Skip navigation
30comments
Share conversation: Share via:

Adam Sacks

Jul 19, 2014
08:05

Member


1 |
Share via:
Hi Mark - This sounds like a novel and innovative approach - we need all the safe increase in photosynthetic capture of atmospheric carbon that we can get. I have two questions: 1. Where do the nutrients come from? In natural soils the nutrient cycles are extremely complex and involve life forms up and down the phylogenetic scale. If the plants aren't eaten by people or animals but recycled into healthy soils as green manure this is perhaps less of an issue, as nutrients are extracted from rock by micro-organisms. 2. How is the plant-captured carbon kept out of the fast carbon cycle? In soils this happens by humification and fire, where the carbon is tied up in stable biomolecules or charcoal and kept out of the atmosphere for decades or centuries. Thanks! Adam

Nanda Kumar Janardhanan

Jul 19, 2014
09:18

Fellow


2 |
Share via:
Hi Mark, Thanks for the proposal. You mentioned that 'it possible to reduce emitted CO2 by 50%'. Much appreciated if you could show some references to support this too. Thanks

Mark Everson

Jul 20, 2014
11:09

Member


3 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hallo gentlemen! Thank you very much for your interest. Adam, taking your question first, in hydroponics all the nutrients are provided in water; it's a soilless environment. Wikipedia have an excellent article on this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroponics which is far more erudite than I could hope to be so could you check this out? On your second question, by capturing carbon in plants it remains IN the fast carbon cycle but SUBSTITUTES equivalent carbon and does so at higher production efficiency because the higher CO2 levels in the flue gas INCREASE CO2 take-up rates in plants (up to a point, of course). In addition, by capturing this CO2 at source it doesn't diffuse into the atmosphere where it can only be inefficiently (if at all) recovered at vastly lower concentrations. So if we capture CO2 in a green plant and process as biofuel which we burn as fuel on the same site, we're effectively "closing the loop" meaning this much carbon simply recirculates on the site as biofuel->[BURNED]->CO2->biofuel and so on. We also save all the agricultural land needed to grow that elsewhere, all the shipping costs an associated emissions etc. If instead of biofuel we grow plants as food (some greenhouses already add CO2 to their atmospheres to increase productivity) then we're simply growing food, but very efficiently. In addition hydroponics can help bring food to areas that may otherwise have very poor agriculture capability. Nanduj, I've extended the entry a bit to provide some more numbers. Essentially it's going to be a question of how much we WANT to do; I'm estimating that once CO2 concentration has been reduced by 50%, the chemical balance probably reduces further uptake by plants to the point where additional hydroponic units become ineffectual. That said, an option may be to add an algae breeder at the back end which could effectively scrub more CO2 out. The main constraint will be physical size of the installation; I don't underestimate the sheer scale of what will be needed to soak-up 50% of a large emitter's output, but we won't know until we've got the research underway to see what's actually possible. Think how far and fast battery technology has progressed, for example. At this stage HCCAS is very much a concept - I've no research facilities to play with it sadly. Hopefully someone out there will take this on board as a proper research project. I hope this has addressed your comments - many thanks for your interest! Best, Mark

Climate Rescue

Jul 22, 2014
08:37

Member


4 |
Share via:
Wonder if the hydroponic output (or its non-edible/non-fuel waste byproducts could be turned to charcoal. Then the CO2 from the charcoal-making could be recaptured to start a new CCS cycle :-)

Mark Everson

Jul 22, 2014
08:16

Member


5 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Can't see any reason why not - have to see the enrgy balance to see how the numbers work out but in principle...

Huynh Phu Dat

Jul 23, 2014
09:01

Member


6 |
Share via:
Dear gas2green , Do you know the problem of hydroponic ? That is not a lot of people know it . we have 7 billions people , you have the best fuel - so the key here is 7 billion people must use it . If your proposal win this contest , 100% you need a global campaign to make people use hydroponic . So unless 7 billions use hydroponic so your hydroponic give maximum impact to totally emitting CO2 of the world , and until emitting CO2 of the world smaller than absorb CO2 of plants , land , sea , ....... so decrease CO2 of atmosphere begin and 7 billions must continue to use hydroponic until absorb CO2 of plants , land , sea , ....... can make CO2 of atmosphere become normal , so you can call hydroponic help the world decrease CO2 of atmosphere . A really difficult road , right ? This is just a road you have to go if you the the best of the best fuel . If you confirm you will win this contest so think a global campaign for 7 billions people , but remember even international org like Green peace can not make 7 billions people defeat use new fuel , decrease CO2 , ....... Can you make 7 billions use your fuel ? Thank you .

Huynh Phu Dat

Jul 23, 2014
11:44

Member


7 |
Share via:
Sorry , can you make 7 billions use your hydroponic ?

Mark Everson

Jul 24, 2014
04:29

Member


8 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hallo Huynh Apologies if the concept wasn't clear - it's not aimed 7 billion individual installations, this is aimed at major carbon emitters. Stick HCCAS on a decent proportion of the major carbon emitters and you'll immediately be converting a large part of their emissions EITHER directly to food, OR locking those emissions into a biofuel->CO2->biofuel loop. I suppose since the 7 billion mostly use SOMETHING generated from a major carbon emitter - power, steel, cement, oil - then I will SORT of be making 7 billions use it... plus of course a number of them will benefit from the food it produces. :) Does this answer your point? Please let me know if not. And many thanks for your interest! Cheers Mark

Mark Everson

Jul 24, 2014
04:14

Member


9 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
UPDATE - work at Purdue Uni http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140723152023.htm may be suggesting spinach would be a good choice of plant. I'll try and get some mass balance info, if I can I'll add to this.

Mark Everson

Jul 29, 2014
10:09

Member


10 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
STOP PRESS! http://t.co/gP3CgKTxtL, airborne water vapour magnifies global warming effects. And much water vapour comes from burning carbon fuels; the equation for wood combustion (all carbon fuels are broadly similar) is C6H12O6 + 6 O2 = 6 CO2 + 6 H2O So, it occurs that HCCAS recovers heat from flue streams. Flue streams are water-vapour rich, so when we recover the heat from the flue gas we ALSO condense out LOTS of water. Yes, it'll be acidic with CO2 and contaminated with combustion by-products like sulphur, but it's there and - I think - fairly easily treatable and cleanable. Most importantly, it hasn't gone into the atmosphere. So we're adding *water vapour scavenging* to HCCAS's other virtues of - CO2 reduction - O2 production - and food/biomass generation. Not bad.

Tim Elder

Jul 30, 2014
11:47

Member


11 |
Share via:
gas2green: How can "airborne water vapour magnifies global warming effects. It may change its intensity, but it can't increase it. By conservation, thermodynamics, etc.

Mark Everson

Jul 31, 2014
08:48

Member


12 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hi Tim Not my kind of engineering, information's according to Science Daily - here's the working link (sorry for screwing up original with extra comma): http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140728153933.htm The text says "The atmospheric moistening traps additional radiant heat and further increases temperatures." so does that help? Cheers Mark

Climate Colab

Aug 13, 2014
04:21

Member


13 |
Share via:
An interesting concept on an application aimed to reduce CO2 emission while creating value in the food chain and O2 production. Hydroponic carbon capture at source HCCAS uses hydroponics to capture carbon at source, simultaneously generating food/biofuel, growing plants in a soilless environment, and oxygen. The contributor identifies the key technologies to be used in the overall scheme and the necessary steps to further analyse this approach. We find interesting the basic concept of finding an use to the CO2 captured that can add value, therefore reducing the intrinsic cost of the process itself. The most similar approach we know of has been to use the CO2 to revitalize some depleted oil and gas field by injecting CO2. For the proposal to be complete, a more detailed pre-feasibility check on the technology itself has to be performed. Please elaborate on feasibility testing for the technology.

Mark Everson

Aug 16, 2014
01:40

Member


14 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Thanks very much for the feed back. I've re-written the "Proposed Actions" section to include not only concept feasibility - which is fairly abbreviated, since the basics themselves are not complex - and also gone into the design aspects in considerably more detail. I hope this addresses your concerns appropriately.

Mark Johnson

Aug 16, 2014
03:47

Member


15 |
Share via:
Congratulations on semi-finalist status and your URL is really informative and well done! http://www.gas2green.org/ This concept and its point-of-fact successes and possibilities represent a true seminal opportunity. What's not to like? Water capture, food production, biofuel production, mobile emitter solutions, and it buys us time to jettison our strong dependence on fossil fuels. You are right, it will take some decades to get where we need to go. Dresden University proof-of- concept info with the Oxygen kg release stats interesting plus your module ideas. Your ideas truly have legs for real contribution and progress.

Mark Everson

Aug 17, 2014
07:20

Member


16 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
UPDATED proposal for 2 really significant aspects. First is the water recovery mentioned in a comment added above; second is some very exciting LED research (at http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21602194-indoor-farming-may-be-taking-root-light-fantastic) which will really boost crop yield which in turn means more CO2 absorbed! Getting there...

Mark Everson

Aug 17, 2014
10:28

Member


17 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Additional update comment; adding water recovery also means modifying the process logic as bad stuff needs removing BEFORE the water is condensed out (otherwise some bad stuff will be dissolved in the water, not ideal for hydroponic farming!). Accordingly the diagram logic and associated text has been revised to move the scrubber to the first process after flue gas collection.

Mark Everson

Sep 3, 2014
10:24

Member


18 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Didn't have room on the form while I was updating last, and had no time since, but there's one more point to make on the agricultural efficiency of HCCAS. The para on Summary section "REALLY efficient LOSSLESS agriculture" is referring only to one flat area, same as conventional farming. But, you can STACK hydroponics levels. So if one flat area is 100% more efficient than conventional farming - so 2x better - then two levels on the same footprint = 4x better than open field agriculture. 3 levels = 6x better. Go to 5 levels, we're 10x better than flat field per unit area. That's 10x better land utilisation, 10x better yield, and 10x more CO2 reduction per unit area. Now we're getting somewhere...

Climate Colab

Sep 3, 2014
12:27

Member


19 |
Share via:
An interesting concept on an application aimed to reduce CO2 emissions while creating value in the food chain and O2 production. Hydroponic carbon capture at source (HCCAS) uses hydroponics to capture carbon at source, simultaneously generating food/biofuel, growing plants in a soil-less environment, and also producing oxygen. The contributor identifies the key technologies to be used in the overall scheme and the necessary steps to further analyse this approach. The basic concept of finding a use for the CO2 captured that can add value, therefore reducing the intrinsic cost of the process itself, is interesting to me. The most similar approach I am aware of has been to use CO2 to revitalize depleted oil and gas fields by injecting CO2 into an oil/gas well to increase extraction. The proposal seems to indicate that using CO2-rich flue gas from power plants to enhance agricultural production in greenhouse-like modules is an alternative to carbon capture and sequestration. However, it is not clear that this is the case. Eventually the carbon sequestered by the grown plants could still end up in the atmosphere (depending on the use of the plants). It is not clear that this is superior to underground storage from a climate change perspective. Also, no quantitative support is provided in this proposal. Importantly, no support for the cost effectiveness of this approach is offered.

Robert Tulip

Sep 3, 2014
04:15

Member


20 |
Share via:
The concept here relates to the work of the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the 1990s for algae biofuel production using coal fired power station emissions. This concept is now being implemented in Australia - see http://algaetec.com.au/news-room/press-releases/algae-tec-signs-carbon-capture-biofuels-deal-with-australias-largest-coal-fired-power-company/

Hemant Wagh

Sep 5, 2014
11:52

Member


21 |
Share via:
If you could consider requesting your future clients to store throughout the year the seeds of fruits they eat at home and spread those seeds, after commencement of Mansoon, the rainy season, on to unused land in & around the city, town, village, as an activity that would help improve green cover! Rather than wasting the fruit seeds by letting decay, this would help grow fruit-bearing trees as well. Following is a link to such a proposal. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300103/planId/1310401 In the crop selection process fruit-trees should also be considered...

Mark Everson

Sep 5, 2014
01:18

Member


22 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hi Robert! I'm aware of the Australian algae implementation; however that's very specific. Given global food pressures, and the likely impact of global warming on conventional agriculture, I believe there's great scope to extend CC effectively to far wider agriculture. The research I've cited on improved plant growth at higher CO2 levels coupled with the use of new LED tech indicates that we should be able to treble or better yield per unit area (or more by building higher), while at the same time capturing CO2 before it enters the atmosphere. The suggested design is of wide application and can also yield considerable economic and social benefit. That's my rationale anyway - whay do you think? Cheers Mark

Mark Everson

Sep 5, 2014
01:00

Member


23 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hallo Hemant Thanks for this - I'd certainly consider trees within the plant mix. A big plus of the approach is that any mixture of produce can be grown, catering to local market taste or to greatest economic benefit or anywhere in between. I like the seed scattering idea - if we can get HCCAS off the ground (literally!), we'll promote this! Cheers Mark

Mark Everson

Sep 6, 2014
11:01

Member


24 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
RESPONSE TO JUDGING RESULTS COMMENTS of 3/9/14 (messaged to Judging Results on 6/9/14) Thank you for your input, and I’m glad you find the proposal of interest. Firstly, I see HCCAS as complementary to CCS, not as an alternative. There is no claim made that from the climate change perspective, HCCAS is superior to – or even equal to – conventional CCS. I also point out that HCCAS is compatible with downstream CCS, and that the post-HCCAS reduced CO2 burden makes CCS easier/cheaper and fills CCS facilities more slowly. Locking-up CO2 underground via CCS, removing it entirely from the game, remains a very tempting solution. However, the most tempting solution isn’t always the optimal seen in the bigger picture. As I state in the proposal, conventional CCS has high build cost, continued high ongoing costs, and offers zero payback. It needs expensive transport of CO2 from emitter to CCS facility, and ultimately yields a long-term risk to our children should containment fail (and it’s worth noting that other recent operations in supposedly “known” geology are known to have leaked, such as this 2011 Saskatchewan incident http://www.gasoilgeochem.com/reportcameron%20jane%20kerr.pdf or these fracking-related items in this Wall Street Journal piece http://online.wsj.com/article/AP16a162b66b5946d0837c7395cab7a5f4.html or this industry journal http://online.wsj.com/article/AP16a162b66b5946d0837c7395cab7a5f4.html). That’s a lot of negatives, and suggests that CCS should perhaps be a last resort rather than the first. By contrast HCCAS is intended to reduce GHG emissions by embodying CO2 in useful product – food or biomass – so using CO2 for the greater good, rather than burying this valuable resource. As I set out in the proposal, there are a wide range of advantages to be gained should HCCAS prove effective, perhaps the greatest of which is providing a near-lossless highly-efficient agriculture system largely immune to the effects of changing climate. Picking-up on the point that “the carbon sequestered by the grown plants could still end up in the atmosphere”, that is as true as we wish to make it; if we use HCCAS to grow saplings with which to re-forest, it’s sequestered long term. If we use it for biofuel, it’s locked into a plant-CO2-plant cycle and so sequestered within the facility. If we use it to grow food, it’s sequestered until the fed individual respires it out again (but at least they’ve been fed). We all recognise the need to capture CO2 at source; once diffused in the atmosphere any CO2 recovery must be vastly less efficient. It therefore makes total sense to co-locate a prime natural CO2 sink – vegetation – with that source. As my research has established, elevated CO2 levels and correct lighting can double growth (hence carbon uptake) compared with that achievable in the normal environment, while a stacked hydroponic facility permits very high-density planting per unit ground area; a simple calculation (see my own site http://gas2green.org/) suggests we can outperform open-field agriculture by three times or more. The overall HCCAS concept thus largely designs itself. I would take a little issue with the statement that “no quantitative support is provided in this proposal”; I provide detailed example information on CO2 uptake, and links to the research supporting my claims. I cannot however argue with your point that “no support for the cost effectiveness of this approach is offered”. Indeed it is not; there is nothing similar yet in existence from which to draw cost or performance data. I fully recognise this, which is why at item 2 of the “Proposed Actions” on the proposal I identify and elaborate on “RESEARCH COMPONENT (RC) 1: HCCAS PROOF OF CONCEPT. This component must generate sufficient data to allow a decision on progress to be taken based on 3 primary criteria: • CO2 reduction benefits • crop economics (considered both as food crop and biomass) • required space/volume (for HCCAS construction economics)” To conclude, I’m under no illusions that HCCAS is so far unproven. However, recognising the many benefits that I suggest HCCAS potentially offers, and recognising also the coming “perfect storm” of climate change effects, food pressures, and growing population which HCCAS directly addresses, it must surely be the case that the proposal should receive at least initial research. Thank you again for your interest, and I look forward to discussing with you in due course.

Venkatesh R

Sep 9, 2014
07:48

Member


25 |
Share via:
Hi, Your idea sounds interesting, my idea is somewhat similar to this you can share your views, though my idea is a theoretical idea and needs some research but seems to be feasible. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300103/planId/1311401

Mark Everson

Sep 9, 2014
02:03

Member


26 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Hallo Venkatesh! I love this CoLab stuff, you meet very interesting people and ideas! I think your plan sounds cool but you may be too late - have you seen this one? http://www.algaeindustrymagazine.com/algae-powered-building-to-open-in-germany/ There's a bit of activity on this. Haven't seen anyone talking about a mobile application though so may be mileage in that. I've suggested on my own site www.gas2green.org using HCCAS for large mobile emitters like supertankers - I'd guess algae sliders could fit the same bill, large exposed deck/superstructure area available. Take a look... Cheers Mark

Mark Everson

Sep 12, 2014
11:14

Member


27 |
Share via:
Proposal
contributor
Interesting afterthought - see http://decarboni.se/insights/does-biochar-hold-key-natural-carbon-sequestration. Biochar doesn't care what it chars, so using HCCAS to grow plants selected purely for highest CO2 absorption - irrespective of suitability for biofuel conversion or food use - should turn HCCAS into even more effective negative carbon. From http://www.intechopen.com/books/abiotic-stress-in-plants-mechanisms-and-adaptations/c4-plants-adaptation-to-high-levels-of-co2-and-to-drought-environments: C4 plants exhibit higher photosynthetic and growth rates due to gains in the water, carbon and nitrogen efficiency uses... the highest known productivity in natural vegetation is for a C4 perennial grass in the central Amazon, which achieves a net production of 100 t (dry matter) ha-1 year-1 That's potentially a lot of biochar. And I hesitate to mention it, but a bit of GM could potentially increase much further...

Jan Kunnas

Sep 16, 2014
03:22

Member


28 |
Share via:
Hi, I like your proposal. I am not convinced as conventional carbon capture and storage, as Vaclav Smil has noted putting away just 10% of its global flux would require annual handling of a volume equivalent to the current worldwide yearly oil yield: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2kw795r0 Furthemore, CO2 storage involves great security risks most notably the leaking of stored CO2, which in large quantities is poisonous as it supplants oxygen. Your proposal takes away this proposal by making CO2 an valuable input instead of a waste to store away. You have my vote!

Osero Shadrack Tengeya

Sep 17, 2014
03:08

Fellow


29 |
Share via:
Hi Gas2green and your friends, consider voting for my proposal shown on this link. https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300206/planId/1002 Thanks.

Anne-marie Soulsby

Sep 23, 2014
03:14

Member


30 |
Share via:
Hi gas2green, Please consider voting for my proposal, https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/1300801/planId/1309001 Good luck with your entry! Asante/Thank-you @conserveaction
ADD YOUR COMMENT
You must be logged into your account to post a comment.