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Proven one-step process converts CO2 and water directly into liquid hydrocarbon fuel

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posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 10:06 PM

originally posted by: Bedlam

originally posted by: OneGoal
a reply to: Indigent
Pretty damn awesome, and if this thermoelectic device is availble for public purchase, i wonder what other thermoelectric tech exists...?

You can buy all you want of it off the shelf. It's horribly inefficient.

Some may approach 10% efficiency but production materials are more like 5-7%. For applications like spacecraft, it is a generator without moving parts if Pu-238 is available. Out of the plane of the ecliptic, heat is radiated to 3.2 K which helps with the efficiency.

posted on Feb, 23 2016 @ 11:16 PM
Maybe I'm missing something here. But I thought the real benefit of this single stage reactor is the fact that it converts excess CO2 into something that is useful.

So, while it may be horribly inefficient, it looks to me like it would be an effective Carbon sequestration system. Given that usage as the primary purpose of this technology, and renewable energy resources being used, then the lack of efficiency is not particularly relevant.

Many electric power plants are now practicing Carbon sequestration. However the Carbon storage sites are often quite far from the power generation locations. And transporting the CO2 is both expensive and difficult.

A technology like this could be installed at the site of the power plant and process the excess CO2 into a hydrocarbon fuel that can be used for a variety of other purposes. This limits the costs and risks of remote Carbon sequestration.

Even in those cases where renewable energy is not readily available, the power plant itself could provide enough energy to power the process. These facilities are already using a substantial amount of power for current Carbon capture and storage processes. According to Wikipedia:

The energy requirements of sequestration processes may be significant. In one paper, sequestration consumed 25 percent of the plant's rated 600 megawatt output capacity.[75]

After adding CO2 capture and compression, the capacity of the coal-fired power plant is reduced to 457 MW.

By converting this CO2 into something useful, rather than just storing it underground, there is at least a return on the investment.

Ironically, in most cases where hydrocarbon fuels are used today, the fuel combustion process would ultimately liberate that Carbon and add it to the atmosphere anyway.


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