US firm hopes to be first utilising CO2 as working fluid for geothermal power generation

TerraCOH CPG (TM) technology overview (source: TerraCOH, Inc.)
Alexander Richter Alexander Richter 9 Jan 2017

A U.S. firm is developing a new technology that would utilise CO2 emissions for fuelling and using geothermal systems for power generation, with a test plant to be built on top of an oil and gas well in North Dakota.

A U.S. firm is developing a technology that would be utilising CO2 emissions to power a geothermal power plant.

TerraCOH has a patent on a technology, that would essentially using CO2 as working fluid in a geothermal system that could then fuel a geothermal power plant. Still raising money though, the company is ready to build a power plant and believes it can “fire up a small-scale commercial version of its power system”, according to Star Tribune.

Coming out of research of the University of Minnesota, the company has been financed with more than $5 million in grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as some private investments.

The team is lead by John Griffin, CEO and Jimmy Randolph, CTO and founder of the company.

TerraCOH wants to tap geothermal heat at a depth of 1,600 to 4,800 meters deep (1 to 3 miles) utilising supercritical CO2. When heated up, the CO2 would then be drawn back, spinning a turbine to create electricity.

The company is looking at utilising existing oil and gas fields for its early projects and plans a small power plant at a conventional oil well in the Northwest of North Dakota. On that site it would utilise oil and gas coming to the surface heating CO2 in an above-ground tank, which would then fuel the turbine.

For the long-term, TerraCOH wants to position itself next to large producers of CO2 to then pump the carbon emissions into the ground utilising its technology for geothermal power generation.

With its technology (called Carbon Dioxide Plume Geothermal – CPG (TM)), the company believes it can expand utilising of geothermal energy beyond high heat resources in the Western United States. Details here.

You can learn more about the company on its website.

Source: Star Tribune