Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
I’ve written about the scientific basis for why I’m skeptical about catastrophic anthropogenic climate change before — have fun reading that one! — but if you didn’t find my rationale convincing, the reasons to ignore catastrophists are really piling up. If it’s true that “tomorrow’s technologies will solve today’s problems,” we live in an age of wonders.
Why is that? Harvard scientists have announced the invention of an energy-efficient means of carbon capture:
You read that correctly: this is a chemical process for extracting CO2 from the atmosphere that has been invented and demonstrated at small scale. The implications of this technological leap forward are obvious and large.
What are the details? According to Yahoo! News;
Carbon Engineering, a Canadian-based clean energy company, outlined the design of a large industrial plant that it said could capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at a cost of between $94 and $232 a tonne.
CE has operated a pilot plant on a 0.5-hectare industrial site in Squamish, BC, since 2015.
The design goal for the pilot were (1) to test each unit operation for which there is significant technical risk at a scale the equipment supplier judged sufficient to allow specification of commercial-scale hardware, and (2) to test the most important units as components of a closed-loop process. The pilot plant builds on previous prototype data that CE acquired for each unit, and on work with SPX, RHDHV, and Technip to design and size the contactor, pellet reactor, and calciner, respectively. CE’s pilot data have been used to refine the commercial-scale plant design described earlier.
The upshot of some of this technical mumbo-jumbo (I’ve read through it and there’s nothing remotely magical going on in there) is that CE (Carbon Engineering) is able to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere via this chemical process and reduce that carbon to a liquefied form. The resulting carbonate product can be used in a technique called the Fischer-Tropsch Process to polymerize the captured carbon into liquid fuels, such as diesel, gasoline or jet fuel (kerosene.)
Although the F-T Process is somewhat more energy intensive, the actual carbon capture technology itself clocks in with a price tag of around just $0.12 per pound — making the captured carbon hydrate reasonably cheap as fuel feedstock.
This is fantastic news on a variety of fronts. Not only could it “save the planet” if you’re the sort of person who is genuinely concerned about anthropogenic climate change, but the reaction to this news should serve as a dye test, distinguishing the honestly concerned from “Watermelons” – you know, people who masquerade as green on the outside but are thoroughly red on the inside.
The future is going to be great.Published in