If We Can Bury Carbon Dioxide, Why Not Use It to Make Electricity?

2013-11-08 09:39 by Anja Reitz

Researchers might have found a way to economically capture carbon dioxide from power plants and store it underground. The idea is to turn carbon dioxide storage sites into geothermal power plants.

If it works, the technology would provide both the electricity needed to pump carbon dioxide underground and a source of revenue to offset the high cost of capturing carbon dioxide at power plants, compressing it, and shipping it to storage sites.

That technology, known as carbon capture and storage, or CCS, will be essential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But because large-scale CCS would be prohibitively expensive, development of the technology has been too slow to meet climate change targets, according to the International Energy Agency (see “Will Carbon Capture Be Ready On Time?”).

Next year, startups and researchers will begin testing whether it could be possible to defray those costs by putting the stored CO2 to use in a geothermal power plant.

In conventional geothermal plants, water and steam heated by hot rocks deep underground drive turbines in a power plant. The water is then pumped back underground to be heated up again.


Source: MIT Technology Review, By Kevin Bullis on November 6, 2013

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