Removing CO2 from the Air? (aside from Calcium Hydroxide)

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by kwhilborn, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Pronatalist Registered Senior Member

    Re: Looking for ever more curious reasons to go forth and multiply.

    Re: Looking for ever more curious and witty reasons to go forth and multiply, naturally.

    Yes, I am sure the plant covers simply eats the stuff. Much of plants, isn't just stuff sucked from the ground, but carbon. We forget how much our planet is solar-powered, even when we burn needed fuels.

    Although it may not amount to much as to make any difference, I like to count the "carbon sequestation" of the growing human population. Don't human bodies store carbon within them as well? It's not just houses and furniture, but more human bodies alive, is more places to store up the carbon. Not that that was ever a problem though.

    So just another witty curious reason for humans to go on multiplying their numbers naturally.
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  3. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    All of that sounds good and promising - EXCEPT is only the first half of the story. And the second half pretty much puts us right back where we were.

    Those leaves are dead and in the process of decomposition release all that carbon right back into the atmosphere. The same is true of trees. They many live for a hundred years or more but eventually die, decompose and once again the scale balance of carbon is reset.

    Of everything mentioned, only building houses has a positive effect - and even that is negated when one considers the whole story there as well. The majority of wooden houses eventually fall into disrepair and the wood meets with the same fate as the trees and leaves. Many houses wind up being torn down after some long period of time. And even the new ones that are built simply imply an increase in human population which, through normal activities - like driving and staying warm in the winter adds even more carbon to the atmosphere.

    Bottom line? None of the things listed have any positive (reducing) effect in the least - that belief is a fallacy.
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  5. MetaKron Registered Senior Member

    Global warming is utter junk science and all of the defenses of the theory that I have seen have been ludicrous. When Al Gore can barely get so much as his name right while selling the idea, I'm not going to bother to even think that there can be anything to the hypothesis.
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  7. DavidFMayerPhD Registered Member

    There IS a way to remove carbon dioxide from the air economically.

    However, it is a by-process of a process for producing energy from the ocean thermal gradient: www . seasolarpower . com (remove spaces)

    In the process of producing electricity, seawater from the surface is degassed, removing a large quantity of carbon dioxide in addition to oxygen. Some of this carbon dioxide can be sequestered by liquefaction and dumping into the abyss. Since surface water is in equilibrium with the atmosphere, this is equivalent to removing carbon dioxide from the air and sending it to the bottom of the ocean.

    David F Mayer
  8. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Because of the small delta T, and Carnot limits the efficiency is very very small. Thus I doubt that there is net energy if the CO2 is compresssed and liquified. See how much energy it takes to make "dry ice" as that is well developed.

    Better is to seed ocearn with iron - let nature send the carbon to the bottom in calcium carbinate of "micro shells."
  9. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    I've thought of this before. My idea was to make some form of biological-synthetic thing that would reproduce by itself and act like plants. We could coat such thing all over buildings.... or possibly simply use moss.

    Another idea.... use the stuff from Nasa in space, low enough to capture the CO2, but high enough to capture sunlight (make the whole process based on solar energy). Then ship the CO2 farther away from the atmosphere, release, and then reuse.
  10. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    Question? what would happen to plants if we would clean large amounts of
    CO2's out of the environment? don't plant need CO2s to be healthy?

    Plant take in CO2 during the day and release oxygen, and then reverse the process at night absorbing Oxygen and release CO2,

    Photosynthesis is the conversion of light energy into chemical energy by living organisms. The raw materials are carbon dioxide and water; the energy source is sunlight; and the end-products are oxygen and (energy rich) carbohydrates, for example sucrose and starch. This process is arguably the most important biochemical pathway,[1] since nearly all life depends on it. It is a complex process occurring in higher plants, phytoplankton, algae, as well as bacteria such as cyanobacteria. Photosynthetic organisms are also referred to as photoautotrophs.[1]
  11. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    The plan is not to remove ALL CO2 from the air, it is to remove the EXCESS. Think about it.
  12. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    First: You would be removing CO2, not "carbon" from the air, but I think you know this. I only comment as some have been thinking of carbon as the product to sequester. That is energeticly much too expensve and not as desirable as converting the CO2 into calcium carbonate (which is a major part of shells and even more stable (in a lower energy state) than the CO2.

    The three major atmosphereic gases (O2, N2, & A) will polarize in an electric field but as they are symetric, there will be no net force action on them to move them to either electrode (which is what good for your "electric separator" concept). Water molecules are a-symetric. (The two hydrogens are on one side and have 105 degee angle between them with oxygen at the apex of the angle.) Thus water is intrinsicly polararized even in the absence of any electric field.

    As there is no net charge, it too will not move in a UNIFORM field. An array of fine wires, half + and half - would not be a uniform field and water molecules relative near the + wires would be attracted with the oxygen end of the water drawn towards the wire more than the positive hydrogen side is repelled, so some slight net force is available.

    I think, unfortunately, that the CO2 molecule has symetric geometry like O=C=O but I am not a chemist. If it is more like water, then it too could have net force in a electric field gradient. Even if it is asymetric, the thermal collisons would be much more force and probably the minute force would require cooling to be noticed. I.e. probably better just to make "dry ice" than your electric separation machine.

    There is one idea than might "pan out" - CO2 is heavier than other atmospheric molecules (with some rare exceptions, usually man made gases which might be nice to also remove.) Thus just as there are two ways to separate the two diffenent masses of uranium, centrifuge and diffusion could be used to separate CO2 from the other common atmospheric gases, but this too is going to take a lot of energy, so I suspect, making "dry ice" is best, but you should look at the phase diagram to see what pressure CO2 can be liquified with little or no cooling. I.e. make CO2 "rain" and then expand the higher pressure N2 & O2 etc gases against a piston to recover almost all of the compression energy. - The thermal cooling energy can not be as efficiently recovered as it is Carnot limited.
  13. Buffalo Roam Registered Senior Member

    But what is excess? Think about that.
  14. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

    Whatever we produced, I suppose.
  15. riverline Registered Senior Member

    i havent read everything but I think the idea does not work becaue the concentration of CO2 in the air is so low
  16. ThGossmann Registered Member

    I also see a conspiracy to depopulate the world.
    10billion people are no problem in principle.
    Instead, nature and sensible people are destroyed.
    Killing most of the upper 800millions seems the only solution.

    The solutions I found ("total system analysis") are: landscaping with permaculture, intelligent nation-building, and killing the conspiracy including voters.
    Maybe the improved Nazis can do it, together with Russia, Iran, China, improved Al-Kaida, Cuba, Chavez and some others.

    Business with CO2 is part of the conspiracy (Al Gore said mainly 2 things in Bali: 1.The Germans are guilty of the WWII and 2. The US will not pay for the CO2 they released).

    But is there no global warming problem as one wrote?
    As far as I know of course there is a problem:
    Temperatures rise, Methane is set free, it looks like a 5-degrees-rise in short time, that is a problem. That can even cause H2S-saturation of oceans, which kills 6billions.

    I don´t mean stupid self-exploitation shit like the Green idiots, I study the intelligent stuff: landscapes (with nature, villages and cities), in which scientists (not specialized idiots and money-whores) can work and actually try technical things which are discussed here (if something works, nowadays it´s taken away by the conspiracy or doesn´t get money), plus quantum-mechanical energy-sources.

    Soils (/ecosystems) is a main part of the environment-shaping:
    Terra preta, Cuba, Montpellier, Mr.Braun/Freising, deserts,...
    Terra preta: Improving C-content of soil is a problem:
    Either wood is taken out of the circulation like one wrote (compare that to the yearly C-burning, haven´t checked yet), or the soils are rised to a higher permanent C-level.
    Charcoal and humus can be consumed by fungi.
    South american inhabitants obviously found a solution 500years ago: They put 20% charcoal into the soil, it´s still there. I think 50micrometer-particels with "polycyclic aromatic CH or something" developed.
    My own small-scale trials with humus seem succesful, too (soils in Germany have strong C-losses).
    Like in Montpellier, I combined trees and field plants, but with more soil-improvement (doubled growth speed of oaks etc, doubled size of oil plants like hemp, without gen-manipulation, and 10times more species per m2).
    Mr.Braun did medium-size trials (farm) with plants, worms, permanent humus.
    Big-scale tree planting in half-desserts can remove lots of CO2 (again, compare to daily C-burning). Later such systems have stable C-contents, but for the next decades it´s very good (except maybe water).

    FeS.. for oceans is maybe not very succesful, oceans too f...ed up already.

    Next to come: More studying (haven´t even gone through most of this discussion),
    and I try to deadly insult the Arabs, such that they stop oil-export, har har.

    PS: The conspiracy has destroyed my english-dictionary with poison, so some mistakes may be found.

  17. Forceman May the force be with you Registered Senior Member

    I have drawn out the plans for a device that removes carbon from carbon dioxide using either vanadium or titanium. This relies on the oxidation state of the T or V because it is positive four. The metal removes the carbon turning it into graphite, and combines with the diatomic oxygen molecule.
  18. Forceman May the force be with you Registered Senior Member

    You could use vanadium or titanium to remove the carbon from the CO2 molecule.
  19. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    OK, but then you have to reduce that oxide in order to recover the metal - and at what expense of energy?? Doesn't sound very cost-efficient to me.
  20. Ian Registered Member

    Hi guys,
    My first post on this board and I still find my way through some of these wonderful and informative postings.
    My background is science, analytical and chemical and thus I am inclined to question all new hypotheses until robust enough data is available to validate a hypothesis into a theory. In so far as the role of CO2 as a driver of climate is concerned, I have some doubts. I can list a few concerns, but the important one to me comes from earth's geological record during the Dinosaur era as depicted in the fossil record and ice core samples. The CO2 level during this time was 4 to 5 times higher than what it is today, but despite this relative high CO2 level, the ambient temperature was more or less the same as today. Another interesting observation is that the biodiversity during this period was at its highest ever.
    Does this mean we should not pay attention to the development of alternative energy resources? Of course not. The supply of fossil fuel resources will run out and the sooner we can put alternatives in place, the longer our current supply will last.
    Oh, by the way, I like the idea of turning wood into charcoal. That seems to me like a neat and long lasting way to reduce carbon in the air.
  21. Billy T Use Sugar Cane Alcohol car Fuel Valued Senior Member

    Welcome to Sciforums.
    That is probably true, but may not be. There exists, IMHO, a slim / remote / unlikely possibility (But not known to have zero probability of happening and did happen to Venus long ago, for reasons not likely to be found on Earth) that such thinking can be a disaster for all life on Earth:


    Basically we are considering a magnitude near infinity disaster times a probability less than 0.0001 for the "expected value" of an "extinction disaster."
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 5, 2011
  22. siphra Registered Senior Member

    O=C=O is exactly it, its a straight line molecule (angle ~ 180 degrees).

    Condensation of CO2 is not really practical without cooling, as you increase the pressure you will by default be increasing the temperature as well, in any closed system.

    PV = nRT (Ideal gas law) And CO2 is close enough to ideal for this to work in approximation.

    You could increase the pressure, by reducing the volume, and yes this will keep the temperature close to the same, but in reality, you will be heating up the sample some.

    The triple point for CO2 is around 5 atm and -51 C which is easily reachable with today's technology and engineering. So mechanical removal is possible, but the real question becomes, once you have your CO2 (l|s) what do you do with it, and where do you put it? An ideal situation would be to use a bio-reactor and have it processed over time. (Expensive to build and control, but not hard to do.) Or try to further react it, but in either of these cases, unless your condensing for the purpose of making it easier to transport, there is no point in really processing the CO2, you could skip a step and just pump the CO2 in gas phase from the air directly to the reactor.

    Storing the CO2 has been proposed as an option, but tbh, I think that is a rather poor idea. While natural systems DO store CO2, yes they are in equilibrium and have quite interesting effects (like suffocating vast areas) when the system gets disrupted by either a natural or unnatural process.
  23. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    If instead of recycling newspapers and other paper items, we pulped them and stored them away, that would reduce CO2 by quite a lot wouldn't it?

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