Seawater + Phytoplankton

Seawater + Phytoplankton

According to Climate Change, sea levels may rise and we're facing a serious challenge offsetting all the C02 we've emitted. What if we put cheap and abundant seawater into giant glass jars - and dropped in some plankton?

Consistent with my mantra of applying ideas to the real world - and connecting with experts, next up is Plankton! As preperation for this concept, I reached out to one of the leading academics on the subject from the British Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton. Per typical of these kinds of chats, he began pretty bemused as to why a random insurance guy was asking him about algae. We rapidly established my crazy ideas - and whilst I am sure he remained baffled, he was really helpful in answering my questions and pointing me in good directions.

He also promised to dig out some papers on the carbon potential of planktons - research he assured me had been carried out a lot. One thing he mentioned which really jumped out at me was the fact the government has popped up sporadically offering grants in this field - often correlated to oil prices. This really disappointed me and tied in with an impression I have long been forming around how we "do research and invention". It feels like the government gravity ends up steering invention as opposed to benefitting from it.

This kind of haphazard and un-strategic approach also stifles the ability for invention at random - or by passion. Preventing scientists from doing frontier research without a government nod as to its funding viability. Should the funding press creativity or creativity press the funding? I think the latter.

Plankton time

I've been considering ways to create carbon sinks. This concept isn't necessarily anything new, in fact, on my research quest I came across another company dabbling with the same theme - Brilliant Plane

Their model is quite simple - they grow a ton of algae, and bury it. The water is de-acidified and the CO2 is buried forever. (Until a post-civilisation in 200,000 years appears and uses it for fossil fuel? ha-ha!).

I think it's a brilliant idea, but i'd go a step further. I believe we could pipe seawater inland... and kill two rather sizeable birds with one stone. If we were to make huge upright data centre pillars in a string of pearls model, we could "cool" them with seawater. The water would naturally heat up - helping the photosynthesising plankton grow on the outer tank. A closed loop system.

Every now and again, the tanks lid is "let go" which squishes all the plankton into a biomassic kind of sludge - which can be buried, shot into space or fed to cows - whichever is better.

Brilliant planet seem to be using quite a bit of real estate for their project - but as you can see... I quite like tunnels. My only issue is generating power for growlights. (Working on that.) I am thinking of the facility being a tourist destination and using Pavegen pads to power the moderate light needed.

Here it is, though, the plankton farm, designed by an AI for fun. In my view, it's a great concept not for the side of motorways, but rather for subterranean facilities. Combining data centre assets with cooling and a funky means to carbon offset.

James York

James York

"James, do you ever fell like you need to come back down to Earth" - They asked. "No, I just want to find people to fly with me".