23 November 2008

Bury Greenhouse Gas

A creative approach to reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is being explored. How about capturing the gas and burying it in the ground?

It's an idea that has not been actually tested yet but MIT engineers have worked out the software to determine how much CO2 can be sequestered safely in geological formations.

The Future of Coal, says that capturing CO2 at coal-burning power plants and storing it in deep geological basins will reduce its effects on the atmosphere. They are not sure yet just how much can be stored without underground faults becoming tunnels that send the CO2 back up.

The scientists think that one river basin would hold 5 gigatons of CO2 which is more than half of CO2 emitted by the United States each year. (Half? 10 gigatons is what the US emits EVERY year? Yikes.)

MIT reported the new idea in managing greenhouse gas. Science Daily has the story on their email newsletter this weekend. Click on the Science Daily link to read more.

I am grateful that creative minds are working on solving the problem but doesn't it seem like burying CO2 inside the planet is odd?

Certainly I don't understand the scale of the problem well enough to suggest that maybe we could slow down our annual CO2 production to something less than 10 gigatons.

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