the grass is greener on the internet

One man’s waste is a girl’s best friend?
April 25, 2009, 12:02 am
Filed under: 1 | Tags: , , , , ,

Here’s a thought…

Carbon emissions are a Big Issue in world politics at the moment, and one of the ‘solutions’ tabled in Australia is carbon capture and storage (CCS).

But there’s three main barriers; the technology’s not developed enough to implement now, it will most likely come at a great cost and transport+storage is highly inconvenient.

What if we could take out two of those barriers?

Crazy idea, but what if we made artificial diamonds out of the carbon in emissions?

After all, they’re already doing it for dead relatives… With new advances in technology, some companies are claiming to be able to synthesise jewellery-quality gems for under $100, though they can retail for up to about $20,000 for rarer coloured varieties.

The technical process, from this humble layperson’s view, has a few issues. [Disclaimer: This layperson could easily be wrong.] First, capturing CO2, which is a relatively recent development. Second, extracting the carbon from CO2 into a usable form like graphite. A Google quickie suggests this hasn’t been achieved. Third, finding a reliable method of creating diamonds which doesn’t use so much energy as to render the whole exercise useless.

This would take the storage issue of CCS out, and cost could be recouped through the sale of the diamonds (as well as charging companies to process their emissions).

Marketing them for jewellery could go either way…on the one hand this would be the ultimate eco-friendly diamond (no digging, reducing emissions) but on the other hand, the real deal is more unique and ‘diamond made of waste gas’ is just not sexy. And before De Beers sends a hit squad out for me, there are many other uses for diamonds which do not require the same quality or brand image.

Hell, if YOU think it can work… The idea’s yours to commercialise. I’d love it if someone could make it happen, sometime, somewhere.

[Although I guess if it was that easy they’d already be making pencil leads or something out of CO2…]


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