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Category Archives: Carbon Recycling Technology

Global warming and climate change are the topics of the day and doomsday predictions are abounding. In a divided world of differing ideologies and dogmas, emotions play a major role and all conclusions are drawn out of such emotions. Emotional intelligence is the key and in-depth analysis will clear the clouds of doubts and disbeliefs and not just raw emotions.

When quantum science emerged as a mainstream science substituting classical science the world changed dramatically often leading to spirituality or eastern philosophy of ancient India. When Albert Einstein said, “I hope the moon is still there when I am not looking at it”, it had huge implications and a few decades later quantum science confirmed that Einstein was wrong. In other words, it is the conscience that creates the reality. With  this is the reality of science  one may wonder whether “reality” has anything to do with “science” at all. Albert Einstein in his own words said, “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality”.

Let us examine about the science of global warming due to man-made GHG emissions resulting in climate change. Electricity was a new form of energy discovered in eighteenth century and it became part of human civilization ever since. But it was already existed in nature in the form of lightning, but we were unable to recognize it or reproduce it in the scale that can be useful to us. Then the question is whether electricity was discovered by human beings at all and if so, can we reproduce “lightning?” and use this electricity without emitting any carbon emission at all. The answer is no, at least for now due lack of technology to predict lightning, tapping it economically and storing it for distribution. Theoretically lightning alone can supply all the electricity world needs but practically it is almost impossible to utilize it for the above reasons. When electromagnetism and electricity were discovered they did not relate it to “lightning” but claimed as a separate discovery between the relationship between magnetic and electric charges which resulted in generating electricity. Then later we were able to explain “lightning” due to positive and negative charges between the cold clouds and rising hot air with water.

Science is nothing but explaining nature with theoretical concepts and physical demonstrations. That is why yoga sutra describes the world as a phenomenal world and it is an irreducible experimental substance. That is the peculiarity of science because it is the human conscience that creates this scientific reality. I too conclude that “as far as law of science of climate change refers to reality, they are not certain; as far as they are certain they do not refer to reality.” Similarly, science has nothing to do with economics and but we human beings made economics as a measure of one’s life and his or her success. This is the fundamental flaw in human thinking. One can conclude that all man-made theories and practices are fundamentally flawed which is evident from the world of turmoil we are witnessing and living in. We failed to ask emotionally intelligent questions by endless pursuit of happiness through money and materials in the name of science.

As I mentioned in my previous article we developed generating electricity from thermal source and we ended up digging fossil fuels at enormous cost and added further value by combustion with air generating huge amount of CO2.But we never estimated the cost of CO2 at that time and we never realized the future impact of such a CO2 emissions from fossil fuels till now. Even now we do not want to put a price for CO2 emissions and continue to emit by simply denying the fact that such unabated emissions will have consequences. We conveniently use science and economics when it suits us, otherwise we reject them outright when it does not suit us. All climate change denials come from the fear of economic collapse unconsciously.

Therefore, the first step in achieving zero carbon emission is to eliminate fossil fuels completely or impose penalty to discourage emissions if we accept global warming and climate change as the reality. Without taking this first step we cannot move forward.

Now there is a new awakening that Hydrogen will substitute fossil fuels with zero emissions. This is again a mistake. Imaging all cars and power plants using hydrogen and fuel cell and emit (only) water vapour into the atmosphere. I am sure that will drastically change our climate in a very short span of time. The atmospheric moisture will dramatically increase trapping enormous amount of heat and precipitation. The consequences will be dire. Every kg of Hydrogen will require 9 kgs of water. Renewable Hydrogen is a precious commodity and it can be used only to decarbonize the fossil economy and cannot be used a fuel directly. Such an attempt will be a failure.

Alternatively, we can continue to use fossil fuel as usual but eliminate CO2 emission by simply recycling in the form of RNG (renewable natural gas) using renewable hydrogen. This may look as an expensive proposal at the first instance, but it will become a norm in the long run and we human beings have a capacity to adopt to this new reality.  It is now possible to capture CO2 economically and substantially while generating power using direct Carbon fuel cell with highest electrical efficiency. It can be easily recycled in the form of RNG. Why Governments don’t act?

In the absence of above alternative, we may have to face the consequences of climate change due to man-made emissions and simply be content with an American slogan, “In God we trust”.

References:

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpowsour.2013.11.122
  2. ,DCFC by Fuelcell Energy and Exxon.

 

 

CO2 capture using DCFCMCFC for bottom cycling for CO2 capture

What is CRT?

CRT is a process technology that captures CO2 from existing and operating base load (24 x 7) power plants using fossil fuels and substituting the Oxygen in CO2 with renewable Hydrogen thereby converting CO2 into RNG (renewable natural gas). Then RNG becomes the renewable fuel for the above power plant. It is a perfect example of a circular economy with Zero Carbon emissions.

CRT becomes a link between fossil power industry and renewable industry, and it can achieve zero Carbon emission in the shortest possible time frame averting a catastrophic climate change.

Why CRT?

The climate change is a global issue and it requires a global solution and eliminating CO2 emission by few countries will not address the problem and it will require a collective solution. CRT can provide such a solution.

The world is now divided than ever before into two segments. One segment believes Carbon emission is causing global warming and climate change and therefore CO2 should be curtailed or eliminated completely, and all future energy should come only from renewable energy sources such as solar wind etc to avert climate change.
The other segment believes the science of climate change is not well established and dismisses the theory that CO2 causes global warming and climate change. They believe such a change is a natural phenomenon and it has nothing to do with CO2 emissions.  They fear by simply eliminating fossil fuel usage in the absence of a clear substitute the energy industry will be seriously disrupted causing economic collapse and the security of a nation. For example US has become the largest exporter of oil and gas in the world due to their aggressive policy of exploiting oil and gas reserves using techniques such as fracking. However these resources are finite and their CO2 emissions will become a stumbling block in the near future.

It is a useless exercise to engage in argument without a clear path forward. But I am sure they will certainly agree and support a substitute fuel such as renewable natural gas (RNG) that can generate a base load power with zero carbon emission.

CRT will be able to convince both the above segment of people because it will meet the requirements of both the parties.

The bottom line is we need a system that can guarantee to generate an uninterrupted power 24 x7 with zero Carbon emission irrespective of a method we use if it is sustainable and environmentally friendly.

How do crew in space shuttle get rid of their CO2 emission from their cabin is shown below by NASA.

Carbon recycling technology is like the above process except CO2 is generated by combustion of natural gas as a by-product of base load power generation which is being removed and recycled in the form of RNG (renewable natural gas) using renewable

Hydrogen. Capture Carbon recycling in space

 

(Utility scale battery storage)

Advanced-Batteries-for-Utility-Scale-Energy-Storage-880x660Methan from CO2SNG plant(Methanation plant for CO2 to SNG)

Renewable energy is a low efficient and intermittent source of energy and it may not meet the world’s energy requirement at the current rate. It will require massive energy storage technologies to be deployed in the shortest possible time frame. According to NREL report a 100 Mw PV solar with 240 Mwh storage battery will cost approx. USD 188 mil. To meet a base load power of 2400 Mwh/day the cost of the system will be USD 1.88 billion. The life of storage battery is assumed only at 12 years and will require replacement at least twice in 24 years of its life cycle. The same capacity 100 Mw combined cycle power plant using natural gas will cost only USD 105 mil with a life of at least 25 years. Therefore, renewable energy alone cannot solve the problem of climate change in its current form. It will be prudent to use renewable energy to generate renewable Hydrogen (RH) from water (even seawater) and use it to decarbonize the fossil economy. In fact, this is the solution  world needs right now.

Large(utility) scale battery will require massive amount of exotic material such as Lithium, Nickel, Cobalt etc which are not renewable and will have a large carbon footprint and disposal of depleted batteries will create massive environmental problems in the future. They are simply not sustainable.

Combined cycle power generation using natural gas is a proven technology that has been used for decades and all the infrastructure required are already in place.

What is involved in CRT?

CRT will involve the following three sections:

  1. Renewable energy facility such as PV solar, Concentrated solar or wind, geothermal, OTEC and hydro etc.
  2. Renewable Hydrogen facility to generate and store Hydrogen using the above renewable energy sources.
  3. Combined cycle base load power plant with CO2 capture and storage using either pre or post combustion technologies.
  4. Conversion of captured CO2 into renewable natural gas RNG which can substitute natural gas in the above base load power plant with zero Carbon emission.

There are number of renewable energy industries established all over the world in the past decade and they are currently operational. The lowest power tariff quoted by renewable energy industry in India is as low as $ 0.035/kwh making it an attractive clean energy source. There are issues in exporting it to the grid due to peak hour supply and demand gap. This renewable energy can be used to generate renewable Hydrogen (RH) by electrolysis of water. Hydrogen can be used as a storage medium to generate power during peak hours using fuel cells. It can also be used to fuel Hydrogen (Fuel cell) cars. Hydrogen cars have many advantages over battery cars based on life cycle assessment. Renewable Hydrogen (RH) is going to help accelerating the decarbonization process of the world soon.

Currently bulk of the power is generated using fossil fuel such as coal, oil and gas. The CO2 emissions can be reduced by 25% by simply switching over from coal to gas. Exiting coal fired power plants can be modified to gas fired plants by replacing their existing boilers. By using RNG the power plant can achieve zero carbon emission while generating base load power.

CRT is a simple and straight forward process technology that can avert global warming and climate change without disrupting existing fossil fuel infrastructure and its power generation while achieving ZERO CARBON EMISSION in the shorted possible time frame. It will promote renewable energy industries in a big way and help decarbonize our economy on a global scale. The cost of renewable energy should further come down so that renewable hydrogen (RH) as well as renewable natural gas (RNG) will become cheaper. Removal of fossil subsidies, taxing carbon emission and subsidizing renewable energy can facilitate such a transition and quicken the process of decarbonization and avert the climate change. A detailed financial model will reveal how quickly and effectively CRT can help countries reduce their emissions.

High CO2 emitting countries such as China, US, India, Australia, Japan, EU and others should adopt this technology .This technology is compatible with transportation technologies such as electric vehicles and Hydrogen (Fuel cell) vehicles because it can generate base load power (24 x 7) with Zero Carbon emission which are essential for the success of the above transport applications. WithoutCRT the transport applications will collapse even if they are “the state of art” technologies. CRT will be an ideal technology for energy intensive industries such as Caustic soda, Aluminium, Steel as well as Carbon intensive industries such as cement.

 

 

 

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