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posted by mrpg on Wednesday June 13 2018, @04:31AM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-on-the-heels-of-fresh-water-from-air dept.

Sucking carbon dioxide from air is cheaper than scientists thought

Siphoning carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere could be more than an expensive last-ditch strategy for averting climate catastrophe. A detailed economic analysis published on 7 June suggests that the geoengineering technology is inching closer to commercial viability.

The study, in Joule, was written by researchers at Carbon Engineering in Calgary, Canada, which has been operating a pilot CO2-extraction plant in British Columbia since 2015. That plant — based on a concept called direct air capture — provided the basis for the economic analysis, which includes cost estimates from commercial vendors of all of the major components. Depending on a variety of design options and economic assumptions, the cost of pulling a tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere ranges between US$94 and $232. The last comprehensive analysis of the technology, conducted by the American Physical Society in 2011, estimated that it would cost $600 per tonne.

Carbon Engineering says that it published the paper to advance discussions about the cost and potential of the technology. "We're really trying to commercialize direct air capture in a serious way, and to do that, you have to have everybody in the supply chain on board," says David Keith, acting chief scientist at Carbon Engineering and a climate physicist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

A Process for Capturing CO2 from the Atmosphere (DOI: 10.1016/j.joule.2018.05.006) (DX)

Direct Air Capture of CO2 with Chemicals (2011)

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  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday June 14 2018, @05:03AM (2 children)

    Are you sure you really want solutions? Deforestation would solve the problem better than anything. Trees are by far not the most efficient plants at sequestering carbon.

    Positive: Mistaken, at the top of one's voice. -- Ambrose Bierce
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  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday June 14 2018, @05:37AM (1 child)

    by c0lo (156) on Thursday June 14 2018, @05:37AM (#692727)

    Trees are by far not the most efficient plants at sequestering carbon.

    Seems to me I detect a whiff of "Nirvana fallacy" here.
    Tell you what: how about, as a proof of goodwill, one shows me the planting of a new improved efficiency species of carbon-sink vegetation on an already deforested significant area before deforesting others.

    Maybe it's my age, but I tend to distrust solutions which promise a Nirvana replacement only after I renounced/demolished all the other good things. See?... no warranties that the Nirvana will be actually delivered, why should I take the deal?

    Are you sure you really want solutions?

    I'm quite sure I do not want handwaving solutions.

    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Saturday June 16 2018, @05:10AM

      You're spinning your own Nirvana if you think cleared land is going to be used for altruistic carbon capture rather than profitable farming. You will in fact find not nearly enough people to work one small bamboo farm for free, even if the valuable land were donated. See, farming is hard fucking work and tree huggers made their parents pay who knows how many thousands of dollars for the express purpose of them not ever having to work hard.

      Positive: Mistaken, at the top of one's voice. -- Ambrose Bierce