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Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

Posted April 17, 2008 9:05 AM

Recent cap-and-trade proposals use economics to address the removal of CO2 from the emissions of coal-burning power plants and other greenhouse gas producers. Such proposals, however, bring into question long-term storage scenarios such as geologic sequestration. Is pumping CO2 into oil reserves or depleted coal seams a foolish idea, or one worth pursuing?

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#1

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 12:42 AM

Foolish due to the expense and uncertainty that it will stay there.

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#2

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 7:17 AM

I have to say that I am totally fed up with these dogmatic zealots who claim that man is to blame for the present global warming!

There are two sides to any argument, and that there is a fundamental difference between an effect and a theory about it's cause. It is a quite reasonable position to accept the existence of one cause while having concerns about the latter!

It's all too easy to draw comparisons between the attitudes of the climate change zealots and religious dagmatists of earlier times. The main difference seems to be that climate change zealots don't advocate burning heretics at the stake-no doubt because of the carbon dioxide that would generate.

Spencer.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 11:46 AM

Amen! I could not agree more. Why is man so arrogant to think that we possibly have the power to singlhandedly cause global warming, nevermind undo it. While we may be a contributor, I would bet it is relatively minor. Especialy compared to natural phenomina like volcanic eruptions, at least. While I am not in favor of destroying the environment of our beautiful world, I think that we are too busy chasing our tail running after CO2 emissions. All while the wolf is raiding the hen house behind us.

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#3

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 9:19 AM

I like Scapolie's answer!! The vanity of some people to think that they, or we as humans, have the power to change the forces of Mother Nature leaves me speachless. There are more trees on the surface of the Earth today than when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. There is more CO2 spewed into the air with the erruption of Mt. St. Helens than can be attributed to human activity. The, so called, "hole" in the ozone layer has been expanding and retracting for centuries. It was expanding during the period when there were no humans on the planet.

In a more direct response to the blog entry, I would submit that containing these "grennhouse" gases is a foolish idea inasmuch as the shear volume of the gases involved would require enormous storage capacity. Depleted coal seams and spent oil reserves possibly have the capacity, but the problem is containment. There is no way to insure that the gases would remain where they are stored. Leakage would pose a threat to surrounding areas if we acctept the premise that the greenhouse gases are a danger to anyone or anything. Further, to utilize these cavities to their fullest capabilities, the gases would have to be pressurized into them to optimize their storage capacity. This presents yet another problem of the danger of high pressure gas storage in areas where there may be human activity.

And, as stated bafore me, the relative expense of any of these undertakings makes the idea even more foolish. I, for one, am of the opinion that these gases can be released into the atmosphere with whatever minimal "scrubbing" or attempts at minimizing their potential damaging effects are administered.

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#5

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 12:11 PM

We are going about this global warming thing all wrong. While all of the finger pointing is going on about who is responsible for what may be, in my opinion, a natural process. No one is looking at how we may deal with the effects. We have these delusions of granduer that we are powerful enough to stop it. What if it IS natural and we CAN"T stop it. Maybe we should be looking at how to deal with the rising sea levels and reduced crop land. Some crack yells: "the sky is falling and we need to stop all CO2 emissions to prevent it!" so, everyone jumps on the band wagon and starts tooting their horns that this is gospel and when we stop all the CO2 emissions all will be well in the world.

So, we as a society, take steps to curb all the emissions of so called green house gasses and then, when we are done, we sit around patting each other on the back. Proud of our accomplishments. Suddenly we stop and realize that we are standing waist deep in water and it is still rising. We scatch our heads and say to our selves; "Oh, I guess we were wrong. Maybe we should have invested our time and money building locks and boats instead." It is funny how we are preaching how we might stop global warming rather than how we may adapt to it.

Quietly steps down of of soap box and sits back in seat

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 2:01 PM

It gets worse than ever envisaged, here in Europe and the UK the price of grain and food has soared by 15 to 20%, the reason we are told is that China and India are buying up most of our stocks. This week in the news there was given another reason, not only the first but that farmers in Europe and the UK are turning over agricultural land to bio-fuel crops, hence the dramatic rise in the price of food! The EU has sent out an edict to all member countries saying that all vehicle fuel must consist of 20% bio-fuel by 2010, and the farmers are cashing in while people struggle to pay for their food. Are vehicles more important than humans?

Then there is the gas methane, this gas which is produced in large amounts by farm animals is 100 times more effective than CO2 for causing global warming. The recent years extra warm weather have started to melt the perma-frost in northern Siberia, a film on our tv shows what is happening up there, when this perma-frost thaws massive escapes of methane are given off to the atmosphere. To prove the point the film crew set this gas alight after boring a hole in the ice covering of a permanently frozen lake!

I hope other people take notice. Spencer.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 2:30 PM

Now there's a challenge!! Capture the escaping methane from the farms and use it to power the vehicles. Methane is a rather plentiful fuel that has potential as a motor fuel. Many factories have used bottled methane for years to power highlifts that operate internal to the plant. Perhaps it can be "flavored" with something that smells a little better than the mercaptan now used to give it its di-"stink"-tive smell. Hmmm.

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#12
In reply to #6

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/19/2008 12:28 PM

I agree with you entirely, but remember thatthe most important factor is that Political Careers hang in the balance and I suspect we will be stuck in this fallacious issue for years. Remember "a good slogan can stop progress for 50 years."

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#8

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/18/2008 3:54 PM

Not worth pursuing. The equipment used to remove the CO2 from the stack at a coal fired plant will consume 25% of the plants energy. The cost of the equipment will be about 25% of the cost of the power plant its self. Two papers were presented along with my own study on this . The papers were given at the 2008 GPA conference.

Once the CO2 is recovered it'll take 56,000 horsepower to send the CO2 from a 800 MW plant 60 miles to a sequestration point The compressors and pipeline will cost anothe $150,000,000.

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#9

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/19/2008 5:37 AM

I am not a Biologist, but if I remember correctly, CO2 is needed by plants for growth, which results in Oxygen being released from the CO2. (Photosynthesis?)

So surely, all we need to do is develop and plant crops/trees/plants that need large quantities of CO2 to grow fast.......to help turn the Sahara (and other areas bereft of plant life) into a desert of green by concentrating our energies on making large quantities of cheap and plentiful fresh water all around the world....using sun power directly in some way......

I see fresh water as being the first requirement to be developed, not spending the money on the exhaust scrubbers.....or at least no more than we do now in getting rid of the nano particles.....which must be removed.

I have just thrown this into the argument as a possible direction to go with more possible positive results for more people around the world.....than pumping CO2 underground!!!

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/19/2008 6:09 AM

Hi Andy. I liked your proposal, I came up with something on the same lines as you way back in 1984, but I was told by the so-called experts that it would alter the natural balance of the Earth!

I was recently in Germany, the Eifel mountains and the Hunsruch area, it was extremely cold for the time of the year and lots of snow. When I came home I told a couple of my university friends about this, and I was told that the cause was created by mans destruction of the atmosphere, ie Global warming???

What the hell are our universities doing teaching our students that man is to blame for global warming? I came into such a visious argument and attacked from all sides, now these so-called friend will not speak to me now, I tried to explain to them that I keep an open mind, but to no avail, "I was wrong"!!!

This is what prompted me to write my first post. And yes you are right, plants need CO2 like we need oxygen, so keep on writing posts like the last one and maybe, just maybe, some one will take notice.

Spencer.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/19/2008 6:25 AM

Many thanks Scapolie for your friendly comments.

I like you, can have a serious argument without it harming a friendship, but many folks with simpler minds cannot do that....... I have had just the same experiences as you have.....luckily only a few times as I pick my friends VERY carefully.....

You have the superior intellect!!! Do not forget it either!!

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#13
In reply to #10

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/21/2008 6:51 AM

Andy and Spencer,

I think that you both have a great idea. Even though I am not particularly a supporter of the whole "man and his CO2 causing global warming" theory, I love your idea. We do have a signifigant amount of extra CO2 emissions and adding more plants is a great way to take advantage of that. Additionally, it would help to alleviate food shortages in many parts of the world. Nevermind beautifying the landscape. A gold star for both of you.

Ian

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#16
In reply to #13

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/24/2008 3:26 AM

I thank you most kindly Sir!

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#14

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/23/2008 7:38 PM

I have to agree with the logic of the posts here. The costs and benefits are way out of balance. If you want a recent example of this kind of thinking look at the banning of refrigerants. The banned refrigerants are much more efficient and will use up to 25% less power to run the same cooling system. Now if the system is hermitically sealed as most fixed systems are, and you ensure that the gas is reclaimed and stored as it is supposed to be it can not affect the ozone layer. On the other hand you can do what we have done, ban the more efficient reactive gas and replace it in sealed systems with non-chlorine bas gas that raises the amount of power required leading to more generation being required. But it did give the politicians' something to get votes from the uninformed masses. Oh well guess we can't have everything.

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/24/2008 3:34 AM

In a perfect world, you would be perfectly right, but sadly this world has a long way to go.....

Most of the world uses fridges, but most of the world does not care if the gases are saved or not when a fridge reaches the end of its useful life.

Even in Germany, not that long ago, I had the dubious pleasure of having a fridge recharged. All I can say is NEVER AGAIN......the Engineer(?) lost so much gas in the process (my expensive gas!) that I decided there and then only to buy new fridges when something went wrong with the old one.

What is the point of paying more than 50% of the new value of the fridge just to get it recharged??? and no guarantee that this charge will last any longer as no leaks were found either!!

In the UK many years ago, the people were no better......it is not just here in "Good Old Germany" that we see problems!

So yes you are completely right if only everyone took the trouble to cleanly and correctly work, but nobody does.....

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#15

Re: Pump Away Greenhouse Gas?

04/23/2008 9:38 PM

The politicians see a chance to pass more laws to control people, which gives them the power they crave, and a way to pass taxes to give them money to grant largess to the masses and buy votes. As usual it has no relation to anything which could help, like planting trees and promoting good forest management or increasing efficiency. They just want to discourage use of energy that makes CO2 by making it too expensive. Everyone get out those bicycles now!

One volcanic eruption can put out more CO2 than people do in more than a year. They have no plans to stop them. There is much scientific opinion that says that the Earth undergoes Climate Change from time to time entirely without Man's influence. The coldest part of the Little Ice Age was in the 1600's and the planet has been warming since then. The warming started before the industrial age. Warming of oceans releases CO2 accelerating the increase of CO2 in the air. The majority of the CO2 increase is due to that and very little due to people. The Sun also provides varying amounts of heat to the system.

We cannot stop Nature from changing the climate. If fire was banned, no combustion at all, the planet would still get warmer. What then for the anti-CO2 crowd, good PETA dietary vegans all? They would have to get rid of all the herds and flocks of animals that are used for food. Still warming? Tax breathing and eliminate those who cannot or will not pay to breathe. Then when civilization breaks down into stone age villages the environmentalists will be happy with how little they affect the environment. But the warming or cooling cycles of the planet will continue.

It makes more sense to spend the money to cope with the effects of climate change, since we cannot stop it. Building dikes to protect coastal cities and land such as the Netherlands has done successfully makes some sense. Can't protect everything, so help move people to higher ground. Instead of spending $150,000,000 per plant to pipe and pump CO2 underground under pressure, where it may not stay and could erupt and kill people, use the money to pump seawater into the Great Salt lake area or into Death Valley so that evaporation would increase the rainfall there, pump enough in and it will eventually flow back to the sea. Use solar-powered pumps and check valves to prevent the water from flowing back to the sea at night. If that is not practical try something that is and that will keep civilization moving forward.

Historically warmer periods also were wetter periods due to more evaporation. While it is likely that weather patterns will change as climate changes, change is not in itself a disaster. England is now warm enough to grow Champagne grapes for wine while that area of France is getting too warm. Good for English vineyards, tough on the French who may have to change the variety of grapes grown or raise another crop, but not a disaster for them. There were vineyards in England during the Viking times that were killed off by the Little Ice Age, causing the production of fermented grain beverages.

Hysteria may win out though and billions may be spent to pump CO2 underground at great pressure. CO2 is heavier than air and leaking CO2 under pressure could easily fill a valley and smother thousands of people before winds could blow it away.

Saw an article about bubbling the CO2 through huge tubes of algae to make the algae grow rapidly, releasing O2, and then the algae was processed into fuel. That makes sense.

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