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Posts tagged “carbon dioxide”

By Robert Rapier on Oct 27, 2016 with 11 responses

Ethanol From Carbon Dioxide Is Still A Losing Proposition

If I told you that I had created a process to extract pure gold from seawater, you might deem it an amazing accomplishment. If I issued a press release stating these facts, it very well could go viral.

In fact, the oceans do contain an estimated 20 million tons of dissolved gold, worth close to a quadrillion dollars at the current spot market price. But you may have noticed that I have omitted a very important fact.

I haven’t mentioned how much it costs to produce a troy ounce of gold using the process I have designed. That seems like an important detail, so I explain that the production cost is only $50,000 or so per ounce (which today is worth about $1,265), but I am sure that with enough investment dollars — and maybe a few government subsidies — I can get that cost down to something more reasonable. (This is how we subsidize some advanced biofuels where production costs are an order of magnitude above what could be considered economical). CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 30, 2014 with 25 responses

Keystone XL’s Emissions Versus Coal-Fired Power

Another Courageous Punt

I hadn’t planned to write yet another Keystone XL pipeline article, but I have gotten a lot of questions since the recent announcement by the Obama administration that they are still unable to make a decision on the project. I agree with the Washington Post’s assessment of the situation, that this is now into absurd territory.

At this point I don’t think the project will be approved by this Administration, although it could be approved by the next. I think this is a simple political calculation by President Obama, that by foot-dragging and delaying he is keeping his environmentalist allies at bay, but without all of the political fallout around Democratic Keystone XL supporters should he simply reject the pipeline.

This is one reason I would make a terrible president. I can’t play games like this. You make a decision. It can go one of two ways. You can say “I am going to make a stand along with my environmentalist allies who voted me into office and reject a continued expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.” That would be a courageous stand, albeit one more steeped in symbolism than in measurable climate impact. More on that below. CONTINUE»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 10, 2011 with 57 responses

Why the Debate Over Global Warming is Academic

Steeling Myself For Inevitable Controversy I am currently in the middle of writing a chapter on global warming for my book. This actually marks the deepest I have ever delved into the science of global warming. My approach is to explain the science behind global warming; explain which parts of the science are definitely settled, but then also explain why some people have doubts. Of course this debate is so bitter on both sides that merely explaining why some people have doubts is bound to be characterized negatively by some who insist that there can be no doubts. But I can’t overly concern myself about that. I realize that my position is bound to be misrepresented by some. All I… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jul 3, 2011 with 115 responses

Book Review: Cracking the Carbon Code

Introduction In Cracking the Carbon Code, Terry Tamminen lays out his strategy for managing and reducing carbon emissions. He describes what California has done. He describes great strides that China has made. He describes his strategic meetings on the subject with President Obama prior to his election. He makes estimates on what the costs would be to regulate carbon dioxide (0.7 cents per kWH of electricity; 35 cents per gallon of transportation fuel). He talks about carbon markets that have sprung up around the world, and makes recommendations for how businesses can inventory and manage their emissions (e.g., he recommends that all businesses have a carbon manager to deal with each company’s carbon emissions). A Fundamental Disagreement But I read… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on May 31, 2010 with 64 responses

Examining Calera Corporation’s Claims

The following is a guest post by Dr. Jerry Unruh. Jerry is a Ph.D. chemist that I had the pleasure of working with for several years. (More on Jerry in A Conversation on Energy Issues). Below Jerry presents his concerns that Calera’s claimed process for carbon sequestration may be grossly exaggerated. Calera responded to Jerry’s initial letter to the editor of High Country News, but unfortunately they provided no calculations to refute what Jerry has presented. Jerry’s analysis was quantitative, but Calera’s response was qualitative. Calera Corporation’s presumed Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Process by Dr. Jerry Unruh, May 31, 2010 Calera Corporation has made several high profile statements recently about their process to capture carbon dioxide (CO2), particularly from… Continue»