Chapter 2: Advanced Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Skyscrubber
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    Nuclear Powered Air CO2 Scrubber
Nuclear Powered Direct Air CO2 Capture (DACC) for synthetic biofuels
("Scrubber" is the correct term for an apparatus that removes impurities from a gas.)
25% of the stack emissions of concrete and steel plants are CO2.  Coal plants are about 12%, oil 7%, natural gas 4%. 
Air has a 0.04% CO2 content.

Disclaimer:  This web page is energy talk by an unassociated engineer inspired by Carbon Engineering's patented invention, not professional engineering advice.
The patented Carbon Engineering, Ltd., air contactor and CO2 Capture paper can be downloaded for free at:     23 page pdf.  They suggest using natural gas oxyfuel carbon captured heat.
1/2 ton gas CO2 per ton air CO2 captured.

June 6, 2016 Article about it: 

Alkali flats (think Bonneville Salt Flats) and alkaline lakes fill the space between Salt Lake City and California's Sierra Madre mountains.  Alkaline chemicals suck carbon dioxide (CO2 ) from the air.  Since the chemical can be simply scooped off the ground, they are massively plentiful and as cheap as chemicals get.  Much larger deposits can be found in similar regions of Africa. 
Enough to pull Climate Change out of the air many times over.

 Carbon Engineering - Out of thin air .pdf 

Some CO2 capture chemicals, lye (Sodium Hydroxide), Sodium Carbonate, and Calcium Hydroxide for example, are hazardous substances.
Example:  Lye Hazardous substance fact sheet - 1706.pdf 



(Below) Nuclear powered air CO2 scrubber for removing up to 4 million tons of CO2 from the air per year.

A High Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (HTGR) that could power the above.  The Chinese are building 40 for the Rongcheng Power Complex: 
HTR-PM Pebble Bed Reactor Progress - 01-China-DONG_V2 .pdf

HTR-PM Pebble Bed Reactor Progress - Photos - 01-China-DONG_V2. pdf

Other nuclear reactors for process heat applications like Skyscrubber.

Producing steam to drive a turbine and generator is relatively easy, and a light water reactor (LWR) running at 350C (662F) does this readily. Other types of reactors are required for higher temperatures. A 2010 US Department of Energy document quotes 500C (932F) for a liquid metal cooled reactor (FNR), 860C (1,580F) for a molten salt reactor (MSR), and 950C (1,740F) for a high temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTR). Lower-temperature reactors can be used with supplemental gas heating to reach higher temperatures, though employing an LWR would not be practical or economic. The DOE said that high reactor outlet temperatures in the range 750C (1,382F) to 950C (1,740F) were required to satisfy all end user requirements evaluated to date for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant. - World Nuclear Association, November 2015.

One advanced reactor that could power the nuclear Skyscrubbing plant above, Chinas Generation IV reactor, could be ready next year.

(MIT Technology Review) The 105-megawatt Generation IV HTGR type nuclear reactor built by China Nuclear Engineering & Construction Corp. could be completed by November 2017, according to Institute of Nuclear and New Energy Technology Director Zhang Zuoyi. The plant is nearly finished Zhang said

Construction of the high temperature helium-cooled pebble bed design type plant is nearly complete, and the next 18 months will be spent installing the reactor components, running tests, and loading the fuel before the reactors go critical in November 2017.

If its successful, Shandong plant would generate a total of 210 megawatts and will be followed by a 600-megawatt facility in Jiangxi province. China plans to sell these reactors internationally; in January, Chinese president Xi Jinping signed an agreement with King Salman bin Abdulaziz to construct a high-temperature gas-cooled reactor (HTGR) in Saudi Arabia.

This technology is going to be on the world market within the next five years, Zhang predicts. We are developing these reactors to belong to the world. -

Nuclear News Roundup for 2/14/16 Posted on by djysrv


Cleaning up the captured CO2:

(Below) Separating residual water and traces of other stray gasses from CO2 is straightforward.  #16, above.

The number of full-circle 1 million-ton-per-year Skyscrubbers needed to make a measurable dent in Climate Change's 550 billion ton stash of CO2 in the air is so large the only way Skyscrubbers would make economic sense is teaming them up with the world's 30,000 or so small coal electricity generating plant units.  Day-night energy sharing would work with the calcium carbonate accumulation capability of the Skyscrubber.
Small coal power plants typically have 4 to 6 generating units per plant so we would have 4 to 6 Skyscrubbers and their small nuclear reactors, along with 40 to 60 600 foot long air contactors - like thick billboards - per small coal power plant.  Fortunately, coal power plants usually have plenty of open real estate around the plant.
See:   to get an idea of how many power plants there are in the world.  Or check out the lights below.

Any country capable of making a power plant boiler that won't explode can make, install, and maintain the necessary carbon capture equipment.


(Below)  Several different ways to get your mind around how Direct Air Capture of CO2 works


(Below) Direct Air Capture of CO2's Chemistry Elements

The above suggests it will take the heat energy of a 50 Watt light bulb running one hour to pull one 44 gram mol of CO2 from the air.  When you add in the associated equipment not included here, such as fans and pumps, 60 Watt-hours per mol is probably wildly optimistic.

This is why the author thinks nuclear energy is the energy of choice for this task.  Using a 500 megaWatt(thermal) General Atomics EM2 reactor above adapted for air scrubbing kiln heating, and using the 179 kJ shown in the diagram above, the upper limit might be 4,248,600 tons of CO2 per year - assuming no heat is used to make electricity.  That's 40 air contactors worth of air.


(Below) Carbon Engineering, Ltd., Calgary, Canada, 2012 prototype Air Contactor and CO2 Capture System




Further Reading About Direct Air Capture (Air Scrubber) Technology      

Skyscrubber's Direct Air Capture of CO2 can be done by anyone anywhere.  If you wish to learn more about the technology, authoritative reports on the subject of direct air capture of CO2 can be downloaded for free at the following links:

(1)    "Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals", 100 page pdf report.  The basic handbook for scrubbing CO2 from the air.  They make it very clear that only the largest sources of heat energy would be able to remove practical amounts of CO2 from the air.

(2) A comparison of current Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies was made by MIT and can be downloaded for free at:      6 page pdf report.  Again, the downside is the massive amount of heat energy needed.

Study by the National Research Council of the National Academies.
The $49.95 paperback book is available free as a downloadable pdf file or can be read on-line.              

The following documents were made available as Creative Commons documents by Springer.  These are titles only from 45.066 collection.. Contact Springer for full pdfs.

Springer 01 - Special Issue Introduction .pdf
Springer 02 - The Role of Negative CO2.pdf
Springer 03 - Can Radiative Forcing Be Limited .pdf
Springer 04 - Is CO2 Removal A Game Changer .pdf
Springer 05 - Direct Air Capture of CO2 Models .pdf
Springer 06 - Optimal Negative Emissions Strategies .pdf
Springer 07 - Limits to CO2 Removal .pdf
Springer 08 - Oceans and Negative Carbon Emissions .pdf
Springer 09 - Two Loop Direct Air Capture of CO2.pdf
Springer 10 - Exploring Negative CO2 and Climate Policy Initiatives .pdf


Footnotes & Links