Navigation Links
University of Minnesota startup offers game-changing energy solutions that reduce CO2 emissions
Date:4/19/2012

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (04/19/2012) The University of Minnesota has launched a startup that will provide renewable energy more economically than existing alternatives while reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel combustion such as from coal-burning power plants. Heat Mining Company LLC will use sequestered carbon dioxide rather than water to extract heat from deep underground and use this thermal energy to generate electricity. The use of carbon dioxide(CO2), rather than water, allows electricity to be provided from many more sites than would be possible with conventional water-based systems and does it more economically.

"CO2 Plume Geothermal technology makes production of power using geothermal heat financially feasible, where water isn't," says Ken Carpenter, Managing Partner of South Dakota-based Heat Mining Company LLC. "This technology sits at the convergence of two conflicting demands in our society: the need to burn fossil fuels for the foreseeable future and the desire to reduce carbon emissions."

CO2 Plume GeothermalTM (CPGTM) technology is an attractive solution for conventional fossil-fueled power plants, as it prevents emitted CO2, an environmental liability in the atmosphere, from being released to the air and uses it instead as the underground working fluid to extract geothermal heat for additional electricity production and/or district heating. In the process, the CO2 is permanently stored underground, resulting in a geothermal power plant with not only a neutral, but even a negative carbon footprint. The geothermal power facility can produce baseload power or provide peak-load power and thus also serve as a type of high-efficiency back-up "battery" for only intermittently available wind or solar power.

"This technology has the potential to introduce a new era of electrical power production from renewable wind, solar, and geothermal energy as well as from traditional fossil fuels, while significantly reducing emissions of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere," says Martin Saar, co-inventor and earth sciences professor in the university's College of Science and Engineering. The University of Minnesota submitted the technology for patents in March 2009 and licensed it exclusively, worldwide to Heat Mining Company LLC through the Office for Technology Commercialization. The approach was invented by Saar, Postdoctoral Fellow Jimmy Randolph, and Mechanical Engineering Professor Thomas Kuehn.

Carbon capture and geologic CO2 sequestration is a fairly new solution for preventing CO2 emissions at fossil-fueled power plants. A typical coal-burning power plant produces between 3.5 and 5 million tons of CO2 per year, and it's possible to retrofit existing plants, and design new plants, that capture the CO2 and sequester it underground. With a CPGTM system tapping into the underground CO2 and using it as a heat extraction fluid, power produced from earth's underground heat can be used for CO2 injection pumps while revenue from additional geothermal electricity sales can offset the very high costs of capturing the CO2 in the fossil-fueled power plant. Until now, the latter costs have been a significant hurdle, making so-called carbon capture and storage economically non-feasible for energy providers.

"We have enough storage potential in the United States alone to store 100 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by fossil-fueled power plants for about a thousand years," says Stephen O'Rourke, President of Heat Mining Company

In addition to producing renewable energy and preventing emissions, CPG could someday provide large scale storage of solar and wind energy. The technology could also supply power for enhanced oil recovery projects that produce oil from fields that have nearly reached the end of their productive lives.

The CPG method has been demonstrated in computer simulations and details have been investigated in laboratory experiments. The next step is to build a pilot plant to test it in the field.

Saar's research leading to the new technology was originally funded by the Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment (IREE), a signature program of the University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment (IonE). The initial research resulted in a major federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


'/>"/>

Contact: John Merritt
jmerritt@umn.edu
612-624-2609
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Israel names Tel Aviv Universitys Renewable Energy Center a Center of Research Excellence
2. University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
3. University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
4. Life expectancy may affect when you get married, divorced, have kids: Queens University study
5. A University of Tennessee professors hypothesis may be game changer for evolutionary theory
6. University leads £6 million EU project to tackle obesity
7. Marshall University study may lead to new treatments for prostate cancer
8. BGI, University of Helsinki and Wuhan University sign a MOU concerning cooperation on genomics
9. University of Alberta led research may have discovered how memories are encoded in our brains
10. University of Houston study shows BP oil spill hurt marshes, but recovery possible
11. University of Tennessee researchers invent device to rapidly detect infectious disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/3/2016)... PUNE, India , February 3, 2016 ... to the new market research report "Automated Fingerprint Identification ... (Tenprint Search, Latent Search), Application (Banking & Finance, Government, ... 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected to ... estimated CAGR of 21.0% between 2015 and 2020. The ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... , Feb. 2, 2016  BioMEMS ... are primarily focused on medical screening and ... point-of-care parameters. Wearable devices that facilitate and ... freedom of movement are being bolstered through ... human biomedical signal acquisition coupled with wireless ...
(Date:2/2/2016)... NEW YORK , Feb. 2, 2016 Technology ... service presents an analysis of the digital and computed ... Malaysia , and Indonesia ... current trends and market size, as well as regional ... by country and discusses market penetration and market attractiveness, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016 Non-profit Consortium Aims to ... to Support Research and Discovery --> ... an ambitious plan to sequence 100,000 individuals. It is intended ... at least 7 of North and East Asian countries. ... phase, the project will focus on creating phased reference genomes ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... Feb. 11, 2016  Spectra BioPharma Selling Solutions (Spectra) ... provides biopharma companies the experience, expertise, operational delivery ... outsourced sales teams. Created in concert with industry ... the strategic and tactical needs of its clients ... through both personal and non-personal promotion. ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... , Feb. 11, 2016   BioInformant ... report, "Stem Cell Research Products, Opportunities, Tools, and Technologies ... ... in the stem cell industry, BioInformant has more than ... the stem cell market, by stem cell type. This ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... Early-career researchers from ... , Uganda and Yemen ... nutrition   Indonesia , Nepal ... Yemen are being honored for their accomplishments in ... celebrated for mentoring young women scientists who are pursuing careers in agriculture, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: