To our Podcasts

Wetlands for CCS

A somewhat lazy post but certainly a low cost go to method for capturin CO2

CCS, carbon capture and storage is any manipulation that catches CO2 and sequesters it out of reach of oxygen or our atmosphere. Oil companies and coal burning power plants tout the storage of CO2 in salt caverns, but that’s just a delay strategy, they never actually do it, unless to push out more oil and gas from wells. CCS by biomass is much easier to realise. Trees not only store carbon in their cellulose, but they do have one drawback : they are usefull for burning and building.

This is why we advocate ‘Extraeconomic’ development of forrests. But it turns out wetlands can capture CO2 as well, and turn it into peet, which, when it happens out of reach of humans, may be a safe way to keep carbon sequestered.

A study shows wetlands are much more effective than rainforrests in storing carbon. This is interesting because for new carbonsequestrion intiatives it may be easier to create wetlands than plant forrests. Of course whatever basin is created needs to be seeded with some kind of growth.

“One of the reasons wetlands may be better than forests at carbon capture is because of the way sediments and organic matter, such as leaves, build up under water. There, they are likely to break down more slowly, thus acting as a carbon sink.”

It is thought that rotting biomass in wetlands could produce a lot of methane, and certainly lakes with anoxic life can stirr up and release massive amounts of this potent greenhouse gas, as well as CO2. But apparently the anoxic environment also preserves carbon, like it happend in the peet soils that are so carbon rich, and perhaps also the soils that formed coal seams.

The popular theory held by many uninformitarian geologists is that the plants which compose the coal were accumulated in large freshwater swamps or peat bogs during many thousands of years. This first theory which supposes growth-in-place of vegetable material is called the autochthonous theory.

So maybe this is once again a finding of the kind “We need to put ice back on the poles, but that would take to much fossil fuels! (listen to this podcast for more)”, but there are places where wetlands could be created. Africa has a large depression near Ethiopia that will eventually flood. On the other hand building rain dams and dikes in less populated regions with rain can quickly form wetlands.

Wetlands can be part of climate action and steadily collect carbon without needing much care 

Saddam Hussein famously destroyed the Mesopotamian Marshes covering an area of 20.000 square kilometers. Surely the carbon sequestring potential of that oil rich region can not be questioned. Maybe more work should be put in restoring them to offset fossil emissions from the oil and gas out of that region.

“Recovery of the Central Marshes has been much slower compared to the Huwaizah and Hammar Marshes; the most severely damaged sections of the wetlands have yet to show any signs of regeneration”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *