Work by scientists at the University of Minnesota could result in a new way to capture heat from underground geothermal sources, which lets us generate clean electrical energy for our own uses while simultaneously disposing of some of the CO2 that’s responsible for global warming. Though it sounds implausibly positive, it actually all lines up in terms of science, and best of all, this piece of lateral thinking was achieved in a flash of inspiration during a road trip–the best type of idea.
The two researchers from the Department of Earth Sciences say the discovery was born in a flash of insight.
The development uses high-pressure CO2 instead of water, which makes the use of geothermal practical in regions where it previously made no sense from a technical or economic standpoint.
“This is probably viable in areas you couldn’t even think about doing regular geothermal for electricity production,” Randolph said. “(and) it’s perhaps twice as efficient.”
The pair have recently applied for additional DOE funding to move CPG forward to the pilot phase.
“Part of the beauty of this is that it combines a lot of ideas but the ideas are essentially technically proven, so we don’t need a lot of new technology developed,” Randolph said.
(READ more of the story in Fast Company) – Thanks to Andrew for submitting the link!