University of Oregon researchers say they have found a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning plants by more than 90 percent. Their formula uses refrigeration to capture and control the dangerous chemicals pumped out of smoke stacks.
University of Oregon physicist Russell Donnelly explains.
Donnelly: “What the system I’m proposing does is freeze the carbon dioxide; it goes directly from a gas to a solid.”
The frozen carbon dioxide would then be warmed and compressed into a gas that could be piped away and stored.
Donnelly says domestic power plants may not want to install such a system because it could raise the cost of electricity by about 25 percent. But he says China may be interested.
Donnelly says it could take years before someone designs and builds a refrigeration system. The machinery required could be as big as a football stadium.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio