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A Coal-Fired Power Plant In India Is Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Baking Soda ( 197

schwit1 quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: In the southern Indian city of Tuticorin, locals are unlikely to suffer from a poorly risen cake. That's because a coal-fired thermal power station in the area captures carbon dioxide and turns it into baking soda. Carbon capture schemes are nothing new. Typically, they use a solvent, such as amine, to catch carbon dioxide and prevent it from escaping into the atmosphere. From there, the CO2 can either be stored away or used. But the Guardian reports that a system installed in the Tuticorin plant uses a new proprietary solvent developed by the company Carbon Clean Solutions. The solvent is reportedly just slightly more efficient than those used conventionally, requiring a little less energy and smaller apparatus to run. The collected CO2 is used to create baking soda, and it claims that as much as 66,000 tons of the gas could be captured at the plant each year. Its operators say that the marginal gain in efficiency is just enough to make it feasible to run the plant without a subsidy. In fact, it's claimed to be the first example of an unsubsidized industrial plant capturing CO2 for use. schwit1 notes: "A 'climate change' project that doesn't involve taxpayer dollars? Is that even allowed?"

Comment Re:More to do with dismal futures and performance (Score 1) 263

Nuclear generation is pretty much constant - it gains no benefit from efficient storage - the plants don't store power anyway.

That is the problem with nuclear. Load is far from constant. Nuclear is reliant on peaking plants babysitting it, just like wind and solar does.

The main difference is that solar production actually correlates pretty well with load in large parts of the world, and that renewables are dropping drastically in price so you can afford to over-build and throw power away. This is unfortunately not true for nuclear.

Comment Re:Nuclear power (Score 1) 293

It doesn't work particularly well on Mars. No one has ever done proper nuclear in space.

The only nuclear energy in space has been RTG's. Feel free to build as many RTG's as you want on Earth. They are wonderfully safe devices (unless someone deliberately takes them apart). Just don't expect electricity from RTG's to be cheap or plentiful, because it won't be.

Comment Re:We're so screwed (Score 1) 293

And it strikes me that for scientists who think about and investigate this stuff every day, predicting 'bootstrapped' methane emissions as at least a potential problem should have been a no-brainer.

They probably had no data or solid modelling supporting it. Most scientists are wary about publishing alarmist articles, unless they are very sure.

This is also a reason why the sea level rise estimates were known to be way below what was likely to actually happen, for a long time. They are betternow that models have improved.

Comment Re:Reads Like An Ad (Score 1, Insightful) 431

Fusion bombs aren't really fusion bombs. They use fusion as a neutron generator, but the majority of the energy comes from fission, triggered by all those neutrons. Fusion as a neutron generator can be relatively easily done in a lab, for non-bomb purposes.

Truly energy-producing fusion is not available even in bombs.

Comment Re:So... electromagnetic fields actually do someth (Score 3, Insightful) 74

Have they everheard about what a frying pan does to food? A barbecue? Just plain boiling water?

The site is completely inane. You should feel ashamed forquoting it. Like this bit:

"Even when the microwave oven is working correctly, the microwave levels within the kitchen are likely to be significantly higher than those from any nearby cellular phone base-stations."

Yes. Duh. Radiation from phone base stations is incredibly low in the average home. A phone, with its specialized single-purpose detector, often has trouble catching the signal. So yes, even with the microwave oven working correctly, the microwave levels are above zero. Ooooh scaaary.

You thoroughly earned a good flaming.

Comment Re:Wow, all the way back to 1979... (Score 1) 313

OK, then let us put it another way.

Why would people vote in politicians who are likely to do things that are contrary to their own interests?

If, as you say, Australian politicians ended up enacting legislation that was unpopular enough to destroy their careers, why were the Australian people stupid enough to elect them in the first place? The American voters seem smarter then, in comparison. Although thegarbz seems to be refuting the example anyway.

Blaming politicians is just another excuse for not taking responsibility.

Comment Re:Wow, all the way back to 1979... (Score 0) 313

but this is because politicians failed to act 30yrs ago.
Seriously? Politicians should have acted 30 years ago? What exactly should they have done 30 years ago, that wouldn't automatically make them lose their next election?

You can blame the people, not the politicians for doing what the people want.

Comment Re: No (Score 2) 1066

Resources exist to be consumed. And consumed they will be, if not by
this generation then by some future. By what right does this forgotten
future seek to deny us our birthright? None I say! Let us take what is
ours, chew and eat our fill.

-- CEO Nwabudike Morgan,
"The Ethics of Greed"

Comment Re:And the hits keep on coming ... (Score 1) 1066

This is absolutely true, as long as both are equally enforceable. Alas, so far tax has a better track record there.

Cap-and-trade has somewhat worked for fishing permits, but it also turned what was a bunch of fairly independent fishermen into a few financial companies that happen to also catch fish. Whether this would have happened anyway is of course unknown, so it is not guaranteed that it was cap-and-trade that did it.

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