8. Allam Cycle
Front Page                       Prolog

On The Horizon

The first of the practical CO2 energy machines that open the door to cheap and environmentally safe both FOSSIL fuel AND BioEnergy with Carbon Capture and Sequestration power - at the world's current burn rate for the next 4 centuries.

                                                                                                                                   Just like steam (water vapor, H2O) from water, CO2 gas can be used as a working fluid in power plants. Will CO2 steam become the second age of steam?

You are looking at something very new and very different. Invented and owned by NET Power, and built by Toshiba, it is a pilot version of a natural gas power plant that has no emissions stack. IT NATURALLY CARBON- CAPTURES IT'S OWN FOSSIL FUEL EMISSIONS. It has been feeding test power electricity into Exelon's nearby grid for a couple of years in La Porte, Texas, with a team of Exelon's utility power plant operators who are working up an easy-to-run control room from the same room NET Power's scientists used to get the plant up and running. This new thermodynamic cycle, the Allam-Fetvedt cycle, has never been built and run before and still is running since everyone wants to know if the "natives are really long-term friendly". 

A production 300 megaWatt full city-size version (about the size of a typical large U.S. coal power plant unit) is currently under construction in Japan. The Allam cycle power plant makes NO EMISSIONS that can get loose. Versions that burn coal and lignite have been engineered, patented, and are beginning testing. An oil version should be easy. Both steam and jet engine power plants have been set up worldwide over the years to burn either natural gas or oil.

This small test version strikes your author as being a very good commercial size for powering "Combined Heat and Power" plants such as the one powering the Capitol Building Complex depicted above. It is much more efficient.

There are thousands of building complexes around the world that could make good use of a HVAC power plant that burns fossil fuels. Like everything powered by fossil fuels, the plant does make emissions but they come out as the liquids water, argon, and liquefied CO2, each contained in a separate pipe. The liquefied CO2 that comes out can be mixed with "Carbfix" liquid CO2 solidifying solution and then pumped into deep underground storage vaults, becoming a form of solid limestone forever.

The Carbfix folks claim there are nowhere near enough fossil fuels on earth to fill up the known storage vaults with CO2 so mankind is good to go in that direction. Having said that, I would be remiss if I didn't remind you about coal's and lignite's ashes. But ashes don't easily get loose and float up into the air if you bury them in landfills or use them to make roads. 

This technology could give a real boost to the IPCC's drive to achieve some form of Deep Decarbonization in the world's energy industry by 2050.

Click To Enlarge            For details of natural gas, synthetic natural gas and proposed coal and lignite processing components see pdf 2.306.02


(Above) Think of the combustor discharge as a rocket engine discharge.  That white plume from a rocket engine is combustion water condensing.  That's how far-out-new this thing is.

(Right) I've been looking at power plant steam turbines and their photographs off and on since 1956.  Haven't seen anything quite like this before. 
Someone remarked a power plant steam turbine would have to be about the size of a school bus to make that much electricity but this one is actually about the size of a small SUV.
Look at how thick the shell is and how many massive bolts they are using to hold it together.
Those lugs sticking out it's sides give the impression it could be rather heavy for a 30 megaWatt(e) turbine.  Could be as much running temperature as pressure.

Above images from: "Progress Update on the Allam Cycle Commercialization of NET Power and the Net Power Demonstration Facility", GHGT-14, (2018), Melbourne, Australia.


Our SKYSCRUBBER Power Plant Future.
 Clearing The Air.

This is how the newly developed 'Allam' technology - which was recently patented - could be implemented in a potentially far more efficient and cleaner BECCS facility.
Perhaps as efficient as a standard non-emission-controlled 60% efficient 'CO2 Dirty' combined cycle natural gas plant.



Why Wood?  The CO2 molecule is made of one carbon atom and 2 oxygen atoms. 1 Kg of carbon on complete combustion will produce 3.67 Kg. of CO2. Wood is heterogeneous and the exact amount of carbon in 1 Kg of dry wood will vary depending on the species of wood, age of wood etc.
1. It is reported that 1 Kg of wood contains about 450 to 500 gm of Carbon. This means 1 Kg of wood is holding about 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2. This is how wood or forest act as carbon sink. Similarly, burning of 1 Kg of wood containing 500 gm of carbon will generate 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2 and 17,070 btu of heat.
2. Heat from wood Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) costs more than heat from natural gas but the 60% gas efficiency of the Allam Cycle power plant is almost twice that of a typical 35% efficient fossil natural gas power plant. European coal power plants are burning U.S. wood pellets to keep their CO2 emissions low.
3. Metropolitan Solid Waste (MSW) i.e., Garbage, is being used to make syngas to power small 50 megaWatt syngas power plants, worldwide to minimize landfill waste. Similar MSW syngas/SNG plants could add their outputs via short local gas mains to base power a large 300 megaWatt Allam Cycle plant.

Planet Earth currently has about 3 trillion trees and might support an additional trillion. (In the United States, a trillion is a thousand billion and a billion is a thousand million.)  It's essential we plant as many trees as possible immediately all over the world because we will need them for removing Climate Change from the air when the last of the fossil fuel decarbonizations has been completed and the installation and startup of the first several hundred Allam BECCS power plants has been completed. The Allam power plants will first be running on natural gas and coal converted to synthetic natural gas, switching over to wood BECCS mode as the wood gasification equipment is installed. This could be as soon as 2030 to 2040 so the first Climate Change removal trees would be only 20 years old at most. After that, perhaps an annual rotating crop of trees or equivalent energy plants such as switchgrass will be needed for over 100 years.

has biomass
electricity power plants that consume 1 ton (900 Kg) of woody biomass per hour for each megaWatt-hour of electricity produced.
 So, a 300 megaWatt Allam BECCS power plant could consume as much as 24 hours x 300 tons or 7,200 tons of woody biomass per day. 
1 Kg of wood holds about 1.65 to 1.80 Kg of CO2. A 10-year old typical small tree weighs 1,800 to 4,500 Kg. 1 ppm CO2 = 2.12 Gtonne carbon or 7.76 Gtonne CO2. (IPCC and Gilbert Masters). 1 Tonne (a Metric Ton) = 1,000 kg. 1 G (Giga) = 1 Billion.
To remove enough CO2 from the air to make the air as clean as the end of the last Ice Age we would need to remove from the air: 415 ppm CO2 - 280 ppm CO2 = 135 ppm CO2.  135 ppm x 7.76 Gtonne CO2 or 1,047 Gtonne CO2 or about 1 trillion 2 ton trees.









(The image above is from a different web site and will eventually be corrected.)