Why NH3 is not a candidate reagent for ambient CO2 fixation: A response to "alternative solution to global warming arising from CO2 Emissions - Partial neutralization of tropospheric H 2CO3 with NH3"

Johnson, M.T. and Vaughan, N.E. and Goodwin, P. and Goldblatt, C. and Roudesli, S. and Lenton, T.M. (2008) Why NH3 is not a candidate reagent for ambient CO2 fixation: A response to "alternative solution to global warming arising from CO2 Emissions - Partial neutralization of tropospheric H 2CO3 with NH3". Environmental Progress, 27 (3). pp. 412-417. DOI 10.1002/ep.10298

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Abstract

It has been proposed that application of urea, or ammonium sulfate (phis lime) to nonagricultural land to evolve ammonia may provide a "solution" to increasing CO2 concentrations by neutralizing atmospheric carbonic acid to ammonium bicarbonate at ambient concentrations and subsequent storage in the surface ocean (Apak [2007]: Environmental Progress 26, 355-359). We identify a series of major flaws in this hypothesis, which indicate that the approach is unfeasible and would not succeed if attempted at any scale: (i) ne phenomenal energy cost associated with breaking the N≡N bond and evolving H2 for NH3 production (and associated fossil fuel CO2 emissions under the current energy generation market); (ii) the radiative forcing associated with substantially increasing the concentration of ammonia in the atmosphere, and (iii) a number of unwanted indirect effects, including eutrophication, enhanced N2O emissions, and the inhibition of the oxidation of strong green-house gases such as methane in the atmosphere. We strongly urge future efforts to be directed away from this approach and suggest that engagement with the climate, earth-system, and biogeochemtetry communities is essential when putting forward ideas for potential geoengineering approaches to mitigate global climate change. © 2008 American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NILAREP
Subjects: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Divisions: 01 - Climate Change and Earth-Ocean Atmosphere Systems
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Progress
Volume: 27
Page Range: pp. 412-417
Identification Number: 10.1002/ep.10298
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2011 13:24
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:03
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/2300

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