Economic Viability

The process requires money: money to extract the limestone, money to purchase the fuel, money to transport the materials, money to pay the capital cost of the equipment, money to operate and maintain the equipment and money to manage the process. This section examines how much the process is likely to cost. The cost of the process will depend on how closely the various materials required for the process are located to one another.

  • How much does limestone cost? How location dependent is this?
  • How much does it cost to transport limestone? How much does it cost to transport and dispose of the lime in seawater?
  • How much does it cost to calcine limestone in existing plants? How much of that cost is energy – both heat energy and electrical energy?
  • What are the capital costs of the process? How much will it cost to maintain, operate and manage the process?

If you are able to help answer any of these questions, please get in touch with us.  This project cannot progress without your input.


10 people have left a comment

John Shellito says: November 26th, 2008


According to the website below, limestone costs somewhere between $3 and $20 a ton, not including shipping costs (here its from south africa). Lime is almost as cheap, although I suppose it you need to refine it yourself. It would be a lot easier if you could just buy lime straight since so many farmers and other industrial companies use it. Most limestone seems to be for construction.


310-360 500 Graded Bulk Ton R106.48 $10.88752556237219
500 500 Sinter Bulk Ton R106.48 $10.88752556237219
700 501 Waste Bulk Ton R28.55 $2.9192229038854807
710 500 Precip Dust Bulk Ton R196.60 $20.102249488752555

A rosario says: December 9th, 2008

There’s promising research on Iron-Catalyzed Plankton Restoration.

Is an easier and more cost effective method”Iron-Catalyzed Plankton Restoration”. marine phytoplankton have annually absorbed and fixed nearly half of all planetary CO2 emissions or approximately 50 billion tons/year. Seeding plankton poor regions in the South Atlantic Is the least expensive and most envorimentaly benefical strategy. The effects are dramatic one pound of iron dispersed over an expanse of sea water will fix 100,000 pounds of Carbon… This is not a typo! Recent marine trials confirm that one kilogram of fine iron particles can reliably generate well over 100,000 kilograms of plankton biomass this biomass in turn serves as the base of a food chain that provides for marine life in the seas. The size of the iron particles is critical, however, and particles of several micrometres or less seem to be ideal both in terms of sink rate and bioavailability. Particles this small are not only easier for cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton to incorporate, the churning of surface waters keeps them in the euphotic or sunlit biologically active depths without sinking for long periods of time. There have already been small scale demonstrations of this method and the results comform to the predicted levels of carbon sequesteration anticipated. This method DWARFS all other proposed carbon fixation methods and is truly a win/win for all concerned. Current estimates of the amount of iron required to sequester 3 gigatons ( 1 giggaton = 1 billion tons) of CO2 range widely, from approximately two hundred thousand tons/year to over 4 million tons/year. Even in the latter worst case scenario, this only represents about 16 supertanker loads of iron and a projected cost of less than €20 billion. Considering EU penalties for Kyoto non-compliance will reach €100/ton CO2e in 2010 and the annual value of the global carbon credit market is projected to exceed €1 trillion by 2012, even the most conservative estimate still portrays a very feasible and inexpensive strategy to offset half of all industrial emissions.

Jem Cooper says: December 22nd, 2008

There is no need to evaluate cost through the whole process because market prices are readily available as are shipping costs if we have decided where in the ocean to dump our quicklime.

Average 2007 quicklime price in the US was $84/ton at plant refer
Molecular weight of quicklime is 56 and carbon dioxide 44 so the cost per ton of carbon dioxide removed excluding shipping at 2007 prices is between $107/ton (as carbonate) and $53/ton (as bicarbonate).

The only outstanding economic issues are the cost of carbon dioxide capture and sequestration and the proportion of added calcium that remains in solution (rather than precipitating as the carbonate). I tried to initiate a discussion on the latter point last week when I raised the issue with a comment on the detailed proposal but there was no response. Is this project still active? Perhaps I put my comments in the wrong place or maybe it’s Christmas.

In passing a comment on iron fertilisation to which rosario may know the answer. Iron already enters the ocean in very large quantities dissolved in river water (about 30 million tonnes/year). The problem is it tends to precipitate as hydroxide in the alkaline ocean water in the absence of organic ligands produced by marine life to stabilise it, giving iron a residence time in solution in the ocean of less than 2 years (cf 900,000 years for calcium). I know iron fertilisation is very popular but how does it differ from the existing addition in river water?

A rosario says: December 25th, 2008

The particle size of the iron is critical to it’s bio-availability, surface churning keeps the particles aloft long enough for the organic ligands present in the nutrient rich upwelling to chelate or otherwise dissolve the iron prior to becoming active in carbon sequestration This method has been tested in regions of the South Atlantic where upwelling from lower depths brings the nutrient base up to the euphotic zone for the cyanobacteria and other phytoplankton to begin sequestering the carbon. Because these waters are so distant from terrestrial iron sources from river run-off, the impact of nano-size iron particles triggers a plankton bloom where none could exist before. These blooms take place within weeks, and because of the 100,000 to 1 ratios. Localized pH differentials using the Iron-Catalyzed method should be less than those using quicklime.

Jem Cooper says: January 22nd, 2009

An advantage of ocean quicklime addition over iron fertilization is the potential scale. The latter even if applied on an ongoing basis to all locations that would benefit is only expected to consume less than 1 billion tonnes of carbon per year, ie about 11% of 2004 emissions and only about 77 billion tonnes altogether. Refer

There is no upper chemical limit to the scale of quicklime addition so both options may be required together.

Pierre Jones-Savard says: February 14th, 2010

Wind is economic, here a video for give a idea for use it:

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