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Dream Machines:

Power Plants with Zero Exhaust (to the air)

Upward view of smokestacks against blue sky

Friday, February 8
Noon – 1:00 PM
RUCH 103

With increasing Climate Change legislation, fossil fuel power plants are adapting ways of capturing CO2. For existing power plants, a handful of power plants are even now exploring using amines to strip out the CO2 from the exhaust. One example is “Boundary Dam” Power Plant where 1.5 G$ has been spent for removing CO2 from about 1/3 of the exhaust output. Then, the captured CO2 is pumped about 1 km underground into a large subterranean lake. For 1000 tons a day, the pump alone is 48 M$. The CO2 pump(s) takes CO2 gas and pumps it to 200 bar where it becomes a liquid.

Such Zero emission power plants would be ideal for powering Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).

This talk will focus on 2 (of many) routes for Zero Emission power plants:

  • Route 1 is the Argon Power Cycle called “The Dibble Cycle” by some; (Dibble has a patent on this) where the working fluid is the mono atomic gas Argon. In effect, Argon is used to replace nitrogen. This is oxy fuel combustion with Argon as moderator. This novel cycle is promoted by Nobel Thermodynamics of which Dibble is President.
  • Route 2 is a CO2 Power Cycle called by many “The Allam Cycle” where the working fluid is the tri atomic gas CO2. In effect, CO2 is used to replace nitrogen. This is oxy fuel combustion with CO2 as the moderator. This cycle is promoted by NetPower Inc of which Rodney Allam is a CTO.

The pros and cons of Route 1 or Route 2 will be discussed.


Dr. Robert Dibble photo

Bob Dibble is a graduate of Las Vegas HS, UC Berkeley Chemical Engineering, with a PhD from Wisconsin, a Post Doctorate at Imperial College London, then joining the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. He joined the Mechanical Engineering Department at UC Berkeley from 1990 to 2014, and is now at the Clean Combustion Research Center of KAUST on the Red Sea. Saudi Arabia