Old fashioned garbage heap removes more carbon from enviornment than $100 million chemical processer.
In New Haven, W.Va., the Mountaineer Power Plant is using a complicated chemical process to capture about 1.5 percent of the carbon dioxide it produces. The gas is cooled to a liquid at a pressure of about 95 atmospheres and pumped 2,375 meters down to a sandstone formation, where it is meant to remain indefinitely. The objective is to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being added to the atmosphere from the coal burning at the plant.
This certainly seems to be doing it the hard way. Extracting just this 1.5 percent of the CO2 from the plant's flue requires a $100 million investment, and whether the gas will remain underground or bubble to the surface is in question.
Fortunately, there is a way to capture and store excess carbon from the atmosphere that is cheap, efficient and environmentally friendly. It relies on two technologies that have been in use for more than 8,000 years: agriculture and the garbage heap.