Posted by: grokscience | June 3, 2009

Carbon Recycling

CO2Industrial processes produce carbon dioxide emissions at a staggering rate. Recycling carbon dioxide into fuel sources may help recapture some of these emissions into a useful form. On this program, Byron Elton discussed carbon recycling technology.

Can we recycle my hot air? 😉




  1. I enjoy the Groks Science Show a lot, and have been listening for a few years now. But regarding the guest of this episode, Byron Elton, I have to say I smell a rat. He claims to have a room-temperature, atmospheric-pressure process to turn arbitrarily large quantities of CO2 and water into usable liquid fuels. However, both in the interview and on the Carbon Sciences web site (, there is absolutely no mention of the energy source for this transformation.

    Thermodynamics is a cruel taskmaster. We burn hydrocarbon fuels, producing CO2 and water, because we can get a large amount of energy out of that process. Thermodynamics says that we have to put in at least that amount of energy (incrementally more actually) to reverse the process. What is the energy source?

    Without more information, I have to call shenanigans. I smell a scam. I smell a large-scale scam. Skipping the pilot-plant trials tells me he’s likely shooting for $500 million in investments for a production facility, rather than the $1-10 million he should be looking for if he had a real process to test and prove out. Buyer beware!

    • Thanks for your comment. From my interpretation of the technology, it looks like they use solar energy to run their biocatalytic reaction. I think the main questions are whether the efficiency and scalability of their system can be applied to a large-scale operation.

  2. I have enjoyed your podcasts for some time and consider you to be rather intelligent hosts. But, you do seem to go too far at times with the left wing philosophy. The constant Bush bashing and global warming lovefest needs to stop. Please be more objective and at least give opposing views. Isn’t that, after all, what REAL scientist do?

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