Sunday, July 03, 2005

CO2-free coal?

Germany is planning to build the world's first CO2-free coal-fired power plant. This isn't quite as oxymoronic as it sounds: while carbon dioxide is an inescapable product of burning coal, that doesn't mean that it has to be emitted into the atmosphere. The plan is therefore to burn the coal so as to produce as pure a stream of CO2 as possible, then store it in rock formations underground.

There are real concerns about this technology - notably, whether the storage will be sufficiently long to be considered "permanant", or whether its simply a way of shifting pollution forward into the future while retaining profits (in the form of dodged emissions costs) in the present. But we're not going to find out if we don't try, and a 30MW testbed seems to be a good way to learn.


i heard some amateur science about this same idea being argued in australia.

allegedly, the CO2 can 'pool' in large sinks, and potentially be vented into the atmosphere in large, large amounts, suffocating all O2 dependent animals.

another great idea from the petrochemical people....

Posted by Anonymous : 7/04/2005 08:49:00 AM