Thursday, May 06, 2010

The Growing Hunger for Carbon Dioxide


Human industry is building up a mighty hunger for CO2, the villainous greenhouse gas. It is becoming a problem to get enough of the stuff. In the graphic above, you can see the plans that Algenol is making -- to situate its algal farms next to Valero oil refineries, so as to siphon off the CO2 byproduct of the refinery to feed its algae. Other companies making similar plans include Ceres, and Joule.

The latest CO2 hungry process being discussed is the German project to use wind-generated electricity to produce methanol. Such a process would not be particularly efficient overall, but it would use up a lot of CO2 -- and Europeans are desperate to find a way to make their huge wind energy investments viable.

Carbon dioxide is at historically low levels in Earth's atmosphere -- if one understands the concept of "history" at all. Most of the plant and animal families that populate the planet evolved under conditions of higher CO2 levels -- sometimes massively higher levels. Life on land and in the sea thrives on high levels of CO2, and quickly converts the gas into protoplasm, cellulose, and calcium carbonate.

Faux environmentalist claims that CO2 is bringing a bio-holocaust to land and sea have no scientific basis -- aside from contrived theoretical models and a bit of statistical malpractise. Part of the problem in public perception is the muddled confusing of CO2 with genuine pollutants -- such as those produced by Chinese industries.

What we actually have, is a shortage of CO2. Trees and sea creatures would agree that the current levels of atmospheric CO2 are sub-optimal. Certainly human industrialists in many growing fields seeking to bypass fossil fuels feedstocks, would like access to cheap and abundant supplies of pure CO2.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer Posts Older Posts