CO2 To Coal, The Climate Change Cure – Yes, Yes, But How Much Does It Cost?

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An interesting finding here but one that doesn’t in fact solve our problems. Not unless and until we know the answer to that question above.

It is indeed interesting to be able to take atmospheric CO2 and turn it back into coal. OK, carbon at least.

Researchers have used liquid metals to turn carbon dioxide back into solid coal, in a world-first breakthrough that could transform our approach to carbon capture and storage.

Great, so now we’ve solved climate change, right? Stick this on the side of a coal fired plant and we can have carbon capture, thus cheap ‘leccie and also no boiling of Flipper. Great, we’re done then. Except:

The research team led by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, have developed a new technique that can efficiently convert CO2 from a gas into solid particles of carbon.

It’s the meaning of that word “efficiently” that matters. If it costs less than $80 per tonne CO2 then we’re good to go as that’s the social cost of carbon. If it costs $1 a tonne CO2 then we’re golden. If $500 per tonne then we’ve an interesting technique of no use to anyone at all.

So, which is it? And wouldn’t you know that’s the one thing about the process the news release doesn’t tell us?