The Methane Removal Platform

Adding ISA into the atmosphere is possible in different ways. One way to disperse ISA is to heat up Fe2O3 (rust) and let it be lifted in the plume of a stack. Actually, man adds ISA into the air since the industrial revolution. Steelworks and coalpits release Fe2O3 which forms into ISA in the atmosphere. All of this happens every day, it is nothing new. Pollution has, in this case, a beneficial aspect. 

How much ISA do we have to put into the atmosphere? To answer that we let our scientists calculate the amount of ISA nature uses to deplete methane. This way  we know: We will need 0.5 to 2.0 Mt (million tonnes) of ISA to be dispersed. That is a lot. But then again, it is very little. When you consider the fact that 596 Mt of methane are released into the air each year (7) – 2 Mt is like a grain of salt in the soup. Also we may be able to reduce the amount needed, e.g. by using high stacks which will ensure that the particles remain airborne for more than a week.

AMR aims to emulate the industrial process which brings ISA into the air. However, unlike in ‘beneficial pollution’ which does this accidentally, we want to control this process from beginning to end. We want to build an ISA disperser and put it on an oil-rig, where the wind will disperse the ISA over a large region of the ocean. The rig will have the specific purpose to disperse ISA in the atmosphere, hence we call it a methane removal platform (MRP).

One very visible element of an MRP is the high tower with a pipe which will transport ISA to hundreds of meters above sea level. Oil-rigs feature lattice steel towers, so-called derricks, for the purpose of oil-drilling. We will use the existing derrick or replace it with a lighter, higher tower.

AMR / Alamy Stockfoto
A semi-submersible oil-platform with a high drilling tower can be used as an MRP

We estimate that 40 MRPs will be needed to remove half of all methane (1 ppm) from the atmosphere. Each MRP will bring around 45.000 tons of ISA per year into the air, so all in all it will be 1.800.000 tons. Our plan is to use decommissioned, semi-submersible oil-rigs for the purpose of dispersion. These rigs can be towed to the best locations and anchored even in deep sea. Dozens of rigs will be available when oil-drilling is phased out.

Alternatively AMR will build specific platforms, which could feature a 400 m high tower to disperse the aerosol at a greater height. A vision of such a custom-built MRP can be seen in our video.

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