Last month I mentioned the launch of an incredibly bold project to use online collaboration to help engineer a means to dramatically reduce CO2 levels in the atmosphere, undoing the damage that industrialisation has done to our climate. It revolves around the idea of mixing lime with seawater on a grand scale. Cquestrate is using open source online collaboration to create a technical solution which is free of intellectual property restrictions.
I want to return to blogging on cquestrate partly because the idea needs as many of us as possible to talk about it in the hope that out there specialists in
- Bulk Transport
- Lime Manufacturing
- Chemical Engineering
- Ocean Chemistry
- Environmental Assessment
- Open Source Development
can pitch in their ideas.
Things have also moved on in the last month:
Founder Tim Kruger has now given up his job to concentrate solely on this one big idea.
Using information that’s come from the web contributors cquestrate has commissioned specific research into the energy balance of the process and the environmental impact of adding lime to seawater.
The idea has been submitted to the 500,000 Euro Picnic Green Challenge, with a shortlist expected on September 9th.
Tim is finding a lot of international interest:
- It’s interesting to see a non-English speaking country providing
the 3rd highest number of visitors and that’s thanks to an excellent
article on the German website Jetzt.de
- Within 24 hours of the project launching publicly someone had translated the press release into Spanish.
- Another Spanish article appeared on Neofronteras.com
- Lenta.ru ran an article in Russia
- The French version of Gizmodo featured Cquestrate and there was also a discussion in a French forum
- We’ve also come across mentions in Japanese and Dutch.
For me, there are three particularly great things about Cquestrate:
- The idea itself. If it can be shown to be feasible then this could be huge. When I read the line in the Cquestrate presentation about carbon dioxide potentially being taken back to pre-industrial levels I nearly fell off my chair.
- The ‘open source’ approach. Giving away knowledge of this
magnitude and asking the global community to contribute is a great way
to tackle the problem. People have responded well and it raises the
question of which other problems could be tackled in a similar way.
- The project is heavily reliant on the internet as a social space
where information and ideas can be shared. It’s a relatively new area
to be working in (and as far as we know unheard of in science circles)
and it fascinates me. There are interesting questions around how we
get people involved, how we communicate and which are the best tools to
use to allow that exchange of information.
On that last point one thing I’d like, out of curiousity is a page on the site which just shows us comments – even divorced from their specific page they have a curiosity. Take Pierre:
We can reduce very much the cost of calcination of calcareous CaCO3 as this :
The CO2 émitted from calcareous calcination is very hot ,we can take this hot CO2 for heat new calcareous powder before introduce it in the furnace.
There are loads of brilliant folk out there and cquestrate wants to create a space where they can safely change the world.