There is no evidence that significant reductions in the carbon dioxide emissions associated with power generation will be achieved using current commercial alternatives to abundant and low-cost fossil fuels. The massive infrastructure and equipment changes required for such a transition would require multiple decades of work if and when a serious commitment is made and an economical transition pathway is identified. The stored chemical potential in fossil fuels from thermonuclear derived solar energy may be utilized by less conventional means without producing carbon dioxide. Chemical pathways to produce hydrogen or ammonia from hydrocarbons without co-production of carbon dioxide are possible in new process configurations. Such processes may be more cost effective than other options and more readily implemented. Professor Eric McFarland will highlight areas where science and engineering innovation could have enormous impact on global use of fossil resources into the future and will show results of recent investigations on methane conversion.
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