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Burying Waste Crops Into Deep Ocean Could Reduce Atmosphere CO2 by 15%

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bury-co2-oceanLow tech solutions are sometimes the best thing one can do to save the planet. For instance, a new carbon sequestration method arises through a newly published paper. The research says that this method can cut CO2 emissions by 15% per year. How is this done? Simply enough a 5th grader could understand.

Plants absorb CO2 and release oxygen. The absorbed CO2 goes straight into the plant’s body, where it forms more complex organic material. The study suggests taking the crop waste after the harvest and dump it into the ocean, thus sinking the CO2.

The deep ocean water does not mix with waters and currents closer to the surface, phenomena that could secure the crop waste at high depths. The study also suggests that if the waste is dumped near “alluvial fans” (places off the edge of the continental shelf where rivers meet the ocean), then the waste would be buried by silt from those rivers. Cold water would prevent the waste’s devay.

If 30% of the world’s waste crop is sunk annually into the ocean, it could remove about 600 megatons of carbon, counting to about 15% of the CO2 in the atmosphere. This process’ efficiency is of about 92%, compared with another carbon sequestration methods.

Ok, we could do this, but what would be the impact on marine life after that? What could be the types of organisms that would consume those crops, and would they do any good or bad to them? Anyway, it’s just an idea, good in case everything goes wrong and we have nothing else to do anymore.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. The world is a great place, but it is falling apart and we all are responsable for this. Be responsable now and try to make it better.
    Biochar, one of the newest option can contribuate to atmospheric CO2 reduction. Find out more:
    http://www.biochar-books.com
    The Biochar Revolution is exactly what it says !

  2. I second the first comment.

    The flaw in the whole concept is the idea of a “waste crop”.

    There are no more “waste crops”.

    If we can use the stover from growing corn crops to make cellulosic ethanol, those corn stalks aren’t a waste.

    If we can capture CO2 from coal power plants by growing oil-making algae, then the algae cake left over after squeezing for oil can again be used by making biochar.

    So it’s not a “waste” either.

    Using the “waste” to make biochar, and selling it as fertilizer, is a much better way to capture the carbon, and fix it in a usable form.

    As well as a great way to improve poor soils and fertilize crops.

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