Scientists find an easier way to trap carbon dioxide in rock: If they can scale it up, this process could someday help curb climate change by Carolyn Gramling
Carolyn Gramling is a renowned writer on the various scientific matters. She majorly writes about the various environmental matters that affect the globe. Currently, she works towards writing articles targeted at informing students on the current scientific issues around the world. In this article, she reports on the scientific innovation that seeks to trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in order to reduce climate change and the related pollution.
Gramling’s article, Scientists find an easier way to trap carbon dioxide in rock (2018), puts forth one of the ways of slowing down the rate of climate change. The article argues that trapping of carbon dioxide is a major method the scientists need to employ in order to reduce global atmospheric pollution. In this article, Gramling notes that scientists have come up with different methods of trapping the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; however, all the methods have been costly, difficult, requiring much energy in order to be successful. Canadian researchers have developed a new method that could be used to trap higher amount of carbon dioxide that other proposed methods. According to Ian Power, a geoscientist at Trent University in Peterborough, Canada, limestone and other minerals on the earth’s surface already stores high amounts of carbon dioxide. The natural absorption of the carbon dioxide by the minerals would be the best option; however, the process is slow and may take many years. The ever-increasing rate of greenhouse gas emission has gone behold earth’s ability to hold.
Power and his team found out that magnesium carbonate or magnesite is a mineral with the ability to hold higher amount of carbon dioxide than other natural means. A metric ton of this mineral has the capacity to hold up to half a ton of carbon dioxide. According to the article, the magnesite can take years to form; however, Power and his team has managed to produce the same within a few months in their laboratory. In their lab, Power and his team mixed the positively charged magnesium ions and the negatively charged carbonate ions, forming a substance that can hold high amount of carbon dioxide. The magnesite acts like a sponge that absorbs carbon dioxide. The article concludes by admitting the fact that scientists have achieved little when it comes to the proficiency of manufacturing magnesite. More innovation could help in mass manufacture of the product in order to realize its effectiveness.
Gramling’s article shows an important remedy to the deteriorating condition of environmental pollution. The article does well to inform the reader on the innovation; however, it fails to highlight some of the important aspects of the carbon dioxide emission. It is true that greenhouse gas emission is on the rise, and it will continue on the same trend. As long as the world population continues to increase, the demand for fossil fuels also increases. The article notes that the earth no longer has more space for the increasing amount of the increasing pollution. Of course, scientists have been working every day in an attempt to come up with some of the ways to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Since carbon dioxide is the highest amount of the gases in the atmosphere, environmental scientists have dedicated their time in coming up with technologies to trap the gas, and maybe recycle it.
The article fails to show the amount by percentage that carbon dioxide occupies in the atmosphere. Since the article is written for the students, it would have been better to start with the general concern on the dangers of having high amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Gramling does well by indicating that trapping of this gas would help in slowing down climate change. This is a serious concern that sets the tone of the article to the reader. The article goes ahead to suggest that certain technologies are in place; however, they are expensive. The natural methods like the use of limestone are also in use, but are slow and can take several years before absorbing substantial amount of carbon dioxide. The above is informative information but fails to pinpoint some of the technologies that are in place. The carbon dioxide separation and direct capture technologies are in stages and have been installed in certain areas. It would have been better if the writer mentioned such, before presenting the innovation.
The new technology of capturing the carbon dioxide is innovative, going by the fact that systems in place are expensive and less efficient. The article gives the formula for the manufacturing of the magnesite, the mineral also called magnesium carbonate. However, it has to be done in a lab. This begs the question of the ability to manufacture a high number that would be able to absorb high amount of carbon dioxide. The scientists reported that it took them months to come up with the substance for the experiment. The article admits of the need for more innovation in order to find a better and faster way for manufacturing the magnesium carbonate, a sign of sincerity.
The author has a whole subtopic within the article to explain the scientific method of manufacturing the carbon dioxide ‘sponge’ quickly than the normal rate. This section acts as a scientific proof of the workability of the system. The article fails to show how the trapped carbon dioxide within the ‘sponge’ can be extracted and reused. Generally, the article is very informative and helps the reader in understanding some of the ways of capturing the carbon dioxide.
How does the topic of the article affect the Earth as a whole?
The topic of the article is important because it stands to address a fundamental aspect of environmental pollution on the earth. As noted above, the increase in population has necessitated the need for more energy, mostly found in fossil fuels. The global concern towards greenhouse gas emission is a serious topic that requires attention. Adopting green or clean technologies is one of the ways for prevention; however, the need for capturing carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere is important. The advantage is in the fact that the captured gas can be recycled to produce other forms of energy. Therefore, this article comes up with an alternative that will help scientists improve on the existing systems. Mass manufacturing of the magnesium carbonate would mean more capturing of the gas from the atmosphere.
How does this article relate to my life?
The article relate to my life because an increased greenhouse emission leads to global warming. Global warming affects the natural environmental setup and seasons. In the end, the natural ecosystems imbalance sets in, affecting every person. Agricultural systems and weather patterns change due to global warming. This leads to less food and use of more money to produce or purchase items, increasing the cost of living.
Gramling, C. (2018, September 20). Scientists find an easier way to trap carbon dioxide in rock.
Retrieved on October 28, 2018 from https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/scientists-find-easier-way-trap-carbon-dioxide-rock