Open Source

We are developing this project in an open source way. There are no patents involved in this process and that is the way we want to keep it. We are opening it up to everyone so that we can draw on the expertise of people who can help us to transform the idea from concept to reality.

By posting any ideas or suggestions onto this website you will be publicly disclosing that information, which will create a broad ‘anti-patent’ space. This will prevent anyone from gaining a patent that could restrict the development of this process. Every contribution will be logged and date-stamped, creating a permanent record, which can be used to challenge anyone trying to gain patents in this area.

By using an open source approach no-one can restrict anyone else from developing this process.

Open source has been successfully used to develop Wikipedia and software such as Linux. As far as we are aware this is the first time it has been used to try to tackle an issue such as climate change.

If you would like to help develop this project, please click through to find out how you can get involved.

Alternatively, for more information please see The Idea.


39 people have left a comment

Chuck says: July 21st, 2008

How do you plan to test the effects of the change in pH with regards to marine wildlife?

Tim Kruger says: July 21st, 2008


We’d start out by doing computer modeling and then small scale tests in a lab setting. If that can be shown to work safely and effectively, then I anticipate that we would do a small scale test in the sea, but knowing how these things are, that will likely be years away. It’s only once we are completely comfortable that we can do this in a safe way, that we would consider doing it on a larger scale.

Hopefully the effects of this process would be beneficial not just from an atmospheric CO2 point of view, but also from a ocean pH point of view. Ocean acidification, caused by too much CO2 in the atmosphere, is a problem for marine wildlife – we intend to add the correct amount of alkalinity to restore the natural balance.

Hope that helps. By the way, we are doing a blog on the Environmental Impact Assessment under the Get Involved tab. That is probably a better place for this comment. Thanks


caio1982 says: July 21st, 2008

How many years away are we from that?

Jonathan Durand says: July 21st, 2008

Here is a link to Slashdot’s talk or chatter about your idea. There are a few people on there that know what they’re talking about and some are just plain funny. Anyway, if you’re going to stay “Open Source” you should definitely include the SlashDot community. Here is the URL:

Jonathan Durand says: July 21st, 2008

I’m not sure at what point you are in the grand scheme of things, financially or practically, but I could offer a large wealth of knowledge on highly scalable, relatively low cost clustering technologies. I worked, (R&D) within an institute at the University I attended, on this specific field. Just to speak in plain English for a moment. I can advise you on low cost super-computing capabilities, for “computer modeling and then small scale tests in a lab setting.”

Jorge Gonzalez says: July 22nd, 2008

Why do you allow people to post then delete their comments. Thats not open source thats only what you deem to be agreable.

Eric Deiter says: July 22nd, 2008

I’ve been working on this idea for a while and when I get a chance I’m going to try it out…

Try this…

Use solar panels to create electricity.
Use the electricity to create water from air…

Use the electricity and water to create browns gas (H2O -> HHO)
Google Stan Meyer…

If you use Sodium Hydroxied with water you can create HHO without power and/or generate power with it…

Use the HHO gas for the furnace or burn with HHO directly and tada, no carbon footprint.

Sam Vilain says: July 22nd, 2008

What License is it under? Version control system? ;-)

Dutch Open Source | Blog » Blog Archive » Open Source Science says: July 22nd, 2008

[…] problemen kan er op een open manier samengewerkt worden aan een oplossing. Een voorbeeld daarvan is Cquestrate: hier wordt op een ‘open source’ manier een oplossing gezocht voor […]

Mario says: July 22nd, 2008

How about another project to store gas produce by cow’s farting. There are literally zillions of farting cows producing more CO2 than cars.

Oliver Sparrow says: July 22nd, 2008

Interesting concept, but the dispersal issue could be very energy intensive. Two thoughts: one, perovskites and basic basalts may be a more interesting target, in that they are not Carbonates and therefore net absorbers. The Deccan traps in India have billions of tonnes of these. One coudl use solar energy (e.g.) to mill these.

Second thought: Biomass converted to charcoal – a simple process, after all – is a means to permanently fix carbon. (It’s stable in wet tropical soils with a half life of about 5000 years, and much longer in cool or dry soils.) Can be dug into agricultural soil to increase ion exchange capacity (more or less equating to what is usually if vaguely called “fertility”) , or sunk into the abyssal ocean where it is, of course, completely nuetral. Potentially both of these are less worrying than dumping CaOH into the ocean.

Adam C says: July 22nd, 2008

Has anybody performed any preliminary lab tests with this yet? Maybe dump some lime into a saltwater aquarium and see what happens. measure gases above and dissolved. Also the cows farting is a good point. Methane may be the real culprit behind climate change. Anyway glad to see people working on sequestration techniques.

Adriana says: July 22nd, 2008

How will you assure that this won’t cause any harm to the animals and plants on the ocean??

Alex Thuronyi says: July 22nd, 2008

Can anyone confirm or deny that cows fed corn are more flatulent than cows fed grass, which is the diet they have evolved with? Also, can anyone refute or confirm the claims that Intensive Grazing helps to sequester carbon?

Peter Boos says: July 23rd, 2008

What i wonder most is how many lime stone is required
Theoreticaly i believe it can work.
But practicaly is there enough lime stone for this idea to work.
Has it been calculated how much is required, to get to a pre-industrial level ?

Just mindstorming… if i put an electric field in sea water > the kathode will get the O2 and the anode the C of CO2 (or was it in reverse order?). The C itself is verry stable for anode/kathode… so put many small solar boats with electric fields and do electro-chemics, and it might add something too. To get the right chemic reaction use porcelain filters around the nodes to filter out the right chemicals. (like the modern high presure filters for industrial drinking water purification)

Mark says: July 23rd, 2008

I’m glad to see other people are worried about this stuff. I thought I was on an island by myself.

A few thoughts:

Energy Generation: I’m not really fond of burning anything that’s going to generate CO2 even if you have a carbon negative equation. This is just two steps forward and one step back (literally). We have to noodle a bit more on this.

Hydrogen. You’re in the desert with lots of free sun and wind that can produce hydrogen, which can be burned to generate the required heat. If this system will run 24/7, you will need fuel reserves for dark and windless times. Not sure this is feasible, but I came across a micro turbine site yesterday. Very interesting potential for producing H2 on the cheap.

Can something like this be scaled to the necessary levels? Probably not, but it does prove a lower cost wind solution is possible. Perhaps GE will grant you with a free license to their power conversion IP they own on wind power…just phone up Immelt.

One other note on hydrogen. H2 producing bacteria are cropping up everywhere. Here’s just one:
I believe biotechnology will solve our problems. Need to consider biology, chemistry and their interaction. The solutions have already been created for us, we just need to figure out how to extract, optimize and leverage them.

Biomass. This is the way to go. Create the storage vehicle from once the C02 came. Don’t burn the stuff..bury it for another millennia…again the one step two step. Best case..feed the hungry.

Water. I’m not a survival expert, but I do know there’s water in the air. Can this be scaled? or the dehumidifier approach that was mentioned before:

Mining of the limestone. Have you considered the CO2 output required to excavate and process the limestone to feed the system? Last I checked, those big trucks use a lot of carbon based fuel. This requirement might blow the equation.

Farting Cows. This has been a topic of discussion forever, but no one has ever figured out how to tap the resource (same for humans and any other animal walking around).

What you have described is one facet of the entire picture. What is necessary is to step back and evaluate this operation as a self contained ecosystem.

Podnosh Blog » Archive » Cquestrate: Can we crowdsource a carbon solution. says: July 23rd, 2008

[…] he has a legal agreement which means that all the ideas generated through cquestrate remain open source. Why should Shell care? Well partly because he wants to use lime as a means of capturing CO2 by […]

Joe Dowdall says: July 23rd, 2008

The hurdles you are trying to over come are enormous. The only way I can see this working is to apply the technology at the source of the CO2. The heat that is generated can supply the energy to capture the CO2. The CO2 then can be extracted from the lime. Then the CO2 can be made back into fuel. One added benift to this method would be to extract other harmful chemicals such as sulfer. Once you have the harmful chemicals extracted you can reuse the lime.

If you must get lime in the ocean I suggest you use balloons.

Craig says: July 24th, 2008

This is easy. Simply wait for favorable winds and detonate a huge, clean nuclear device under an appropriate seaside limestone formation. The tsar bomba, the largest nuclear device ever tested, was 50 megatons (2.1 * 10 to the 17th power joules). For 39 nanoseconds it produced about 1.4% of the power output of the sun. Because of its size and design, this device was very clean. This energy can be used to efficiently and cheaply liberate the lime and simultaneously distribute it around the world via existing wind and ocean currents. Much quicker and cheaper than your proposal to process large amounts of lime and spread it around the world’s oceans by hand. By the time you gear up it will be too late. Global warming solved.

J says: August 3rd, 2008

This idea has been researched already by both big industry and academia, and it is an advancing area. Clearly, people are looking at this issue hard. I hope you do find an envrionmentally effective, commercially sound solution, but I would just caution you that although you state you are creating a “patent-free” zone, you are not. Others already have IP or claims to IP in this area.

Tim Kruger says: August 3rd, 2008

J, you are right in saying that people are looking at the area of CO2 sequestration and some of themhave got patents on their work. With this process there does not appear to be any IP that restricts its development and we are attempting to broaden the space that is not restricted by patents by encouraging everyone to contribute. Perhaps you could contribute by telling us what is the IP that other people have that you believe might restrict the development of this process.

Open source approach to reducing CO2 « Taxpayer says: August 5th, 2008

[…] in theory,

Neil Cox says: August 11th, 2008

Clearly lime = calcium hydroxide will reduce the alkalinity of water. Lime is a common way to reduce the acidity of swimming pools. Other hydroxode ions will also work. Carbon dioxide in the air disolves at the water surface producing carbonate. Ocean water however contains other positive ions besides calcium, so sodium hydroxide is often produced and remains in solution. Sodium hydroxide is common lye, as used to make grandma’s lye soap. A few parts per billion of most of the hydroxides will likely be beneficial to marine life, and allow the ocean surface to absorb more carbon dioxide. My guess is even one part per million of sodium hydroxide will kill some marine life so it is essential to to avoid that high a concentration even briefly during the mixing process. This is not a problem in swimming pools, where we do not want micro-organisms in the water, and calcium ions are typically far more abundent than sodium or potassium ions, in swimming pools. Neil

Neil Cox says: August 11th, 2008

I see I made an error in the first line. Lime increases the alkalinity of water, but this does not effect the rest of what I typed.
To do this large scale we need to consider how we will make the lime. Typically methane is burned in air to heat limestone = calcium carbonate to about 1000 degrees c = 1832 f. Calcium carbonate decomposea at 898 degrees c. The carbon dioxide from both the limestone and the methane are released into our biosphere, making this worse than useless for reducing carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Are some lime kilns sequesturing the carbon dioxide in the flue gas? Likely it is somewhat easier than sequestering carbon dioxide from the equally hot flue gasses from coal fired electric plants. Is any one doing that even medium scale. If so,how is it done? Neil

Chris Unitt says: August 12th, 2008

Neil – hopefully you’ll have seen from the explanations elsewhere that the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered when adding the lime to the seawater is greater than the amount released when breaking the limestone down.

As you say, developing a way to capture the pure carbon dioxide in the flue gas would be useful and there are several things that could be done with it. See the slideshow here – – for more about that.

Jim Galasyn says: August 20th, 2008

Over at RealClimate, Hank Roberts made the tongue-in-cheek suggestion: “So why not just barge limestone and dump it into undersea volcanoes?” (

He continues: “Simplify– quarry limestone shaped as hollow ‘boats’ (eliminate barging), give ’em sails and GPS (eliminate motors), let them sail themselves to the target then scuttle…”

The only flaw I see is that undersea volcanoes don’t usually have open calderas.

Tim Kruger says: August 20th, 2008

Alex – Thanks for the encouragement. It’s really appreciated.

Jim – Hank’s idea is, as you say, tongue in cheek, but when you are brainstorming they say that no idea is a bad idea – often a nutty idea from one person can spark a good idea from someone else. Mind you, I can’t work out what the good idea coming from the hollowed out limestone boats idea might be! Maybe somebody else can.

Joe Dowdall says: August 21st, 2008

OK here is my vision on using balloons.

You have a mother ship carrying the lime and a fleet of dirigibles. Each blimp can either be tethered or fly independently. The reason you would need a higher altitude is to disperse the lime. Higher altitude drops of powdered lime would cover a lot of area quicker and the concentrations of the lime hitting the ocean would be spread out; thus having a less impact on wild life. To high of a lime concentrate in one area at a time would probably turn fish Gilles into cement. A disbursement would also give fish a time to recoup or have little impact on them.

I think you can see were I am going with this.

I know the American Chemical Society has suggested to built plants on shore for sequestering CO2 using a similar method as yours, but I think they over estimate the effectiveness of there method. Disbursement is the key to make this work.

The acidity in dead zones is a obvious place to start. The animals are already dead and you may be able to kill two birds with one stone, take out CO2 and hydrochloric acid. I read a resent article that said potassium is the main culprit behind dead zones. Have you guys tested you process with dead zone chemistry?

Jim Galasyn says: August 22nd, 2008

wrt the financial model, I wonder if you can take a page from Planktos. Their business model is to make a profit by earning and selling carbon credits, principally by afforestation. One of the problems is carbon accounting — do we really know exactly how much carbon a given tree will fix, with varying weather conditions and nutrients?

The advantage of your process is that you can, in principle, be very precise in the carbon accounting. This is a selling point: Cquestrate carbon credits are solidly backed by chemistry theory and validated by careful measurements and reproducible industrial processes.

In fact, it might be worth considering a partnerhip with Planktos…

Tim Kruger says: August 23rd, 2008

Jim – you are right that this process will need to be financed and selling carbon credits is the way to do it. We will need to partner with someone, although I think we are a long way away from that just now. We’ll let you know when we are closer to that point

Tim Kruger says: August 23rd, 2008

Joe – we are not looking at dead zone chemistry at the moment. Our current view is that we want to restore areas of ocean back to what they were in pre-industrial times rather than bring to life dead zones that have for a much longer period been dead – our philosophy is restoration of what was before rather than alteration of what naturally exists.

Jim Galasyn says: August 23rd, 2008

Tim, targeting dead zones is great, but I understand that problem is largely due to nutrient runoff and overfishing. What your approach could accomplish is bringing local pH back up to levels that support carbonate platforms (coral reefs) and calcareous organisms like coccolithophores. We’d have to identify corals that are stressed principally by pH, instead of water temperature. I wonder if that work’s been done…

Joe Dowdall says: August 23rd, 2008

I think your idea could spark off whole new industries.

A start up company called Rawsolar could provide the heat you need for the chemical separation process. There are other companies that use (mirror) solar dishes. Most of these companies are focusing on creating electricity. I can see the mirror process used in all kinds of chemical operations. The advantage or using mirrors for the heat is no carbon imprint. You can contact Rawsolar and see if they can come up with a plan to make this process work. “I bet they can”.

On my Blimp Idea.

The blimps outer shells could be made out of thin film solar and connection points made out of metal rubber. The metal rubber not only is strong enough to hold the blimps integrity together it can also conduct electricity. The electric motors on the blimps can be used for lift and direction plus the electricity will be powered by the solar cells. Blimps can be used in all transport processes. From mine to processing factory to ship to distribution. Minimal carbon imprint. If more structural integrity is needed I would suggest using carbon fiber.

I know my idea on blimps has limitation such as weather and wind. Strategic planning is critical. You only have to use a small portion of the ocean to make this work. The ocean currents should do the rest.

When I was young I read books by Edger Rice Burroughs. This reminds me of those books. Tera forming of Mars. I just never imagined we would come to the point of Tera forming our own planet.

Tim Kruger says: August 24th, 2008

Joe – Thanks for your mention of Rawsolar – I’ve check their website briefly – very interesting – I’ll check it out in more detail later. All the best – Tim

Pierre Jones-Savard says: November 15th, 2008

Good end of day, for séquestrate carbon, do dark soil(in portuguese) with coal wood is good,
here terra preta in wikipédia:

Levanah Neece says: November 21st, 2008

How do I apply to your Company? I am a resent graduate with a degree in Biotechnology Laboratory Technician. I am an environmentalist with a strong desire to get involved and work with companies that are working to improve our environment and move us away from dependence on foreign oil. My main focus of study was on alternative fuels. I did my Journal Club Power Point presentation on algae bio fuels. I am very excited about your companies work and would love to be a part of your team. Please inform me as to the proper procedure to apply with your Co. Thank you so much for your time and consideration and keep up the AWESOME work.

Levanah Neece

Garry Barbuto says: December 18th, 2008

The idea seems feasible but I have trouble seing the point of it as the CO2 produced by the process is the same as is removed from the sea water when the CaCO3 is produced. It costs a lot to sequestrate the CO2 on land. Are we not addding to the problem of having to deal with all this CO2 we have produced ?

I am passionate about Renewable Energy and climate change but I am yet to be convinced on this project.

Frazer says: May 7th, 2009

Ca 2+ + 2HCO3 ↔CaCO3 + H20 + CO2 in this reversable reaction one carbon atom is released to fight another day but one is locked away in the form of CaCO3, the free Carbon then goes on to react with water to produce more HCO3 this is then utilised in another cycle of the calcifying reaction. I believe that this is a step in the right direction. One of the issues that i could foresee is the problem with serious reduction in dissolved Oxygen content and the possible problem of the CaCO3 being formed as precipitate in the water rather than at the site of binding in corals.

Jim says: June 26th, 2009

One problem you have is with heating up the limestone. Contact Hyperion Power Generation in Denver CO. The device they are developing should meet your needs.

Full disclosure, I do not work for them but my fiance does and I know the CEO.

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