CALCIUM CARBONATE PRODUCTION BY COCCOLITHAPHORID ALGAE IN LONG TERM, CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION Page: 3 of 8
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Predictions of increasing levels of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (C02) and the specter of
global warming have intensified research efforts to identify ways to sequester carbon. A
number of novel avenues of research are being considered, including bioprocessing
methods to promote and accelerate biosequestration of CO2 from the environment through
the growth of organisms such as coccolithophorids, which are capable of sequestering
CO2 relatively permanently.
Calcium and magnesium carbonates are currently the only proven, long-term storage
reservoirs for carbon. Whereas organic carbon is readily oxidized and releases CO2
through microbial decomposition on land and in the sea, carbonates can sequester carbon
over geologic time scales. This proposal investigates the use of coccolithophorids -
single-celled, marine algae that are the major global producers of calcium carbonate - to
sequester CO2 emissions from power plants. Cultivation of coccolithophorids for
calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation is environmentally benign and results in a stable
product with potential commercial value. Because this method of carbon sequestration
does not impact natural ecosystem dynamics, it avoids controversial issues of public
acceptability and legality associated with other options such as direct injection of CO2
into the sea and ocean fertilization. Consequently, cultivation of coccolithophorids could
be carried out immediately and the amount of carbon sequestered as CaCO3 could be
readily quantified. The significant advantages of this approach warrant its serious
investigation. The major goals of the proposed research are to identify the growth
conditions that will result in the maximum amount of CO2 sequestration through
coccolithophorid calcite production and to evaluate the costs/benefits of using
coccolithophorid cultivation ponds to abate CO2 emissions from power plants.
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J.Fabry, V. CALCIUM CARBONATE PRODUCTION BY COCCOLITHAPHORID ALGAE IN LONG TERM, CARBON DIOXIDE SEQUESTRATION, report, January 30, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc786444/m1/3/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.