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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    01 Sep '16 15:28
    http://phys.org/news/2016-09-carbon-dioxide.html

    Perhaps even auto's.

    Before people start bitching about the fact it helps the coal industry, it at least extends the lifespan of coal perhaps long enough to finish the fusion power projects around the world which of course negates the need for CO2 capture technology.
  2. 01 Sep '16 20:44
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    .... it at least extends the lifespan of coal perhaps long enough to finish the fusion power projects .....
    Fusion would be nice, but it is not necessary to replace coal. All that is required to replace coal is political will and enough time to manufacture and install solar panels, wind farms and the various other renewables that are now replacing coal.
    Wind is, in many instances cheaper than coal, and solar in very rare instances, but it is possible. It also depends on how you measure.
    At the current point in time, for the vast majority of americans, installing solar panels pays off in the long term, meaning that roof top solar is cheaper than all the other alternatives available in the US today. (yes there may be subsidies involved).
  3. 01 Sep '16 20:48
    Also, where do you put that CO2 once you capture it?
  4. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Sep '16 09:46
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Also, where do you put that CO2 once you capture it?
    Freeze it! Dry ice! or split it with catalysts into carbon and O2.
  5. 02 Sep '16 12:49
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    or split it with catalysts into carbon and O2.
    You do know that that takes more energy to do than you get out of burning the coal in the first place? If you could do that without energy, you would have solved the worlds energy problems because you could simply burn the carbon again!
  6. 02 Sep '16 12:50
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Freeze it! Dry ice!
    And then? You are proposing storing millions of tons of dry ice somewhere? Where?
  7. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    02 Sep '16 16:39 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    And then? You are proposing storing millions of tons of dry ice somewhere? Where?
    In a VERY cold container
  8. 03 Sep '16 09:54
    Based on the article and my own research, the CO2 can be used industrially, most significantly in enhanced oil recovery (so not exactly helping the situation).
    The problem I see is that I am not aware of significant demand for more CO2 production for industrial use. If the new process results in cheaper CO2 it will just result in other people not capturing CO2 at other facilities in favour of buying this CO2, so no net benefit.
    It is possible the CO2 can be more heavily used for oil recovery, but not only is it typically recycled to a large degree, but I am not sure what evidence there is that the bulk of the CO2 stays underground long term.
  9. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    06 Sep '16 17:02
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Based on the article and my own research, the CO2 can be used industrially, most significantly in enhanced oil recovery (so not exactly helping the situation).
    The problem I see is that I am not aware of significant demand for more CO2 production for industrial use. If the new process results in cheaper CO2 it will just result in other people not capturi ...[text shortened]... , but I am not sure what evidence there is that the bulk of the CO2 stays underground long term.
    I don't know the veracity of a report I read somewhere but the gist of it was a worry over eventually running out of carbon on Earth. Not sure if that is possible, I think there is a lot of carbon locked in minerals even if the surface gets depleted but it might behove us to figure a way to lock in CO2 in some mineral or other to store it in an accessable location so we can use it as a resource if needed.
  10. 06 Sep '16 17:14
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I don't know the veracity of a report I read somewhere but the gist of it was a worry over eventually running out of carbon on Earth. Not sure if that is possible, I think there is a lot of carbon locked in minerals even if the surface gets depleted but it might behove us to figure a way to lock in CO2 in some mineral or other to store it in an accessable location so we can use it as a resource if needed.
    If there was such a report, it was utter nonsense. There are a vast number of rocks made up largely of carbon - and in a form that is not likely to easily escape into the atmosphere. Carbon is one of the more abundant elements on earth. (and fourth most abundant in the universe).
    Carbon is not lost to space in any meaningful amount.
    It seems ridiculous to dig carbon out of the ground in terms of coal then lock it back underground as CO2 (which poses significant risk). Just leave it as coal.
  11. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    09 Sep '16 13:00 / 6 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If there was such a report, it was utter nonsense. There are a vast number of rocks made up largely of carbon - and in a form that is not likely to easily escape into the atmosphere. Carbon is one of the more abundant elements on earth. (and fourth most abundant in the universe).
    Carbon is not lost to space in any meaningful amount.
    It seems ridiculous ...[text shortened]... coal then lock it back underground as CO2 (which poses significant risk). Just leave it as coal.
    But we are going to have to do something like that for the near future anyway to mitigate climate change as much as possible till other non-carbon energy sources come online like wind, solar, fusion and so forth.

    The question is, will our civilization be more or less intact when the day arrives we no longer use carbon based fuel or will sea level rise so high as to destroy all beach communities, reducing land area and increasing sea area.

    I think even if the worse case situation occurs, we lose beach communities, civilization gets knocked back a few notches, but off carbon things should slowly, very slowly, like centuries slow, get back to normal, sea level wise, ocean currents wise and arctic ice levels we had last century.

    It might even take a thousand years for that self correction.

    I can see a sci fi story line: a thousand years hence, civilization coming back from brink of destruction from our generation causing major climate change only seen a couple centuries from now, back to horse and buggy times, new science probes arctic regions finds ice coming back, like last century, then finding archives of knowledge lost and a subsequent rebuild and new space industry coming online, finding old probes and such on Luna and Mars where now dead cities existed a thousand years in the past unable to support themselves after the loss of space travel...
  12. 09 Sep '16 16:55
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    But we are going to have to do something like that for the near future anyway to mitigate climate change as much as possible till other non-carbon energy sources come online like wind, solar, fusion and so forth.
    But it might be cheaper to simply bring those sources online rather than try to upgrade all the coal power stations. So, no, it is not true that we have to. It is a question of choice, cost and political will.

    The question is, will our civilization be more or less intact when the day arrives we no longer use carbon based fuel or will sea level rise so high as to destroy all beach communities, reducing land area and increasing sea area.
    Sea level rise will never destroy civilisation. Sea level rise though very costly financially is actually one of the least of the problems of climate change.

    I can see a sci fi story line: a thousand years hence, civilization coming back from brink of destruction from our generation causing major climate change only seen a couple centuries from now, back to horse and buggy times, new science probes arctic regions finds ice coming back, like last century, then finding archives of knowledge lost and a subsequent rebuild and new space industry coming online, finding old probes and such on Luna and Mars where now dead cities existed a thousand years in the past unable to support themselves after the loss of space travel...
    It makes for great sci fi, but not reality.
    The reality is that climate change affects the poor the most, and they then move, and otherwise cause political turmoil. The problems in Syria are in part a result of climate change.
    What matters is how we handle those political problems. Sea level rise will eventually require a lot of people in Bangladesh to move. How we handle that will be important.
    Sea level rise may cause significant damage to ocean front property in Florida. I don't care because they shot themselves in the foot.
    The recent flooding in Louisiana was also due, in part, to climate change as are the fires and drought in California. But the costs etc are also to do with how we manage such things. Changes in weather are far from new and natural disasters are far from new and we just need to learn better how to deal with long term problems.
    We should do something about climate change, not because it will end civilisation, but because it will cost us an awful lot of money.
  13. 10 Sep '16 10:30 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Sea level rise will never destroy civilization. Sea level rise though very costly financially is actually one of the least of the problems of climate change.
    I agree sea level rise will never destroy civilization just like any other man made climate change effect will never destroy civilization, merely do preventable harm to civilization but always well short of its total destruction.
    But if the sea eventually rises by something like ~20 meters (which obviously won't happen any time soon), I would intuitively guess the economic cost of adapting to that would be the economically most expensive adaptation to man made climate change as, without massively expensive improvements to coastal defenses, it would flood many coastal towns and cities and a lot of the most fertile agricultural land.
  14. 10 Sep '16 11:08
    Originally posted by humy
    But if the sea eventually rises by something like ~20 meters (which obviously won't happen any time soon),
    It is highly unlikely to happen ever. The reality is more like 2 m over the next 500 years. Nevertheless, that is a very significant amount and will be very expensive. A surprising amount of land is only a few metres above sea level, and when there are storms, it will be flooded. Here in Cape Town a significant area would be at risk with only a metre of sea level rise.

    But sea level rise is only one of the problems with climate change, and currently far from being the most costly. The most costly by far is changes in weather patterns.