MIT Redesigns Natural Gas Power Plant For Near-Zero Carbon Emissions

New technology produces energy from fuel without burning it

With the conference in Copenhagen swiftly approaching, and the Senate analog to the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security Act" struggling towards the floor, little doubt remains that fossil fuel-burning power plants will soon face either fines for, or mandatory reduction of, carbon emissions. Luckily, a team at MIT has devised a power plant set up that generates power from fossil fuels, but does so with almost none of the carbon emissions.

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From Algae to Ethanol to Plastics

Scientists have repeatedly touted the possibility of turning algae into biofuels. Now a Florida-based company called Algenol is working with Dow Labs in Texas to convert carbon dioxide produced by algae farms into ethanol, which will then be used to make plastics. Even better, the oxygen byproduct left over from the conversion can be used to produce cleaner, more efficient coal power.

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Carbon Capture Cost Reduced

New research from CO2CRC suggests that the cost of capturing carbon dioxide from Australian power stations could be reduced by 25 percent

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the potential to make deep cuts in global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, a major contributor to climate change, by capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions from major sources such as power stations. One of the barriers to commercial uptake of the technology is the current high cost, partly due to the amount of extra energy needed, known as the energy penalty, when adding carbon capture to existing power stations.

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City Dwellers Are Greener

A study shows urban life produces less carbon per capita, but some cities are greener than others

New York Skyline:  William Warby (CC Licensed)

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Ocean pH and the Fate of the Food Chain

An excess of CO2 is having an unforeseen effect on shelled undersea creatures

Global warming is far and away the symptom at the top of the list of indicators that our planet is overloaded with carbon dioxide. Another important, but less considered consequence of the excess CO2 is the effect it has on the world's oceans. The oceans are a natural carbon dioxide sponge, responsible for maintaining the balance of CO2 in the atmosphere by absorbing a measure of the gas in its water. Currently, it is estimated that the ocean is uptaking nearly one-third of all human-produced CO2, which is slowly lowering its overall pH. Put simply: the oceans are becoming acidic.

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Animated Map Visualizes Greenhouse Gas Sources

Where U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from...and where they go.

Vulcan CO2 Map: Color-coded for output density  Purdue University
A new system for mapping carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. will help regulators figure out exactly where these emissions are coming from and how best to reduce them. Among human-produced gases that contribute to climate change, carbon dioxide is public enemy number one.

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Dry Ice Cream

Skip the fancy ice-cream maker-all you need is a pillowcase and a fire extinguisher

Make CO2 Ice Cream

Cost: $150
Time: 15 Minutes

Safe | | | | |

For an illustrated photo how-to, launch the gallery.

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