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(The Register)   New technology could stop global warming by turning CO2 into booze   (theregister.co.uk) divider line 133
    More: Hero, global warming, carbon dioxide, CO2 into booze, free electrons, Panasonic, greenhouse gases, Earth, artificial photosynthesis  
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9176 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2013 at 10:29 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-25 10:10:30 AM  
Science, you have my attention!
 
2013-01-25 10:14:55 AM  
Okay that's just a neat idea.
 
2013-01-25 10:31:23 AM  
tits
 
2013-01-25 10:31:57 AM  
So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?
 
2013-01-25 10:32:11 AM  
i1151.photobucket.com
Bartender - another swamp-gas fizz so that I may save the environment!
 
2013-01-25 10:33:43 AM  
I'm feeling very green suddenly.
 
2013-01-25 10:33:51 AM  

oldfarthenry: [i1151.photobucket.com image 500x300]
Bartender - another swamp-gas fizz so that I may save the environment!


Whiskey and soda, then?
 
2013-01-25 10:35:03 AM  
0.2% efficiency? I'm sorry, plants have that beat hands down. And they make far more delicious substances than formic acid.
 
2013-01-25 10:38:29 AM  
"Drink deep the gathering gloom"
 
2013-01-25 10:39:14 AM  
www.examiner.com
 
2013-01-25 10:40:34 AM  
I will do my part to save the planet.
 
2013-01-25 10:41:53 AM  
Who's a denier NOW?
 
2013-01-25 10:43:02 AM  
*BRAAAAAP* Sorry, I've been drink Carbon Dioxide Lite.
 
2013-01-25 10:44:31 AM  

glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?


Any sciency people here who can speak to this?

It's an interesting point but I'm not sure if the conversion to alcohol then conversion to urine/waste makes the carbon into some inert form that limits its impact on global warming?
 
2013-01-25 10:45:40 AM  

theorellior: 0.2% efficiency? I'm sorry, plants have that beat hands down. And they make far more delicious substances than formic acid.


Effing reading, how does it work?

"Panasonic claimed that at efficiency levels of 0.2 per cent - that is, the energy proportion of synthesised materials to input light - the system is on a par with real plants"
 
2013-01-25 10:47:02 AM  

glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?


Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse
 
2013-01-25 10:49:27 AM  
No. No. No.

Controlling greenhouse gases can ONLY stifle innovation and hurt the economy. Everyone knows that!
 
2013-01-25 10:49:32 AM  
Stopping something that doesn't exist can't be very difficult.
 
2013-01-25 10:50:04 AM  
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-25 10:51:20 AM  

jehovahs witness protection: Stopping something that doesn't exist can't be very difficult.


Facts Schmacks, you can use facts to prove anything even remotely true.
 
2013-01-25 10:51:23 AM  

OceanVortex: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Any sciency people here who can speak to this?

It's an interesting point but I'm not sure if the conversion to alcohol then conversion to urine/waste makes the carbon into some inert form that limits its impact on global warming?


I can't speak with any great authority on this, but unless you're farting CO2 I can't think of how it would return as a gas to the atmosphere.

One irony in all of this is that the traditional fermentation process for creating alcohol releases a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. Even if this process replaces some of that it seems like it would help.
 
2013-01-25 10:51:32 AM  
We just had our 2nd freezing rain in 2 days. Fark stopping global warming. Lets heat this place up

/think bikinis, bikinis everywhere
 
2013-01-25 10:51:37 AM  
Neat idea, but I have to think that "industrial-waste booze" is going to be pretty nasty. We'll give it to the homeless, and college kids, but none for me thanks.
 
2013-01-25 10:51:55 AM  

no_dice: "Panasonic claimed that at efficiency levels of 0.2 per cent - that is, the energy proportion of synthesised materials to input light - the system is on a par with real plants"


So press releases are valuable reading material now? Crop plants yield 1-2%, sugarcane yields 8%.
 
2013-01-25 10:52:20 AM  

Tatterdemalian: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse


Pretty sure biofuels aren't supposed to do anything to slow global warming.
 
2013-01-25 10:52:30 AM  

jehovahs witness protection: Stopping something that doesn't exist can't be very difficult.


I know right? I just rode my unicorn down to Hell and killed Satan. God liked it so much he made me god. Don't respond negatively to this post or I'll turn you into a newt.
 
2013-01-25 10:52:36 AM  

OceanVortex: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Any sciency people here who can speak to this?

It's an interesting point but I'm not sure if the conversion to alcohol then conversion to urine/waste makes the carbon into some inert form that limits its impact on global warming?


The body breaks ethanol, C2H6O, into carbon dioxide and water... eventually. So yeah, it goes right back into the air.
 
2013-01-25 10:52:59 AM  
Goodbye global warming, hello liver failure!
 
2013-01-25 10:54:56 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Yep, like biofuels.


Question for the novice--it is better to turn already-sequestered carbon into CO2, or use existing CO2 to make fuels to burn?
 
2013-01-25 10:57:44 AM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Tatterdemalian: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse

Pretty sure biofuels aren't supposed to do anything to slow global warming.


Actually, they do.

The carbon in the biofuel cycle goes like this: atmospheric CO2 -> starch in plant -> feedstock in fermenter -> ethanol/biodiesel -> combustion in engine ->atmospheric CO2

Regular gasoline goes like this: entombed petroleum inside of the earth -> cracked in a refinery into hexane/octane -> combustion in engine - atmospheric CO2

So biofuels are recycling existing atmospheric CO2 while fossil fuels are adding MORE, which we kind of don't want.
 
2013-01-25 10:59:13 AM  

jehovahs witness protection: Stopping something that doesn't exist can't be very difficult.


Doesn't your head get overly warm being stuffed up that colon all the time?
 
2013-01-25 11:00:27 AM  

no_dice: theorellior: 0.2% efficiency? I'm sorry, plants have that beat hands down. And they make far more delicious substances than formic acid.

Effing reading, how does it work?

"Panasonic claimed that at efficiency levels of 0.2 per cent - that is, the energy proportion of synthesised materials to input light - the system is on a par with real plants"


...or we could just plant more trees and shrubs around factories?

/Perhaps hang them from planters on smokestacks?
//Something gotta power these machines, something with a carbon footprint?
 
2013-01-25 11:01:44 AM  
And it will taste like fine cognac with a hint of aged scrotum.
 
2013-01-25 11:04:29 AM  
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

That is not right, son.
 
2013-01-25 11:05:20 AM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Tatterdemalian: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse

Pretty sure biofuels aren't supposed to do anything to slow global warming.


Seems to be a miltary strategy.
 
2013-01-25 11:09:03 AM  
New technology? Like "agriculture" and "distilling."

Wow. These guys are the cutting edge. Just wait till they invent bronze.
 
2013-01-25 11:10:02 AM  
More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant
 
2013-01-25 11:10:09 AM  
The circle of life. Nature is kick ass!

/is it happy hour yet?
 
2013-01-25 11:12:46 AM  

madgonad: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Tatterdemalian: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse

Pretty sure biofuels aren't supposed to do anything to slow global warming.

Actually, they do.

The carbon in the biofuel cycle goes like this: atmospheric CO2 -> starch in plant -> feedstock in fermenter -> ethanol/biodiesel -> combustion in engine ->atmospheric CO2

Regular gasoline goes like this: entombed petroleum inside of the earth -> cracked in a refinery into hexane/octane -> combustion in engine - atmospheric CO2

So biofuels are recycling existing atmospheric CO2 while fossil fuels are adding MORE, which we kind of don't want.


With biofuels like diesel from algae, there is always some of the feedstock that doesn't get converted to fuel, and is left as some sort of mulch or sludge, so a portion of the carbon is still sequestered.
 
2013-01-25 11:16:28 AM  

DesertDemonWY: More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant


Oxygen is a corrosive pollutant. Just look at what it does to some exposed metal surfaces. And what about all the combustion that  wouldn't have happened without it being present?
 
2013-01-25 11:17:02 AM  

give me doughnuts: With biofuels like diesel from algae, there is always some of the feedstock that doesn't get converted to fuel, and is left as some sort of mulch or sludge, so a portion of the carbon is still sequestered.


That just takes longer to break down - like the plant matter in my compost heap. Carbon sequestration either has to be elemental (like graphite) or a stable compound (like petroleum). Maybe the development of fast growing carbon nanotubes could be a solution (and a really useful product!)?
 
2013-01-25 11:17:12 AM  

madgonad: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Tatterdemalian: glass_ibis: So it would be sequestered out of the biosphere for what, 18 hours?

Yep, like biofuels.

/don't question the science, denier, or we will sacrifice you to the gods of atheism next
//if there was an afterlife, we could generate unlimited clean energy by harnessing Darwin's spinning corpse

Pretty sure biofuels aren't supposed to do anything to slow global warming.

Actually, they do.

The carbon in the biofuel cycle goes like this: atmospheric CO2 -> starch in plant -> feedstock in fermenter -> ethanol/biodiesel -> combustion in engine ->atmospheric CO2

Regular gasoline goes like this: entombed petroleum inside of the earth -> cracked in a refinery into hexane/octane -> combustion in engine - atmospheric CO2

So biofuels are recycling existing atmospheric CO2 while fossil fuels are adding MORE, which we kind of don't want.


Perhaps, but I always thought their purpose was to reduce dependency on petroleum for fuel. And fund the corn industry.
 
2013-01-25 11:22:33 AM  
Um, I'm pretty sure the problem isn't CO2, it's CO.   Isn't Carbon MONOXIDE the primary pollutant from internal combustion engines and the source of all the greenie whining?
 
2013-01-25 11:24:44 AM  

DesertDemonWY: More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant


It depends on concentration.

It is normally a trace component - about 0.04%.

At 1%, it will cause drowsiness
At 10% it will kill you within an hour
 
2013-01-25 11:34:31 AM  

no_dice: theorellior: 0.2% efficiency? I'm sorry, plants have that beat hands down. And they make far more delicious substances than formic acid.

Effing reading, how does it work?

"Panasonic claimed that at efficiency levels of 0.2 per cent - that is, the energy proportion of synthesised materials to input light - the system is on a par with real plants"


wiki wiki wiki wikipedia.

In actuality, however, plants do not absorb all incoming sunlight (due to reflection, respiration requirements of photosynthesis and the need for optimal solar radiation levels) and do not convert all harvested energy into biomass, which results in an overall photosynthetic efficiency of 3 to 6% of total solar radiation
 
2013-01-25 11:35:11 AM  

madgonad: Carbon sequestration either has to be elemental (like graphite) or a stable compound (like petroleum). Maybe the development of fast growing carbon nanotubes could be a solution (and a really useful product!)?


There are some experiments in using biochar (basically, charcoal) to both sequester carbon and to stabilize and enhance soils.
 
2013-01-25 11:35:57 AM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Perhaps, but I always thought their purpose was to reduce dependency on petroleum for fuel. And fund the corn industry.


That's what happens when politics sticks its nose in science. When money and power is involved, everything is distorted.

The simple reality is that if we want the planet to remain as close to the way that we found it, we need to control our impact on it. That means recycling limited resources, not overdrawing from groundwater supplies, not taking more fish than can be recovered, and not disturbing the natural balance in the atmosphere.

Uncorking a ton of fossil fuels will cause some climate change and acidify the oceans for a while. In a couple thousand years it will all be back in balance again. The side effects of this are changing local climates, slight change in sea levels, and pressure on the life cycles of ocean plants and animals. It isn't the end of the world. We aren't going to turn into Venus. On the plus side, Canada will become a lot nicer place to live. Wheat production in Kansas will decline and grazing will replace it. Nebraska will grow more wheat to balance things out. Coral reefs will noticeably shrink - which I think sucks - but the fish will recover. Good news for sea turtles - more jellyfish for them to eat! Central Canada will produce less canola oil and might start turning to corn. In 100 years North Carolina will probably lose their outer banks - which is bad news for the coast when the next hurricane arrives. Lots of little things. Oh, and crop yields will be down overall, so expect starvation in unexpected places in the world. Maybe even here, because China can spend some of their dollars on food grown here.

/rant
 
2013-01-25 11:37:43 AM  

theorellior: madgonad: Carbon sequestration either has to be elemental (like graphite) or a stable compound (like petroleum). Maybe the development of fast growing carbon nanotubes could be a solution (and a really useful product!)?

There are some experiments in using biochar (basically, charcoal) to both sequester carbon and to stabilize and enhance soils.


I like that, but how stable will charcoal be in most soils? It breaks down and gets sucked-up by plants in a huge hurry.
 
2013-01-25 11:37:53 AM  

theorellior: Tatterdemalian: Yep, like biofuels.

Question for the novice--it is better to turn already-sequestered carbon into CO2, or use existing CO2 to make fuels to burn?


Doesn't matter. The sequestered CO2 is going to be burned off anyhow, at the refinery if not in your gas tanks.

/your solar cells aren't going to emerge fully formed from the crude oil, you know.
 
2013-01-25 11:41:19 AM  

DesertDemonWY: More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant


But beer farts are
 
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