posted on Aug, 4 2007 @ 03:34 AM
Greenhouse gas emissions from power stations could be cut to almost zero by controlling the combustion process with tiny tubes made from an advanced
ceramic material, claimed engineers today.
Conventional gas-fired power stations burn methane in a stream of air, producing a mixture of nitrogen and greenhouse gases which include carbon
dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which of course as we all know are emitted into the atmosphere causing the ozone layer to gradually be depleted. The
separation of these gases is not practical because of the large cost and high amount of energy required.
However, the LSCF tubes would allow only the oxygen component of air to reach the CH4 gas resulting in the production of almost pure CO2 and steam,
which can effortlessly be separated by condensing out the steam as water. The consequential stream of CO2 could be piped to a processing plant for
conversion into chemicals such as methanol-useful in industry.
When air is blown around the outside of the tubes, oxygen is able to pass through the wall of the tube to the inside, where it combusts with CH4 gas
that is being pumped into the tubes.
The oxygen-depleted air, which consists essentially of N, can be returned to the atmosphere with no harmful effects on the environment, while the CO2
can be collected separately from the inside of the tubes after combustion.