- JoNova - http://joannenova.com.au -

Cut carbon emissions by 50%? — Greens nightmare — Coal gasification may be the answer

Posted By Joanne Nova On April 11, 2016 @ 3:13 pm In AGW socio-political,Big-Government,Energy,Global Warming | Comments Disabled

A new MIT report suggests a better way to use coal in power-stations and potentially cut CO2 emissions by 50%. The process involves gasifying coal and producing electricity in one process at the same site. The coal only has to be heated once,  and the electricity comes from a fuel cell, not a fire — it’s a chemical reaction across a membrane.  The output is potentially much more efficient, and makes no ash. The researchers argue we could get twice as much electricity for each ton of coal burned. Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal, but coupling these two processes might increase it to 55-60%.

This report is based on simulations, but the separate processes are already well developed and running. The next step would be a fully functioning pilot plant to put the two together and test the idea. If there was the political will it could be done in a few years. There probably won’t be.

The Greens of course will hate the idea because the Evil-Factor of coal is near 100%.

In the eco-collectivist-world, cutting “carbon” is important, but apparently not as important as propping up a dependent lobby group for big government (that’s the entire renewables industry) or crippling independent corporations which have power and money outside big-government control. There is also the reputational damage of admitting that windmills and solar were a fantasy that has wasted billions of our children’s money. On top of that, there’s the potential death of a Really Useful Scare. All up, the future of Life on Earth is at stake, but that probably won’t be enough for the Greens to lobby for this approach to get tested.

Hybrid coal powered electricity system could cut coal-plant emissions in half

Coal gasification, by itself, works at a lower temperature than combustion and “is more efficient than burning,” Ong says. First, the coal is pulverized to a powder, which is then heated in a flow of hot steam, somewhat like popcorn kernels heated in an air-popper. The heat leads to chemical reactions that release gases from the coal particles — mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell.

In the combined system, these gases would then be piped from the gasifier to a separate fuel cell stack, or ultimately, the fuel cell system could be installed in the same chamber as the gasifier so that the hot gas flows straight into the cell. In the fuel cell, a membrane separates the carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the oxygen, promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel.

Coal gasification, by itself, works at a lower temperature than combustion and “is more efficient than burning,” Ong says. First, the coal is pulverized to a powder, which is then heated in a flow of hot steam, somewhat like popcorn kernels heated in an air-popper. The heat leads to chemical reactions that release gases from the coal particles — mainly carbon monoxide and hydrogen, both of which can produce electricity in a solid oxide fuel cell.

In the combined system, these gases would then be piped from the gasifier to a separate fuel cell stack, or ultimately, the fuel cell system could be installed in the same chamber as the gasifier so that the hot gas flows straight into the cell. In the fuel cell, a membrane separates the carbon monoxide and hydrogen from the oxygen, promoting an electrochemical reaction that generates electricity without burning the fuel.

This method also produces pure CO2 which is easier to do carbon-capture and sequestration with (CCS). Though that is still utterly pointless, but is another factor the eco-warriors will have to ignore.

 

h/t David and Matthew.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.6/10 (82 votes cast)

Article printed from JoNova: http://joannenova.com.au

URL to article: http://joannenova.com.au/2016/04/cut-carbon-emissions-by-50-greens-nightmare-coal-gasification-may-be-the-answer/

Copyright © 2008 JoNova. All rights reserved.