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Consider the following activities:

1. Spreading finely ground basalt rock on farmlands extensively
2. Increasing the alkalinity of oceans by adding lime
3. Capturing carbon dioxide released by various industries and pumping it into abandoned subterranean mines in the form of carbonated waters
How many of the above activities are often considered and discussed for carbon capture and sequestration?
(a) Only one
(b) Only two
(c) All three
(d) None

The correct answer is (c) All three.

Explanation:

  1. Spreading finely ground basalt rock on farmlands extensively: This is a form of Enhanced Weathering. When basalt, which is rich in magnesium and calcium, weathers, it captures CO2 from the atmosphere. This process can be expedited by grinding the basalt into a fine powder, increasing its surface area and therefore its ability to capture CO2.
  2. Increasing the alkalinity of oceans by adding lime: This is often proposed as a method of Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement. The basic idea is that by increasing the alkalinity of the ocean, we enhance its capacity to store carbon in the form of bicarbonate ions. Lime (calcium hydroxide) reacts with CO2 in seawater to form calcium carbonate, thereby removing CO2 from the seawater and, indirectly, from the atmosphere.
  3. Capturing carbon dioxide released by various industries and pumping it into abandoned subterranean mines in the form of carbonated waters: This is known as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), and is a method to prevent large amounts of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The CO2 is captured from emission sources, converted into a concentrated stream, and then injected deep into the Earth, often into depleted oil and gas fields or deep saline aquifer formations.

Each of these methods has its pros and cons and is at different stages of development and deployment. But all three are indeed often considered and discussed for carbon capture and sequestration.

Inputs from Geography Mindmap Notes & Current Affairs Notes

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