The Energy Matrix
A Science Ebook e-zine
Spring 200
List of all editions

Carbon Dioxide Storage

The energy matrix examines the full spectrum of future energy sources and associated problems.  It is meant to be a thought provoking publication for students who will be our future technocrats, engineers, and physicists.  We will include concepts such as solar, DG, CHP and concepts that are not practical today such as ice engines.  Send Comments to


Go to Summer 2007 Edition

Green Stimulus Package

President Barack Obama has said that he wants to fund projects that promote green or alternative energy starting day one of his administration. New Green Energy projects like transmission lines for Wind or Solar power will take years to plan and litigate.  No one wants power transmission lines in their back yard even if the back yard is the desert.  

This article is not about the controversies surrounding alternative energy.  However, recognizing that the bickering will continue makes it clear that only old technology that is already in use, can provide employment for those who are out of work.  Yet, I never hear of these projects in the mass media or in political debates. Yet their are many old proven technologies that save energy and can reduce energy consumption or produce more energy. 

The best projects to fund on day one are the ones that were started yesterday.    

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Corn Solar Collectors

The United States is looking at ethanol from corn as a renewable source of energy. The ethanol gets its energy from corn and the corn gets its energy from the sun.
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Ice from Coal ( Alchemy?)

No, this article is about thermodynamics not alchemy.  Most people get their ice cubes from coal and water.  That is they get the electric power that turns water to ice from coal powered electric power plants.

At this point, I hope you anxious to know how many pounds ice can be made from a pound of coal, because I am going to tell you. 
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Storing Carbon Dioxide
Though the effects of green house gases are debatable ( if you disagree you make my point), one effect is certain the cost of generating electricity from fossil fuels is going up. This is not debatable because utilities have already spent money storing fossil gases and continue ...
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There are two "T" in Carnot
Thigh and Tlow
End Joke
Not Funny? Try to forget it.


Heat Storage and Carbon Dioxide.

Though much about carbon dioxide storage has yet to be determined, three things are certain, that is that these stores will be huge, dense, and have temperature. The quantity of carbon dioxide that will be stored will necessitate high compression, huge volumes, and useful temperature.  The reason I say that the temperature will be useful is that there is such a large range of temperature that could be useful. A store of dense gas at twenty degrees Centigrade above room temperature would be used by a CO2/Air radiator for room heating. Stored CO2 at twenty degrees centigrade below room temperature might work well for direct cooling  (blowing air over  tubes with circulating dense cold CO2). Circulation of dense CO2  at or near room temperature would be great source of heat for the evaporator of a heat pump in heating mode.  CO2 at the same temperature would a great source of cooling of a heat pump condenser when the heat pump was operating in cooling mode..

Above ground insulated tanks of CO2 could be used for peak heat of day heat storage for heating, or they could be used to store the cool of the night as a heat sink for cooling systems during the peak usage hours of the day.


Index for all Editions


Combined Heat & Power (CHP) 

DC Power Grid

District Cooling

Ethanol Viability

Hybrid Cars

Ice made with Coal

Ice Energy Density versus Battery

Heat Storage


Nuclear Energy

Solar Heat Storage in CO2

Solar Heat Storage in Water

Storing Carbon Dioxide

Stoves - Corn Burning

Stoves - Wood Pellet Burning

Stoves - Coal Burning

Tar Sand Oil


Yucca Mountain

Substituting Coal for Diesel

Compact Fluorescent Lights








Storing Carbon Dioxide from Coal Burning Power Plants

planning and designing systems to store carbon dioxide. On march 16, of 2006 Denmark opened the world's largest pilot project for the storage of carbon dioxide in underground caverns deep within the earth (Read about it).  Specially the compressed gases will fill the caverns that were once filled with oil or natural gas.

The fact that the majority of scientists believe that global warming is being caused by greenhouse gases does not proof that global warming is occurring.  One or two geniuses will eventually decide the question.  Or will it be a super-computer this time.  

One thing is certain is that the price of electricity from new coal powered utilities is going up.  The cost of the new facilities that bury CO2 will be spread via a system of pollution /carbon credits and penalties.  Therefore, the public won't see its true cost.  New clean alternative energy products need only test there feasibility by comparing their energy production costs with production of new clean coal powered power plants that store their CO2 emissions in ground.  Why invest in storing CO2 if windmills or solar collectors were a cheaper way of producing green energy. 

The cost of storing CO2 in plants operating in Japan is over 50 Euros or about 67 US dollars per to metric ton of carbon dioxide. That breaks down to $ 0.03 or 3 cents per pound of carbon dioxide.   Each pound of Coal ( I am treating coal as pure carbon, its not.) produces 3.7 pounds  of CO2.  That one pound of C (molecular weight 12) produces 3.7 pounds of CO2.  Multiply the 3 cents for storing a pound of CO2 by 3.7 you get about 11 cents per pound of coal.   Presently utilities in the United States pay about 3 cents a pound for coal.  11 cents plus 3 cents = 14 cents per pound of coal.  One pound of coal produces about one kilowatt of electricity.  That is for every kilowatt hour received and paid for by the customer one pound of coal is burned.  The majority of Btu in the coal is exhausted from the condenser of the steam turbine to a river, or ocean or bay.  Thus, the true fuel cost of green electricity from coal is 14 cents per kilowatt hour.

Impact on Coal Ice Ratio

In the preceding article Ice from Coal about "Cold Mining", we determined that it took one pound of coal to produce ten pounds of ice.  

Mass Ice/Mass Coal = 10 pounds ice/1 pound coal =10

For green energy the equation becomes:

Mass Ice/Fuel = 10 pounds ice/1  pound C+ 3.7 pounds CO2 = 2.7

I realize I mixed apples and oranges or at least carbon and carbon dioxide. I am simply stating that in order to produce ten tons green ice from coal you must transport 1 ton of coal from and 3.7 tons of carbon dioxide to their respective burial sites.






CO2 Storage   CO2 Storage  CO2 Storage 

Carbon Dioxide  Price of Coal  








District Cooling in Europe

The city of Amsterdam has an operating district cooling system.  Heat is dumped into a man made lake at depth of 30 meters.  Water is taken into heat exchanger at 6 degrees centigrade and returned...   

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U.S Congress to Investigate High Cost of Gasoline. ( 5-22-07)

They may not have to search very far.  In Brazil the majority of cars run on Flex fuel or pure ethanol.  In the United States less than a thousand gas stations sell flex fuel.  They are mostly in the Midwest where ethanol is produced from corn.  Brazil wants to export ethanol to us by ship.  They could supply ethanol to east coast and Gulf ports.  However, congress has placed a 54 cent per gallon  tariff on ethanol imports.

If populist congressmen really want to lambaste the oil companies, they should lambaste the oil companies for not placing  more flex fuel pumps in east coast gas stations.  Oh, but tariffs are cutting off the supply of ethanol to the east coast, so the pumps would not have much to pump.





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