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Abandoned oil rigs could scrape carbon from the sky and store it in undersea reservoirs

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Conversation or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Innovative use of abandoned oil rigs has been proposed as a solution for carbon capture
• These rigs could be repurposed to extract CO₂ from the atmosphere and store it in empty undersea reservoirs, leveraging existing infrastructure to address carbon emissions

🔭 The context: Direct air capture technology, akin to large-scale industrial vacuum cleaners, is seen as a method to reduce atmospheric CO₂ levels
• However, the technology faces challenges such as high costs, noise, and visual impact
• Offshore oil rigs present a unique opportunity to overcome these issues, with the added benefit of utilizing consistent wind energy for power

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The repurposing of oil rigs for carbon capture and storage could provide a dual benefit of reducing atmospheric CO₂ while addressing the costly problem of decommissioning abandoned rigs
• This approach could also contribute to the preservation of marine life by maintaining the artificial reefs created by rig structures

⏭️ What's next: The concept is still in its early stages, with modest returns expected initially
• However, as the technology improves and investment increases, this strategy could become a significant contributor to global carbon removal efforts
• The flexibility of moving rigs to different sites could also help resolve conflicts between environmental conventions and government policies

📈 One stat: The current capture rate for these machines is estimated at 65,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year for a large oil rig, which is a small fraction of the UK's annual emissions of 332 million tonnes

Click for more news covering the latest on carbon

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