22 Mar

Get the energy out of coal without burning… neat trick

Charles Finlay pointed this out to me on twitter:

“Liang-Shih Fan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of Ohio State’s Clean Coal Research Laboratory, pioneered the technology called Coal-Direct Chemical Looping (CDCL), which chemically harnesses coal’s energy and efficiently contains the carbon dioxide produced before it can be released into the atmosphere.

‘In the simplest sense, combustion is a chemical reaction that consumes oxygen and produces heat,’ Fan said. ‘Unfortunately, it also produces carbon dioxide, which is difficult to capture and bad for the environment. So we found a way to release the heat without burning. We carefully control the chemical reaction so that the coal never burns—it is consumed chemically, and the carbon dioxide is entirely contained inside the reactor.’”

(Via New Coal Technology Harnesses Energy Without Burning, Nears Pilot-Scale Development.)

The bigger problem is still what to do with the captured carbon dioxide you are holding onto, though. Where do you put that?