Air-to-Fuel CO₂ Capture for Re-Use

CO₂ capture is often praised as a charter for not having to change existing Eco-Systems’ practices by just adding a CO₂ re-Use addition to existing combustion plants. Undoubtedly such configurations also represent a multiple Carbon-Use increasing Carbon Efficiency. Also Carbotopia™ ’s waste decomposition into highly pure molecular nano-Carbon and clean water uses some aspects of CO₂ capture for increasing the Carbon Recovery ratio to about 75%. Namely by designing in Temperature Swing Adsorption [TSA] developed by our partners at Vienna University of Technology and University of Natural Resources academia. Applying a solid Amin Dual Fluidized Bed counter flow adsorption-/desorption- chemical looping reactor can be seen as a kind of break-through Technology in cost-, energy- and up to 90% CO₂ capture – efficiency. Currently the solution is scaled up for “Vienna Green CO₂” Smart City project using CO₂ from one of its main power plants to propel vegetable growth in a nearby greenhouse fresh market gardening farm. By the way, also this demonstration project is a perfect example of a Helix Innovation Concept, where the Government of the City of Vienna as power-plant operator and academia of the two cited local Universities team up with local Businesses of the city’s association of vegetable farming.
Capturing CO₂ from air (Lackner, Grimes, Ziock, 2010) was assessed based on 365ppm concentration or 0.015 molecules per cubic meter of air. To capture 1 tonne CO₂ therefore requires to process 1.6mln cubic meter air. At 60% of natural convection airspeed limit a 10 meter intake diameter per hourly tonne would be required. As feasible as this may deem, each tonne CO₂ from combustion represents 2.5 barrel crude oil equivalent recoverable Carbon yielding 75kg Water Gas Shift [WGS] Hydrogen for Fuel Cell electricity generation of two times the electricity from Carbon combustion. CO₂ from the Water Gas Shift reaction could be easily collected prior to post treating WGS gas by Carbotopia™ Dry Thermo- Catalytic Chemical Vapor Deposition [DT-CCVD] of Carbon. such #RecoveredCarbon can either go back to WGS input or be used in virgin polymers or matrix composite material products. There it stays stored in matter over long periods. But in addition such materials would safe fossil resource input either at 2 liters per kilogram Carbon or proportionally to weight reduction & energy intensity difference between the matrix materials’ and potentially substituted matter’s production processes.

If however the intention was to use Captured CO₂ for making synthetic fuels, Hydrogen is needed to crack all Oxygen bonds transforming half the Hydrogen (= 50% deployed energy input) to water. Carbon recovered by DT-CCVD can be used with Captured CO₂ to convert to 2 Carbon monoxide [CO] molecules each requiring 25% less Hydrogen than CO₂. Producing Hydrogen in contemporary time spirit by electrolysis this would mean additional 50 liters of synthetic fuel (450kWh chem. Energy) for just additional 0.7MW electrolysis electricity (plus 0.65MW heat for transforming 275kg recycled Carbon from e.g. 1 tonne of household waste not incinerated: – 3.5MW therm.). At U$ 10 per tonne CO₂ capture by TSA and U$200 per MWh electrolysis 50 liter synthetic fuel per tonne CO₂ would cost U$11 per liter. With recycled Carbon achievable 100 liter per tonne CO₂ would still cost only 20% less.
However the same tonne of waste using Carbotopia™’s chemical Carbon Recycling into synthetic fuel could deliver with just 9kg Hydrogen from 0.5MW Electrolysis 220 liters synthetic fuel at U$1.- per liter re-using 100% of the Carbon contained in the waste. We just don’t promote this usage path because Ethylene at cost of U$1.25 e.g. for renewable plastics deems more economic and can keep Carbon stored in matter over longer time than carbonaceous fuels do. Irrespective of Hydrogen Fuel Cell cars ability to substitute 660 liters of liquid fuels with on demand distributed WGS-Hydrogen from logistically mobile and storable recycled Carbon recovered from the same tonne of waste.

So today’s practice to incinerate said presumed tonne of waste squanders 1.3 tonnes CO₂ at uncovered cost overruns of U$80.- per tonne household waste expensed to citizens and lets capture of such mitigatable CO₂ at additional cost look quite awkward.

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