103 Dr

Wednesday, November 4, 2009: 10:10 AM
Charolais (Camino Real Hotel)
Paul A. Comet, BS., MS., PhD. , Consultant, Houston, TX
To use of char either as a carbon neutral fuel or carbon negative soil additive poses a challenging problem when fossil fuels are no longer used. A stepwise solution might be as follows:-

(1)   Moles of fossil fuel CO2 emitted are offset by moles of carbon fixed from the current carbon cycle. Municipal industrial and agricultural waste is used as sources of liquid fuels and electricity. The system remains carbon positive and fossil derived CO2 is taxed  or offset

(2)   Waste, solar and wind derived energy become dominant. Carbon neutrality is established.

(3)   Disassociation or electrolysis of water to H2 and O2, better storage batteries and related technologies that could be used to store energy from wind or solar (or perform an industrial function on an itinerant basis). Thus isolated wind turbines that run intermittently to make use of all the electricity generated) could store that energy by electrolyzing water to make hydrogen. The stored hydrogen can be used as fuel or a valuable chemical feedstock. The whole of Iceland uses a related geyser - based approach. Many other uses could be suggested for excess energy production from technology that is too isolated for power line extensions to the main grid. By collecting the products of electrolysis such as hydrogen or metals, the energy could be stored. Alternatively, useful manufactured materials such as unfired ceramics (which could wait until sufficient energy has being stored, then automatically fired). Alternatively, the batteries from electric cars could be charged where sporadic solar/wind energy is available.

(4)    When enough energy is available from solar or wind resources for general consumptions, then CO2 could be removed and stored as char and charcoal as soil additives. Additionally, syngas from waste-based power plants could be converted into plastic contruction materials. A carbon negative environment would become established.