Reluctant to reduce their energy consumption, the US is seeking technical means to limit greenhouse gas resulting greenhouse without significant extra cost, for example by capturing the gas at source. The country, which has reserves of fossil fuels for about a century, prefers to eat "clean" rather than less. Goldwater Laboratory of the State University of Arizona, and Michael Andrew Chizmeshya McKelvy studying a method to neutralize the carbon dioxide (CO2) by combining, high temperature, two minerals available in large quantities (olivine and serpentine) in an aqueous solution of sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride. The reaction product of magnesium carbonate, a stable compound which can be easily stored. For the moment, the minerals should be pretreated to prevent the formation of a kind of surface crust that considerably slows down the reaction. But these precautions increase the cost of the device, estimated at about 70 dollars per ton, while the goal is to 10 dollars. The two researchers, who work with a dozen scientists at four other laboratories have thus developed a micro reactor (for which they have filed a patent application) to observe the mineral carbonation process at the atomic level and see how to break the offending crust as and when it is formed. This work could also open the way for the development of a reprocessing industry of asbestos fibers. Overall, the Department of Energy devotes a few 80 million per year to finance research projects 65 capture and storage CO2, plus 18 million from the Department of Agriculture - two positions increase in the latest budget of the Bush Administration.
source: www.netl.doe.gov (.pdf)