Monday, 18 February 2008

CO2, the new nuclear waste

Imagine a gigantic, inflatable, sausage-like bag capable of storing 160 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of 2.2 days of current global emissions. Now try to picture that container, measuring up to 100 metres in radius and several kilometres long, resting benignly on the seabed more than 3 kilometres below the ocean’s surface.

Uh, no thanks, I'd rather not image that thankyouverymuch.

Lets see, km long bags for every 2.2 days of emissions means that in just 1 year we'll have 100 or so of these bags "floating" at the bottom of the ocean. For how long will they float there?

The use of containment is necessary because CO2 will tend to dissolve in the ocean, which could adversely impact marine ecosystems. Fortunately, says Keith, the cost of containment is quite minimal with this solution. He and his colleagues calculate that the bags can be constructed of existing polymers for less than four cents per tonne of carbon.

Oh. So FOREVER.

Hundreds of bags per year stored at the bottom of the ocean. If any of the bags break (and they only need a small leak), they have disastrous consequences for marine life.

Let me ask one important question. Whenever has man made a maintenance-free structure that can last forever?

That's right, we haven't yet.

I'll go back to day-dreaming about space travel and hot aliens wanting my body, rather than this proposed nightmare.

1 comment:

Ken Breadner said...

I'm sick and tired of watching the human race try to solve problems by creating more (and worse) problems. We've been using the oceans for a nice dumping ground for years and sooner or later THAT'll catch up with us too...