Iceland facility sucks carbon dioxide from air, turns it into rock

Iceland facility sucks carbon dioxide from air, turns it into rock

The technology will need a lot of scaling up to make a difference to the climate.


4,000 / 35,000,000,000 tons


Well it’s a start…


I knew this would trigger a “Bah Humbug”

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We humans do seem to be quite capable of “scaling up” when sufficiently motivated.


There are a number of ways to use CO2 instead of emitting it to the atmosphere. CO2 can be mixed with concrete to form carbonates and a better quality product. It can be reacted with H2 to make methanol. It can be used in plastics; millions of tons of CO2 per year can be taken instead of emitting… Some of these technologies can be readily scaled up - the ingredients needed are vision and a coherent approach, so that the costs in seperating and concentrating CO2 are reduced.


It’s absurd nonsense. Nobody is going to spend ten trillion a year to make rock. Nobody is going to scale this up. Stop . burning . carbon. Which India and China won’t do for 40 years. And Nigeria hasn’t even started.

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The point is that valuable products can be made using CO2 that provide a revenue stream - making ‘rock’ is not viable, but producing products that are in demand and can take CO2 in the production is viable. And using less and less fossil fuels while doing this is also part of the coherent approach to reduce and eventually meet zero emissions.


Uh huh. Got any figures for that? Nobody can make money from atmospheric CO2 under any circumstances but the bogus practice of carbon trading.

Ho hum… I am not discussing atmospheric CO2. The coherent approach deals with achieving zero emissions over a given period for electricity generation, and this includes renewables, high efficient and conc CO2 fossil PS and H2/O2 from H2O.


Another humbug! Want to go for three?

I like the idea of biofuel (particularly from algae blooms) – which uses the CO2 from the atmosphere to make fuel.

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Yes this can be useful; a great deal of development is required as it requires water and the algae has to be separated to make it suitable for production of biofuel.

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Let’s see, to scale up humbug production from 2 to 8.75 million a day would require a hundred a second. That’s a ten million dollar operation. That’s without sucking the 0.04% CO2 out the air and turning it in to sweeties (candy) by some currently unknown process that NASA is asking for. Million dollar sweeties eh? Who’s buying?

Meanwhile China, India, Nigeria et al will be pumping out a hundred million tons of CO2 a day as usual.

So no, let’s not get real about this, let’s just fantasize and be happy.

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Yeah right:

So none of the CO2 from burning carbon will go in to the air?

Got any figures for all that? For any of it will do.

And what do these runes stand for?

high efficient and conc CO2 fossil PS

concentrating? Power Station?

They will double your electricity bill. Call it quadruple as there will be no gas, oil or coal.

To run large non-rail vehicles and backup power on hydrogen will need ten times more electricity. Apart from for rail and cars and vans.

So when do we achieve zero emissions including cement (oh I forgot, none of that will go in to the air, we’ll be making sweeties from it) and how many centuries after that are we back to 1800?

And why no nuclear?

I will try for a constructive discussion. :innocent:

A power station operating (PS) at 45-50% generating efficiency cuts CO2 by ~50% (from subcritical operating at 30-36% emitting 1100-1400 kgCO2/MWh down to 500-750kg CO2/MWr). Costs vary but a number of such PS are operating in various countries and compete re cost of electricity to consumer.

Oxycombustion of coal provides flue gas consisting of CO2 and H2O; cool to condense water and send CO2 to methanol plant. This plant has been developed to full commercial scale.

CO2+3H2 => CH3OH + H2O … this is proven, and in fact Iceland has a plant producing commercially competitive methanol. Lots of studies if you look up the literature. With a price of $500-$700 per ton, methanol production would be viable.

Plenty of coal available, while gas is used up at a high rate.

Water electrolysis provides O2 and H2 - the costs can vary considerably, while the US DOE predicts they would produce H2 at about $2/kg. The key is to use off-peak power from grids that have both fossil power and renewables. You need to look up a few papers for details.

All of these can be operational, but governments need to begin to restructure the grid architecture to manage electricity availability with the variable demand profile. Costs have been modelled and a well designed system of fossil fueled (zero emissions) PS, renewables and perhaps biofuels would be viable. Cement manufacturing, for example, can be done with neutral emissions, in that the CO2 can be used instead of emitted to the atmosphere.

The greatest barrier to achieving the needed outcome is the number of old fossil fueled PS operating around the world - no country wants to close these down, and until then, they will continue to emit no matter what progress is made.

Nuclear would be good if the problem of radioactive waster were solved - they have failed so far. No point trading the problem of global warming for a problem of radioactive waste in the planet.

If you have data and studies to discuss, I will continue, but short glib barbs bore me. :grimacing:

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Where does the hydrogen come from? You link it. I don’t need to look up any papers for details. Iceland has free geothermal energy. Cost a British or American or German or French or Indian or Chinese or Nigerian operation. Stop . Burning . Carbon.

And why the void on, of nuclear, the safest extraction industry by orders of magnitude? And the most reliably efficient of all. Because the wind doesn’t blow and then blows too hard and then the sun doesn’t shine and rivers run dry. And there is no storage for when they all redundantly operate.

Nobody is going to build a gas power station let alone oil or, God forbid, coal, to capture all the CO2 for methanol. Nobody. Anywhere. Ever. And, er, what happens to the methanol again? Doesn’t ever get used for fuel does it?

Tell me when I’m wrong. Tell me when a toy 10 MW plant is up and running 100% virtuously. 100%. With all the methanol going to plastic production.

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The fight against climate change has been over for decades. I honestly have no idea why people are still looking for mitigation strategies. All it does for me is lend credence to the “conspiracy” aspect of the discussion. We need a new soap box or at least to orient the one we are on in a new direction. It’s adaptation or nothing right now. I am not purposefully trying to warm the globe but like hundreds of millions of other Americans going about their merry business everyday, I am not giving up my electricity, heat or gas powered automobile.



I guess we need all available methods to reduce carbon emissions and carbon in the atmosphere. ‘Stop burning carbon’ is a very good strategy but it does not take carbon away from the atmosphere. If we just reduce the burning of carbon the climate will continue to warm for decades or possibly centuries.

Nuclear power may be needed in the transition phase, until there are better methods to store the power generated by solar panels and wind.

I hope that production of H2 by using photocatalytic material will develop rapidly. Production of H2 by using electricity is not a viable option because it needs terrible amounts of electricity. One iron production facility would need all the power produced by a nuclear power plant to produce fossil-free sponge iron. It is unrealistic to assume that we can build hundreds or thousands of nuclear power plants just to get enough electricity to produce H2.

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I agree with Vinnie in so far as this idea of reducing CO2 emissions is just not going to happen. We have to move forward not backwards. And for me that means overcoming the non-renewable nature of fossil fuels by making our own, and that is what biofuels represent. Of course, we should be using other non-renewable source as much as we can particularly for the generation of electricity. As for nuclear energy, that is even less renewable than fossil fuels. So even if you overlook other drawbacks, it doesn’t solve anything in the long run.

Using portions of the ocean which makes up 71% of the earth’s surface would be kind of the whole point of algae based biofuels. It also takes advantage of climate change with the higher temperatures and greater CO2 in the atmosphere.

Nuclear has to be the backbone of global energy policy. And it will NEVER run out. Regardless of limited natural uranium and even thorium reserves.

We have to pave the deserts with elevated virtuous PV platforms, which will green them. That will soak up the carbon. The excess electricity (not used for heating, cooling, manufacturing, rail, cars and vans) is then used for H2 for buses, trucks, tractors, aircraft and backup power stations. And desalination.

Then Nigeria can have fridges and washing machines and air con.


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