Friday, August 08, 2008

Innovative Solutions to our Environmental Woes

2D representation of CO2Image via Wikipedia
Interesting story from Scientific American that describes a process, developed by a company called Calera, for taking most of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated from a 1,000 Megawatt power plant and using it to make concrete. This idea of sequestering pollutants is not new, but this process puts a new spin on the idea by creating a useful product. This sort of approach could have considerable impact, when you consider that China and the US together use nearly 1,000 metric tons of Portland cement per year - potentially netting 500 metric tons of captured CO2.

Cement from CO2: A Concrete Cure for Global Warming?
"For every ton of cement we make, we are sequestering half a ton of CO2," says crystallographer Brent Constantz, founder of Calera. "We probably have the best carbon capture and storage technique there is by a long shot."

Carbon capture and storage has been identified by experts ranging from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the leaders of the world's eight richest nations (G8) as crucial to the fight against climate change. The idea is to capture the CO2 and other greenhouse gases produced when burning fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas, and then permanently store it, such as in deep-sea basalt formations.

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