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Spin the Sequestration

Spin the Sequestration

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I'm actually doing cool stuff in class. Unfortunately, timing is a bit off.  Yesterday, between 8pm and 1am, I got to simulate Carbon Dioxide Sequestering. Some industry-bought egg-heads say it's a great way to mediate global warming, by getting rid of CO2 emmisions.  You take your CO@, inject into a well, it disolves into the water forming Carbonic Acid, surrounding minerals disolve, and XCO3 (something carbonate) precipitates out, removing carbon, and thuss carbon dioxide, from solution.
Sounds great?  It takes 50-60 YEARS for this reaction to happen.  It is hindered by limestone, and needs to happen in relatively acidic waters.  Also, you need the right mineral, such that the surrounding rock will disolve, then the ions will precipitate out as carbonates, not just the orgininal mineral.  Oh, and the CO2 can leak out again, and may even collect in basements or topographic low points.  And we can't breathe CO2, so it's a bit dangerous if the CO2 gets trapped in a valley.
  • Assuming for a moment that human-caused CO2 emissions are more than just a drop in the bucket when it comes to climate change, wouldn't the simplest thing be to just store the stuff in tanks? Or how about finding a way to mimic the process by which plants absorb CO2 and emit O2?
    • CO2 is a gas. So the tanks would be chunky and impractical, possibly dangerous. Also, there is a great danger of leakage. Like the next simulation I'm doing, leaky tanks storing icky water.

      As for mimicing plants... the whole miracle of life from a chemist's point of view is that many biological reactions are not-lab friendly. They go against kinetics and thermo- the are sort of impossible. But enzymes make it all work out. Of course enzymes are a pain in the ass and expensive to synthesize.

      So more plants, and more efficient technology is still the answer.
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