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These guys might have just saved mankind

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by tetley, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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  2. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    The process works like this:

    1). Scale up renewable energy so that we're collecting gads of gigawatts of solar & wind power.
    2). Isolate CO2 from the atmosphere.
    3). Use this chemical process, which is CO2 + energy = ethanol.
    4). Store the ethanol.

    From there, we can either just store the ethanol--thereby reducing the atmosphere's CO2, and causing man-made REVERSAL of global warming--or we can export and burn the ethanol--which is a carbon-neutral operation.

    Ethanol provides an excellent replacement for lithium batteries, which commonly are used to store excess renewable energy in periods of excess supply (e.g. high winds). This is one of the roadblocks inhibiting renewable energy from scaling: because frequently solar or wind energy is just lost because it can't be stored. Further, this lets us scale up massive wind farms or solar arrays in remote areas, without figuring out how to transfer the power to the grid (whom may not even want it at the moment). You simply set up a wind farm in the Alaskan tundra, Alaskan pipeline the ethanol down to Valdez, and export it. That is actually a carbon negative operation, until (and if) the ethanol is consumed. Offshore oil rigs--even those out of commission--get lots of wind.

    We've got a few decades to figure this out, but this looks good.
     
    stfoskey12 likes this.
  3. Pokurcz

    Pokurcz Chieftain

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  4. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    It's all good, but like all the other green technologies up until now, it's playing defense. It's reducing emissions, in the hopes that Mother Nature auto-corrects the atmosphere on its own.

    What's different about the OP is that it plays offense. As in, it effectively produces man-made global cooling. They are drawing CO2 out of the atmosphere--not just cutting emissions into it.

    Your seaweed is still good, though, because it is attacking the methane problem. The OP only reverses CO2. Although you would think reversing methane warming would be a simple matter of isolating hydrocarbons from the atmosphere, burn them for energy, and immediately trap the resulting CO2.
     
  5. uppi

    uppi Chieftain

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    Only if the alcohol is stored instead of used. I am not sure what to do with the sea of alcohol this would create.

    Even if you do nothing, the lifetime of methane in the atmosphere is only roughly a decade. So if we ever stop releasing methane into the atmosphere, the concentration would drop quickly. That is why methane is not as much of an issue as CO2, which stays in the atmosphere for centuries.
     
  6. Serutan

    Serutan Eatibus Anythingibus

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    Yes, to reduce CO2, a lot of the alcohol would have to be stored underground, otherwise it would just wind
    up in the atmosphere. Unless there is some fairly low energy method of creating a reaction between alcohol
    and something else that would produce solid carbon compounds.

    Also, we could also help cut down on CO2 emissions by using this
    ethanol for distilled spirits rather than expend the energy needed to grow grain, ferment, and distill them.
    And car and smaller motorized vehicles could all be made to run on ethanol.
     
  7. tetley

    tetley Head tea leaf

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    A strategic ethanol reserve. I like it. A lot.
     

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