The Gaia Engineering Tececology
"The economic solution to global warming and waste"
Gaia engineering is being undertaken by TecEco and other Global Sustainability Alliance Partners.
Humanity has unprecedented powers to damage planet earth and affect the well-being of present and future generations. Global Sustainability Alliance partners believe that in order to live more sustainably we need to make our economic consumption behaviours work for the planet, instead of against it. We can do this by changing the technical paradigms of our many industries. Technical paradigms define the underlying molecular flows that are so damaging and what energy and matter are valued as resources and what is emitted or discarded as a waste.
Cultural change has increased the demand for more sustainable products. To meet this increasing demand new innovative technical paradigms are evolving. Gaia Engineering is not a single process or paradigm but a tececology which embraces a number of new technical paradigms and processes designed to solve global warming and waste problems by changing the underlying moleconomic flows involved. Gaia Engineering will work because combined correctly these new processes will allow people to make money using them.
If adopted on a large scale the Gaia Engineering tececology would sequester significant amounts of atmospheric CO2 and convert significant volumes of waste to resource.
Gaia Engineering is an agglomeration of new technologies including TecEco’s Tec-Kiln technology and cements, hydroxide-carbonate slurry CO2 capture technologies, carbon dioxide scrubbing technologies, and a front end seawater, brine or bitterns carbon capture system.
Graphic Illustration of the Gaia Engineering Process for Seawater
As there is 1.29 grams of magnesium in every litre of seawater and brines generally contain even more there is enough magnesiaum to last over a billion years at current needs for sequestration. With natural replenishment the resource will last indefinitely.
The inital process for carbon capture in Gaia Engineering will probably be chosen from one of the following technologies
Gaia Engineering Front End Processes
|N-Mg Process||Seawater or brines, waste acid and CO2||Mineral salts, carbonate building materials and aggregates, Eco-Cements and fresh water||TecEco Pty. Ltd.|
|Ultra Centrifuges||Seawater or brine||Provided materials can be found to withstand the forces involved, potentially similar by products to the N-Mg process.|
|Carbonic anhydrase, saltwater or brines and CO2||
Using carbonic anhydrase and other enzymes to mimic carbonate formation in nature.
The Gaia Engineering process starts with one of the above processes and our currently favoured process is is our ownN-Mg process which uses carbon dioxide from for example power stations to precipitate magnesium carbonate trihydrate (nesquehonite) and valuable salts from seawater or suitable brines and produce potable water as a by-product. The magnesium carbonate from this process can then be used in building products or calcined in the TecEco Tec-Kiln which removes and captures carbon dioxide (ready for incorporation into cellulose, other compounds or for other uses and produces magnesium oxide. The magnesium oxide can either be used to make TecEco cements which utilise other wastes and in the case of Eco-Cement absorb more atmospheric CO2 as they harden or alternatively can be used to sequester more CO2 in a Tec-Reactor hydroxide/carbonate carbon capture cycle process.
The hydrated carbonates produced by the hydroxide/carbonate carbon capture cycle process can be decarbonated and cycle around that process indefinitely as in the diagram below.
Gaia Engineering Process Vector Diagram for Seawater
Technologies are still evolving to use the CO2 produced by Gaia Engineering. A particular future use that we are monitoring is to force rapid growth of algae able to convert CO2 and water into oxygen and energy rich biomass.
The N-Mg process is very efficient because it does not work agains the hydrogen bonding of water and it can deliver massive sequestration at low energy cost. The magnesium thermodynamic cycle ( MgCO2 cycle) and Tec-Reactor Tec-Reactor hydroxide/carbonate carbon capture cycle mimic photosynthesis using the same central atom (magnesium). They can go around and around like a bicycle wheel as together, mass and energy are neither created nor destroyed, energy is only lost outside the system through inefficiencies. There is an exothermic part of the MgCO2 cycle where heat is required and an endothermic part where heat is released. To make the process as efficient as possible it is desirable to capture the heat from the exothermic parts and as efficiently as possible transfer it to the endothermic parts of the cycle.
The Gaia Engineering Process
The efficiencies of the various sub-processes are important to making the Gaia Engineering tececology economic and minimizing the amount of energy required overall. An important area of research we are engaged in is to develop technologies for the efficient collection, concentration and transfer of heat energy and more follows about this (See Transferring Heat from the Exothermic Part to the Endothermic Part of the MgCO2 Cycle).
We call the Gaia Engineering process geo-photosynthetic because it mimics the way that plants, algae and some bacteria capture and store carbon using photosynthesis. Basing our tececologies on Gaia Engineering will result in sustainable cities that store carbon and are constantly recycled.
The TecEco Model of the Gaia Engineering (formerly CarbonSafe) Process
TecEco have developed a crude Excel model of the Gaia Engineering process to work out the plant and process requirements to sequester enough CO2 to avoid reaching a concentration of 450 parts per million in the atmosphere, considered by many as an upper limit to avoid the most dangerous effects of global warming and irreversible change. It relies on several assumptions, including a forecast for magnesia sales for use in concrete and the extent to which global abatement programs will be successful,. Outputs include the number of plants of a given capacity that will be required as well as the costs and revenues involved in running the process. The model still needs a lot of work however if you would like to review it please go to the TecEco web site and look under tools.
Gaia Engineering Sequestration
Transferring Heat from the Exothermic Part to the Endothermic Part of the MgCO2 Cycle
In a continuous cyclic process such as the MgCO2 (magnesium thermodynamic) cycle sub-process of the Gaia Engineering tececology it is important to be able to transfer the heat produced in the exothermic sub-processes in the system to the endothermic sub-processes or at least transform it into a useful form such as electricity with minimal losses.
There are several exciting new technology contenders for capturing low grade heat including a pyroelectric process being promoted by CANMET in Canada and various modified liquid/vapour pressure processes including the Newcomen engine and non water Rankine engines. As the liquid used in the latter is normally an organic compound they are often referred to as Organic Rankine Energy Cycle engines or ORCE’s. The Newcomen engine is particularly attractive to TecEco as one of the outcomes is potentially the production of potable water.
Power stations waste a lot of low grade heat and should consider retrofitting the Newcomen or Non Water Rankine engines discussed under Newcomen Engines.