Carbon Capture and Storage

'In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.'

(Galileo Galilei)

Why coal and power companies are the wrong agents for introducing Carbon Capture and Storage technology:

If you consider building and operating a plant to convert coal into hydrogen and CO2, it is not difficult to imagine four fairly predictable outcomes:

  1. It will be profitable to sell the CO2 to large-scale algae farming ventures that produce a range of food and oil substitutes. It would be a waste of money to bury it.
  2. It will be most profitable to sell the hydrogen for use in fuel cells - that will be used in cars, offices, apartment blocks, etc. These will be more efficient and justify paying a higher price for hydrogen than could a power station operator.
  3. The entire economy will only need about half the coal that is currently used very inefficiently in coal power stations.
  4. Existing coal power stations will be uneconomic. They will be dismantled and sold as scrap for melting down in foundries.

It does not seem wise to expect the coal industry and the owners of power stations to make such innovations – under any circumstances. They would have little interest in halving demand for their coal, and making their power stations obsolete.

For questions or comments about this site, contact:

Page Modified May 27, 2011