Burn, Baby, Burn

Sep 8, 2008 12:03pm

If you run a coal-fired power plant and you (or your government) worry about the carbon dioxide, the holy grail is carbon capture–getting the CO2 before it gets into the atmosphere, and pumping it into the ground or getting rid of it in some other way. Nice idea, but how to make it work? A German demonstration project, generating enough power for about 1,000 homes, goes online this week; take a look HERE for details from London’s Guardian. "At its best," the Guardian reports, "it would trap up to 90% of a plant’s carbon emissions and, though each element of the capture, transportation and storage process is already proven and in use, until now no one had demonstrated a full-cycle system, even at the small scale of a pilot. A full-scale system remains years away, largely because developing such a system is likely to be very expensive. As a result, many leading power companies have been reluctant to fund CCS [Carbon Capture and Storage] individually, arguing that governments should also shoulder some of the financial risks."  There’s a similar project in the works at the Mountaineer power plant in New Haven, W.Va., run by American Electric Power.  They started work in 2002 on it and expect to be up and running next year. The obvious downside is that carbon capture is pricey.  The upside is that if it proves necessary — and workable — it’s a way to get power without shutting down an entire industry.  Burn away, if it’s not going anywhere. (Photo of Schware Pumpe power plant in Germany from Siemens A.G.)

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus