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Put the lime in the oceans and drink the carbon up

limestoneA project described as “an open source solution to climate change” aims to use lime to boost the oceans’ ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Cquestrate’s idea: heat limestone to a very high temperature, breaking it down into lime and carbon dioxide. Then dump the lime into the sea, where it will react with carbon dioxide dissolved in the water.

Yes, the initial process of making lime produces carbon dioxide. But the project’s advocates say that adding lime to ocean water ends up absorbing almost twice as much atmospheric carbon dioxide as the lime-making process itself generates.

According to Cquestrate, “lime-seeding” the seas would also reduce ocean acidification, an accelerating trend that threatens carbonate-based sea creatures and lessens the oceans’ ability to absorb carbon.

“If done on a large enough scale it would be possible to reduce carbon dioxide levels back to what they were before the Industrial Revolution,” Cquestrate’s Website asserts.

Cquestrate was founded by Tim Kruger, a management consultant at London firm Corven. Kruger has been working to develop the project over the past year with the help of George Manos, a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at University College London.

Kruger says the best solution to climate change lies in inviting others to participate in helping to turn the project from concept to reality. He says the open source approach creating a broad “anti-patent” space to prevent anyone from gaining patents that could restrict the development of the process.

Kruger described his proposal today at a climate change conference in Manchester.


  • Roger
    Posted July 7, 2009 at 8:00 am

    That sounds highly illogical to me. How can lime capture twice as much CO2 as it gives off when heated? There’s also the issue of the heating process. Sure it gives off CO2 but it also requires energy. Where does that energy come from? The power station of course, which runs by burning coal and generating CO2.

    This is a silly idea.

  • intrigued
    Posted July 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Ok here we go.
    By putting millions of tonnes of lime into the oceans to absorb CO2.
    Lets look at the “glass principle”…. take a glass of water fill it to the brim, now add a stone.
    What happens to the water… overflows.

    So now add millions of tonnes of what is esstially rock into the oceans and you raise sea levels….
    If you live in a flood plain is this something you want, ask Asia if they mind sea levels raising or the New Orleans residents still waitng to go home.

    The only geo-technology that will work for the oceans is one that does not involve dumping chemicals or rocks into them.

    Have a nice day……

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