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Carbon Dioxide From Emissions to Feed Norwegian Salmon


20111109-c5isg977wq83ua891qj48mufaiAfter numerous discussions, the scientific world has reached a consensus on at least one of the numerous issues related to climate change. This is the fact that carbon capture and storage facilities and techniques are the most reasonable and realistic solution to bringing down the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Now that (almost) all agreed on that, the next point for debate is what to do with all the carbon. There have been various solutions, but it seems there is one that stands out. That is the pumping of gas in caves and cavities deep underground, where there is a possibility that it will eventually initiate a chemical reaction with the surrounding rocks, and disappear, or solidify, naturally. Until that time, however, carbon dioxide will hopefully remain there, sealed off by tons of soil on top.

There might not be many other suggestions, but they are indeed some, and they do not look all that bad. One example comes from China and more precisely the GreenGen Project, an initiative between a number of Chinese energy companies, who jointly constructed a carbon capture and storage facility back in 2012.  Instead of injecting it underground, the owners of the facility sell their carbon to soft-drink companies, who use it to make the refreshing treats fizzy.

Now, a group of Norwegian seafood producers think that they can also make use of the “unneeded” carbon dioxide. They set their eyes on an industrial site in Mongstad, Norway, which has an oil refinery, a gas power plant and a test carbon capture and storage facility. The plan is to take the carbon dioxide, stream it through seawater and use it to grow algae. Naturally, as Norway is one of the biggest producers of farmed salmon in the world, the algae will then go straight to the fish’s dining table.

The ultimate aim is to produce fish oil, also known as the famous and super healthy omega-3 fatty acids. According to the specialists, there is no reason for this plan not to work. They estimated that a ton of carbon dioxide in water will produce a ton of algae biomass, which then will yield nearly 800 pounds of fish oil.

It all sounds like a win-win situation for everybody, but we cannot be sure of it until the project and tests have been completed in five years from now. I get the feeling that even if it is successful, it will meet quite an opposition, as the fish we eat would be fed with algae, grown from power plants emissions. But really, CO2 is CO2, it doesn’t matter where it comes from.

Image (c) Lukor

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