Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Carbon-to-Electricity Breakthrough Creates Renewable Energy While Preserving Environment

Carbon is not only the most common element and the basis for all matter that we know, it’s also the root of harmful pollution and environmental woes.  In the spirit of ‘fighting fire with fire’, an aspiring research team from Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory has mapped out a method by which to turn CO2 from a would-be pollutant into an electricity generating catalyst.

Geothermal electricity production typically uses water as the vehicle, whereby the Earth’s heat converts the water to steam which then spins the turbines to create power. In the case of the Berkley Lab project, carbon dioxide is fed into the ground instead, where the geothermal heat puts it into a super-critical state (it has properties of both liquid and gas). After that, the CO2 is drawn back up to the surface, where turbines convert it to electricity.

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