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Gasification energy to come to Spokane, Washington

Two Spokane, Wash.-based companies have joined forces and are now looking to build a facility that will address major climate change concerns.

Carbon Cycle Power just announced the completion of a stock purchase agreement with publicly traded company MPM Technologies, Inc.

Their vision? To “rebalance the carbon cycle on a global scale.” According to Carbon Cycle, the cycle of carbon molecules is “forever sustainable.”

Carbon Cycle officials say they have spoken with companies including steel distributors, machine shops and engineering firms to collect raw materials, fabricate materials and support integration into the power grid system.

How it works: coal (or any carbon material such as recyclable plastic) is broken down into separate molecules by controlled exposure to steam, pressure, oxygen and heat. This separates carbon monoxide, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and other gases to form syngas.

The syngas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, is then purified from carbon dioxide, sulfur, tar, methane, ash, mercury and water vapor. The concentrated carbon dioxide is easy and inexpensive to capture, whereas when burning coal it is released into the air. Syngas becomes a component of synthetic materials such as fuel, fertilizer, plastic and nylon through ammonia, methanol and hydrogen.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and makes up a huge proportion of the earth. However, on earth it is rare in its elemental form and as a gas is challenging to store, requiring pressure and a low temperature.

The chemical process of "gasification" burns the purified coal, converting it into energy. Then it uses the heated water vapor in a steam turbine-generator. This dual energy produces about 50 percent of the coal’s potential. However, coal combustion-based power plants only convert about 33 percent of the coal’s potential into electricity, according to the Department of Energy.

The Department of Energy estimates that in the future, gasification fuel efficiency could reach 80 percent. For more information on how gasification works, check out this video by the Gasification Technologies Company.

Julia Rogers can be reached at 503-546-5137 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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