Related Coal Programs
As mentioned previously, the following programs - Carbon Sequestration, Turbines of Tomorrow, and Fuel Cells - are part of the Coal &D program, which are also coordinated with the oil and natural gas R&D program. For example, Carbon Sequestration includes CO2 injection into geologic formations, including oil and gas reservoirs and coal seams, as well as other types of sequestration. Both natural gas and syngas are feedstocks for the Turbines of Tomorrow and Fuel Cells.
Carbon sequestration is one of the most promising ways for reducing the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In fact, even under the most optimistic scenarios for energy efficiency gains and the greater use of low- or no-carbon fuels, sequestration will likely be essential if the world is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at acceptable levels.
Carbon sequestration, if it can be proven practical, safe, and affordable, can dramatically enhance our long-term response to climate change concerns. Office of Fossil Energy's Carbon Sequestration Program is developing a portfolio of technologies that hold great potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These technologies will provide substantial contributions toward meeting the greenhouse gas intensity reduction goals of the Global Climate Change Initiative (GCCI) through 2012 and provide a portfolio of "commercially ready" technologies to support the decision making process for future action (if required) in 2012, as mandated by GCCI. The programmatic timeline is to demonstrate a portfolio of safe, cost effective greenhouse gas capture, storage and mitigation technologies at the commercial scale by 2012, leading to substantial deployment and market penetration beyond 2012. These greenhouse gas mitigation technologies will help slow greenhouse gas emissions in the near-term and provide potential for ultimately leading toward stabilization and subsequent decline of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
Turbines of Tomorrow
The gas turbine, once used solely in aviation applications, has evolved into a workhorse in industry and has become the premier electric generation system for peak and intermediate loads. A gas turbine is a heat engine that uses a high-temperature, high-pressure gas as the working fluid. Gas turbines and compact, lightweight, easy to operate, and produce high quality heat that can be used to generate steam for combined heat and power and combined-cycle applications. About 75% of all gas turbines are currently being used in combined cycle plants.
Fuel cells initially found application in space exploration, opening new frontiers by virtue of their inherently clean, efficient, and reliable service. Now DOE, in partnership with industry, is bringing fuel cell costs down and opening new frontiers in industry. Fuel cells have the potential to truly revolutionize electricity generation. Fuel cell systems have few moving parts, making them reliable and quiet as well. No solid wastes are produced and pollutant emissions are negligible. The potential electrical efficiencies can reduce carbon emissions by 50% relative to existing electricity plants. Moreover, their modular construction and electrochemical processing allow suppliers to match demand over a range of several kilowatts to hundred megawatts and to maintain efficiency independent of size. As a result, for example, fuel cell systems have been installed in some of the most environmentally sensitive areas without ramification.
Page Last Modified: August 7, 2008