Carbon Capture and Storage  Low Emissions Combustor

Carbon Capture and Storage

Ramgen CO2 Compressor Technology Summary 08-21-07.pdf

Energy Independance - The Need

The world is caught in a classic supply/demand driven energy crisis. Oil supply from traditional surplus exporters has peaked, while demand for oil and other forms of energy have surged in both the developed and developing world, particularly India and China. Political volatility and “independence” in the Middle East, Nigeria, Venezuela and Russia have furthered the upward volatility in energy prices. While the current recession has reduced prices, the long term trend is clearly one of less supply and more demand worldwide.

The United States imports roughly 65% of its oil. Three-quarters of these imports originate from countries characterized as having unstable governments. The United States and other industrialized nations are being forced to realize that their national security and economic vitality are dependent on greater national energy independence.

The energy crisis has been further influenced by the emerging scientific and political consensus that global warming is occurring, and that the CO2 released by fossil fuel combustion plays a significant role in this climate change effect. This conclusion has led to growing and conflicting pressure to reduce, not increase, the use of fossil fuel.

The United States has coal reserves that make it the “Saudi Arabia of coal.” These reserves are clearly sufficient for the fifty years or more required to transition our economy to a new energy source. China and India, two of the world’s fastest growing economies, also have abundant reserves of coal, as do most of the other industrialized nations.

Coal remains the fuel of choice for most all of the highly industrialized nations of the world, based upon security of supply and cost., and more than half of the electricity used in the United States is produced in coal-fired power plants.

Today, there are proven technologies that can be used to capture the particulate, NOx, SOx and other criteria pollutants associated with the use of coal, but during the era of cheap oil and gas, the economics of these environmental improvements dictated retrofitting most of the existing coal-powered electrical plants, and building combined cycle gas turbine units for any new capacity additions.

However, the energy crisis that began in 2004 has changed the economic and policy decisions towards the use of coal. Presently, China, India and the U.S. have plans to build up to 850 new coal-fired plants by 2012, and 58 other nations have approximately 340 new coal-fired plants in various stages of development.

This rush back to coal, however, is on a collision course with concerns about global warming. Coal releases nearly three times the CO2 per unit of energy produced when compared to natural gas, and CO2 is considered the largest single contributor to climate change. It is estimated that, by the year 2012, the new coal plants being built around the world will pump up to five times as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the Kyoto Protocol attempts to reduce.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 report indicates that there are almost 8,000 point sources in the world, emitting greater than 100,000 MtCO2/year. The total emission level for these sources is 13,500 MtCO2/yr. Power generation in all forms accounts for almost 5,000 of these sites and 10,500 MtCO2/yr, with the U.S. responsible for approximately 1/3 of it. If all of the existing U.S. sources above 50MW were captured it would require 15,000 units at a value of $47 billion.

Inescapably, the answer to the global energy supply crisis mandates extensive use of coal, but only in a way that the CO2 generated by its continued and extensive use can be managed to eliminate any further impact on Global Warming.

The last major hurdle to realizing a secure and environmentally acceptable use of coal involves the efficient capture and storage of the CO2 associated with its use

Copyright © 2008 Ramgen Power Systems, LLC