Researchers develop framework incorporating renewables and flexible carbon capture
This integration could result in significant benefits to efficiency and cost reduction
(Press-News.org) As the global energy demand continues to grow along with atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide (CO2), there has been a major push to adopt more sustainable and more carbon-neutral energy sources. Solar/wind power and CO2 capture - the process of capturing waste CO2 so it is not introduced into the atmosphere - are two promising pathways for decarbonization, but both have significant drawbacks.
Solar and wind power is intermittent and cannot be deployed everywhere; CO2 capture processes are incredibly energy-intensive. Both of these pathways have benefits, but each on their own does not present a viable strategy at the moment. However, a research team led by Dr. Faruque Hasan, Kim Tompkins McDivitt '88 and Phillip McDivitt '87 Faculty Fellow and associate professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has uncovered a way to combine both of these processes together to increase the efficiency of both.
Much of Hasan's research deals with synergy and synergistic effects in complex systems. Synergy is the combined effect of cooperative interactions between two or more organizations, substances or other agents that is greater than the sum of their separate effects. To this end, Hasan examined the synergistic integration of renewables and flexible carbon capture with individual fossil power plants.
"We are addressing three things that each have pros and cons: fossil fuels are cheap, but they release a lot of CO2; CO2 capture is very beneficial for the environment, but it is prohibitively expensive; renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power are good for the environment, but the energy output is intermittent and variable," Hasan said.
While each area presents significant challenges individually, Hasan and his research team have found a significant benefit when all the components are used in tandem. In a research paper published in Energy & Environmental Science, Hasan and his doctoral students Manali Zantye and Akhil Arora examined the use of synergistic integration of renewables and flexible carbon capture and found a significant benefit to efficiency and cost reduction.
"Despite the growing interest in sustainable renewable energy sources, their intermittent availability would make it difficult to completely replace the dispatchable fossil-based energy generators in the near future," said Zantye, who is the first author of the paper.
CO2 capture is an energy-intensive process. Normally, this process runs alongside standard energy generation at power plants. As energy is generally priced on a demand basis, the use of CO2 capture processes during peak energy demand can quickly drive up operational costs to an unsustainable level. In this research, Hasan also found that utilizing a flexible CO2 capture system can greatly offset operational costs.
Normally, CO2 is captured into a large solvent tank and then removed in an energy-intensive process. In a flexible system, rather than removing the CO2 as it is introduced to the solvent, it can be stored for short periods of time and removed at non-peak times when the cost of power is lower. Further, by incorporating a renewable energy source, the cost of CO2 capture is offset even more.
According to Hasan, the synergistic framework presented in the research can dramatically improve the system beyond the component parts. "We have developed a computational framework to utilize dynamic operational schedules to manage all these very complex decisions," he said. "Developing carbon capture technology is very important, but equally important is how you integrate them. The operational aspect of integration is very important. Our study shows that this can be done in such a way that renewables, fossil fuels and carbon capture are all working together."
According to Zantye, the proposed framework provides an effective decarbonization mechanism for the current fossil-dominated energy landscape as we transition to a more fully sustainable future.
This research is partly supported by the Department of Energy.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] -- Mindfulness-based meditation programs have emerged as a promising treatment for conditions ranging from stress to sleeplessness to depression. In some cases, they're even offered to people -- schoolkids or employees, for example -- who aren't actively seeking help or who haven't been screened for suitability. Yet most research and discourse about these programs focuses only on their benefits, with little investigation of the risks or the potential for adverse effects.
A recent review of nearly 7,000 studies of meditation practices found that less than 1% of them measured adverse effects. Willoughby Britton, an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University, said that this is largely because ...
New research from BYU published in PLOS Medicine found that providing medical patients with social support leads to an increased chance of survival and elongation of life. Such findings come at a critical time as doctors and healthcare professionals seek new ways to improve care and decrease mortality.
"The premise of the research is that everyone is strongly influenced by their social context," said BYU counseling psychology professor Timothy B. Smith, lead author of the study. "Relationships influence our behavior and our physical health. We now know that it is possible to prolong ...
ITHACA, N.Y. - Wines and table grapes exist thanks to a genetic exchange so rare that it's only happened twice in nature in the last 6 million years. And since the domestication of the grapevine 8,000 years ago, breeding has continued to be a gamble.
When today's growers cultivate new varieties - trying to produce better-tasting and more disease-resistant grapes - it takes two to four years for breeders to learn whether they have the genetic ingredients for the perfect flower.
Females set fruit, but produce sterile pollen. Males have stamens for pollen, but lack fruit. The perfect flower, however, carries both sex genes and can self-pollinate. These hermaphroditic varieties generally yield bigger and better-tasting berry ...
Due to climate change, the average global temperature will rise in the coming decades. This should also significantly increase the number of so-called cooling degree days. These measure the number of hours, in which the ambient temperature is above a certain threshold, at which a building must be cooled to keep the indoor temperature at a comfortable level. The rising values may lead to an increased installation of AC systems in households. This could lead to a higher energy demand for cooling buildings, which is already expected to increase due to climate change and population growth.
Scientists have long thought that there was a direct connection between the rise in atmospheric oxygen, which started with the Great Oxygenation Event 2.5 billion years ago, and the rise of large, complex multicellular organisms.
That theory, the "Oxygen Control Hypothesis," suggests that the size of these early multicellular organisms was limited by the depth to which oxygen could diffuse into their bodies. The hypothesis makes a simple prediction that has been highly influential within both evolutionary biology and geosciences: Greater atmospheric oxygen should always increase the size to which multicellular organisms can grow. ...
When a person views a familiar image, even having seen it just once before for a few seconds, something unique happens in the human brain.
Until recently, neuroscientists believed that vigorous activity in a visual part of the brain called the inferotemporal (IT) cortex meant the person was looking at something novel, like the face of a stranger or a never-before-seen painting. Less IT cortex activity, on the other hand, indicated familiarity.
But something about that theory, called repetition suppression, didn't hold up for University of Pennsylvania neuroscientist Nicole Rust. "Different images produce different amounts of activation even when they are all novel," says ...
The combination of a carb-heavy diet and poor oral hygiene can leave children with early childhood caries (ECC), a severe form of dental decay that can have a lasting impact on their oral and overall health.
A few years ago, scientists from Penn's School of Dental Medicine found that the dental plaque that gives rise to ECC is composed of both a bacterial species, Streptococcus mutans, and a fungus, Candida albicans. The two form a sticky symbiosis, known scientifically as a biofilm, that becomes extremely virulent and difficult to displace from the tooth surface.
Now, a new study from the group offers a strategy for disrupting this biofilm by targeting the yeast-bacterial interactions ...
In studying COVID-19 testing and positivity rates in West Virginia between March and September 2020, West Virginia University researchers found disparities among Black residents and residents experiencing food insecurity.
Specifically, the researchers found communities with a higher Black population had testing rates six times lower than the state average, which they argue could potentially obscure prevalence estimates. They also found that areas associated with food insecurity had higher levels of testing and a higher rate of positivity.
"This could mean that public health officials are targeting predominately rural areas to keep tabs on how the pandemic will unfold in isolated communities within higher food insecurity," said Brian Hendricks, a research assistant professor with ...
Australian scientists have compared an ancient Greek technique of memorising data to an even older technique from Aboriginal culture, using students in a rural medical school.
The study found that students using a technique called memory palace in which students memorised facts by placinthem into a memory blueprint of the childhood home, allowing them to revisit certain rooms to recapture that data. Another group of students were taught a technique developed by Australian Aboriginal people over more than 50,000 years of living in a custodial relationship with the Australian land.
Researchers at Michigan Medicine found that people with venom allergies are much more likely to suffer mastocytosis, a bone marrow disorder that causes higher risk of fatal reactions.
The team of allergists examined approximately 27 million United States patients through an insurance database - easily becoming the nation's largest study of allergies to bee and wasp stings, or hymenoptera venom. The results, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, revealed mastocytosis in fewer than 0.1% of venom allergy patients - still near 10 times higher than those without allergies.
"Even though there is mounting interest, mast cell diseases are quite understudied; ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] Researchers develop framework incorporating renewables and flexible carbon capture
This integration could result in significant benefits to efficiency and cost reduction