A NEW revolutionary energy process could end up powering cities and industries in the next century, says a team of Australian scientists. The scientists, who conducted a feasibility study, suggested that a hybrid solar fossil fuel system has the potential to produce sustainable amount of power, while emitting very little greenhouse gases.
The Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO), Australia, has already begun the construction of a 20 kilowatt-facility in Sydney. According to Jim Edwards, a scientist at SIRO, the plant will use solar power to effectively "decarbonise" fossil fuel, producing a gaseous mix of hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Electricity will be generated from the hydrogen via a fuel cell or a micro gas turbine. "The process uses solar thermal energy from a large dish to combine gas with water and, after the intermediary stage, produces a mixture of hydrogen and carbon dioxide," said Edwards. "First we separate these and then use hydrogen to make electricity and because the carbon dioxide is concentrated, we can dispose it of," he added. Carbon dioxide waste will be injected into underground reservoirs or deep coal beds.