“Carbon Capture & Burial
– all Carbon Cemeteries are already Full.”
The Carbon Sense Coalition today called for an end to the colossal waste of community resources and energy on research and development for “Carbon Capture and Burial”.
The Chairman of “Carbon Sense”, Mr Viv Forbes, said that billions of dollars are being wasted on sacrifices to the global warming god - endless bureaucracy, politicised research, piddling wind and solar schemes, roof insulation disasters, ethanol subsidies, carbon credit forests, carbon trading frauds and huge compliance costs.
“But perhaps the biggest waste of all is the futile quest to capture carbon dioxide from power stations, separate it, compress it, pump it long distances and force it down specially drilled bore holes, hoping it will never escape.
“The effect of CO2 on global temperature, if it exists, is so small that no one has been able to demonstrate or measure it. The touted effect exists solely in computer models whose forecasts to date have all failed. Therefore there is ZERO proven benefit for mankind in trying to capture harmless CO2 in order to bury it in carbon cemeteries. Worse, it is removing valuable plant food from the biosphere – a step towards global food suicide. Moreover, for every tonne of carbon buried, we bury 2.7 tonnes of the gas of life – oxygen.
“The quantities of gas to be handled just from power stations are enormous. For every tonne of coal burnt, about 11 tonnes of gases are exhausted – 7.5 tonnes of nitrogen, 2.5 tonnes of CO2 and one tonne of water vapour. These are all harmless and valuable natural recycled atmospheric gases. Life on earth would be impossible without them.
“Normally these harmless gases are vented to the atmosphere after filters take out nasties like soot and noxious fumes. To capture the CO2 would require additional energy to collect the 11 tonnes of gases and separate the 2.5 tonnes of CO2 for every tonne of coal burnt. Then even more energy would be required to compress this 2.5 tonnes of CO2 and pump it to the burial site.
“All of this is possible, but the capital and operating costs will be horrendous. It is estimated that 30% - 40% of the power currently generated will be used just on carbon capture, compression and pumping. More energy still is required to produce and erect the steel for all those pumps and pipes and to drill the disposal wells. All this will chew up more coal resources and produce yet more carbon dioxide, for no benefit.
“But the real problem starts at the burial site.
“There is no vacuum occurring naturally anywhere on earth – every bit of space is occupied by solids, liquids or gases. Thus to dispose of CO2 underground requires it to be pumped AGAINST the pressure of whatever is in the pore space of the rock formation now – either natural gases or liquids. These pressures can be substantial, especially after more gas is pumped in.
“The natural gases in rock formations are commonly air, CO2, methane or rotten egg gas. The liquids are commonly fresh or salty water or, very rarely, liquid hydrocarbons.
To find a place where you could drive out oil or natural gas in order to make space to bury CO2 would be like winning the Lottery – a profitable but very unlikely event. Pumping air out is costly, pumping CO2 out to make room for CO2 is pointless and releasing large quantities of salty water or rotten egg gas would create a real surface problem, unlike the imaginary threat from CO2.
“In normal times, pumping fresh water out would be seen as a boon for most locals, but these days it is probably prohibited. Naturally, some carbon dioxide will dissolve in groundwater and pressurise it, so that the next water driller in the area could get a real bonus – bubbling Perrier Water on tap, worth more than oil.
“Regulating carbon dioxide is best left to the oceans – they have been doing it for millions of years. It’s time for tax payers and shareholders to protest this gigantic waste of money, energy and coal resources on fantasies like carbon capture and burial.
“Because, no matter where we look for space for carbon dioxide burial, we will find signs saying:
“All carbon cemeteries are already full”.
10 May 2010
Chairman, The Carbon Sense Coalition
For support for the proposition that there are no proven benefits and no need for geo-sequestration see: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/scin/geosequestration/report/dissent.pdf
See also Dr Roy Spencer “The Great Global Warming Blunder” at:
Disclosure: Mr Forbes is a geologist, mineral economist and pasture manager with long experience in the Australian coal, oil, gas and grazing industries.