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Can CO2 Catchers Combat Climate Change? [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2010-1-16 23:58:46 |Display all floors
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These carbon catchers could offset many hundreds of times as much CO2 as wind turbines using the same area, the researcher says, and they could be set up anywhere on Earth. They would even be capable of filtering out car or power station emissions pumped up into the atmosphere years ago. No other technology can do the same.

Because of the sheer amount of it in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide contributes more to global warming than any other greenhouse gas, even though ts concentration is a mere 0.04 percent. Could it be possible to build a machine to capture these relatively few, but harmful, gas molecules? How much energy would such a machine require? And even if it worked, wouldn't it be far too expensive?

Catching CO2 in Coal Plants?

Lackner isn't put out by skeptics' questions. Tall, slim and elegantly dressed, the professor sits in his office on the 10th floor of a university building on 120th Street, behind him a blackboard covered with mathematical formulas. He leans back and begins to hold forth. He has calculated every aspect, from energy demand to efficiency and costs. The results were so positive that Lackner himself could hardly believe them. He rechecked them so often that he now knows the numbers by heart.

"What interested me in the beginning was the question of how to capture CO2 from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants," Lackner says. "But then I realized it doesn't require all that much more energy to remove CO2 from the air." Energy expenditure, he explains, rises as the concentration of CO2 falls, but in logarithmic, not linear, fashion. In other words, it remains incredibly low.

According to Lackner, the trick is to find a material that binds CO2, but can also release it again without requiring an excessive amount of energy input. His team settled on a special synthetic resin with a property that seems almost magical -- "It attracts CO2 strongly when dry, but releases it again easily when wet," he says.

A CO2 catcher might include large synthetic resin surfaces protected from rain, turning in the wind like a merry-go-round until filled with carbon dioxide, then drawn into a vacuum container and sprayed with water. The CO2 released would then be pumped out and compressed.

[ Last edited by pervera at 2010-1-17 12:00 AM ]

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Post time 2010-1-16 23:59:09 |Display all floors
Sinking Costs

All that won't work without energy input, Lackner admits, "but the process produces only about a fifth as much CO2 as the device collects." After it has been extracted, the collected carbon dioxide could be stored deep below the earth's surface.

Lackner estimates the costs of this method at about $300 (?205) per ton of carbon dioxide in the beginning. In the long term, he believes the price could sink to around $30 per ton.

It would require 10 million CO2 catchers to offset between 10 and 15 percent of annual emissions, Lackner estimates. Then he conjures up another number: "Gas prices in Europe would rise by just six cents if oil companies were required to offset their emissions in this manner." Currently, however, only an unfinished prototype exists. There's also plenty of competition -- researchers in the United States, Canada, and Switzerland are all working on similar devices.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has so far largely ignored this new technology and many colleagues in the field are skeptical. "I doubt it's possible to do this with a reasonable amount of energy expenditure," says Jochen Oexmann, who studies carbon capture at the Hamburg-Harburg Technical University. "Even at a power plant it requires a great deal of energy."

Shooting Sulfur

More recently, however, support from within the scientific community has increased. "We need such technology in order to buy time," says Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz. Three years ago, Crutzen perturbed colleagues with an unusual proposal to cool the climate: Shooting sulfur into the stratosphere. "I wrote that out of desperation," he says today. "Filtering CO2 out of the atmosphere would, of course, be much better."

"It's a very interesting method," agrees Elmar Kriegler at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. "We will take it into account in some of our future climate forecasts."

Lackner's Columbia University colleague Wallace Broecker, 78, however, takes his praise the furthest. Broecker has been warning about the consequences of climate change since the 1970's and declares, "Klaus Lackner is the cleverest mind I've come across in 57 years of research."

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Post time 2010-1-17 15:10:07 |Display all floors
I don't know to me it doesn't sound promising, it sounds like another ethanol fiasco.

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Post time 2010-1-17 16:27:05 |Display all floors
Another barbarian concept to make the culturalist Asians believe the barbarian technology having a higher priority that human culturalism and benevolence. It just allows the monkeys to export their dirty industries to keep Asians in slavery.

Asia must stand up against these godly barbarians! Human culturalism before barbarian technology!

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Post time 2010-1-17 16:28:06 |Display all floors
I just wonder how a Western diplomat can spread such nonsense to impress innocent and culturally brainwashed poor people.

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Post time 2010-1-17 16:28:58 |Display all floors
an utter almost-Anglo krap by which the treacherous almost-Anglos are trying to fool the world

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Post time 2010-1-17 16:30:56 |Display all floors
Another attempt from the running dogs to please their dogmaster.

Nothing but trying to make us believe that the dogmasters can continue putting his dirty fingers on China where the dogmaster and his running dogs were feasting over centuries and the blood thirsty hyenas having their feasts all over.

The dogmaster and his lackeys have to learn that exploiting our beloved motherland has ended after Unforgettable Chairman Mao and Great Deng stopped the feasting of the hyenas and drove the dogmaster and his running dogs out of our beloved motherland.

The dogmasters and his lackeys must not think they can take any fake resins as a pretext to re-starting their feasting over China by exploiting our beloved motherland. This is not possible any more since Austerous Chairman Mao and Unforgettable Leader Deng have ended the dogmasters rule once and forever.

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