Friday, December 9, 2011

Government Creates CO2 Monster

Have you heard of Lake Monoun or Lake Nyos in Cameroon? Respectively in 1984 and 1986 each lake exploded. Lake Monoun killed 37 people and Lake Nyos killed 1700 people. It was not the explosion that killed them but the cloud from the explosion that killed them. What was this cloud made of? Carbon dioxide (CO2).

In truth, CO2 was the cause of the explosion. Where did this CO2 come from? Man? No. It was magma fairly close to the surface of the bottom of the lakes. Magma liquefies rock and releases CO2. The CO2 rises through the ground and sits at the bottom of the lake. A large concentration of CO2 can be released by "an event" like an underwater rock slide. This is a massive explosion of CO2 into the air that stays down on the ground since it is heavier than the surrounding air. It spreads and disperses seeking low lands down into valleys where villages are located suffocating the people that live there.

So what could go wrong when the government decides to concentrate a large quantity of CO2 underground? The Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (MGSC) is pumping highly concentrated CO2 from the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Ethanol Production Facility in Decatur, Illinois into the Mt. Simon Sandstone. Over the next 3 years they plan to pump it with 1 million metric tons of CO2 at a depth of 7000 feet. The project should only cost about $84.3 million.

7000 feet sounds fairly safe, right? The natural disasters in Cameroon have the magma that caused the CO2 release into the lake at 3 to 6 miles, or  15,840 to 31,680 feet, below a lake.

Why are they doing this? Here's a quote from Chuck McConnell, Office of Fossil Energy’s Chief Operating Officer:
This injection test project by MGSC, as well as those undertaken by other FE regional partnerships, are helping confirm the great potential and viability of permanent geologic storage as an important option in climate change mitigation strategies.
Viability? I think Cameroon shows us the viability.

By the way, they are planning on doing this across the Midwest from Indiana to New Jersey.

1 comment:

  1. Just another example of "it can't happen here" thinking. Every time man messes with mother nature to make a buck there exists a possibility for disaster.