As important as our investments in green energy are, there’s still a lot that can be done to improve our existing reliance on dirty fossil fuels–the 50,000 coal-burning plants around the world that release vast amounts of CO2 into the air.
Coal Power Plant Mutation is a conceptual project by Bogdan Chipera. He maintains that our current energy infrastructure “can be mutated into something more eco-friendly.” And this is his vision of the more eco-friendly coal-burning alternative. It’s imposing, alien, and somewhat monstrous, to be entirely honest, like a skyscraper mated with Godzilla. But the plan is also full of some great ideas.
His gargantuan plant is basically a 1000m chimney–that’s taller than the Burj Khalifa–full of synthetic carbon filters. These filters are theorized but not quite existent, and they would snag the CO2 from rising gas. The idea is to capture the CO2 emissions before they make their way into the atmosphere, bringing a half step of balance back to the carbon cycle.
Despite its imposing height, the tower itself has a surprisingly light footprint, as it’s constructed from very little supportive material. A carbon fiber and steel mesh frame keeps the tower flexible. Gases and vapors pass up through channels in a flexible, waterproof skin. And almost poetically, the whole thing is held up by its own wasted energy. The unused thermal power excreted by coal plants becomes hot air, trapped in sacks, that lift the entire structure like a tethered hot air balloon.
In this regard, Coal Plant Mutation intentionally cuts through the horizon. Like any world’s tallest skyscraper, it’s meant to catch your eye. But you aren’t necessarily supposed to like what you see.
“Most of the power facilities are located outside cities and urban inhabitants are not aware of their impact,” Chipera writes. “Seeing these tall silhouettes on the horizon can make people more aware on their impact on the environment.”
Well, that, or coal plants becomes the biggest, scariest tourist trap this side of the Atlantic.
[Hat tip: Archinect]