Grinding green rocks into tiny dust could be very helpful on climate change
Let's talk about enhanced rock weatherization
When I’ve written about carbon dioxide removal in the past, I’ve focused on direct air capture — efforts to build, in effect, artificial trees that could suck CO2 out of the air and store it in the ground.
This kind of technology is promising in many ways, but the biggest issue with it is that it’s extremely energy intensive. The CO2 is in the atmosphere in the first place largely because burning fossil fuels is a useful way for humans to obtain energy. Getting the CO2 back out is feasible, but requires more energy than getting it there in the first place. That’s still potentially beneficial because of mismatches in what different energy sources are good for. Right now, we have a lot of pretty good ways of making zero-carbon electricity (hydro, nuclear, wind, solar) but very few good ideas for replacing the use of fossil fuels in the Haber-Bosch process for making ammonia, the foundation of modern fertilizer. So you could imagine a world in which zero-carbon electricity becomes so abu…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial