This company wants to use carbon dioxide to store renewable power on the grid

Compressing gases to store energy is nothing new: for decades, some facilities around the world have been pumping air into huge underground caves under pressure and then using it to generate electricity at natural gas power plants. But the Energy Dome turned to carbon dioxide because of its physics.

Carbon dioxide, when squeezed at a sufficiently high pressure, turns into a liquid, which does not evaporate until it cools to an extremely low temperature. Liquid carbon dioxide can fit into small steel tanks near where renewable energy is generated and used.

In the design of the Energy Dome, the flexible membrane holds the carbon dioxide at low pressure into the larger dome. When extra electricity is available, the gas passes through the compressor to reach high pressure. This process also produces heat, which is also stored.

Then, when energy is needed, stored heat is used to heat carbon dioxide, which decomposes and rotates the turbine, generating electricity.

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