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View Diary: Pique the Geek 20110605: Misconceptions about Science (112 comments)

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  •  I almost mentioned (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, frosti, Celtic Merlin

    this in the piece.  But think of the ramifications.  You would have to have VAST underground storage capacity, and suitable geologic formations are not evenly distributed.  In addition, pressure builds up and can have potentially negative seismic effects.

    Since you mentioned it, I DO have a bit of a workaround.  That is to use the effluent gas to "feed" algae in towers nearby to make biodiesel fuels.  The gas is warm and full of carbon dioxide, so it should stimulate the growth of algae to a large degree.  In addition, algae could be bred to absorb mercury (it already does to some extent), so that rather than entering the atmosphere, it could be captured, reduced in volume, and safely (relatively) stored.

    In my opinion, it is not practical to store large amounts of carbon dioxide underground, but using it to feed algae might be a workable solution.  What do you think?

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

    by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:40:56 PM PDT

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    •  I'm not an expert (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator

      but the standard lore is that in much of the U.S. there is enormous geological capacity for safe CO2 storage. In China, not so much.

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:45:41 PM PDT

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      •  Just consider this. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tonga 23, JeffW, Celtic Merlin

        One metric ton of coal produces 16666.7 moles of carbon dioxide.  This comes to be around 373333 liters at STP.  Assuming a one thousand contraction in volume at it is liquefied, that is now 373 liters of liquid carbon dioxide.  That comes out to about 100 gallons, or two 55 gallon drums.  This is assuming complete liquefaction of the carbon dioxide.

        In 2006, we used 931,349,000 metric tons of coal for power generation.  That comes to 8.7 ^10 gallons of completely liquefied carbon dioxide!  870 million gallons!  If it were water, it would require a storage tank, if square, of enormous proportions.  It is just not feasible, and that is just for one year for the US.

        I do not think that this is feasible.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:20:12 PM PDT

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    •  Well, if someone thought this would work... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      palantir, Translator

      ...they'd be trying to tap the stacks of the Fisk and Crawford power plants here in Chicago for carbon dioxide, and sending it west to feed algae growing in tubes in effluent from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District's Stickney wastewater treatment plant.

      But what do I know?

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:47:37 PM PDT

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    •  on algae (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Translator

      If CO2 can speed the growth of algae, great. But the chance that we can speed up photosynthesis enough to allow us to replace a high fraction of the C burned is extremely remote. Essentially you're proposing a form of solar energy, biomass, accelerated by the CO2 exhaust. Biomass requires very large land areas.  

      I strongly recommend the wonderful free online book by David Mackay.http://www.withouthotair.com/

      Michael Weissman UID 197542

      by docmidwest on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 07:50:09 PM PDT

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      •  I agree. It is only a thought (0+ / 0-)

        but what other alternatives do we have?  I have been paddled over and over here for advocating fission.

        Warmest regards,

        Doc

        Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

        by Translator on Sun Jun 05, 2011 at 08:21:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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