Carbon Dioxide Industry Hotspots for May 2015


Release time:

2015-06-01

Hot 1:Carbon dioxide could become a giant underground "battery"   Hot 2:Global carbon dioxide levels broke extremes in March Hot 3:Carbon dioxide levels rising over Earth, Japanese researchers say

Hot 1: Carbon dioxide could be turned into a giant underground "battery"

If the carbon dioxide from the waste into a giant "battery", not only can make carbon storage returns, but also to solve the problem of unsustainable supply of renewable energy. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States have devised such a storage method, which can store additional power produced by renewable and conventional energy sources, but also "lock up" carbon dioxide, the main culprit in global warming.

Carbon capture and storage technology has been slow to develop, in part because it costs energy suppliers more with little immediate return. If stored carbon dioxide can be used to "load" excess energy, the economic benefits could drive the technology forward, says Tom Bushwick of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

According to the "New Scientist" magazine website reported on the 20th, Bushichek research team in the recently held European Geosciences Union General Assembly, the excess energy can be stored in two forms: pressure and heat. Excess electricity is used to drive pumps that inject supercritical carbon dioxide - a mixture of liquid and gas - into underground brine within sedimentary rock at depths of 5 kilometers to 10 kilometers. The underground brine is connected to another set of pipes, and the pumped carbon dioxide can then replace some of the brine and be drawn to the surface.

The excess energy can also be used to heat the brine to flow deeper into the rock, thus storing the heat efficiently. When hot brine comes into contact with carbon dioxide, it causes the carbon dioxide to expand and increase in pressure. By allowing the carbon dioxide to depressurize, the heat can be recaptured and used to power a supercritical carbon dioxide turbine, which is 50 percent more efficient than a steam turbine. The team's modeling suggests that this system could recapture up to 96 percent of the stored heat.

The new approach could help solve a big problem for renewable energy: the intermittent supply of electricity. The giant underground "battery" technology is cutting edge, but storage is very expensive and not very efficient - about a quarter of the energy is wasted in the process.

But to Peter Cook of the University of Melbourne, the proposal brings together a large number of existing methods in a new way, meaning that the technology has already matured a great deal. "There's no doubt we need to consider this hybrid technology." While it may help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, it is unlikely to be a major carbon sink, he said.

One site could only store 8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year for 30 years (equivalent to the emissions produced by a large coal power plant), and they were looking to work with power companies on pilot projects, Bushichek said.

Cook, as well as Jim Anderschultz of the University of Queensland, agreed that it remains to be seen whether the design can be scaled up. Given its complexity, Anderschultz says, costs are likely to be high while efficiency is increasingly low. Stuart Hazeldine of the University of Edinburgh also said that considerable knowledge of the geology would be needed to ensure that the sequestered carbon dioxide does not escape.

Hot 2: Global carbon dioxide levels broke the extreme in March

On May 7, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released an update saying that, according to monitoring by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the global monthly average carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere exceeded 400 ppm (parts per million) for the first time in March, setting a new record.

The monitoring results were supported by data from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network, a major component of the World Meteorological Organization's Global Atmosphere Watch network. The results show that the global monthly average concentration of carbon dioxide monitored by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stations, including those in the southern hemisphere, exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm), reaching 400.8 ppm.

Last April, all stations of the World Meteorological Organization's Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network in the northern hemisphere measured more than 400 ppm, a value that occurs in the early spring in the northern hemisphere when the Earth's plant growth has not yet been able to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide.

As the most important greenhouse gas emitted by human activity, carbon dioxide accounted for 85% of the increase in radiative forcing between 2002 and 2012. Carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans, in turn, contributes to the acidification of the oceans.

According to the World Meteorological Organization's Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, radiative forcing increased by 34 per cent between 1990 and 2013 due to long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.

In 2013, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere were 142% of pre-industrial (1750) levels, while methane and nitrous oxide concentrations were 253% and 121% of pre-industrial levels, respectively.

Hot 3:Japanese researchers say carbon dioxide concentration over Earth is rising

Japanese researchers recently reported that by analyzing data over a 20-year period, they found that carbon dioxide concentrations are rising over the Earth at a height of about 10 kilometers, a phenomenon that is particularly pronounced in the industrially active Northern Hemisphere.

When the scientific community is studying measures to prevent global warming, it mainly analyzes carbon dioxide concentrations near the earth's surface, and the actual situation has been unclear because it is difficult to make observations at high altitudes.

The Japan Meteorological Research Institute (JMRI) and the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES) developed a carbon dioxide concentration measurement device that can be mounted on large airliners and installed on international flights operated by Japan Airlines, and collected data on carbon dioxide concentrations at high altitudes from 1993 to 2013.

The analysis found that carbon dioxide concentrations tended to increase in both the northern and southern hemispheres near a height of about 10 kilometers, and in particular the growth rate after 2001 was about 10 per cent higher than in previous years, and that the growth rate was consistent with the change in emissions from the use of fossil fuels.

In addition, by extrapolating the CO2 concentration at high altitudes before the Industrial Revolution, the team found that the increase in the Southern Hemisphere used to be higher than that in the Northern Hemisphere, but the increase was reversed as the Northern Hemisphere became very active in industrial activities.

Hidekazu Matsue, a researcher at the Institute of Meteorology, noted, "This result shows that human activities have changed the structure of the Earth's atmosphere. If we can grasp the concentration and changes of carbon dioxide at high altitudes, it will help improve the accuracy of predicting global warming and formulating countermeasures." In 2013, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 142% of its pre-industrial (1750) level, while the concentrations of methane and nitrous oxide were 253% and 121% of their pre-industrial levels, respectively.