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Site Facilities:     1  Unneeded Old Coal Power Plant      2  New Electricity Generator Building       
Power Plant:       3  Power Plant Choices      3a  Pilot Plant Power Drop      3b  Carbon Capture Power     REACTORS:     3c  NuScale 550F     3d  ThorCon 1,300F     3e  Terrestrial  1,300F     3f  GA 1,560F

Fuel Feedstock:  4  Hydrogen and Steam Generators      5  Biomass Preparation      6  Plasma Torch Biomass Gasifier     
Refinery:             7  Biosynfuel Refinery      8 Biosynthetic Fuels     
8a Cellulosic E85 BioEthanol     8b Cellulosic M70 BioMethanol     8c Cellulosic BioDiesel     8d Fuel Hydrogen

Summary of the oil industry of tomorrow:
Surplus coal power plant sites re-equipped to be Clean Energy Parks


The largest portion of civilization's "hands-on" mechanical energy will always be sourced either directly or indirectly from liquid fueled heat engines.

This website is based upon the understanding that fossil fuels will always be preferred as long as clean energy fuels are more expensive. Nuclear heat is the only path to making cheap clean fuels.

Would it be worth living with nuclear's problems if that's what it took to end Climate Change's problems? Climate Change cannot be stopped without enlisting nuclear. 

It's unrealistic to think liquid fossil fuels - oil and natural gas - can be completely replaced by carbon-neutral cellulosic fuels - perhaps 80% is more realistic. Nuclear will replace most coal, electric batteries and hydrogen fuel cells will replace some oil and gas fuels.


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             Click for individual equipment pages>       1      2      3      4      5      6      7      8      Back-arrow returns you to here.

Using Carbon-captured or Nuclear Energy to Replace Fossil Fuels with Biosynfuels

Climate Plan B's Clean Energy Parks.

What is currently being suggested as a remedy for Climate Change is naive and overly optimistic hopeful thinking by people who did not cause Climate Change. Climate Plan B is based upon technology developed by energy industry folks with a proven track record of delivering results. Some of this energy technology can be used to halt the intensification of Climate Change beyond what has already been programmed into the environment.

The basic thinking behind Climate Plan B's Clean Energy Parks concepts are that unneeded coal power plant sites are unneeded because they are burning coal. Not because it's electricity has been completely replaced by windmills. Typically, only about 1/3 of an electrical grid can be powered by intermittent wind before it runs into severe stability problems.

These days, the typical cure for this is to add fast-responding gas turbine generation connected in a combined cycle generation configuration. Unlike coal and large nuclear, gas turbines - which are actually aeroderivative jet airplane engines - can increase and decrease their power output very rapidly to compensate for the wind surges and lulls of large wind farms also connected to the same electricity grid.

Aeroderivative combined cycle gas turbine power plants, physically much smaller than the coal power plant's equipment for the same electricity output, can often be installed on the same site adjacent to the unneeded coal power plant and use some of the site's now unneeded electrical equipment to transmit it's electricity to the same load via the existing grid.

Advanced nuclear: Already under construction in Idaho, and due to first come on line in 2019, is the first of the next generation nuclear reactors - the NuScale. Physically and electrically much smaller than the nuclear power plants in use today, it, like the aeroderivative gas turbine, is electrically agile and capable of providing stabilizing "fill-in" electricity to grids being fed by large amounts of wind and solar electricity. Think of that quick surge of power you feel as the jet airplane you are in begins it's take-off run.

The nuclear safety zone surrounding the NuScale nuclear plant is much smaller than the nuclear power plants in use today, making the construction of next generation nuclear plants adjacent to unneeded coal power plants on the same site feasible.

 

A Quick Tour Around The Clean Energy Park

1      Existing Coal Power Plant Sites: The image in the top banner depicts the starting point of perhaps the only feasible way 10 billion people can power an affluent modern life without creating more CO2.  The banner below it depicts an unneeded medium size coal power plant site converted to manufacture the basic energies needed to power affluent modern life - i.e., one where machines, not slaves, do most of life's grunt work without creating more CO2.

This industrial facility is called an "Energy Park". It's power - it's source of heat and electricity - is an advanced Small Modular Reactor (SMR) - unlike the nuclear reactors in use today. An energy park's products are electricity and carbon-neutral gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, methanol, and perhaps synthetic "natural" gas.

Existing coal power plant sites: already have the "Right Stuff" to manufacture and transmit electricity and the railroad, land, etc., facilities necessary to support the addition of equipment needed  to manufacture carbon-neutral combustion fuels.  (Check out the banner immediately above.) In some cases the coal part of the coal power plant will have already been decommissioned, the coal in the coal yard used up, making additional land available, the workers jobs terminated and the workers will be beginning to move away. A terrible loss since many possess skills and site knowledge that could form the maintenance cadre of an Energy Park's staff.

Existing coal power plants will soon be for sale very cheap all over the world and should be snapped up by energy companies interested in powering the world of the future. Worldwide, there are over 50,000 coal power plants, some 5,000 to 10,000 of them should be excellent candidates for upgrading into Clean Energy Parks. Medium size coal power plants tend to be located in areas with good access to biomass - rural for woody plants and agwaste, cities for garbage (MSW or Metropolitan Solid Waste) and sewage. Small coal power plants generally have sites and resources too small - and large coal power plants often have too much equipment in a tight site already. Growth space is provided by the existing coal storage area - something oil and natural gas power plants may not have.

2      New Electricity Generator Building:  Just as it is with buying an automobile where the engine, transmission, driveline and everything else are optimized for each other, the days of building nuclear reactors from an assortment of non-interoptimized components from lowest bidders are long gone.

3      SMRs or "Small Modular Reactors": There are a dazzling variety of over 50 different nuclear reactors on the drawing boards today, almost all SMRs, - SMRs are capable of producing amounts of electricity ranging from 5 megaWatts to 300 megaWatts, making heat at temperatures ranging from 550 degrees F to 900F, to 1,300F, to 1,800 degrees F, powered by both of the common natural nuclear fuels - uranium and thorium along with dozens of different blends of those two plus synthetic isotopes such as the plutoniums, and cooled by water, molten metallic sodium, a special kind of metallic lead, helium and carbon dioxide gas, in addition to several different kinds of molten salt, flowing thick and bright white-hot, looking for all the world like hot lava freshly thrown out of a volcano.

The particular nuclear reactor that has been chosen to power this Energy Park seems to be the best fit at this time. It's actually four 4-year exchangeable 250 mW SMRs-in-a-can, 2 connected in tandem and running, and 2 depleted used cans stored next to them letting the last of their radioactivity decay prior to being sent back to the factory for recycling. Check out ThorCon at: http://thorconpower.com/   

4      Hydrogen and Steam Generators: The steam generators and their associated water treatment systems will come as standard components in the nuclear power plant package. Hydrogen generators are not part of a nuclear electricity plant. Here is where we do something unthinkable if our electricity came from feeble, unreliable windmills - we use a big chunk of that nuclear electricity to make a lot of 1,800F heat to power the sulfur-iodine thermochemical process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen.

5      Biomass Preparation:  Sewage, Garbage (Municipal Solid Waste), Agwaste (Manure, Corn Stover, Wood Pellets, and a thousand other plant things that make up Biomass), Black Liquor (the wood lignin waste product from paper making. Paper mills make a lot of it and they power themselves with it now. They will have to repower with tiny nuclear reactors.)

6      Plasma Gasifier: Carbon-neutral (or Net-zero CO2) fuel means that when these combustion fuels are burned they do not add additional CO2 to the environment. If you think about the implications of the park's hotter than the sun (over 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit) plasma gasifier reducing garbage's molecular components to their basic atoms and embedded metals to stratified molten slag along with recycling carbon in the form of CO2, you may come to realize Clean Energy parks are a major gateway to an environmentally clean future where everything that passes through the gasifier - plant and mineral - becomes sustainable feedstock for future use.

7      Catalytic Biosynfuel Refinery:  The experts say "Use nuclear power to make methanol." I understand and believe them.

8      Carbon-neutral Direct Replacement Liquid Fuels:  A look at a few popular combustion fuels - methanol, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, natural gas (methane) - and how carbon-neutral versions can be synthesized economically.

 

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Footnotes & Links

The Energy [R]evolution

1 Objectives and approach

The main objective of the Energy [R]evolution scenario (Greenpeace/EREC, 2008) is to

show a possible and promising pathway to transform our unsustainable global energy

supply system into a system which complies with climate protection targets. The

scenario aims at demonstrating the feasibility of reducing global CO2 emissions to 10 Gt

per year in 2050, which is seen as one important prerequisite to limit global average

temperature increase to around 2C (compared to pre-industrial level) and thus

preventing severe effects on the climate system (see IPCC, 2007).

Compared to the new Wold Energy Outlook (WEO) 2008 of the International Energy

Agency (IEA, 2008), the Energy [R]evolution scenario is much more optimistic

regarding the role renewable energies could play in the energy systems of the world until

2050. Although the WEO 2008 points out that renewable energies will become soon a

major source of electricity, it states that achieving the ambitious climate protection target

is not possible without a massive expansion of nuclear and carbon capture and

sequestration (CCS) power plants. In contrary, the aim of Energy [R]evolution is to show

that without relying on nuclear and CCS there is no principal technical obstacle in

curbing CO2 emissions at the pace required to achieve the 2 target. Its strategy is based

on energy efficiency and high shares of renewable energies to supply power, heat, and

transport demand. The pathways proposed also offer economic benefits and new options

for economic development. Political will for change and appropriate policy measures are

needed to overcome the inertia inherent in our current energy supply system.

 

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