TED Conversations

Darren Dawson

Imagineer, let us dare

This conversation is closed.

Aeromining - Re-branding the Carbon Capture & Storage Industry and then some! =) Would it make you join the War on Carbon?

The premise is a simple one. The Global CCS is in turmoil. There's no economic model that makes it sustainable, the long term implications of geological storage cannot be answered definitively and after billions in investment, the planet is littered with the stillborn remains of failed projects that never got off the ground.

The cost/benefit ratio has been calculated, the conclusion? Humanity isn't worth the cost to save it from annihilation.

Is there a better way? Can we take the failing CCS industry and transform it, can we go to War with Carbon Dioxide & Win?

I believe there is a way to do exactly that. The way is Aeromining.

It's a term I coined and it succinctly defines my proposed solution. Mine the Earth's atmosphere for CO2, Kill it (reduce to Carbon and Oxygen) and use the Carbon to produce...well anything.

One example? Solar panels (thermal + photovoltaic) to power the very process that will capture and reduce the atmospheric CO2 levels to an acceptable level.

I believe that by transforming the CCS industry from a linear path of geological storage to a circular economy based on storage of carbon in products (graphite) as well a geological storage (think bio-char) then Aeromining has the opportunity to make saving the planet, doing Good, a viable option in fighting man-made climate change.

I am looking for help and discussion on the subject. I need to know if anyone else is willing to do what needs to be done and further more, if it's even something that should be done.

So what do you say? Want to be an Aerominer too? Does the CCS industry have an image problem? Is there a case for not attempting this admittedly crazy idea?

I look fowards to your insights.

Darren Dawson,
Founder of Let us Dare

Share:
  • thumb
    Jan 28 2013: we have two problems now,
    1, we need cheap energy source
    2, we need cheap energy storage
    fossil is an excellent solution to both, but killing the climate.

    the problem with your idea is that it only solves the second, with by switching to atmospheric carbon as the origin of the proven methane/lpg/gasoline ways.

    however, replacing energy source to solar is not viable, since it is 5-10 times more expensive than simply digging up the carbon from the ground. 4th generation nuclear would be better, but still more expensive than fossils, unless regulations are radically simplified.
    • thumb
      Jan 28 2013: In response I'd say this, by reducing CO2 levels and creating product that has a commercial value such as solar panels you begin to 'close the loop' and create a cirular economy that as it grows increases the CO2 reduction and gernerates more energy, reducing demand for fosil fuels.

      I'm aiming for atmospheric CO2, but that doesn't discount the far heavier emssions of power station steel mills, cement works etc. Indeed you could plumb straight into them as a high quality/quantity source of CO2.

      Carbon can be, infact is, used in the construction of wind turbines. When I have thought about this issue, I can readily see massive opportunites to supplant the current high energy industry required to produce graphite etc via heavy mining and create a plethora of renewable energy devices.

      It's always going to be a challenge to take on fossil fuels as the perception is that renewable energy cots more. Well initially it is, afterall, fossil fuels have had a lot more investment and time to bed in. It's effective and that makes it attractive as fuel source. Solar/Wind/Wave combined with cheap energy storage are viable contenders.

      In terms of energy storage,compressed air is a good candidate. I havea few ideas to adapt some very recent advances in this area.

      My approach is holistic, it's not one way but many. I know that what I'm proposing in Aeromining sounds odd but it will give us reduced CO2 and the building blocks for renewable technology. I see it as a Win/Win situation.

      Maybe I'm just too invested in the idea but i'd rather try and do some Good.
  • thumb

    Gail . 50+

    • +1
    Jan 28 2013: ON THE SURFACE, I like your idea, but you have already addressed the problem with it while laying out your question. You said, "The cost/benefit ratio has been calculated, the conclusion? Humanity isn't worth the cost to save it from annihilation. "

    The problem is not carbon emissions. That's just a symptom. This is so important to understand, I will say it again and ask that you realize what this means. Excessive carbon emissions are a SYMPTOM.

    Symptoms aren't any less real because they are symptoms. But you don't cure the illness by treating the symptom. You can sometimes make a symptom go away, but because of the underlying illness, another will take its place.

    The problem is with a global fiscal model that values money more than people. Think about THAT too. The global fiscal model was invented to create a class system. There were the wealthy, who were to be protected because of "divine right". Then there were the 2 underclasses who were disposable. "Natural Law" would limit their numbers because they would die of poverty related causes - because of "divine intent". The lower classes were called "the RACE of laborers". (Caps mine) They included the poor (one class) and the merchants and guild members - a second underclass that was recognized as a threat to be watched & carefully controlled.

    From this, we now have laws that put the wealth in the hands of protected "legal" entities (corps, trusts, etc) rather than humans. Banks, rather than a people's government, "invents" wealth into existence, which is how the value of your $$$ decreases each day. Corps use that invented money to rape the earth for profit, part of which is used to bribe political representatives to protect them.

    Through this, humans have lost their value. A machine is more cost effective. People are only commodities and consumers.

    But when there aren't enough consumers,people aren't even commodities any more, and the whole thing falls apart - as it is doing now.
    • thumb
      Jan 28 2013: My premise is to create a circular economy. Reduce CO2, use the carbon to build solar panels, wind/wave turbines, tyres, ink, plastics etc. Lock in the carbon in products that have a use and value to society.

      By supplanting the current wasteful industry with one that actively acts to reduce CO2 as part of doing business.

      Markets dictate, I believe the way to change the world is to play the same game, by the same rules but for a different outcome.

      For example, if we dislike how energy companies operate, don't campaign, build a business to challenge them. It's doable and will bring about far more change than railing against the 'man'.

      Take Greenpeace. An organization of Tens of Thousands, if not Hundreds of Thousands that can count amonst their ranks Scientists, Engineers, Business Leaders. A massive community of unlimited potential, united in a common view. Iadmire what they do, but...

      Have they come together and designed a better car? A better plane? A better boat, light bulb? Oil Rig? Power station?

      No.

      They protest but do not make. That's the issue. With no challengers, the Status Quo (industry) will never change at the pace that is required.

      We need action, we need it now and we need to do it in a way that doesn't impact our daily lives adversely. It has to be commercial, seemless, it has to be based not on rampant consumerism but on conservation.

      We need a circular economy to supplant the linear one of today.

      The CCS Industry is currently linear, I intend to make it circular.

      I have an ultimate dream where we would capture carbon, build renewable energy and storage devices, rent your roofspace, give you free energy and a share of the profits of the excess power sold. We could invert national grids, increasing robustness.

      We could litterally build new markets, jobs and do Good while doing Business.

      I am under no illusions of the scope and scale of this undertaking but I know in my bones that only through competition can markets by transformed.