By Jeff McMahon
A potential breakthrough technology is being tested in Houston—a new kind of natural-gas power plant that captures and reuses what normally goes up the smokestack: carbon dioxide, heat, and water.
If it works, NET Power’s natural-gas plant promises no carbon emissions and no water use—it produces water instead—and this is the clincher: it promises to produce electricity at a cost competitive with existing power plants.
But the concept endured another kind of test last week in Chicago: the scrutiny of a roomful of academics, many of whom raised questions about how and whether the plant will work.
“What are the potential challenges and roadblocks for this?” a woman asked NET Power CEO Bill Brown at the University of Chicago on Wednesday. “It sounds almost a little bit too good to be true.”
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