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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday April 15, @03:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the going-green dept.

Algae-forestry, bioenergy mix may help make CO2 vanish from thin air

"Algae may be the key to unlocking an important negative-emissions technology to combat climate change," said Charles Greene, Cornell professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and a co-author of new research reported in Earth's Future [open, DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000704] [DX], published March 24 by the American Geophysical Union.

"Combining two technologies – BECCS and microalgae production – may seem like an odd couple, but it could provide enough scientific synergy to help solve world hunger and at the same time reduce the level of greenhouse gases that are changing our climate system," Greene said. Based on an idea first conceptualized by co-author Ian Archibald of Cinglas Ltd., Chester, England, the scientists call the new integrated system ABECCS, or algae bioenergy with carbon capture and storage.

The ABECCS system can act as a carbon dioxide sink while also generating food and electricity. For example, a 7,000-acre ABECCS facility can yield as much protein as soybeans produced on the same land footprint, while simultaneously generating 17 million kilowatt hours of electricity and sequestering 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

The ABECCS system's economic viability depends on the value of the nutritional products being produced and the price of carbon. Even without a price on carbon, microalgae production – in a fish-farming, aquacultural sense – is commercially viable today if the algae are priced as a fishmeal replacement in aquafeeds.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 15, @04:14PM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 15, @04:14PM (#667294) Journal

    Thank GOD for global warming!

    Which of you doubts that there was an ice age, that ended only 11,700 years ago. [] At times, there was as much as a mile of ice sitting right on top of the home I grew up in. A mile of ice! Do any of you have any idea what kind of a sex life is possible under a mile of ice? Think about it! I mean, it's not even really negotiable. He wants some of that ass, but there isn't even enough room in which to get some wood. She wants some of what he's got, but she's so damned cold, she ain't taking off her mastodon gown! Supposing that he actually got laid, and she actually conceived. Just suppose - let's pretend that it's possible. WTF they gonna feed to Baby? Hey, breast milk is fine, for awhile, but about the time that Junior starts throwing ice chunks at the ice walls, he's gonna need something more substantial than frozen yogurt!

    I think that we should memorialize those earliest people to master fire. They are the ones who started this global warming thing, after all. Starting with the first fires, man began changing his environment to suit his needs - about a million years ago. It took a HELLUVA long time to force the ice into the arctic and antarctic regions! []

    Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @04:20PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @04:20PM (#667295)

      Q: What happens if you warm the planet via human industrial activity during a natural warming period?

      A: It doesn't matter, because you'll be dead, old man.

      • (Score: 5, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 15, @04:34PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 15, @04:34PM (#667303) Journal

        So, what are you trying to say? If the earth stops warming, I MIGHT LIVE FOREVER?!?!??! OMG - WE GOTTA DO SOMETHING! THERE OUGHTTA BE A LAW!! Screw the children, THINK OF US OLD BASTARDS!!

        Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
      • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @05:10PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @05:10PM (#667313)

        A: As the available habitat for humans shrinks, the untouchable, privileged half of humanity begins encouraging global warfare to kill off as many of the inferior half of humanity as possible.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 15, @05:38PM

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 15, @05:38PM (#667325) Journal

          There's something of a flaw in your post. The available habitat of humans isn't shrinking. It isn't really projected to shrink, either. Land that is currently uninhabitable is supposed to become arable, in the future. So, if the oceans rise, we'll just have to trade submerged land, for newly-thawed land. There's one hell of a lot of tundra in the north!

          But, all of that aside - do you have any idea how recently the global population of humans reached the 1 billion milestone? [] That chart puts it at about 1810. It took until about 1930 to reach 2 billion, and about 1960 to reach 3 billion, then it only took until 1980 to exceed 4 billion.

          I, for one, don't believe the earth can sustain our population, no matter what science may claim. I fully expect a die off sometime in the mid future. Some new disease, quite likely, or a new twist to an old disease like the flu.

          Of course, as with any "prediction", only time will tell how accurate the prediction is.

          Keep all chemicals out of the reach of meth heads.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @05:28PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 15, @05:28PM (#667323)

    Any other function is highly questionable, unless there comes a breakthrough tech for disrupting the algae cell walls.

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Monday April 16, @03:53AM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Monday April 16, @03:53AM (#667493) Homepage Journal

      I'm a genius, as everyone knows. But this algae business is very complicated. So I asked my wife, she's an incredible thinker (Einstein visa). She says they want to do 2 things with the algae. Feed it to fish. Or burn it.

      #StopTheBias []
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by HiThere on Sunday April 15, @06:31PM (1 child)

    by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 15, @06:31PM (#667352)

    This doesn't seem quite as practical as growing trees for paper and printing books, which also sequesters carbon, but keeps it out of circulation for awhile.

    Put not your faith in princes.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @12:13AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 16, @12:13AM (#667418)

    If the biomass is in the form of carbohydrates (food or root mass) it is not sequestered, it is going to be emitted as carbon dioxide or methane after it is eaten or the root mass decays. The only way to sequester the carbon is to find a biological mechanism to turn carbon dioxide into elemental carbon, disposing of the oxygen back into the environment.