Capture Carbon in Concrete Made With CO2

GoodBoy

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This sounds like a good use for CO2 coming right out of a coal burning power plant:

"A team from the University of California, Los Angeles, has developed a system that transforms “waste CO2” into gray blocks of concrete. In March, the researchers will relocate to the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, part of the Dry Fork power plant near the town of Gillette. During a three-month demonstration, the UCLA team plans to siphon half a ton of CO2 per day from the plant’s flue gas and produce 10 tons of concrete daily. "

Read:

 

DejaWiz

Oracle of Unfortunate Truths
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Want to reduce CO2 overall then plant some trees.
This. I think I remember reading that an estimated 1/3 to 2/3s of the world's trees have been cut down by humans since the existence of Homo Sapiens.

There are approximately 95 million single family homes in the US, alone.

If two trees were planted for each home, then that would scrub an additional 6.5 billion tons of CO2 annually (average of 35 pounds scrubbed per tree, per year).

The US is currently emitting 5.1 billion tons annually from energy industry.
 

Merc1138

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This. I think I remember reading that an estimated 1/3 to 2/3s of the world's trees have been cut down by humans since the existence of Homo Sapiens.

There are approximately 95 million single family homes in the US, alone.

If two trees were planted for each home, then that would scrub an additional 6.5 billion tons of CO2 annually (average of 35 pounds scrubbed per tree, per year).

The US is currently emitting 5.1 billion tons annually from energy industry.
Well...
According to various sources we cut down around 15-25 million trees a year just as christmas trees in the US.
There's likely other sources out there, but lets just go with the low end, 15 million.

Now, lets pick a large state with lots of trees. California. 14.2 million housing units according to the last census, so recent enough to be relevant.

Now what's California known for regarding trees? Fires, lots of fires. What burns well? Dead trees.
So that's another 18 million trees(estimated) that have just died out in nature, tacked onto the already huge pile of dead trees that hasn't caught fire yet. And that's just in California. There's data for other states as well.

So even when we look at one reason nationally that trees get cut down(arguably most of them are farmed anyway, so they wouldn't have been grown otherwise), just natural deaths of trees from one state keep pace with it. And that's not even including the number of trees that die in the fires that happen in California. Good luck trying to plant 2 trees per home in the US. Oh by the way, you mean plant 2 trees per home annually in the US, so your 190 million trees becomes 1.9 billion after 10 years, and that's when just only some of the oldest in the batch are actually sequestering that 35 pounds of CO2 per year, since they aren't going to be doing that much for a while after being planted.

Planting trees isn't going to do jack. And that's not even counting deforestation happening at the same time that still needs to be countered.
 

sfsuphysics

I don't get it
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Is it a cheaper way of making concrete? Otherwise, what's the point? Want to reduce CO2 overall then plant some trees.
Trees only reduce CO2 if they in some way get buried underground, otherwise they're carbon neutral like other plans at large enough time scales. When a tree dies, or is cut down, or is burned in a wild fire all that CO2 it sucked up gets released in some fashion back out.
 

Joust

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More or less a waste of time. Those plants are shutting down with a quickness. Coal is dead in the USA, and that's not changing so long as natural gas remains even remotely close to where it is.

The places building coal plants, like China, aren't going to do crap to combat emissions.
 

Private_Ops

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Coal is dead in the USA, and that's not changing so long as natural gas remains even remotely close to where it is.
Working in an industry that allows me first hand views of rail transported coal. I can pretty much agree with this. Most of what moves by rail out of the Appalachian region is either metallurgical (for coke production) or export.
 

Dead Parrot

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Is it a cheaper way of making concrete? Otherwise, what's the point? Want to reduce CO2 overall then plant some trees.
From TFA - they claim it has a 50% smaller carbon footprint then current equivilent materials. TFA is vague on $ savings.

Even trees grown for Xmas trees leave their root systems in the ground when they are cut. So there is some short term sequestration there. Don't really know how long it takes a root system to degrade back to basic components.
 

Lakados

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This. I think I remember reading that an estimated 1/3 to 2/3s of the world's trees have been cut down by humans since the existence of Homo Sapiens.

There are approximately 95 million single family homes in the US, alone.

If two trees were planted for each home, then that would scrub an additional 6.5 billion tons of CO2 annually (average of 35 pounds scrubbed per tree, per year).

The US is currently emitting 5.1 billion tons annually from energy industry.
As nice as that sounds most CO2 is generated at locations where it will never reach a tree. And believe it or not trees are completely carbon neutral everything they take in gets released back when they die so they aren’t magical scrubbers but they do wonders for soil health and erosion prevention. CO2 released from smoke stacks will reach the upper atmosphere and form pockets and takes decades of circulation before it spreads around enough and when it does the global increase is marginal. The biggest problem is how is resides around in pocketed layers in the upper stratosphere so preventing it from ever getting there is key.
 

mlcarson

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You're right -- I don't believe it and think you're full of it. If that's the case then let's harvest all of those rain forests. It's all moot anyway because the idea that we're contributing in any significant way to any global warming cia CO2 production is rubbish. Every climate model saying the contrary has been wrong and has overestimated global warming on average by 250%. The most accurate so far has been the Russian INM-CM4 model and presumably the INM-CM5 will be an improvement. The only problem with it is that it doesn't show the huge increases in temperature predicted by the other models due to CO2 and that's become a tenant of liberal orthodoxy in much of the world (especially in the EU and the USA).

As nice as that sounds most CO2 is generated at locations where it will never reach a tree. And believe it or not trees are completely carbon neutral everything they take in gets released back when they die so they aren’t magical scrubbers but they do wonders for soil health and erosion prevention. CO2 released from smoke stacks will reach the upper atmosphere and form pockets and takes decades of circulation before it spreads around enough and when it does the global increase is marginal. The biggest problem is how is resides around in pocketed layers in the upper stratosphere so preventing it from ever getting there is key.
 

Retronym

Something big is coming.
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This. I think I remember reading that an estimated 1/3 to 2/3s of the world's trees have been cut down by humans since the existence of Homo Sapiens.

There are approximately 95 million single family homes in the US, alone.

If two trees were planted for each home, then that would scrub an additional 6.5 billion tons of CO2 annually (average of 35 pounds scrubbed per tree, per year).

The US is currently emitting 5.1 billion tons annually from energy industry.
This is not a political statement or gotcha. Just something I found interesting and never would have guessed....
 
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GoodBoy

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Coal is dead in the USA, and that's not changing so long as natural gas remains even remotely close to where it is.
Burning natural gas releases CO2 just the same. It's just cleaner and cheaper than coal. This same technology could be used at Natural Gas powered plants
 

Joust

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Burning natural gas releases CO2 just the same. It's just cleaner and cheaper than coal. This same technology could be used at Natural Gas powered plants
It's far cleaner. Also - I didn't see any mention of the energy intensity of the process. When the original CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) plant(s) were designed, it required a HUGE amount of energy to do. Similarly, if you have to burn 30% more gas to capture 20% of your emissions, that's not really a win.

We used to make road beds out of coal ash. We stopped that because there were heavy metals in the material.- mercury, arsenic, that kind of thing. Similarly, there is more than just carbon coming out of those stacks, even with scrubbers. I wonder how "clean" this concrete is on balance.
 
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