Zero emission Power means generating electricity by burning fossil fuels without releasing
any carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. One of the reasons that fossil
fuels have been used so freely in the past to generate power is that
the carbon dioxide produced was perceived as safe; the main worries
were sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and acid rain. Certain groups of individuals are now promoting the view
that carbon dioxide may be involved in climate change, a view for which there is no evidence; none, not any of any kind. Nevertheless, let us continue.....
If fossil fuel is burned, carbon dioxide is produced. To prevent
its release into the air, burning has to take place in a closed
system, and any carbon dioxide formed must be liquefied or absorbed and
stored in some way. But how do you store a gas?
It is possible to produce electricity from fossil fuels without
release of carbon dioxide but the technologies are astronomically
expensive. In many parts of the world coal is the main source of energy;
it is cheap and reliable and economies depend on it. No country
is going to negotiate away the profitability of its industry by
taking away coal and replacing it with zero emission power at several
times the price.
Some of the suggestions for preventing carbon dioxide emissions are:
1.Liquefy it and dump it in the deep ocean
2.Liqufy it and inject it into geological formations, unmineable
coal reserves or disused mines.
3.Combine it with minerals to form carbonates.
Research is being done in Australia, Canada, Denmark,
the Netherlands, Norway, the UK and the United States. Government money for
some of these research programmes is
plentiful, but some commentators have been tempted to ask whether the funding is
being used to buy headlines rather than carry out serious
My own view is that dumping carbon dioxide (a biologically
active material) where one cannot recover it
if something goes wrong seems to go against common sense.
suggestion above doesn't seem workable, either - carbon
dioxide typically needs two to three its own mass of absorber to prevent
its release into the atmosphere. This would have to be
quarried, and would probably be based on limestone.
Perhaps one should look a little harder at the evidence for global warming (no increase since 1995) before pursuing such astronomically expensive technologies.
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