Key Earth Science Links
Carbon Storage (sequestration)
The concept of carbon storage is growing worldwide and there are many demonstrations, activities, and lessons available on the web for understanding aspects of sequestration. Useful information may include aspects of the carbon cycle, climate change (global warming), and explanations or demonstrations of groundwater aquifers, permeability, and porosity. The latter are easily adapted to understanding geologic storage (the injection of carbon dioxide into underground rock layers), because in many cases CO2 will be injected in the deep subsurface aquifers (well below drinking water aquifers) as a supercritical fluid, rather than a gas.
Audience-pleasing Physical Models to Support CO2 Outreach. Texas Bureau of Economic Geology. It has instructions for five demonstrations to illustrate aspects of carbon sequestration in schools and to non-technical audiences. Demo 1-Chemistry of Burning uses styrofoam ball models of hydrocarbons to show why CO2 is emitted from combustion; Demo 2-Seeing the Carbon in CO2 uses charcoal briquettes to visualize carbon emitted per mile of driving a car (there’s an online video of this demo); Demo 3-What is the Greenhouse Effect builds a model with pipe cleaners and mesh; Demo 4-CO2 is a Gas uses a bottle and a balloon to capture CO2 gas from melting dry ice; Demo 5-Reservoir in a Jar uses a clear jar, marbles, and liquids to demonstrate porosity and permeability in a reservoir.
Carbon Storage Research, U.S. Department of Energy.
Carbon Footprint Calculator. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Use this online calculator to obtain an estimate of your personal greenhouse gas emissions or your family’s greenhouse gas emissions. Another section explores actions you and/or your family can take to lower your emissions while reducing your energy and waste disposal costs. For each action you choose to take, the calculator displays the amount of emissions you could avoid and how that amount relates to your total emissions.