Letters: November 2016 | AIChE

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Letters: November 2016


Eliminating CO2 Emissions

Re: “CCUS: Utilizing CO2 to Reduce Emissions,” by Marcius Extavour and Paul Bunje, June 2016, pp. 52–59: The article mentions eliminating CO2 emissions at their source by replacing CO2-producing processes, such as electric power generation, with alternatives like renewables, wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. Surprisingly, it does not mention nuclear power as an alternative. As noted in my October 2013 letter in CEP, cheap nuclear power can be used to produce liquid ammonia from air and water with the new solid-state ammonia synthesis (SSAS) process, which can be used as motor fuel to completely eliminate use of fossil fuels.

Where does one get cheap nuclear power? I believe new low-pressure molten-salt-based nuclear power processes being developed that can use spent nuclear fuel waste from existing high-pressure light-water reactors while greatly decreasing radioactive waste offer great promise. Unfortunately, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will delay approval so commercialization will probably be in Canada or China.

Pat Hegarty

Ormond Beach, FL

Nice Job on the Ammonia Article

Re: “Introduction to Ammonia Production,” by Venkat Pattabathula and Jim Richardson, Sept. 2016, pp. 69–75: Great article. Academics should use it in their introductory chemical engineering classes. So many basic chemical engineering principles are covered, including heat integration, market distribution, and safety. Many chemical process industries (CPI) advances are hidden within. Assigning the students to find these advances and present them to their peers is an outstanding way for them to understand the authors’ contribution to our knowledge base.

Ronald J. Willey

Boston, MA

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