Carbon Capture and Storage
Ocean Carbon Sequestration
Soil Carbon Sequestration
Switchgrass or Prairie Grass
- Biomass and Biochar
- Switchgrass or Prairie Grass
- -01 Lovelock: One Last Chance to Save Mankind (NewScientist.com)
"There is one way we could save ourselves and that is through the massive burial of charcoal. It would mean farmers turning all their agricultural waste - which contains carbon that the plants have spent the summer sequestering - into non-biodegradable charcoal, and burying it in the soil. Then you can start shifting really hefty quantities of carbon out of the system and pull the CO2 down quite fast."
"Would it make enough of a difference?"
"Yes. The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes. Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms. What we can do is cheat those consumers by getting farmers to burn their crop waste at very low oxygen levels to turn it into charcoal, which the farmer then ploughs into the field. A little CO2 is released but the bulk of it gets converted to carbon. You get a few per cent of biofuel as a by-product of the combustion process, which the farmer can sell. This scheme would need no subsidy: the farmer would make a profit. This is the one thing we can do that will make a difference, but I bet they won't do it." 05-09
- -Carbon-Negative Biochar and the Tipping Point (e360.Yale.edu)
"As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere climbs to 400 parts per million and beyond, and the impacts of climate change become more unmistakable and destructive — rapid melting of Arctic Ocean ice, a rising incidence of extreme weather events — the case for extracting carbon from the atmosphere becomes increasingly compelling. Reducing the world’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases — the focus of virtually all public discussion and government policy on climate at the moment — remains vital, but as a practical matter that effort only affects how quickly the 400 ppm figure will increase. Turning biomass into biochar and burying it underground effectively withdraws CO2 from the atmosphere; if done at sufficient scale and in combination with aggressive reductions in annual greenhouse gas emissions, biochar thus could help reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO2."
"Johannes Lehmann, a professor of agricultural science at Cornell University and one of the world’s top experts on biochar, has calculated that if biochar were added to 10 percent of global cropland, the effect would be to sequester 29 billion tons of CO2 equivalent — roughly equal to humanity’s annual greenhouse gas emissions." 01-14
- -Climate Change: What We Can Do (Evaluation and Development Institute)
"Earth's climate became very stable 10,000 years ago, allowing for agriculture for the first time. Our stable climate arose from a balance of three ingredients:
-Ocean currents and
Greenhouse gases provided a stable temperature to allow ocean currents to mix heat and cold around the globe and to maintain a relatively constant amount of polar ice.
We now have 1/3 more CO2 in the air than we had only 150 years ago--and CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. The extra carbon keeps more heat in the air. The extra heat is absorbed by polar ice, soil, and the oceans. The ice over the Arctic Ocean is expected to be gone during summers within 5-10 years. Instead of ice over the Arctic Ocean reflecting heat, the Arctic Ocean will absorb heat. This will slow the ocean currents even more--they already are slowing because of the change in climate.
When the ocean currents stop and the Arctic ice melts, we will have a climate catastrophe that can be expected to last thousands of years. Permafrost in Russia and other regions will melt, releasing gigantic amounts of carbon and methane stored in the soil. The release will trigger even more extreme climate."
"Only one cost-effective solution has been found for quickly reducing the carbon in the air:"
"Each year we must convert enough biomass (organic waste) into biochar (charcoal) to extract at least 7 gigatons of carbon from the air and place it in our soils." 08-09
- -One Last Chance to Save Mankind (TreeHugger.com)
"For those that don’t know who James Lovelock is here’s the one sentence bio: Originator of the Gaia hypothesis, chemist, did work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons which eventually led them from being banned, advocate of nuclear power. Which is to say, that when James Lovelock says humanity only has one chance left not to get annihilated by the effects of climate change in the 21st century, it’s worth shutting up and listening to what the man says." 10-10
- -We Can Slow Climate Change With Biochar (RenewableEnergyWorld.com)
"The natural balance of the earth has always included carbon storage in the plants and soil. The problem is that we have disrupted that balance. We have burned in one century much of the carbon that nature sequestered over millions of years. Coal is almost pure carbon, gathered by plants and sequestered by natural processes. We need to stop burning it!"
"Carbon-inefficient slash and burn agriculture is practiced by 300-500 million people today. If these people could convert to slash and char methods, we could stop the growth of greenhouse gas in its tracks." 09-09
- Can Biochar Save the Planet? (Time.com)
"Biochar's ability to sequester CO2 has given new urgency to such research. 'Reducing emissions isn't enough — we have to draw down the carbon stock in the atmosphere,' says Tim Flannery, chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, a consortium of scientists and business leaders linked to next year's United Nations Climate Summit. 'And for that, slow pyrolysis biochar is a superior solution to anything else that's been proposed.' Cornell's Lehmann is even more emphatic. 'If biochar could be massively applied around the globe,' he says, 'we could end the emissions problem in one to two years.' " 05-09
- Carbon Capture (Department of Energy)
"CO2 is currently recovered from combustion exhaust by using amine absorbers and cryogenic coolers. The cost of CO2 capture using current technology, however, is on the order of $150 per ton of carbon - much too high for carbon emissions reduction applications. Analysis performed by SFA Pacific, Inc. indicates that adding existing technologies for CO2 capture to an electricity generation process could increase the cost of electricity by 2.5 cents to 4 cents/kWh depending on the type of process."
"Furthermore, carbon dioxide capture is generally estimated to represent three-fourths of the total cost of a carbon capture, storage, transport, and sequestration system." 03-09
- Carbon Capture and Storage (Times.com)
"China and India aren't going to suddenly shut down all their new coal power plants, nor will Western industrial giants close their factories overnight. Solar and wind may be today's sexy new energy sources, but coal is the fastest-growing fuel in the world, boasting twice the known gas reserves and three times the known oil reserves."
"That's why governments and industry have recently begun to pay more attention to carbon capture and storage (CCS) — a process that traps CO2 produced by factories and gas or coal power stations and then stores it, usually underground."
"The potential impact of CCS is huge. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says CCS could contribute between 10% and 55% of the cumulative worldwide carbon-mitigation effort over the next 90 years.""
Editor's Note: Storing carbon as waste makes no sense when it can be stored as activated charcoal (biochar) to improve the productivity of soils and help to clean water--for a fraction of the cost of storage as a gas. See Biochar and Biomass. 01-10
- Carbon Sequestration through Storage (Big Sky)
Describes some of the options for carbon storage. 01-09
- Efficient Carbon Sequestration at Existing Coal Plants (American Electric Power)
"American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) will install carbon capture on two coal-fired power plants, the first commercial use of technologies to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing plants."
"In laboratory testing sponsored by Alstom, EPRI and others, the process has demonstrated the potential to capture more than 90 percent of CO2 at a cost that is far less expensive than other carbon capture technologies. It is applicable for use on new power plants as well as for the retrofit of existing coal-fired power plants."
"The system chills the flue gas, recovering large quantities of water for recycle, and then utilizes a CO2 absorber in a similar way to absorbers used in systems that reduce sulfur dioxide emissions. The remaining low concentration of ammonia in the clean flue gas is captured by cold-water wash and returned to the absorber. The CO2 is compressed for enhanced oil recovery or storage."
"The captured CO2 will be designated for geological storage in deep saline aquifers at the site." 03-07
- Methods of Scale to Increase Sequestration (Time.com)
"CO2, the scientists concluded, is piling up faster than ever in the air, not only because our emissions continue to rise but also because the ocean and land have quit sopping up as much as they used to. Apparently, they've had enough."
"Dialing back emissions now will thus be less effective than we hope, because a growing share of what we still produce will stay in the sky rather than being absorbed by the oceans and land. The answer may be to quit thinking about solving climate change as only a matter of cutting greenhouse gases off at the source and to start considering how to clean up the mess that's already there. After all, when a busted pipe floods your home, you do more than just fix the leak and let evaporation take care of the water. You get out a bucket and start mopping." 07-08
- Problems With Liquid Compressed Carbon Sequestration (TreeHugger.com)
"In principle, it works this way: You capture CO2 emissions at the source before they are released into the atmosphere, compress them until they become liquid and then inject them in deep underground holes." 07-08
- The Need for Carbon Sequestration of Coal-Fired Energy Plants (CNN News)
"Burning coal contributes half of the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) polluting the earth's atmosphere, a statistic not lost on the hundreds of climate change protesters camping in a grassy field near Kingsnorth power station in Kent, England this week." 08-08