Two third of today’s world electricity is fueled by 40% of fossil fuels. 60% thereof being coal and 7% oil in other words from solid and heavy fuels lacking adaptability to intermitting demand in contrary to the 1/3 by Natural Gas. In times of serious efforts to reduce CO2 emissions across the globe Carbon Efficiency of each fuel option judged by its Hydrogen to Carbon ratio should count. In this case Natural Gas having a Hydrogen to Carbon molar ratio of 2:1 burns 2 times “cleaner” than coal at 0.001:1 or 1.78 times cleaner than oil at 0.8:1. Basically all this means at an optimistically assumed 40% idling rate of heavy and solid fuel power plants that a shift to Natural Gas power generation on demand could save 47% of current power generation related emissions – provided 230% of Natural Gas used for power generation today was available.
However in case of steam reforming Natural Gas into Hydrogen a shift to Hydrogen Utility Fuel Cell Power generation could further more than 2-fold Carbon Efficiency of “fossil-derived” electricity from Natural Gas. Adding both measures up, we are talking about more than a 63% CO2 emission reduction potential from today – requiring only 155% of today’s Natural Gas used for power! Incredible in way, isn’t it? How can anyone seriously discuss add-on CCS measures to coal power plants under these aspects? But this is not yet the bottom of sobering!
Recycling Carbon from organic residues runs at 75% recovery rate of its Carbon content. Recovery rates may be leveraged though up to 100% at sufficient negative electricity regime electrolysis of Hydrogen for energy storage. Each kilogram Renewable Carbon can deliver 0.29 kg Hydrogen for Fuel Cell Power on demand generation. In other words, recycling Terrestrial Carbon could make our society independent of fossil power generation and yet it is not done? But in uncertain times of the world not knowing whether to go for oil or gas in terms of primary energy supply it may be the best choice to invest into what could sustain with neither nor.
On the other hand let’s look at what highly developed waste management has to charge to its residents and consumers versus the value Recycling Carbon from waste could contribute. There we are talking about an incredible waste of money burdening consumers’ free available income slowing economies’ growth. 100% of Municipal Waste Management cost could be covered at U$30 per barrel equivalent for Recycling Carbon to replace fossil primary fuel in power generation by re-using such Terrestrial Carbon in a water-gas-shift for Renewable Hydrogen. Since Carbon is also Nature’s most preferred Energy storage, this model allows to fully adapt to intermitting demands.
We could start small: In a dense city traffic constellation and major harbor constellation with lots of ships anchoring in waiting positions around the harbor there is a tremendous potential for clean air measures based on Hydrogen energy concepts in a setting like let’s take for example Singapore, being limited by nature for any substantial new renewable energy enrolment for an example:
The fairly high standard of living 5 million people population generates about 3 million tonnes of municipal solid waste a year. So there is a Terrestrial Carbon Recycling potential from MSW in the order of 700,000 tonnes per year. It could unlock 200,000 tonnes of Renewable Hydrogen good for 4.5 Terawatt hours of Renewable Fuel Cell Electricity on demand. It’s about 5 times Singapore’s current SolarNova target of 350MW peak at fuel cost less than the City Island State today’s waste treatment cost and would enable to uplift its share of Renewable Electricity by 9.5% of today’s consumption.