Dru Erridge

Coal, Oil, and Green-tech

This paper presents a system of distributed generators as a solution to electrical power generation that simultaneously boosts U.S. oil recovery potential by a highly significant amount.  It pits it against the current model of large, intermittently placed power plants, and reuse of natural CO2 in Enhanced Oil Recovery.  Another benefit of the proposed distributed generation system is enormous reduction in CO2 emissions, by using dual-purpose generators, and injecting CO2 into the ground for oil recovery purposes, the CO2 emissions of electricity generation are essentially neutralized, amounting to roughly 5-10% of current emissions.  The paper outlines the dual-purpose generator, similar to one developed by a recently-funded clean tech startup and its chemical/mechanical feasibility as well as the various benefits inherent in such a machine.  Using data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, as well as a plethora of other sources, the current system of generation is analyzed for its environmental and economic impact.  It is then pitted against the primary system proposed for the future, and finally against the distributed system, which outperforms both competitors in both economic and environmental impact.  These comparisons are all done on custom model that was built for flexibility and modularity, that is, it can accept nearly any system that has both oil production and electricity generation, and compare it against any other.

Background: So this would be something I would categorize as “Ancient” at this point, but it really was only two years ago that I was doing this project and writing this paper.  I really attribute a lot, in every aspect of my life, to this project which I believe propelled me forward in a lot of ways.  Never before and never since have I worked so intensely, so diligently, or so long on a single project, but I was aware of the consequences of it and so I gave it everything I had.  This project literally consumed 3 acutely busy months of my life, essentially giving up sleep, video games (which I dearly loved :P), and nearly all relaxation.  During that stretch, literally the only time I took off was Friday night.  The outcome: A suitcase full of swag, a consulting job with a rising tech-incubator, entry into some top universities around the country, and an absolutely new perspective on what it meant to work hard, and to work smart (work INSANELY hard for a short period of time).  Not to mention a very thorough foundational knowledge of the oil, power, and clean tech industries and fields of research.

So here it is, my life’s work, or so I may have said at the time: Making Clean Coal Electricity Possible with Distributed Generation and Enhanced Oil Recovery

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