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Japan to fight Global Warming by burying CO2 emissions underground

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posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 01:18 PM
Just found this very interesting article which states that Japan will attempt to start a plan in which they hope to contain carbon dioxide emissions underground instead of allowing it to be released and dispersed in the atmosphere. The plan is to start storing carbon dioxide by 2010 in underground facilities. A few other countries already employ this method. I think it's great that Japan is taking the initiative since they are one of the main culprits, it's comforting at least to see the issue of global warming being taken seriously with plans of actions. Hopefully it is the right action.

My only issue with this plan is that Japan is in a very seismic active area and a large quake may have disasterous effects on an underground facility like that.

Japan has ambitious plan to fight global warming
The Associated Press
Japan hopes to slash greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming with a plan to pump carbon dioxide into underground storage reservoirs instead of releasing it into the atmosphere, an official said Monday.
The proposal aims to bury 200 million tons of carbon dioxide a year by 2020, cutting the country's emissions by one-sixth, said Masahiro Nishio, an official at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Introduced last month, the plan is still under study.

Underground storage of carbon dioxide underlines the new urgency felt by industrialized countries trying to rein in the effects of global warming. But capturing carbon dioxide from factory emissions and pressurizing it into liquid form, scientists can inject it into underground aquifers, gas fields or gaps between rock strata, safely keeping it out of the air.

Scientists have been studying the process for years, and an experimental project began in Canada in 2005. In the Canadian project - a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Canadian government and private industry - carbon dioxide was piped from the Great Plains Synfuels plant in Beulah, N.D., where it is a byproduct of coal gasification, to the Weyburn oil field in Saskatchewan, Canada.

I am also wondering if any studies have done regarding the prolonged storage of gases and liquid gases underground and it's relation to earthquake activity. Could these storage facilities cause unwanted strain or stress on other "natural" gas buildups?

[edit on 6-26-2006 by worldwatcher]

posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 03:11 PM
since the above article peaked my interest in this prospect of burying co2, I decided to look up on the subject a bit, found some stuff to share..

From 2004:U.S. Eyes Burying CO2 to Battle Climate Change
In a Wyoming oil field, researchers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy are experimenting with injecting carbon dioxide underground to keep it from entering the atmosphere, where it contributes to global warming. But it's unclear if the greenhouse gas will stay below ground. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.


2005 Australia:Burying CO2 emissions would aid climateBurying carbon dioxide produced by Australia's power stations would cut the long-term costs of reducing greenhouse emissions, a new report suggests.

The study also found Australia is in a prime position to take advantage of the technology because of its high reliance on fossil fuels and an abundance of storage sites.

2005:Burying CO2 may curb global warming, but cost high
OSLO, Sept 26 (Reuters) - Burying heat-trapping gases emitted by power plants and factories could play a big role in fighting global warming but would be a costly fix needing strong government backing, a U.N. report said on Monday.

The survey by 100 experts said greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide can be filtered from chimneys of plants burning fossil fuels then piped and stored in disused mines or oilfields. The gases might also be dissolved in the oceans.

The hitch was the cost.

Electricity prices could typically rise by 25-80 percent if power plant operators, the most promising users, adopted the technology, according to the report by the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

After perusing the above and several similar articles, it would seem that while cost may be a major inhibitor of this plan, there are still uncertainties regarding the how and where these storage facilities would be built and located. Bits and pieces of information leads me to believe that seismic activity will come under close scrutinization when it comes to selecting the right location.. but since this technology is relatively new and only implemented in a few places, there remains to be a "large unknown factor" in whether this will alter the course of global warming and whether it is a safe or better option to handle the problem.

posted on Jun, 26 2006 @ 03:15 PM
It almost feels like sweeping the dirt under the carpet doesn't it?

Better than doing nothing I guess, but we really need to be using cleaner fuel and planting more trees.


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