About   This website is exploring the technology needed to convert firewood pellets into Synthetic Natural Gas (Methane) to enable removal now of Climate Changing CO2 from the air.   Prolog
Note: Click on tiny images to enlarge them, click on your browser's "Return" arrow to return the image to tiny.   ( Do we need a Fahrenheit 451 edition? )
The 4 ppm Per Year Climate Change Rollback Plan
It's now possible to begin bulk removal of Climate Changing CO2 from the air as we move toward a BECCS electricity powered world.*
(BECCS = BioEnergy Carbon Capture and Storage technology has just taken a leap forward. A newly-patented naturally carbon capturing fossil fuel powered Bioenergy-capable power plant ideal for BECCS electricity is currently being demonstrated running as a 1/10 size 30 megaWatt pilot plant.) 

It's proving to be much more difficult to get the world's populations to decarbonize than was first thought.
This Website is suggesting a way we can take the bull by the horns to begin reversing Climate Change's growth now while waiting for the world's populations to decarbonize. The more we do now, the less we will have to do later.
If we can dream it, we can build it. If we can put a man on the moon, we can end Climate Change. To that end, removing twice the CO2 from the air man adds to the air each year would roll back Climate Change about one year's worth, or, about, 2 ppm (parts per million).
The world's populations of people, trees, certain size coal power plants, and certain chemical technologies make the goal of pushing the carbonization of Planet Earth's atmosphere backwards by about 4 ppm per year until 350 ppm is arrived at is feasible.
(As of this time, the details of the 4 ppm per year Climate Change rollback plan are very rough. Some data will not be final until after the first few Toshiba Allam cycle plants have been run for several years. This might strike you as hokey, but it is a way out of Climate Change. Hope someone else does better.)

INTRODUCTION: We are constantly being told we should plant more trees to pull climate-changing carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the air. Planting a lot of trees is a good idea but is only a half-step forward.

Trees, of course, are carbon—if you burn or decay them, each of the tree's carbons is re-combined with a couple of air's oxygens and voila!, you release carbon dioxide, a gas, back into the atmosphere.
So the downside of trees is that eventually the tree will die, the wood will decay, and the wood's CO2 will rise back into the air from the tree's deadwood grave to make future Climate Change even worse than it would have been otherwise.

better idea: Let's burn those trees in Allam Cycle power plants to make electricity. This will unlock the climate-changing CO2 the trees have previously removed from the air. The Allam Cycle engine's liquefied CO2 emissions pipe can then inject the liquefied CO2 into deep underground porous strata layers where the CO2 would be safely re-locked underground forever as limestone.

Synthetic gas from wood pellets ALLAM CYCLE power plants can be practical facilities for unlocking massive amounts of negative CO2 for subtracting Climate Changing CO2 from the air.
A natural gas Allam Cycle power plant has been running as a 1/10 size, 30 megaWatt carbon capture demonstration plant in La Porte, Texas since October, 2018.    

Are Trees The New Coal? 
By Using Trees To Make Electricity, We Can Also Remove CO2 From The Air.

Rodney Allam remarked in his paper: "NET Power's CO2 cycle: the breakthrough that CCS needs" that a commercial size 250 megaWatt natural gas Allam Cycle power plant system would require about 3,000 tons/day of oxidant mixture to be supplied to the combustor at 99.5% purity. Instead of standard natural gas, this could be methanated syngas plus oxygen made from trees as shown in the "Unlocking Negative CO2" drawing below.

When we consider today's worldwide fleet of about 60,000 existing coal power plant units (often 4 to 6 units per plant), individual units might be in the same 250 megaWatt or larger class. That would make 3,000 tonnes/day of oxidant mixture
(CH4 + O2 [chart below]) times 365 days per year times 60,000 or 65.7 BILLION tonnes per year - over TWICE the Climate Changing CO2 the entire world is going to make this entire year - about a total of 4 ppm. This is big number and would immediately reverse the growth of Climate Change's "Parts-Per-Million" number as the years unfold. This, plus the further global decarbonization is implemented, the faster we will return to really good Climate numbers like 350 ppm.

                    Coal Power Plant Sizes                          Wood has more CO2 per BTU than fossil fuels.                    How a natural gas fire works.             

One little detail:  
BioEnergy Carbon Capture and Sequestration can remove Climate Change in quantities large enough to roll meaningful amounts of Climate Change backwards.  
Coal, Oil, Lignite, Natural gas
, Hydro, Windmills, Solar Cells, Fission, Fusion, etc., cannot. So we would need to stop using them if we wanted to get rid of Climate Change.
We can make liquid and synthetic natural gas carbon-neutral fuels out of waste-to-energy biomass using BECCS electricity for conversion energy.

The CO2 captured by trees as they grow can be temporarily unlocked above ground, and then permanently re-locked underground by an Allam Cycle power plant.


Soon, new technology will be available to begin massive NEGATIVE CO2 unlocking from trees to SUBTRACT Climate Change from the AIR

This new type of power plant, located over a CO2 disposal region, would burn local trees originally planted to remove Climate Change CO2 from the air, store their CO2 underground, sell the electricity.

Equipment PagesWhat the Equipment Does:
BECCS Wood Pellet Handling and Preparation
-  It begins by making carbon monoxide (CO) out of wood pellets (4)
Plasma Torch Wood Pellet Gasifier For Wood-to-Syngas -
by heating wood pellets to several thousand degrees in a electric plasma torch heated gasifier (5),
Wood Pellet Syngas Cleanup
- after which non-gas solids such as plant nutrients and plant minerals for plant fertilizer feedstock along with other impurities are removed (6).
7 Wood Syngas to Methane Upgrade       - The CO is then catalytically upgraded to methane, or "Synthetic Natural Gas" (CH4) (7).
Allam BECCS Power Plant  - Chemical Input: The synthetic methane is then used to power an Allam cycle engine (8) to make electricity. (Pipeline fossil natural gas is used as a standby.) A commercial size 250 megaWatt(e) natural gas system would require about 3,000 ton/day of oxidant mixture to the combustor at 99.5% purity. Chemical Output: The Allam Cycle engine captures the combustion of methane's CO2 exhaust as liquid CO2, which then comes out of the engine as a high pressure liquid in its own pipe rather than going up a smokestack. Other exhaust stream pipes are nitrogen, argon, and water.
Class VI CO2 Disposal Well  - The liquid CO2 is then pumped thousands of feet underground into a suitable porous strata by injecting it into a nearby carbon capture and sequestration (storage) well (9).
The 300 megaWatt Toshiba-built Allam Cycle power plant cannot burn Plasma Torch Gasified Wood Syngas (which is carbon monoxide - CO). It is designed to burn pipeline-grade fossil natural gas (Methane - CH4) or pipeline-grade synthetic fossil natural gas manufactured from coal or lignite (the so-called "clean coal" technologies). The wood-to-methane adaptor facility shown above is intended to use densified biomass pellet feedstock and convert it to pipeline-grade synthetic natural gas suitable for burning in a Allam Cycle electricity power plant. Real fossil natural gas is methane, not gasified wood. To upgrade gasified wood to synthetic methane, additional hydrogen needs to be added and the resulting gas subjected to a catalytic methanation reaction. The Allam Cycle engine is an OxyFuel engine that needs large amounts of oxygen that it happens to be able to produce cheaply. Anytime you produce large amounts of oxygen from either air or water, you also produce large amounts of hydrogen. Once the wood syngas is hydrogenated, the methanation catalytic reaction is inexpensive.
The Germans ( ) have already built a wood syngas pilot plant for duplicating fossil methane natural gas for both automobile fuel and their massive natural gas heating pipeline network.

         Visualization of
a catalytic methanisation reaction over metal:     This reaction could be used to produce carbon-neutral methanol liquid from tree CO (carbon monoxide syngas) for direct combustion in today's existing automobiles.

U.S. and Global CO2 Sequestration Issues

See CarbFix: CO2 Locked in the ground forever. Watch:   If water is added to the liquid CO2 as it is pumped into the ground, the CO2 will turn into limestone after a few years. This locks the CO2 underground forever.

See:  "Geospatial analysis of near-term potential for carbon-negative bioenergy in the United States" by Ejeong Baik, et al.  (pdf)
Locations without carbon disposal will have to rely on renewables for their electricity.

 "The United States has the technological potential to offset roughly only a decade’s worth of its current CO2 emissions through biological sequestration (i.e., planting trees, etc.,) but a few hundred years’ worth of emissions through carbon dioxide capture and sequestration." - from Congressional Budget Office "The Potential for Carbon Sequestration in the United States, 2007" - Summary, page 2.

Storing CO2 underground can have geological consequences and is only done legally under the supervision of government geological permitting agencies. 
Example:  Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership: 

(One of dozens of Global CCS Institute reports.) Lessons and Perceptions: Adopting a Commercial Approach to CCS Liability: 14th August 2019, Organization: Global CCS Institute, CCS Liability, CCS Projects, Liability.

The world may need more than 5,000 Allam clean energy electricity plants to head off the worst of Climate Change.  Like cars, airplanes, and ships, clean energy electricity plants would be modular in design similar to today's electricity power plants. Multiple electricity plants could be located at a single site. Such modularity is an economic advantage in several ways. The cost, quality, and reliability of mass-produced machines is hard to beat. 

There are almost unlimited opportunities for completely new greenfield electricity power plants now that prime underground strata for CCS CO2 sequestration locations have been identified enabling cheap straight-down CO2 disposal via disposal wells located on site property. Since potable water is one of the Allam Cycle's exhaust products, Allam power plants could be located virtually anywhere there is a CO2 disposal strata and sufficient biomass. The national electricity grid is accessible nearly everywhere. This means there is no need for a costly national high pressure CO2 disposal pipeline grid that may take 20 years and billions of dollars to complete due to opposition by environmentalists.
Storing CO2 underground improperly could create an unsafe site and is only to be done under the supervision of government geological permitting agencies.

Many countries don't have abundant natural gas, there are a few countries that don't have either coal or lignite, but very few that don't have trees.


How Soon?

Technology Readiness Levels for new thermal technologies.
The non-nuclear Allam Cycle engine looks to be at about 4.5 now.
(How long before the Allam Engine has mass market availability to begin significant BECCS Climate Change stopping?)

                    A firewood-to-methane adaptor has to be engineered and perfected.
                    Wood sources and densified wood pellet factories need to be established.
                    A global implementation and support program needs to be in place.
                    Establishing a subsystem module supply chain.
                    Establishing a mass production wood-burning Allam BECCS power plant assembly factory.


Information about the government's different Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Acts
(Courtesy of Climate Change Working Group):

First, here's a link to the bill itself: 
Second, for anyone without the time or interest to read the entire bill, a link to a "road map" of the bill's contents, so the most relevant sections can be found with some ease: 
Third, here's a link to Citizen's Climate Lobby's website about the bill, which also allows a reader to see who has already endorsed the bill and what the press is saying about it. It includes an endorsement tool: 
Finally, for anyone wanting to compare this bill to other carbon pricing bills, an assessment that compares this bill (sponsored by Rep. Ted Deutch of Florida and therefore called the Deutch bill in the analysis) to others:

All these carbon tax fees raise a very serious question:
Q. How much per ton of CO2 is going to be refunded by the government to the operators of the above clean energy power plants to establish and operate a carbon dioxide disposal well on their own property?

A. Deutch bill: This section amends the Tax Code (Title 26) by adding the following subsections: Subtitle L - "Carbon Dividends and Carbon Fee", Sec. 9906 - Carbon Capture and Sequestration:

"Provides a refund of Carbon Fee paid when qualified carbon dioxide is captured and sequestered in a safe and permanent manner. Requires establishment of sound criteria for safe and permanent sequestration. Only CO2 from covered fuels, and only rebate for amount likely to remain sequestered."

- - - In the United States there are now 2 big carbon capture incentives: A recently expanded federal tax credit for captured CO2 and California’s new law requiring 100% of its electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2045.

In the U.S., carbon capture has led to the formation of extraordinary alliances. In 2018, a tax credit known as 45Q—so named for the relevant provision in the law—was revised to provide higher incentives for CCS with support from congressional lawmakers of both parties, big oil and gas, industry, and environmentalists. Over time, it will ramp up to $50 per metric ton of carbon stored geologically and $35 per metric ton of carbon stored through enhanced oil recovery, provided projects commence construction by the end of 2023. - Brad Page, Bloomberg Environment, Posted May 13, 2019, 6:00 AM

The LCFS and CCS Protocol: An Overview for Policymakers and Project Developers - California - pdf.  If building the above Clean Energy Power Plant interests you, you need this document.


Our Climate Change Outlook

CO2 accounts for 77% of the greenhouse gases. Methane 14% (mostly natural gas), Nitrous Oxide 8% (mostly cars and trucks), and Freons 1%.


"Technological fixes are often far simpler, and therefore cheaper, than the doomsayers could have imagined." -  ( From Prologue )

One objective of this website is to communicate that the current Climate Change crisis resembles the world's early 1900s horseshit crisis described in the Prologue's story. 

Here’s an analogy that Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who helped compile some of the climate research data for the World Bank, likes to use.
"Take the human body. If your temperature rises 2°C, you have a significant fever. If it rises 4°C or 6°C you can die. It’s not a linear change."


Comment: This web site content was initially inspired by the PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) paper: "Geospatial analysis of near-term potential for carbon-negative bioenergy in the United States" by Ejeong Baik, et al, 2/12/2018. Written largely by people from the Department of Energy Resources Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305. It's an open access document containing 44 BECCS and negative emissions technical references, you can Google it and download it as a pdf. They identified 1,000 U.S. counties where power plant, fuel, and CO2 storage could be collocated. Written before the advent of Toshiba's commercial size Allam Thermodynamic Cycle plant, they talked about relatively tiny biofuel powered power plants about the size of the Allam Pilot plant.   pdf: 

Your website author is an electrical/electronic control systems engineer who worked a few years on several power plant designs and a lot of years in heavy industrial energy and control systems. Thermodynamic advances such as the Allam Cycle typically come to the world once a century and typically offer breakthrough opportunities in what they enable mankind to do. In the Allam Cycle's case, it delivers its carbon dioxide emissions in a pure form ready for underground storage forever (sequestration).  The fossil fuel industry has already engineered coal and lignite fuel natural gas methanisation adaptor modules to this natural-gas-only Allam cycle as a way to address the damage their fuels inflict on the environment today in hopes of retaining their future markets rather than see their fuels outlawed.

There is wood-to-natural gas pipeline technology being developed both in the U.S. and Europe as way to replace fossil natural combustion gas [methane] with carbon neutral combustion gas [green methane]. The green gas volumes to be produced by commercial gas main technology suggest the volumes of carbon dioxide gas that must be removed from the air to restore Planet Earth's environment to it's former self. Green gas burned in the air is only carbon-neutral. Green Gas burned in an Allam Cycle power plant and sequestered forever in the ground is the removal of carbon from the air forever or carbon negative.

It is many times wiser to use Green Gas to power sequestered Allam Cycle electricity power plants than it is to merely use it to heat houses as a pipeline carbon-neutral heating gas with the CO2 emissions then returning to the air.

So, a firewood-to-methane adaptor module consisting of commercial green gas main pipeline size equipment combined with a Toshiba power plant size Allam Cycle engine, ought to make a serious dent in the amount of Global Warming, Climate Changing, CO2 in the air when multiplied by the number of coal and gas power plants already covering the world.


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  Disclaimer: This website is energy talk by an engineer exploring opportunities for creating a Climate Change-free future - not professional engineering advice.