In LaPorte, TX, a zero emission natural gas power plant has had its first fire.
NET Power designed a plant the produces low-cost electricity from natural gas that generates a near-zero atmospheric emissions with a full CO2 capture. It is called a supercritical carbon dioxide (sCO2) plant. According to WIRED, turbine generators that utilize supercritical CO2 (extremely hot and compressed CO2) could generate more power with smaller turbines than the steam turbines most plants currently use.
The supercritical CO2 option skips the liquid phase. It stays (mostly) gas throughout the process, making it more efficient. The CO2 gets semi-liquid, allowing it to push through a turbine 10x faster than a standard steam turbine.
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NET Power is using the Allam Cycle, which burns natural gas with oxygen, and uses high-pressure sCO2 as a fluid in a semi-closed loop to run the combustion turbine. The byproducts are liquid water, CO2, argon, and nitrogen, which can all be sold as commodities.
Is the supercritical CO2 molecule the future of power?