Floating Solar Farms

Millions of marine floating islands, each as large as a football field and powered by sunlight, could harvest carbon dioxide and produce enough fuel to power the world’s planes, ships, trains and lorries. These solar methanol farms, proposed by scientists from Switzerland and Norway, could even eliminate all global fossil fuel emissions.

Solar panels covering the 100m-diameter islands would provide energy for combining carbon dioxide and hydrogen into methanol – a compound that can either be used directly as a fuel or serve as a feedstock for petrochemical products. A chemical plant housed in a moored ship would provide the ingredients for this reaction: hydrogen from water splitting and carbon dioxide harvested from seawater. The area underneath the islands could even be used for fish farming.

A cluster of 70 islands could produce 1.75 tonnes of methanol per hour, the team calculates. To compensate for emissions from the long-haul transport, 170,000 such clusters would be needed. They could be placed along shorelines near the equator, in particular Indonesia, northern Australia and Brazil – areas that have lots of sunlight, small waves and few hurricanes. If 1.5% of the world’s oceans was used for solar methanol farms, they could offset global fossil fuel emissions altogether.

This vision, however, is not without its challenges. Electrolysing seawater creates unwanted chlorine, so the researchers suggest desalinating the water before use. Carbon dioxide can be harvested from seawater – its concentration here is 125 times higher than in air – but it requires heating or acidification. Electrodialysis, which effectively acidifies one part of a solution, could be a practical extraction method. Moreover, to be economically viable, each island cluster can’t cost more than $90 million (£70 million). At that rate it would be projected to cost $990,000,000,000,000 (nearly 1 quadrillion dollars).

The most challenging part, however, might be the catalytic methanol production. Current copper–zinc–aluminium catalysts require high pressures and temperatures. But if temperatures get too high, hydrogen and carbon dioxide can react to form unwanted carbon monoxide. Microstructured reactors and more selective nickel–gallium catalysts might alleviate these problems, but they still need to be tried and tested.

A lot of questions remain, such as whether these technologies could be combined in the way the scientists suggest, and what the best practical design for these facilities might be.

References

B D Patterson et al, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 2019, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1902335116

Visit original article here: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/11-million-floating-solar-farms-could-eliminate-carbon-emissions-from-transport-/3010580.article

Coral Fragmentation Method

Dr. David Vaughan of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida has found a way to make coral grow 40 times faster than coral currently does in the wild.

The Good News Network describes his accidental breakthrough:

“He had been trying to remove a coral from the bottom of a tank when it broke into a dozen pieces. To his shock, all of the pieces regrew to the same size in just three short weeks, as opposed to the three years it had taken to grow the original coral.”

It typically takes coral 25 to 75 years to reach sexual maturity. Instead, through a process of ‘breaking up’ the coral, Doctor Vaughan has seen the timeline shrink to three years and seen results that will lead him to share the information with conservationists all around the world, with the hopes of planting 100,000 pieces of coral around the Florida Reef Tract by 2019 and millions more around the world in the years to come.

At worst, the method led by Vaughan is something that will buy conservationists more time. At best: this is the beginning of a solution. A former intern of Vaughn’s commented on Reddit, adding a very useful note to indicate that Vaughan “has been essentially adjusting the coral frag[ments] to more acidic and warm water to better prepare them for our changing climate.” This appears to be what makes the process Vaughan describes unique, as the process of fragmenting coral to encourage growth has been around since at least the 1960s. “This is now a new discovery that can give real hope for our coral reefs that has never been there before,” Vaughan said to BBC One. “We tried [this process] with all the other species of corals in the Florida Keys and it works for them all.”

Visit the original article here: https://bigthink.com/surprising-science/fast-growing-coral-discovery-could-revitalize-oceans

Carbon Capture by RMIT University

The cost-effective method could revolutionize how we remove carbon from the atmosphere, particularly in regard to climate change.

A team of scientists used liquid metal and a liquid electrolyte to convert gaseous CO2 into a solid, coal-like substance.

Compared to current methods, the new approach could prove to be a more efficient and scalable way to remove carbon from the atmosphere and safely store it.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the global community must remove 100 billion to 1 trillion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by mid-century in order to avoid catastrophic global warming.

Scientists have created a method to convert carbon dioxide back into solid coal, a breakthrough that could change the ways carbon is removed from the atmosphere and permanently stored.

It’s one of several recently developed negative emissions techniques that seek to make carbon capture and storage cheaper, safer and more efficient. This particular method was developed by a research team led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, and it uses a liquid metal electrocatalyst, containing nanoparticles of the rare-earth metal cerium, to convert the greenhouse gas into a stable, coal-like solid.

“While we can’t literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock,” study co-author Dr. Torben Daeneke told The Independent. “To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable.”

Original article on BigThink here!

Climate Crisis is a Health Crisis

The Climate Crisis is a Health Crisis (Graphic from The Climate Reality Project)

The world’s leading scientists agree we must slash emissions by 2030 and keep global warming below 1.5 degrees C to avert a truly dangerous future. Carbon pollution poisons our air, water, and soil, threatening our health.

When we protect our planet, we protect ourselves. The Climate Reality Project is calling on the world’s leaders to ACT NOW.

Visit their website @ Climaterealityproject.org

Pure Ocean Fund

Pure Ocean Fund, based out of Marseille, France is a foundation that finances innovative applied research projects to help better understand and protect fragile marine ecosystems.

***The Pure Ocean Fund’s 1st mission is to support these innovative projects concerning the conservation of marine biodiversity through an annual call for projects.

***The 2nd mission of the Pure Ocean Fund is to promote exchanges between seafood industry players, scientific experts, researchers and defenders of the oceans via the annual Pure Ocean Summit and other conferences.

***The 3rd mission of the Pure Ocean Fund is the organization of public sporting events – Pure Ocean Races-to draw attention to threatened marine ecosystems.

If you are interested in getting into communication with them visit @pureoceanfun (https://www.pure-ocean.org/en/) or reach out to Pure Ocean Fund’s communication contact @lerner.stephanie on IG.

New Tesla Solar Roof

Tesla’s solar roof is gradually rolling out to more homes. A new set of photos shared this week show a new installation at twilight, complete with cutouts for chimneys and other features. The design looks impressive, and it’s one of the few sightings seen on social media since the first installations appeared early last year.

The roof was shared by a now-deleted Twitter account, which was subsequently posted to Reddit by a user called “Potatochak,” where it received over 3,000 upvotes on the Tesla subreddit. The depicted tiles appear to be the textured variety, but the company also offers a smooth style depending on cosmetic appearance. Tesla recommends a normal house uses a mix of 35 percent solar tiles at $42 per square foot to 65 percent “dummy” tiles at $11 per square foot, resulting in an average price of $21.85 per square foot, but it’s unclear how many times are operational in these images.

(For the FULL ARTICLE visit: https://www.inverse.com/article/52224-tesla-solar-roof-images-of-a-new-installation-show-its-incredible-design)

Three Squares Inc

It was great meeting @threesquaresinc at 24 Hours of Reality 2018 at Los Angeles Historic Park earlier this month. 

As it so happens, film productions have a nasty reputation for wasting and improper disposal of materials. Enter Three Sqaures Inc.! 

Each day of production they held a meeting (as seen above) where they debriefed the production crew on how to properly dispose of their waste on set. 

We also had set up 4 options for dumpsters: compost, landfill, recycling and construction/demolition (as seen in photos). At one point when I found catering dumping excess food waste (non-meat) into the landfill I asked them to use the compost bags and use the compost dumpster. They replied that they green compost bags tended to tear open while they carried them so they used garbage bags instead. I offered the idea that they could use a milk crate to transport the compost bags and thankfully they listened and the new plan worked minimizing any spillage.

It was great to have the support of Three Squares Inc to help make our set as green as humanly possible! 

Imagine if every production set were able to properly sort their waste–it would surely reduce the environmental impact of the modern entertainment industry.

Visit Three Squares Inc at: http://www.threesquaresinc.com/

Energ.io’s Solar Farms for the Blockchain

Energ.io (@greenerg.io) of Sofia, Bulgaria has crowdfunded a Solar Farm which produces six hours of green energy per day. They produce 100% green energy and use that power to support the #blockchain
Check out their bio to help support their cause!

The Climate Reporter

The Climate Reporter is an international youth-led news organization building a platform to become the leading news outlet for the environmental movement. #ReportOnClimate Give them a follow and get up-to-speed on environmental issues:
https://medium.com/the-climate-reporter
@reportonclimate 📰📰📰📰📰

24 Hours of Reality 2018

🌍🌎🌏 Join #24HoursofReality till 9pm EST today December 4th for the live broadcast online at https://www.24hoursofreality.org and become a citizen producer at climatereality.org! 🌍🌎🌏