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Aug 7 / Dave Schumaker

Carbon Sequestration in Deep Sea Sediments

Coal stacks.Researchers from MIT and Harvard hypothesize that deep sea sediments can be used to store large amounts of man-made carbon dioxide. Charles Harvey, who is a co-author of the paper that will appear in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says that CO2 injected into the deep marine sediments is permanently sequestered.

High pressure and low temperature at ocean depths of 3,000 meters or greater provide ideal conditions to store the carbon, say the researchers. Here, the carbon dioxide is in a liquid form that is denser than the surrounding water and has no chance of escaping to the surface.

The researchers claim that the deep sea sediments located within the territorial waters of the United States would provide enough space to sequester the carbon for “thousands of years.”

Wired News had a good article from November, 2004 of carbon sequestration as well.

Related information: Carbon dioxide sink via Wikipedia.

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