Green Tech Hokum

Stories like this get to me. Here is yet another much ballyhooed “technology” that supposedly extracts CO2 from the air and turns it into other stuff. Even a cursory glance at the website  and you can see that’s it’s all fluff and no substance.

http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/innovationnation/2014/09/23/plastic-made-from-air.cnnmoney/index.html?sr=fbmoney040815plastic1030video

Looking at the details, if you know what to look for, you see stuff missing.  If these people were really making pellets from the air, as they claim, there should be a lot more hardware.  It’s telling that the company’s website does not include a process diagram.

Technology

I mean, to make the quantities of plastic pellets we see in the videos, the amount of air flow required require something much bigger than that little dryer tube.  As Thunderf00t says, you are going to need a LOT of air. Remember that CO2 is at best .04% of the atmosphere that you are pumping through your process.  So to get any measurable amount of C02 you are going to need to pump a LOT of air.

Which means big things like this, though this one is pretty small.

Doing large scale gas compression requires big machines.  I know exactly how large because I used to work on them. Here are some examples.

Types of Gas Compressors

http://www.documentation.emersonprocess.com/groups/publicreadonly/documents/webpage/ad122_gtp.hcsp

I’m reminded of this.  Back in the early 1990’s Molten Metal Technology involved Al Gore and my cousin’s in laws and a bunch of  very foolish people from MIT. They were very smart people, absolutely  enthralled with the potential of melting toxics into molten steel.  The fact that to anybody who knew anything about steelmaking this was purely ridiculous escaped them.  .

Steel making  is by and large making a huge effort to remove and control impurities, not dumping them into the furnace.  It took me ten seconds of hearing about what was involved to figure out that it was more than likely a scam.  Time and bunch of lost money proved me right.

So when you see stuff that looks too good to be true, it probably is. Right now removing CO2 from the atmosphere to “solve” the global warming crisis that is not happening seems to be the way that the technical scammers are working with crooked government to find ways to extract money from your pocket.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/531346/can-sucking-co2-out-of-the-atmosphere-really-work/

I suppose that the problem is that to most people technology is all magic and they can’t  tell what’s real and what’s not.  Frankly, it’s not easy to separate the Carbon and Oxygen in CO2.  It take a lot of energy to separate CO2 because the molecule  has two double bonds.  So in order to get the CO2 out of the atmosphere in the first place take a lot of energy, getting the carbon separated from the oxygen take energy and making monomers takes yet more energy.  Which will do wonders for cooling the planet. Of course as they say you could use noncarbon sources of energy. Those sources though are already on the back side of the efficiency and capacity curves and trying to use them is already creating energy poverty issues.  In the end, the best way to Carbon is to plant trees.

 

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