Controlling greenhouse gas carbon dioxide through carbon sequestration two-day symposium, April 2-3

In the wake of President Bush's mid-March decision not to seek mandatory reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, researchers at the American Chemical Society's 221st national meeting in San Diego will present their ideas about R&D options for fighting global warming through carbon sequestration - storing CO2 in such places as the ocean, or converting it to rocks. The scientists will discuss their ideas during a two-day symposium, April 2-3, at the weeklong meeting of the world's largest scientific society.

CO2, one of the so-called greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, can be stored in the ocean, coal seams too deep to mine, and underground oil and gas reservoirs. Over the longer term, it may be possible to turn CO2, into natural gas and carbonate rocks - rocks that are chemical or biochemical in origin. Limestone is one example of a carbonate rock.

Carbon levels in the earth's atmosphere have risen about 25 percent since the Industrial Revolution, largely due to the combustion of fossil fuels: coal, oil and natural gas. Scientists believe it will be a long time before renewable energy sources or other technologies are able to reduce further by significant amounts the emissions of such fuels. Carbon sequestration may be a way to buy time while other environmentally friendly sources of energy are developed. The symposium will feature more than 30 research papers and highlight some of the latest progress in this rapidly growing area of environmental research, including:

Large potential payoff - Novel approaches to carbon sequestration could, in the future, turn the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into carbonate rocks or even into natural gas. This could be accomplished by mimicking natural geological and biological processes, according to David Beecy, director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Systems. Such an approach is in its early days, but "the potential payoff is undeniably

Contact: Charmayne Marsh
American Chemical Society

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