Paths Out Of Climate Change                                                    Contents    Definitions    Prolog    About 

3. Beautiful Nuclear: The NuScale Reactor    1. Repairing The Air By Harvesting Old Climate-Changing CO2    2. Class VI CO2 Disposal Wells    4. Making ALL The World's Energy Climate-Safe

_____________________________________________  1. Repairing The Air By Harvesting CO2  _____________________________________________

Paths out of Climate Change:  (This website is an unsolicited independent engineering suggestion by the website author, James P. Holm, P.E., based upon the following published technical paper: "Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air", which was produced by, and is the sole property of:, Noah McQueen, Peter Kelemen, Greg Dipple, Phil Renforth, & Jennifer Wilcox.)
If too much CO2 in the air is what's going to destroy the world's climates, this idea has the potential to actually save the world - at a reasonable price over a reasonable period of time. And, it doesn't take an Einstein to make it happen.
, or simply 'StoppingClimateChange', is a free and open-source web engineering design project being developed by this web site author as an effort to reduce the carbon dioxide content of the air from it's present 720 parts per million to it's pre-industrial age level of 680 ppm.
The industrial revolution began in earnest about 1800 - 222 years ago - leaving billion of tons of excess CO2 remaining in the air causing the Planet Earth-heating that has brought Climate Change. The Carbon Capture and Sequestration schemes suggested by others so far to remove this CO2 residue remove only comparatively small amounts of the total CO2 exhaust remaining in the air.  If billions of tons of CO2 aren't removed from the air soon using process scale-up methods resembling global agriculture, industrialization, or global war, our goose is cooked - so to speak. The effort appears daunting, but may be do-able.

On This Page: Taking what appears to be a basically good direct air CO2 mitigation idea and improve it to create a replicable form of it's implementation that can be inexpensively duplicated as many times as necessary in as many favorable parts of the world as necessary to quickly end Climate Change by restoring air's Carbon Dioxide (CO2) level from the current 420 parts per million (ppm) to it's historic normal 280 (ppm).
The basic idea of the cited Technical Paper is the property of others and remains unaltered.
VIDEOS: MITEI Familiarization Presentation:  Guidance For Greenies - Computer Simulations of Carbon: 
Basic Carbon Capture Technology Pamphlet:   Worley Parsons - Carbon Capture Overview (3).pdf        
Government Carbon Control Projects: 
This Website's Suggestions:

Stopping Climate Change  

Saudi Arabia appears to have optimal climate, terrain, and underground geologies.
Many other countries have similar topologies. climates, and underground geologies.

Each of the 14 light-colored squares represents a 100 x 100 mile magnesium oxide CO2 capture farm (14 squares = 140,000 sq mi total)
Each square reduces about 10% of the 2030 CO2 Emissions of Planet Earth's combined industrialized nations.
Overpowering Climate Change:
This means we could both halt 100% of annual Climate Change emissions by fossil fuel users who don't give a hoot about making more Climate Change damage
while simultaneously reducing the massive historical backlog of CO2 contamination of air by perhaps 4% annually.

World Geological Underground CO2 Storage Suitability, i.e. Class VI Disposal Wells


These are currently commercialized prototype technologies for removing much of the legacy 500 Billion Tons of CO2 from the air that's causing the Climate Change you are feeling today.



_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________                                                                                                                                                         Harvesting Climate Changing CO2
Front Page    Contents    Definitions    Prolog    About
About Climate Change  - - -  Our Future 2050 Decarbonized Energy Systems
The NuScale Nuclear Reactor Next Door     Allam BECCS Garbage CO
2 Power Plant    Water Supplies    Harvesting Climate Change    CO2 Disposal Well Technology __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Scientific Paper: "Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air".

The Scientific Paper's Basic Concept Sketch

A Calciner is an air-tight oven.


Harvesting and Burying Climate Changing CO2
It's not the CO2 emissions we are making today that's causing the Global Warming we are experiencing today.
After the Paris Decarbonization phase is completed around 2050, the next phase of the Climate Change stopping campaign will be the
Direct Air CO
2 capture removal of the 500 billion ton legacy cloud of CO2 that will still be remaining in the air.
After that is completed, it may take an additional 100 to 1,000 years for Planet Earth to recover somewhat from the ravages of Climate Change.
This page was inspired by the Modern Marvels video: Harvesting Technology Feeds the World (S11, E49) | Full Episode | History 

                    Climate Changing Air Contaminants           KEEPING YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE           Storing The CO2 Everywhere Underground Forever

(Previous literature focuses primarily on carbon dioxide removal, but methane removal may be an important complement to future efforts.
Methane removal
has at least two key benefits: reducing temperature more rapidly than carbon dioxide removal and improving air quality by reducing surface ozone concentration.

These are currently commercialized prototype technologies for removing the legacy 500 Billion Tons of CO2 from the air that's causing the Climate Change you are feeling today.


A New, More Promising, Direct Air Capturing of CO2 Using Magnesium Carbonate Mineral Pebbles for
the Farming and Harvesting of Air's Carbon Dioxide (CO

This website discusses the SCALING UP of a scientific paper proposal that has the potential of restoring Planet Earth's original 280 ppm CO2 Level Quickly
(DISCLAIMER NOTE: While this website has absolutely nothing to do with any of the other people involved with weathering of magnesium oxide technology, all rights to detail changes from the original published paper appearing on this website belong to the original authors. - JPH) 

The Scientific Paper: "Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air".  Link:
 (The above paper goes into detail about the basic ideas and chemistry studies related to this idea. Please Visit and Download your own free pdf Creative Commons copy of this paper for your personal understanding and reference.)

This Website's Major Direct Air CO2 Capturing Farm constraints include:
1, Building near a large source of cheap magnesium oxide.
2, Building over geostrata acceptable for massive CO2 disposal via Class VI disposal wells.
3, Building where it almost never snows.
4, Building on flat waste land that does not compete for human food.

To capture and sequester all the CO2 mankind is dumping into the air in near real-time, we could be talking a total of 90,000 square miles (about the area of Minnesota) covered with a 4 inch thick layer of magnesite, perhaps divided into 11 to 1,000 CO2 capture farms in bad lands spread around the world.

"We show this process could cost approximately $46Ė159 tCO2−1 net removed from the atmosphere, considering grid and solar electricity without post-processing costs*. This technology may achieve lower costs than projections for more extensively engineered Direct Air Capture methods. It has the scalable potential to remove at least 2Ė3 GtCO2 year−1, [per installation] and may make a meaningful contribution to mitigating climate change,"

*(This approach does not drain energy from biomass or any other renewable energy source. Remote installations could easily and inexpensively be powered by carbon captured natural gas generators or micro nuclear reactors.)
(This website's suggested 11 - 3 Giga-tonne CO2 capture (DAC) farms project scales up the cited published study of a 1 to 3 Gt CO2 capture station. This will enable the world to sequester an amount of CO2 equal to almost ALL fresh fossil CO2 emissions being made everywhere in the world.)

(As current fossil CO2 emissions disappear or are rendered carbon-neutral thru this decarbonization project, the spare capacity of these project sites will begin to capture and sequester the world's remaining legacy 500 billion ton cloud of CO2, eventually taking the world from it's current 420 ppm of CO2 back to it's original 280 ppm of CO2
over a period of perhaps 50 years.)

youtube talks by paper co-author Jennifer Wilcox: Jen Wilcox


Direct Air CO2 Capturing (DAC) Pebble Farms have the potential to restore the world to it's original 280 ppm CO2 level.
It is possible for Planet Earth to have hundreds of small Direct Air CO2 Capture farms all over the world that, along with decarbonization, could completely halt Climate Change.  (Click to Enlarge.)

Climate-Changing CO2 can be captured from the air (see below), liquefied, mixed with 'CarbFix', then pumped into permanent underground storage strata all over the world to become limestone.

"To meet our climate goals, 10 billion metric tons (referred to as tonnes from herein) per year (GtCO2yr−1 ) must be removed globally by 2050. After 2050 and thereafter, 20 GtCO2 yr−1 must be removed [2]. These reductions do not include emissions avoided by decarbonization, rather CO2 directly removed from the atmosphere." - Noah McQueen, "A review of direct air capture (DAC): scaling up commercial technologies and innovating for the future". 16 April 2021.

The above is Climate Change mitigation orthodoxy. What follows is what might be possible if the IPCC followed a path of maintaining the climate's health that resembled what the medical world does for human health - isolation and containment.

What is being proposed below are sewage-like CO2 treatment plants for the air for removing and isolating the excessive amounts of the toxic air contaminant carbon dioxide in the air. Carbon dioxide emitted into the air from anywhere on Earth wafts around the planet, so the gas can be captured and disposed of wherever itís convenient. Wind-circulated gas diffusion will quickly sweep excess amounts of CO2 created anywhere in the world's air to any location on the surface of the earth that is causing reduced diffused carbon dioxide gas pressure by removing local carbon dioxide from the air - i.e., a virtual CO2 'funnel'.  U.S. 'Class VI' CO2 disposal wells (or equals) at that location, in combination with the liquefied CO2 additive "CarbFix", will safely turn this CO2 that has been injected deep into the earth into limestone. This will lock the air's captured CO2 very deep underground forever.

Roughly speaking, the above 12 billion tons of available magnesite limits the world to extracting 12 billion tons or so of Non-Biomass carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere each year.
Possibly a more frequent harvesting interval is possible, say, 3 times per year to yield 36 billion tons of CO2 per year?
Also, since magnesite deposits and CO2 disposal strata are spread around the world in many different countries in varying amounts, breaking apart the Direct Air CO2 Capture industry to reflect these circumstances might prove more efficient.
Most importantly, once the task of reversing Climate Change has been achieved, the world will still face the task of also removing that invisible cloud of about 500 billion tons of CO2 still hanging over us before Planet Earth becomes cool again. 


The Scientific Paper's Basic Concept Sketch

A Calciner is an air-tight oven.


The Basic Concepts Sketch (above) With Additional Processing Machinery Added

About the        (Please Visit)  

  About the The Class VI CO2 Disposal Well    (Please Visit)

About CarbFix: Locking CO2 in the ground forever. Watch:   (Skip the ad someone inserted in front of the video.)
If water is added to the liquid CO2 as it is pumped into the ground, the CO2 will turn into limestone [carbonate] after a few years. This locks the CO2 underground forever.

Above: The site's author added some engineering details to show what might be done to/with the magnesite if it were used in the context of this website.


How Large Might Global Direct Air CO2 Capturing Farms Have To Be?

Thousands of Direct Air CO2 Capture farms and Class VI CO2 Disposal Wells all over the world.

One very rough estimate indicated 16,500 19-mile-square plots (about 6 million square miles, 4 inch thick), with each plot harvested at the rate of 1 square mile per day, 365 days per year, would be needed to stop climate change in it's tracks. 
This was an estimate made to determine the pebble mass dwell of a 100 foot wide harvester. (Recall: Today's airplanes don't look much like the first airplanes.)  Check back for both revisions and corrections. 

Global Positioning System Controlled Self-Driving Harvester COMBINE
 does a combination of harvesting tasks at one time - such as cutting, shelling the corn, putting it in a hopper, disposing of the stalk stover.

This page was inspired by the Modern Marvels video: Harvesting Technology Feeds the World (S11, E49) | Full Episode | History 

 The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. This system consists of three segments: the space segment, the control segment, and the user segment.
(The above images of common off-the-shelf farm combine harvesting equipment are "standing in" for future images of yet-to-be-engineered perhaps 100 foot wide Climate Change combine harvesting machinery. They would never travel on roads. Located only in dry deserts, they would be supported by tanker trucks during the inactive night hours. Tracked vehicles steer by doing maneuvers called "Skid-Steer or Neutral Steer" and could be parked overnight in sheds the size of small airplane hangars.)

How about a stiff plastic screen laying on basket-ball sized rocks as a surface for CO2-loaded magnesium carbonate pebbles to weather and to support a broad-tracked CO2 harvester?
When weathered, the pebbles would be vacuumed up into a mobile calciner, their CO2 extracted, and, after cooling, the resulting magnesium oxide pebbles would then be returned to the plastic screen covered rocks?

A 100 foot-wide mobile calciner might resemble one of today's GPS-guided swing-arm corn or wheat harvesters and be able to precisely process 100 foot wide swaths of magnesium carbonate pebbles at a walking pace. This is how wheat farmers tackle Minnesota-size wheat harvests.  It would have to be able to harvest 1 square mile in a 10 hour day.

Check out this sweeper demo idea as a way to corral and vacuum up weathered magnesite pebbles for calciner reprocessing:  
    (Please Visit)

Warning! When fresh, these CO2-capturing pebbles are caustic magnesium.    Once they have absorbed their fill of air's CO2, they are no longer caustic.    Airtight combine cabs may be needed.

Block Diagram of A Suggested CO2 Harvesting Combine to Remove Climate Change CO2 From the Air



Farming and Harvesting Carbon Dioxide From The Air As A Cash Crop

What Will the Pebble Handling, Tilling, and Harvesting Machinery Look Like?
This sweeper demo idea to recover weathered magnesite pebbles for calciner reprocessing:  
    (Please Visit)
It would certainly be much more efficient for mobile harvesting machinery to go to the CO2 rather than hauling a 90 mile square of loose pebbles to a central processing plant.
Many smaller harvesting machines going over smaller fields of pebbles.
Asian farm machinery builders are likely to come up with the best early field machinery designs for this application.
A large powered magnesium carbonate harvester might be smaller than a semi trailer and it could do a linear sweep. Gasoline-sized tank trucks could bring fuels and liquid oxygen and carry away the liquefied CO2.
Or perhaps a chemical processing site on a 100 foot wide 1/4 mile long bridge mounted on railroad tracks or a huge crawler like that machine used at Cape Canaveral to haul large rockets from the assembly building to the major Launch Pads.
Many smaller scale iterations of the machinery will need to be made at first to find the most efficient designs and construction techniques. 
Recall the enormous bursts of construction that has occurred in times of vigorous economic expansion such as the massive economic competition between Capitalism and Communism that occurred after World War II?


Once CO2 mitigation and CO2 burial halts the current adding of fresh CO2 to the atmosphere,
it will begin removing the 500+ billion ton historic cloud of CO
2 in the air we call 'Climate Change'.
This begins the real process of cooling Planet Earth back down to normal.

Notice all the cities burning fuels to make all the different energies mankind must have to live well?


Another Idea


Climate change: Mechanical trees that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere set for major first trial


Professor Klaus Lackner says there could be one billion of the devices worldwide within two decades

An artistís impression of how a mechanical tree forest would look (Image: Arizona State University)

By Tom Bawden

Science & Environment Correspondent

December 30, 2021 6:00 am (Updated 8:41 am)

Mechanical trees which suck CO2 out of the atmosphere 1,000 times faster than real ones could be as common as cars within two decades, their developer has said.

In 1999, Professor Klaus Lackner became the first scientist to say that cutting carbon emissions would not be enough to avert catastrophic climate change and CO2 would also need to be removed from the air.

Since then, he has been developing the mechanical tree with the prototype about to launch on the campus of Arizona State University, where he works.

The prototype tree is a "concertina" column that is 10 meters tall when fully extended and 1.5 metres wide, with a 2.5-metre wide drum attached to the bottom.

The column contains 150 horizontal, circular discs coated with chemicals which catch CO2 when the wind blows through them.

If all goes according to plan, the prototype trees will fill up with CO2 every 30 to 60 minutes, when they will concertina down into the drum and the CO2 will be collected and stored or sold for use in industrial applications, including making drinks fizzy, creating fuel and extracting oil.

"If you add up how much carbon we need to get back from the atmosphere we simply donít have enough land to grow the trees," Professor Lackner told i.

"We are very close to having a prototype running on the campus and when we do our first job is to help us design a better, cheaper faster one for number two," he said.

Professor Lackner is confident Ė although by no means certain Ė that he can have the first mechanical trees ready to roll out within a year or two and that we could have one billion of them worldwide within two decades. This compares to 1.2 billion cars at the moment.

"Our goal is to make these mechanical trees in factories and make them in their hundreds of thousands. I can put at least tens of thousands on a square kilometer and ultimately I see these things on the scale of a car," he said.

"I think the transition to mechanical trees is near, unless we fall flat on our faces, which honestly is a possibility. People have accused me of making promises I canít keep. And I pointed out that I never made a promise, I only said, ĎYouíve got to invest in order to find out.í

"But I think the odds of succeeding are pretty darn good, but there is no guarantee. And the chances are we can get the price well below $100 a ton" Ė the price at which is becomes a commercially viable technology.

While the evidence so far suggests the technology will work at scale and could be affordable, the bigger question is how effectively the huge amounts of CO2 that are captured can be disposed of.

Sir David King, the former chief scientific adviser to the UK Government, who is not involved in the project, said: "I have a great deal of respect for Klaus but the problem is that with mechanical trees you capture carbon dioxide and then you have to do something with it. Thatís the challenge."

Professor Lackner responds: "Sir David is of course correct, mechanical trees are the first step in a chain of events. They collect carbon from the air, they can operate at the scale necessary to pull back enough CO2 to make a difference. But these machines only collect CO2. Now you will need to do something with it.

"There are several options that likely can operate at the necessary scale. One option is to store the carbon in geological formations. Another outlet is to consider the collected carbon as a resource to produce the things we use fossil carbon for today. If we can substitute CO2 for oil, coal or gas, we donít need fossil carbon anymore," he added.

Professor Lackner is working with Carbon Collect in Dublin to commercialize and roll out his mechanical trees.











More Climate Change Cleverness: How Others Are Doing It