Navigation Links
Into the abyss: Deep-sixing carbon
Date:2/18/2008

This release is available in French.

Imagine a gigantic, inflatable, sausage-like bag capable of storing 160 million tonnes of CO2 the equivalent of 2.2 days of current global emissions. Now try to picture that container, measuring up to 100 metres in radius and several kilometres long, resting benignly on the seabed more than 3 kilometres below the oceans surface.

At first blush, this might appear like science fiction, but its an idea that gets serious attention from Dr. David Keith, one of Canadas foremost experts on carbon capture and sequestration. Keith will talk on the subject at the 2008 Annual Conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston at a session entitled Ocean Iron Fertilization and Carbon Sequestration: Can the Oceans Save the Planet?

There are a lot of gee-whiz ideas for dealing with global warming that are really silly, remarks Keith, an NSERC grantee and director of the Energy and Environmental Systems Group at University of Calgary-based Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy. At first glance this idea looks nutty, but as one looks closer it seems that it might technically feasible with current-day technology. But, adds Keith, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment, its early days and there is not yet any serious design study for the concept.

The original idea of ocean storage was conceived several years ago by Dr. Michael Pilson, a chemical oceanographer at the University of Rhode Island, but it really took off last year when Keith confirmed its feasibility with Dr. Andrew Palmer, a world-renowned ocean engineer at Cambridge University. Keith, Palmer and another scientist at Argonne National Laboratory later advanced the concept through a technical paper prepared for the 26th International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering in June 2007.

Keith sees this solution as a potentially useful complement to CO2 storage in geological formations, particularly for CO2 emanating from sources near deep oceans.

He believes it may offer a viable solution because vast flat plains cover huge areas of the deep oceans. These abyssal plains have little life and are benign environments. If you stay away from the steep slopes from the continental shelves, they are a very quiet environment.

For CO2 to be stored there, the gas must be captured from power and industrial point sources, compressed to liquid, and transported via pipelines that extend well beyond the oceans continental shelves. When the liquid CO2 is pumped into the deep ocean, the intense pressure and cold temperatures make it negatively buoyant.

This negative buoyancy is the key, explains Keith. It means the CO2 wants to leak downwards rather than moving up to the biosphere.

The use of containment is necessary because CO2 will tend to dissolve in the ocean, which could adversely impact marine ecosystems. Fortunately, says Keith, the cost of containment is quite minimal with this solution. He and his colleagues calculate that the bags can be constructed of existing polymers for less than four cents per tonne of carbon.

The real costs lie in the capture of CO2 and its transport to the deep ocean. If we can drive those down, he notes, then ocean storage might be an important option for reducing CO2 emissions.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dor Dunne
dore.dunne@nserc.ca
613-851-8677
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First datasets for national biomass and carbon dataset now available
2. Scientists expand understanding of how river carbon impacts the Arctic Ocean
3. Carbon capture strategy could lead to emission-free cars
4. Studying rivers for clues to global carbon cycle
5. Carbon monoxide may cause long-lasting heart damage
6. Penn engineers create carbon nanopipettes that are smaller than cells and measure electric current
7. First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions
8. Carbon sink capacity in northern forests reduced by global warming
9. Elevated carbon dioxide changes soil microbe mix below plants
10. Its official: The carbon crisis is lethal for coral reefs
11. Complex carbon picture clearer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 ... "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to ... ink used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring ... of originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will ... analysis of the DNA. Bill Bollander ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... 2016 According to ... for Consumer Industry by Type (Image, Motion, Pressure, ... & IT, Entertainment, Home Appliances, & Wearable ... 2022", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market for ... USD 26.76 Billion by 2022, at a ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... , March 22, 2016 ... with passcodes for superior security   ... leading provider of secure digital communications services, today announced ... technology and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the ... recognition and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... GA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... of medical devices used in spinal surgical procedures, today announced the completion of ... enhanced value proposition for current and future customers and partners. Kohlberg & ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Intelligent Implant Systems announced today that the two-level components for the ... United States. These components expand the capabilities of the system and allow Revolution™ ... October of 2015, the company has seen significant sales growth in 1Q 2016, and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... ... April 28, 2016 , ... Connecticut Innovations ... growing companies, today announced the launch of VentureClash , a $5 million ... , “VentureClash looks to attract the best early-stage companies here in Connecticut, ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Boston (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... driven by semantic web technology, today announced that it has been named to The ... life sciences, financial services and other markets, Cambridge Semantics serves the needs of end ...
Breaking Biology Technology: