Narrator: This is Science Today. There's a proposal in the works by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to build a research facility that would produce a pollution-free, ten Megawatt generation plant using what's called Zero Emissions Steam Technology, otherwise known as ZEST. Ray Smith, of the Lab's Applied Energy Technologies, says the concept is based on rocket engine technology.
Smith: You burn the fossil fuel with oxygen in a ratio such that you produce only CO2 and water - you produce no hydrocarbons.
Narrator: The steam and carbon dioxide then go through high- temperature steam turbines, which generate electricity.
Smith: The major thrust of this facility - the major work - will actually be to improve the steam turbines through materials development work to raise the inlet temperature of these steam turbines, which will increase the efficiency of the whole process. And we think we can get to the 55 to 60% range that combined-cycle plants do today, but without any atmospheric emissions, which is a major, major difference.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.