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Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought

By Patrick following x   2018 Jun 8, 8:01am 329 views   16 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-05357-w

Siphoning carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere could be more than an expensive last-ditch strategy for averting climate catastrophe. A detailed economic analysis published on 7 June suggests that the geoengineering technology is inching closer to commercial viability.

The study, in Joule, was written by researchers at Carbon Engineering in Calgary, Canada, which has been operating a pilot CO2-extraction plant in British Columbia since 2015. That plant — based on a concept called direct air capture — provided the basis for the economic analysis, which includes cost estimates from commercial vendors of all of the major components. ...

Assuming that CO2 is buried to offset vehicles’ emissions of the gas, a price of $100 per tonne would add about $0.22 cents to the price of a litre of fuel, Lackner says. That’s a substantial but not unprecedented price increase, he adds.


The cost of solar continues downward and will soon be cheaper than even coal. That's the best solution. But this air scrubbing tech could also help.
1   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (30)   2018 Jun 8, 8:07am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

But climate change is a hoax and TRUMPLIGULA! is going to have heretics who espouse it put to death in coal-fired electric plants.

Everyone knows that
2   Feux Follets   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 8:23am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

@Patrick. Same story but more technical details.

Saw this in Ars this morning. The discussion comments are pretty good - lots of intelligent commentary on efficiency and cost breakdowns etc. since the process still uses fossil fuels to run.

Machines that suck CO₂ from the air might be cheaper than we thought - Operators of pilot plant publish their design and costs for scaling up.



While this pilot plant can currently only capture about 200 tons of CO2 per year, Carbon Engineering's estimate is based on a larger “commercial-scale” plant design that would handle about 1 million tons per year—equal to the emissions of roughly 200,000 US cars. Scaling up is simple for the modular components (just stack ‘em), but a couple of pieces would become more cost-effective when supersized.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/machines-that-suck-co%e2%82%82-from-the-air-might-be-cheaper-than-we-thought/
3   Quigley   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 8:44am   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote        

I can remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for nearly free! Plant a tree or a kelp bed.
Idiot engineers need to consult a botanist or marine biologist!
4   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 8, 10:21am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Patrick says
The cost of solar continues downward and will soon be cheaper than even coal. That's the best solution. But this air scrubbing tech could also help.


Molten Salt Reactors running on ThF4 are the best solution ;)

There's god knows how much Thorium lying around because it's a byproduct of Rare Earths Processing. It's just sitting there, waiting to be dumped and buried somewhere. Why not power reactors with it?
5   socal2   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 10:27am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This is the type of technological countermeasures we should be pursuing to address climate change instead of the government forcing us to use more expensive energy sources or restricting our consumption all together.

I am confident that the human species can engineer ourselves out of the worst impacts of climate change.
6   mell   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 8, 11:00am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

TwoScoopsOfDragonEnergy says
Patrick says
The cost of solar continues downward and will soon be cheaper than even coal. That's the best solution. But this air scrubbing tech could also help.


Molten Salt Reactors running on ThF4 are the best solution ;)

There's god knows how much Thorium lying around because it's a byproduct of Rare Earths Processing. It's just sitting there, waiting to be dumped and buried somewhere. Why not power reactors with it?


Yeah it's weird there must be some reason the Thorium reactors are not being pushed more. Haven't heard any scientific counterargument yet that would not make it worthwhile.
7   justme   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 11:05am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

There is a reason why no (?) articles on carbon sequestration provide a full accounting of the CO2, energy and materials going in and out of the process. The reason is that the process ends up being worse than just displacing carbon by other means, such as building a wind farm and shutting down a coal-fired plant.

it takes work to debunk exactly what is wrong with the specific pie-in-the-sky scheme being pushed by Carbon Engineering Inc, but one clear hint is from this comment in the arstechnica article:

QUOTE: The problem is that in general the precursor chemicals (CaO in your example) don't exist in that form in nature in significant quantity -- they've already been carbonated. The way we make CaO (quicklime) is to bake the CO2 out of CaCO3.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/06/machines-that-suck-co%e2%82%82-from-the-air-might-be-cheaper-than-we-thought/?comments=1&post=35465583#comment-35465583

The required CaO input is a major problem that will kill the whole scheme. There's probably more show-stoppers than that, including the necessary energy input, but I would rather see the people proposing the method provide the accounting. It is their proposal after all.
8   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 8, 11:09am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

mell says
Yeah it's weird there must be some reason the Thorium reactors are not being pushed more. Haven't heard any scientific counterargument yet that would not make it worthwhile.


I heard something about Research Facilities and Commercial Licensing, apparently the financial interest is there but the DoE is operating under Carter-esque regulations. Something about how you can't have more than fractional investment in a research reactor and very limited commercial sales opportunity for the power you generation.

Meanwhile the last operational facility at Livermore's plans and research was sitting abandoned in a storage room, it was uploaded as Public Domain, and the Chinese downloaded every last page from the website. I think the Chinese already have several Thorium Plants in development on a small scale for testing.

$3.3B on two Thorium Reactors in the Gobi Desert:
https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2017/12/china-spending-us3-3-billion-on-molten-salt-nuclear-reactors-for-faster-aircraft-carriers-and-in-flying-drones.html
9   Quigley   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 11:10am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Exactly @justme
Carbon sequestration is a bad joke!
10   Onvacation   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 8, 11:43am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

We have yet to see the formula that relates co2 to rising temperatures.
11   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Jun 8, 11:50am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Pull out of ME!

Scrubbing the air? Slap that rent seeker in his greedy Marxist Commie face before I would Okeydoke such nonsense.
12   RC2006   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 11:51am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to stop population growth and reduce population? This is just a bandaid for a bigger issue.
13   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 8, 11:55am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

RC2006 says
Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to stop population growth and reduce population? This is just a bandaid for a bigger issue.



YUP. And it requires far fewer trillions spent on entire new electrical generation schemes + even more electric capacity for EVs. Even Elon Musk admitted this in Dubai recently - we'd have to go to renewables AND massively increase current Electrical Generation capacity several times over to handle EVs.

For starters, we must close our borders to most immigration except in cases of extreme need for a qualified individual. Next, we must pay people to get their tubes tied at home, then worldwide. After somebody has 3 kids on welfare, or been convicted of more than 3 violent felonies, we must tie their tubes or eliminate any and all benefits for them.

Not just good for birth control, but good for humanity to prevent severely troubled people from creating more troubled people.
14   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 8, 11:58am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

RC2006 says
Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to stop population growth and reduce population?

Ok you're in charge. How would you do it?
And explain also why it is cheaper - considering economic growth so far depends largely on population growth.
15   HeadSet   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 8, 2:13pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Heraclitusstudent says
RC2006 says
Wouldn't it be cheaper and easier to stop population growth and reduce population?

Ok you're in charge. How would you do it?
And explain also why it is cheaper - considering economic growth so far depends largely on population growth.


How would we do it? How about allowing the natural lower fertility rate of western societies to proceed without importing 3rd world breeders? Also, the idea that "economic growth depends on population growth" is superseded by increasing productivity. And under your idea, when would continuous population growth stop? When the US has a billion people? Two billion? If the US declined in population to a sustainable 200 million or so, the lower demand on energy along with the natural progress in solar, wind and other sustainables (some yet discovered) would curb recourse depletion and "carbon footprint."
16   HeadSet   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 8, 2:24pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Quigley says
Exactly @justme
Carbon sequestration is a bad joke!


Let me take this a step further:
The PlanetSaver 5000 Carbon Dioxide Scrubber can take a ton per week of carbon from the air! Unfortunately, that device runs on coal. Side benefit, the blocks of carbon produced by the PlanetScrubber 5000 can be burned for fuel.




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