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Rocket Engine Technology Being Used to Capture Carbon

Posted By Philip Proefrock On July 13, 2010 @ 11:37 am In Air quality,global warming,green technology | No Comments

ARPA-EX, carbon capture, carbon sequestration, CO2 emissions, IMPACCT, alternative fuel, rocket engine, green rocket, green transportation, nasa [1]

We all know that rocket science is cool – but did you know that it may also be a way to improve carbon capture technology? Under an innovative research project being run by the Department of Energy’s IMPACCT [2] (Innovative Materials & Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies) program, the Inertial CO2 Extraction System [3] (ICES) project developed by aerospace contractor ATK seeks to rapidly cool and capture CO2 from flue gasses by forcing them through rocket motors.


Not unlike vapor trails that form when jets fly overhead, power plant exhaust gasses would be compressed and expelled through rocket nozzles where they would rapidly expand and cool. In theory, the sudden expansion and cooling would be sufficient to cause the carbon dioxide [5] to precipitate out as dry ice, which could be collected for sequestration storage, or used for other commercial applications.

Experts associated with the project expect that if the technology [6] is successful it could reduce carbon capture from an 80% premium on electrical generation costs down to 30%.

Via Discovery News [7]

Image credits: Discovery News, NASA, and CC-SA 2.0 [8] by hodgers [9]

Hat tip to Joan Walters!

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/rocket-engine-technology-being-used-to-capture-carbon/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/13/rocket-engine-technology-being-used-to-capture-carbon/nasa_shuttle_launch/

[2] IMPACCT: http://arpa-e.energy.gov/ProgramsProjects/IMPACCT.aspx

[3] Inertial CO2 Extraction System: http://arpa-e.energy.gov/ProgramsProjects/IMPACCT/AHighEfficiencyInertialCO2ExtractionSystem.aspx

[4] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/07/13/rocket-engine-technology-being-used-to-capture-carbon/carbon-emissions/

[5] carbon dioxide: http://inhabitat.com/2009/11/25/new-machine-turns-co2-into-fuel/

[6] technology: http://inhabitat.com/green-gadgets/

[7] Discovery News: http://news.discovery.com/tech/rocket-nozzles-carbon-capture.html

[8] CC-SA 2.0: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

[9] hodgers: http://www.flickr.com/photos/35468147887@N01/14004031

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