Thar's Gold in Them Thar Greenhouse Gases

Donal Fagan
by Donal Fagan
thars gold in them thar greenhouse gases

Lil' Abner once featured a car that ran on smog. Unfortunately it needed fossil fuel cars to provide enough smog for fuel. The New York Times reports F. Jeffrey Martin and William L. Kubic Jr. are proposing Green Freedom, a scheme, err, concept, to remove carbon dioxide from the air and turn it back into methanol, gasoline or jet fuel. "Everything in the concept has been built, is operating or has a close cousin that is operating," claims Dr. Martin. But (there's always a but) the process requires a great deal of energy. Producing 750,000 gallons of smog-based gasoline a day would require a a $5 billion conversion plant. Oh, and a dedicated nuclear power plant. The process would only be profitable when refined gasoline hits $4.60 a gallon (been to Europe lately?). Venture capitalists will be lining up for this one.

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  • Guyincognito Guyincognito on Feb 20, 2008

    Finally! Now we can suck all of that toxic C02 from the environment and save the world!

  • NICKNICK NICKNICK on Feb 20, 2008

    yeah, cause we totally don't want any CO2 out there. i've been wondering how i could suffocate all those trees.

  • on Feb 20, 2008

    As P.T. Barnum reportedly said, there's one born every minute.

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Feb 20, 2008

    "profitable when refined gasoline hits $4.60 a gallon (been to Europe lately?)" Ah, but Europe gasoline prices are mostly just taxes. Use the rule (here for the USA) that $1/barrel oil increase means 2.5 cents gallon of gasoline increase. If we are currently about $3 nationally then we would need $1.60 increase, which means $1.60 / 0.025 = $64 barrel increase. That would put oil at about $160/barrel. Of course the whole thing is silly. If you are going to build a new nuclear plant, you could instead tear down a coal-burning electricity plant. That would have way more effect on carbon dioxide. Still, nice to see people are working at many different angles with respect to the dual threats of global warming and fossil fuel depletion.