But it won’t be possible to make do without petrol and coal in the near future, the latter emitting twice as many greenhouse gases than natural gas by kWh product. Each time we burn a kilo of coal, it is around 3 kilos of CO2 that we emit into the atmosphere ( C + O2 >>> CO2 that is 12 g C + 32 g O2 >>>> 44 g CO2 or 1 kg C + 2.67 kg O2 >>> 3.67 kg CO2. However, in quite standard coal, such as is imported into Belgium for example, there is 75% of carbon, in other words 0.75 kg of carbon in 1kg of coal. From which we get the equation 0.75 kg C + 2 kg O2 >>> 0.75x3.67 = 2.75 kg CO2 ). ‘However, we are witnessing a dazzling return of coal, not only in China, but also in the United States and Europe. King Coal is back,’ states Professor Mathieu. And it is here that Carbon Capture and Storage technologies intervene. Or, if you prefer, zero-emission technologies. And it is the concept of a natural gas powered electricity power station with no emissions which was in effect offered around twelve years ago under the name of the ‘MATIANT cycle’. A name which is the result of a simple contraction of the names of the two designers of such a power station, Philippe Mathieu and the Russian Evgeny Yantovsky (that of the Russian researcher can be written with both a Y or an I). ‘This model is still much studied today and has given birth to similar cycles which have been developed the whole world over,’ underlines Philippe Mathieu.
Three carbon capture pathways
Capturing CO2 means separating it from the other components it is mixed with. Today there exist three carbon capture pathways.