Using CO2 instead of pumping it underground

Bacteria can scrub CO2 from smokestacks

“From smokestack to gas tank:

Power plants emit carbon dioxide, algae make sugar and oil out of it. It’s time to put the two together. At the heart of the technology is a plastic cylinder full of algae, which literally sucks the carbon dioxide out of a power plant’s exhaust. The algae can in turn be converted into biofuel, creating creating a cycle that takes the carbon from the smokestack to the gas tank before it enters the atmosphere.

If successful the technology could capture all of a power plant’s CO2. “Right now when you say CO2 people want to hide under the table.

Carbon Dioxide is not something you want to pump underground, it’s something you want to reuse,” says Isaac Berzin of GreenFuel Technolo­gies. To produce from CO2, the flue gases are fed into a series of transparent “bio-reactors”, which are 2 metres high and filled with green microalgae suspended in nutrient-rich water”.

After further processing “the algal oil produced can then be converted into biodiesel” and then “can be processed into ethanol”.

(Algae also like to munch on the organic matter in human waste producing a carbon-rich oil”).

(P. McKenna, “From smokestack to gas tank”, New Scientist. Vol 192 No 2572 7 October 2006, pp28/29)