The Complexities of Carbon Capture and Storage (Day 238)

CO2One of the things I love most about chemical engineering is the fact that it encourages us to consider all the possibilities.

Some of the best work being done in carbon capture and storage (CCS) is helping us to question whether the assumptions we make are correct.

Research from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge suggests that natural geochemical reactions can delay or even prevent the spreading of carbon dioxide (CO2) in subsurface aquifers.

This implies the carbon storage in the underground reservoirs of the Earth may be more complex than originally thought.

Continue reading The Complexities of Carbon Capture and Storage (Day 238)

Processing pollution into profit (Day 205)

Expensive carThose of you who read my blog regularly will know that I have spent my career focusing on carbon capture and storage and I am always on the lookout for new ways to deal with climate change.

For a new method of carbon capture to be a success it has to be sustainable and economically viable, but if it can make a profit, it is even better!

When I came across this story of a company, Liquid Light, made up of chemical engineers, chemists, environmental engineers, physicists and mechanical engineers using carbon dioxide to make plastic bottles, face cream and wood glue, it made me think that this could be a real solution to our problem.

Continue reading Processing pollution into profit (Day 205)

The carbon dioxide sniffing satellite (Day 57)

Space travel may not be the natural territory of chemical engineers, but earlier this month NASA launched a satellite which will be of great interest to many in the energy sector and those interested in climate change.

On 2 July 2014, NASA launched the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2) satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Its mission is to study the sources and sinks of carbon dioxide globally and provide scientists with a better idea of how carbon is contributing to climate change.

The Orbiting Carbon Observatory - NASA JPL - Caltech
The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) (Image courtesy of NASA/JPL – Caltech)

Continue reading The carbon dioxide sniffing satellite (Day 57)