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Al Fin

Al Fin

Al Fin runs a number of very successful blogs that cover, energy, technology, news and politics.

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Climate Concerns May Soon be a Thing of the Past as Scientists Work on Splitting CO2

A team of scientists at George Washington University and Howard University have devised a theoretical means of splitting CO2, turning the demon gas into either solid carbon or into carbon monoxide, CO. The CO could be used to generate hydrocarbon fuels with the aid of hydrogen -- a by-product of their theoretical process "STEP"
(Solar Thermal Electrochemical Photo).

By using the sun's visible light and heat to power an electrolysis cell that captures and converts carbon dioxide from the air, a new technique could impressively clean the atmosphere and produce fuel feedstock at the same time. The key advantage of the new solar carbon capture process is that it simultaneously uses the solar visible and solar thermal components, whereas the latter is usually regarded as detrimental due to the degradation that heat causes to photovoltaic materials. However, the new method uses the sun’s heat to convert more solar energy into carbon than either photovoltaic or solar thermal processes alone.

Carbon Capture

...the process uses visible sunlight to power an electrolysis cell for splitting carbon dioxide, and also uses solar thermal energy to heat the cell in order to decrease the energy required for this conversion process. The electrolysis cell splits carbon dioxide into either solid carbon (when the reaction occurs at temperatures between 750°C and 850°C) or carbon monoxide (when the reaction occurs at temperatures above 950°C). These kinds of temperatures are much higher than those typically used for carbon-splitting electrolysis reactions (e.g., 25°C), but the advantage of reactions at higher temperatures is that they require less energy to power the reaction than at lower temperatures.

... The experiments in this study showed that the technique could capture carbon dioxide and convert it into carbon with a solar efficiency from 34% to 50%, depending on the thermal component. While carbon could be stored, the production of carbon monoxide could later be used to synthesize jet, kerosene, and diesel fuels, with the help of hydrogen generated by STEP water splitting._Physorg_via_BrianWang

If humans develop the ability to control the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere through technological means, there would be little reason for the widespread hysteria which is seen in the UN, the EU, and in the Obama Pelosi regime. Likewise, as humans develop better technological methods of weather control -- controlling solar insolation, cloud formation, and precipitation -- the modern over-hyped concern about the use of fossil fuels should eventually subside.

The below graphic demonstrates the historically very-low levels of atmospheric CO2 found in our current atmosphere. Clearly the biosphere of Earth evolved under generally much higher levels of CO2. Modern high-tech greenhouses use expensive CO2 generators to boost the levels of CO2 to up to 3 X atmospheric levels -- for more optimal growth of a wide variety of plant life.

Historic CO2 Levels

The modern obsession with "pre-industrial levels of CO2" displays a profound ignorance of this planet's atmospheric and biological history, as the graphic above demonstrates. Closer inspection of the motives of the leaders of the carbon hysteria orthodoxy demonstrates monetary payoffs via carbon trading, international carbon ransom payments, and other economic maneuvers of questionable legality and wisdom.

It is a good idea to develop the means to control basic atmospheric parameters, in order to provide for rapid recovery from unanticipated geologic or extraterrestrial events. Anyone who has looked at the details of Earth's carbon cycle intelligently and critically will not be alarmed at anthropogenic use of carbon. But the universe holds many surprises for a young race of slightly evolved apes, and it does not hurt to be prepared for as many of those surprises as we can anticipate -- if the results are potentially severe.


More: We need all the fossil fuels we have in order to transition into a cleaner, more abundant, and more sustainable energy future. If we cut ourselves off at the neck now (via Obama Pelosi style energy starvation) we will not be able to develop the advanced technologies that will allow us to spread the miracle of Earth's ecosystems through the solar system and beyond. If we follow the political scams that are making the faux environmental movement wealthy and powerful, we may as well call it quits as a species and a planet. Because sooner or later something devastating is going to happen to this planet -- either via innate geological processes, or via an extraterrestrial event. If we follow the witless way of Greenpeace, WWF, Sierra Club, etc. that will be the end, because we will have abandoned technology and space in order to "save the planet." But what we will have actually done, is to allow the only known source of life and intelligence in the universe to die without a struggle. That is not only stupid, but it is cowardly.

By. Al Fin

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  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    All of which is predicated on the idea that CO2 is indeed a 'demon gas' which a majority of non-governmental, non-political agenda driven scientists do NOT believe.But hey, if this process will yank the seams out of that Cap and Trade BS, go for it.It is a puzzle to me how many lies this government must be caught in before people will slap them down at the polls.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    Do you think maybe if our rulerwannabes would get out of the way, that we, the people, might be able to solve some of our problems...as suggested is probable by this article? It seems the government IS the problem. Look at the miserable job they did in regulating the Oil rig that blew. NONE of the safety protocols were turned on. There had been an inspection just a couple of weeks prior to the mishap. So the gov. regulators were as much to blame as anyone for the travesty.When you have to write a 2300 page bill that NO ONE understands to have "legislation", there must be a problem with the legislation. We now have two of these by this administration. In Florida if legislation is too vague or non specific as I just implied about Bank and Health reform by the feds, the Florida Supreme court steps in and voids the legislation as unconstitutional. I hope a judge somewhere has the decency to step up and "void" Obamanonsense efforts to steal our heritage of a freedom and so forth.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    I am not a chemist or engineer, but why can't we go directly to harvesting hydrogen (from H20)to power our cars, machines ect rather than using splitting CO2 and obtaining CO and C as byproducts of the process???
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    Oh, that evil CO2. What a bunch of BS these global warming idiots put forth. Man is not powerful enough to warm the planet. Our so called leaders are a collectiong of fools and idiots if they actually believe this.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    And most of the actual thinking members of the "young race of slightly evolved apes" know Inconvenient Spoofs' Al Bore is a total poser, like all politicos, doing what they do best. Fleecing the Sheeple. Greed indeed.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    In order:--Al Fin sez work reverse the low CO2 in the atmosphere. Absolutely correct; efforts to reduce it are inane. BTW, the "pre-industrial" level of 270 ppm thrown about is fake. It was selected from the lowest measurements in the 19th C. The actual average was 335.--Tim; if only! Since we can't affect the balance significantly, the wannabe controllers will just demand more crimping of everything -- under their direction. --JP; fear of the Chicaga knee-kappers plus post-rational reshaping of the 'living' Constitution is a horrible binary poison. Nonstop fearless push-back is the only strategy with any hope. --Klaus; right, and even if we could control CO2, increasing it would be the right strategy.--Roll-on;Posers and populist political parasites are making the Big Push to take over the whole planet once and for all. Once the US goes down, the rest is easy.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    If this works it can't happen fast enough. First it will create business opportunities and jobs. Second, it should divert the attention from cap and trade or other more destructive taxes or pseudo taxes. And that will be a welcome relief for business owner, already inundated with to much government and the related effect. In my business of helping business owners ready their businesses for sale, I would see relief from government intervention as positive. It will increase the value of businesses.
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    Guys, I have a suggestion for implementation of your great idea! Plant trees -- they do exactly same thing this paper describes -- use solar light to breakdown CO2 into hard C and useful O2.Who would have thought it is that simple?And you know what? they grow -- just add some water. This is revolution!
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    As usual, the 'perpetual motion' idiots--and the "power internal combustion engines with water and 'our special gismo device'---are loose again. There's no free-lunch and splitting CO2 or H2O takes energy. Where is this to come from? The sun? demonstrate it FIRST---talk later. Science illiterate ostriches all. JLH
  • Anonymous on July 26 2010 said:
    As world economies "shrink" under the lingering burden and legacy of those Wall Street parasites, my biggest regret it the trillions of scarce dollars being wasted on idiotic global warming expenditures all over the world. Obama (the novice) and other insufferable leaders of floundering economies should be spending those extracted dollars where they will do some real good. Some-one is going to have to answer for this, and it will not be pretty when they do.
  • Anonymous on July 27 2010 said:
    CO2 levels during the first 1.5ba if the planets existence had to be at 20% at least. Oxygen is far too reactive to have existed as an atmospheric gas during this time. The O2 was introduced slowly by cyanobacteria and then plants through photosynthesis. Plants die at CO2 levels below 200ppmv so what levels would be ideal. Well above this dire figure I would suggest.
  • Anonymous on July 27 2010 said:
    there are many ideas, all which require energy. it is of utmost importance to harvest free energies ( wind, solar etc) on a large scale. not doing so is wasting energy.
  • Anonymous on July 28 2010 said:
    abundance is not what they want!the world runs on scarcity..
  • Anonymous on July 28 2010 said:
    let's stop pretending that global warming is real threat or even real... and start believing that pollution in all it's forms is.Pollution is the greatest threat to nature and thereby humans.So let's start fixing pollution in all it's forms and start with the big ones.
  • Anonymous on July 29 2010 said:
    #8 - You beat me to it Bystander. It's just laughable that these FOOLS think they can do better than what mother nature has perfected over one half billion years. I suppose they'll even come up with a way for these machines to replicate themselves and crowd out plant life so we can 'enjoy' a lower CO2 atmosphere? (with more CO around, oh boy!) This 'idea' is no different than flawed solar panel logic - you CANNOT put solar panels under or over vegetation. CO2 is the planet's primary gas of LIFE and these conceited fools are doing everything they can to reduce it because they ~think~ they know what the 'correct' amount should be when in fact the overwhelming evidence is that much MORE CO2, 3 to 4 times more, would be much closer to the average that has blessed life on this planet in all the time it has existed.
  • Anonymous on July 30 2010 said:
    I always hear this ambiguous call to curb pollution. The EPA and politicos lump all GHG gases as dangerous emissions as a sly way of allowing control of CO2.Define pollution and emissions! Don't give us this ambiguous scare mongering by hiding behind ambiguous, all encompassing emissions mantra.I for one don't see the danger of plant food. Read- "On Some Flaws in Greenhouse Gas Global Warming" by Alan Siddons to see just what a joke GHG's are to climate warming.CO2 a dangerous, polluting emission?- What a scam!
  • Anonymous on August 04 2010 said:
    This is a really stupid energy consuming idea. The ides that heating a container will reduce the overall heat input flies in the face of the laws of thermodynamics. If a reaction requires a given total of heat then, without some sort of catalyst, this is the required energy for that reaction. It is far more energy efficient to use a basic energy source than to manufacture a new form because of scares about a gas that is useful to plants and does not cause climate change. The EPA has made CO2 a pollutant the new 'problem' is dust. They are keeping themselves in well paid work at the taxpayers expense. You should remove Browner and Pulosi, they have proved themselves to be the most stupid women in the US.
  • nicola marinelli on January 17 2012 said:
    I agree entirely with Al Fin on hies essay,but perhaps we as humans creatures should spend much more human sorceress and capital behind science,then behind the no good politicians.

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