Danger Gas Breakthrough; Scientists'
Special Tubes Could Cut Power Station Emissions
Aug 3, 2007 - Nicola Juncar - Evening
Chronicle - Newcastle-upon-Tyne
ENGINEERS in the North East may have
developed a way to cut greenhouse gas emissions from
power stations to almost nothing.
The team of experts
from Newcastle University has been researching the
effects of ceramic tubes to develop a new combustion
The tubes are made from an advanced material
known as LSCF, which is able to filter oxygen.
the engineers believe it has the potential to reduce
emissions from gas-fired power stations and possibly
coal and oil- fired electricity generation systems
The new combustion process has been developed
and tested in labs by Prof Ian Metcalfe, Dr Alan Thursfield
and colleagues in Newcastle University's school of
chemical engineering and advanced materials.
Metcalfe said: "The cheapest way to dispose of waste
carbon dioxide from combustion is to release it into
the atmosphere. We have been doing this since humans
first discovered how to make fire. The technology
we have developed may provide a viable alternative."
Conventional gas-fired power stations burn methane,
producing a mixture of nitrogen and greenhouse gases,
including carbon dioxide, which are emitted into the
Separating the gases would cost too much.
However, tubes made of LSCF (Lanthanum-Strontium-Cobalt-Ferric
Oxide) act as a filter so only oxygen reaches the
methane gas. This results in a mixture of almost pure
carbon dioxide and steam and these can easily be separated
by condensing out the steam as water.
At the end of
the process the oxygen-depleted air, which consists
mainly of nitrogen, can be returned to the atmosphere
with no harmful effects.
LSCF is resistant to corrosion,
however, the Newcastle team is now carrying out further
tests on the durability of the tubes to confirm they
could withstand the conditions inside a power station
(c) 2007 Evening Chronicle - Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
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