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Dissolving green house gasses in oceans


vasantnavnit
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Hypothetically speaking, (meaning, please don't lecture about practical constraints :P)

What if, instead of releasing green house gases directly into the atmosphere we can pump them to the ocean floor and release them there?

 

Will the green house gases dissolve completely as they rise through the water, or will they eventually reach the atmosphere, making the whole process useless?

 

What are the implications of such a process? Can dissolving these gasses in the oceans instead of releasing them into the atmosphere reduce the damage to environment, ecology and the amount of heat gain? Or will it only produce far worse results?

What if the process can be carried out with only certain gasses like CO2 and not other gasses like SO2, which will form strong acids? Will the process by viable and produce RELATIVELY positive results then?

Edited by vasantnavnit
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What are the implications of such a process? Can dissolving these gasses in the oceans instead of releasing them into the atmosphere reduce the damage to environment, ecology and the amount of heat gain? Or will it only produce far worse results?

 

 

Good questions, have you any good answers?

 

Some thoughts.

 

Where would you obtain the power for these superpumps?

 

How would you separate the unwanted gases from the 99% rest of the atmosphere, or would you pump that as well?

 

The worst two greenhouse gases are methane and water vapour, what would you do about these?

 

The ocean can (and already does) actually take a large quantity of carbon dioxide without change of pH due to the so called bicarbonate buffer.

Moreover since carbon dioxide is denser than air it, gravity naturally pulls it down when the stuff already in intimate contact with the free water surface dissolves.

How would you pull down the lighter offending gases that remain in the higher atmosphere?

 

If acidification does occur (as seems to be the case in some places) then it will destroy the very organisms that naturally remove the carbon dioxide and lock it safely away in limestone. So upsetting a working natural balance could have serious unwanted side effects.

Dissolving other gases could render the water toxic to a much wider variety of species.

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Its just a thought..
I figure it will be impractical to isolate effluents from the atmosphere and then pump them underwater (The pumping may be impractical by itself but lets ignore for that now)
But what if this process can be carried out at source? What if industries, refineries and power stations can directly send the effluents to the ocean floor? (Industries contribute most to air pollution after all)

 

Dissolving these gases in water may cause acidification, but how much? i.e what is the safe limit to how much pollutants can be taken care of this way without affecting the conditions of water too much? I understand calculating that accurately is a mammoth task. But lets give it a shot..

 

1. Lets say we can capture ALL industrial gaseous effluents and disperse them at 450 different sites on the ocean floor. (450 is the number of offshore oil rigs as of today. So I figured if we can build x number of oil rigs, we can build x number of these 'underwater exhaust pipes'.. You can take this number into account for calculations, if you think its necessary)

2. Lets say these dispersion sites are not situated directly at ocean pockets with rich life, but fairly away from them. So there is less damage to aquatic life due to concentrated effluents.

 

3. Taking into account the volume of water and the volume of effluents, what do you think will be the impact of such a process, roughly?Considerable impact? Moderate Impact? Little Impact? Or negligible impact?

Or is the problem still too complicated to arrive at such a result?

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This is your thread so how about you doing some work?

 

 

 

 

 

But what if this process can be carried out at source? What if industries, refineries and power stations can directly send the effluents to the ocean floor? (Industries contribute most to air pollution after all)

 

2. Lets say these dispersion sites are not situated directly at ocean pockets with rich life, but fairly away from them. So there is less damage to aquatic life due to concentrated effluents.

 

 

Can you offer any parts of the ocean that is both near to industry and distant from 'rich life' ?

 

For centuries we have been shitting waste away down long pipes into the ocean floor and forgetting it.

The worst results of such folly culminated in several Polio outbreaks and severe mercury poisoning of fish in the Pacific.

 

We actually pump water into offshore oilfields as the oil and gas is extracted.

This has the effect of filling empty pores allowing more complete extraction and helping prevent collapse of the ocean floor strata.

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It's already happening in nature. In fact, when one considers the huge surface area of basalt in our oceans (2/3 of the planet) and the rate of naturally occurring carbon sequestration, any efforts by mankind to replicate or accelerate the process may seem futile.

 

From wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basalt

 

"Compared to other rocks found on Earth's surface, basalts weather relatively fast. The typically iron-rich minerals oxidise rapidly in water and air, staining the rock a brown to red colour due to iron oxide (rust). Chemical weathering also releases readily water-soluble cations such as calcium, sodium and magnesium, which give basaltic areas a strong buffer capacity against acidification. Calcium released by basalts binds up CO2 from the atmosphere forming CaCO3 acting thus as a CO2 trap. To this it must be added that the eruption of basalt itself is often associated with the release of large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere from volcanic gases.

 

Carbon sequestration in basalt has been studied as a means of removing carbon dioxide, produced by human industrialization, from the atmosphere. Underwater basalt deposits, scattered in seas around the globe, have the added benefit of the water serving as a barrier to the re-release of CO2 into the atmosphere."

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