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[Reuters] Turning smog into jewels - a Dutch designer's solution to Beijing's pollution - Page 2

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5entinel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Imagery View Post

Wouldn't his vacuum just add to the problem?

How would it add to the problem?

Where do you think electricity comes from?

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post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

Where do you think electricity comes from?


China is among the top, if the top (after India) in coal consumption.
    
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post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

Where do you think electricity comes from?


For the record, that's water vapor.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

For the record, that's water vapor.


Shhhh, I wanted to see how long and where that went D:
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PR-Imagery View Post

Wouldn't his vacuum just add to the problem?
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

Where do you think electricity comes from?
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I can see where you are coming from with this - it is the old "cool the room by leaving the fridge door open" idea (which of course doesn't work).

However if the vacuum takes in more CO2 than it uses in electricity then it will help, albeit not very much. Carbon sequestration is not a new idea and roadside vacuums, for example, have been proposed several times. As far as I remember when I briefly looked into them a few years ago, the biggest problem was the concentration of carbon in the air - it is too low for the machine to be efficient at removing it (net CO2 production). If this machine has improved on that efficiency, or if the concentration of carbon is high enough, it could work quite well.

The amount of effect it would have overall is debatable though - like Pendulum pointed out, it is a tiny band-aid for a huge problem.

A better idea is to tackle the problem at the source - I used to work alongside some guys who were looking into carbon capture and storage systems on power plants - the concentration of carbon is high enough to make it worthwhile there. I also worked a bit on flue gas desulfurization on the Aberthaw power plant which is the same sort of thing but for sulphur rather than carbon compounds.

Of course ultimately we want to move to cleaner energy sources and more efficient usage, but sadly that isn't going to happen soon enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

For the record, that's water vapor.

Thank you!
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post #16 of 31
Well I got that off a site that said it was a coal plant. There are no good pictures of dirty coal plants... THE NSA IS CENSORING IT BECAUSE THEY'RE BEING PAID OFF, ITS A CONSPIRACY!.


But the point still stands. Dumping stuff into the air and using that power to purify it later isn't that efficient... wouldn't it be easier to just capture the pollution at the source?
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post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

For the record, that's water vapor.

Actually, that is a coal fire plant. So yes, there is some water vapor in that, but also CO2, Carbon monoxide, SOx, NOx, VOCs, ozone, and everybody's favorite trio of poison, arsenic, lead, and mercury.

Nice try though. You probably thought it was a nuclear power plant. It's not, as you can tell by the smoke stacks thumb.gif
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark749 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mand12 View Post

For the record, that's water vapor.

Actually, that is a coal fire plant. So yes, there is some water vapor in that, but also CO2, Carbon monoxide, SOx, NOx, VOCs, ozone, and everybody's favorite trio of poison, arsenic, lead, and mercury.

Nice try though. You probably thought it was a nuclear power plant. It's not, as you can tell by the smoke stacks thumb.gif

So I was right tongue.gif

It's true, most people see large cooling towers and assume it's part of a nuclear plant.
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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark749 View Post

Actually, that is a coal fire plant. So yes, there is some water vapor in that, but also CO2, Carbon monoxide, SOx, NOx, VOCs, ozone, and everybody's favorite trio of poison, arsenic, lead, and mercury.

Nice try though. You probably thought it was a nuclear power plant. It's not, as you can tell by the smoke stacks thumb.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucethemoose View Post

So I was right tongue.gif

It's true, most people see large cooling towers and assume it's part of a nuclear plant.

Everyone is somewhat correct really. What is coming out of the thin stacks is coal fire emissions, and a lot of it (IMO unusually high amounts really). The large clouds coming from the large towers is water vapor. There is a lot more water vapor coming out than coal emissions in that image. Water vapor isn't dangerous outright really, but is a major player in global climate change.

You will see large cooling towers anywhere steam is used for power production. Neither nuclear nor coal technically need cooling towers really. They are only put in and used when the discharge will add heat to a water body and be harmful in someway. Nuclear power generation is nearly always seen with cooling towers just due to efficiency, but there are plants that use recirculation indirect wet cooling by dumping into a pond to cool before running through again.

At any rate it is always better to capture at the source than later elsewhere. CCS systems have been running for years here now and most coal power plants in the US are miles cleaner than what is being used in China (note that image is from a Chinese plant in Hebai Province). Scrubbing systems and pretreatment easily remove 90% of all immediate pollution (CO, NOx, SO2x, Hg,etc...). There is still some though, but not terrifying amounts. The US is leading the way in this regard but it is not cheap to do and can require 10% to 40% total energy output just to run cleaner.
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post #20 of 31
Actually what you are seeing coming out of the smoke stacks is still water vapour which is present due to boiler blowdown operations (some plants run this continuously through their stacks). The smoke is generally invisible in air as almost all the particulates are removed before it is vented. Carbon and nitrogen oxides are clear and although sulphur oxides are a little brown they generally make up a small portion of the smoke.

Drax power plant under full load:
Drax_Power_station-615x240.jpg
Lots of water vapour coming out of the cooling towers, no visible emisions from the stack (but trust me, they are there).

Another plant that I worked on, Hazelwood power plant in Australia - units 1 (right), 2, 4, 5 and 8 (left) are at full load:
225358-hazelwood-power-station.jpg
This plant burns brown coal which is possibly the dirtiest fuel ever, the emissions are just about visible in favourable conditions.
Note Hazelwood has a cooling pond rather than cooling towers, hence no water vapour is visible.
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