Yes it’s true! Well sort of. Global warming caused by C02 emissions from fossil fuels is one of the biggest threats our planet faces. Removal of C02 from the flue gases of power stations is a technology that has yet to materialise in a cost effective way but prototype systems that spray sea water onto the gas flow as it passes over or through a porous limestone bed are being developed.
Critical to the operation of these proposed scrubbers would be the wetting spray involved. The necessary carbon capture chemical reactions require that the limestone be kept wet and water is used to carry away the reacted carbon in the form of aqueous HCO3. So continual spraying of the lime stone will be required Cmd368 sports.
The use of spray nozzles in fighting the blight of acid rain is well known. Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD) by spraying slurry of milk lime into emission towers from power stations is now widely deployed. Up to 97% of the S02 can be removed in this way. The spray nozzles involved in this process have to be pretty robust as they are spraying an abrasive fluid 24×7 in a high temperature environment. Typically tough ceramic spiral design nozzles are the weapon of choice in this battle.
The design of nozzle that will be optimum for the new breed of CO2 scrubbers is, as yet, unclear. What is clear is that spray characteristics will almost certainly play an important part of the efficiency of such systems. With FGD small changes in the average droplet size and spray consistency can have a dramatic impact on the over all effectiveness of the system. This is why the spiral design of nozzles gained favour over standard whirl chamber nozzles. The spirals produce smaller droplets allowing for greater absorption of S02.
Whilst spiral design nozzles dominating the SO2 scrubbing market it remains to be seen whether this type of nozzle will be the optimum design for the new breed of proposed C02 scrubbers. As the scrubbers are of very different designs it might be that different spray properties are required. What is certain, however, is that a spray nozzle of some description will be required to make this new technology work. So whilst it might be a bit of an exaggeration to say the humble spray nozzle can save the world, it could be true that it might win another small battle in the fight for the future prosperity of our planet.