Environmentally Friendly Energy From Natural Gas
In keeping with my recent energy/natural gas theme, I offer for your consideration Patent Number 7,281,590.
Issued on October 26, 2007, along with 3,507 other patents that issued that day (including one for a “Petunia plant named ‘Kersamfan’ ”), the “Environmentally friendly method for generating energy from natural gas” invention of Wouter Willem van de Waal (Rotterdam, Netherlands) presents subject matter exactly as stated in the title. The patent, assigned to Dropscone Corporation N.V. (Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles) is considered by the USPTO as a patent for a well in which CO2 or carbonated gas is inserted, being classified as USPC 166/402.
Claim 1 focuses on preventing soil subsidence of a natural gas well:
“A method for producing energy from natural gas in a natural gas reservoir and preventing soil subsidence in the natural gas reservoir, comprising the steps of:
a) admixing an oxygen containing gas with the natural gas and converting said oxygen containing gas and said natural gas in the presence of CO.sub.2, into a flow comprising CO.sub.2 and water, whereby energy is generated
b) removing at least a part of the water from the flow comprising CO.sub.2 and water, so that a gaseous product flow is obtained;
and c) injecting at least a part of said product flow into the natural gas reservoir from which the natural gas has been extracted characterized in that, said oxygen containing gas has a nitrogen content substantially lower than air, wherein injecting at least a part of said product flow into the natural gas reservoir substantially prevents soil subsidence in the natural gas reservoir.”
By combusting natural gas in the presence of a a mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide, heat, water, and carbon dioxide are produced. The inventor proposes injecting at least part of the carbonated water back into the well, which prevents soil subsidence, and allows the recovery of geothermal energy, which can be used to either heat the natural gas prior to combustion or feed heat exhangers for other purposes.
Properly considered a cogeneration technology, this invention is found in he patentECO Energy Index.