting CO{2} from flue gas makes no economic sense. This however is one of the least screwed up approaches ONLY because it is co-located with a depleted oil field.

    Bob Wilson
     
  4. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I don't follow. Low carbon energy is an indistinct benefit?

    I think it is better to treat that 15% loss as an inherent cost of coal use. Charge it either to the customer buying the captured CO2, or accept it as a necessary cost of using that particular energy source. And if that boosted cost makes coal non-competitive, then so be it. Let it die.
    Why does the raw energy cost of collection matter? Ignore the gross output. Focus instead on the dollar cost of the net energy output, after the extraction and emission problems are cleaned up and safely put away.

    I've heard of other combustion methods that might work better. Instead of burning the fuel in a normal nitrogen-rich atmosphere, burn it instead in a closed system with pure (or highly enriched) oxygen. The primary exhaust would then be CO2, unlike current flue gas that is more nitrogen than anything else. This gives a big jumpstart on separating the CO2 from the other stuff. For oil and gas, the exhaust would be mainly equal parts CO2 and H2O, still an easier starting point than 80% N2.

    There should be other possibilities too.
     
    #4 fuzzy1, Jun 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2017
  5. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    CO2 capture can be commercially successful for certain cleaner technology processing options such as coal gasification and probably burning of natural gas. As far as traditional coal fired power plants, I would be less optimistic.
     
  6. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    I suspect that doing it right will not involve using most of the existing traditional plants.
     
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