Change Atmospheric CO2 From an Inexpensive Gas into a Valuable Solid

This section describes CO2 capture technology and is slightly longer than any of our other pages. Taking the time to fully read it is worth your while because your knowing how to remove excessive atmospheric CO2 is our first line of defense against Global Warming. It is the “inconvenient truth” that keeps getting in the way and affecting corporate profits and energy prices. It always comes down to needing to make money and keeping energy prices as low as possible versus cleaning up what we have done to our atmosphere. Which will you end up believing is more important? Do you seriously believe that after 100 years of burning an ocean of underground oil, coal and natural gas and pumping a 100 year total of over1 trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere that the CO2 level increases that we are currently experiencing are naturally cyclical? How much environmental damage needs to take place before you stop just having an opinion and actually begin to take any kind of community action to demand leadership that supports large scale change in clean energy production? We are offering you a way to make a change at the local level now. Read on!

It requires approximately 1.8 tons of CO2 valued at $7/ton to produce 1 ton of dried alga that can have a value in excess of $10,000/ton. The current amount of CO2 in the normal air you breath is 385 parts CO2 per million parts of air. Most algae reach their maximum growth potential at CO2 levels of 40,000 to 60,000 parts of CO2 per million parts of air. Our ability to scrub huge quantities of CO2 from the surrounding air allows us to achieve these required levels of CO2 concentrations without having to depend on receiving the waste gases from a manufacturing or processing plant that burns fossil fuels.

Our goal is to use the least amount of energy possible to capture the greatest amount of atmospheric CO2 in the shortest amount of time. There are numerous methods available to do this. Ideally, the most efficient method would be to use forms of spontaneous chemical reactions that require no input of external energy.

The most efficient known CO2 capture and transfer method in nature is chemically based and is found in every animal’s blood and tissues. It is an enzyme called Carbonic Anhydrase. One molecule of CA can capture and transfer 400,000+ molecules of CO2 in one second. The only problem is that as of yet science has been unable to synthesize this enzyme. Labs are able to filter it from animal blood and tissues, but it currently sells for $1 per milligram. That’s $1,000 per gram or 1 million dollars for 2.2 lbs. Obviously, at this cost it is too expensive to seriously consider as an option. But, this sets the bar of capability that nature has shown us is reachable. We at ATP Energies will continue researching for, and will seriously consider utilizing on a mass scale, any far less expensive synthetically produced working models of Carbonic Anhydrase that can be manufactured. If you know someone who has achieved this and is willing to share the information please contact us. We are also interested in any new methods of isolating CA that are much more cost effective. There are similar methods of organic synthesis that have already been successful in achieving the inexpensive manufacture huge quantities of insulin. This is why we are confident that a similar method will be found for Carbonic Anydrase.

In the meantime, 2 of the most cost effective, large scale, manmade, atmospheric CO2 separation methods currently available are electrodialysis and pressure differential membrane technologies.

Electrodialysis depends on a very small trickle of electricity to separate gases through a membrane. “Faradaic Losses” will determine the absolute minimum amount of energy required to begin the process of the separation of gases in any given model. At an average of 10 cents per kilowatt hour, today’s best electrodialysis models would consume 378 kilowatt hours of electricity to separate 1 ton of CO2 from ambient air. This equates to $37.80 per ton of CO2 separated. The determination of 10 cents per kilowatt hour is taken from the average consumer cost for electricity when purchased from the local grid. ATP Energies will only use electricity it produces on site, primarily from our dye solar panels which, with cell manufacturing costs of $1 per watt of capability and an effective working life of 20 years per cell, will produce carbon free electricity produced at our cost of 5 cents per kilowatt hour. This would drop the cost of this separation method in half to $18.50 per ton of CO2 separated with zero waste carbon generated in the process.

(For the formula used to perform the above calculation click this link and look to lower right corner of the document)

For pressure differential methods, we intend to have membranes manufactured that are capable of separating 0.1+ cubic meters of atmospheric CO2 per square meter of membrane per hour using negative 1 atmosphere pressure between the two sides of the membrane. Using ¼ inch separation and stacking them 4 feet high it is possible to stack more than 350,000 of these square meter sheets in a ½ acre area. This number of sheets will be able to separate 556 cubic meters of CO2 from ambient air in one minute which is equal to one ton of CO2 per minute. To constantly maintain a negative 1 atmosphere pressure against this number of sheets would require a vacuum pump or a series of vacuum pumps that could handle moving 19,000 cubic feet of CO2 per minute. Currently available vacuum pumps that can handle moving that volume of gas while maintaining a negative 1 atmosphere of pressure use approximately 7 kilowatt hours of electrical power per minute to do so.

7 Kwhr times 0.1 dollars per Kwhr consumed equals 70 cents per ton of CO2 separated. Determining the individual cost and effective lifespan for each square meter of membrane would complete the determination of the overall effectiveness of this method.

To show a comparison of different examples of effective types of CO2 separating membranes click on this link:

ATP Energies would like to focus on designing and constructing larger scale skid mounted prototype field models of both of these methods to determine if either would be a viable candidate to perform cost effective full scale production.

As we proceed, should more efficient methods of CO2 separation be offered to us by the public or be discovered by us, we would be excited to retool our functioning prototypes to incorporate it.

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It is at this point in our discussion with all of the banks and venture capitalists when they say “Why go to all of that effort and expense when you can get all the cheap CO2 you want from power plants, cement plants, ethanol plants ect. This is where I would remind them that all of those businesses take oil, coal or natural gas from under the ground and burn it to produce CO2 that is pumped into the atmosphere. Unless we turn all of their CO2 into Biochar and till it into the soil, then all of it will be turned into products that when burned or discarded will end up in the atmosphere anyway. Bulk Biochar is inexpensive. We could not survive on donations and selling Biochar alone. Cooperating with those businesses may assist us in providing a source of local energy but it is unsustainable, it will continue to add to the rising CO2 content of the atmosphere and it rewards and assists the very businesses that caused the atmospheric CO2 problem in the first place. We refuse to agree to methods that only fulfill half of our intended mission which has always been: “Provide food, fuel and energy to cities while returning and maintaining the atmospheric CO2 content to the level it was prior to the industrial revolution”

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