Making Electricity – an ICSABC Suggestion

SunGas™ harvested from anachronistic bio-carbon (ABC) is combustible and can be converted into many types of Hydrocarbons.  Natural Gas, Gasoline, and Diesel, are amongst the possible outputs of such conversions.  They can, of course, be directly used in conventional power plants to generate thermally based electricity.  However, the most efficient means of converting the SunGas™ to electricity is by using Fuel Cells. These are not new technologies, but they have come of age given the need for higher efficiencies and clean operation.

They generate electricity through an electrochemical reaction, not combustion.  Fuel cells are scalable and range in size from units that power consumer electronics, to passenger cars and buses, and even large-scale plants that power neighborhoods, businesses, and more.

Fuel cells are a family of technologies, producing zero or near-zero air pollutant emissions when generating electricity, which can operate on a range of hydrogen-rich fuels.  When pure hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, the only by-products are electricity, heat and water.  Fuel cells do not need to be periodically recharged like batteries, but instead continue to produce electricity so long as a fuel source is provided.

There are several fuel cell types, each with its own unique chemistry.  These diverse types of fuel cells are characterized by their electrolyte, providing different attributes and benefits such as varying fuel types, operating temperatures, energy efficiencies, and applications of use.

High temperature fuel cells, such as molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) or solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), are capable of internal fuel reforming to directly generate power from fossil fuels without intermediate steps.  The high operating temperature allows these types of fuel cells to be unaffected by chemical compounds such as carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide that can adversely affect other systems.  These high temperature fuel cells can utilize various fuels, including natural gas, biogas, and SunGas™.

MCFCs and SOFCs are primarily used for stationary power generation applications for homes and businesses, and large-scale generation by electric utilities.  These systems range in scale from a few hundred kilowatts (enough to power a home or small business) up to hundreds of megawatts, generating enough electricity to power tens of thousands of homes. Today, hundreds of systems are providing both primary power and back-up power across the country in a range of applications, including data centers, utilities, retail facilities, universities, hospitals, and more.

SunGas™ may also be reformed to produce a high-hydrogen stream that can then be further purified for use in lower temperature fuel cells that require a high-purity hydrogen stream.  As more markets develop for low temperature fuel cells, and existing ones continue to grow, this will increase the demand for hydrogen fuel and pathways such as reforming syngas to generate such fuels.

Where can this technology be used?

Stranded Energy reserves are accessible from 200 feet to over 8,000 feet deep. Further, a single installation can access a continuous ABC deposit that radiates more than 2 miles.

This permits operation in urbanized areas, underwater, and in environmentally sensitive regions, suburban communities, and Rural agricultural locales.  The cellularization process protects contamination of aquifers and eliminates surface morphological alteration or subsidence.

Moreover, the ICSABC system, as differentiated from UCG (underground coal gasification), is a fully cellularized and controllable reactor, in which precision process control is achievable. Therefore, efficiency of conversion is upwards of two times that of effaced UCG.

The above ground installation has a small and harmonious design of under 10,000 square feet.  It is a two story facility without flues and can be designed and constructed to fit into almost any environment. A single facility can output up to 150 megawatts from matched Fuel Cell systems.  Electricity generated in this process will be delivered at under 2/3 the cost of thermally generated electricity fueled by conventionally sourced natural gas.