[extropy-chat] give 'em boundless wealth in the form of nuclear power

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Sun Oct 23 20:41:22 UTC 2005

On Sun, Oct 23, 2005 at 12:54:01PM -0700, Damien Sullivan wrote:

> > CO2 is a ground state compound, energy-wise.  It requires
> > energy to break it into anything from which energy can
> > be extracted.  
> Yeah so?  So is H2O and people are always talking about the "cryogenic liquid
> or bulky ultralight gas that goes through metal" economy.

The very large difference between carbon dioxide and dihydrogen oxide
is that water is readily available, and carbon dioxide has to
be enrichened from 0.03% atmospheric content. Fighting against 
entropy with primitive means is going to cost you a pretty penny 
in energy and hardware which you won't be getting back at the end
of the cycle.

No industrial process uses direct CO2 fixation. It's completely
idiotic. Much easier is to rely on plant fixation as biomass, but
water is already literally everywhere (given how far a few liters
of water can take you, even in the driest desert), and electrolysis/fuel 
cell cycle a simple process.

Mars missions might use CO2 from the atmosphere for resources,
because it's enrichened and because pumping is much simpler than
mining, so an otherwise insane process might make sense there.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.leitl.org
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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