You must log in or register to comment.

DocWsky t1_j5xoj87 wrote

And yet trees are nearly free.


-ragingpotato- t1_j5yh0kr wrote

No matter what we do we're always going to be taking up a crapton of land that used to be trees. If its possible to make a machine equivalent to a crapton of trees but that fits in a normal sized building it would go a great length towards mitigating the impacts of our permanent scars on the landscape.

Its worth exploring.


publicdefecation t1_j5yqbf9 wrote

Practically speaking trees won't grow fast enough to offset our emissions. We would need to plant 200 billion trees to stop climate change.


2dozen22s t1_j5zamh4 wrote

Bamboo grows ridiculously fast and might be better suited tbh Could grow that, dry it, mix it with sand, and fill in old open pit mines.


hearnia_2k t1_j60jips wrote

You'd have to be careful though, as cutting it and shipping it to the mines, placing it, etc would have pretty high emissions potentially.


2dozen22s t1_j60yllo wrote

Drying the ground bamboo in a high temp greenhouse would reduce the weight substantially. You'd basically be shipping fuel around. Bamboo is already 50% carbon.

Then mixing can be done on-site and gathered locally to reduce carried weight further.

Grinding can be solar powered, green house is sunlight, cutting can be electric powertools, etc.

Emission wise its probably very sound, but maintaining and replanting bamboo which can grow like, 1m a day, might be the hard part in terms of scaling things up.

(Edit: a 100m2 area with 25% area utilization should yield 8750kg of bamboo a day. Or 4.375 tons of carbon.

Idk how accurate those numbers are, and that's a best guess using online resources)


Fivethenoname t1_j61npqq wrote

But they do offset emissions/contribute to drawdown and there are many other functions that forest and tree cover provide to maintain critical ecosystem functions. Idiots looking for a panacea to ecosystem service degradation and torpedoing good ideas for not being such a panacea are literally holding us back from taking steps in the correct direction. You're expertise in this field must be minimal if you are criticizing planting trees. I understand that criticizing other people is one way to get a seat at the table if you don't have any ideas of your own, but criticism for criticism sake is unwanted.


publicdefecation t1_j61p722 wrote

I think you're misunderstanding what I'm saying. I'm not against planting trees. I think they're important.

Just like you, I don't think there's one solution to fixing climate change which means we can't dismiss technological solutions by saying "Why don't we just plant trees?"

We have to plant trees AND do everything else possible to reduce emissions and sequester carbon.


sg3niner t1_j5yevkd wrote

You could plant a billion trees tomorrow and they'd have a negligible impact on the amount of carbon that we need to worry about.

I'm all for planting more, but we need multiple solutions, and some of those are expensive.


xmnstr t1_j5ztrkz wrote

The issue with trees isn't planting them, it's land to plant them on. And, of course, preventing people from cutting them down.


quarterque t1_j5ysnrp wrote

Free and unaccountable. Most* tree planting programs are like drugs off the web. You never know if they’ll just make things worse.


Dorocche t1_j60528t wrote

To be clear, that article is about one single company who simply doesn't plant the trees, and is paid by big corporations so that those corporations can pretend they're carbon neutral.

It's not a reason that you, personally, should feel bad about donating to a tree charity, because that tree charity was probably not Verra. It means that our system for incentivizing corporations to be carbon neutral via planting trees does not work at all.


StoneTwin t1_j5xup7i wrote

But they want to cut them down and sell them once they are big enough to really suck up a good dose of carbon each year.


Standard-Prize-8928 t1_j5y4cq9 wrote

I thought juvenile trees were the best for carbon intake


Manilikefungi t1_j5ye8ir wrote

They are the best purely for carbon capture rates since grow quik


Illustrious_Crab1060 t1_j606ve2 wrote

... and also traps carbon in buildings instead of decaying and releasing all the C02 back


DocWsky t1_j5xusaz wrote

Painfully true


Dorocche t1_j6042xo wrote

It's not true at all lol, that's not how trees or carbon work.

Trees don't passively remove carbon dioxide from the air. Trees remove carbon dioxide by growing and turning that carbon into bark, stems, leaves, etc. And they release carbon when they burn or decompose.

Planting a tree sucks up exactly as much carbon as is the size of that tree, and no more once it stops growing. Replacing it with a baby tree will suck up way more carbon, and if we turn it into chairs instead of burning it then those tons of carbon are gone from the atmosphere for the foreseeable future.


Aezyre t1_j5yls4g wrote

Let them do that, then just stop recycling any cardboard or paper and instead pump it into old oil wells.


Kradget t1_j6071ow wrote

True, but we're going to need to approach this from multiple angles. There's not one thing we can practically do that will just resolve the problem in a human-ish timescale.

So, yes trees, grassland, and wetlands. But also yes renewable energy, higher efficiency transportation, carbon capture, regulation, and improved agricultural practices.


Tobias_Atwood t1_j60qene wrote

Planting them has a labor and material cost and they won't start making headway on real carbon deficits for many years.

Meanwhile this technology continues to be experimented with and improved upon. It's only going to get easier and cheaper as we work on it harder and harder. Combine it with reducing our carbon emissions and we'll make some good headway on not burning the world to a fucking crisp.


LetsEatAPerson t1_j600hd1 wrote

I'm so tired of hearing about this sort of thing. The most scalable, sustainable way to mitigate pollution is not polluting in the first place.

Even if these plants are powered by renewable energy, it's still not as clean as just putting that renewable energy to better use. You know, like powering your house.

Just invest in green energy, my dudes. You simply have to understand it's more efficient than scraping carbon out of the air. It's essentially like refusing to use toilets, and paying someone to follow behind you with a broom and a hose for when you make a mess. Just stop making a damn mess ffs.

This is not a political issue or necessarily an environmental issue--it's about not having to solve a problem that you're creating for yourself.

Carbon capture is cool and all, don't get me wrong, we just can't think about it as the solution to our dirty power problem.


luminarium t1_j60bv3g wrote

"not polluting in the first place" is easy to say, hard to do. You can't make solar panels and batteries without mining a lot of rare earths using heavy-duty, gasoline/diesel-guzzling vehicles. That's why advances like this are so great. Now stop being a debbie downer or get banned per rule #1.


LetsEatAPerson t1_j60nzbe wrote

Alright, I came in pretty hot there and it's fair to call me on it. This is a topic that really irritates me, and I admit I was not the most polite I've ever been. Let me explain why:

Firstly, you're absolutely right that rare earth mining and the production of things like steel or plastics will nearly always create pollution (unless we find some exotic sci-fi process that eliminates pollutants, but I can't see the future). This is the best use of hydrocarbons, and something worth conserving them for since they're a fundamentally limited resource at this point in time. Not to mention plastics and steel are absolutely necessary to produce.

Secondly, Debbie Downer over here has a deep-seated, primal hatred toward grifters who prey on good intentions. Carbon capture is a genuinely useful technology worth developing, but the conversation around it (so far as I've heard, at least) is largely based around "Hey, the environment isn't screwed after all--we've got carbon capture now!" which is dishonest. What carbon capture is capable of right now is not nearly enough.

This generation of carbon capture technology can't live up to the hype of shiftless Greenwashing marketeers. I think it's a shame to see how positive the response is to news about developments in this sphere, 'cause the people who actually care about what they're reading are going to set themselves up for decades of disappointment. Again, I'm not trying to tear down carbon capture tech here, I just want the conversation to be grounded in reality, even if it isn't as uplifting per se.

Carbon Offsets/Carbon Credits are generally pure-and-simple scams where you pay money for someone to say "Okay, you're good. You may clear your environmental conscience" in the style of medieval Catholic Church indulgences or today's Elon-Muskian vaporware. Ask any Australian how their carbon offset programs have gone for more info.

And as myself and other commenters have mentioned, carbon capture and carbon offsets divert attention from solving the actual root of the problem, which is unsustainable use of a limited resource when better alternatives are available. Passive CO2 control through plants isn't just possible, it's something the earth has been doing for literally 10,000 times longer than anything remotely human has existed. There are literal mountains of evidence to that effect.

We can power reasonably sized consumer cars with electricity now. Yes, those are nasty to produce with the heavy metals and carbon required, but ultimately they're much, much better, and the tech will only continue to improve. If that car is powered by hydroelectric/solar/tidal power plants rather than coal plants, all the better.

Yes, this is all much easier said than done, but that doesn't make me incorrect. It's going to be a painful process with a learning curve, but the world changes faster than anyone expects. A couple decades ago, my house had one land-line phone; at this very moment, I'm using a more modern phone to (apparently) write an essay on why I hate "Green Grifters" for the eyes of one well-intentioned stranger. Technology moves in unpredictable ways, but regardless of how efficient carbon capture ultimately becomes, it will always make more macroeconomic sense to deal with power pollution by creating less pollution in the first place.

A wise man once said "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is right now." I truly hope the carbon capture tech we have now is a big, healthy tree in 20 years. Right now, I'm still betting on plants.


OS6aDohpegavod4 t1_j5ylzfg wrote

I can't even imagine what a metric ton of carbon looks like, but it sounds huge. $39 to remove that seems like a steal. Why aren't we using this now?


tossme68 t1_j5yvzfv wrote

The average person in the US creates 16 tons of co2, so ~$625 a year or $52 a month. We pay more than that for our cell phones. Let's put this thing online and start embedding a $10 carbon capture tax in airfare and $5-10 for a license plate and a couple of pennies per gallon in gas. Even if that only pulls 25% of the co2 out of the air it's a great start. Hopefully the economy of scale would kick in and reduce costs and that would be even better.


56Bot t1_j5ztqh1 wrote

And here's the issue : instead of fixing the problem at its core (our dependence on combustible fuels), we're more focused on trying to patch the consequences.

Pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere is great, and I may even say necessary. But we ought to get out of creating CO2 in the first place.


tossme68 t1_j5zxqiz wrote

of course but burning stuff is not going to end anytime soon. So while we are waiting it might be a good idea to try to clean up the mess we're making.


56Bot t1_j60dj8t wrote

For me the ones paying for the cleanup should be the ones profiting from the pollution. And forcing them to pay for said cleanup without increasing their prices a single cent ofc.

This way, they'd try to get away from burning fuel, or at least to reduce it.


Red-Zeppelin t1_j60al4o wrote

We're already passed the point of no return. I understand what you're saying, this gives the fossil fuel cabal and excuse to keep destroying our home but we need things like this now to mitagate the devastating damage we've already done.


Picolete t1_j5yr84p wrote

Trees and algae are cheaper


Yoda-byte t1_j5yw27h wrote

What happens with trees when they are burned ? As far as I know they are releasing everything back into the environment.


Picolete t1_j5ywkgq wrote

Just dont burn them duh, also is not all fully released into the atmosphere, a large part becomes charcoal


Yoda-byte t1_j5ywygi wrote

Yes I don't disagree with you, just wondered if it would be a better solution long-term because you don't tell me to let it be instead you're trying to tell every person on earth to please let the trees grow


maldobar4711 t1_j5yz6s3 wrote

One Sqm of land is here 3Euro if forest...just buy 100sqm and plant 4 trees per year that are never cut


Yoda-byte t1_j5yztgy wrote

And then the world would be saved....right ?


maldobar4711 t1_j5z03n8 wrote

No but u have covered your CO2 Footprint


Yoda-byte t1_j5z15jx wrote

I don't know where you got your calculation from but at a first glance it seems that it would not even cover my footprint. I'm going with 10t on average per year for a person from my country

But I'm happy to learn


maldobar4711 t1_j5z1uqb wrote

So Yoda learn:

The first year, you have 100 Sqm..the second 50 years you have 5000 Sqm and you don't cut the trees...

At the point you die, you have recovered it all, if you take the allowed 3T CO2 per year.

And if you donate your trees to the CO2 protection area the next generation will be happy..


Yoda-byte t1_j5z3u1u wrote

Okay thank you But there are a few questions here remaining Is it permitted to just buy Forrest and doing nothing with it in your country ? Because here you have strict obligation what you have to do when you are the owner of a Forest


maldobar4711 t1_j5z621o wrote

Troll - take my downvote on all your posts


Yoda-byte t1_j5z9jn2 wrote

yo What M8 ?!

that was a legit question I support your view overall just beeing a bit sceptical if it is releastic but do what you want Have a nice day


Chagrinnish t1_j60jyfh wrote

The article has a numbers problem. It's "$39" to capture a ton of CO2 in the solvent but they don't explain how they extract it. They describe converting it to methanol, but if you're creating an equivalent ton of methanol then that's worth about $7,500 given that 2 lbs (1 gallon) of methanol costs about $15. They also need to get a bunch of hydrogen atoms from somewhere for that conversion (CH3OH) which is not explained.

So we gotta ignore the methanol thing and assume they're just extracting pure CO2 from the solvent. But how? If they're pulling it out as a gas then they'd be better off just using a vacuum to suck on the power plant's exhaust. And if the CO2 is somehow being extracted as a liquid then that's an incredibly exothermic reaction and the article is really burying the lede. Either way, all we have left is a bunch of CO2 with no explanation as to what we're supposed to do with it.


PerepeL t1_j5yqb0l wrote

Further development of this technology depends on if the byproducts could be used as a fuel. /s


Picolete t1_j5ys1ey wrote

I would remove that /s, if you read the article, it's one of it uses


PerepeL t1_j5ysgvg wrote

That's even funnier, I read it afterwards. There is no way they are getting ton of methanol for around 100 bucks, so it's BS anyways.


Picolete t1_j5yt3qf wrote

And probably when you use methanol you re release carbon


PerepeL t1_j5ytnvz wrote

Yeah, that's the reason for /s in original comment. I just couldn't imagine such level of bullshitting :)


sluttyjamjams73 t1_j5yw71p wrote

Methanol sourced in this way would represent carbon already in the cycle. That's very different than adding excess carbon to the system.


boersc t1_j5z03oo wrote

ANY methanol is already stored somewhere. Some in the form of crude oil underground.


boersc t1_j5yzork wrote

Carbon capture is a hoax. Don't fall for it. It's only reason to exist is to let companies make insane amounts of money for vapor.


AutoModerator t1_j5xktm4 wrote

Reminder: this subreddit is meant to be a place free of excessive cynicism, negativity and bitterness. Toxic attitudes are not welcome here.

All Negative comments will be removed and will possibly result in a ban.

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.


ShaneCoJ t1_j5zvol6 wrote

ELI5 me please, but, once it "collects" the carbon... what does that do? Is it converted into something else? Or do you have a like a little cube of carbon?


Mantis42 t1_j604plc wrote

it converts it into methanol, it's in the first paragraph of the article.


ShaneCoJ t1_j60q8fa wrote

yeah, sorry, was on my phone and having trouble with the link... have since gotten it open. Thanks. :)


Dorocche t1_j605kvc wrote

The machine in the article supposedly converts it into methanol.


Fivethenoname t1_j61omni wrote

My one problem with these sort of solutions is that they're clearly geared toward inserting themselves into the existing value chains/supply chains we already have. One of the most basic issues that causes climate change is that we aren't properly valuing our resources. We have to decouple that value system from our industrial economy which demands never ending growth of consumption. Tell me, if we successfully convert CO2 into a valuable raw material that our industries demand, what happens when we've drawn out enough CO2 to reach a ppm concentration we like? Just stop? What business EVER just stopped? And this wouldn't be just one company, we'd build economic infrastructure around it. My belief is that the funding for carbon drawdown HAS to come from the public. Market based value systems are not the type of valuation system that works best for Environmental resources which are by nature publicly owned. We have to create a value for this stuff and stand by it.


tv_head__ t1_j628hyd wrote

Definitely not funded from the gates foundation


kemisage t1_j66dadl wrote

It has become tiring to see/read comments on posts like this. It's nearly always by people with little to no knowledge of chemistry and chemical engineering and/or the reality of the green energy economy.

One of the top comments is usually something in the realm of "plant trees, use solar/wind, no need for carbon, etc."

No, you can't just plant tress and avoid technologies like the one proposed in the article. Find a way to electrify everything and produce all the chemicals we need without using carbon. Then we can talk about eliminating carbon from our lives.

The idea presented in the article is actually not really new. They just went a bit dramatic with their advertisement. The group of Heldebrandt themselves (the ones discussed in the OP) have published many articles on this topic, and others have too. I am yet to fully read the actual journal article they published, but the likely cause of this popular science article is higher efficiency in converting the captured CO2 to methanol.

If their idea goes through more testing at increasing scales, then it could be implemented in the industry. Right now the commercial route to produce blue (fossil hydrogen + natural gas + carbon capture) or green (renewable hydrogen + carbon capture) methanol from CO2 is an indirect route of first converting CO2 to something called a synthesis gas and then converting the synthesis gas to methanol. If the intermediate step can be eliminated, it would lead to better energy efficiency and economics.


scotyb t1_j60aunn wrote

This is going to methanol.

Co2 solutions achieved this rate in 2019 at $39/ton direct to food grade co2