Other Sequestration Methods

Currently, there is a small company in the United States that is working on a new technology designed to sequester CO2. The method involves taking CO2 along with tailings from mining operations, combining them, and converting them into a new material that can be used in a variety of industrial, agricultural, and environmental applications. The new material has been dubbed "green carbon."

Based on a report in Environmental News Network, a company called Carbon Sciences has developed a relatively simple technology that puts the mixture under pressure and temperature to create "precipitated calcium carbonate" (PCC). PCC is a common component of many products used everyday such as paper, plastic, wallboard, food additives, pharmaceuticals, vinyl siding, fencing, agricultural products, and fertilizer.

The traditional way of processing calcium carbonate is to put it through an energy-intensive process that is cost-prohibitive because it uses expensive materials such as limestone. This new "green carbon" technology, however, simplifies the traditional process and is able to not only sequester CO2, but also to produce a usable material from it.

Carbon Sciences, founded by Derek McLeish, points out that when a "green carbon technology" is applied to a "carbon neutral process," such as an ethanol plant, that process actually reduces the amount of CO2, making the overall operation "carbon negative." Therefore, McLeish states that "not only is Green Carbon a method for removal and transformation of CO2, but the technology can produce PCC at a lower cost than traditional processes." In addition, he believes that as carbon credit markets come online, users will automatically realize additional cost reductions when the CO2 consumed in green carbon is sold as carbon credits. Carbon credit is a concept that allows carbon conservation in one area to be applied as a counterbalance toward the effects of carbon pollution in another area. For example, carbon credits may be applied if a fossil fuel burning company plants trees elsewhere (which take in and store CO2 long-term) in order to even out the negative effects of adding CO2 to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels.

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Guide to Alternative Fuels

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