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Green light for carbon burial

NewScientist.com news service – February 17, 2007

This article deals with the removal of carbon dioxide (CO2) by sequestering it underground. It is a fairly brief article without a lot of details on how this could be done, its costs, nor are the side effects adequately explored.

On 10 February, an amendment to international law came into force that allows the greenhouse gas to be buried beneath the sea floor. At the same time, a new study counters one of the main fears over carbon burial – that the gas will simply leak out again, to boost future global warming.

Ruben Juanes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues made a computer model of the movement of carbon dioxide injected into a layer of permeable rock saturated with salt water. The gas is less dense than brine and so starts to rise in a plume towards the rock surface, but the model shows that it will not continue moving. The brine clings to the insides of the rock pores, narrowing their diameter so that the plume of gas is pinched into small bubbles, which remain trapped within the pores

This is a permanent storage mechanism. Carbon dioxide will stay underground indefinitely

If the gas does leak out into the oceans, a team led by Toste Tanhua at the University of Kiel in Germany has found that it will remain dissolved in seawater for longer than previously thought.

You can read this article here and it reportedly is in the New Scientist magazine dated 2/17/07.

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