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Unwanted carbon dioxide from Statoil's Sleipner West field in the Norwegian North Sea is being stored 1,000 metres beneath the seabed. This solution won the chief executives health, safety and environmental prize for 2000
Is there not a way that photosynthetic bacteria or other photosynthetic organisms get involved in using up excess carbon dioxide and turning it into biomass? Then these can be somehow introduced back into the food chain if numbers get excessive?
I was just wondering if excess carbon dioxide can be taken in by algae or cyanobacteria then got jumpy thinking about the effect of giving these organisms a free hand in the environment, that's whay I mentioned re-introduction tinto the food chain. However, how do you collect up the excess CO2 to turn it into plastics, would it be by liquefaction of CO2? If so that may also be an energy - consuming process. I just wonder if we cannot have huge algal/bacterial farms that convert the CO2 into plastic monomers then use hydrogen from these same organisms to power plastic manufacturing processes... I think I've got it another-s! This time next year we'll be millionaires.
This is why people are arguing for reforestation (using the trees to soak up the CO2).The trouble is that if one follows that to where you have suggested of taking it back into the food chain (and this happens with forests as well), is that what the food chain does is convert the carbon in the biomass back into CO2, so you are back to square one.
This is marginally out of context, but I think that it is a point worth raising. What George says is true, in that when you grow trees, they absorb CO2. If you use trees as a fuel for example, CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. There are 2 issues here. Firstly, as a tree grows, there is biomass from the trees that is assimilated into the soil. Most of this is in the form of leaf litter, but there are many others (bark, fallen branches etc). This transfers CO2 into the soil which will not then be released when the wood is burned.
Quote from: dentstudent on 16/07/2007 07:53:23This is marginally out of context, but I think that it is a point worth raising. What George says is true, in that when you grow trees, they absorb CO2. If you use trees as a fuel for example, CO2 is released back into the atmosphere. There are 2 issues here. Firstly, as a tree grows, there is biomass from the trees that is assimilated into the soil. Most of this is in the form of leaf litter, but there are many others (bark, fallen branches etc). This transfers CO2 into the soil which will not then be released when the wood is burned.I don't see this as being the case.Leaf litter is not an inert plastic that stays around for eternity, it is either consumed by animals (e.g. insects) or microbes, and what remains is the wast products from these organisms. The process of breaking down the forest litter has the effect of releasing carbon back into the atmosphere.The best contexts for long term storage of carbon is peat bogs, because they are anaerobic, and so do not provide an environment where the carbon can be oxidised.
Is anything stored for an eternity? Even plastics break down after a few hundred thousand years, which is nothing compared to an eternity!
It is possible to argue therefore that fossil fuels are renewable, it just takes a long time!
Also, the process of litter breakdown by soil fauna is not a 100% efficient process, and so there will be residual storage. Below about 25°C, the process in soils is a net accumulator.
I was going to put into the previous log about growing trees and then burying them, but I have no figures about C relationships on this.
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REGISTER or LOGINAustralian scientists are adapting a soil fertility technique used in the Amazon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.For thousands of years, Amazonian Indians burned their waste organic matter in low-intensity fires and added the charred material to their land.The method improved fertility on intensively-managed soils, but is now being considered as a way of trapping excess carbon.Researcher Lucas Van Zweiten says carbon can be stored for thousands of years."In composting, the majority of carbon in the composting process is lost naturally to microbial degradation to carbon dioxide," he said. "In pyrolisys up to 50 per cent of carbon is maintained as char which can last for several thousand years in the soil."