Breakthough solution for power plants – pump the CO2 into the sea…oh, wait

From the EPA might have something to say about that department…this press release from LNL suggests dumping tons of Calcium Bicarbonate as a byproduct of CO2 scrubbing into the oceans instead. Only one teeny little problem – most coal fired power plants (at least in the USA), aren’t anyway near the ocean.

Map from City-Data dot com

Yeah, that’ll work. Ok I’ll give him a pass for saying it’s only applicable to plants near the ocean, but how many of those are there compared to the map above? Coal still rules.

US Electric Power Industry Net Generation, 2009
Figure ES 1. 	U.S. Electric Power Industry Net Generation, 2009
Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-923, “Power Plant Operations Report.”


Speeding up Mother Nature’s very own CO2 mitigation process

Greg Rau

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Using seawater and calcium to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) in a natural gas power plant’s flue stream, and then pumping the resulting calcium bicarbonate in the sea, could be beneficial to the oceans’ marine life.

Greg Rau, a senior scientist with the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz and who also works in the Carbon Management Program at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, conducted a series of lab-scale experiments to find out if a seawater/mineral carbonate (limestone) gas scrubber would remove enough CO2 to be effective, and whether the resulting substance — dissolved calcium bicarbonate — could then be stored in the ocean where it might also benefit marine life.

In addition to global warming effects, when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, a significant fraction is passively taken up by the ocean in a form that makes the ocean more acidic. This acidification has been shown to be harmful to marine life, especially corals and shellfish.

In his experiments, Rau found that the scrubber removed up to 97 percent of CO2 in a simulated flue gas stream, with a large fraction of the carbon ultimately converted to dissolved calcium bicarbonate.

At scale, the process would hydrate the carbon dioxide in power plant flue gas with water to produce a carbonic acid solution. This solution would react with limestone, neutralizing the carbon dioxide by converting it to calcium bicarbonate — and then would be released into the ocean. While this process occurs naturally (carbonate weathering), it is much less efficient, and is too slow paced to be effective.

Photos: Courtesy of National Oceanic

and Atmospheric Administration 

“The experiment in effect mimics and speeds up nature’s own process,” said Rau. “Given enough time, carbonate mineral (limestone) weathering will naturally consume most anthropogenic CO2. Why not speed this up where it’s cost effective to do so?”

If the carbon dioxide reacted with crushed limestone and seawater, and the resulting solution was released to the ocean, this would not only sequester carbon from the atmosphere, but also would add ocean alkalinity that would help buffer and offset the effects of ongoing marine acidification. Again, this speeds up the natural CO2 consumption and buffering process offered by carbonate weathering.

Earlier research has shown that ocean acidification can cause exoskeletal components to decay, retard growth and reproduction, reduce activity and even kill marine life including coral reefs.

“This approach not only mitigates CO2, but also potentially treats the effects of ocean acidification,” Rau said. “Further research at larger scales and in more realistic settings is needed to prove these dual benefits.”

Rau said the process would be most applicable for CO2 mitigation at coastal, natural gas-fired power plants. Such plants frequently already use massive quantities of seawater for cooling, which could be cheaply reused for at least some of the CO2 mitigation process.

“This method allows a power plant to continue burning fossil fuel, but eliminates at least some of the carbon dioxide that is emitted, and in a way that in some locations should be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than other carbon dioxide sequestration methods,” he said.

The work, funded by the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program of the California Energy Commission and LLNL, appears in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

More Information

“CO2 Mitigation via Capture and Chemical Conversion in Seawater,” Environmental Science & Technology

“Strengthening Our Understanding of Climate Change,” Science & Technology Review, December 2010

“Locked in Rock: Sequestering Carbon Dixoide Underground,” Science & Technology Review, May 2005

“The Siren Call of the Seas: Sequestering Carbon Dioxide,” Science & Technology Review, May 2004

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

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January 19, 2011 8:06 pm

Ummm, don’t these guys always cry over putting crap in the ocean? I guess when it’s their idea it’s ok??? WTF?!?

Michael Jankowski
January 19, 2011 8:07 pm

Next up from Livermore:
Future water shortages in the southwestern US can be eliminated by desalinating Atlantic Ocean water.

Gary Hladik
January 19, 2011 8:07 pm

So the solution to our CO2 “problem” is baking soda?
The idea sounds pretty half-baked to me.

Ted Gray
January 19, 2011 8:14 pm

At last I see Obama,s brilliant make work plan, running millions of miles of sea water pipe lines to coal power plants and back to the oceans. about a zillion dollars should cover the cost nicely.
Or about selling the calcium bicarbonate by products to TUMS and ROLAIDS. Given the fact there is so much acid and reflux stomach created by these AGW clowns, that should take care of 99.95% of the problem?

mike g
January 19, 2011 8:19 pm

You’ll be able to tell if this is a good idea by how quickly the greenies mount opposition to it.

January 19, 2011 8:23 pm

If it’s good stuff, why not dump this hard water into the nearest river?
Would New Orleans need a large water softener?

Richard G
January 19, 2011 8:26 pm

Pump it into the botanical biosphere through vertically oriented atmospheric carbon gas emitters. Solar powered carbon fixers can then be employed to scavenge the carbon by combining it with hydrogen to form long carbon hydrogen chains. I feel a grant coming on. Maybe the USDA can actually pay people to do this.

January 19, 2011 8:34 pm

If it works why not? Many of the hard core environmentalists want to harm the economy. If this process provides power companies a solution in dealing with EPA, more power to them…sorry bad pun.

January 19, 2011 8:34 pm

Lines of people with buckets.

January 19, 2011 8:35 pm

Richard G’s idea is perfect. In fact, I have a secret plan to extend that idea: it may be possible to use the outputs of those solar-powered carbon fixing devices for nutritional purposes, or to generate green construction materials!

Pamela Gray
January 19, 2011 8:37 pm

Awwww. Poor witto ocean has a tummy ache. Here ya go. Nanny give you medicine.
All better?

Tom in Texas
January 19, 2011 8:38 pm

I’ll soon invest (buy some stock) in a pipeline MLP (Managed Limited Partnership). Still waiting for the long overdue correction so I can get into “Medium Oil” (and 6+% dividends).
The MLP has thousands of miles of oil, natural gas, and CO2 pipelines.
The CO2 is pumped TO the oilfields to significantly increase production.
I don’t know (yet) where it comes from or how it’s produced.
Oil and NG pipelines criss-cross the US for hundreds of thousands of miles.
CO2 pipelines from coal plants might be economically feasible if piped to older oilfields.

Dave Dodd
January 19, 2011 8:42 pm

“…when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, a significant fraction is passively taken up by the ocean in a form that makes the ocean more acidic.”
OK, will someone please explain for this old duffer who must have slept through this part in HS Chemistry: How does making something LESS alkaline, make it “MORE” acidic? I thought we had to measure a pH of <7.0 (by definition) to become acidic in the first place. These people have a serious negative effect on my sleep cycles!

DJ Meredith
January 19, 2011 8:49 pm

Oh great. Now we’re going to pollute, but call it “green”.
Somehow we’re supposed to be sold on the idea that pumping something that has to be produced and transported, then managed…at an expense of more generated CO2, the very substance we’re trying to mitigate….then pumped into the sea is better than just letting the CO2 from the stacks go?
Do we have any ideas of the net CO2 numbers from this proposal? But in any case, this is just another geo-engineering fiasco in the making, with untold unintended consequences.

January 19, 2011 8:55 pm

I think this idea could have some merit. Certainly enough to setup a demonstration project as long as the science was setup properly and the long-term effects measured adequately.
However, I would predicate its funding on the presumption that CO2 was actually proven to be more than an atmospheric fertilizer as it appears now. What other conceivable reason would we have to waste so much money on a unproven concept such as AGW?

Pamela Gray
January 19, 2011 8:55 pm

They’ll find something toxic about this stuff too and I’ll no longer be able to have my plop plop fiz fiz the morning after Friday nights at the Lostine Tavern.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
January 19, 2011 9:06 pm

Sorry, Greg, but it’s already a commercial process:
Producing construction materials such as aggregates for concrete is not a bad idea, actually…..much better than pumping the stuff deep underground!
However, if EPA declares coal ash as a hazardous material (likely), this plan will be all goofed up as the flyash carries over into the aggregate.

January 19, 2011 9:10 pm

From the pie chart, neither solar, wind, geothermal, or other renewable energy will replace any significant amount of oil. They won’t even make a dent in carbon dioxide emsissions.
Maybe the extremo’s have broken the code on this, and are turning their attention to the oceans as a place to dump CO2, or rather calcium bicarbonate.
So, either we get fizzy ocean water, or decreased acidity of ocean water with the CO2 being entombed in calcium bicarbonate.
Who is going to pay for China and India to convert all this carbon dioxide to carbonate form? They are the modern day ecological scofflaws. But, for some reason the whacko-eco-extremo’s expect the free world to pay, mostly America.

January 19, 2011 9:20 pm

Actually, the material might be used as a fertilzer for certain crops. CO2 as bicarbonate can be taken up by roots. The growth of many plants is inhibited by even relatively small concentrations of bicarbonate, but cereals seem to do quite well. By picking the right crops, there may be a reasonable way to dispose of Ca(HCO3)2 on land.
It might be a great idea to dispose of CO2, if you ignore the fact it’s a huge waste of time, money, and energy.

Dave Kyffin
January 19, 2011 9:25 pm

I’m puzzled. Limestone is calcium carbonate and thus is “saturated” with CO2 – so how do you put more CO2 into it. Weathering is usually the breakdown of a rock, i.e. the release of CO2 from lime. And where, oh where, does calcium BIcarbonate come from? Since both (Ca and CO3) are divalent you can’t substitute a H into the equation – only happens with a monovalent metal like Na.
The only way to absorb CO2 from a gas is to use lime (CaO or Ca(OH)2) which is produced by “burning” estone, i.e. driving off the CO2, like for making cement. Seems to me there’s some basic chemistry gone astray here. Unfortunately I couldn’t get hold of the paper, it’s behind a paywall.

January 19, 2011 9:35 pm

I am not one to look favorably on any of these geo-engineering schemes to do anything. I am as skeptical about this as AGW. If the customers of those power plants near oceans which to sustain the added cost I see nothing wrong with a few studies and maybe a little demonstration project. As long as what ever people do is based on empirical science and not stupid models, that is.

Barry Moore
January 19, 2011 9:51 pm

I am always skeptical of statements which contian the phrase ” ocean acidification” according to the IPCC report the oceans of the world range from a pH of 7.9 to 8.2 now for those who flunked chemistry this is alkali i.e. acid starts at 7.0 and LOWER so how can you increase the acidification of an alkali solution. I realize the US people especially the news media, have a total disregard for the english language, being an ex pat brit I find this illeteracy which is so common amongst the US people sad and inexcuasable, however, by definition, by my language at least, to increase acidification the liquids must be acid to start which according to the IPCC it is not. Thus the term “increased acidification” is pure propaganda. There is no scientific evidence that the world’s oceans pH are changing. Like all things locally one can cherry pick a natural variation and try to make a case out of it but overall there is no change.

Honest ABE
January 19, 2011 10:10 pm

Oh this sounds fantastic, led pump a bunch of seawater, mine a bunch of limestone, grind it up, and transport it to coal plants and mix it all up – this sound like a great way to make burning coal into a net loss of energy.
Here is a better plan for you greenies – give subsidies for coal plants to make MASSIVE greenhouses next to their plants to grow hemp or algae for biofuel. Oh wait, if we did something like that then people would realize that CO2 isn’t a pollutant.
Damn these people are idiots.
(Disclaimer: I wouldn’t actually do that since I’m a libertarian – that’s just a hypothetical suggestion if I believed in interfering with the free market. I wouldn’t be surprised if the coal produced more CO2 than the greenhouses could use but at least it would be more doable).

Bill Sticker
January 19, 2011 10:17 pm

I foresee the next environmental scare already; ‘Hard’ water pollution from power station carbon emissions causes……..(Insert own wild unsubstantiated claim here)

January 19, 2011 10:26 pm

Why not just plant more trees and shrubberies around the power plants? You can expand the zone of plantings to suit the absorption rate. I wonder what kind of plants are most hungry for CO2?

January 19, 2011 10:33 pm


January 19, 2011 10:37 pm

Gary Hladik says:
January 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm
So the solution to our CO2 “problem” is baking soda?
The idea sounds pretty half-baked to me.
You are confusing sodium bicarbonate with calcium bicarbonate.

Dave Dardinger
January 19, 2011 10:37 pm

Limestone is calcium carbonate and thus is “saturated” with CO2 – so how do you put more CO2 into it.

The basic equation is CaCO3 +H2O + CO2 => Ca++ +2HCO3- . Check it out; it balances.

January 19, 2011 10:48 pm

Here’s the problem – they instituted controls on sulphur and now they want to put it back (at government expense of course) Can anyone predict what will happen 20 – 30 years down the road with this?

January 19, 2011 10:52 pm

Dave Dodd says:
January 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm
OK, will someone please explain for this old duffer who must have slept through this part in HS Chemistry: How does making something LESS alkaline, make it “MORE” acidic? I thought we had to measure a pH of <7.0 (by definition) to become acidic in the first place. These people have a serious negative effect on my sleep cycles!
There is a subtle distinction between being acid/acidic and being more or less acidic.
The former is represented numerically as a pH < 7.
The latter represents progress to a lower pH, irrespective if the current pH.
The same apples to alkaline/basic versus higher/ lower basicity.
This is common usage and reflects the practice of making something more acidic, aka adjusting the pH, by adding small amounts of acid to a solution.
Some fields have standardized on a common usage, some refer consistently to basic and some to acidic, to streamline communication and avoid confusion.
I know you guys have tried to concoct a propaganda story out if these subtleties' but any one who deals with these things professionally wonders what you're on about.

Geoff Sherrington
January 19, 2011 10:55 pm

Sorry, Dave Kyffin, the reaction does happen.
What amount of CO2 is emitted to the air by the mining process that gathers the CaCO3?
The limestone to bicarbonate reaction is water based and its equilibrium is moderated by temperature and pH. The proposal would be easier to evaluate if these operating parameters were known.
The process is feasible on paper, but it’s so obvious that it would be widespread by now if it was economic. However, if used on a large scale, it introduces the same objections (though in the reverse direction) as letting foreign CO2 from air be absorbed by ocean water. Either way, one is altering the inorganic chemistry conditions under which much shell material grows. (How natural organics influence the reaction does not seem to be well researched).

January 19, 2011 11:00 pm

Dave Kyffin says:
January 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm
The only way to absorb CO2 from a gas is to use lime (CaO or Ca(OH)2) which is produced by “burning” estone, i.e. driving off the CO2, like for making cement. Seems to me there’s some basic chemistry gone
Errr no. You were asleep in secondary school Chem class apparently.
It’s the good old CO2 plus limewater reaction. Every kid has seen it!!!!
You start off with a slaked lime solution.
Add CO2. The result is a precipitate of CaCO3.
Add more CO2. The precipitate dissolves to produce Ca(HCO3)2.

January 19, 2011 11:05 pm

Maybe they should try in in an aquarium first to see what happens when the water is saturated in calcium carbonate. But that would not be representative since calcium carbonate’s solubility increases with decreasing temperature and increasing pressure. Those conditions are met in deep oceans. Also, you can be certain that it is not pure calcium carbonate but it will also contain lots of other toxic pollutants as well, like mercury for example.

January 19, 2011 11:08 pm

I am dubious about the practicality of the suggestion because of the tonnages of CaCO3 involved. It is some multiple of the tonnages of coal burned.
That’s a lot if limestone!!!
Exercise for the student: calculate the mass ratio of coal to limestone.

January 19, 2011 11:16 pm

As much Limestone as there is on land, the ocean has a lot more. That is a lot of surface area. Saying that limestone in the ocean won’t effectively react with the increased carbonic acid doesn’t make it so. If the carbonates are beneficial from the scrubbers than the limestone dissolving in the ocean is also beneficial and that was probably a mistake for them to admit that. How could acidification from CO2 cause something beneficial. They sound like a bunch of deniers to me. /sarc
It seems unlikely that there would be much change yet in any reaction rate with calcium carbonate in the ocean, if they even looked, since the amount pH change hasn’t been significant, and probably never would be considering the amount of buffers in the ocean even without the limestone reacting. I suppose, in their minds, as long as they get the money, it doesn’t matter if it is complete waste of resources. It still gives them the research money because they are essentially pushing the ocean acidification agenda. That alone would be enough for the left to fund that boondoggle if nobody stops them. They did it with ethanol on a massive scale with no consideration that it wasn’t actually helping even their imaginary problem of excess CO2 in the atmosphere. I wouldn’t put anything beyond them as far as wasteful government spending so long as it pushes an agenda or if it empowers politicians.

January 19, 2011 11:36 pm

Exercise for the student: calculate the mass ratio of coal to limestone.

For every 12 grams/ounces/tons/etc. of coal burned, 100 grams/ounces/tons/etc. of limestone.

January 19, 2011 11:42 pm

This concept would require hundreds of billions of dollars of expenditure in the piping industry, so I’m all for it. Since it would undoubtedly be government-funded, robbing Peter to pay Paul wouldn’t be a problem for me, as my name is Paul.
Piping Design Central Site Owner and Recipient of Big Oil Payoffs,

charles nelson
January 19, 2011 11:48 pm

This isn’t original, but I love it because it confuses Warmists. I’ve embellished it a bit.
CO2, ubiquitous waste material from combustion therefore cheap and plentiful. (not including the cost of capture).
CO2, a substance that has the remarkable ablity to ‘trap’, ‘absorb’, ‘amplify’ infra red energy.
We know this because a mere 400ppm has sufficient heat trapping capacity to warm the rest of the atmosphere ie the other 999 600 parts per million…and if this tiny amount manages to heat an open chaotic system with convection and radiation in play…just imagine the heat trapping/amplification capability of a 100 % pure body of CO2 at around atmospheric pressure I mean it must be awesome…right?
Well given these two ‘facts’, you’d have to ask yourself how long can it be before scientists and engineers develop a way to harness the heat amplifying/capturing properties of this abundant gas?
Surely if we could pipe it to desert/sunny areas for instance and feed it through solar arrays, wouldn’t it capture and amplify heat from the sun? This green heat could be used to drive steam turbines to generate electricity…couldn’t it?
It gets better…the energy generated through this CO2 solar array, is totally sustainable, in fact if we harness the power of enough CO2 eventually there should come a point where other forms of energy generation simply fall by the wayside because they have become un-economical! And we’re ‘scrubbing’ the atmosphere!
These people are usually right up on all the latest sustainable/renewable energy technology, so at this point I ask them if they have ever heard of such a scheme?
That’s usually when they get ‘the look’.

Forest Gump
January 19, 2011 11:50 pm

I don’t believe in man made global warming but I am interested in this proposal.
In Australia we are in danger of being saddled with a carbon tax. The greens are in alliance with labour.
I don’t think we can stop it. So lets make it as painless as possible.
1. CO2 is toxic in concentrations of over 10%. It is heavier than air, so it could get concentrated in a valley.
2. Current proposals to pump CO2 gas underground and store it under pressure could have lethal consequences. If the seals burst a lot of people could actually die from CO2 narcosis.
3. We could propose, in Australia a carbon tax on all new power plants which use coal or natural gas.
This tax would be levied on the power companies and re-couped in higher power bills. Pensioners and paupers could have the additional cost to the refunded by government.
It would be 2% in year one for coal fired power stations, increasing by 2% each year.
It would be 1% for gas fired power stations, increasing by 1% each year.
For coal fired stations, for every 3% of carbon dioxide recovered, 2% of tax will be returned.
For gas fired power stations, for every 1.5% of CO2 recovered, 1% of tax can be reclaimed.
For example a coal fired power station could be situated next to a mile deep abandoned gold mine. 500 metres of this mine will be filled with a solution of calcium hydroxide. The power could be transmitted (say) 1000 miles to the grid using high voltage DC transmission with the loss of only about 10% of the electricity.
The scheme will operate for 5 years and would then be reviewed.
Would it work?
You see the Australian government has to do something. The point is to make it as cheap and as painless (and as futile) as possible

January 19, 2011 11:54 pm

The greenies will not be happy unless all power generated is used to scrub the flue gases.
To them that’s 100% efficiency.
Powering pumps to squirt CO2 into the ground, or the ocean is a crock.
People get paid of this behavior.
Power engineers in China (and the world over)are laughing their a$$es off.

January 19, 2011 11:55 pm

The secret to a profitable scam is to first identify a gullible target. Enjoy….
“Fraudsters are targeting climate scientists with fake conferences in a bid to make cash and obtain details.”

January 19, 2011 11:58 pm

As Dave Dardinger points out, the chemistry balances. The principle is well known and the reaction works both in nature and in the lab. Dr Rau hasn’t discovered anything new there. Bit of a cheek putting such elementary stuff behind a paywall.
The post doesn’t seem to discuss the key issue, which is the energy (i.e. fuel) cost of transporting and crushing the limestone. Without crushing the rock to increase the surface area the reaction rate will be too slow to be effective. Crushing rock is an energy intensive process. Seems a neat way of increasing fuel usage with no clear economic or environmental benefit. As a conservationist I’d rather economise on un-necessary use of fossil fuels. If that’s typical of Lawrence Livermore output, I’m unimpressed.

January 20, 2011 12:05 am

There is a mature technology to remove CO2 from a feedstock gas.
Depending on the source, raw natural gas has significant amounts of CO2 content that has to be removed before it can be piped and used as a commercial product which has to have <4% CO2.
Amines, membranes and moleculer sieves are all commercial systems:-
To achieve effective rates of removal usually requires high pressure and/or heating so is energy intensive. The removed CO2 is generally released to the atmosphere. in regeneration of the removal media. I am not sure that this CO2 is included in calculations of the carbon footprint of natural gas energy generation.

Brian H
January 20, 2011 12:08 am

Since the real problem is the CO2 famine, just the baking of limestone to release all that poor, trapped gas is the only sensible course.

January 20, 2011 12:43 am

For a warmist this isn’t too bad of an idea. It would cost a lot and wouldn’t have any benefit at all, but it wouldn’t actually harm anything. So other than wasting money…
What makes me crazy is the 20.2% from nuclear comes from 120 or so plants. Just adding 100 nuclear plants would get rid of 1000 coal plants and could get nuclear up to 50. If they really, truly cared about carbon they would push nuclear.

January 20, 2011 1:09 am

The basic equation is CaCO3 +H2O + CO2 => Ca++ +2HCO3- . Check it out; it balances.
But it’s an equilibrium, isn’t it? So it will just move back again.
The earth contains large amounts of calcium carbonate, but very little calcium bicarbonate. I would suggest that means calcium carbonate is the more stable form, and that bicarbonate will break down to form it in the sea.
It might be “plant food” but the net effect is to be transformed back into the carbonate and the carbon dioxide be released, one way or another.
If ocean acidification does prove to be a problem, then it might be worth doing for that reason, but that’s a long way into the future. As a way to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, not so good.

January 20, 2011 1:18 am

Bill Sticker:
“I foresee the next environmental scare already; ‘Hard’ water pollution from power station carbon emissions causes……..(Insert own wild unsubstantiated claim here)”
… scale on fish?
More seriously is there any evidence that increased CO2 dissolved in the oceans is feeding plankton? Presumably having cycled a few times and up the food chain the carbon should sink into the anoxic mud and be stuck.

P.G. Sharrow
January 20, 2011 1:27 am

I find this amusing. You don’t need limestone to scrub CO2! Just straight seawater works quite well. Actually any “hard ” water will work. 20 years ago I invented and patented a fume scrubber that does this quite well. Too well actually. It would make concrete with the CO2 in the air and normal city water. Just how in the heck do you think god cleans the atmosphere. Breath mints! IT is the OCEAN that creates the atmosphere we enjoy. pg

January 20, 2011 1:33 am

Nature does this FREE OF CHARGE!!!
Another crass idea from a straw grabbing scientist trying to gain extra grant money. It will also cost billions!

Mike Haseler
January 20, 2011 2:10 am

Dave Kyffin says:
“The only way to absorb CO2 from a gas is to use lime (CaO or Ca(OH)2) which is produced by “burning” estone, i.e. driving off the CO2, like for making cement. Seems to me there’s some basic chemistry gone astray here.
My thoughts exactly.
Presumably, the Chinese will produce vast quantities of lime (and CO2) and ship it to the US who will then soak up all their CO2 (at vast cost) and because China is an emerging market and needs to grow …. it’ll all be OK and help the planet.

Peter Whale
January 20, 2011 2:12 am

If I remember going up from a ph value of 7 goes towards being caustic and going down, towards being acid. So you are more or less caustic or more or less acid.

January 20, 2011 2:29 am

Lazy Teenager:
“….Some fields have standardized on a common usage, some refer consistently to basic and some to acidic, to streamline communication and avoid confusion”….
and to those pedants amongst us, if you add acidic solution to an alkaline solution the latter either becomes less alkaline or dependant on the quantity/mole of the former an acidic solution. WRT seawater, less alkaline as it’s pH does not drop below 7.0. There is no streamlining of “communication” issues here. “streamlining communication” is what non-scientist scientists do to the sheeple. Sheeple are easily confused.

Chris Smith
January 20, 2011 2:33 am

We need to build giant compressors and then ship the CO2 to the ocean in gigantic haulage trucks. It’s okay though, because the compressors and trucks can run on the hot air generated by cranky watermelons.

Robert Christopher
January 20, 2011 2:41 am

‘“The experiment in effect mimics and speeds up nature’s own process,” said Rau. “Given enough time, carbonate mineral (limestone) weathering will naturally consume most anthropogenic CO2. Why not speed this up where it’s cost effective to do so?”’
I would like to see the business case for this!
The costs would be interesting, but the monetary benefits, the profits to pay for it, would be even more interesting!
What would the criteria be to judge it “cost effective”?

January 20, 2011 2:50 am

I do this in the bath with methane quite often can I get a patent?

January 20, 2011 3:07 am

Predicador says:
January 19, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Exercise for the student: calculate the mass ratio of coal to limestone.

For every 12 grams/ounces/tons/etc. of coal burned, 100 grams/ounces/tons/etc. of limestone.

Spot on.
So, In ideal conditions, for every ton of coal used you need 8.33 tons of limestone to neutralize the CO2 produced during combustion.
Also in ideal conditions, that ton of coal could be converted into 2.5 tons of sugar by sugar canes or beets or whatever sugar producing plant you want to use.
One wonders what kind of chemistry and biology do these ecologists study.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
January 20, 2011 3:14 am

There is a MUCH BETTER method already being worked on:

A dash of lime — a new twist that may cut CO2 levels back to pre-industrial levels
July 21, 2008
Scientists say they have found a workable way of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere by adding lime to seawater. And they think it has the potential to dramatically reverse CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere, reports Cath O’Driscoll in SCI’s Chemistry & Industry magazine published today.
Shell is so impressed with the new approach that it is funding an investigation into its economic feasibility. ‘We think it’s a promising idea,’ says Shell’s Gilles Bertherin, a coordinator on the project. ‘There are potentially huge environmental benefits from addressing climate change – and adding calcium hydroxide to seawater will also mitigate the effects of ocean acidification, so it should have a positive impact on the marine environment.’
Adding lime to seawater increases alkalinity, boosting seawater’s ability to absorb CO2 from air and reducing the tendency to release it back again.
However, the idea, which has been bandied about for years, was thought unworkable because of the expense of obtaining lime from limestone and the amount of CO2 released in the process.
Tim Kruger, a management consultant at London firm Corven is the brains behind the plan to resurrect the lime process. He argues that it could be made workable by locating it in regions that have a combination of low-cost ‘stranded’ energy considered too remote to be economically viable to exploit – like flared natural gas or solar energy in deserts – and that are rich in limestone, making it feasible for calcination to take place on site.
Kruger says: ‘There are many such places – for example, Australia’s Nullarbor Plain would be a prime location for this process, as it has 10 000km^3 of limestone and soaks up roughly 20MJ/m^2 of solar irradiation every day.’
The process of making lime generates CO2, but adding the lime to seawater absorbs almost twice as much CO2. The overall process is therefore ‘carbon negative’.

With proper siting the proposed process can use FREE solar energy. Thus one major benefit is already noticeable. There are many remote places where solar power is abundantly available yet it isn’t used for electricity generation due to the problems of getting all that electricity to the proper markets (lack of transmission lines, losses in transmission). So use the FREE solar power to convert the limestone to calcium hydroxide, which is then dumped in the ocean. At the power plants, which are located where the electricity is needed, DO NOT bother them with the questionable “CO2 sequestration” methods like the potentially hazardous pumping of CO2 under the ground, which divert some of the power generated to do so thus leading to EVEN MORE fossil fuels being consumed to compensate.
For lovers of carbon offsets, this is FAR BETTER than the current wishy-washy schemes like the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) was running. Rather than buying carbon credits for essentially a promise that “somehow, somewhere, sometime” a project will generate an appropriate offset, this method offers conscientious buyers hard results. Release a ton of CO2 emissions, know that enough calcium hydroxide will be dumped to absorb a ton of CO2. Be certain that You Are Doing Your Part To Combat Global Warming.
There’s a website for it:
It’s being developed as an open source project. Likely that will help keep those dirty capitalists from making obscene profits from a worthwhile project to Save The Planet, as they unfortunately do with wind and solar power.
If you can, stop on by, help them out. Just about everyone here can agree they do need help.

January 20, 2011 3:43 am

LazyTeenager says:
January 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm
And you slake limestone by firing it in a Lime Kiln, using Industrial Coke fuel.
This is the cute little circle the green doggie makes chasing his tail.
So, in order to satisfy LEPA Jackson, one must mine more coal, limestone and transport more product to the coal-fired plants.
Truly, I say to you, these people are idiots.

Alan Bates
January 20, 2011 4:40 am

Some further points on the idea (I don’t think it has been covered yet but if it has, apologies) …
“Natural” seawater is nasty stuff in at least 2 ways:
1) It is surprisingly corrosive. Seawater makes many materials more susceptible to pitting, corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion cracking and many other forms, depending on the materials concerned. While materials resistant to seawater corrosion are available, they are expensive and must be chosen with care if sensible lifetimes are required. If not, you are into large scale inspection and maintenance programmes.
CO2 plant failures will presumably lead to outages for the coal fired plant and increase costs. A large coal fired plant can have outage costs of £1M per day – especially if outages occur in winter (for US, read “summer”) or whenever peak generation is needed. That is, assuming less efficient plant is available.
To ensure long term plant integrity is maintained, the plant will have to have built-in redundancy of key plant items. However, stagnant seawater in non-operational plant can also lead to crevice corrosion etc. etc.
All this is soluble but at an every-increasing cost.
(Point 2, next post)

January 20, 2011 4:51 am

Another loonatic geoengineering brainstorm, proving that the “climate science” community is completely insane.

January 20, 2011 4:57 am

That´s what the current Landscheidt minimum will do, by increasing CO2 solubility in colder sea waters. 🙂
“Just wait in your front door….and you´ll see the corpse of your enemy passing by” (Confucius)

January 20, 2011 5:04 am

Hey Mr.Raw!. Did you know that for “Calcium” to capture CO2 you need TO BURN LIMESTONE to turn it into “Burnt limestone”?:
CaCO3+ Heat (with “fossil fuels”)= CaO + CO2
in order to make your reversed process:
CaO (milk of burnt limestone)+ CO2 = CaCO3
So, you will be just “Pouring the empty into the void”…..Congratulations, wise indeed!

January 20, 2011 5:06 am

Didn’t President Bush suggest using lime pits to absorb CO2, if it ever became a problem. As I recall, his idea got shot down for raising the spectre of Geoengineering, and distracting everyone from the politically correct solution of taxing the economy back to the stone age.
How the world turns… 🙂

January 20, 2011 5:40 am

I have already suggested to our dear Department of Energy and Climate Change (don’t get me started) that we surround any new ‘clean’ coal-fired power stations with market gardens, so that the CO2 could be pumped straight into their polytunnels, like tomato growers do anyway all the time (to concentrations of 800-1000ppm).
No response, of course… Bit too logical, I expect…

January 20, 2011 6:06 am

An issue about reacting with limestone is the need to crush it to increase the surface area. Another approach would be to cliff and mountain-sized chunks of limestone or chalk. Instead of building CO2 pipelines, we could use, umm, wind energy to transport the CO2.
This way, we can build minehead coal power plants and let the wind transport the CO2 to the white cliffs of Dover, which I hear are dangerously tall. I submit this as the most cost effective solution.

January 20, 2011 6:15 am

Hilarious! Worry about ocean-acidification from to much CO2, then recommend pumping CO2 into the ocean!

January 20, 2011 6:30 am

Dave —
I gather that the process involves passes CO2-laden gas through water, producing carbonic acid
CO2 + H2O => H2CO3
Calcium carbonate plus carbonic acid becomes calcium bicarbonate
CaCO3 + H2CO3 => Ca(HCO3)2
A little hard to see in this form, sorry — all the numerals should be subscripts.

Ron McCarley
January 20, 2011 7:05 am

Let’s see, is the coal choking all the birds too? But wait, there aren’t any birds left up there due to the wind turbines killing 100,000 of them per year.

Ken Lydell
January 20, 2011 7:21 am

“Earlier research has shown that ocean acidification can cause exoskeletal components to decay, retard growth and reproduction, reduce activity and even kill marine life including coral reefs.” Really? Show me the proof.
There are now hundreds of studies of how increases in ocean acidity affect marine life. This isn’t rocket science. Any high school kid with a salt-water aquarium and a bottle of hydrochloric acid can perform a credible experiment. As experiments are replicable, warmists and skeptics can give them a go and they have. And what, on the whole, do they show?
No model studies here. Just plain old experimental science that has thus far failed to support the notion of catastrophic acidification of the oceans.

January 20, 2011 7:23 am

kadaka says –
With proper siting the proposed process can use FREE solar energy.
There is no such thing as free solar energy. Nor is there free wind energy. Renewable energy sources cost at least 3x as much as natural gas power plants. Since Texas became the leader in wind energy, their power rates increased 50% in about 3 years. They have Rick Perry and Houston-based Enron to thank for that.
Green energy, the great con.

January 20, 2011 7:32 am

Just ship it to the coats in diesel or coal-powered trains. Duh.

January 20, 2011 7:33 am

It seems to me finding a cure for a problem not proven is futile because the cure will never work because it has nothing to work on. We could never know for sure if it worked if nothing happened but the claim could be made that because it did not happen it worked. It is a win win situation and only costs a lot of tax dollars.
There has got to be some good in scientific research on CO2 but the case should be proven before we jump off the deep end and insure disaster.

January 20, 2011 7:46 am

As long as CO2 is considered a pollutant, expensive schemes like this will be proposed to dispose of it.
Considered as a valuable resource, CO2 scrubbed from a power plant could be mixed with chicken poo in water and exposed to a little bit of algae and a lot of sunlight. The mass of resulting algae can be removed from the water by filter feeders such as clams.
Eat the clams with a cream sauce over linguini and use the shells with the sequestered CO2 to sweeten the soil where chicken feed is grown.
Nature is well designed.

January 20, 2011 7:50 am

I think I hit upon a process that actually scrubs CO2 from the atmosphere and converts it to a fairly inert polysaccharide, C6H10O5, that can then be buried in the ground. If buried deep enough ( 20 meters or so) its decomposition almost stops. Best of all, it is something we can do right now!
The process begins with an organism called trees. They produce the substance in abundance from Atmospheric CO2. The polysaccaride can then be used to make a wide variety of useful products, such as containers. After the product is no longer useful, it can be buried and covered with dirt.

January 20, 2011 7:53 am

This is a bad idea that is trying to solve a problem resulting from a bad idea. Nature efficiently sucks up the CO2. The half-life of CO2 in a power plant plum is a matter of hours. Clouds, trees, lakes, rivers, ponds, limestone, concrete, moist soil, etc, all soak up CO2. Power plant plumes of CO2 rapidly vanish into natural background levels. Very little CO2 coming from power plants in the eastern U. S. ever reaches the atlantic ocean. What little that gets that far will tend to equilibrate there.

Steve from Rockwood
January 20, 2011 8:21 am

Didn’t these guys ever watch Star Trek?

adrian smits
January 20, 2011 8:38 am

That’s probably a good idea to make this scheme economical as long as you don’t over do it. That is raise the ph by more than half a point. It probably wouldn’t have a major negative impact on the rivers and might even be beneficial for some marginally acidic ecosystems.I can see the cost being way lower than some of the current ways of sequestration being discussed and already experimented with eg in Saskatchewan.

January 20, 2011 8:42 am

HaroldW, you might try to read the paper. Yes, Ca(HCO2)2 technically can be produced, and yes, it contains more CO2 than CaCO2. But the reaction is reversible, and the endproduct can be retained ONLY IN ISOLATION FROM ATMOSPHERE. And I quote the paper here. You can push more CO2 into lime, sure, but only if you retain high partial pressure. As soon as you release it, CO2 goes right back to the air.
Yes, the paper then starts going on a tangent how Ca(HCO2)2 can be utilized by marine animals. Which is all hunky-dandy, with only one tiny problem: they do it in the form of CaCO2, releasing excess CO2. Oops. Apparently, they do not mention it in the paper, I wonder why.
In any case, even IF there was a way of doing so (say, by utilization some other source of cations to tie up carbonates in insoluble form), the advisability of the process is highly debatable. Limestone accumulation irreversibly binds carbon in miles-thick depositions that already captured most of Earth carbon pool, and eventually will bind pretty much all of it. On geological scale of time, of course, but I do not see why hurry and speed it up.

January 20, 2011 8:46 am

Let’s start with a truism.
The farther one gets from Gillette, Wyoming the more expensive coal is.
The Pacific Ocean is 1,000 miles away and the Atlantic is 2,000 miles away.
There is no point is discussing coal fired electricity with carbon capture on either coast. The costs are just to high to be competitive.

January 20, 2011 8:48 am

Well, I posted above w/o reading the article, so my bad. The process chemically does eliminate the CO2-acidity issue.
It’s still a massive-scale “solution” to an imaginary problem.

adrian smits
January 20, 2011 8:54 am

Actually for the first few decades they wont even have to dump it into the rivers. There are thousands of farmers who buy limestone to de-acidify their soil I’m sure they would gladly replace that with an alternative if the price was low enough.Oh wait isn’t calcium carbonate the technical term for quicklime? That might cause a problem. The government outlawed its use for agriculture many years ago because bad people where using it to make their problems disappear. How ironic!

January 20, 2011 9:14 am

This is not a new idea. The USGS had something ( called AWL- Accelerated Weathering of Limestone ) out on this a couple of years ago but as some have said…distance from coastal areas is the main cost factor. The limestone is readily available and is some instances a waste product from limestone quarries. That’s where this push comes from, the USGS trying to utilize existing limestone quarry excess material. More here at:

January 20, 2011 9:25 am

Folks, we already have this process in place. It’s called a “scrubber” in the power plants. We grind limestone and dissolve it in water that’s cycled up to high hardness by the addition of limestone and all the flue gas nasties + evaporation. The goal is the production of calcium sulfite and calcium sulfate. However, this brings to mind the idea that I may need to check on the sodium, carbonate, and bicarbonate concentration in the recycle water. This may lead to some interesting thoughts and possibly the notion that we are already scrubbing CO2 at coal plants with scrubbers.
Then again, as it was alluded to earlier…. do you want less alkaline oceans, or acid rain? Sulfate cooling or CO2 warming?

January 20, 2011 9:35 am

I don’t see the problem with this idea.
the washing process would also remove actual pollutants, and if it is not too wildly expensive it could help fend off the waste of windmills and other junk energy.

Anthony Scalzi
January 20, 2011 9:54 am

CRS, Dr.P.H. says:
January 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm
Sorry, Greg, but it’s already a commercial process:
Producing construction materials such as aggregates for concrete is not a bad idea, actually…..much better than pumping the stuff deep underground!
However, if EPA declares coal ash as a hazardous material (likely), this plan will be all goofed up as the flyash carries over into the aggregate.
The concrete industry would probably give the EPA hell, as fly ash is a very useful admixture for concrete.

John from CA
January 20, 2011 10:05 am

Retrofitting the Existing Coal Fleet with Carbon Capture Technology
While carbon capture is relatively new to power generation, it is not an uncommon industrial practice. CO2 is routinely separated and captured as a useful by-product from industrial processes such as synthetic ammonia production, hydrogen production, and limestone calcination.
In order to achieve the IEP program goal of 90 percent CO2 capture at no more than a 35 percent increase in the cost of electricity, a number of technical challenges need to be addressed.

Say What?
“35 percent increase in the cost of electricity” and parasitic loss of 20 to 30 percent of the power generated — used to capture and compress the CO2.

January 20, 2011 10:05 am

It’s time again to remember:
CO2 follows temperature, not the other way. Open a coke and you?ll see it: The more you have it in your warm hand the more gas will go out when you open it.
CO2 is the transparent gas we all exhale (and Not SUV: That dark is SOOT=Carbon dust) and plants breath with delight, to give us back what they exhale instead= The Oxygen we breath in.
CO2 is a TRACE GAS in the atmosphere, it is the 0.038% of it.
There is no such a thing as Greenhouse Effect: greenhouse gases are gases IN a greenhouse, where heated gases are trapped and relatively isolated not to lose its heat so rapidly. If greenhouse effect were to be true, as Svante Arrhenius figured it out: CO2 like the window panes in a greenhouse, but the trouble is that those panes would be only 3.8 panes out of 10000, there would be 9996.2 HOLES.
The atmosphere, the air can not hold heat, its volumetric heat capacity, per cubic centimeter is 0.00192 joules, while water is 4.186, i.e., 3227 times.
This is the reason why people used hot water bottles to warm their feet and not hot air bottles
CO2 is a gas essential to life. All carbohydrates are made of it. The sugar you eat, the bread you have eaten in your breakfast this morning, even the pants and underwear you wear (these are made from 100% cotton, a polymer of glucose, are made of CO2. You didn’t know it, did you?)
You and I, we are made of CARBON and WATER. So…baby: No Carbon dioxide=No YOU. Do you love yourself?…then you must love CO2.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
January 20, 2011 10:31 am

From Hoser on January 20, 2011 at 7:23 am:

kadaka says –
With proper siting the proposed process can use FREE solar energy.
There is no such thing as free solar energy. Nor is there free wind energy.

I know, I know…
Read my comments long enough, you should realize my default setting is a smirk on my face as I write. Really, (C)AGW and related nonsense deserves to be laughed at. Thankfully it’s all self-contradicting and self-conflicting enough that it’s easy to find the humor.
Which is why I talk about FREE!! solar energy. ☺

January 20, 2011 10:34 am

what about the coral and ocean acidification???? Have they forgotten about that wild claim?

Alan Bates
January 20, 2011 11:11 am

Problems with seawater, Part 2. (Sorry for the delay, life stepped in …)
2) Seawater fouls things up at several levels. Seawater is not beautiful, clean, clear and sparkling blue (except in the holiday ads).
Seawater contains large non-living things – like timber, plastic bottles, pieces of neting.
It also contains organic things like fish, seals, dolphins , kelp and other seaweed, shells, jellyfish, faeces (human and other).
In addition, there is abrasive sand, deteriorated plastics and other small solid material.
Last-but-one, there are the lavae of many things but notably molluscs. Just ask about zebra mussels and the fouling they cause. Now, “That won’t happen here – zebra mussels grow in frshwater”. True, but unfortunately there are mussels that grow in seawater and are a major problem in the UK – you gave us zebra mussels – we may export proper blue mussels back to you in tonnes. They grow really well in the ends of tubes where there is a fresh supply of water flowing through – until they block it and die leaving their shells in place.
Finally, there are chemicals in seawater which can cause fouling such as manganese.
Add all of this together and you have a high potential for fouling of the system. That means chemical dosing (like chlorination …), coarse and fine screening, continuous cleaning of the screens to prevent total blockage and plant failure etc. etc. etc.
Now all of this is soluble (i.e. capable of being solved) but every step adds a further problem and extra cost with greater risk of it all going pear-shaped (do you have that expression in the US?).
I used to be an industrial chemist supporting power stations in the UK. All but the smallest operated beside the sea. All had their own set of problems. All had to abide by strict environmental regulation. For example, if we took a single fish out of the screens we would have been prosecuted for acting as a fishing vessel without a quota). Chlorination was accepted but only if kept to the minimum that would work and only if produced by electrolysis of seawater which was particulalry prone to particulate and manganese fouling. And so it goes round and round.
Best of luck to anyone who thinks working with seawater is easy! Because it ain’t!!Especially on a 2000 MW power station!!!

Richard G
January 20, 2011 11:14 am

Allow me to elaborate on my earlier grant proposal:
Pump the CO2 into the botanical biosphere through vertically oriented atmospheric CO2 gas emitters. Solar powered carbon fixing botanical units can then be employed to scavenge the carbon from the atmosphere by combining it with hydrogen to form long carbon hydrogen chains. The USDA in partnership with EPA can actually pay people to do this. The program will be called ‘Facilitated Atmospheric Recapture Mediated Environmental Restoration’, or F.A.R.M.E.R, utilizing botanical Specialist (BS) technicians, or F.A.R.M.E.R.S. The resulting carbon rich biomass can be used in a myriad of ways as a feed stock with many industrial applications. We could probably develop a market based exchange for this product that would eventually become self sustaining.

January 20, 2011 12:05 pm

Every time that humans start playing God with nature, we usually screw things up royally. I leave it to those like Alan Bates to identify the risks and some of the unintended consequences.

January 20, 2011 12:12 pm

Anthony Scalzi is on the right track. Calera indeed has a process that essentially makes CaCO3 (not the bicarbonate) out of the CO2 from a power plant to use as “green cement”. Another company called Skyonic
has a similar process that makes sodium bicarbonate solid from CO2 emissions.
The chemistry in any of these processes involves making a source of alkalinity, NaOH in this case, and some calcium ions from seawater or brine. There is no burning off CO2 from limestone, which would make it silly from a carbon capture perspective. Is it economic? Time will tell. And good points about dumping anything in the ocean, even if it is already there and is occurring naturally.

January 20, 2011 12:14 pm

Excuse me, my previous post should say “use”, not “sue”.

Hugo M
January 20, 2011 12:15 pm

I recently heard that Germany had become an Uranium exporter due to its strict legislation imposed on exhausts from coal fired plants (as a consequence of the assumed forest dieback). Such materials certainly had to be scrubbed separately, before exhaust gases undergo any wet CO2 absorption, as it would likely accumulate in that phase.

George E. Smith
January 20, 2011 2:13 pm

Say Greg; mebbe I can help y’alls out with your problem there; that distance from the ocean thingy; I mean you’d have to use up tons of fule to truck that stuff to the ocean.
Try this on for size. Convert your calcium bicarbonate into CO2 gas, and just turn that loose in the atmosphere, and Mother Gaia, will move the whole kit and caboodle over to the ocean for you.
There see how easy that is.

January 20, 2011 2:35 pm

So essentially US coasts will become saturated with CO2 because the bone head hippie believes the CO2 will just automagically be spread even on the seven seas.
How very brilliant these geo-engineer wannabes are. And to their capable hands the crazed climate hippies want to leave the future climate too.

Ed Scott
January 20, 2011 2:56 pm

Suddenly, the acidification of the oceans is of no concern.
Carbon Dioxide is the “Sarah Palin” trace atmospheric gas: libeled and slandered with no definitive proof of complicity.
Greenhouse effect? Why not the closed car effect?
You probably have observed that when your car is parked in an open area with direct sunlight you can feel the trap heat inside your car to the point where you can fry an egg. Same thing goes with the light and heat inside the greenhouse.
How about the limiting of heat transfer by convection, or lack of, in the greenhouse (closed car).
What atmospheric trace gas limits heat convection in the atmosphere other than water vapor in the form of clouds.
Note, to Algore: Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide was not a co-conspirator in the recent shooting violence in Tucson, Arizona.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)
January 20, 2011 3:55 pm

From Ed Scott on January 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm:

Note, to Algore: Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide was not a co-conspirator in the recent shooting violence in Tucson, Arizona.

Correction: A. Carbon Dioxide is identified as an Un-indicted Co-conspirator, due to a lack of a conclusive link between A.C.D. and any demonstrated damages.
Note that A.C.D. has been known to be disguised and go by the alias Anthropogenic Methane. When doing so it is reportedly at least 12 times as dangerous. Some form of delusional mental state is suspected. We can only hope Algore does everything possible to avoid the release of A. Methane around innocent unsuspecting people.

Ed Scott
January 20, 2011 4:54 pm

I stand corrected.
kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:
Correction: A. Carbon Dioxide is identified as an Un-indicted Co-conspirator, due to a lack of a conclusive link between A.C.D. and any demonstrated damages.

Larry Butler
January 20, 2011 7:38 pm

The entire funding for this project from its inception until it is abandoned as stupid because CO2 is not a poison, must be funded by an amazingly heavy federal mileage tax on all electric cars. The electric cars will be multiplying all our power bills by X5 or X10 in a few years as electricity becomes more and more scarce and the price jumps accordingly.
It’s time the electric car greenies paid their fair share of the costs they cause on all of us.

January 20, 2011 7:39 pm

Cquestering cites:
Kheshgi Haroon S “Sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide by increasing ocean alkalinity”, 1995, Energy 20, 915-922.

Brian H
January 20, 2011 7:53 pm

Duh says:
January 20, 2011 at 7:32 am
Just ship it to the coats in diesel or coal-powered trains. Duh.

Whose coats would those be, Senor Duh?
Donut pots if yuh cont splel.

Charlie Foxtrot
January 20, 2011 8:01 pm

It would be interesting to see an overall energy balance and cost analysis for the CO2 capture process.
Think of the increased job opportunities. Several times as many trains/barges of limestone would be needed as trains/barges of coal, so the RR’s and barge companies would love it. Miners and truck drivers would benefit. More rail lines and roads would surely be needed so more people would be needed in construction and steel. New pipelines to the oceans would be needed, so pump makers, pipe foundries, etc., all would benefit. The benefits boggle the mind! We could be talking full employment for everyone. The only problem is, the cost of electric energy might need to increase a tad, like by a factor of three or four.

January 20, 2011 10:57 pm

Carbon From The Deeps
Scientists believe that carbon released from the ocean floor played a key role in past episodes of climate change. Around 55 million years ago, the break-up of the northeast Atlantic continents was associated with the injection of large amounts of molten magma into seafloor sediments. Formation of the North Atlantic basalts heated the carbon-rich sediments, triggering the release of large quantities of methane and carbon dioxide into the ocean and atmosphere. It has been suggested that this release of previously sequestered carbon was responsible for a 100,000 year period of rapid temperature rise known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum or PETM. Three letters published in Nature Geoscience suggest that carbon trapped beneath the seabed continues to influence carbon dynamics, at least in the deep ocean
Once again, science is giving the public mixed messages. Researchers in one area propose “solutions” to global warming that ignore the dangers uncovered by other scientists. As Richard Feynman noted: “In this age of specialization men who thoroughly know one field are often incompetent to discuss another.” Nonetheless, governments are urged to charge ahead with “clean coal” and other carbon sequestration schemes.
Climate scientists and eco-activists, out to rein in human activity and make their personal reputations, form a collection of carbon cycle Don Quixotes. Tilting at global warming windmills, each of them, as Cervantes might have put it, is “spurred on by the conviction that the world needs his immediate presence.” None are more dangerous than the energetically ignorant.
Despite efforts to the contrary, more settled science has been unsettled, more consensus opinion overturned and our ignorance of the world around us revealed for all to see. Some scientists accept the truth—little is know about carbon from the deeps and its involvement in the present day carbon cycle. Being innocent of real understanding, we should look before we leap, rather than risk a major ecological or economic catastrophe in hopes of avoiding the unproven and ill-defined effects of anthropogenic global warming.
Be safe, enjoy the interglacial and stay sceptical

January 21, 2011 1:37 am

Some have already mentioned the company, but here’s the Scientific American article on the subject of the “CO2 cement”.

January 21, 2011 8:00 am

Wouldn’t it be cheaper to sequester this guys for the fish food? It would surely benefit the oceans too.

Charlie Foxtrot
January 21, 2011 9:38 am

Obama’s War on Coal
Investor’s Business Daily, Jan. 19, 2011, reported that Obama is now going after coal mines.
Four years after obtaining a permit to mine coal in West Verginia, the Obama administration withdrew the permit from Arch Coal. No violation of the permit was noted. EPA explained that the mine employed “destructive and unsustainable mining practices that jeopardize the health of Applachian communities and clean water on which they depend”.
Just as Obama ordered EPA to find CO2 to be a pollutant, now he has ordered them to start closing down coal mining. As this new mine would likely use all the latest and best practices, can the closure of more mines be far behind? No coal, no CO2 problem. Also no jobs, no power, and an economy in ruins.

January 21, 2011 10:38 am


January 23, 2011 12:34 pm

Oh dear, here we go again…
“when carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, a significant fraction is passively taken up by the ocean in a form that makes the ocean more acidic”…
“The ocean”, whichever one, will not become more acidic, simply because all sea water has never been acidic, as far as we know, and it certainly is not so now with a pH of between 7.6 and 8.2, depending on where you happen to be. It may become less alkaline, but, like most science, that’s debatable.

Forest Gump
January 23, 2011 11:02 pm

I’m sorry to say this again, but CO2 is a poison. It is a poison in very high concentrations. Since CO2 is heavier than air, people in a valley can, and have, died of CO2 poisoning. This is why pumping CO2 into the ground at high pressures is potentially dangerous. If the seals fail, a lot of CO2 could be suddenly released and in local low lying areas deaths could occur.

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