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Posted Sun Jan 9 2011: from Chemical and Engineering News:
Scrubbing Carbon Dioxide From The Air And Ocean
New research points toward a solution that could kill two birds with one stone: Remove CO2 from a natural-gas-powered plant's waste gas stream using seawater and mineral calcium carbonate, and then pump the resulting calcium bicarbonate into the sea to neutralize it.... Roughly one-third of anthropogenic CO2 emissions come from burning fossil fuel in electricity plants.... Rau built a lab-scale scrubber that used seawater and mineral carbonate to remove CO2 from a simulated flue gas stream. The scrubber worked by pumping CO2 over or through a porous bed of limestone particles sprayed with a continuous flow of water. He found that the process removed up to 97 percent of the CO2 in the gas. Water hydrated the waste CO2 to produce carbonic acid, which then reacted with, and was neutralized by the limestone. As a result, the CO2 gas transformed into dissolved calcium bicarbonate. Dumping the dissolved calcium bicarbonate into the ocean would provide a second benefit: The calcium bicarbonate can increase seawater alkalinity, Rau says, by speeding up a natural but very slow process known as carbonate weathering, which captures carbon in the ocean. The world's oceans would benefit from increasing alkalinity because they absorb as much as one-third of man-made CO2 emissions and are becoming more acidic. Ocean acidity in turn threatens the health of coral reefs, calcareous plankton, and other sea life. "We might be able to safely modify ocean chemistry to help mitigate both CO2 and ocean acidification," Rau says.
[Read more stories about: alternative energy, carbon sequestration, geoengineering]

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'Doc Michael says:
Y'know, lab-scale solar works really well too!

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