The Virgin Earth Challenge

Richard Branson is (again) in the news, see e.g. this article:

A prize of USD 25 million (EUR19.2 million) is on offer to any individual or group able to come up with a commercially viable system for the removal of greenhouses gases.

Launched on 9 February by Sir Richard Branson, Head of UK Virgin Group, the Virgin Earth Challenge will initially run for five years. It will aim to encourage scientists from around the world to compete to find a solution to remove at least 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year from the Earth’s atmosphere.

Entries should ‘demonstrate a commercially viable design which will result in the net removal of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases each year for at least 10 years without countervailing harmful effects. This removal must have long term effects and contribute materially to the stability of the Earth’s climate,’ reads a press release from the Virgin Group

Hmm, let’s see if I can come up with something…

How about building humongous platforms (like oil rigs) in the ocean that suck up large quantities of air and compress it to huge pressures, such that the air liquifies and its components, among which carbon dioxide, can be distilled out – then add pressurized ocean water to the liquified CO2 such that solid carbon dioxide hydrates are formed which can be stored or dumped to the ocean floor.
The problem is you’ll probably need a small nuclear plant on the platform to power all the machinery needed for this, at least if you want to do it in a net CO2 negative way…

One Response to “The Virgin Earth Challenge“

  1. ghostrider Says:

    I’ve got a novel idea!!

    how about planting a few trees???


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