The Liberal Patriot Blog
 The Liberal Patriot Blog is dedicated to collecting and sharing information about National and State [New Hampshire] Political Action, News, and Events.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Interesting alternatives from conventional energy

I recently came across a very intriguing artice discussing a process that allows for CO2, a byproduct of coal power plants, to be injected into existing oil wells to allow for a 20%-40% increase in oil gleaned from supposed dead, depleted wells. Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) is currently in use is specific trial wells to see the benefits and economics surrounding this interesting process. The CO2 is captured from scrubbers in coal plants and injected into wells then producing byproduct hydrogen which, from this same process, is captured for use in fuel cell autos and power plants. GM and DOW are experimenting with this science and now has a hydrogen cell power plant in operation producing, ultimately, 35 megawatts of electricity or the equivialnt to power 25,000 homes. One question I do have is what happens to the injected CO2?

Another factoid that is not nearly as cozy and comforting as the aforementioned, is the mining plans of helium-3 from the moon. Apollo astronauts discovered huge caches of helium-3 and with this element, nuclear fusion is possible. I'm thinking, for me, I'd like to see more IGCC research and keep the moon where it is. I have grown accustomed to it's presence up there.

Things are impossible until someone figures out how to do it.

Comments:
I believe that the CO2 is in the oil wells. They pump it in to force the oil out. When oil is first tapped it "gushes" out. From that point on it becomes more and more intensive [and expensive] to force the oil out.

As for mining the moon. My concern is, is helium-3 dangerous. If there was a problem with the shuttle returning to earth would this material raining down on our heads be dangerous? I have been very concerned about nasa sending radio active materials into space in the past.

If the challenger had not blown up NASA was going to send a payload of plutonium into space on the next shuttle. I have also heard that some satellites have been sent up with radioactive material. What happens when these things blow up and this stuff rains down on us?
 
Good legitimate concerns. I too worry about the dumping of nuclear waste and related materials in space. I have no doubt it is being done on a regular. My wife does pro-bono work on childrens teeth from Chernobyl. All of the children suffer from thyroid and other forms of cancer. Keep in mind these are progeny born in the next generation after Chernobyl blew up. My wife conveys that when those children spend one month in this Country, it adds one year to their sad short lives. She has been working with this project from around five years ago and is not aware of any of the children that is still alive. Radio active waste rain sounds pretty permanent and devastating to me. Thank you for your thoughts and I'll try to track more on this post.
 
This brings to mind the depleted uranium bullets that they are using in iraq. If only 1 in 50 of the stories I have heard about them is true... i shudder to think.
 
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