Use ship-mounted Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion to generate electricity--use to electrolyze seawater, pipe hydrogen to hydrogen fuel cells at fairly high elevations.

There is a big patch of very good ocean thermal energy potential around Indonesia, and another smaller not quite as strong patch in Caribbean. Exploit them to generate lots of energy, stuff waste heat down around 400 meters deep in ocean, and make sodium carbonate and/or bicarbonate to help neutralize ocean acidity. Process should pay for itself within ten years, if bought within current budget to avoid interest.

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  • commented 2015-06-02 12:38:43 -0700
    Bob Stuart—Make that synthetic hydrocarbons as substitutes for petroleum. Yes, I am glad you approve of burying the pipe to keep fishing long lines and trawling nets from getting tangled in the pipe. And combining CO2 with hydrogen from electrolysis of water to synthesize hydrocarbons would apply equally well to both taking advantage of undersea volcanoes and Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.
  • commented 2015-06-02 12:27:19 -0700
    Hydrocarbons are a great way to transport hydrogen at low pressure, and the atoms are endlessly recyclable. You could get your carbon from CO2, either shipped in or refined on site, and the hydrogen, of course, from H2O, neatly reversing combustion. The Hindenberg’s initial problem was her flammable paint, but engineers often lament that pure “Hydrogen is the energy of the future, and it always will be.” It is just bulky, leaky, and otherwise tricky to handle. Undersea cables and pipes are a mature technology, often buried for protection. I suspect that a pipe for petroleum will be the cheapest way to export power, but have not run the numbers. http://marshallhydrothermal.com/complete.htm
  • commented 2015-06-02 11:50:19 -0700
    Bob Stuart—if those hydrocarbons include sustainable substitutes for petroleum as liquid fuel for transportation, we could sure them for transportation. Hydrogen can be dangerous, remember the Hindenburg. I wonder how the cost of electric cable would compare with the cost of pipe to carry hydrogen. And how could commercial fishing boats (either long line with baited hooks or trawlers be kept from tangling with either electric cable or pipes carrying hydrogen.
  • commented 2015-06-02 11:35:23 -0700
    Hot water near the vents easily boils if brought to surface pressure. The closer you go, the more efficient your machinery gets. Right up close, mineralization becomes both a problem and an opportunity. An average vent puts out as much as ten nukes. The cable is the big expense, unless you can use the power there. It is so cheap you could build hydrocarbons instead of solving hydrogen’s problems.
  • commented 2015-06-02 11:07:35 -0700
    OK Bob Stuart, we should try parking over an undersea volcano too. OTEC and undersea volcanoes are not mutually exclusive.
  • commented 2015-05-31 01:35:41 -0700
    OTEC is an old, tested idea. The basic inefficiency requires huge apparatus, and disrupts ecology. For a huge, concentrated source, just park over an undersea volcano.
  • commented 2015-05-28 04:45:21 -0700
    @jason Disterhoft I got it from Jim Baird on The Energy Collective —as a comment on an article about Decarbonization and Divestment, he posted a link “The key thing about fossil fuels is that they are FUEL, which powers industry, transportation and supplies heat. We can get all of the above from another source that could ultimately sequester about 79 billion metric tons of CO2 a year rather than by making existing systems less efficient and more costly.” “another source” was lit up blue indicating it was a link.
  • commented 2015-05-27 16:14:58 -0700
    Hi Grace, that’s intriguing — are any organizations, governments or companies working on this already?
  • published this page in Build it 2015-05-26 13:34:47 -0700

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