[ExI] cure for global warming

Keith Henson hkeithhenson at gmail.com
Tue Dec 28 20:44:37 UTC 2010

On Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 10:17 AM,  John Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net> wrote:

> On Dec 28, 2010, at 10:43 AM, Keith Henson wrote:
>> There is a good reason to send the SO2 up as a liquid, for the same
>> velocity it would take a much larger pipe which generates more wind
>> drag and takes more excess buoyancy to keep it close to vertical.
> There is no pressing need that I know of to keep it close to vertical.

If you don't get the wind resistance down and the buoyancy a
substantial multiple of the wind force, a high wind will put it on the
ground.  I have been working on this problem for the last year.  If
you want to see the spread sheets, ask

>> So how much pressure does it take at the bottom to pump it up 18 miles?
> Who cares? Myhrvold isn't a fool and he wasn't suggesting you do it that way, he said have pumps every thousand feet or so "each one less powerful than the one in my swimming pool".

34 gpm and 1000 ft of stuff 1.5 times a dense as water indicates he
has a hell of a swimming pool pump.  The actual number (if this is
correct reporting) is 300 feet.  Water is a kg/liter, 34 gpm is about
2 l/sec or about 3 kg/sec.  3kg/sec x 91.4 m x g is close to 2.8 kW or
3.75 hp which is large for a home pool, but he was on the Fortune 400

"For anyone who loves cheap and simple solutions, things don’t get
much better. Here’s how it would work. At a base station sulphur would
be burnt into sulphur dioxide and then liquefied. The hose, stretching
from the base station into the stratosphere, would be about 18 miles
long but extremely light, its diameter just a couple of inches.

"It would be suspended from a series of high-strength helium-filled
balloons fastened to it at 100 to 300-yard intervals (a “string of
pearls”, IV calls it), ranging in diameter from 25ft near the ground
to 100ft near the top.

"The liquefied sulphur dioxide would be sent skyward by a series of
pumps, fixed to the hose every 100 yards. These, too, would be
relatively light, about 45lb each — “smaller than the pumps in my
swimming pool”, Myhrvold says.

"There are several advantages to using many small pumps rather than
one monster pump at the base station: a big ground pump would create
more pressure, which would require a far heavier hose; even if a few
of the small pumps failed, the mission itself wouldn’t; and using
small standardised units would keep costs down.

"At the end of the hose, a cluster of nozzles would spritz the
stratosphere with a fine mist of colourless liquid sulphur dioxide.
Thanks to stratospheric winds that typically reach 100mph, the spritz
would wrap around the Earth in roughly 10 days.


I hope they do more on it.  The engineering problems are close to
those we work on for StratoSolar.

 "spike" <spike66 at att.net>

> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
>>Who cares? Myhrvold isn't a fool and he wasn't suggesting you do it that
> way, he said have pumps every thousand feet or so "each one less powerful
> than the one in my swimming pool".  John K Clark

> Hmmm, that notion is a big yellow flag: if a pump every thousand feet,
> clearly it requires SO2 in a gaseous form as opposed to a liquid, for
> smallish pumps don't make anything like 1000 ft of head with the throughput
> volumes needed for something like this.  Typically the water pressure to
> one's house is a tenth that.  If he meant turbopumps for gaseous SO2, those
> turbines would be heavy.

See above analysis.

Sending it up as a gas might generate problems if it condensed on the
sides of the pipe.

But the pressure might be low enough you could pump it from the bottom only.

Square root of 600 is around 25, so a 50 inch pipe would be enough,
depending on the maximum practical velocity.

> Does it need to be exhausted at 18 miles?  Would a pipe up the side of K2 or
> Mt Everest (ending on top) be high enough?  What's that, nearly 6 miles up?
> If the stuff is superheated and pressurized at exhaust, wouldn't it loft way
> the hell up there?  I could imagine it reaching equilibrium at perhaps 10
> miles altitude.  Another approach might be to freeze SO2 to a solid brick
> perhaps the size of a typical Detroit and hurl the thing aloft with an
> electromagnetic rail launcher from a high peak, with an explosive device
> within which explodes at the apex, so that the bits evaporate upon descent.
> Of course all this assumes one thinks it a good idea to dump SO2 in the
> upper atmosphere to counteract global warming (which I do not) but it isn't
> clear to me we need to hold aloft a pipe to do it.  If we decide to solve
> all the engineering difficulties to erect an enormous pipe, Keith knows
> better uses for it than pumping SO2 into the sky.


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list