(Photo : Reuters)
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have developed a technique that, basically, exchanges bad carbon dioxide with an eco-friendly solution.
The new approach, detailed in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, removes and stores atmospheric carbon dioxide while creating carbon-negative hydrogen and producing alkalinity, which can be utilized to counterbalance acidification in ocean waters.
According to lead author Greg Rau, a senior scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the research team was able to demonstrate the carbon dioxide replacement technique in a laboratory setting, but needs to do much more testing before the approach is deemed ready for real-world use.
Rau said the process could eventually offer a relatively efficient, high-capacity way to consume and store excess atmospheric carbon dioxide as environmentally-helpful seawater bicarbonate. He added the process could also generate a carbon-negative "super green" fuel.
Rau said the novel technique --- which does not require CO2 to be concentrated from air and kept in a molecular form --- is not as expensive as previous methods devised to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration explain that since the beginning of the industrial revolution, the release of carbon dioxide created through from manmade activities has raised the amount of the gas in the atmosphere.
The ocean has absorbed approximately 25 percent of the carbon dioxide released by humans release into the atmosphere yearly --- meaning that as levels of the gas have increased in the atmosphere, the amount of carbon dioxide has also risen in the oceans.
The progressively-higher levels of water acidification have been shown to hurt many species of marine life.
But, scientists suspect if the alkaline solution produced by the new process is released into the ocean, it will help neutralize the added acid and at least partially counterbalance the negative effects atmospheric carbon has on sea life.