5 Things You Should Know About Carbon Extraction
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years, you’ll know climate change is a serious problem. But don’t panic.
Soon, we’ll need to find ways to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That is if we want to keep things from getting worse. One promising solution is carbon extraction.
It’s a process by which scientists extract CO2 from the atmosphere. They are then fed into algae or other microorganisms for use as food or fuel. This technique could have far-reaching consequences for many industries. There are tons of areas of research in the coming decades, so let’s take a closer look at how it works!
Here’s what you need to know about carbon extraction and how it affects the environment.
What is Carbon Extraction?
Carbon extraction is a process by which CO2 is extracted from the atmosphere and fed to algae and other microorganisms. These organisms then grow faster and produce more biomass, resulting in higher yields per unit of land area.
Scientists have tested the technology at several experimental sites around the country. This includes an algae farm near San Antonio, Texas that uses carbon extraction as part of its process. Climeworks is considered a carbon extraction program.
The History of Climate Change Awareness
The history of climate change awareness is a long one that has taken place over many decades.
Yet, it was not until 1895 that the term “global warming” was first used by Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius. This was in his book On the Influence of Carbonic Acid on Climate.
Another scientist also had a similar idea. This was Arrhenius, who was one of the first people to predict that human-made greenhouse gases could cause global warming. He showed that if carbon dioxide levels increased by 10 percent, temperatures would rise by 5 degrees Celsius.
It was not until the 1950s that carbon dioxide was a pollutant. In 1957, Roger Revelle and Hans Suess published a paper. In this, they showed that fossil fuel emissions could cause global warming.
Today we are only too aware of the dangers of climate change, but what is today common knowledge and seemed obvious was a revolutionary idea.
The History of Carbon Extraction
The first thing you should know about carbon extraction is that it’s a new field. The science behind it has been around for some time. But it wasn’t until the 1960s that carbon extraction became a viable technology.
The second thing you should know about carbon extraction is that there are several different methods of doing it.
- Algae-based systems. These use algae to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and convert it into fuel or food products
- Bacteria-based systems. This use bacteria to convert atmospheric CO2 into useful products such as fertilizers and industrial chemicals
- Carbonization (pyrolysis), wherein organic matter is heated up to turn plant matter back into oil or gas
Carbon capture and storage involve capturing CO2 from industrial processes or power plants.
1. Carbon Extraction Is a Process by Which Scientists Extract CO2 From the Atmosphere
Carbon extraction is a process by which scientists extract CO2 from the atmosphere. They then feed it to algae and other microorganisms. After they produce biofuels. As you may know, you extract carbon by growing algae in ponds or in large tanks.
Scientists use this method of carbon extraction for decades. Yet, it has recently gained traction as an alternative way to produce biofuels.
We capture Carbon dioxide from the air through machines. This method of carbon extraction is more viable than other methods. This is because it’s not only renewable but also efficient.
2. Carbon Extraction Can Result in Faster Growth and Better Yields of Algae and Bacteria
By extracting carbon from the air, you can help your algae grow faster and stronger. Algae are an excellent source of protein and many other nutrients. But if you want to get the most out of your algae growth, it’s important to understand how carbon extraction works.
Algae is a great source of protein and other nutrients. This is because when provided with proper nutrient levels, this process happens in a few weeks. So why does carbon extraction make a difference?
Carbon-based organisms like plants and algae use photosynthesis as their primary method for converting sunlight into usable energy for growth.
If there’s not enough CO2 available in their environment (like when we take away all our fossil fuels), then photosynthesis slows down or stops – which means less food. Understanding this is vital to the success of carbon extraction programs.
3. Carbon Extraction Is Workable and Is Occurring at Experimental Sites Around the Country
Carbon extraction is workable and is occurring at experimental sites around the country. There are currently several large-scale efforts underway, including ones at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego.
Carbon Engineering has been operating a pilot plant in British Columbia since 2016, while Global Thermostat has been running its own pilot facility since 2012.
All these efforts have run into challenges along the way—carbon dioxide is hard to find and difficult to hold onto—but they have concluded that carbon extraction can be done enough to make it viable as an alternative to other sources of industrial CO2.
At about $0.05 per metric ton (about 2 pounds), this cost compares with other sources like flue gas capture or scrubbing technology used in power plants or refineries; especially when you consider that most projects will be able to use existing infrastructure as part of their operations.
However, technological advances mean that many scientists are increasingly optimistic about the future of the environment. The issue is whether we can develop technology in time before sea levels rise and temperatures increase to levels that are unsustainable.
4. Carbon Extraction Could Have Applications to Energy Production
Carbon extraction is a process that could have applications in many different industries. This includes energy production, carbon capture, natural gas storage, and biological oxygenation.
In the case of energy production, it could be used to create biofuels from cellulose or other biomass materials. The world is becoming more conscious of its carbon emissions.
As a result, there are many power plants that need to reduce their output of CO2 into the atmosphere. Carbon extraction could capture some or all of this CO2. This could reduce emissions while also producing useful products such as biofuels or chemicals. Companies sell these on an open market.
Natural Gas Storage
One major area where carbon extraction will likely play an important role is natural gas storage. Natural gas is mainly composed of methane molecules.
These are held together by relatively weak bonds between hydrogen atoms (H) and carbon dioxide (CO2). If you’ve ever smelled natural gas before—you know it has kind of a “rotten egg” smell—that means there’s some hydrogen sulfide mixed in with your methane!
When we store natural gas for long periods of time without letting it escape into our atmosphere (as we often do), sometimes those weaker bonds break down completely over time. This allows us to reclaim much more methane than thought possible so long as we can find a way to get rid of excess hydrogen sulfide first and foremost.
5. Carbon Extraction Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences
Carbon extraction is a new process that could have far-reaching consequences for many industries and research areas. Carbon extraction has been used to grow algae and bacteria and capture carbon dioxide. The process involves growing tiny organisms in a solution containing sugar or other nutrients.
That solution is then heated up until the water boils off and leaves behind only solid material (the organism). The organisms are then ground into a powder which can be used as fertilizer or fuel.
Carbon extraction has a variety of uses. But some of the most exciting are in industry and agriculture.
The process of carbon extraction can be used to make biofuel. Biofuels are clean, renewable energy that can replace diesel or petrol. Some of them can even be made from organic matter like corn or sugarcane.
Carbon Extraction Is the Future
The bottom line is that carbon extraction has the potential to change everything we know about the world. Whether it’s how much food we can grow, how much energy we can produce, or how many toxic chemicals are in our air and water, carbon extraction could revolutionize our planet for the better.