CO2 can help spread geothermal in new areas?

Geothermal energy has several setbacks that prevent this clean source of energy to fulfill its full potential. This does not only refer to high costs connected with exploration and drilling but also to the fact that with the current technologies geothermal energy can be harnessed cost-effectively only in some locations (mostly high-temperature sites). This has somewhat hindered rapid geothermal energy development, and geothermal energy industry is in the dire need of new technology that would enable harnessing of geothermal energy on much wider scale (in more locations).

The recent study done by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University offers one interesting solution for this issue. What these scientists say is that carbon dioxide could be used to boost both output and efficiency compared to conventional geothermal plants, and that this would also expand the reach of new geothermal power plants in much wider area of the country, namely it could enable geothermal power generation in most U.S. states west of the Mississippi River and even on the East Coast.

The conventional harnessing of geothermal energy includes tapping hot water underground. This novel approach proposes the addition of carbon dioxide (CO2) as it is able to extract heat more efficiently than water, thus leading to better power generation.

The downside of this system is that it would require new geothermal power plant design, and quite possibly new geothermal plants would need to be co-located with a large source of carbon dioxide, such as coal power plants.

CO2 capturing techniques are still extremely expensive so scientists propose injecting the horizontal wells with nitrogen to make this process more cost-effective.

If you're interested in learning more about this promising geothermal technology here is much more info in this video.
CO2 can help spread geothermal in new areas? CO2 can help spread geothermal in new areas? Reviewed by Lorine Wyman on December 22, 2013 Rating: 5

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