Detailed overview of pros and cons of carbon capture

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Lets store it as synthetic diamond. As an added benefit it would completely nuke De Beers business model. We would have to pay people to take them! “Please, citizens, if everybody takes just 5 20 carrot diamonds, we could meet our storage goals!” Also, diamonds would be a lot denser then biomass. Maybe harder to produce though.


Diamond is just coal, to turn carbon dioxide back into coal you’d need to expend more energy that you got from burning the coal in the first place.

It was exponsed many years ago that carbon capture is just a red herring, the fossil fuel industry’s way of pretending to have a solution in the future so they can continue for the moment.


Wouldn’t a massive scale capture and conversion into C (as a sold) and O2 (as a released gas) help get to the CO2 to the target 350 ppm (parts per million) level faster as the O2 would count against CO2 level? Also C in solid form is stable as hell.

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Yup, just like that other polluter-friendly lie, “recycling”

Recycling is often very useful, depending on the material. Reuse is best, if you can, but recycling of alminum, glass, paper etc has a significant advantage compared to using virgin materal. Plastic is a bit more tricky. It can work if you have a pure feed one one kind of plastic, but often it’s so mixed that the best you can do is just incinerate it for the energy. If you are good at chemistry it would make a useful career trying to come up with better methods, since people aren’t going to stop using plastc.


Ok, I was kind of just joking around. But, diamonds are not coal. They are both made of mostly carbon but diamonds are solely carbon and coal is not. Pure carbon does not burn efficiently in any of it’s forms (as far as I am aware). Nor are the carbon in coal arranged like diamond molecules. So not coal. Yes turning atmospheric co2 in to diamonds, or even just splitting the carbon, would take more energy, by definition, then you get from burning a carbon based fuel. Sooooo lets not do that. Maybe solar. That is how plants do it.

So I guess what I am saying is, all we have to do is bio engineer a plant that produces diamond. So simple!


Yeah, the trick is to get the c out of co2. That requires energy. More energy then burning carbon sources provides (per unit of carbon). Then more energy to bond it as diamond or graphite. Stupid thermodynamics. So you want to do something like solar power to convert it, but if you have giant solar farm to provide power to convert the carbon from your coal power plant to graphite, or whatever, why not just shut down the coal plant? This is likely why they are talking about capturing the carbon as biomass Bamboo is a lot cheaper solar energy then photo-voltaics.

Also probably the released O from the CO2 would not be a huge game changer. The co2 is measured in parts per million, after all.


Sure, recycling itself is one of the tools that has always been used in a sensibly managed and sustainable economy. What we have now, though, is “recycling” which seems only to mean “give to someone else to throw in the ocean.” Which is proving less than sustainable.

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When people say carbon capture, can’t they try doing stuff like seaweed farms and increasing the organic content of soils used for farming. We are already experiencing severe soil degradation and I read articles talking about how if the organic material content in soils (specifically farmland) was increased by a couple of percent, this would result in better farming soils, and increased carbon storage.

No need for atmosphere convertors.

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Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase ( shows that carbon capture and storage can be done by existing ecological systems while enhancing soil productivity and improving water retention and quality at the same time. Some reputable soil scientists believe we could reduce atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels (270 ppm from about 412.5 ppm now) by the end of the century if we did what we already know how to do, consistently and globally. Many of these known techniques and methods work at every scale from flowerpot to thousands of hectares too.

This is one reason why I say, “Geotherapy NOT geoengineering, please.”

Many more geotherapeutic possibilities are covered in the conferences organized by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate at over the last few years.

Unfortunately, these ideas almost never come up in discussions about climate change. I’ve been monitoring Harvard and MIT on these issues since about 1980 and know because, when I do bring them up, the response is usually, “That’s interesting. I never heard that term before.”

For more than the last decade I’ve been publishing a free weekly listing of Energy (and Other) Events around Cambridge, MA as a listserv and a webpage ( so I’ve been paying attention.

My suspicion is that geotherapy does not get the attention it merits because it is not a “heroic” technological solution that has the possibility of making $$$$$ for those who develop it.


“OK, so to test our theory, we clearcut 100 acres of woodlands to make space for a giant carbon capture machine. I have no idea why it’s not helping.”


You joke but that is not such a bad idea. If you make the wood in to a durable storage form, like plywood or furniture or whatever, that carbon is captured. And then you let new trees grow, which use MUCH more CO2 then mature trees.

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