Pacific Northwest National Lab has been making progress in using a new method for capturing more heat from the low-temperature of
geothermal resources. Which it is hoped could result in generating pollution-free electrical energy. A new liquid is used called biphasic fluid, which has the benefit of rapid expansion and contraction capabillities developed by PNNL’s conversion system. The thermal-cycling of the biphasic fluid, when exposed to heat and brought to the surface from water circulating in moderately hot, underground rock, will power a turbine generating electricity.
Scientists added metal-organic heat carriers (MOHC’s) to aid efficiency, which boost the power generation capacity to near that of a convential steam cycle.
‘Our intention is to enable generation from low-temperature geothermal resources to get a clean energy source without any greenhouse gas emissions which is also a steady and dependable source of power’ said Pete McGrail, PNNL Laboratory. ‘ We accidentily discovered this by research on nanometerials used to capture dioxide from burning fossils fuel’ .
PNNL plan to have a functioning bench-top prototype generating electricity by the end of the year.