Zapping Seawater is the latest climate solution that floating labs at the University of California have come up with. This process uses the SeaChange technology to trap greenhouse gases and remove them from the air. The seawater is then returned to the ocean to absorb more greenhouse gases, slowing down global warming.
At the port of Los Angeles, a floating lab has been built. The purpose of this lab is to find out if the seawater can be cleansed of carbon dioxide and then be returned to the ocean to suck out more greenhouse gasses in a bid to slow down global warming. Oceans have been helping us by taking in carbon dioxide.
30% of carbon emissions since the Industrial Revolution and 90% of excess heat from such emissions have been taken in by them. The oceans act as a giant sink and are also called the lungs of the planet. If it weren’t for oceans humans would be experiencing even worse effects of early climate change.
Seawater can daily store 150 times more Carbon Dioxide per unit volume than air per se. However, this quality of theirs has been damaging to them as it has made oceans more acidic, while coral reefs have been destroyed and marine species have been harmed because of this phenomenon.
However, Zapping Seawater is the latest climate solution that floating labs at the University of California have come up with. The technology used here is called SeaChange.
It has been developed by the engineering faculty of the UCLA. The process that takes place here is that an electrical charge is sent through seawater flowing through tanks on the barge.
A series of chemical reactions take place that trap greenhouse gas into a solid mineral which includes Calcium Carbonate. This seawater is then sent back to the ocean for pulling out more carbon dioxide from the air.
This month there are plans to scale up this idea with a demonstration site in Singapore. Data from these two sites would then be used to design leather test plants.
The facilities are expected to be operational by 2025 and would be helping remove thousands of tons of carbon dioxide from the air. If these plants are successful then a commercial facility capable of removing millions of tons annually would be built.
In this regard, Director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Margaret Leinen said, “I’m not saying this won’t work, but the ultimate thing is how much CO2 will it actually draw down on a scale of decades?”
As per scientists, starting in 2050 at least 10 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide will be removed from the air and to make any meaningful change this would need to happen continuously over the next century.
The UCLA team assumes that 1,800 industrial-scale facilities would be required to capture 10 billion tons of atmospheric carbon dioxide each year.