Compensation of atmospheric CO2 buildup through engineered chemical shrinkage

S. Elliott, K. S. Lackner, H. J. Ziock, M. K. Dubey, H. P. Hanson, S. Barr, N. A. Ciszkowski, D. R. Blake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Retrieval of background carbon dioxide into regional chemical extractors would counter anthropogenic inputs in a manner friendly to established industries. We demonstrate via atmospheric transport/scaling calculations that for idealized flat removal units, global coverage could be less than two hundred thousand square kilometers. The disrupted area drops to a small fraction of this with engineering into the vertical to bypass laminarity. Fence structures and artificial roughness elements can both be conceived. Sink thermodynamics are analyzed by taking calcium hydroxide as a sample reactant. Energy costs could be minimized at near the endothermicity of binding reversal. In the calcium case the value is 25 kcal mole-1, as against a fuel carbon content of 150 in the same units. Aqueous kinetics are less than favorable for the hydroxide, but misting could counteract slow liquid phase transfer. Properties of superior scrubbers are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1235-1238
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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