StoppingClimateChange.com                                                                              Why Fossil Fuels Matter
Home & Index Page

    Why Fossil Fuels Matter

We MUST NOT Give Up On Fossil Fuels - they are too ubiquitous, too useful, and too cheap.
But We MUST STOP Burning Them With The Old Technology That's Causing Climate Change.
As long as we continue to attempt to move away from the cheap energy of fossil fuels, we will continue to fail.

                         

Most of the thermal energy that is making our modern life comfortable is coming from fossil fuels.   The key measure: U.S.=10,000 Watts per person per day, Haiti = 500 Watts per person per day.
This is how it is going to be for a long time into the future. Our job is to obtain as much of that energy as possible without letting the fuel's carbon escape into the air.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          

How cheap is it to get at all that energy? The more people that are needed to obtain it for us, the bigger the price we will have to pay. So the more we will avoid using it.   

 

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Making CO2 is Mother Nature's Way of Producing Fire
Making CO2 is what makes fire hot.

            

Click To Enlarge

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

BECCS Is One Way We Can Stuff A Lot Of Climate Change Back Into The Ground

Carbon-negative Electricity From Wood

 

Allam Cycle Is Better Than Earlier Conventional BECCS - Both Natural Gas Fuel
BECCS is a new technology. . . Wind, solar, nuclear, coal, oil, natural gas, can't be used to roll back Climate Change.
 

Allam Cycle

 

This is how the newly developed 'Allam' technology - which was recently patented - could be implemented in a potentially far more efficient and cleaner BECCS facility.
Perhaps as efficient as a standard non-emission-controlled 60% efficient 'CO2 Dirty' combined cycle natural gas plant, but having no CO2 slippage.

 

Earlier Conventional BECCS - 'Add-on Carbon Capture'

This is how today's standard BECCS 'Add-on Carbon Capture' technology - which was patented in the 1930s - could be implemented.
The amine facility and the constant amine replacement is both an additional capital (CAPEX) and operating expense (OPEX).
Perhaps 75% as efficient as a standard combined cycle natural gas plant, with ~10% CO2 slipping past the absorber column.
 


Conventional BECCS technology performance. Cost of parasitic electricity would be 67 times $50 per megaWatt-hour times 8,760 hours per year or $29,346,000 / yr.
CB&I = Chicago Bridge and Iron. As it happened, they did both the above study and the actual physical Allam demonstration plant in La Porte, Texas. (Two completely different contracts.)

 

 

Both plants could have a wood, coal, or lignite fuel-to-synthetic natural gas front end added.

The conventional combined cycle example power plant happened to be about twice as powerful as the Allam sCO2 plant.

Please take a look at the youtube video presentations listed below. You can't get easier-to-understand presentations faster. And very few commercials.

     The company:              https://www.netpower.com/technology/          https://www.netpower.com/news/           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFcbev1TkoU          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zDZmIDbDO0
     Articles About:             https://www.powermag.com/inside-net-power-gas-power-goes-supercritical/?mypower          supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) cycles
     This website's pages:  3a Natural Gas or Oil Allam Cycle CCS Power Plant          3b Coal or Lignite Allam Cycle CCS Power Plant          Similar Technologies

This new type of power plant, located over a CO2 disposal region, would burn trees originally planted to remove Climate Change CO2 from the air, store their CO2 underground, and sell the electricity.

 

                    

 

The basic Natural Gas burning Allam cycle module.
"ASU" means "Air Separation Unit". The ASU contributes oxygen from the air to the CO2 working fluid for combusting the natural gas in CO2 (1). First time I've encountered this.
To me, it's basically a rocket engine connected directly to a single stage steam turbine. The CO2 and steam water are then separated in (4), the water separator.
 
Most of the exhaust of a rocket is steam - recall all the white?

 

 

For details of proposed coal processing components see pdf 2.306.02

A leading chemical engineer, Rodney Allam, has invented a new fossil-fuel powered thermodynamic cycle for power plants. It has been named the "Allam Cycle".  It's emissions are sequestration grade and pressure CO2, potable water, industrial grade argon gas, and industrial grade nitrogen gas - each coming out of their individual exhaust pipes.  A 1/10th size pilot plant has been constructed in LaPorte, Texas (near Houston) and has been connected to the Texas electrical grid, providing 25 megaWatts of electricity since last October. As far as I know, so far, so good.

This new technology has the potential of economically powering the reduction of fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050 by powering the manufacture of biomass-based net-zero replacements for fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and natural gas. Since fossil fuel is available everywhere, these fuel factories can be located anywhere both biomass and CO2 sequestration strata exist. Mankind can then consume the world's remaining fossil fuel by using it to power the manufacture of net-zero fossil fuel substitutes.

Dubbed the "Allam Cycle", it exploits the thermal and pressure characteristics of supercritical liquid carbon dioxide and water - instead of pure steam, air, or helium - as its working fluid. Relatively simple and 59% efficient, it uses an external rocket-engine-like oxygen+methane combustor instead of a water boiler. The combustor directly drives a simple high-temperature gas turbine-generator with a blast of CO2 gas and steam. It can be powered by any methane-gasified fossil fuel, i.e., natural gas, oil, coal, lignite. The only emissions are pure high pressure liquid CO2 ready for underground disposal and pure liquid fresh water, industrial grade nitrogen gas, and industrial grade argon gas, each coming out of the Allam engine contained in it's own pipe. If renewable fuels are used and sequestered, the Allam engine would produce carbon-negative CO2 emissions.

It should be noted that the super-clean, fossil fuel versatile, Allam Cycle 30 mW(e) grid-connected pilot plant - a new form of Oxy-fuel carbon capture - is performing well and appears economically competitive all the way down to non-CCS Lignite.

The first mass production Allam cycle power plant will be a 300 mW(e) single turbine version made by Toshiba, possibly as soon as 2021. "While the challenges remain significant and require a focused research effort, there donít appear to be any show stopping problems to commercialization of this technology." - P.A. Strakey, et al., 2014. 

Toshiba will manufacture the 300 megaWatt full size version. In addition to the 300 megaWatts of grid electricity, it might produce as much as 1 million gallons of potable water per day and 5% CO2 by volume. The Allam's oxyfuel combustor is pretty close to a rocket engine. Think of the massive white plume of steam coming out of a oxyfuel rocket engine as it lifts off.

Perhaps Toshiba could license their design to the world's top power plant companies to ultimately make 10 to 20 thousand 300 mW copies in the next 10 to 20 years. The coal and lignite versions would need an additional gasification module. Shutting down all the world's conventional coal plants would really pull the rug out from under Climate Change.

To this author, this achievement may open the door to halting the 100 million tons of CO2 the world adds to the air every day via unconfined fossil fuel burning and perhaps also halt most of the current plans for building over 1,600 new large conventional coal power plants in 62 countries    [Urgewald's tally], replacing conventional air polluting coal power plant plans with plans for environmentally safe Allam cycle gasified coal power plants instead. (Recall pre-WWII "Town Gas" made from coal?)

Once fossil fuel CO2 addition to the air is halted by substituting the use of environmentally safe carbon-neutral renewable fuels instead of fossil fuels, CO2 subtraction from the air can begin with the goal of eventually restoring the air to the way it was before the beginning of the first fossil fuel age.   

 

   _____________________________________________________________________________________

Obtaining Massive Volumes of Trees to Provide the World's Syngas and Removing Climate Change From the Air

The Cause of Climate Change is contamination of the air due to burning toxically large quantities of the ancient carbon contained in fossil fuels.
The UNís climate panel found that any scenario that doesnít warm the planet by more than 1.5 ˚C will require nearly eliminating emissions by midcentury, as well as removing 100 billion to 1 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air this century.
 Keeping warming below 2˚ C could necessitate sucking out 10 billion tons a year by 2050 and 20 billion annually by 2100, a study by the National Academies found.

The most recent data from NASA Earth Resources Surveys indicates there are about 3 Trillion trees on Planet Earth. A trillion is a thousand billion. A billion is a thousand million. A million is a thousand thousand. That's a lot of trees.
Forestry estimates indicate the average tree weighs about 5 tons. About 1/2 the weight of a tree is carbon. CO2 is one carbon atom (12 grams per mol) attached to two oxygen atoms (16 grams per mol) or 12 + 16 +16 = 44 grams per mol.).
It is virtually impossible to make and burn the world's hardwood densified wood pellets faster than their wood can grow. 
[2.000.04.20]
The average cost of carbon removal via tree restoration is less than $10 per ton of CO2. - Carbonshot  https://www.wri.org/our-work/project/carbon-removal World Resources Institute  https://www.wri.org/about   [2.100.01]

Wood Heating  by Michael Kuhns, Extension Forestry Specialist, and Tom Schmidt, Forester*   https://forestry.usu.edu/forest-products/wood-heating 

https://www.wood-pellet-mill.com/Solution/miscanthus-pellets.html 

Primary energy: Annual Consumption by fuel, in Exajoules, Rounded. (British Petroleum Statistical Review of World Energy, 2020).  Bold = Sources of fossil carbon.
Fuel:       Oil     Gas     Coal    Nuclear    Hydro    Renewables     Total  
U.S.        37        29        13        8                3             6                    96
World    191    139        159      24            37            26                  576        

 

 

 

 


             _____________________________________________________________________________________

 _____________________________________________________________________________________

Contemplating Returning To A BioWorld

In his scientific paper about the Allam Cycle, Dan F. Smith, et al*, rates the 300 megaWatt Toshiba Allam Cycle power plant at 772,200 tons of CO2 sequestered per year.
That means 45,325 Allam Cycle plants could remove a year's worth of current CO2 emissions (35 Billion tons) from the air in a year, perhaps repairing the air in about 50 years.
 At 3 tons of CO2 per tree, 100 billion tons CO2 is about 33 billion trees. The world has about 3 trillion trees. A trillion is 1,000 billion. 3,000 billion trees minus 33 billion = 2,967 billion trees remaining.
(1 hectare = 2.47105 acres, = 0.00386102 sq miles, = 0.0099999958937700001 sq kilometers.) 
This shows how big a job repairing Planet Earth's air is going to be.

But not impossible. The world currently has well over 50,000 running fossil-fuel power plants.
This many wood-burning Allam Cycle power plants would effectively stop today's Climate Change's growth in it's tracks.
$30 per ton CO2 sequestered, $50 per megaWatt-hour seems to be the ballpark money available over a 60-year plant life.  https://www.equinor.com/en/what-we-do/h2hsaltend.html 

Bottom Line: The wood of trees must be kept from returning their CO2 back to the air when they die. With CarbFix sequestration, CO2 is locked deep underground forever. It cannot be recovered.

Dan F. Smith's scientific paper: "Process and Carbon Footprint Analyses of the Allam Cycle Power Plant Integrated with an Air Separation Unit" 15/Sep/2019  appeared in 'Clean Technologies' Journal. 
Google fetched a free pdf copy for your author at:
  https://www.mdpi.com/2571-8797/1/1/22 
Engineers should have a copy in hand because the paper will give them detailed insight into how the Allam thermodynamic cycle both functions and performs.   [2.804.35] 

Clean Energy Systems ( http://www.cleanenergysystems.com/ ) has a similar predecessor system in the same league but appears to be using somewhat earlier different technology.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Allam Cycle Is Only The Beginning Of Supercritical CO2 Engines 

Below: An earlier advanced BECCS-capable power plant
http://www.cleanenergysystems.com/       http://www.cleanenergysystems.com/site-locations  

      

You can strip about 5 barrels of "Stuck" oil per barrel of liquid CO2 from a "Depleted" stripper oil well by using liquid CO2 as a solvent to free it up.
While most of the liquid CO2 can be recovered when the dislodged oil is processed at the wellhead, eventually the CO2 becomes "Stuck" underground forever instead.

Around 2010, there were several supercritical CO2 engines in various stages of development out there in the Kimberlina, California, sand and bushes.
The Allam cycle engine appears to have captured both the technical and market leadership by 2018.
One place where Allam's thinking shows up is they used a really tough single-stage sCO2 steam turbine in their demonstration plant in La Porte, Texas.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

 

Natural gas is the last stop on combustion's fossil fuel highway. 
Wood is the worst fuel for CO2 but is the ONLY common hydrocarbon that is carbon-neutral.  Hydrogen is a CO2-free combustion fuel.

Coal is being phased out in favor of natural gas in the United States and in much of Europe.
Natural Gas - Combined Cycle plant electricity CO2 = 737 lbs per megaWatt-hour  
Coal - Advanced Pulverized Coal plant electricity CO2 = 1,813 lbs per megaWatt-hour
Biomass Municipal Solid Waste plant electricity CO2 = 3,600 lbs per megaWatt-hour

Source:  http://www.ngsa.org/download/Leidos-Update-2016-emissions.pdf    ( http://www.ngsa.org/ )

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Where the natural gas you use to make your electricity, heat your house, cook your food, comes from.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

 

What is a natural gas Combined Cycle power plant?

Natural gas powered Combined Cycle (Jet Engine + Steam Turbine) power plants produce electricity with 40% the CO2 emissions
and TWICE the efficiency of a coal powered steam plant.  They are quick enough to fill in for wind's lulls and solar's clouds.
They are the main reason for the recent reduction in U.S. CO2 emissions - not windmills and solar cells.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -