Project to Capture CO2 With Plankton Puts to Sea

Posted on November 9, 2007 

Project to Capture CO2 With Plankton Puts to Sea

The WeatherBird II, a 115-foot private research vessel, has put to sea from Florida as part of a novel and contentious effort to commercialize the removal of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by triggering blooms of plankton.

The ship is operated by Planktos, one of a host of companies involved with the fast-growing global market in “carbon offsets,” credits bought by individuals or companies seeking to compensate for carbon dioxide emissions from flying, electricity use or other energy-intensive activities.

Plankton blooms happen naturally when dust containing iron settles on ocean waters where a lack of iron otherwise prevents plankton from thriving. But efforts to replicate the process artificially have met with strong opposition from some environmental groups.

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