There are 500 billion tons of accumulated man-made excess CO2 in the air acting as a blanket trapping the Sun's heat in the lower atmosphere.
This CO2 has to be scrubbed from the air, liquefied, then pumped into safe, very deep, permanent underground storage strata.
(The above image depicts what has to be done in front of a background showing Planet Earth's CO2-producing cities at night. More than 17 2-GigaTonne/year Direct Air CO2 Capture Stations may be needed.)
Somewhere between $1,000 per ton and $0 per ton for direct air captured
there is a point
where everyone in the world would be willing to turn the air into a CO2 transport medium since direct air captured sequestered CO2 doesn't cause Climate Change.
"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. 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 to maintaining the climate's health that resembled what the medical world did for human health - isolation, containment, and destruction of pathogens. What is being proposed below are sewage treatment plants for the air for removing and isolating excessive amounts of the toxic air contaminant carbon dioxide. Wind-powered gas diffusion will quickly sweep excess amounts of CO2 anywhere in the air to any location on the surface of the earth that is causing reduced carbon dioxide gas pressure by removing carbon dioxide from the air - i.e., a virtual CO2 'funnel'. Disposal wells at that location will safely isolate the captured CO2.
A Really Simple, Near
Real-Time Method to Scrub Our Excess CO2
Directly From the Atmosphere
(All rights to detail changes from the original published paper appearing on this website belong to the original authors. - JPH)
Using Nuclear Heat to Power Removal of CO2 From the Air With Magnesium Oxide
Ideas From: "Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air": Nature Communications https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-16510-3
(The above paper goes into great detail about the basics of this idea. Please Visit and Download your own free pdf Creative Commons copy of this paper for your personal reference.)
Engineering prerequisite constraints include:
1, Building near a large source of cheap magnesium oxide.
2, Building over a geostrata acceptable for massive CO2 disposal.
3, Building where it never snows.
4, Building on flat waste land that does not compete for human food.
5, Thermal and electrical energy will have to come from on-site small modular TRISO nuclear reactors. Ordinary nuclear reactors can't get that hot.
(Not the pitifully small amounts of electrical heat intermittent renewables can provide as cited in the paper. This approach does not drain energy from biomass or any other renewable source. It is a very clean solution.)
To capture and sequester all the CO2 mankind is dumping into the air in near real-time, we could be talking a total of 80,000 square miles (about the area of Minnesota) covered with a 4 inch thick layer of magnesite, perhaps divided into 10 CO2 capture stations spread over the world.
"We show this process could cost approximately $46–159 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 2–3 GtCO2 year−1, and may
make a meaningful contribution to mitigating climate change,"
The Class VI CO2 Disposal Well (Please Visit)
TRISO: A Nuclear Heat Technology Hot Enough To Do It
Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation: https://usnc.com/ usnc-tech (Please Visit)
(left) Ultra Safe Nuclear's TRISO particle capsule - 2,000 C max.,
(right) Nuclear heat is very cheap.
15 MWth, 5 MWe, Helium Cooled, 630C Discharge, 8.8 kg/sec., 3.0MPa., 20 Year Running Life, 5 Acre Site Area, Assembly in Months.
They are intended to power industrial applications over a wide range of loads so reactor modules are capable of being teamed up to deliver whatever amount of heat and electricity needed.
Thinking Big, Building Bigger.
Each of the 10 air contacting stations will have to have 8,000 square miles of air contact surfaces (90 by 90 miles) for a total of 80,000 square miles. Cheap in the desert.
A one-mile diameter irrigation circle is 503 acres - 540 acres in a square mile. We're talking an area greater than 90 by 90 magnesium oxide circles for a single direct air CO2 capture station.
Sweeper demo idea to recover weathered magnesite for calciner reprocessing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEXxtVRzXxg
Are we really thinking correctly about Energy, Fossil Fuels, and Climate Change?
Comments about this website
As it happens, this website will be emerging over the next several months in much the same manner as a blog. It will be the writings of an engineer who has had several career encounters with Climate Change since the mid-1950s - before it was generally realized Climate Change existed - had a name, and, until the 1990s, was not considered an existential threat to humanity. While vague hints of long-term changes in the weather were detected as early as the mid-1800s but not realized as significant, the changes brought about Climate Change between 1990 and today have been startling. For the author, it's as if he has moved 200 miles south. The changes between today, 2030, 2040, and 2050 have the potential to be far more startling in both the climate we will experience and humanity's response to it. Now, scientists, policy makers and military analysts increasingly believe that climate change is also leading to destabilizing events like drought-driven mass migrations, civil wars and other forms of mass societal unrest. These circumstances make implementing as many full-size Direct Air CO2 Capturing installations as possible imperative now, not leisurely waiting until after 2050.
The inspiration for revising my 'Hobby Web Site' along it's present lines came
from a paper written by Noah McQueen, Peter Kelemen, Greg Dipple, and Jennifer
Wilcox: "Ambient weathering of magnesium oxide for CO2 removal from air",
Published by NATURE COMMUNICATIONS |
An excellent color pdf of the paper is available for downloading from the internet and is well worth obtaining.
Your author is a retired electrical engineer with electrical experience in heavy industrial process applications who is contemplating an industrialized variant of the above basic idea. It appears to be well-suited for economical use within the context of many of the 180 or so countries of the world having sub-trillion dollar-equivalent (a thousand billion) economies.