They can pull a ton a day out of the air with their prototype plant. We only need to scale that up by about 100,000,000 times to keep concentrations at their current level.
I was thinking “Surely we aren’t putting out 100 million tons a day”. But it checks out.
When it comes to atmospheric carbon capture, it’s hard to beat switchgrass-- plus it automatically uses solar for the energy input.
Let’s say they scaled it to do 1000 tons a day.
That is, very roughly, 907185 kg. Carbon has a density of 2260 kg/m^3. So that translates into 401.4 m^3. Which is, in turn, 14175 ft^3 a day.
This is the equivalent to about 42% of the volume of the Eiffel Tower. We would need 100,000 of these per day. Picture the volume of 20,000 747’s per day. That’s the scale we are talking.
*all calculations done at the nominal density of pure carbon at normal graphite densities of 2.26 g/cm^3
Might as well make diamonds, so it will pay for itself then.
Which has a density of 3.5 g/cm^3 as opposed to the 2.26.
And manufacturing diamond on that scale would crash the global diamond market which is fueled by cartel like behavior to enforce artificial scarcity by DeBeers and such.
Diamonds are nearly worthless though. Still, we could use them in industrial purposes at least, I guess.
Carbon nanotubes is what you want to make.
The sad thing is that this is sounding like a more realistic solution than, say, not burning any frackin coal.
Vantablack for everyone!
Well we have to be politically realistic! I’m sure the CO2 will accommodate us.
Actually new coal starts have been declining year over year for a few years now. China and India are scaling back construction of new plants and delaying or cancelling construction in progress.
This doesn’t mean less coal plants. Just slower growth of coal plants. Total coal demand continues to rise, especially due to these two countries.
China expects to peak in a decade or so, I guess India has decades more energy demand growth ahead.
We are reducing the rate at which we increase the rate at which we are screwing the planet. Progress!
Third derivatives FTW.
I think it goes further than that. Older coal plants aren’t being replaced, so we are trending downward.
And in the US coal plants have been converted to nature gas plants.
Carbon emissions set to hit record high
Global emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels and industry are projected to rise by more than 2% in 2018, to a new record. The increase is mainly due to sustained growth in oil and gas use, according to the Global Carbon Project.
“The 2018 rise in fossil CO2 emissions place us on a trajectory for warming that is currently well beyond 1.5 °C,” says Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia, UK. “It is not enough to support renewables. Efforts to decarbonise need to be expanded throughout the economy.”
Emphasis mine. It’s all well and good that natural gas has replaced coal, but oil and gas are still fossil fuels, and we still consume too much. That’s why IMO fracking is undesirable (and in North Dakota, they actually flare off so much natural gas it looks like this:
Another reason to hate corporate America.