Saturday, December 15, 2007

Recycling Fossil Fuels

It looks like someone is working on a way for the world to continue to extract fossil fuels high in carbon from the ground and burn them. The Sandia National Laboratory is working on a prototype reactor to convert carbon dioxide into synthetic liquid fuels such as methanol, gasoline or other hydro carbons. According to the lab's press release on the subject, this has the advantage of allowing the utilization of existing pipeline and other distribution networks with the end product.

The project does not appear to currently include an atmospheric CO2 capture mechanism, so would have to rely on an as yet unbuilt carbon dioxide capture system, such as is proposed for coal generating plants. Essentially this allows fossil fuel to be consumed a first time at a central power station with a carbon capture operation and then be released to the atmosphere in a vehicle, or recycled through a power facility again.

Don't look for fuel recycling to occur anytime soon though, with an expected final working product 15 to 20 years out.

Seems it would be a lot easier to build solar PV or solar
thermal power stations and cut the carbon out of the loop
completely. And no wait for that technology.

Found on Greenbang.

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