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Thread: Carbon Capture Technology

  1. #1 Carbon Capture Technology 
    Forum Radioactive Isotope zinjanthropos's Avatar
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    Made a small investment in a carbon capture company today and I have a couple of questions that maybe the science types could answer.

    If carbon can be captured at the emissions' source then what do we do with it, is there a potential disposal problem or is there a viable product created? I've read where the captured carbon could possibly end up as baking soda or stored underground where I have no idea if that would be a problem.

    If a carbon capture system is perfected then does that mean oil and coal for example, all of a sudden have a rebirth as a popular fuel of choice, a green energy source? If so then is big oil a major investor in this technology?

    Could carbon capture mechanisms(?) be run in various places on the Earth to lower carbon levels in our air.


    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Made a small investment in a carbon capture company today and I have a couple of questions that maybe the science types could answer.

    If carbon can be captured at the emissions' source then what do we do with it, is there a potential disposal problem or is there a viable product created? I've read where the captured carbon could possibly end up as baking soda or stored underground where I have no idea if that would be a problem.

    If a carbon capture system is perfected then does that mean oil and coal for example, all of a sudden have a rebirth as a popular fuel of choice, a green energy source? If so then is big oil a major investor in this technology?

    Could carbon capture mechanisms(?) be run in various places on the Earth to lower carbon levels in our air.
    Plants have been capturing CO2 for billions of years. If the captured carbon is used to produce a type of sugar it will be a good investment. I have seen types of projects using algae to do this.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Plants have been capturing CO2 for billions of years.
    I think most people realize that but what I really would like to know is if a workable, profitable carbon capture system could result in fossil fuels regaining popularity in a positive sense. I mean fossil fuels actually being labelled as a green energy source, and if people (environmentalists) would be willing to accept it as such.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Robittybob1 View Post
    Plants have been capturing CO2 for billions of years.
    I think most people realize that but what I really would like to know is if a workable, profitable carbon capture system could result in fossil fuels regaining popularity in a positive sense. I mean fossil fuels actually being labelled as a green energy source, and if people (environmentalists) would be willing to accept it as such.
    I doubt it, even though there aren't many good alternatives. Once you have taken the energy out of the hydrocarbon and you end up with CO2 it must take some sort of energy to upgrade that, in other words if it is a mechanical process that's using more fuel. That is why the algae system was being researched in NZ.
    – Australia to Build First CO2 Capture for Algae Biofuel | Environment News Service
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    It all depends on effectiveness of sequestering - ie where it's put so that it doesn't just get released back into the atmosphere. Forests or other vegetation are going to struggle to store more Carbon than was released from the deforestation that preceded it let alone make a dent in the emissions from fossil fuels that are on top of that and even then only if it's not subsequently deforested (deliberately or by drought, fire etc, possibly as a consequence of climate change). If it's subsequently buried deep enough and/or in conditions that preclude organic matter breaking down for the millennia or more that climate is going to be bent out of shape by our fossil fuel burning it can be counted as sequestered for climate purposes. Minus the emissions from the burying activities of course. Most Carbon Capture schemes are too constrained (reforestation), are unproven (like ocean fertilisation - creating algal blooms with the hope the stuff sinks to the sea floor and stays there, in trials I heard about it didn't) or involve deep drilling, pumping and capping in suitable geological zones - and add roughly 30% to the amount of fossil fuels used by CCS fitted power plants. Exposing areas of minerals that absorb CO2 is another method but I haven't heard of any actual use of that technique.

    I'm very dubious of Carbon Capture as an effective means to mitigate against CO2 emissions and think it's more wishful thinking that's promoted as something that might be done in order to avoid something that should be done - like a transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

    I have no idea of how it stacks up as a financial investment except to suggest it looks to have the right elements for a pyramid style boom and bust scenario. Certainly a lot of tax money was dedicated towards it here in Australia as an alternative to the prospect of having to use less coal, which delivered money but failed to deliver the sequestration. More recently elected Australian government prefers to act like there is no energy/emissions/climate problem - except that of scientists and other know-nothing irrational extremist types saying there is a problem! Elsewhere carbon capture does actually get used in small ways - pumping it into declining oil wells to force more oil flow, with the result of more CO2 in the atmosphere with it than without it.
    Last edited by Ken Fabos; September 27th, 2014 at 08:42 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    I'm very dubious of Carbon Capture as an effective means to mitigate against CO2 emissions and think it's more wishful thinking that's promoted as something that might be done in order to avoid something that should be done - like a transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

    I have no idea of how it stacks up as a financial investment except to suggest it looks to have the right elements for a pyramid style boom and bust scenario.
    I was thinking along the same boom or bust lines when I put some money into it. I will be monitoring my investment frequently and get out when I think its right. This company I invested in is sort of in neutral right now. Still I tend to put a little more faith into human ingenuity and our ability to solve a dilemma, without creating more problems of course. I feel the time is right for some newer and better technology to surface, at least that's what I'm banking on.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Fabos View Post
    I'm very dubious of Carbon Capture as an effective means to mitigate against CO2 emissions and think it's more wishful thinking that's promoted as something that might be done in order to avoid something that should be done - like a transition away from dependence on fossil fuels.

    I have no idea of how it stacks up as a financial investment except to suggest it looks to have the right elements for a pyramid style boom and bust scenario.
    I was thinking along the same boom or bust lines when I put some money into it. I will be monitoring my investment frequently and get out when I think its right. This company I invested in is sort of in neutral right now. Still I tend to put a little more faith into human ingenuity and our ability to solve a dilemma, without creating more problems of course. I feel the time is right for some newer and better technology to surface, at least that's what I'm banking on.
    My understanding is CCS is more of a "mitigation" than a solution. It is too expensive to be feasible unless the commercial playing field is tilted by government (dis)incentives, such as a carbon tax. Companies such as Shell are certainly involved in a number of CCS projects:
    Shell and CCS - Shell Global
    and no doubt other fossil fuel producers are too. But, as with so many of these things, companies are not charities and will not do something uneconomic, so they are waiting for a tax or regulatory regime to make it a competitive thing to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    My understanding is CCS is more of a "mitigation" than a solution. It is too expensive to be feasible unless the commercial playing field is tilted by government (dis)incentives, such as a carbon tax. Companies such as Shell are certainly involved in a number of CCS projects:
    Shell and CCS - Shell Global
    and no doubt other fossil fuel producers are too. But, as with so many of these things, companies are not charities and will not do something uneconomic, so they are waiting for a tax or regulatory regime to make it a competitive thing to do.
    I don't think it is unreasonable to think that investment in carbon capture by big companies would come without the thought of making a profit. Honestly I hope they can come up with something amazingly good and make oodles of money at it, we all benefit in the end. My philosophy for investing has a lot to to do with current trends. Fossil fuels have been great to me as an investor as well as internet and communication companies to name a few. Don't win all the time but I can hold my head above water.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    My understanding is CCS is more of a "mitigation" than a solution. It is too expensive to be feasible unless the commercial playing field is tilted by government (dis)incentives, such as a carbon tax. Companies such as Shell are certainly involved in a number of CCS projects:
    Shell and CCS - Shell Global
    and no doubt other fossil fuel producers are too. But, as with so many of these things, companies are not charities and will not do something uneconomic, so they are waiting for a tax or regulatory regime to make it a competitive thing to do.
    I don't think it is unreasonable to think that investment in carbon capture by big companies would come without the thought of making a profit. Honestly I hope they can come up with something amazingly good and make oodles of money at it, we all benefit in the end. My philosophy for investing has a lot to to do with current trends. Fossil fuels have been great to me as an investor as well as internet and communication companies to name a few. Don't win all the time but I can hold my head above water.
    Don't misunderstand me, I'm by no means saying it is a poor investment. My suspicion is that a carbon tax or something will come, and at that point your investment will come good. Companies such as Shell would not put the effort into it that they do, if they did not think this had a good chance of happening.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Don't misunderstand me, I'm by no means saying it is a poor investment. My suspicion is that a carbon tax or something will come, and at that point your investment will come good. Companies such as Shell would not put the effort into it that they do, if they did not think this had a good chance of happening.
    I understand, paying taxes is never attractive. I went for an independent company in the hope that they come up with something so attractive that big oil can't resist buying them out, perhaps giving the stock enough of a boost for me to cash in. Even when there's only talk about such a thing, it's enough to drive up stock prices. Keeping my fingers crossed. I see it as a potential win/win situation.
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by zinjanthropos View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Don't misunderstand me, I'm by no means saying it is a poor investment. My suspicion is that a carbon tax or something will come, and at that point your investment will come good. Companies such as Shell would not put the effort into it that they do, if they did not think this had a good chance of happening.
    I understand, paying taxes is never attractive. I went for an independent company in the hope that they come up with something so attractive that big oil can't resist buying them out, perhaps giving the stock enough of a boost for me to cash in. Even when there's only talk about such a thing, it's enough to drive up stock prices. Keeping my fingers crossed. I see it as a potential win/win situation.
    Paying taxes is fine for a commercial company, provided it hits its competitors equally hard or, better still, offers a chance of competitive advantage. If a carbon tax comes in, those companies that know how to do CCS can get an advantage.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by exchemist View Post
    Paying taxes is fine for a commercial company, provided it hits its competitors equally hard or, better still, offers a chance of competitive advantage. If a carbon tax comes in, those companies that know how to do CCS can get an advantage.
    The actual processes of CC didn't really affect my decision that much. I'm basically trying to hit one out of the park by gambling on one company who seems to be getting their things in order, i.e. patents. I've done the same with small pharmaceutical companies who draw attention from Big Pharma. If you hit it right there is financial reward. Usually stock prices are fairly low when these companies are first listed, it's the time to grab many shares for not a huge investment. Sometimes share prices jump large on initial listing but then sometimes you just have to wait. This CC company I've been watching for quite a while, they're stuck in neutral but appear to be getting their act together for a big payday, at least I hope. lol
    All that belongs to human understanding, in this deep ignorance and obscurity, is to be skeptical, or at least cautious; and not to admit of any hypothesis, whatsoever; much less, of any which is supported by no appearance of probability...Hume
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