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(The Register)   New technology could stop global warming by turning CO2 into booze   (theregister.co.uk ) divider line
    More: Hero, global warming, carbon dioxide, CO2 into booze, free electrons, Panasonic, greenhouse gases, Earth, artificial photosynthesis  
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9196 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Jan 2013 at 10:29 AM (3 years 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
 
2013-01-25 11:47:17 AM  

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


Reading more about this. Sounds like a good byproduct for agricultural waste products. Bio-oil and Syngas as well as biochar are the products of using essentially 'the rest of the plant'. Could be a potential intermediary in rural communities - sell the crop and instead of tilling the leavings back into the soil - process them for their energy value and reclaim some carbon as fertilizer. As long as the products can be sold for enough money to cover the costs of production + costs of hauling in plant waste into the facility this could work. Using technology to glean every last bit of energy out of the plant - not just harvesting the fruit and seeds.
 
2013-01-25 11:47:44 AM  

little Jeff: 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?


Have you ever heard of catalytic converters?
 
2013-01-25 11:50:24 AM  

Tatterdemalian: 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.


Uhm, if we leave the sequestered carbon alone (aka - not dig it up or pump it out) it isn't going anywhere - much less into a refinery.
 
2013-01-25 11:52:11 AM  

Tatterdemalian: /your solar cells aren't going to emerge fully formed from the crude oil, you know.


Solar cells are made from crude oil? Silly me, I thought they were made from amorphous silicon.
 
2013-01-25 11:52:27 AM  

little Jeff: 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?


No. Carbon monoxide is a concern for local air quality, but that's why cars now have catalytic converters. The greenhouse-effect one is carbon dioxide.
 
2013-01-25 11:53:27 AM  

dillengest: Have you ever heard of catalytic converters?


Catalytic converters turn carbon monoxide and various oxygenated nitrogen compounds into nitrogen and CO2 gases and water vapor.
 
2013-01-25 11:58:57 AM  

give me doughnuts: New technology? Like "agriculture" and "distilling."

Wow. These guys are the cutting edge. Just wait till they invent bronze.


The indrustry has to do something. The environmentalistas have them in their sites.
 
2013-01-25 12:00:56 PM  

madgonad: Uhm, if we leave the sequestered carbon alone (aka - not dig it up or pump it out) it isn't going anywhere - much less into a refinery.


Well, sure... if you don't mind having to downsize both your population and your standard of living to pre-industrial levels.

/the scary thing is that this actually can be done
//Pol Pot did it in Cambodia
 
2013-01-25 12:04:36 PM  

little Jeff: 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?


No.
 
2013-01-25 12:11:20 PM  
Why would I spend millions of dollars on one of these photosynthesis machines when I can plant a farking tree for like $5.00?
 
2013-01-25 12:14:09 PM  

little Jeff: 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?


Used to be. We found an industrial solution to that, though, which forced the Luddites to scramble to find a new way to force the world to go back to living in mud huts.

/their early focus testing, to see which disaster scenarios could cause enough panic to drive otherwise educated people to attack each other, still causes hilarious amounts of buttrage whenever anyone reminds them of it
//declaring that CO2 would start a new ice age, for example, flopped badly
 
2013-01-25 12:16:08 PM  

madgonad: 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.


What? Where do you think plants get carbon from?
 
2013-01-25 12:17:42 PM  
In other news, plants already take CO2 and convert it to plant matter, and emit oxygen.

More CO2 means plants would grow faster, and since there are 7 billion+ people in the world and most are very hungry, I call that a good idea indeed..

More global warming would also result in longer growing seasons, more crops planted in northern latitudes, and more rainfall due to increased ocean water evaporation.

Melting the polar icecap would shorten navigation routes between Asia and Europe, and create prosperity by increasing trade.

Maybe we ought to clue the "warmers" in on Hapgood's theory of Pole Shift, that would REALLY freak them out!
 
2013-01-25 12:18:49 PM  

Tatterdemalian: Well, sure... if you don't mind having to downsize both your population and your standard of living to pre-industrial levels.


Hey, look,it's that slippery-slope strawman again. It's sad to see people so invested in dinojuice that they can't think around its limitations.
 
2013-01-25 12:26:47 PM  
FTFA: "The two-stage process begins by filling a nitride semiconductor photo-electrode with water and then exposing it to sunlight or artificial light."

Ahhhh ha ha ha! They are suggesting you should generate light with electricity that has CO2 as a byproduct in order to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere! I wonder if they have a consensus on their proposed use.
 
2013-01-25 12:31:40 PM  

theorellior: Tatterdemalian: Well, sure... if you don't mind having to downsize both your population and your standard of living to pre-industrial levels.

Hey, look,it's that slippery-slope strawman again. It's sad to see people so invested in dinojuice that they can't think around its limitations.


No sadder than seeing people so terrified of the dino juice that they will open their wallets to any snake-oil salesman they can find.

/your loss is China's gain
 
2013-01-25 12:32:03 PM  

GORDON: FTFA: "The two-stage process begins by filling a nitride semiconductor photo-electrode with water and then exposing it to sunlight or artificial light."

Ahhhh ha ha ha! They are suggesting you should generate light with electricity that has CO2 as a byproduct in order to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere! I wonder if they have a consensus on their proposed use.


I still laugh at burning coal so electric cars can run is "clean."
 
2013-01-25 12:46:35 PM  

Carn: 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.


should I respond negatively, and get turned into a newt, will I get better?
 
2013-01-25 12:52:56 PM  

Tatterdemalian: madgonad: Uhm, if we leave the sequestered carbon alone (aka - not dig it up or pump it out) it isn't going anywhere - much less into a refinery.

Well, sure... if you don't mind having to downsize both your population and your standard of living to pre-industrial levels.

/the scary thing is that this actually can be done
//Pol Pot did it in Cambodia


Yeah, those damn greenies and their fearmongering attempts to cause panic.
 
2013-01-25 12:53:07 PM  

maltedmothball: Carn: 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.

should I respond negatively, and get turned into a newt, will I get better?


upload.wikimedia.org
Only Newt's wife doesn't get better.
cdn.ricochet.com
 
2013-01-25 12:57:01 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: I still laugh at burning coal so electric cars can run is "clean."


Burning coal at a single source of pollution with 50% efficiency and transmitting it over powerlines to vehicles with 90% efficiency is still probably better than using a fleet of trucks to distribute gasoline to a diffuse army of pollution sources with 20% efficiency.
 
2013-01-25 12:58:11 PM  

Tatterdemalian: No sadder than seeing people so terrified of the dino juice that they will open their wallets to any snake-oil salesman they can find.


You're just annoyed I don't buy into your post-petroluem apocalyptic fantasy.
 
2013-01-25 01:00:35 PM  

Vegetative reproduction: madgonad: 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.

What? Where do you think plants get carbon from?


Specifically, it comes from the light reaction in photosynthesis - which is atmospheric carbon.

HOWEVER, plants absorb all kinds of compounds through their roots. There is a lot more to plants than CO2 and H2O. Those other compounds are acquired from the soil through the roots. THAT is where the charcoal will be acquired and utilized throughout the plant.
 
2013-01-25 01:02:59 PM  

maltedmothball: Carn: 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.

should I respond negatively, and get turned into a newt, will I get better?


Depends on which kind of newt, but probably.
 
2013-01-25 01:05:34 PM  

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


Well:

"Currently, the main substance produced is formic acid, but in the future, we'd like to produce even more useful substances, such as hydrocarbons or alcohol."

Apparently they're already making mostly industrial precursors, but even if it was just ethanol it's not rocket science to make EtOH into a polymer like HDPE and then bury it somewhere, sequestering it essentially forever.

olddinosaur: In other news, plants already take CO2 and convert it to plant matter, and emit oxygen.


If you'll read TFA, you'll realize that that's basically the point, mimicing plant chemistry on a scalable and controllable fashion so that we can directly regulate the atmosphere's CO2 content... sort of photosynthesis on uppers, as it were.
//Honestly, my favorite result of the funding surge toward renewable energy isn't this, it's the "turn plants into heavy-key petroleum in a matter of hours" tech that came out a few years ago.
 
2013-01-25 01:08:10 PM  

olddinosaur: In other news, plants already take CO2 and convert it to plant matter, and emit oxygen.

More CO2 means plants would grow faster, and since there are 7 billion+ people in the world and most are very hungry, I call that a good idea indeed..

More global warming would also result in longer growing seasons, more crops planted in northern latitudes, and more rainfall due to increased ocean water evaporation.

Melting the polar icecap would shorten navigation routes between Asia and Europe, and create prosperity by increasing trade.

Maybe we ought to clue the "warmers" in on Hapgood's theory of Pole Shift, that would REALLY freak them out!


Outside of rainforests - CO2 is not a limiting factor. Having food on the shelves doesn't make you fat. There is more than enough CO2 available for plants to use as they photosynthesize. It happens very slowly - it isn't like a field of corn resembles a bus load of fatties hitting a buffet at lunch.

The northern passage is intermittently open. Even if open year round, iceberg hazards and remoteness of the arctic sea is inherently riskier than going the extra 2000 miles and taking the canal (which the ships are already designed to fit through).

As to Hapgood, scientists have already worked that over. It comes down to a degree over pole movement per million years. aka - geologic time
 
2013-01-25 01:10:37 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Honestly, my favorite result of the funding surge toward renewable energy isn't this, it's the "turn plants into heavy-key petroleum in a matter of hours" tech that came out a few years ago.


Yep.

That pretty much provides a simple solution to our problem. Be a little more efficient, lean more on electricity from renewable sources, and tell OPEC to take a flying fark
 
2013-01-25 01:13:28 PM  

theorellior: StoPPeRmobile: I still laugh at burning coal so electric cars can run is "clean."

Burning coal at a single source of pollution with 50% efficiency and transmitting it over powerlines to vehicles with 90% efficiency is still probably better than using a fleet of trucks to distribute gasoline to a diffuse army of pollution sources with 20% efficiency.


So it's "probably" clean?

//mmmmm. tasty, tasty radiation.
 
2013-01-25 01:17:34 PM  

madgonad: 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


Yeah, I played SimEarth when I was a kid, too. Our climate has changed, is changing and will continue to change. Life will adapt. But I'd rather not have to adapt to food riots and other consequences of a sudden (on a geological scale) climate change if we can make machines that pull CO2 out of the air and turn it into a decent scotch. Then, we'd only have to worry about Cuban cigar riots :-)
 
2013-01-25 01:17:43 PM  

I_C_Weener: Science, you have my attention!


That's about right
 
2013-01-25 01:21:28 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: So it's "probably" clean?

//mmmmm. tasty, tasty radiation.


Look, I'm not saying coal-fired power plants are the way to go. In order of preference, I'd rather have large-scale thermal solar, wind, PV, nuclear or gas co-generation power plants. But if were comparing powering inefficient vehicles with gasoline verses powering efficient vehicles with coal, the thermodynamic throughput favors the coal.
 
2013-01-25 01:24:51 PM  
Great, what then will we do with an over-abundance of booze?
 
2013-01-25 01:28:30 PM  

theorellior: Look, I'm not saying coal-fired power plants are the way to go. In order of preference, I'd rather have large-scale thermal solar, wind, PV, nuclear or gas co-generation power plants. But if were comparing powering inefficient vehicles with gasoline verses powering efficient vehicles with coal, the thermodynamic throughput favors the coal.


There is also a hidden bonus that is essentially never mentioned.

EVs have very low maintenance and repair costs. The only two expensive parts in them - the battery and motors are 100% recyclable. All of those common car problems - transmission, fuel systems, alternator, cooling, exhaust, and the engine itself - no longer exist. The motors and battery 'just work'. No oil changes. Scheduled maintenance is almost non-existent. Just check some connections every 2-3 years.
 
2013-01-25 01:33:02 PM  

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"


"On a par" does not mean equal or better. It just means vaguely comparable.

"On par" is one of those weasel phrases people use fake-brag without technically lying. Like saying "premier" instead of "best".
 
2013-01-25 01:33:06 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Yeah, I played SimEarth when I was a kid, too. Our climate has changed, is changing and will continue to change. Life will adapt. But I'd rather not have to adapt to food riots and other consequences of a sudden (on a geological scale) climate change if we can make machines that pull CO2 out of the air and turn it into a decent scotch. Then, we'd only have to worry about Cuban cigar riots :-)


Yeah, I don't think making ethanol is an ideal sequestration product. Too flammable and eghm, useful.

Now making carbon nanotube girders would be ideal. Carbon-dense. Useful and recyclable (or at least stackable) and unlikely to re-enter the carbon cycle anytime soon. Besides, I like my Scotch just the way it is - made from a single malt and cask aged.
 
2013-01-25 01:44:30 PM  

whatsupchuck: 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.


Does your toilet launch your poop into outer space?

If you don't directly exhale or fart carbon out as CO2 and methane, it will be emitted at a waste treatment plant, or otherwise returned to the biosphere where some biological process can ultimately cycle it into 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.

All of that CO2 comes from plants that captured the CO2 from the atmosphere, so it's not a net gain. Making grain into beer is not nearly as bad for the environment as making coal and oil into beer.

/We'll call it "Sooty Nose"
 
2013-01-25 01:48:19 PM  

dillengest: little Jeff: 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?

Have you ever heard of catalytic converters?


upload.wikimedia.org

They have.

 
2013-01-25 01:50:05 PM  

redundantman: Great, what then will we do with an over-abundance of booze?


I'm sorry, is that a rhetorical question?
 
2013-01-25 01:57:56 PM  

madgonad: There is also a hidden bonus that is essentially never mentioned.

EVs have very low maintenance and repair costs. The only two expensive parts in them - the battery and motors are 100% recyclable. All of those common car problems - transmission, fuel systems, alternator, cooling, exhaust, and the engine itself - no longer exist. The motors and battery 'just work'. No oil changes. Scheduled maintenance is almost non-existent. Just check some connections every 2-3 years.


Interesting. That is one thing I never think of when discussing EVs. However, I'd say that regular lubrication would probably be something you'd still need to do, if only to repack the bearings in the drive axle every 50,000 miles or so.
 
2013-01-25 02:15:35 PM  
Turning CO2 into fuel is net 0 on global carbon flux - when the fuel is burned it turns back in CO2.

CO2 --> fuel --> CO2

At least this way we aren't adding CO2 to the atmosphere.

The only way to sequester CO2 is to either bury it (which some people are doing in empty oil fields) or convert it to inorganic carbon such as CaCO3 (which is done on large scale by photosynthetic algae and some sea creatures).
 
2013-01-25 02:25:22 PM  

Xcott: whatsupchuck: 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.

Does your toilet launch your poop into outer space?

If you don't directly exhale or fart carbon out as CO2 and methane, it will be emitted at a waste treatment plant, or otherwise returned to the biosphere where some biological process can ultimately cycle it into the atmosphere."


It's probably safe to assume that some of the ethanol will be converted to fatty acid and sequestered in the body, too. I wasn't arguing that the carbon doesn't eventually return to the atmosphere, just the part about "within 18 hours". I'll give you that some would be exhaled.
 
2013-01-25 02:28:53 PM  

theorellior: StoPPeRmobile: So it's "probably" clean?

//mmmmm. tasty, tasty radiation.

Look, I'm not saying coal-fired power plants are the way to go. In order of preference, I'd rather have large-scale thermal solar, wind, PV, nuclear or gas co-generation power plants. But if were comparing powering inefficient vehicles with gasoline verses powering efficient vehicles with coal, the thermodynamic throughput favors the coal.


thermodynamic throughput favors = clean = disingenous or fraudulant
 
2013-01-25 02:29:48 PM  
DesertDemonWY:

More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant

By itself it is, especially if you keep a) cutting down plants which would aborb the CO2 and also create oxygen and b) burning stuff to create more CO2.

The simple solution is more plants and less burning. The easiest way to do that, because you're not going to get 7 billion people to agree to do the right thing, is to reduce the population.

Maybe the USA should nuke China's big cities before they have the capacity to strike back. One benefit of that is that most of China's population is of child-bearing age, so we'd also reduce future breeders. Another good thing is it will no longer matter how much the USA owes China. In the short run that will also drastically lower world temperature from nuclear winter, and once the dust settles there will be not only several hundred million fewer Chinese but also a lower population world-wide. Another benefit to "the West" is that the developed NATO countries will have an easier time riding out the consequences, while the poor brown peoples who drive up the population will die in droves -- also reducing the number of available breeders. In fact it might well do to include a few populous cities in India and Pakistan in our global holocaust as well.

As long as we leave Russia out of it the US is not likely to face significant retaliation. In fact, as our interest won't include doing much with what's left of China the Russians might well welcome a larger sphere of influence on the Asian continent. And if Russia does not strike us then the rest of the world will quickly learn to accomodate the New World Order, a de facto alliance of Russia and the USA against the rest of the planet.

Inevitably this will mean greater global dominance for white people, but more US power would benefit blacks in America as much as whites: it's hard to imagine black Americans doing anything but being glad they're on the winning side, as regardless of rhetoric the fact is that black Americans benefit from US global dominance as much as white Americans do. When it comes down to it black Americans are black Americans, a fact the rest of the world has acknowledged for decades. Nevertheless we will also be heading off internal dissent from those quarters by not including Africa in our surgical strike, an "omission" that's easily justifiable by the global weakness of African countries: in fact sub-Saharan Africans might well benefit by lessened competition for the world's resources from the Earth's other colored peoples.

And by the way, if say Nigeria or Iran and their best buddies were the world's preeminent nuclear powers I'd be arguing that they should blast away instead, even if that meant wiping out say southern California and the Bos-Wash corridor. And of course if there were a way to reduce the Earth's population by the same percntage among all groups equally I'd be all for that as well, but we'll have to make the most of the global holocaust we can have instead of sitting idly by because our only solution is sub-optimal in some practically trivial respects.

Granted this is one wild-ass "thought experiment," but it's hard to imagine any other measure that will do as much to counteract the most disturbing ecological and economic trends in the shortest time. If anybody else has a practical plan to drastically reduce global warming and the world's population in less than 100 years I'd like to hear it: all I've heard so far is that NATO's peoples ought to worry more and try harder to tread water while the rest of the world makes our situation even more difficult all the time.
 
2013-01-25 02:32:49 PM  
Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.
 
2013-01-25 02:32:51 PM  

theorellior: Interesting. That is one thing I never think of when discussing EVs. However, I'd say that regular lubrication would probably be something you'd still need to do, if only to repack the bearings in the drive axle every 50,000 miles or so.


Uhm, what axle?

Many designs put the motors inside the wheels with a simple shock/strut attachment to the frame. It allows precise adjustment of power to specific wheels and moves more weight to the wheel itself, which is ideal.

What we think of now as cars is defined by the necessities of a large engine/powertrain apparatus. That simply doesn't exist with EVs. The battery can go anywhere and be any shape (or even broken up) and the motors can go inside of the wheels. That leaves the 'car' as a blank slate for the designers and engineers to play with.
 
2013-01-25 02:33:59 PM  

ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.


I know. India is growing at a much higher rate.
 
2013-01-25 02:37:30 PM  

madgonad: Vegetative reproduction: madgonad: 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.

What? Where do you think plants get carbon from?

Specifically, it comes from the light reaction in photosynthesis - which is atmospheric carbon.

HOWEVER, plants absorb all kinds of compounds through their roots. There is a lot more to plants than CO2 and H2O. Those other compounds are acquired from the soil through the roots. THAT is where the charcoal will be acquired and utilized throughout the plant.


Yes, root uptake of organic carbon containing compounds can occur. However, root uptake of carbon containing compounds is not a significant source of plant carbon, nor it is a the major factor contributing to soil carbon loss. Here is a very basic figure. You will notice that there is no arrow pointing towards roots.
 
2013-01-25 02:42:14 PM  

madgonad: ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.

I know. India is growing at a much higher rate.


India is far less militarily ands economically powerful than China, as well as using fewer natural resources and producing less CO2, so they're not the main target. One goal is to reduce competition from current global powers: India simply does not qualify. Neither does Nigeria or Brazil, for that matter.
 
2013-01-25 02:43:26 PM  

The One True TheDavid: DesertDemonWY:

More proof that CO2 is NOT a pollutant

By itself it is, especially if you keep a) cutting down plants which would aborb the CO2 and also create oxygen and b) burning stuff to create more CO2.

The simple solution is more plants and less burning. The easiest way to do that, because you're not going to get 7 billion people to agree to do the right thing, is to reduce the population.



Approves
upload.wikimedia.org
 
2013-01-25 02:45:35 PM  
Vegetative reproduction:

You will notice that there is no arrow pointing towards roots.

Have you noticed that 3/5 underground arrows point to microbes? What effect do soil microbes have on global warming?
 
2013-01-25 02:46:14 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: thermodynamic throughput favors = clean = disingenous or fraudulant


This conversation boggles my mind. I've had another one like it this week. No, coal-fired power plants are not "clean". But neither are gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. If the pollution you mitigate by removing ICEs from the road is greater than the pollution emitted by the electricity generated to power EVs, then you have a net increase in "cleanliness". Also, as I mentioned before, a coal-fired power plant is a point source of pollution, which is far, far easier to clean and control than 10,000 diffused gasoline engine exhausts. And don't forget, you need to use Diesel trucks to ship the gasoline to your fueling stations. Electricity just needs wires.

We could probably remove all the mercury and sulfur compounds from coal emissions and sequester the carbon to boot and *still* be more efficient than the present transportation regime using ICEs.
 
2013-01-25 02:46:35 PM  

The One True TheDavid: madgonad: ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.

I know. India is growing at a much higher rate.

India is far less militarily ands economically powerful than China, as well as using fewer natural resources and producing less CO2, so they're not the main target. One goal is to reduce competition from current global powers: India simply does not qualify. Neither does Nigeria or Brazil, for that matter.


Well at least your honest and admitting its about competition for resources and not just overpopulation!

Still, its better to reduce population from the supply side (ie, fewer births/woman) than from the "kill all humans" angle. You might as well advocate for building a robot army to kill all humans. At least that would be cool.
 
2013-01-25 02:48:43 PM  

theorellior: StoPPeRmobile: thermodynamic throughput favors = clean = disingenous or fraudulant

This conversation boggles my mind. I've had another one like it this week. No, coal-fired power plants are not "clean". But neither are gasoline-powered internal combustion engines. If the pollution you mitigate by removing ICEs from the road is greater than the pollution emitted by the electricity generated to power EVs, then you have a net increase in "cleanliness". Also, as I mentioned before, a coal-fired power plant is a point source of pollution, which is far, far easier to clean and control than 10,000 diffused gasoline engine exhausts. And don't forget, you need to use Diesel trucks to ship the gasoline to your fueling stations. Electricity just needs wires.

We could probably remove all the mercury and sulfur compounds from coal emissions and sequester the carbon to boot and *still* be more efficient than the present transportation regime using ICEs.


You are probably right but the term "clean" is my problem. Why is that so hard to understand? Why get so defensive about it.

I am not suggesting cigarettes style warning labels, just some honesty.
 
2013-01-25 02:54:32 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: You are probably right but the term "clean" is my problem. Why is that so hard to understand? Why get so defensive about it.


Okay, it's a terminology thing. Fair enough. I'd be the last person to claim that coal is "clean". I'd prefer to replace every single coal-fired power plants with nukes if we could, even with the radioactive waste problem. Or molten-salt thermosolar plants in New Mexico, with a concomitant upgrade of the electric grid.

I guess it's annoying that people freak out about EVs powered by coal being "dirty" when the present gasoline alternative is nothing but.
 
2013-01-25 02:56:20 PM  

Jim_Callahan: Apparently they're already making mostly industrial precursors, but even if it was just ethanol it's not rocket science to make EtOH into a polymer like HDPE and then bury it somewhere, sequestering it essentially forever.


Rigid PVC plastic might be an even better choice for long-term sequestration, because it lets you store carbon as well as the chlorine that's left over when you produce sodium hydroxide from salt water. Some of the proposed carbon-capture schemes rely on NaOH to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere so you need a way to generate it without dumping a lot of hydrochloric acid into the environment.
 
2013-01-25 03:02:01 PM  
smartautocar.com
 
2013-01-25 03:03:39 PM  

Ivo Shandor: Rigid PVC plastic might be an even better choice for long-term sequestration, because it lets you store carbon as well as the chlorine that's left over when you produce sodium hydroxide from salt water. Some of the proposed carbon-capture schemes rely on NaOH to pull CO2 out of the atmosphere so you need a way to generate it without dumping a lot of hydrochloric acid into the environment.


So in the future people might visit giant PVC caves where workers are busy storing the latest shipment of sequestered material.

Then, millions of years later, when humanity has left for the stars and the raccoons achieve sapience, they will mine the PVC as a ready source of energy. Having triggered another round of global warming, they will hit on a plan of sequestering the carbon through turning it into long-chain hydrocarbons and storing them in the same caves.
 
2013-01-25 03:23:33 PM  

madgonad: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Yeah, I played SimEarth when I was a kid, too. Our climate has changed, is changing and will continue to change. Life will adapt. But I'd rather not have to adapt to food riots and other consequences of a sudden (on a geological scale) climate change if we can make machines that pull CO2 out of the air and turn it into a decent scotch. Then, we'd only have to worry about Cuban cigar riots :-)

Yeah, I don't think making ethanol is an ideal sequestration product. Too flammable and eghm, useful.

Now making carbon nanotube girders would be ideal. Carbon-dense. Useful and recyclable (or at least stackable) and unlikely to re-enter the carbon cycle anytime soon. Besides, I like my Scotch just the way it is - made from a single malt and cask aged.


Fair enough. How about a good vodka vodak instead? The run on olives could cripple the economy, though.
 
2013-01-25 03:30:03 PM  

The One True TheDavid: Vegetative reproduction:

You will notice that there is no arrow pointing towards roots.

Have you noticed that 3/5 underground arrows point to microbes? What effect do soil microbes have on global warming?


A lot. That is why soil temperature, nitrogen fertilization, tilling soil etc. have a large effect on soil carbon cycling.
 
2013-01-25 03:36:45 PM  
That'd be great, except that human activities have nothing to do with climate change.
 
2013-01-25 03:41:40 PM  

ecor1: The One True TheDavid: madgonad: ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.

I know. India is growing at a much higher rate.

India is far less militarily ands economically powerful than China, as well as using fewer natural resources and producing less CO2, so they're not the main target. One goal is to reduce competition from current global powers: India simply does not qualify. Neither does Nigeria or Brazil, for that matter.

Well at least your honest and admitting its about competition for resources and not just overpopulation!


Fewer people means less competition for the Good Stuff and less harm from the Bad Stuff. If you can't make the pie bigger you can at least reduce the eaters. And with far fewer eaters we can make do with a smaller and less resource-using pie.


Still, its better to reduce population from the supply side (ie, fewer births/woman) than from the "kill all humans" angle.

That would take too long, unless we put massive quantities of fertility-reducing and/or fetus-killing chemicals in the water or the food in a very short time.

Is that morally better than simply poisoning a lot of people to death? If not, perhaps we could find a way to produce a huge sudden fog of Sarin and Zyklon-B in the air in Calcutta. But we couldn't hit China, our biggest competitor for the world's resources and the fastest growing producer of CO2, because they might be able to retaliate. And India competes also with China: what good would it do to make Asia easier for China to exploit?

We need one good solid WHAP: instant global cooling AND far fewer resource-consumers to warm the globe back up. Again, can you think of a more effective, more efficient and quicker idea?


You might as well advocate for building a robot army to kill all humans. At least that would be cool.

We already have hundreds of nuclear missiles rusting away: there's no need to increase the drain on the world's resources and make more CO2 by creating another killing force.
 
2013-01-25 03:48:47 PM  

ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.


I think that's going to be a pretty hard sell to even the most jaded soldier.

/though any plan involving reducing human dependency on fossil fuels will have to go there eventually
//after all, China has not only refused to meet any climate targets, they have actually threatened mass releases of greenhouse gas to blackmail trade concessions out of the UN
///I'd rather wage war on terror than war on weather, myself
 
2013-01-25 04:03:29 PM  

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


I'm not sure if you are trolling or just don't understand, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try to explain why this could be a huge help.

About 1/4 of the energy used in the US goes to transportation, and nearly all of that is petroleum. It's very hard to sequester CO2 from transportation because the emission sources are tiny and mobile.

Slightly over 1/2 of the energy in the US is coal, natural gas and petroleum used by industry and electrical generation -- that is, consumed in large quantities in ways that make sequestration conceivable if we can find practical methods to do it.

The remaining 1/4 of energy in the US is either from renewable sources that don't increase CO2, or (1/10th) are used at a residential or commercial source and so would be tougher to sequester.

So if we can create a nice liquid fuel (like biofuels or alcohol) to meet our transportation needs, we can stop using petroleum for that. It doesn't really matter if that petroleum replacement comes from distilling plants or from CO2 extracted directly from the atmosphere, as long as it is not adding new CO2 (or other greenhouse gases) to the atmosphere.

So if this works, we could potentially cut the rate at which we are adding CO2 to our atmosphere by 1/3, even while continuing to use coal and natural gas. And if the technique could work to just pull CO2 from the atmosphere anywhere to generate alcohol, then it could be used to replace coal and natural gas for use in electric generation and as a heating fuel, essentially eliminating our need for fossil fuels.

Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.
 
2013-01-25 04:04:23 PM  
Is there profit to be made? If it doesn't make money it's not worth doing because there is no global warming since god gave us the earth to do whatever we want to it and Jebus is going to show up any day now anyway.
 
2013-01-25 04:14:07 PM  

The One True TheDavid: ecor1: The One True TheDavid: madgonad: ecor1: Well that escalated quickly.

Nuking chinese cities? Wouldn't do much to world population in the long term. Besides being horrific and totally unnecessary.

I know. India is growing at a much higher rate.

India is far less militarily ands economically powerful than China, as well as using fewer natural resources and producing less CO2, so they're not the main target. One goal is to reduce competition from current global powers: India simply does not qualify. Neither does Nigeria or Brazil, for that matter.

Well at least your honest and admitting its about competition for resources and not just overpopulation!

Fewer people means less competition for the Good Stuff and less harm from the Bad Stuff. If you can't make the pie bigger you can at least reduce the eaters. And with far fewer eaters we can make do with a smaller and less resource-using pie.


Still, its better to reduce population from the supply side (ie, fewer births/woman) than from the "kill all humans" angle.

That would take too long, unless we put massive quantities of fertility-reducing and/or fetus-killing chemicals in the water or the food in a very short time.

Is that morally better than simply poisoning a lot of people to death? If not, perhaps we could find a way to produce a huge sudden fog of Sarin and Zyklon-B in the air in Calcutta. But we couldn't hit China, our biggest competitor for the world's resources and the fastest growing producer of CO2, because they might be able to retaliate. And India competes also with China: what good would it do to make Asia easier for China to exploit?

We need one good solid WHAP: instant global cooling AND far fewer resource-consumers to warm the globe back up. Again, can you think of a more effective, more efficient and quicker idea?


You might as well advocate for building a robot army to kill all humans. At least that would be cool.

We already have hundreds of nuclear missiles rusting away: there's n ...


This is a great idea! Here's how I suggest we implement it: We plant nuclear bombs under every population center worldwide. Then everyone travels to closet population center and we ask everyone to vote on whether to execute the plan or not. If it gets at least 50% of the vote, the we do it. We blow up enough of the population centers to make it happen, starting with the ones that had the highest percentage of yes votes and working down from there until we are done.

/or we could just send all the supporters of this plan to One True David's house and nuke it.
 
2013-01-25 04:17:28 PM  
 
2013-01-25 04:56:13 PM  

Zasteva: 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

I'm not sure if you are trolling or just don't understand, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try to explain why this could be a huge help.

About 1/4 of the energy used in the US goes to transportation, and nearly all of that is petroleum. It's very hard to sequester CO2 from transportation because the emission sources are tiny and mobile.

Slightly over 1/2 of the energy in the US is coal, natural gas and petroleum used by industry and electrical generation -- that is, consumed in large quantities in ways that make sequestration conceivable if we can find practical methods to do it.

The remaining 1/4 of energy in the US is either from renewable sources that don't increase CO2, or (1/10th) are used at a residential or commercial source and so would be tougher to sequester.

So if we can create a nice liquid fuel (like biofuels or alcohol) to meet our transportation needs, we can stop using petroleum for that. It doesn't really matter if that petroleum replacement comes from distilling plants or from CO2 extracted directly from the atmosphere, as long as it is not adding new CO2 (or other greenhouse gases) to the atmosphere.

So if this works, we could potentially cut the rate at which we are adding CO2 to our atmosphere by 1/3, even while continuing to use coal and natural gas. And if the technique could work to just pull CO2 from the atmosphere anywhere to generate alcohol, then it could be used to replace coal and natural gas for use in electric generation and as a heating fuel, essentially eliminating our need for fossil fuels.

Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.


Seems like a perfectly reasonable presumption.
 
2013-01-25 05:54:43 PM  

Zasteva: Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.


It also presumes that petroleum is a mystical polymorphic substance that can be loaded into an internal combustion engine, an oil powered electrical generator, or a spool of plastic wrap, depending on which magic machine you pour it into at the refinery.

This is not how it works. Turning off the magic gasoline and oil machines does not mean we have more petroleum to put into the magic plastic wrap machine. What it does mean is that, thanks to biofuels, gasoline becomes a toxic by-product of the refining process instead of a tradable commodity, and gets "flared off" (converted directly into greenhouse gas) with all the other toxic by-products of petroleum refining that are too corrosive and voliatile to cheaply store for long periods of time.

/currently the maintenance costs of those underground gasoline tanks at every service station are paid for with the sale of the gasoline they contain
//hope you have a plan to subsidize the cost of refitting them to hold biofuel
///and the greenhouse gas will be generated anyway, because the hospitals need their disposable gloves, masks, and syringes if nothing else
 
2013-01-25 05:54:48 PM  

FLMountainMan: Zasteva: 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

I'm not sure if you are trolling or just don't understand, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and try to explain why this could be a huge help.

About 1/4 of the energy used in the US goes to transportation, and nearly all of that is petroleum. It's very hard to sequester CO2 from transportation because the emission sources are tiny and mobile.

Slightly over 1/2 of the energy in the US is coal, natural gas and petroleum used by industry and electrical generation -- that is, consumed in large quantities in ways that make sequestration conceivable if we can find practical methods to do it.

The remaining 1/4 of energy in the US is either from renewable sources that don't increase CO2, or (1/10th) are used at a residential or commercial source and so would be tougher to sequester.

So if we can create a nice liquid fuel (like biofuels or alcohol) to meet our transportation needs, we can stop using petroleum for that. It doesn't really matter if that petroleum replacement comes from distilling plants or from CO2 extracted directly from the atmosphere, as long as it is not adding new CO2 (or other greenhouse gases) to the atmosphere.

So if this works, we could potentially cut the rate at which we are adding CO2 to our atmosphere by 1/3, even while continuing to use coal and natural gas. And if the technique could work to just pull CO2 from the atmosphere anywhere to generate alcohol, then it could be used to replace coal and natural gas for use in electric generation and as a heating fuel, essentially eliminating our need for fossil fuels.

Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some ...


Have they scaled up algae bio fuel?
 
2013-01-25 06:14:48 PM  

Tatterdemalian: Zasteva: Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.

It also presumes that petroleum is a mystical polymorphic substance that can be loaded into an internal combustion engine, an oil powered electrical generator, or a spool of plastic wrap, depending on which magic machine you pour it into at the refinery.

This is not how it works. Turning off the magic gasoline and oil machines does not mean we have more petroleum to put into the magic plastic wrap machine. What it does mean is that, thanks to biofuels, gasoline becomes a toxic by-product of the refining process instead of a tradable commodity, and gets "flared off" (converted directly into greenhouse gas) with all the other toxic by-products of petroleum refining that are too corrosive and voliatile to cheaply store for long periods of time.

/currently the maintenance costs of those underground gasoline tanks at every service station are paid for with the sale of the gasoline they contain
//hope you have a plan to subsidize the cost of refitting them to hold biofuel
///and the greenhouse gas will be generated anyway, because the hospitals need their disposable gloves, masks, and syringes if nothing else


Yeah, plastic syringes! You can't sterilize them with heat so junkies die and spread AIDS. Yeah!
 
2013-01-25 06:39:46 PM  

StoPPeRmobile: Yeah, plastic syringes! You can't sterilize them with heat so junkies die and spread AIDS. Yeah!


PROTIP: You can't prevent the spread of infections with sterilized glass syringes either. A full disassembly and run through a quality autoclave only reduces the risk, and prions aren't bothered by it. The only way to effectively eliminate the risk of spreading infection is to use sealed single use disposable syringes.
 
2013-01-25 07:00:30 PM  

FLMountainMan: Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.

Seems like a perfectly reasonable presumption.


Actually I'd say it's a terrible presumption, but who knows. They don't even have it to the point of producing alcohol yet.
 
2013-01-25 07:08:57 PM  

Tatterdemalian: Zasteva: Of course, all that presumes that the process isn't incredibly expensive or hard to scale up for some reason.

It also presumes that petroleum is a mystical polymorphic substance that can be loaded into an internal combustion engine, an oil powered electrical generator, or a spool of plastic wrap, depending on which magic machine you pour it into at the refinery.

This is not how it works. Turning off the magic gasoline and oil machines does not mean we have more petroleum to put into the magic plastic wrap machine. What it does mean is that, thanks to biofuels, gasoline becomes a toxic by-product of the refining process instead of a tradable commodity, and gets "flared off" (converted directly into greenhouse gas) with all the other toxic by-products of petroleum refining that are too corrosive and voliatile to cheaply store for long periods of time.


Interesting. I wasn't aware that Liquid Petroleum Gases used for plastic production were a natural byproduct of gasoline production.

Sounds like without that cheap source of LPG, plastics would become much more expensive. I'm not terribly concerned about that, to be honest.

/currently the maintenance costs of those underground gasoline tanks at every service station are paid for with the sale of the gasoline they contain
//hope you have a plan to subsidize the cost of refitting them to hold biofuel


What would that retrofitting entail, exactly? And besides, wouldn't they need to be retrofitted to hold alcohol rather than gasoline, since we are talking about a process that produces alcohol?

///and the greenhouse gas will be generated anyway, because the hospitals need their disposable gloves, masks, and syringes if nothing else

I'm pretty sure there are other sources of feedstocks for plastics that gasoline byproducts. I could swear I've seen plastics produced from corn, for example. But that's okay, I'm sure those people just lied about their feedstock and it really was LPG produced from gasoline refining despite what was on the label.
 
2013-01-25 07:46:06 PM  

Tatterdemalian: StoPPeRmobile: Yeah, plastic syringes! You can't sterilize them with heat so junkies die and spread AIDS. Yeah!

PROTIP: You can't prevent the spread of infections with sterilized glass syringes either. A full disassembly and run through a quality autoclave only reduces the risk, and prions aren't bothered by it. The only way to effectively eliminate the risk of spreading infection is to use sealed single use disposable syringes.


Elimination? Never called for that. It's simply a realistic flaw of the plastic syringe. Never saw glass syringes wash up on the shore.
 
2013-01-25 08:52:13 PM  

Zasteva: I'm pretty sure there are other sources of feedstocks for plastics that gasoline byproducts. I could swear I've seen plastics produced from corn, for example. But that's okay, I'm sure those people just lied about their feedstock and it really was LPG produced from gasoline refining despite what was on the label.


I'm sure the laws of physics will be very impressed by your ability to substitute "LPG" for "petroleum" and pretend it's what you were saying all along.
 
2013-01-25 09:15:31 PM  
I think the Register is the only chav site on the Internet that insists on referring to every scientist as a "boffin" and all science as "boffinry"
 
2013-01-25 10:49:32 PM  
Im getting drunk and watching Ken Burns Prohibition, this seems appropriate.
 
2013-01-25 11:42:44 PM  

Tatterdemalian: Zasteva: I'm pretty sure there are other sources of feedstocks for plastics that gasoline byproducts. I could swear I've seen plastics produced from corn, for example. But that's okay, I'm sure those people just lied about their feedstock and it really was LPG produced from gasoline refining despite what was on the label.

I'm sure the laws of physics will be very impressed by your ability to substitute "LPG" for "petroleum" and pretend it's what you were saying all along.


I think you misunderstood me. When I said "Interesting. I wasn't aware that Liquid Petroleum Gases used for plastic production were a natural byproduct of gasoline production" I wasn't being sarcastic. My intent was to thank you for informing me of something I wasn't aware of before.

Of course then I incorporated that new knowledge into my next post, with no intention of pretending that was what I said before.

In case that's not clear enough, before I did not know that LPG was a byproduct of gasoline production. Now that I know that, thanks to the information you provided, I am pointing out that nevertheless there are other sources of plastic feedstock.

Is it your intention to deny that or accept it? Or perhaps you would prefer to just misrepresent me completely in the futile hope of scoring internet points for the few random people who happen to still be reading this thread?
 
2013-01-26 02:15:42 AM  
BANG...Burt Rutan posted an article last week that shows we've cooled by 0.5°F in the last ten years.
BANG...NOAA has discovered that the 1-to-5 ranking system for accuracy by location of weather stations is FAR too trusting... UHI can affect equipment placed more than two miles outside the city's circulation.
BANG...Models that do NOT include CO2 are TWELVE TIMES more accurate at predicting weather than those that do.
BANG...You can make alcohol out of crude oil but if you do it wrong you'll go blind.
BANG... I still haven't found the alt code for bullet points, cope... its funny.
BANG...LPG is a petroleum, so is Vaseline, Coal Tar, Kerosene. These all exist within the rock. Parafin is technically a petroleum. The word does not refer ONLY to liquid crude oil.
 
2013-01-26 04:40:27 AM  
img441.imageshack.us

What global warming?

This new technology must have been introduced some 140+ months ago, according to the NASA data.
 
2013-01-26 06:33:21 AM  
So we have something to DRINK! when the Derp Brigade brings up AAAAAAALLLLLLL GOOOOOOOORRRRRRRE!
 
2013-01-26 01:48:51 PM  

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Fair enough. How about a good vodka vodak instead? The run on olives could cripple the economy, though.


What heathens use vodka for their martinis?

I'm not a big fan of olives though, so I use a twist, or most anything that amuses me. I once made a friend a "chocolate martini". Gin, vermouth, and a Hershey's kiss. Last one I made, I wanted the salty pungency of an olive, but I since I can't stand the taste of actual olives, I cut off an olive sized chunk of a sour pickle. A cross between the people who use a cucumber and the people who use olives! Pretty damn good, IMO.
 
2013-01-27 09:29:11 AM  

whatsupchuck: 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.


Alcohol in the body is eventually converted back into water and carbon dioxide, which is then removed from the body by the lungs.
 
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