Chemosynthetic Management of the Water/Energy/Nutrient Nexus (WENN)

Pitch

A massive increase in the production of water, carbon negative energy and nutrients can be achieved through chemosynthesis.

Description

Summary

The Water, Energy, Nutrient Nexus (WENN) Protocol attempts to outline a suite of technologies which can support the three key global climate change mitigation and adaptation strategic goals of achieving net negative global emissions of CO2 as well as support the critical needs of water and nutrient management.

The core benefits of the WENN Protocol are listed below:  

- Chemosynthetic capture, utilization and sequestration of carbon through marine and terrestrial biomass production with further processing of the biomass into bio-fuels, biochar, food, feed, fertilizer, polymers, freshwater etc.

- Sustainably utilize atypical bulk nutrients, such as found in the marine nutricline and/or terrestrial animal/human sewage streams, to support the the above metastrategy.

- Global standardization of primary climate change mitigation and sequestration (WENN) technologies so as to create:

a) economies of scale in equipment purchasing/deployment;

b) a means for streamlining a global scale funding effort;

c) a means for establishing an intergovernmental production and environmental protection protocol;

Key scientific rationale for the WENN Protocol:

-IPCC (WG3)-"..the combination of bio-energy, carbon capture and..storage (BECCS)...if biomass is grown sustainably, this combination may lead to negative emissions". The WENN Protocol is a BECCS class proposal.

- REDUCTION OF CARBON DIOXIDE COUPLED WITH THE OXYHYDROGEN REACTION IN ALGAE: (a)(b)(c) Primary production means of biomass cultivation.

Marine Based WENN Tech:

Marine Biomass- International interest in sustainable marine biomass/biofuel production is high (a)(b)(c)(d)(e).

Harvesting marine nutrients:

Current Marine Biomass Production Actors:

Projects under development (a)(b)(c).

NASA/OMEGA Project. "..to grow algae, clean wastewater, capture carbon dioxide and..produce biofuel without competing with agriculture for water, fertilizer or land.".

IMBECUS Protocol Draft: Working draft of a marine centric STEM/intergovernmental governance scenario.

Land Based WENN Tech:

The above marine biomass technology can also be used in terrestrial tanks and/or custom made pipelines or existing pipelines (e.g. Dark Bio-Reactor Pipelines - DBRPs).

-Alabama Gets First-In-World Carbon-Negative Algae Biofuel- Chemosynthetic based biomass can be lower in cost due to multiple factors (a)(b)(c)(d).

Future WENN Corridors?

Most utility corridors can be converted to WENN.

Due to the high 'public use need' for WENN conversion (i.e. existential need for AGW mitigation/adaptation and critical infrastructure up-grades), eminate domain laws (EDLs) can hypothetically be used to secure existing pipelines/lands (a)(b) for WENN use.

Using EDLs to acquire existing right-of-ways and the pipelines themselves reduces initial costs.

(First Biodiesel Pipeline...Or, future DBRP?)

Thus, the WENN can be developed along common utility right-of-ways (2M km+US). Adding sustainable and resilient advanced transportation and information technology to the above would be logical.

 

Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?

A preamble:

The WENN Protocol has been designed to:

- Be applicable to a wide spectrum of relevant sectorial interests such as energy supply, transportation, industry, land use, waste management, urban adaptation etc.;

- Be universally applicable to all global regions;

- Be a foundational suite of technologies which can technically support many other climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies/concepts both today and in the future.

- Be supportive of carbon negative emissions strategies such as the Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6 scenario.  

- Be fundable through current and future 'Green' bond/grant programs such as described below:

1) The Green Climate Fund (a):

2) Green Bond Principles 2014: Voluntary Process Guidelines for Issuing Green Bonds:

3) World Bank Green Bond (a)

4) Homeland Security Grants

5) "Transforming the Traditional Municipal Bond Market to Finance Environment-Friendly Green Projects"

6) ‘Conservation Bonds’ Take Green Financing to the Next Level

7) Climate Bond Initiative:

8) Global Environment Facility (GEF) Investment in Local Solutions for Global Water Benefits:

9) Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:

10) Large-scale Aquaponics Project - Optimized Food and Water Management

11) Cities for Climate Protection program

The above list is not exhaustive.

Synthesizing the WENN Protocol proposals:

The WENN Protocol can be viewed as a meta-proposal or Anticipatory Design Science effort.

The founder of that science, R. Buckminister Fuller, stated in Critical Path (p.l99) that: "the success of all humanity can be accomplished only by a terrestrially comprehensive, technologically competent, design revolution. This revolution must develop artifacts where energy-use efficiency not only occasions the artifacts' spontaneous adoption by humanity, but also occasions the inadvertent, unregretted abandonment and permanent obsolescence of socially and economically undesirable viewpoints, customs and practices.".

The WENN Protocol attempts to outline a roadmap which can accomplish the above goals at the STEM, socioeconomic and policy levels.

As to this author's prior proposals, which work towards the above Anticipatory Design Science (WENN Protocol) goals, please review the below list:

a) Waste Management: Chemosynthetic Production of Biomass Using Sewage Nutrients:Beyond presenting the basic WENN Protocol/Technology logic, this 'Waste Management' proposal attempts to explain the large number of benefits of working in the marine environment. Please review the below excerpt:

What actions do you propose?

To address the Judge's comments:

A) "I question the feasibility of utilizing the existing terrestrial utility infrastructure to implement the plan, either by utilizing existing lines no longer in service (usually for good reason) or by installing new lines along existing ROWs..".

In brief, this technology needs closed tanks for cultivation and low cost tankage can be found/installed in many forms and locations. The conversion of existing infrastructure would require a system by system evaluation. However, the flexibility of the technology allows the WENN suite of technologies to be shoe-horned into...any....scale of community.

B) "The use of ocean-based reactors has promise on a pilot scale level but I fail to see it happening at large scale at this time simply due to political and public opposition to anything based at sea. There is a vast amount of infrastructure required to scale up this proposal...".

Marine industrial development is actually well supported on many different levels. The marine based WENN technology suite has the following unique combination of benefits and synergies:

- The WENN technology is self contained/nonpolluting;

- The WENN technology provides surface cooling for marine ecosystems which are under thermal stress such as coral forests and subtropical convergence zones (marine deserts);

- The WENN technology offers sustainable and scalable critical commodity production (i.e.carbon negative fuel, biochar, food, feed, organic fertilizer, polymers, freshwater etc.);

- The WENN technology can work well off-shore (no NIMBY factor);

- The WENN technology would significantly reduce pressure on local fisheries as the WENN technology can support mariculture as well as provide energy, water, feed, fertilizer, freshwater etc.;

- The overall WENN Protocol allows...all....nations to become carbon negative bio-energy/biochar, protein, water and organic fertilizer etc. independent as the marine commons are open to all nations. The smallest of the land-locked nations can become as productive as the largest nation owning vast ocean access;

- The WENN Protocol offers a new form of physical territory in the form of artificial islands which allows...all...nations to expand their population into the oceanic space without displacement of neighbor/nature.

Again, the smallest land-locked state can eventually control as much WENN production tools and oceanic space as even the largest nations. As such, the WENN Protocol is designed to be a strong equalizer in the areas of critical commodity production as well as a global scale means for climate change mitigation and adaptation;

- The WENN Protocol offers a global scale economic stimulus, possibly lasting for a number of decades, as the the terrestrial infrastructure up-grades and marine expansion is completed. The global scale critical need for jobs can be addressed, on many levels, through establishing a standardized STEM/funding package such as offered by the WENN Protocol.

The primary limiting factor for such a marine based global scale economic stimulus is dictated only by the carrying capacity of the oceans...which is vast.

- The WENN Protocol, employed on a large enough scale, can significantly address ocean acidification in critical littoral zones as well as on a overall global oceanic scale while reducing atmospheric CO2 levels;

C) ​The dark bio-reactor (e.g. pipeline/tank equipment) cost can be radically reduced through the use of HDPE plastic components which can be produced using bio-oil and post consumer waste plastics. Thus, the WENN equipment/process can provide the basic fabrication material needed (i.e. bio-crude) for further expansion.

On a vast scale, the volume of carbon locked up in the HDPE dark bio-reactors themselves would represent a meaningful volume of carbon sequestration.  

The above list of synergistic values is not exhaustive.

b) Urban Scale: Chemosynthetic Management of the Water/Energy/Nutrient Nexus (WENN): This proposal attempts to address urban specific challenges such as roadway upgrades using WENN technologies.

The below list of proposals are early, less refined, versions of the WENN Protocol:

 

Collaborative proposal synthesis:

There are a large number of proposals, within the Colab library of proposals, which can be technically linked to the WENN Protocol and the related technology suite. However, working through the full library of the MIT CoLab proposals and relating them specifically to the WENN Protocol and/or technology suite will take considerable time and effort which is not available at this time.

Thus, creating such a complex and fully integrated synthesized proposal, using the full CoLab library of proposals, will only be possible with additional time provided through advancing this 'first effort' regional proposal to the next round.

 

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

The 'Impact Tab' is non-functional at this time.

As outlined above, the WENN Protocol and it's related technologies attempts to create a global scale carbon negative emissions scenario while addressing other critical climate change mitigation/adaptation needs such as water and nutrient management.

As many relevant actors realize, it is important to solve a multitude of climate change related problems and do so in a coordinated way which can be adopted universally by all nations.

Thus, the emissions scenario is intrinsically linked to a wide scope of other critical concerns/needs.

In brief, global scale carbon negative emissions of CO2 can be expected once the WENN Protocol is established at the international level and the technology suite is deployed and expanded to meet the critical commodity needs, such as bio-fuel, biochar, food, feed, fertilizer etc., of a meaningful number of nations.

The closest generally available depiction of the expected emissions scenario of a deployed WENN program is found in the description of the Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6:

RCP 2.6– Low emissions

This RCP is developed by PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. Here radiative forcing reaches 3.1 W/m2 before it returns to 2.6 W/m2 by 2100. In order to reach such forcing levels, ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reductions would be required over time. Comparable SRES scenario: None This future would require:

Declining use of oil

Low energy intensity

A world population of 9 billion by year 2100

Use of croplands increase due to bio-energy production

More intensive animal husbandry

Methane emissions reduced by 40 per cent

CO2 emissions stay at today’s level until 2020, then decline and become negative in 2100

CO2 concentrations peak around 2050, followed by a modest decline to around 400 ppm by 2100

 

What are the plan’s key benefits?

As outlined in the preamble to "Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?".

The WENN Protocol has been designed to:

- Be applicable to a wide spectrum of relevant sectorial interests such as energy supply, transportation, industry, land use, waste management, urban adaptation etc.;

- Be universally applicable to all global regions;

- Be a foundational suite of technologies which can technically support many other climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies/concepts both today and in the future.

- Be supportive of carbon negative emissions strategies such as the Representative Concentration Pathway 2.6 scenario.  

- Be fundable through current and future 'Green' bond/grant programs..:

The above list is not exhaustive as the expected full scope of synergistic benefits will impact a wide spectrum of environmental, socioeconomic and policy issues and do so on many different levels.

What are the plan’s costs?

Although the production of a vast number of cultivation tanks/pipelines are required in the proposal, the use of plastic material which can be made from bio-oil and post consumer plastic waste, such as HDPE, creates a scenario in which the greater the production of bio-oil and the conversion of waste plastic becomes, the cheaper the tanks/pipelines becomes.  

In summary: The WENN Protocol can provide a strong tool for many climate change mitigation and adaptation needs. Once initial (relatively small scale) real world deployment of the WENN technology suite has been achieved and critically reviewed and accepted by the many potential funding actors, rapid expansion of a globally standardized WENN Protocol/STEM suite can be started around the planet.

The WENN Protocol attempts to establish a climate change mitigation and adaptation regimen which is profitable at all levels and within all regions.

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

In brief, funding is largely contingent upon the expected market performance of the technology suite and governance is largely contingent upon the actual funding which can be applied to the technology suite.

Solving this 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' paradox has been a central limiting factor within many past intergovernmental efforts at reaching a unified climate change mitigation/adaptation strategy.

The primary goal of the WENN conceptual development effort is, and will continue to be, solving for the above paradox.

Another perspective:

Coordination of the STEM, funding and governance of a possible unified regional and/or global scale plan is the primary overall obstacle set and the WENN Protocol attempts to lessen the complexity of coordinating those factors at the local, regional and global scales.

 

Timeline

The 5-15 year time frame can see an environmentally meaningful scale of WENN technology deployment and thus significant advancement toward the goal of achieving a carbon negative emissions scenario (i.e. RCP 2.6).

This optimism is based upon the facts that:

- the technology is deployable today;

- the funding is available;

- all nations can be a strong player;

- the eventual limit to expansion s only dictated by the carrying capacity of the marine environment.

- even the smallest village can deploy this STEM with off-the-shelf HDPE tanks and a relatively simple compilation of ancillary components.

- the larger towns and cities can incorporate this suite of technology during routine road repairs or initial road construction or undertake coordinated conversion to the WENN tech package in association with other communities (Cities for Climate Protection program).

By 2050, critical mass acceptance of the WENN suite of technologies and funding paths may be universally established.

 

Related plans

The below 4 proposals are combined as they have common needs/solutions:

Adaptation

Rural Resilience

Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock

Global-Energy-Water Nexus

 

 

The below 2 proposals are combined as they have common needs/solutions:

Energy Supply

Industry

 

 

The below 4 proposals are combined as they have common needs/solutions:

Urban Energy Efficiency

Waste Management-Urban Level Energy/Water/Nutrient Nexus Management Through Chemosynthesis

Atypical ideas for CO2 Neutrality-Urban Level Energy/Water/Nutrient Nexus Management Through Chemosynthesis

Urban-Energy-Water Nexus- Urban Level Energy/Water/Nutrient Nexus Management Through Chemosynthesis

 

 

The below 5 proposals are combined as they have common needs/solutions:

Energy solutions for Latin America

India’s Climate Action Plan

China’s Climate Action Plan

Europe’s Climate Action Plan

United States’ Climate Action Plan

 

 

The below is a one-off proposal

US Carbon Price

References

Please watch this NASA video while noting the primary point source of vast scale CO2 emissions from highly urbanized regions.

Methane Hydrates: Natural Hazard or Natural Resource? - Perspectives on Ocean Science: "Explore naturally occurring frozen methane deposits under the sea with renowned geochemist Miriam Kastner and discover whether or not they are a hazard to climate change".

This video is a critical reality check for all involved in solving for the  mitigation/adaptation problem sets as it shows just how vulnerable we are to catastrophic climate change.

Due to the lack of space, I refer the reader to references within:

Urban Scale: Chemosynthetic Management of the Water/Energy/Nutrient Nexus (WENN)

and

Waste Management: Chemosynthetic Production of Biomass Using Sewage Nutrients

Google Doc copy of the final 'Regional-Global Plan' proposal submission form:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16xC-3NXB9xCt91IbkanFNX57L_3md0aHv1QldPtHKl0/edit#heading=h.a72u22lhg2dc