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Carbon Management: Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions


for Members

Carbon Management: Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by Green Sciences and Environmental Systems Discussion Group and Environmental Sciences Section


This meeting will focus on the recent McKinsey report "Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost." The first presentation by Rick Duke, NRDC, will provide an overview of the report, explaining how its analytical framework and quantitative findings can help in developing climate change policy and research priorities. Marco Castaldi, Columbia University, will present his results on new methods of transforming waste to fuel while capturing the carbon for sequestration or recycling. Subsequent to the two talks, a panel discussion will further discuss the McKinsey report, its implications, and next steps. Please join us!

Speakers: Rick Duke, NRDC; Marco Castaldi, Columbia University; Vasilis Fthenakis, Brookhaven National Laboratory and Columbia University; Moderator: Drew Shindell, NASA

Websites of Interest:

"Reducing U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost?" McKinsey & Company, December, 2007

"A Solar Grand Plan" by Ken Zweibel, James Mason and Vasilis Fthenakis, in Scientific American, January, 2008

This highly interdisciplinary group brings together scientists and engineers with key stakeholders and policy makers from academia, business, and government who are interested in understanding the broad range of scientific methods and disciplines that underlie key environmental challenges. This year's focus will be on issues related to global warming with an emphasis on energy sources, energy storage, and carbon management.



  Biomass (including municipal solid waste) To Fuels Via CO2 Enhanced Gasification
Marco J. Castaldi, Columbia University

The confluence of three significant events have shown how acutely sensitive the world, and in particular the United States, is to energy supply and security. First, the recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico underscore a transition in the idea of energy security. Second, energy consumption is predicted to increase at least two-fold by 2050. In 2004, global annual energy consumption was 472 exajoules, with the United States portion of that amount corresponding to approximately 25%. Different scenarios have been proposed for future global annual energy needs with values of 791-1107 exajoules estimated for low to high growth by 2050[ 1,2].Third, it is now recognized that global temperatures are rising faster than previously recorded [ 3]. If we consider where the world stands today in terms of energy use and where it will be in 2050 assuming continued economic development, we are faced with a daunting challenge of where that energy will come from if our energy profile is to be more CO2- neutral. One of the more promising carbon neutral sources is biomass fuel, which yields a high energy output.

This presentation will discuss the results of varying the CO2 concentrations from 0% to 50% by volume in a steam-feed influent. CO, H2, CH4 and CO2 concentration profiles as a function of temperature were measured for various CO2 levels. It was observed that significant enhancement in the CO evolution for both woods and grasses became evident above 700°C. While H2 production from steam gasification alone became measurable above 550°C, CO2 introduction was observed to significantly suppress the H2evolution at temperatures above 700°C.

CO2 injection enables greater control of the amount of residual corrosive ash generated. Using SEM/EDX, GC, TGA and AA