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Posts Tagged ‘sodium citrate’

Desperate Times, Funny Science, Nutty Professors

Posted by feww on March 7, 2009

Lab meisters and the dodgy science of coaxing rocks to absorb minerals

Several types of rocks that are abundant in the U.S. may one day be charmed to absorb carbon dioxide at such phenomenal rates that could retard climate change, global warming retardation experts say.

But don’t we all know that? Rocks naturally absorb carbon dioxide, but the binding process takes thousands of years to form minerals like calcium carbonate.

Oh, but the process can be accelerated in the laboratory using a catalyst like sodium citrate.

“One day this could be an incredibly useful tool to help fight global warming,” said Sam Krevor, the lead author of a new study by scientists at Columbia University’s Earth Institute and the U.S. Geological Survey that maps such rocks in the United States, Reuters reported.

But that process occurs on too small a scale naturally and requires too much energy and other inputs to tackle the vast volumes of carbon dioxide responsible for the greenhouse effect that is causing global warming.

What are we waiting for? Errr … the rocks must first be crushed to a powder to  absorb larger amounts carbon dioxide!

And to repeat the laboratory process on any scale larger than the contents of test tube, you would need tremendous amount of energy to reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

At about $45-dollar-a-barrel (crude oil April delivery NYME ), doesn’t it make sense to buy all the energy needed to absorb all the CO2 possible, right now?

About  15,540 sq km (6,000 square miles) of rocks that are rich in carbon dioxide absorbing minerals, namely olivine and serpentine,  could be supercharged to absorb carbon dioxide in California, Oregon and Washington, “and along the entire Appalachian belt of eastern North America from Alabama to Newfoundland,” the study suggests.

What about more research on this exciting new [sic] possibility?

The experts need more money.

Isn’t this a good time to get more money, with the stimulus package …?

Krevor believes the U.S. rocks could potentially absorb the equivalent of 500 years’ of the nation’s CO2 emissions. The United States is the world’s second-largest carbon dioxide emitter after China.

“The problem is not going to be a lack of rocks, it’s getting them to do the job,” Krevor said.

Well said, Dr. Haven’t they yet issued you with a magic wand, or a copy of Essenian Dead Sea scroll for the spells?

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