I want to be very careful and not insult you but this is not very good for many reasons. It’s misleading and I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you are not intentionally decieving readers but you are certainly not helping anything. You don’t understand very much about chemistry either. I’ll outline below.

Carbon capture and sequestration are important and separate issues. It’s relatively easy to capture carbon dioxide, about 80% of what we burn ends up dissolved in the ocean which it converts to a weak acid that’s strong enough to kill coral and fish eggs. Capture isn’t the problem though you go on and on like it is.

Sequestering CO2 is much harder and like many people before you, you quit the race before even getting to that important part. CO2 is a gas at normal temperatures and pressures. If you compress it it becomes a liquid and eventually a solid which we call dry ice. Left alone CO2 always reverts to a gas and joins the atmosphere. There are about 7 trillion tons of CO2 in the environment and we are adding it at a rate of about 40 gigatons per year.

Removing carbon and keeping it out of the atmosphere is best done by green plants which use the sun’s energy to convert it to carbohydrates in a general formula of H2O + CO2 = CH2O + O2. The O2 goes back into the air and makes life possible. CH2O polymerizes into carbohydrates and plants and animals can convert these “carbs” to fats and proteins.

There is significant energy stored in the chemical bonds of all molecules for instance H-H has 74 Kcals/mole, C-H has 109 Kcal/mole, C-C has 154 Kcal/mole. Those energies are available in exothermic processes, i.e. they release energy which is why they are good fuels or parts of foods. Importantly if you want to make rather than break those bonds, you need to add that much energy to the reactants. Also, the Second Law of Thermodynamics demands that to make those bonds you need to use more energy than that to drive the process.

That’s why plants and solar energy are so important for capture and sequestration. They can do it for free and they do it better than any human conceived process.

Another thing you get wrong is future oil exploration. We have not discovered any new oil reserves on the planet since 2003. The world’s been fully explored and we have a 50 year supply or 1.688 trillion barrels of oil left in the ground (US DOE). We’ve been using more than we can find since the mid-1980s. The greatest year for new oil discoveries was 1964. We’ve been burning our reserves ever since.

The oil industry might be spending trillions to try to discover new oil but it’s a fool’s errand. Look at primary consumers and you’ll see that they are abandoning oil. ALL of the car companies are working to bring electric cars to market. The major electricity producers are working to close not only coal plants but also any fossil fuel burning plants. They are doing this not because they care about the environment but because they want profits and they know that fossil fuels are about to get very expensive in the next few years. This will make electric driving a no-brainer.

I’d like to congratulate you on two things. First caring about this subject enough to put hard work into writing about it. Second, bringing attention to the subject.

I have written many articles here :

This one is about the energy accounting involved in chemistry such as when we try to make synthetic fuels.

Here’s the first in a 3 part series called, “Petroleum’s End Game”

There are others too and for a more comprehensive look, I wrote a book about all this which I am not allowed to plug but which can be found in my bio.

Good luck.

Researcher, author of multiple books including “The Age of Sustainability” about solutions for climate change. Technology, business, economics.

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