Could Injecting Carbon Into the Earth Save Our Planet?

Could Injecting Carbon Into the Earth Save Our Planet?

Iceland: the land of majestic waterfalls,
black sands, sparkling glaciers, and… maybe one of the world’s wildest solutions for
solving climate change? Nestled beside the majestic hills of southwestern
Iceland, are a series of huge pods capable of taking CO2 that’s been snatched from the
air and injecting it into underground stones, where the gas can be stored safely for millenia. And yes, this might sound like the stuff of
science fiction, but it’s all real, and it’s actually happening. Just so we’re clear, our planet is heating
up, and fast. CO2 levels now exceed 415 parts per million,
higher than they’ve ever been in the past 800,000 years. And while there’s dispute over what number
constitutes a dangerous threshold, there is consensus that those levels must drop to avoid
imminent catastrophic warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
or IPCC, estimates that by the end of the century we must pull at least 100 gigatons
of CO2 and as much as 1,000 gigatons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Which, to put that into perspective, is the
equivalent of 20 years worth of global greenhouse gas emissions. So now you’re probably thinking the same
thing that I’m thinking: HOW are we going to accomplish that?! Well, in addition to the rapid adoption of
renewable energy and wide-scale reforestation, the IPCC maintains that carbon dioxide removal
technologies will be critical to tackling climate change. And that’s where direct air capture, or
DAC technology, comes into play. This idea of pulling CO2 directly from the
air has actually been around for well over a decade, but it’s only been in the past
few years that this tech has really come into its own. DAC works by redirecting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and placing it somewhere more benign. Like inside rocks. At least, that’s what Climeworks has been
doing at its plant in Iceland since operations began in late 2017. The machine consists of a single collector that’s able capture CO2 straight from the air using
reusable filters. As air is drawn into the plant, the CO2 molecules within
it chemically bind to filter materials. The filter is then heated up to about 100°C,
causing the CO2 molecules to unstick from the filter and collect as concentrated gas. This gas is then mixed with water and injected
underground, where it reacts with basalt to become stone in under two years. Meanwhile, the CO2-free air is sent back from
whence it came, and the cycle repeats. While removing 2,500 metric tons of CO2 from
the atmosphere and safely storing it beneath the Earth is one use, Climeworks is also demonstrating
captured carbon’s ability to transform into methane that can be used to power cars, like at
its plant in Italy. And over in Switzerland, a waste incineration site supplies power to their their DAC plant, which funnels captured carbon into nearby greenhouses to ripen vegetables. By demonstrating captured carbon’s many
uses, Climeworks has managed to become the first-ever DAC company to go commercial. The company also excitedly claims that its
technology is a negative emissions solution, meaning that more carbon is being moved from
the biosphere to the geosphere than the other way around. But there’s some question over whether
or not this technology can truly be effective. Right off the bat, it’s clear that it must
be massively scaled up if it’s ever going to make a dent in the 1,000 gigatons of CO2 that we have to scrub from the air. While the Climeworks plant in Switzerland
is capable of capturing 900 metric tons of CO2 annually, the biggest concern is the fairly
substantial energy expenditures needed to extract all that CO2 from the air in the first
place. According to company estimates, the scaled up process
will use about 2,000 KWh of heat and 650 KWh of electricity per metric ton of CO2. By sequestering carbon onsite and using renewable
energy from nearby geothermal plants, the Iceland operation intends to lessen its carbon-footprint…but all of this still makes you wonder how we define ‘negative emissions.’ Climeworks has set a goal to eliminate about
400 million metric tons of CO2—or about 1% of global emissions—by 2025, banking
on carbon’s increasing value as a trading commodity that can help potential buyers,
like energy companies and countries, meet climate targets. But it’s still just a 1% reduction, so it’s
clear that while technologies, like Climeworks’ solutions, are really cool, they can’t tackle climate change alone. And the race to find more solutions is still
very much on. Do you think that this carbon-capture technology can really make a dent in removing atmospheric carbon? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe for more Seeker. As always, thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Could Injecting Carbon Into the Earth Save Our Planet?

  • Hi, thanks for watching! Want more Elements? Check out this video about a new technology that could take solar energy to the next level:

  • Come on im still waiting for your answer dont go all shy.

    1 let some birds die
    2 let the whole world die

    Be brave and say it. I promise i wont say i told you so. Just be a man and answer.

  • So…if they are considering converting to methane to power cars, why then can they not just convert to methane to power the plants to capture the carbon? If the emissions are net zero, then this would seem to be a viable alternative.

  • Earth : sounds like hassle, why don't impose it as a must have in every automobile, industry, aerospace travel. Pretty much everything that produce carbon

  • 1,700 private jets flew into Davos Switzerland to discuss climate change at a conference recently. Someone should ask Democrat candidates if they see the irony in that?

  • Big mistake in the video, the methane is for the grid, not cars. Using the existing natural gas infrastructure for storage instead of energy generation. Please do take care to not make the same stupid mistake in the future. And Seeker didn't mention Climeworks synthetic carbon-neutral fuel plans and being able, as a person (human being, not corporation), to buy carbon credits in their shop.

  • Burn out all trees & forests.. Then sell this technology for highest possible price.. Make buying it obligatory for all third world countries by making it a pre condition for borrowing under structural adjustment programme..

    Profit Profit Profit…😎😎😎

  • Some control freak (A)bet some other control freak (B) one dollar that he could tax us for breathing. (A) won (exhaling not inhaling).
    For double or nothing; A bet B he could bankrupt the free countries of the world and use cow farts for to do it. No one collected as of yet.
    This video sounds like another Stupid side bet. I'm guessing cow diapers will get you the payout. Think people!

  • We're at a point of emissions that no matter how awesome any solution is, it will not be enough by itself.
    Our best shot is that different fields, such as biology, chemistry, biotechnology, sustainability, bioengeenering and others keep on working, sharing their works and contributing between them.

  • Yeah let's build millions of these capturing devices using planet resources and producing CO2 instead of simply planting trees. To me it seems like someone has invented a business, again.

  • this seems like a very impractical solution to me, considering the amount of fuel and resources needed to build and operate the plant compared to the amount it captures, and also after a little while the area nearby might get a little cleaner, but then there will still be a lot of pollution just a little further away. At least you could make these mobile plants so they could go to different locations with high pollution.

  • Carbon in the form of CO2 gas in the atmosphere is not pollution. Without CO2 in our atmosphere there would be no life on the planet.

    If Climeworks were to actually become effective at reducing CO2 in the air, it would eventually extinguish all life on the planet. Below 150 parts per million of CO2 in the air and all plants die. Shortly after that in climate time scales and all animals and humans would die. Fortunately we are safe though because Climeworks can't make a millionth of a percent difference in the CO2 level in the atmosphere. After all, CO2 presently is only .04 of 1 percent of the atmosphere. Even at this small level, the modest increase we have seen in the past couple of decades has resulted in a global greening effect on plant life as seen in the satellite imaging.

  • If we dont get wamer we will get colder we already pump carbon into our planet cars, factorys, ect thats why we haven't been in another ice age yet we are warm blooded animals

  • Reforestation and wise land management are the solution. We should not inject CO2 into the deep beyond what we emit and cause carbon depletion to the biosphere. In the long term, renewable energy and keeping a sufficient biosphere is the right thing.

  • They scared us with global cooling, vanishing ozone layer, global warming and now they scare us with climat change.
    LOL. It is all bullshit and according to my science knowledge glacial era (ice age) is next, not global warming.

  • Itd be so much more relevant if you just said the world could easily be powered by solar power, dams, wind mills, etc. That is the most logical solution

  • It's a scam who's going to pay to run the molecular sieves in perpetuity to remove 1 to 5% co2 … Plant hemp across the globe should work quite effectively given 20 or 30 years to grow ….. peace….

  • Carbon sequestration has been touted as the answer for years. Fortunately for us, trees need carbon dioxide to live & as the latest data from NASA has shown, grow with renewed vigour when they have enough of it. Hooray for trees!
    If you are REALLY concerned about the environment, let's ban all non-essential international travel & trade. Surely ships (cruise ships, container carriers & tankers) & planes (of all varieties) cause more damage to the planet than anything I can do as an individual but how many would be up for that?

  • This won't save us.
    Rather than journeying outwards with technology, we should learn to journey into ourselves.

    Relatively the most important thing may be to stop spreading carbon excessively in the first place.

    That means buying less, recycling changing your life to reduce carbon footprint….

    The biggest requirement is discipline and an open mind rather than fancy tech.

  • lol all this bs about climate change. Quit beating around the bush you fuckers… we all know how to resolve climate change, and that would be to kill off 99% of the worlds population then revert to primitive human ways of life. But no one reallllllllyyyy wants to do that because we don't reallllyyy care about the planet. The thing is, it probably will happen and it will be titled "WW3"

  • Better to plant trees than to cut them in the first place to avoid this dire situation.. Something to think about.. Fruitful thought

  • WHY??????!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why look to modern day mechanized technical solutions, when nature has given us at least part of the solution, already. What we, all, as human beings, NEED, NEED, NEED to do, is "PLANT MORE TREE'S"; but my idealistic solution involves alot of what many would call "controversy", at best. Then again "desperate times call for desperate measures", do they not? My "plan" is straight forward enough, however; it would just involve what is termed as "illegal", at our present state; but if we want to save our planet; while everyone in positions of power, is/are just "beating about the bush"; I can think of no better single action, with more of an upfront, immediate impact, than modifying; at it's source; what nature has given us from the start; "plant's"; my "plan" would be to modify the genetic code of seedlings, to require 10-20 times the current amount of CO2 for photosynthesis. Unfortunately, I have done much pondering over the matter, and found no solution, to the resulting problem, what it would naturally produce in the process; ten times, or so O2 molecules, and (in form of various sugars) energy, in the plant itself. Sure, we could capture a decent amount of the resulting oxygen, and put it to good use (it would sure make the job of manufacturing oxygen tanks easier) down here. But what about the added energy, within the plant itself, what would happen to that?

  • It costs way more energy to capture carbon than is generating by burning it in the first place.

    We can't base our civilization on deriving energy from fossil fuels and then spending more than we got from the fossil fuels to re-sequester the carbon. It's a logical fallacy.

  • Smart and pretty. It's a great idea and will create a new job market. Planting trees will help as well, as they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis

  • See,No need for hysteria. As a species we humans will overcome the so called climate crisis. Brilliant people are working very hard to help the world. I agree that we need more innovation but not at the expense of scaring the next generation into submission.

  • Using co2 to produce methane makes no sense, it will het back to the atmosphere. Maybe it is useful as a fuel, but not as a way to reduce greenhouse effect

  • Really smart of them to built it on less polluted area. Same as those Antarctica scientists eating and shitting resources in the name of science.

  • Yes listen to the pretty girl with LGBTQ colors behind her, who is young and vibrant and so cool…….sidenote: this is called brainwashing. Let me tell you what's really happening. Our sun goes through super hot phases, and then cool phases. We are in a hot phase, where our sun is heating up. Can we do anything about that? NO. Stop scaring people Into giving you their money, you leftist heifer

  • Hey! I'm currently studying a bachelor's, and I'm doing some research on DIRECT AIR CAPTURE, I wonder if you have some papers on this topic that could help me with this. Thanks! Btw, love the channel.

  • Sounds like the technology is only 1 to 2 percent efficient. We need to get that number substantially higher. We need that type of technology to be at least 70 to 80 percent efficient in order to make any significant impact.

  • 1% is still less but it's the effort that has come up so new gen has to just execute the ideas efficiently and not think of something as a whole from scratch

  • Yes we need to sequester CO2, but in a way that we can access it in the future if needed (we have plenty of existing oil well "holes" to put it in). And please don't discount collecting everyone's leaves, grass clippings, etc – 100 times more efficient than those filters 😉

  • In a world where money is the most important thing to people, dont bother thinking anyone is going to spend their precious $$$ to clean up the planet. We're doomed, the planet is doomed, enjoy the planet today before it's too late.

  • Take an element produced by Earth and inject back into earth? What an oxymoron. Are you listening to yourself? I got a bridge to sell you.

  • I love that idea to make co2 to ch4, can we than die because no co2 and to much o2 in the air that cause anything catch on fire easly LOL

  • What happens if you there is an earthquake? Is plate tectonics not a thing anymore? Will these pollutants concentrate in the air? Or will we just have a plethora of slow leaks we can scarcely identify let alone stop?.,..

  • calls everyone in my neighborhood; tells them the plan; we all walk outside; everyone turns on their cars; we all walk back inside

  • In my opinion, from research and analysis, I think carbon can be found anywhere and digging deep enough there is coal and fossilized residues that can be useful. There is carbon in everything, why inject more, unless, making diamonds or petroleum?

  • Plants LOVE Co2 we are a Co2 starved planet. This video is complete bullshit. Please help make more Co2 a 30% increase in Co2 creates a 50% yield increase in fruiting plants. Water vapor attributes to 89% of greenhouse effect. You can't stop the greenhouse effect unless you remove all the water from the earth. You don't need to scrub Co2 from the air. Plants do that. Storing Co2 like this is bad for the environment.

  • Now imagine a commercially viable a way of transofrming carbon extracted from the air into graphene and carbon nanotubes for large scale production and distribution. I'm pretty sure we could go carbon negative globally with something like that.

  • look! a youtube channel says it so its true! look how they want to convert co2 to methane that causes more co2! more expensive government waste programs like wind and solar that cause more pollution and ignore china completely

  • This seems to be a good idea, 1% doesn't sound like alot, but that's how large objectives get completed. Everyone needs to help. I also agree with other posters that say too plant trees. We also need less deforestation. I love the US, it's where I live. But in California and surrounding areas they are burning the woodlands, we allow it to happen because they say it's good for the environment..? Lol, <– Frustration. Those are redwoods, and some of the oldest forests we have in North America. That's our clean air they are burning. We shouldn't believe made up crap, we should be angry.

  • You are perfect for earthers, renewables, cities on the ocean, what about vetical faming ?

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