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Author Topic: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?  (Read 13684 times)

Offline Greg Peachey

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« on: 03/09/2010 17:07:33 »
Is carbon really the enemy? Could carbon emissions even secure rather than threaten our future?

Carbon Cycling is about re-creating diminishing resources in an environmentally beneficial manner. It is a largely unexplored option for tackling carbon emissions – rather than just limiting or sequestrating (capturing & burying) them, perhaps natural processes could be restored/scaled-up to convert them back into carbohydrate-based resources, such as food, fuel and biodegradable consumer/industrial materials, creating a new global industry that restores rather than depletes and pollutes the planet.

The University of Herts has offered to collate and assess the existing body of relevant data and help raise the funds to finance this.

On 18th November 2010 there will be an All Party UK Parliamentary discussion of the plausibility of Carbon Cycling.

A crucial point of discussion will be the OASIS approach, which involves diverting unwanted sewage and wastewater, from expensive treatment plants and outfall pipes, into ballast compartments of returning oil tankers to irrigate/nourish coastal desert tree belts in order to create a moist microclimate and reclaim arid land for agroforestry. As the microclimate is extended inland, vast amounts of atmospheric carbon could be locked away in productive vegetation. This could potentially ensure our environmental, food, water, energy and economic security.

In order to cover maximum ground on the day, we need to work through major points in advance.

You are therefore invited to review the following two documents and submit & discuss your comments, focusing particularly on the aspects relating to the use of trees to produce a moist microclimate:

a) Carbon Cycling – an overview: newbielink:http://www.box.net/shared/yqy5ttlvz9 [nonactive]
b) Microclimate aspects – working document newbielink:http://www.box.net/shared/nlojtpb951 [nonactive]

I will amalgamate your feedback and issue an updated version of the documents as a more solid baseline for live discussion.

I will also report back here on the overall outcome...

Thank you for your help.

Greg Peachey - Chair, FREdome Visionary Trust - newbielink:http://www.FREdome.org [nonactive]
« Last Edit: 22/09/2010 11:46:27 by Greg Peachey »


 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #1 on: 03/09/2010 23:18:03 »
Hi Greg and welcome to Naked Scientists forum. I hope your post will receive considerable consideration in due course.

Current global focus is aimed at reducing emissions  and penalising the offenders with high taxation.

Changing focus towards a grass roots approach has been ignored for far too long and it is now rather than in another 10-20 years time that there needs to be a concerted global effort towards increasing forestry to not only replenish our dwindling rainforests rather than standing by as some unattached innocent bystander but to stand firm together and state there are always alternatives to “limiting the destruction” of our precious rapidly dwindling life supporting forests.

I do hope we can bring together a constructive debate on this unavoidable and necessary direction we now face.

Andrew K Fletcher

A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
« Last Edit: 03/09/2010 23:21:42 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #2 on: 04/09/2010 23:32:50 »
Instant reaction:

I think the OASIS idea is damn fine. Tankers get the ballast they need, we deal with our sewage problems and otherwise infertile land gets some essential elements and hydration. I do envisage arguments on the cost of such a scheme, however. I don't think you would have trouble from scientists so much as accountants. Proving the ecological benefits would need to go hand-in-hand with proving the financial benefits, which might prove too long term to be acceptable.

But it will be interesting to read your papers.
 

Offline Greg Peachey

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #3 on: 05/09/2010 21:12:40 »
Hi Don_1. Thanks for your wise comment. We will be dealing with the crucial economic aspects separately. The cost involved is of course drastically reduced by the fact that tankers head back there anyway. The financial outputs include the multiplied value of virtually worthless land, the subsequent continuous production of resources that are increasingly at a premium, the value of the expertise gained, the social marketing received by those taking part... Then there are things that you can’t put a price on – if the moist micro-climate can be extended indefinitely into the heart of arid continents – then there is the conversion of an unsustainable consume-and-dump world economy into a cyclic one, a salvaged global environment for young people and future generations...

But all this depends on plausibility, confirmation of which is Step 1.

Hope to correspond further...
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #4 on: 08/09/2010 12:01:56 »
Greg,

The Oil-tanker (and shipping in general) industry has spent many years agreeing protocols to avoid spreading micro-organisms through ballast water.  It is a matter of great concern that large ships transport millions of gallons of ballast water each (an average oil tanker will load somewhere between thirty and hundred thousand tonnes of ballast water per ballast voyage) and spread the associated marine flora and fauna around the world.  The cleaning required for the voyage after the one that carried our effluent would be amazing; and even in general the precautions needed to stop massive cross infection would be practically impossible.

Whilst some vessels will perform the same voyage time after time; most vessels are independently held and will trade on whichever route is most profitable.  This scheme only works if you know the next voyages loadport well in advance - this is not the case for the vast majority of bulk shipping. 

In practical terms - where are you going to store the effluent before placing on board at discharge port?  This is 50,000 cubic metres of toxic liquid that must not be allowed to settle out.  I think ship pumps and ballast lines could cope with a slightly more viscous liquid - but it would require a great deal more time.  You could estimate the cost of a tanker and berth (would normally ballast simultaneously with discharge) at around 2-5k per hour.  Thus, its gonna be expensive too.  The insurance liabilities will be horrendous - indemnity insurance for large bulk carriers is very expensive but would not at present cover a sewage ballast spill.

Many ideas have been experimented with to avoid the great waste of transporting thousands of tonnes of sea water around the world - none have caught on yet. 

As you can (hopefully) guess I am a shipping professional - I charter oil tankers for a living.  If you have any questions on my comments or need any info feel free to drop me a private message or ask on the forum.

Matthew



 
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #5 on: 11/09/2010 09:56:42 »
Quote
Instant reaction:

I think the OASIS idea is damn fine. Tankers get the ballast they need, we deal with our sewage problems and otherwise infertile land gets some essential elements and hydration. I do envisage arguments on the cost of such a scheme, however. I don't think you would have trouble from scientists so much as accountants. Proving the ecological benefits would need to go hand-in-hand with proving the financial benefits, which might prove too long term to be acceptable.

But it will be interesting to read your papers.


Hi Don

Thanks for your reply. Finally have some stability with computer, had huge problem with hard drive going down, been a problem for weeks now, while convinced it was a software problem so many full installs and image installs before admitting I needed to dip in my pockets yet again for this infernal contraption.

The costs of transport will be met by participating water companies who no longer have to treat waste coastal water other than screening for plastics and debris. The main component for a successful operation is water. Arid lands benefit already from indigenous irrigation waste water and yet there is still a massive amount of this locally produced grey water dumped into rivers and the ocean. In Dubai for example queues of sewage haulage can be seen stretching many miles waiting to be offloaded into a totally inadequate sewage treatment system.

Participating recipient countries will undoubtedly be willing to contribute towards the costs and supply the labour and equipment as shown below in the example from Egypt.

In Egypt and other countries in the middle east waste water has successfully established forestry in arid soil devoid of organic material. Egypt is now profiting from timber resources. http://www.fao.org/docrep/004/AB580E/AB580E03.htm


Initially indigenous waste water could be used to establish a coastal belt of forest to prove or indeed disprove the effect on inducing rainfall and dew harvesting by trees.

However, in support of this theory, plastic nets have been erected along some of the most arid coastlines in the world and have successfully harvested the mist from the warm humid coastal breeze. These nets were designed to imitate the trees ability to draw on airborne moisture: http://www.dry-net.org/uploaded_files/Case11_EN.pdf

Andrew
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #6 on: 11/09/2010 10:54:36 »

Hi Mathew, apologies for late reply.

In the early 90,s this project was run by the the Marine Environment Protection Agency, The Clean Seas Initiative and several tanker companies, all of whom agreed with the principles of utilizing the ballast cargo capacity of returning VLCC's and ULCC's. Indeed the Saudi Kuwait, Egyptian, Israeli and Pakistani Governements were consulted about the implications of this project, several of them in person by myself and all agreed this project must be moved forward. The stumbling block then was the newly privatised water companies in the UK, who were not interested in reducing their water treatment costs, because there was no incentive to do so and as higher water treatment costs provided them with a reason for increasing water bills, something my colleagues and I were shouting would happen then, this meant that greater dividends for shareholders would be guaranteed.

The beauty of this project is that the effluent ballast is not destined for ocean dispersal and therefore it not only removes the pollution of contaminated ballast from the shipping but also removes it from the shores of participating countries to be utilised in a mutually beneficial way.

The ballast tanks we now use would not be protected from explosion by the introduction of inert gas due to carrying only sea water and this would need to be addressed.
Ideally we would need to utilize the entire hold capacity for returning vast amounts of irrigation water, as the ballast capacity alone would prove to be inadequate due to the scale of supply and demand required for forestry, unless of course the habitual random route shipping could be brought into a more reliable delivery system and you knowledge in this field is very important to us.

As for storage, initially redundant tankers could be anchored off shore for both collection and pre distribution storage affording participating shipping a speedy transfer of ballast at both ends.

Many such tankers are anchored off shore awaiting scrapyard and could provide their owners with a paid anchorage.

Venice is ideally situated having a massive waste water burden, canal networks for introducing pipework where none already exists and a huge oil terminal that attracts the relevant shipping and ballast capacity.

It may eventually prove worthwhile to utilize a scrap tanker hull as a landing jetty for moving equipment onto a coastline or as a breakwater and waste water storage solution. Steel Shuttering could be  installed around the tanker and this space could be backfilled with concrete and rubble  as a more permanent solution for storage. Either way, landing equipment in remote areas has to be addresses also as land access may prove to be not cost effective or a logistical nightmare.

Given the recent climatic events that have cost the lives of many thousands of people do we really have to wait another 10-20 years before acting or do we leave it for our children and grand children to clean up?

I really do appreciate your input Mathew and you undoubtedly have some very valuable contacts in the industry.

Andrew
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #7 on: 21/09/2010 12:17:55 »
Matthew

Would you be able to help us to obtain costs for paid anchorage. This would be the cost required for using redundant tankers as a storage capacity anchored at either end of the voyage. Presumably tankers awaiting salvage yards are not providing an income for their owners.

Andrew
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #8 on: 21/09/2010 15:20:39 »
Paid Anchorage where? to keep a tanker in service and act as offshore floating storage would prob cost around 10-40K per day depending on what size you want

Your notion of a flotilla of redundant tankers is not quite true; the situation is not yet so bad in the tanker market that we are experiencing mass lay-up, we are not even seeing a huge increase in scrap volumes. 

to buy a second-hand ship that is approaching scrapping you will need substantial funds.  the actual purchase price (would be close to her scrap value) which is mainly dependant on the size, you will almost certainly have to perform a special survey (on a large, poorly maintained vessel this could set you back another 5-10mill). 

Although most ships that are scheduled for scrap might not be making a huge profit for their owners - they will be making a considerable contribution to overheads.  a vlcc sitting at Fujairah costs between 10-15k per day even when idle.   

Sorry to be so vague - but its a complicated game at present, and no one could possibly make a firm prediction about tankers next month let alone next year. 

With not even a back-of-the-envelope-calculation I would estimate a deal on these lines would take hundreds of millions to bring to fruition.  on the overall scale of things, bearing in mind possibility of desert reclamation, this might be a small price; however, it is a huge hurdle to overcome. 

if you fancy giving me a rough idea of where and what quantities - I will give you an even rougher idea of cost
 

Offline Greg Peachey

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #9 on: 22/09/2010 10:09:09 »
Hi Matthew,

Thank you for bringing your knowledge to bear on this subject.

I guess there are a couple of principles here. One is that if we can identify revenue opportunities to help offset situations that only represent a cost at present, we should be able to at least offset some of those costs. Secondly, as you say, the benefits of recovering desert, or even conserving large areas which are threatened with desertification, are quite major. For example, I don't know what price tag we should put on the environment and resources for those growing up today and for future generations. I am realistic enough to understand, however, that viability with the payback timescales of commercial operations is necessary, unless a higher power kicks in.

Of course for this to be worthwhile, the end-goal of making it rain in the desert has to first be plausible - and here we are pushing frontiers.

Here are a few extracts from a relevant case study reported by the BBC: newbielink:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-11137903 [nonactive]:

Charles Darwin's ecological experiment on Ascension isle

Ascension was an arid island, buffeted by dry trade winds from southern Africa. Devoid of trees at the time of Darwin and Hooker's visits, the little rain that did fall quickly evaporated away...

The idea was breathtakingly simple. Trees would capture more rain, reduce evaporation and create rich, loamy soils. The "cinder" would become a garden.

So, beginning in 1850 and continuing year after year, ships started to come. Each deposited a motley assortment of plants from botanical gardens in Europe, South Africa and Argentina.

Soon, on the highest peak at 859m (2,817ft), great changes were afoot. By the late 1870s, eucalyptus, Norfolk Island pine, bamboo, and banana had all run riot...

However, to date, scientists have been deaf to the parable of Ascension Island...

"It's a terrible waste that no-one is studying it," remarked Wilkinson at the end of the interview.


Our motivation is to ensure that this phenomenon receives the attention it deserves.

All the best,    Greg
« Last Edit: 22/09/2010 12:28:28 by Greg Peachey »
 

Offline Greg Peachey

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #10 on: 22/09/2010 11:40:51 »
By the way, that instance, although well documented, was in the past, at a high altitude.

Here’s a relevant, current example, underway at ground level in an arid continent, using waste water (which is in significant but not unlimited supply domestically)

newbielink:http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2009/942/en1.htm [nonactive]

Forests of the future

Egypt today is in the midst of a quest to create forests on subfertile land using treated sewage water, and, according to Maged George, minister of state for environmental affairs, "this national programme for planting forests and watering them with sewage water would help to recycle sewage, reduce pollution, improve the environment and make money"

With the new sewage treatment facilities being built across the country, Egypt today produces some 2.5 billion cubic metres of treated water annually, a figure that may go up to 4 billion cubic metres over the next few years, and much of this water could be used to create new forests on the edge of Egypt's expansive deserts…

The current programme of forest-planting began 12 years ago...

"Egypt now has 32 forests covering 100-200 feddans each... These forests not only produce wood and keep the air clean, but they also provide habitats for endangered species and create new jobs for local people."


Our proposal is effectively to start from the coast, from which a plentiful supply of moisture can be drawn inland sustainably, using the Ascension Island model.
« Last Edit: 22/09/2010 16:02:04 by Greg Peachey »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #11 on: 15/02/2011 09:46:05 »
The APPCCG Presentation at the Houses Of Parliament 18th November 2010
Part 1

Part 2

2 short videos of Greg Peachey from the Fredome Visionary Trust, presenting a logical solution to deserts and desertification.


« Last Edit: 15/02/2011 09:52:30 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #12 on: 10/05/2011 22:38:07 »
Hi Don and Naked Scientist Friends

We have a website now and moving the project towards a pilot in Andalucia Spain. Our website is http://www.operationoasis.com. We have a good team on the project now including some eminent scientists and specialists in Shipping. Operation OASIS is getting the thumbs up from many corners and exciting times are afoot.

We are still seeking help from climatologists to corroborate that trees growing on coastlines induce rainfall. If we can find a paper that offers this evidence it will save a lot of time, meaning we can go right for the pilot study.

The project has been entered into the Cooperative challenge under climate change category.

http://www.co-operative.coop/join-the-revolution/operation-oasis?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150279946103975_18323759_10150287687173975

Andrew

Instant reaction:

I think the OASIS idea is damn fine. Tankers get the ballast they need, we deal with our sewage problems and otherwise infertile land gets some essential elements and hydration. I do envisage arguments on the cost of such a scheme, however. I don't think you would have trouble from scientists so much as accountants. Proving the ecological benefits would need to go hand-in-hand with proving the financial benefits, which might prove too long term to be acceptable.

But it will be interesting to read your papers.
« Last Edit: 10/05/2011 22:40:17 by Andrew K Fletcher »
 

Offline Geezer

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #13 on: 11/05/2011 00:54:17 »
So, this thread was all a big setup to promote your business at the expense of TNS?
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #14 on: 11/05/2011 09:24:42 »
? What are you talking about? This thread was set up to show there is an alternative to dumping billions of tonnes of sewage into the ocean that addresses the expanding deserts and climate change.

The fact that we are applying for funds from Europe and have been entered into a competition should be seen as progress towards achieving these objectives.

How else can we move forward? I am all ears and await your reply with interest.

Andrew
 

Offline Geezer

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #15 on: 11/05/2011 17:17:45 »
I was merely indicating that the thread struck me as slightly contrived. However, I'm sure the objectives are entirely noble, so I wish you good luck with the venture.
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #16 on: 12/05/2011 11:25:14 »
Thanks Geezer, we have a long battle on our hands but we are winning. We have top scientists on board now from 5 Universities :)
 

Offline imatfaal

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #17 on: 12/05/2011 11:48:08 »
Andrew and Greg - from my brief reading of your site you still need to engage with the ballast water management (as specified by the IMO) via a specialised marine biologist and ship manager, and you need to have at least some imput from commercial shipping interests.  I am still convinced that you have not entirely realised the costs involved in long haul shipping
 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #18 on: 13/08/2011 19:41:01 »
HI

Thanks for your reply

Update on progress:  We have completed a bid for E.U. Funding for a communications strand of the Life Plus Funding.

Liverpool Uni, Seville Uni, Fredome Visionary Trust, Green Europe (Spain) and The City of Santa Pola jointly committed €500k Matched funding.

The comm's project titled OASIS Media, if successful will enable us to pave the way for the main project and help to combine current legislation to provide a strategy for sustainable arid coastal development.

Regarding shipping costs for transporting waste water as ballast.

Currently, tanker owners and tanker charterers are paying to transport sea water half way around the world and then discharge it back into the sea after sterilisation. The equipment for sterilisation together with running costs and maintenance added to the fuel costs must be taken into account when comparing the OASIS method. We anticipate that owners will provide 50% of the transport costs and 50% of the costs will be met by the water companies under the polluter pays legislation.

This will return 50% of running costs and fuel costs increasing profits.

As a stake holder, a tanker company can invest in the reclaimed land or at least offset carbon emissions by purchasing carbon credits or indeed being rewarded with carbon credits for taking part in the venture.

During our E.U. application bid we made a lot of friends in Spain and Italy and a possible coastal pilot site has been suggested, though nothing cast in iron we are very hopeful that a pilot project in Andalucia will emerge.

Andrew K Fletcher



 

Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
« Reply #19 on: 06/03/2012 10:46:17 »
Tomorrow we will be presenting Operation OASIS at the Houses of Parliament. The UN Global Compact will be speaking there.

The FREdome Visionary Trust


“A new opportunity out of economic crisis?”
A UK-led Carbon Cycling industry, growing resources to stabilise economies worldwide. Is this the only solution?
Wed 7th March 2012, 4 - 6 pm
Jubilee Room, House of Commons, Palace of Westminster SW1 1AA
Attended by business-leaders and other interested parties, this meeting will explore potentially positive links between the Economy, Unemployment, Natural Resources and the Environment.
The current world economy converts finite carbon resources, such as food and fuel into carbon emissions and waste. This is causing growth of primary industries to falter and environmental degradation. The meeting will include a review of a large-scale method (“Operation OASIS”) of converting carbon emissions and waste cyclically back into food and fuel, to produce an economy that restores the earth as it grows, instead of depleting and polluting it.
Progress since the last Meeting on this subject will also be analysed and next steps will be planned.
Speakers / Panel will include (click here for biographies):
Management, Innovation & Integration:
 Greg Peachey BSc, Founder and Chair, FREdome Visionary Trust
 Andrew K Fletcher, FREdome Visionary Trust – Operation OASIS Originator
Joint keynote speakers:
 Professor John Sedgwick, Professor of Film Economics and Head of the Centre for International Business and Sustainability, London Metropolitan University
 Dr Vlasios Voudouris, Deputy Head of the Centre for International Business and Sustainability, London Metropolitan University and CEO & Founder at ABM Analytics Ltd
International and scientific:
 Steve Kenzie / Jessica Scholl, Secretariat – UN Global Compact UK, Senior Programme Manager – International Business Leaders Forum
 Dr David Wilkinson, Department of Environment and Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University
 Dr Newton Jibunoh, Founder – FADE Africa
Youth perspective and comment:
 Tara Gibbins-Klein & Toby Charles
Presentations will be followed by question and answer panel discussions.
 

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Re: Is Carbon Cycling plausible?
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