CO2 Free Energy from Oil?

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#1
Here's an interesting one: burning oil without CO2 emissions.

Revolutionary Power Plant Captures All Its Carbon Emissions, At No Extra Cost
To understand what this cycle is, start with what it isn't. Most power plants that burn coal or natural gas use the heat to create steam that goes through a turbine, spins rotors and creates electricity. In many generators, half the useful heat shoots into the atmosphere along with steam and, of course, carbon dioxide. Allam's cycle doesn't use steam. Instead, the so-called working fluid that turns the turbine is carbon dioxide itself. The CO2, under pressure and heated to a manageable 1,000 degrees, is kept in a supercritical state, in which it can expand to fill its container like a gas, yet has the density of a liquid. Instead of pouring into the sky, that CO2 gets cycled in a loop, spinning the turbines that power the generators. Combustion continually adds additional CO2, while excess CO2 is directed off into a pipeline.
Oil companies then inject the excess CO2 into the ground to help extract further oil, thus getting rid of it.

It's been built into a decent size prototype.
When completed early this year, at a cost of about $150 million, these 5 acres of steel and concrete, pipes, tanks and high-voltage lines will become the proving ground for a technology called the Allam Cycle. It's a novel electric-generation system that burns natural gas and captures all the produced carbon dioxide. The best part is that it makes electricity at the same low cost as other modern gas-fired turbines--about 6 cents per kilowatt-hour.
OK - it's not a substitute for clean, renewable energy, but it could bridge the gap while tidal energy and thorium reactors come on stream.

Wordsmith
 
#2
"At no extra cost"?

I find that hard to believe as if you are using the CO² emitted from burning then you have to separate that from everything else, then you have to heat it, then you have to have everything to pump the excess into storage or whatever, you have all the extra structure needed for the capture, etc, so although they claim they can generate at the same cost as a "conventional" plant I have to wonder what any future construction costs will be once the assorted government departments start imposing assorted regs on them.

It sounds good, but maybe I'm missing something because it sounds too good to be true.

As a side note regarding the article, since when was the Bell X-1 a turbine powered aircraft, never mind the first one? Wasn't that the HE178?
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#3
"At no extra cost"?

I find that hard to believe as if you are using the CO² emitted from burning then you have to separate that from everything else, then you have to heat it, then you have to have everything to pump the excess into storage or whatever, you have all the extra structure needed for the capture, etc, so although they claim they can generate at the same cost as a "conventional" plant I have to wonder what any future construction costs will be once the assorted government departments start imposing assorted regs on them.

It sounds good, but maybe I'm missing something because it sounds too good to be true.
Full scale trial plant up and running. We'll know soon enough if it's practicable. There's been some serious venture capital put into this. If it works the VC company is going to do rather well from patents.

Wordsmith
 
#4
Full scale trial plant up and running. We'll know soon enough if it's practicable. There's been some serious venture capital put into this. If it works the VC company is going to do rather well from patents.

Wordsmith
Oh, I don't disagree with that but, as I say, it sounds too good to be true.

We'll see how it goes, but I have a feeling costs will rise.
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#6
I take it that "extra" means that the infrastructure yhst would be needed for fracturing will be in place and this CO2 is free as a by-product therefore available. Once the infrastructure is in place then it is just a case of recycling the CO2, neatly taking it out of the recycling process needed to get rid of said CO2.

I realise this is an oversimplification, but that is my take on it.
 

FORMER_FYRDMAN

LE
Book Reviewer
#7
Oh, I don't disagree with that but, as I say, it sounds too good to be true.

We'll see how it goes, but I have a feeling costs will rise.
There's always a degree of journo spin on this stuff but I wouldn't bet against Professor Allam on any issue relating to gasification and associated emissions if he's allowed to describe it in his own terms.
 
#8
There's always a degree of journo spin on this stuff but I wouldn't bet against Professor Allam on any issue relating to gasification and associated emissions if he's allowed to describe it in his own terms.
Well, he has an interest in the spin too, of course, it's his name at the centre of the hype.

As I say, we'll wait and see.
 
#9
I had a look at the Allam Cycle on wikipedia. Seems there's a few details missing from the Forbes article, for example, the fact that it works best burning natural gas in pure oxygen, which would generate CO2 + water vapour. It all makes more sense when that is clear. Condense the water vapour out, and the produced CO2 is then heated and enters the system. It relies on having a market for the CO2, though, and a cheap source of oxygen.
 
#10
I had a look at the Allam Cycle on wikipedia. Seems there's a few details missing from the Forbes article, for example, the fact that it works best burning natural gas in pure oxygen, which would generate CO2 + water vapour. It all makes more sense when that is clear. Condense the water vapour out, and the produced CO2 is then heated and enters the system. It relies on having a market for the CO2, though, and a cheap source of oxygen.
<sits back, waits for inevitable "but oxygen is 20% of the air we breathe, there's plenty of the stuff so it must be cheap">

Found this and I have to ask what the efficiency of a "conventional" power station is

The Oxy-Fuel, Supercritical CO2 Allam Cycle: New Cycle Developments to Produce Even Lower-Cost Electricity From Fossil Fuels Without Atmospheric Emissions | Volume 3B: Oil and Gas Applications; Organic Rankine Cycle Power Systems; Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles; Wind Energy | GT2014 | Proceedings | ASME DC

Target net efficiencies for the natural gas and coal versions of this cycle, based on current process modeling, are 59% and 52% (LHV) respectively, both with full carbon capture and no other air emissions.
Oh, I think there will always be a market for CO². Never mind the use in "oil recovery", there's always a need for the stuff in things from fizzy drinks and fire extinguishers to medical to industrial processes and everything in between. And, of course, there is talk of reviving it's use as a refrigerant as it doesn't screw up the ozone layer and isn't exactly flammable. So the market would be there, as it looks like the use of and demand for the stuff will only likely grow.
 
#11
<sits back, waits for inevitable "but oxygen is 20% of the air we breathe, there's plenty of the stuff so it must be cheap">

Found this and I have to ask what the efficiency of a "conventional" power station is

The Oxy-Fuel, Supercritical CO2 Allam Cycle: New Cycle Developments to Produce Even Lower-Cost Electricity From Fossil Fuels Without Atmospheric Emissions | Volume 3B: Oil and Gas Applications; Organic Rankine Cycle Power Systems; Supercritical CO2 Power Cycles; Wind Energy | GT2014 | Proceedings | ASME DC



Oh, I think there will always be a market for CO². Never mind the use in "oil recovery", there's always a need for the stuff in things from fizzy drinks and fire extinguishers to medical to industrial processes and everything in between. And, of course, there is talk of reviving it's use as a refrigerant as it doesn't screw up the ozone layer and isn't exactly flammable. So the market would be there, as it looks like the use of and demand for the stuff will only likely grow.
Yes, there is a market for CO2, but in economic terms it has a high place value. It has to be produced local to the demand to make it economic.
 
#12
As noted the process doesn't burn fossil fuels without carbon dioxide generation, that's impossible. The gas just pops up somewhere else. There are a few potentials for disaster.

1. Liquid oxygen isn't cheap compared to fresh air and you'd need to feed at least twice as much as methane (natural gas) into the burners to guarantee complete combustion. That's a big ancillary cost.

2. Supercritical carbon dioxide is a pumpable liquid but as per the last post moving it around isn't cheap - and it's bloody dangerous too. It might not burn but any leaks leading to high local concentrations will kill anyone in the area.

3. So the gas is pumped down an oil well. As per fracking, where will it appear again? And as above, at what sort of concentration?

It's a tidy piece of pure engineering but I shall wait and see.....
 
#13
Here's an interesting one: burning oil without CO2 emissions.

Revolutionary Power Plant Captures All Its Carbon Emissions, At No Extra Cost


Oil companies then inject the excess CO2 into the ground to help extract further oil, thus getting rid of it.

It's been built into a decent size prototype.


OK - it's not a substitute for clean, renewable energy, but it could bridge the gap while tidal energy and thorium reactors come on stream.

Wordsmith
It sounds a bit like using an Expander/Compressor unit, the free energy comes from the expansion of the supercool liquid, expanding driving the compressor and the Jules Thomson effect recovers 'coolth' from the liquid before recompressing it. We use it in the Cold Recovery systems on gas cracking plants to reduce the power required to run refrigeration compressors. Quite a novel idea to use hot CO2 though if it can be harnessed to Carbon Capture units it could be a game changer in the power industry
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Far better write up here:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017...artup-invents-zero-emission-fossil-fuel-power

The Forbes article glosses over the need for cryogenic units to produce the pure oxygen needed.for the combustion processes which hikes cost.

Seems to work only off gas, not oil or coal but a step forward
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. I suspect the trial plant has several purposes:
  • To check the economics
  • To identify any design problems
  • To identify any problems in scaling up to industrial scale.
Sounds like the plant is due to start in a month or two's time. In which cases we should have a preliminary idea of the practicality of it within 6 months of start-up.

Wordsmith
 
#15
Yes, there is a market for CO2, but in economic terms it has a high place value. It has to be produced local to the demand to make it economic.
All depends on where things are, doesn't it, as how do you define "local" given how the stuff is transported around nowadays?
 
#16
All depends on where things are, doesn't it, as how do you define "local" given how the stuff is transported around nowadays?
Well, the point is that the cost of transport of liquid CO2 is high relative to the value of the commodity, so yes, distance is the key variable. If the available natural gas and liquid oxygen are in Texas, but the market for liquid CO2 is in the North Sea, then there's a problem.
 
#17
Well, the point is that the cost of transport of liquid CO2 is high relative to the value of the commodity, so yes, distance is the key variable. If the available natural gas and liquid oxygen are in Texas, but the market for liquid CO2 is in the North Sea, then there's a problem.
Could we not say the same for CNG and LPG which I don't remember being carried around by sea as much as nowadays?

If the price is right then that will be a handy offset, and IF, and it may well be a big IF, the concept is as commercially viable as they say then surely that would mean that these plants will pop up in places other than Texas which brings us back to "define local".

So, at this moment, there's no disagreement regarding the transportation, etc, of CO² but, as I say, it looks like demand will increase as one use they are talking regarding refrigerants is in car airco systems so, obviously, if that goes ahead then that's one hell of an increase in demand, and that's before we think of all the other uses as well.

What I'm saying is that if the demand is there then the transportation side of things will be solved, business has a habit of doing things like that. I'm not looking at "now" but the future as demand for both CO² and leccy increase. Now, I'm still sceptical about the "same cost" as a conventional plant but if things go in the right direction then this concept could obviously offset any extra costs with the supply of CO².

All theory, I know, but it is a potential bonus as you wouldn't need to build more CO² production plants to satisfy rising demand.
 

YarS

On ROPS
On ROPs
#18
First, it is a stupid idea by itself.
Main greenhouse gas is H_2O, - water vapour, and it can be much easily regulated by cutting trees and spilling oil on water.
Second, it cost money and CO_2 emission, too.
Third - oil and gas are finishing, and it's not a problem.
Forth - strategy of attempt to control worlds economic by the peaceful "ecologic" way is failed and finished. Now is active strategy of direct military way.
 
#19
God I love this site so much. I may be ex infantry. But the old man, he project managed the Iolair that red bought then pumped water onto the piper alpha when it went pop. So I do understand some of the finer details being spoken of.

Like has been mentioned. Good idea. But still potentially flawed through complexity.

The internal fire system on the iolair.... Ballast tanks had pumps to draw water in while other pumps pushed it to the top of the rig, then rained down stupid amounts of water per second, while sustaining the same level on the plimsoll line..ish.

The monitor (which my father also helped design, although a gas turbine chief engineer on supertankers late 60's early 70's.) was a piece of pye eyed genius.

The spread of water from the monitor wwsnt reaching its proposed distance.
While having a piss. He realised he needed to design the inside of the monitor on the inside of his Jon Thomas. Worked wonders until they had to redesign the seals which were just perishing through the friction caused.

Not that my old man would care I actually listened. He may have been merchant navy, but I am still a pongo. Barsteward. At least he never punched me for joining the army like his Royal naval father in law. Who's lovepat was like catching the hoof of a kicking Donkey........

Anyway sound, but too many variables. Potential white elephant for future generations to see what can be done with intelligence, but really shouldn't be.

Like is being said. Too good to be true? Probably means it is
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#20
Well, the point is that the cost of transport of liquid CO2 is high relative to the value of the commodity, so yes, distance is the key variable. If the available natural gas and liquid oxygen are in Texas, but the market for liquid CO2 is in the North Sea, then there's a problem.
One substantial market is pumping the CO2 down oil wells to force the oil out. I'd imagine you'd build the plants in areas where there's a lot of fracking doing on. Or traditional oil producers like the Saudi's will probably build a plant or two.

If the technology works, I could even see the UK building a plant of two. Might make the North Sea a little more viable and there's the potential for onshore fracking in the UK.

I could also see the major oil companies investing in the technology themselves - it would allow them to stick up two fingers at the greens.

Wordsmith
 

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