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How New Carbon Technology Can Solve & Stop Climate Change by City Tech Blogger Yuehan Guo

 

Carbon is a versatile atom with flexible chemical properties that allows it to form very complex compounds. Sunlight is electromagnetic radiation that contains energy, which plants use to break apart carbon dioxide and use carbon to build complex organic molecules, a process known as photosynthesis.In photosynthesis, plants consume energy to create organic molecules, packaging Chemical potential in organic molecules. Plants produce different organic molecules, which have different roles and contain different amounts of energy. For example, sugar, which acts as a nutrient store, contains a large amount of chemical potential, while lignin, which acts as a support, contains relatively less chemical potential.

Oil, coal, natural gas or other substances that can be used as fuel, are billions of years old made up by plants and animal carcasses. Plants take energy from the sun and use that energy to build themselves, and animals eat the plants and then die with them, so these fuels are also called fossil fuels. When we burn fossil fuels, we release the chemical potential from billions of years old plant and animal carcasses to do work, and this process takes apart the carbon structure encapsulated by the plant or animal, usually forming carbon dioxide and other gases; carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas causing global warming.

In this case, burning fossil fuels causes carbon emissions because people release carbon into the atmosphere that has been buried underground for billions of years and is not part of the atmosphere, causing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to increase. Carbon capture technology, on the other hand, collects the carbon dioxide released by people and either stores it permanently or recycles it to reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The simplest carbon capture technology is to plant a tree and then cut it down.

If the tree is buried it’s carbon storage, and if the tree is burned for fuel, this is a Carbon-neutral fuel (because it does not increase the total amount of carbon in the atmosphere). It is unlikely that humans will be able to sustain modern industrial systems by cutting down trees alone, but all carbon capture technologies rely on a similar principle of collecting carbon dioxide from the air and recycling or storage,

Some of the possible carbon capture methods are Carbon-neutral fuel.   An example of Carbon Carbon-neutral fuel: Carbon Recycling International (CRI), an Icelandic company, has the technology that can use water and electricity to produce Methanol. Geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly energy source that can generate large amounts of electricity. But the main problem with electricity is that it is difficult to transport and store; UHV transmission (Ultra-High Voltage) transmission is very dangerous, and the battery reserves are too small. With geothermal power, Methanol can be stored in large quantities for a long time and transported to other places where there is no geothermal power. The electricity production of geothermal resources is almost unlimited, because the earth’s internal energy is very high and cannot be used up by humans. The main problem of geothermal energy is that electricity cannot be transmitted, and Carbon-neutral fuel can solve this problem,

Carbon dioxide synthesizes starch and protein

Humans and cars use fuel for their movement, although humans cannot digest gasoline directly, humans can digest proteins and sugars. Proteins and sugars can be synthesized from carbon dioxide in the air. This would probably not have a huge impact on climate change per se, but its conversion is efficient and cheap, so it could solve the problem of famine due to climate change. Calysta’s single cell protein feed and the carbon dioxide synthesis starch technology developed by China are examples of this technology. Although it is not yet mature for now, it has a very good future.

Carbon dioxide injection into the subsurface

Carbon dioxide is collected from the air and injected into the subsurface in brine, rock formations or back-injected back into oil wells. This is the most direct carbon capture technology, with the highest efficiency and best results.This technology has tremendous potential because it is a technology that can fundamentally end climate change, or even manipulate it. An example of the application of this technology is carbon capture by Carbfix, from 2014 to now they have stored 73940 tons of carbon dioxide underground. If there was no carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, the Earth’s problem would be reduced to -40 degrees, because the Earth needs greenhouse gases to maintain its own temperature.

Human emissions of greenhouse gases are causing the Earth’s temperature to rise, so if people reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, they can reverse this (reducing carbon emissions to 0 only keeps things from getting worse, getting the temperature down requires creating negative carbon emissions) and bring the temperature down.Carbon capture will do more than solve climate change, it could even bring temperatures down to lower than the pre-industrialization era.

Image:

https://phys.org/news/2019-04-carbon-dioxide-capture-technology-magic.html

 

Resources:

From carbon dioxide to starch: no plants required

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abh4049

calysta-single cell protein

https://www.calysta.com/adisseo-and-calystas-world-leading-alternative-protein-joint-venture-breaks-ground-in-china/

carbfix-Carbon capture

https://www.carbfix.com/

CRI

https://www.carbonrecycling.is/about-us

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