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Zero Emissions Natural Gas

The fossil fuel industry - and some politicians and environmentalists - have touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel." It's abundant and reliable, cleaner than coal, and an essential stop-gap while the world transitions to renewable power. Now a company is suggesting that gas can be a zero emissions power source all by itself.

New type of low carbon natural gas text facility in Texas
NET Power demonstration facility | Wikipedia

Start-up NET Power has developed technology that differs from traditional power stations. It burns natural gas with oxygen instead of air and drives a turbine with high pressure carbon dioxide instead of water. The additional CO2 is captured for storage.

NET Power recently connected a 50MW demonstration plant to the Texas electricity grid. If its emissions were to be permanently sequestered, the plant might have a carbon footprint no bigger than a solar farm.

The company CEO called it “a Wright-brothers-first-flight kind of breakthrough for energy.” That raises an ironic possibility: could a fossil fuel technology help launch the power sector to a low-carbon future?

More energy in the US and EU is sourced from the natural gas grid than from the electricity grid - and around a third of all US electricity is generated from gas. A low-carbon technology that uses existing supply chains and can be integrated into today’s infrastructure could be quick to deploy - helping us to actually hit some of our ambitious climate goals.

It's something to keep an eye on and could, perhaps, become demonstrably good news.



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