Friday, January 20, 2017

CO2 xGame Winners in Canada. Losers in USA?

Wow. What do you do when the horses are already outta the gate?
What do you do with the CO2 is already into the atmosphere? This is the idea of capturing that 400 parts per million of CO2 out of the atmosphere after it's already, well, up in the error -- oops... I mean -- up in the air.
Here are the winners of the XGames competition on CO2. This $20M competition is to figure out ways to carbon capture and sequester (CCS). Unlike some industrial byproducts, CO2 can have a value (bottling, for example, to give you that happy fizz in your pop).

Here's some info on this big competition in Canada: CBC News discusses competition sponsored by Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance and U.S. company NRG.

One of the 9 finalist, Ingenuity Labs, emulates photosynthesis to remove carbon dioxide from smoke stacks and such. They use a photosynthesis-like process to extract the carbon and make several industrial products out of the extract. True, this is a lot like planting a tree, but you have to wait 20 years for the wood, vs the immediate gratification of industrial products.

A very cool concept is by Carbicrete. Take out CO2 from an emissions source (say a smoke stack) and infuse it into concrete where the carbon is happily sequestered and it actually strengthens the concrete. (Note that concrete is a leading industrial source of CO2 emissions.)

While Canada is moving full forward with sustainability initiatives, the US is set to make a major shift in the other direction. Trump's Pruitt pick for the EPA might result in two departments of Energy. (Facts and miss-facts about Pruitt.)

The US has never had an energy policy. Carter was the last to propose one. Obama kinda had one, but without any legislative support, he was force-feeding it through the EPA. No matter who you are, that's not the right way. So the Clean Energy Plan, is about to get the can!...

That means the the job of the CCS might turn out to be far, far bigger in the future, as we try to burn up the last century or so of fossil fuels over the next hundred years.

We here at SustainZine consider "conservative" this way: The bestest, cheapest, cleanest gallon of gas is the one never extracted, never processed and never burned. The bestest, cheapest, cleanest tonne of coal is the one never extracted, never processed, and never burned (scrubbing or no scrubbing).

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