Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Scientific? American ... coal emissions sequestration

Scientific American ... comment "The One-Stop Carbon Solution" (Scientific American, 11/2013) suggests sequestration of coal plant emissions by "soda-streaming" CO2 into brine and injecting the brine into wells. The pressurized brine forced into the substrata in turn forces methane to be released into return wells drilled for the purpose. Anywhere else it would be called fracking -- tapping even more CO2 and the spew from burning methane!

Why go to absurd lengths to support continued environmental terror by the commodities industrial complex? CO2 sequestration is commodities hokus pokus and a waste of good investment and research money. Why produce the CO2 in the first place? Geothermal EGS can tap the heat beneath our feet virtually anywhere on earth -- and within a few decades could replace virtually all commodity/CO2-based (coal, oil, gas, nuclear ...) electricity generation.

Instead of coal plant enhancement, why not adapt generating equipment on-site to geo requirements and feed the grid through the plant's existing connection. Instead of wells for injecting chemicals, drill wells that extract geothermal heat directly. With much less complexity, replace coal-burning with the unlimited heat of the earth. As geothermal power generation becomes feasible, not just on geyser strata or "rings of fire", savings from elimination of commodities-associated externalities* together with long-term operational savings make a practical, long-term financial case with enormous environmental benefit.



1 comment:

Vane Lashua said...

From SciAm comments:
15. pragm in reply to Vane Lashua 02:43 PM 11/15/13

Geothermal is not solar, thus per 2nd Law, necessarily creates more pollution than gain.
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16. Vane Lashua in reply to pragm 03:47 PM 11/15/13

@pragm Maybe in a lab or our heads, but apply the 2nd Law to all energy involved in mining, drilling, refining, construction, transportation, operations, manufacturing, storage, burn technology, waste management and non-CO2 environmental issues. To what and how is the energy transformed? Throw all that out and make an opening through the insulation between the surface and not-even the core of the Earth. A whole new heat source to replace all that commodity burning -- without having to make, deliver and burn the commodity! There's enough heat down there to last many of humanity's lifetimes, even if we only live twice what we already have, letting go what's involved in getting 7 billion humans out of bed and serving breakfast. Then we die.