Advanced Research Projects Agency’s energy division (ARPA-E) has recently announced that it has awarded a $1 million funding to ACENT Laboratories of New York and ATK for a research that will help in bringing down airborne smokestack carbon emissions. ACENT Laboratories, the academic energy consulting organization and aerospace giant ATK, which builds the space shuttles’ booster rockets, plan to use high-speed aerodynamic force, instead of chemicals, to separate out carbon dioxide from a power plant’s smokestack, by turning it from a gas into a frozen form, which is better known as dry ice.
The presently used carbon capturing technology is more likely to double the cost of coal, so this alternative method if successful would bring down the cost significantly. The researchers say that when rockets accelerate air to very high speeds, it can condense any water vapor in the air into water or snow, and likewise it turns carbon dioxide into solids. This new rocket science will cut smokestack CO2 for just 13 cents per KWH coal.