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 (Innovative Materials & Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies) program, the Inertial CO2 Extraction System (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 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 is successful it could reduce carbon capture from an 80% premium on electrical generation costs down to 30%.

Via Discovery News

Image credits: Discovery News, NASA, and CC-SA 2.0 by hodgers

Hat tip to Joan Walters!