Thursday, November 8, 2007

Carbon Sequestration at Harvard

Russell Seitz, proprietor of ADAMANT had a few thoughts on the Harvard/PennState announcement, which we posted as Engineered weathering process could mitigate global warming.

In Geoengineering : The Acid Test he reminds us of The Branson/Gore Equations (find a way to offset Virgin Air's emissions before the EU starts requiring airlines to buy emission allowances; win yourself $25 Mil.):

Harvard's wily Center For The Environment has upstaged its geoengineering competitors in the race for the $25,000,000 CO2 reduction X-Prize offered inventors by Al Gore & Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines.

While Harvard was downplaying tomorrow's geoengineering workshop workshop as "low profile", some organizers were dropping this P-R bombshell on Environmental Science & Technology today

Warning: Before reading any further you should know that Mr. Seitz is a polymath, with autodidactic tendencies.

..."Engineering feasibility" and economic practicality are quite different mattters

The authors estimate it will take roughly 10 to 40 thousand watt-seconds of power to harmlessly transfer a gram of carbon from the atmosphere to the ocean.

In other words, a watt of electrical power devoted to the Zenz idea could hopefully remove about two kilograms (~4.4 pounds) of carbon a year . Since mankind presently burns about a ton of carbon per capita annually, keeping pace with the present growth of CO2 by leaching rocks with electrochemical HCl would require on the order of 500 watts times six and a half billion people's worth of dedicated electrical capacity. That is to say around 3 trillion watts.

As Californians know, a spare trillion watts is not always easy to come by- it equals a thousand nuclear plants or coal burning thermal power stations. At a dime per kilowatt hour ( given current fuel prices, allowance for inflation may be prudent),
that's roughly a quarter trillion dollar monthly power bill , which would make the cost of offsetting all the carbon added to the atmosphere around a dollar a day per capita

Ah hell, I can't do justice to his thinking with cut and paste. Here's the link.

While at ADAMANT, our guests will have the opportunity to take a side trip to:

Nobel Minds
I encourage you to write Stockholm seconding my nomination of the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee for next years Nobel Prize In Economics, richly deserved for their brilliant coup in adding value to Norway's gas and oil reserves....
I shall be perusing

Rapid Acidification of the Ocean During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum -
JC Zachos, U Rohl, SA Schellenberg, A Sluijs, DA … - Science, 2005 -
... in the level of the lysocline and calcite compensation depth (CCD ... and the presence
of residual pre-excursion calcite (21). ... onset of the CIE to the point of full ...

in a feeble attempt to catch up.