Well, you can indeed use electricity to fix carbon dioxide; the problem is that due to thermodynamics you will generate more carbon dioxide through the combustion of fuels (coal, natural gas, etc) than the carbon dioxide you fix. Now you can assume that you have inexpensive net zero greenhouse gas emissions power from wind, solar or nuclear power but if you have that then why would you try to sequester carbon dioxide – why would you not generate it in the first place? It is true that cement generates carbon dioxide but 40% of this is due to combustion of heat that can be replaced by net zero energy. The remainder is actual net carbon zero in the end as carbon dioxide is consumed as the cement ages.
This is completely different than our technology – we aim not to use electricity but to potentially generate electricity. We aim to be a net zero power source. How do we do this? By powering our process using hydrogen from waste gas and low grade geothermal heat (less than 100 Centigrade). This is cheap low grade energy that we cannot use today – but can use economically when tied to carbon sequestration. CleanCarbon Energy argues that the latter is of substantially more value than the latter.
The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation. Certainly switching to nuclear power plants across the United States and Electric Vehicles is a potential solution. We could go solar or wind where the sunlight or wind is available and if we are willing to pay for the massive equipment and footprint required to do so. Our alternate strategy is to recycle sulfur to generate a biomass and then gasify the biomass. No massive footprint or insane CAPEX required. Hopefully that is of value to someone out there.
Economic large scale conversion of flue gas CO2 to value added products could potentially have a major impact on global emissions. A 1000MW modern coal plant for instance (equivalent to a 1740MW natural gas combined cycle power plant or a 680MW standard coal power plant) with CO2 emissions of 15,240MT/day with the incorporation of the CleanCarbon strategy with the MTP process for instance would result in the production of 3155tpd polypropylene, 870tpd gasoline and 30tpd of LPG with gross revenues of approximately $1,500MM/year. Deducting estimated operating expenses the facility would generate a potential cash flow of $800MM/year. It is estimated the facility itself with 398 SO-DualCycle wellpairs, 130 SR-DualCycle wellpairs and a large polypropylene plant would cost approximately $4,100MM. This would generate a 10 year rate of return above 14% with a payback period of approximately 5 years. This does not include any financial benefit for carbon credits and power generated by the prime coal or natural gas facility which may otherwise not be permitted to operate. This strategy could be potentially repeated on various petrochemical and oil and gas projects throughout the world. Eventually these plants after pay-out could be converted to use atmospheric CO2 from the atmosphere for the potential replacement of fossil fuels. Incorporation of atmospheric CO2 scrubbing to the process could potentially lead to balancing of the global carbon cycle allowing for the world to meet global energy requirements without fear of global warming.
Unlike other renewable energy projects the CleanCarbon Energy strategy employs reactions downhole in subterranean formations more than 500m TVD and use brackish water as opposed to solar and biofuel plants which require either expensive fabrication materials, fresh water and large surface footprints generally competing with the high value agricultural sector. Algae projects for instance can consume CO2 but require huge surface footprints making such projects uneconomic. Ocean harvesting of seaweed is possible but can only be carried out in the ocean far from existing CO2 sources. Solar requires light with large surface area. Wind requires the presence of continuous wind which is not necessarily applicable to all locations with large turbines again taking up substantial surface footprints. Even with microalgae, among the fastest growing photosynthetic organisms, cell yield is problematic as when cell density increases photons will be blocked by the organism itself limiting effective light distribution to less than a depth of 2m. Generally, a limit of 1kg/m3 is associated with microalgae. Massive land footprints with excessive water recycle become necessary unless artificial light is used which then requires an inefficient power input. Unlike wind and solar biomass can be converted not only to power but high density transportation fuels, fertilizers and plastics.
Recent explorations into deep-sea environments have uncovered natural processes of carbon dioxide fixation without the need for sunlight. Team CleanCarbon Energy’s technology combines these natural processes with geothermal energy available within the Earth’s subsurface to convert carbon dioxide to a high volume of biomass. The generated biomass is then converted into value added products through a downhole gasification process and proven refining processes to yield plastics, fertilizers, gasoline, diesel and/or electricity. The complete process occurs without the need for fresh water or a substantial surface footprint.
CleanCarbon Energy’s mission is to enable the profitable production of sustainable fuels, power and chemicals from underutilized biomass and carbon dioxide using our advanced proprietary technologies. CleanCarbon Downhole gasification wellpairs allow for low-cost gasification using brackish water in contrast to existing surface gasification units which generally require fresh water. CleanCarbon CO2-to-biomass DualCycle georeactors consume fixate CO2 to biomass powered by the oxidation of waste gas. This biomass may then be used to produce carbon neutral petrochemical products. Combining the two technologies allows for the production of carbon negative petrochemical products and carbon neutral power and transportation fuel products.
CleanCarbon Energy is an Alberta company formed in 2016 to commercialize two patented processes – the downhole flexfuel gasifier and the DualCycle Geo-bioreactor. CleanCarbon Energy’s mission is to enable the profitable production of sustainable fuels, power and chemicals from underutilized biomass and carbon dioxide using our advanced proprietary technologies.