The above graphic shows the recent radical increase in Arctic atmospheric methane concentrations which can trigger the catastrophic effects described in the clathrate gun hypothesis. The above graphics also illustrates that we have little time, less than many believe, to prepare for a radically different climate.

The development of a marine centric biogeoengineering (a) thesis may be critical in mitigating and adapting to such catastrophic changes. The below work is such an attempt.

The Intergovernmental Marine Bio-Energy with Carbon Utilization and Sequestration (IMBECUS) Protocol:

Environmental and Political Risk Reduction of Global Carbon Management

The IMBECUS Protocol Draft


Abstract: The IMBECUS Protocol employs large cultivation and biorefinery installations, within the five Subtropical Convergence Zones (STCZs), to support the production of commodities, such as carbon negative biofuels, seafood, organic fertilizer, polymers and freshwater, as a flexible and cost effective means of Global Warming Mitigation  (GWM) governance with the primary objective being the global scale replacement of fossil fuels (FF) and the establishment of a net negative global emissions energy scenario.

This governance approach to GWM is categorically distinct from all other large scale GWM governance concepts, yet many of the current GWM technologies  are adaptable to this governance proposal.

In brief, the IMBECUS technology would be managed by an  Social Benefit Corporation (hereafter: The IMBECUS Foundation) which would have the following functions/missions:

1) Synthesizes relevant treaty language

2) Performs R&D activities and purchases relevant patents

3) Under intergovernmental commission, functions as the primary responsible international actor for IMBECUS related environmental standards, production quotas and operational integrity

4) Enforce production and environmental standards along with production quotas

5) Licence technology to for-profit actors under strict production/environmental standards

6) Provide a high level of transparency to all stakeholders

7) Provide legal defense

8) Provide the investor with a better than average return on their capital investment

The IMBECUS Protocol is conceptually related to the work found in the following documents/links:

           IPCC Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change: per SPM.4.2.2/ Emission reductions and timing

“Combining bioenergy with CCS (BECCS) offers the prospect of energy supply with large-scale net negative emissions which plays an important role in many low-stabilization scenarios, while it entails challenges and risks (limited evidence, medium agreement). These challenges and risks include those associated with the upstream large-scale provision of the biomass that is used in the CCS facility as well as those associated with the CCS technology itself.” 

Establishing offshore autonomous communities: current choices and their proposed        evolution

Tropos and Shimizu oceanic complex concepts

John Delaney: Wiring an interactive ocean

The Blue Biochar Initiative

BECCS /Biochar/ Olivine

Negative CO2 emissions

Artificial Upwelling of Deep Seawater Using the Perpetual Salt Fountain for Cultivation of Ocean Desert

Chemosynthetic production of biomass - An idea from a recent oceanographic discovery

Reduction of Carbon Dioxide Coupled with the Oxyhydrogen Reaction in Algae (Water Production with Primary Production Aquaculture)

Bio-oil and bio-char characterization from microalgal biomass; Carbon negative technology combination.

Cool Planet; Land based and cellulose based version of  a carbon negative biofuel concept.

Cellana/Solazyme; Leading developers of algae based bioproducts.

Blue Planet; Leading developer of geo-mimics (i.e. sustainable cement production)

AirCarbon; Leader in methane to plastic conversion

Pilot-scale data provide enhanced estimates of the life cycle energy and emissions profile of algae biofuels produced via hydrothermal liquefaction

DoE Roadmap for Algae Biofuels and Multi-Year Plan

NASAs’ OMEGA study.

The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture

Mariculture: A global analysis of production trends since 1950


IEA;  Technology Roadmap: Carbon Capture and Storage 2013

The President’s Climate Action Plan 

Negative carbon via Ocean Afforestation

Blue Carbon UNEP

Albert Bates' We're Totally F**ked Year in Review 2014 (Well done 30 min. review)

The preliminary conclusion of this analysis calls for funding of an investigational deployment of the relevant technologies, within the gyres, for an open evaluation at the intergovernmental level.

To be continued.

Section 1)  USG Leadership on IMBECUS Governance, Demand, Conversion and Within Intergovernmental Treaties:

The below is in response to The Third Way’s challenge, within the MIT Climate CoLab forum of: This contest seeks new and innovative actions or internal policies that U.S. federal agencies can implement to mitigate climate change. However, the implementation of the  IMBECUS Protocol is not dependent upon any governmental actions or approvals.

The IMBECUS Protocol attempts to address a wide spectrum of environmental issues and thus the issues surrounding governance/policy are multiplex in nature. The following is focused upon a USG centric approach to the initial governance/policy challenges.  Yet, to reiterate, one of the  core strengths of the IBMECUS Protocol is that  any nation can adopt the IMBECUS  Protocol without intergovernmental approval or support.  This protocol allows all nations to become independant carbon negative energy/food/feed/fertilizer etc. producers.

1.1) Establishing the IMBECUS Foundation Mission Statement and Board of Directors as Preparation for USG Agency Support. The IMBECUS Foundation, once established, can provide co-funding support for initial development.

1.1.a) Mission Statement:

Crafting a comprehensive mission statement is the core immediate challenge. The mission statement will be the road map for the IMBECUS Foundation and thus will be the primary tool for recruiting the IMBECUS Foundation's' founding pro tem Board of Directors, staff and outside supporters.

The lead paragraph of the mission statement should include language such as:

·The IMBECUS Foundation mission is to support international cooperation in establishing climate change mitigation methods, such as but not limited to, carbon negative energy independence for all nations. This support would include the purchasing/leasing of relevant intellectual property rights and making such rights widely available through a social benefit for-profit (B) corporation franchise structure. Further, it is also the mission of the foundation to establish a World Heritage Natural Resource Reserve of fossil fuels through trading carbon negative biofuels for in situ fossil fuel reserves as a form of intergenerational environmental protection.


Further guidance on the IMBECUS Foundation mission statement can be found within the Department of Energy's Office of Bioenergy Technology (see below) while employing an international perspective.

The mission of the Office is to:

"Develop and transform our renewable biomass resources into commercially viable, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower through targeted research, development, and demonstration supported through public and private partnerships."

The goal of the Office is to develop commercially viable bioenergy and bioproduct technologies to:

·        Enable sustainable, nationwide production of biofuels that are compatible with today’s transportation infrastructure, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-derived fuels, and can displace a share of petroleum-derived fuels to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

·        Encourage the creation of a new domestic bioenergy and bioproduct industry.

The above language can be crafted to reflect the global need for energy independence and climate change mitigation. Additionally, the final draft of the mission statement should be the subject of debate so as to flush out any strong objections from the STEM, policy or civil society sectors.

A new global energy paradigm, based upon marine derived carbon negative biofuels, requires only the demonstration of scale and efficiencies of biomass production/refinement. There are no regulatory constraints, nor basic scientific/engineering research needs, required to initiate MBECUS operations. This strategic shift of biofuel, and other critical commodities, production to the oceanic environment would be supportive of the goals of multiple national and international level environmental mitigation programs. A small sample of such mitigation focused programs is: U.S. Global Change Research Program, Critical Infrastructure for Ocean Research and Societal Needs in 2030, Blue Carbon the International Biochar Inititive and the U.N. Green Climate Fund. The mission statement should be relevant to the broadest possible list of extant climate mitigation programs.

1.2) Board of Directors:

The background of the founding directors will be a critical issue as, even though the technology is straightforward, the scale and long term mission of the IMBECUS Protocol is unique and recruiting external support will be, initially, based upon the faith a supporter has in the founding directors' expert knowledge. Volunteers for the pro tem board are currently being recruited and nominations are welcomed.

1.3) Funding 

1.3.a) USG Grant/Loan Guarantee Programs:

There are a number of USG Agency level funding programs focused upon:

·    Energy Security through Renewable Energy Development

·    Climate Change Mitigation

·    Scientific Investigation

·    Economic Expansion

·    Food/Water Security

One USG based loan guarantee program is presented, in brief, below.

From the Bioenergy Technologies Office: Multi-year Plan; "DOE Loan Guarantee Programs (LGP): The Office is actively engaged with LGP to support construction financing for first-of-a-kind IBR (integrated bio-refinery, authors note) facilities. LGP provides loans and loan guarantees to a range of projects to spur further investments in advanced clean energy technologies through the reduction of technical risk in pioneering technologies.".

Through the Biofuels Interagency Working Group, the USG has multiple paths for funding the initial technology development up to and including fuel purchase agreements of meaningful scale.

Additionally, there are multiple international biofuel specific funding paths, such as the emerging U.N. Green Climate Fund and through the guidance/support of the IEA etc.


1.3.b) Corporate Level Funding for Initial IMBECUS Development:

The IMBECUS Foundation can provide a for-profit organization(s) with the initial physical construction and trials of a modest sized gyre based tank farm. The cost of the trial would be deductible by the for-profit corporation(s), at the federal tax level; as such, the trial would be consistent with the mission statement of the foundation.

(Side Note: The algal cultivation technologies are well established. Thus, the biology will not be the focus of the initial development effort while the cultivation tank farm construction and operation will be the primary priority.)

1.3.c) Philanthropic Level Funding for Initial IMBECUS Development:

There are a significant number of environmentally focused non-profit organizations which would have an interest in supporting the initial work of the IMBECUS Foundation as the foundation would have the potential to generate significant environmentally focused funds/resources, over a multi-generational time frame.

1.4) The Value of the EPA to the IMBECUS Protocol:

1.4.a) At the Intergovernmental Treaty Level:

Within the relevant working groups a nation/state party typically turns to their most relevant national agencies for guidance on technical issues. Thus, the relevant agencies play an important supportive role to their respective policy makers. At the treaty working group level (i.e. UNFCCC/IMO/CBD etc.), the EPA's evaluation of the MBECS technology and subsequent EPA promotion of such within the treaty working groups, could greatly encourage other treaty members to support an IMBECUS Protocol like structure.  

1.4.b) At the National Level:

The EPA has Congressional guidance on biofuel mandates through the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (specifically, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)). However, the current real-world production limitations of biofuel restrict the mandated target volumes from being achieved. The MBECUS technology offers the nation a pathway to meeting and or exceeding the current biofuel use targets.

The gyre based MBECUS operations will be flagged as 'ships' and thus the EPA’s jurisdiction would be expanded out to the US flagged MBECUS 'fleet'. Early EPA assistance in establishing environmental MBECUS related standards would be critical to all US actors.

1.4.c) Brief Summation on the EPA Factor:

The involvement of the EPA, in the STEM evaluation of the technology, would help establish a high level of STEM consensus at both the national and the intergovernmental treaty levels, as well as, pave the way for increasing the national level biofuel use mandated by Congress through providing regulatory support for and guidance to MBECUS like operations.

1.5) The Value of NOAA to the IMBECUS Protocol:

1.5.a) International Scope:

The primary relevant program within NOAA is the International Research and Applications Project (IRAP) which attempts to " activities that link climate research and assessments to practical risk management, development and adaptation challenges in key regions throughout the world.". In the context of the IMBECUS proposal, expansion of the IRAP mission/budget would be needed to a modest degree.

Beyond the IRAP program, NOAA can also provide in-depth relevant knowledge of the oceanic/atmospheric sciences which would provide the EPA/State Dept. with guidance in their evaluations of the potential impacts/benefits of the MBECUS technology.

1.5.b) Developmental/Operational Assistance to the MBECUS Technology Suite:

NOAAs' unique level of knowledge and in-depth modeling abilities of the oceanic/atmospheric environments would be a robust assist in the development and operational guidance of the MBECS technology.

1.5.c) Summary of NOAAs' Relevance:

In brief, NOAA can be supportive of the State Dept./EPA's evaluation of the relevant MBECUS STEM, as well as, play a key role in vetting the MBECUS method(s) at the intergovernmental climate change governance decision making level while contributing to the advancement of the MBECUS technology and production output.

1.6) The US Navy:

The USN Green Fleet program could potentially benefit substantially by establishing mid-oceanic biofuel production/storage depots and thus providing substantial funding support for US flagged MBECUS operational development, through pre-purchasing biofuel and providing developmental assistance at the STEM level, is justifiable.

1.7) The State Department:

Beyond supporting the IMBECUS Protocol at the intergovernmental level as a standalone initiative, the US negotiators can champion acceptance/funding of the IMBECUS Protocol within the context of the UN Green Climate Fund.

1.8) The White House:

Under the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) the Administration has an ability to bring a strong focus to carbon negative bioenergy and carbon sequestration (BECCS) in general and MBECS in particular.      

The IPCC (WG3) has recently recognized BECCS as a priority global warming mitigation method. The MBECUS technology is scalable to global needs within a relative and environmentally appropriate short time frame (<20yrs). With 'fast track' support from the Executive Branch, significant real world achievements in creating a new energy paradigm, can be realized within a few years. Below is a list of specific action requests concerning how the USG can initiate the IMBECUS Protocol.

• White House:

A) Approve the IMBECUS Foundation's’ 501 (c) (3) mission statement (Private Operating Foundation). This action will open up non-USG (philanthropic/corporate donations) co-funding for development and initial operations of the IMBECUS Protocol.

B) Fast track the IMBECUS development through the Biofuel Interagency Working Group, as well as, within the USGCRP. This action will initiate the broadest possible coordination of STEM related development focus for the IMBECUS related technology.

C) Direct the Department of State (Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change) to support the IMBECUS Protocol within the framework of the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund.

D) Direct the DoD to provide funding support for an MBECUS pilot program ($30M) through the Operational Energy Plans and Programs per DoD Energy Policy.

E) Direct the DoE to develop a common MBECUS (marine based carbon negative biofuel) focused funding/R&D program within the US Climate Change Technology Program (please see: Strategic Plan, Chapter 3.5 “CCTP Goals for Advanced Technology”  for the rationale of advancing new biomass production means and methods.).

1.9) Opposition Management:

1.9.a) Political/Economic Opposition Management:

The primary disruptive aspect of the IMBECUS Protocol/Technology will be the uncoupling of energy importing nations from energy exporting nations as all nations will be able to achieve energy independence through operating their own IMBECUS operations within the oceanic commons. This potential global energy paradigm shift can be accomplished, with the least amount of disruption, through encompassing the vested interests of the FF industry, at all levels, within the IMBECUS strategy.

1.9.b) Bartering Biofuel for FFs:

The potential vast scale of IMBECUS operations can absorb the entirety of the FF workforce and provide the energy market investors with an equivalent and sustainable alternative to investing in FF reserves/production.

This leaves the FF reserve owners as the only sector which would not be folded directly into the the IMBECUS Protocol/Technology paradigm.

The MBECUS non-fuel commodities profit potentials are so large that MBECS operations will eventually be developed regardless of the fuel issue. And, a (subsidized) <$30 bbl. biofuel market is possible using partial profits from the non-biofuel MBECUS commodities as the biofuel subsidy. Thus, the IMBECUS Protocol has the potential to allow for the bartering of the carbon negative biofuel for FFs and do so in the reserve owners numerical (profit) favor.

Clearly, keeping FFs in the ground would be to the overwhelming advantage to the vast majority of the global population, as well as, to the planetary ecosystem. The FF reserves, which the IMBECUS Protocol can potentially sequester in situ, would represent a World Heritage Natural Resource (FF) Reserve for the generations that come after us.

1.9.c) STEM Opposition Management:

The use of the mid oceanic gyres (subtropical convergence zones) isolates the MBECUS operations both spatially and, to a large degree, biologically. Using the gyres eliminates the vast majority of the environmental reasons for opposition. In fact, the gyres are warming at such a rate that the MBECS fleet's’ ability in providing passive surface cooling, over wide areas, can be viewed as an important secondary, yet critical, environmental benefit/reason for deploying MBECUS like operations in those regions.

The scalability factor of the MBECUS technology is no more complex than expanding bio-derived HDPE floating tank farms to the extent needed to replace FFs.

1.10) In brief summary, solving the volume issue within the algal biomass industry can lead to a new global energy paradigm. The potential vast scale of MBECUS production, under a transparent and equitable IMBECUS Protocol like governance, would allow for a rapid and robust reversal of the global CO2 emissions trend as well as provide a number of critical non-fuel commodities on a global scale.

Finally, using the oceanic gyres allows for the uncoupling of all energy importing nations from exporting nations as even landlocked nations could operate their own IMBECUS Franchise. The IMBECUS Protocol is a true game changer for multiple globally important issues and needs.

 The following list of  benefits, which successful governance/policy can produce, is not exhaustive.


Oceanic/Atmospheric CO2 Store Reduction Through Large Scale Cultivation of Marine Biomass and Marine Biochar production

Wide Area Surface Cooling of Thermally Critical Oceanic Regions

Global Scale Production of Organic Food/Feed/Fertilizer/Polymers

Vast Scale Production of Freshwater

Creation of Mid-Oceanic Wildlife Preserves Supporting Biodiversity and the Protection of Endangered Marine Species


Global Energy Independence Resulting in a Transgenerational Global Economic Stimulus

Accommodations for Environmental/Economic Induced Migration Populations; IMBECUS Physical Operations Represent a New Form of 'Real Estate' (with jobs) Usable by Displaced Persons

Establishes the First Intergovernmentally Governed Form of Global Carbon Management

Reduces Pressure on Wild Catch Fisheries through Significant Expansion of Global Aquaculture and Organic Feed Production

Reduces Pressure on Terrestrial Food Crop Conversion to Terrestrial Fuel Crops

To be continued.

Section 2) Limiting Environmental and Political Risk:

2.1) Environmental Risk Reduction

Starting small and evaluating for environmental stability during expansion would allow for the use of the precautionary principle. Additionally, the use of the STCZs keeps the operations within the marine deserts which isolates the operations from existing marine ecosystems. Through profitable operations and under strict intergovernmental oversight, the IMBECUS production can be expanded up to and beyond 1M km2.

To be continued.

2.2) Political Risk reduction:

The core IMBECUS technology is well within the current STEM arts and providing the basic technology to all energy importing nations would reduce political risk as such support should be widely welcomed at the public level. The IMBECUS option offers an abundant and low cost energy supply, as well as food, feed, fertilizer, freshwater, polymers/fabrics and a vast expanse of new territory offering jobs, recreation and habitation. Strong acceptance at the public level reduces political risk for all policy makers.

Interestingly, marine GWM  already has a relevant fledgling intergovernmental governance matrix in place. The IMO and CBD are currently evolving language which is attempting to encompass the concept of marine based geoengineering. Thus, this project is an attempt to bring to the table a concept which can, at the practical level, evaluate and test both the contemporary STEM and governance realities of large scale GWM operations while opening a path to intergovernmental and intergenerational global environmental management .

This technology would be managed by an intergovernmentally sanctioned B Corporation which would have the following functions/mission:

1) Synthesizes relevant treaty language

2) Performs R&D activities and purchases relevant patents

3) Under intergovernmental commission, functions as the primary responsible international actor for environmental standards, production quotas and operational integrity

4) Enforce production and environmental standards along with production quotas

5) Licence technology to for-profit actors under strict production/environmental standards

6) Provide a high level of transparency to all stakeholders

7) Provide legal defense

8) Provide the best possible return on the investment while maintaining social mission goals

The IMBECUS Foundation would be designed, through its' formal mission statement, to function as the principal and responsible global actor for IMBECUS related R&D and operational deployment. In that, the foundation would deploy investigatory technology for universal RITOP evaluation and approval and then lease the technology to for-profit corporations. The leasing corporations would be required to follow standards, procedures and practices, established by the foundation (and approved by relevant RITOP working groups), or forfeit their licence. 

To be continued.

2.2.a) Signatory Authorities and Responsibilities and Relevant Intergovernmental Treaty Organizations and Parties (RITOP):

The IMBECUS Protocol offers a strategy which allows the relevant RITOP actors to establish authority over the the IMBECUS Foundation while avoiding direct responsibility for the actual deployment of a globally significant and highly complex program. Withdraw of relevant RITOP support, and thus loss of commissioned status, would be the effective end of operations of the IMBECUS Foundation.

In exchange for the RITOP commission, the IMBECUS Foundation would support the prevailing RITOP environmental objectives/missions. Further, to the fullest extent possible, the IMBECUS Foundation would monitor critical environmental conditions/issues and assist in achieving the UNFCCC mitigation objectives. See below:

UNFCCC Mitigation Focus Points:

Requires all Parties, taking into account their responsibilities and capabilities, to formulate and implement programmes containing measures to mitigate climate change

Also requires all Parties to develop and periodically update national inventories of GHG emissions and removals

Commits all Parties to promote, and cooperate in, the development, application and diffusion of climate friendly technologies

Requires developed countries to adopt national policies and measures to limit GHG emissions and protect and enhance sinks and reservoirs

States that the extent to which developing countries will implement their commitments will depend on financial resources and transfer of technology

To be continued.

2.2.b) The IMBECUS Board of Directors Representing the Seven IMBECUS Biogeochemical Governance Regions:

The primary operational territory of IMBECUS operations would be STCZ centric with each of the five STCZ being represented at the Board of Directors (BoD) level. Additionally, the polar regions can be and will be addressed in future IMBECUS work. With the polar regions being represented, the seven IMBECUS Biogeochemical Governance Regions (BGR) would encompass all oceanic regions.

This seven member STEM focused BoD roster would be recruited from within the STEM communities and within the respective BGR to help insure that each BGR is properly championed from the regional environment and indigenous population perspective. Additional seats would be made available to RITOP working group leaders and STEM focused civil society actors.

Crafting a comprehensive mission statement is the core immediate challenge. The mission statement will be the road map for the IMBECUS Foundation and thus will be the primary tool for recruiting the IMBECUS Foundation's' founding pro tem Board of Directors, staff and outside supporters.

The lead paragraph of the mission statement should include language such as:


The IMBECUS Foundation mission is to support international cooperation in establishing carbon negative energy independence for all nations through providing scientific, technical and intergovernmental treaty support to all parties including the relevant for-profit industrial sector(s). This support would include the purchasing/leasing of relevant intellectual property rights and making such rights widely available through a social benefit for-profit corporation franchise structure. Further, it is also the mission of the foundation to establish a World Heritage Natural Resource Reserve of fossil fuels through trading carbon negative bio-fuels for fossil fuels as a form of intergenerational environmental protection.


Further guidance on the IMBECUS Foundation mission statement can be found within the Department of Energy's Office of Bioenergy Technology (see below) while employing an international perspective.

“The mission of the Office is to:”

"Develop and transform our renewable biomass resources into commercially viable, high-performance biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower through targeted research, development, and demonstration supported through public and private partnerships."

The goal of the Office is to develop commercially viable bioenergy and bioproduct technologies to:

Enable sustainable, nationwide production of biofuels that are compatible with today’s transportation infrastructure, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to petroleum-derived fuels, and can displace a share of petroleum-derived fuels to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Encourage the creation of a new domestic bioenergy and bioproduct industry.

The above language can be crafted to reflect the global need for energy independence and climate change mitigation. Additionally, the final draft of the mission statement should be the subject of debate so as to flush out any strong objections from the STEM, policy or civil society sectors.



Figure 1) The IMBECUS Protocol Relationship Structure

2.2.c) The Initial IMBECUS Foundation staffing/consulting recommendations:

1) Marine Engineering

2) Marine Cultivation

3) Wide area marine surface/atmospheric thermodynamics

4) Benthic Science

5) Biochar

6) Olivine

7) AWL

The above list is not exhaustive.

(governance focus) UNFCCC, IMO,LP/LC, CBD, ISA, UNCLOS/ Wiki, IPCC Working Group 3 (Mitigation),; Civil society actors; Decoupling FF importing nations from FF exporting nations with access to IMBECUS technology; Governance of global warming through widely accepted agreement on IMBECUS biofuel/biochar production quotas/limits (ie. adjusting IMBECUS biofuel/biochar outputs to meet desired atmospheric/oceanic CO2 levels).

To be continued.

Section 3) Electrical Sector GHG Reduction and the IMBECUS Protocol:

Consideration by the electrical generation sector should be given to converting over to carbon negative biofuels to reduce the electrical sectors' GHG emissions. The prominent peer reviewed paper in support of this view is:

Negative carbon via Ocean Afforestation

The above study is the progenitor of the IMBECUS Protocol concept. The protocol supports all (i.e. macro/micro algal, fish/crustacean and aquaponic) forms of marine based cultivation which supports carbon negative biofuel production.

Obviously, due to the fuel volume used by the electrical sector, the sector can be a central actor in supporting both initial and on-going demand for carbon negative biofuel. Directly investing in MBECUS operations, to secure long-term supply advantages for the industry, would be in-line with the core/profit interests of the industry.

From the global warming mitigation perspective, we need to produce and use as much carbon negative biofuels as possible for the next 10-20-30-100 years. A strong push for MBECUS biofuels, by the electrical sector, would be transformative for the overall global warming issue and the electrical industry.

The issue of scalability (i.e. cost effectiveness/environmental issues) of  MBECUS operations can be extrapolated from existing onshore (profitable) micro-algal operations and traditional macro-algal mariculture operations. Most importantly, the marine engineering aspects of the MBECUS concept is well within the known/standard marine engineering sciences.

Marine based biomass production methods are, at this time, highly efficient/profitable and thus expansion of carbon negative fuel production, up to the needed global scale, is plausible (<20 yrs with robust industry funding support).

The industry's' early support for initiating field level operations and intergovernmental/national level governance efforts would place the industry in a leadership role within what is, in essence, a new energy commodity market/industry in itself.


Section 4) Biogeographic Preference:

The most environmentally stable oceanic regions on the planet are the highly oligotrophic STCZs. These regions also represent the most biologically isolated regions on the planet. The oligotrophic nature of STCZ regions is due primarily to poor access to subsurface nutrients within the nutricline due to warming. Yet, this nutrient supply is available through simplistic technical means, as well as through the use of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) equipment.

The highly stable STCZ regions which, in many wide areas, experience few storms, little current, minor wave activity and provide vast supplies of renewable raw nutrients and energy,  represent a unique combination of environmental factors which makes STCZs suitable for large scale cultivation of a broad spectrum of species and for a broad spectrum global warming mitigation reasons.

To supplant all global FF use, the scale of the IMBECUS cultivation requires approximately 1.5M km2. The use of littoral regions for IMBEUC would not be practical mainly due to the large scale displacement of indigenous ecosystems by such a vast operation. To replace just  the U.S. liquid FF consumption volume, with IMBECUS cultivation, will require an area larger than 60K km2.

The only significant economic difference between using littoral waters or using the STCZs for IMBECUS is the transport factor. Low cost fuel production by the IMBECUS cultivation/biorefineries, however,  mitigates that limiting factor. Most of the five STCZs are closely associated with established shipping lanes and thus the establishment of new shipping routes would not be needed for IMBECUS commodity transport.

An important  benefit of using the STCZ s, from the production security view,  is that the STCZs are largely immuned from large scale (mature) cyclones, as STCZs are typically within the Subtropical Ridge travel range. Subtropical Ridges/STCZs are regions of cyclogenesis and thus are producers of subtropical storm systems. In brief, storms travel out of subtropical ridges, not through them.


Figure 2) QED


Fig 2-1) Storms are not ubiquitous.


Fig2-2) 150 years of storm tracks

The subtropical ridge shows up as a large area of black (dryness) on this water vapor satellite image from September 2000. (Wikipedia)


Figure 3) QED


Figure 4) QED

The coordinates of approximately 30N/140W is a prime low wave location (which also shows the eye of the eastern "Gyre" within the North Pacific. As to long range swells, rogues and ship wakes; the IMBECUS surface structures' height can be made adjustable to allow for wave pass through and a maximum wave height of 35m will be the engineering standard. There are multiple design options for achieving that function/standard. Further, horizon monitoring of wave height is possible through active wave monitoring.

To be continued.

Section 5) The General Business Model:

The profits from the non-fuel mariculture output (ie. food, feed, fertilizer, freshwater, polymers etc.)  would  allow algae based biofuels to be subsidized at a price below that of fossil fuels. The IMBECUS strategy is primarily one of economics rather than technology. The basic marine engineering, required to deploy initial research and commercial operations, is routine in nature and requires no further innovations or in-depth investigations.  The initial IMBECUS platforms would be comprised largely from off the shelf systems and subsystems.

To be continued.

Section 6) The  Production Output  Estimates:

To produce a biofuel alternative to FFs, on the same scale of FF extraction, will require vast amounts of raw nutrients. The largest environmental store of raw nutrients on the planet is found within the nutricline. Large scale industrial conversion of this resource requires no scientific or technological breakthrough.

A well designed 1 km2 IMBECUS cultivation platform and biorefinery has the potential to produce, at a minimum, 80 barrels of oil, 6 tons of organic industrial grade fertilizer with biochar, 4 tons of aquaculture feed, 300 pounds of organic seafood protein, 1.5M gal. of freshwater and 1 ton of salt per day (other products are being evaluated). Factoring in all the current relevant commodity prices, that level of production equates to approximately $7.3M of  annual gross income. A typical large capital equipment investment requires an amortization time frame between 5-7 yrs. Factoring for a 7 yr. schedule, the acceptable capital investment in a 1 km2 IMBECUS installation is approximately $45M. That level of investment is adequate for a 1 km2 IMBECUS commercial class installation.  

If the economic viability of each km2 IMBECUS installation can be assured, through the broadest possible spectrum of product production, expansion of up to and beyond 1.5M km2 of IMBECUS production is economically plausible.  


Figure 4) Aquatic nutrient cycle

To be continued.

Section 7)  IMBECUS Tank Farm/Biorefinery Design  Considerations: 

 A short list of a IMBECUS design criteria includes:

-Environmentally sound at all levels and to the fullest reasonable scientifically knowable level.

-Cultivation and refinement of the widest possible spectrum of marine biomass based commodities.

-Easy and rapid expansion of production capacity with on site production/fabrication of structural elements possibly using on site resources (ie. garbage patch plastics and/or Electro mineral accretion (EMA)).

-Segmented architecture with easy mobility; STCZ surface temperatures will be impacted by MBECUS installations and movability can be used as a flexible means for affecting the regions’ solar radiation uptake or avoiding affecting such. Also, movement reduces benthic nutrification impact generated by the large scale wildlife activity which is expected to occur under such large floating biological islands.

-Multi-purpose/dynamic/intelligent anchoring systems (Crabster CR200) which can allow for scientific monitoring of the benthic region. Seafloor mineral harvesting with the anchoring system should be considered. Mineral harvesting can be an important economic input into the biochar/biofuel subsidy. Further, seafloor mining can support other CO2 sequestration/carbon negative fuel production  means such as the process proposed by AWL .

-Labor and energy efficient during operations, maintenance  and fabrication.

-Solar radiation management through the use of reflective colors.

-Adaptable to non-production uses such as recreation/habitation/transoceanic transport and communication hubs etc.

-When possible, use emerging technologies, such as OFB and EEH, to support the initial growth of those technologies. The large scale  purchasing power of IMBECUS would be transformative to new technologies.

-Engineered for a 35m wave.


-Self propelling (i.e. wave glider technology)  


One of the simplest, of the many, IMBECUS tank farm design options would be to use modified dual walled white HDPE culverts as the main structural/floatation (tank) element, as well as,  internally lighted photobioreactors and/or ‘Dark’ reactors. Dark bioreactors can be used for a number of purposes ranging from bacterial based fabric cloth production to CO2 reduction via the oxyhydrogen reaction within algae (i) to production of  cloud enhancing enzymes.

Rapid and ongoing IMBECUS expansion would best be served by having a multitude of culvert presses operating onsite with only the virgin bio derived HDPE pellets being transported to the site. Beyond being an efficient use of transport in general, this would make incorporating the waste plastic particles in the gyre garbage patch efficient. Also, onboard biocrude refinement will allow for the complete tank production cycle, from algae to finished HDPE tank, to be accommodated within the IMBECUS installations and thus eliminating petroleum input for tank fabrication.

The other principle construction components, within the tank farm design, would be robust forms of standardized struts, related attachments, connectors and a relatively small number of custom produced structural members. By maintaining a highly simplistic architectural/engineering focus, a regiment of rapid expansion can be made as simplistic and cost effective as possible. To achieve 1M+ km2 of IMBECUS production within 20 years will require the fabrication/deployment of 200+ km2 per day. This robust fabrication/deployment schedule is achievable through the use of approximately 300 specialized fabrication/deployment barges with crews of approximately 75-100 per barge. A ten year time frame may be possible with a large enough initial funding effort.

To be continued.


Figure 5) Idealized cross sectional view of a production tank farm. Wave energy conversion means and methods would be deployed, yet that aspect of this idealized level design effort is taken to be understood by the reader. For wave energy conversion concepts, the works of Dr. Steven Salter is recommended.

7.1) The Marine Covective Tower (MCT) Option:

The basic production tank farm configuration can be deployed without extensive upper decks and serviced by the equivalent of a catcher/processor ship . Yet, such a simplistic production tank farm would not be able to provide safe and proper full time habitat for crew and processing equipment. Ideally, large scale waves (35 m/115ft.+) should be allowed to pass through the structure with minimal interaction with the installation. The tank farm can be moved well below the wave trough using ballast adjustment. The main surface structure, which would house processing equipment and crew accommodations, requires a more complex design approach. The following conceptual sketch is offered as an example of how the need for a non-wave zone surface working structure can be met.

Marine Covective Tower (1).jpg

Figure 6) The Marine Covective Tower

(Note: Please see the Shimizu floating city and the TROPOS  concept for comparison. The discovery of those concept was made after the IMBECUS/MCT concept was published.)


Figure 7) Plan view of a combined MCT and Tank Farm configuration

7.2) Production Energy Options:

Due to the low wind/wave energy value within the STCZs, the production related energy requirements can be best  met using the open form of  Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). This renewable energy option provides synergistic production benefits such as tank cooling, nutricline water delivery to the tanks and continuous freshwater production. The biochar pyrolytic process will generate additional power which would supplement the primary energy conversion method. Under some conditions, biofuel would be used as a supplemental energy.

A recently published paper on Emissive Energy Harvesting (EEH) shows an energy conversion method which promises to be capable of enhancing  OTEC. Yet, EEH is an early stage concept and thus can not be immediately incorporated into the IMBECUS design. Further, a new energy storage method known as Organic Flow Batteries (OFB) can be deployed on a vast scale using modified IMBECUS tanks.

 To be continued.

7.3) Food and Fertilizer Production Flow Charts:


Figure 8) QED

To be continued.

Section 8) Importance of Seafood Cultivation to IMBECUS Operations and Economics:

(Focus) Collapse of wild catch fisheries; long term market/environmental implications; fish waste as an organic agriculture fertilizer ingredient; increasing halophyte based biofuel production through aquaponics; increase of algal cultivation through aquaculture waste  (i.e. ammonia/nitrogen); primary economic support for sub FF biofuel pricing.

To be continued.


Section 9) Socioeconomics of the IMBECUS Protocol:

(focus) The greatest good for the greatest number can be achieved through providing low cost  carbon negative biofuels, protein,  organic fertilizer , polymers,  freshwater etc, while reversing the environmental damage of FF use; Alternative to the  conversion of land based food production to biofuel production. Expected perpetual sub $30 bbl  price war with global economic stimulus:  the IMBECUS subsidized carbon negative biofuels ‘ advantage.

To be continued.

Section 1o)  Ethically Negating the Moral Hazard of Global Warming Mitigation


This  analysis first explores the philosophical possibility that IMBECUS based  GWM can be ethically employed while negating the moral hazard of encouraging sustained or increased FF use due to GWM. The primary focus of the IMBECUS strategy is to replace FFs, on a global scale, with subsidized carbon negative biofuels derived from marine biomass. Profits from the sale of the non-biofuel IMBECUS commodities provides for the biofuel subsidy. The following sections explores how carbon negative fuel appears to negate the moral hazard of GWM.

To be continued. 


10.1) Mapping out the Moral Hazard Paradox:

The primary opposing views of metaethics revolves around the issue of ones’ perspective. To qoute

Perhaps the biggest controversy in metaethics is that which divides moral realists and antirealists.

Moral realists hold that moral facts are objective facts that are out there in the world. Things are good or bad independent of us, and then we come along and discover morality.

Antirealists hold that moral facts are not out there in the world until we put them there, that the facts about morality are determined by facts about us. On this view, morality is not something that we discover so much as something that we invent.”.

In the context of GWM, the highly complex matrix of the socioeconomic, political and environmental realities, encompasses both ‘realistic’ and ‘antirealistic’ valid moral views. This creates a co-realistic moral paradox.

1o.2) Solving the Moral Hazard Paradox:

Solving paradoxes requires identifying the point of fallacy in the paradox and then avoiding that point. The premise that fossil fuels are currently irreplaceable, at the global scale, is the fallacy which needs avoiding as FFs are the core cause of GW and FFs can be replaced with current technology.

The overall issue of large scale mitigation of  global warming offers up a blinding array of relative rights or wrongs which can possibly be reduced to one core question and a simply stated strategy.

Is the continued use of FFs, on a global scale, scientifically, morally or ethically supportable? If not, ending the FF era should be the prime objective.  Any large scale mitigation strategy which can support the primary objective of replacing FFs should be given priority.

Until transformative improvements in energy storage  and or distribution occurs, production of vast amounts of carbon negative, renewable, low cost, portable biofuels are needed to supplant FF use. The carbon negative fuel benefits of  bioenergy/carbon capture and sequestration (BECCS) is well recognized at the IPCC Working Group 3 level.


Under a global carbon negative fuel scenario, the failure to increase fuel production and use would be considered unethical due to the global warming mitigation potential of BECCS. Thus, production of carbon negative biofuels appears to ethically negate the moral hazard of mitigating FF induced global warming.

As an important adjunct to the above observations, the IMBECUS Protocol would allow each nation to be energy independent through operating their own IMBECUS operation within the STCZ of their choosing.  Obviously, the geopolitical importance of such widespread energy independence would be transformative on multiple sociopolitical and ethical  levels.  

To be continued.

Section 11) The Science Literature in Support of IMBECUS Technology:

(focus) benthic to tropopause environmental dynamics within STCZs; GW induced changes within STCZs; reasonable estimate of IMBECUS impacts on environment (ie.  large area surface water cooling as a form of super storm/El Nino reduction, endangered species habitat and potential benthic nutrient increase etc.); cultivation related studies covering micro/macro algae, halophytes, bamboo, copepods, rotifer, finfish, shellfish etc.; Marine Biochar production; Olivine etc.

Enhancing the Oceans Role in CO2 Mitigation (Rau) This review is an excellent and insightful treatment on the subject. The IMBECUS Protocol attempts to bring additional light to the practical use of:

1)  Intensive cultivation of marine biomass using large scale arrays of enclosed bioreactors

2) Transfer of cultivated marine biomass to agricultural organic fertilizer use

3) The synergistic benefits of operating within the STCZs

To be continued.

Section 12) Conclusion:

It has become recognized, at the IPCC level, that the terrestrial BECCS related STEM methods are well within the known relevant STEM arts and it is only the demonstration, on a large scale, which needs to be achieved to establish terrestrial BECCS as a leading GWM strategy. Yet, the upstream biomass supply will always be problematic if the biomass is limited to terrestrial sources. The IMBECUS (marine biomass) variant would be a significant advancement over the terrestrial BECCS concept as many of the well recognized land use and economic issues, found within the agricultural based BECCS concept, simply become moot under a marine centric BECCS effort as presented within the IMBECUS Protocol strategy.

With a vast scale of biomass available for BECCS (carbon negative energy), the fossil fuel industry will have an opportunity to convert over to carbon negative biofuels while allowing the IMBECUS Foundation to build a robust World Heritage Natural Resources Reserve of Fossil Fuels for use by future generations.

To further the development of the IMBECUS Protocol, the UN Green Climate Fund has been asked to consider supporting the protocol through its means. The request is copied below:


I would like to draw the U.N. Green Climate Funds' attention to the MIT Climate CoLab entry concerning the Intergovernmental Marine Bio-Energy and Carbon and Sequestration (IMBECUS) Protocol. The protocol has design features which could be relevant to the overall goals of the Green Fund. In that, the protocol is designed to allow all nations to produce carbon negative biofuel (and other critical commodities) within the ocean commons. The protocol attempts to provide environmentally effective, transparent and equitable means for addressing climate change mitigation.

This approach to collaborative climate change mitigation is a new concept which is still in the refinement stage and the interest and goals of the Green Fund has been a significant factor in my efforts in creating the protocol. Any feedback which your organization can offer would be highly welcomed.


Michael Hayes


Dear Mr. Hayes,


Thank you for your input on the Fund’s Investment Framework. The Fund Secretariat sincerely appreciates the time, effort and contribution regarding the Intergovernmental Marine Bio-Energy and Carbon Sequestration (IMBECUS) Protocol. The input will be taken into consideration as the work on the Investment Framework progresses.


I hereby acknowledge receipt of your submission.


Kind regards,


Brett Barstow

Secretariat of the Green Climate Fund

G-Tower, 175 Art Center-daero

Yeonsu, Incheon, Republic of Korea


To be continued.


Note to reader: The development of this analysis is a solo effort.  Any suggestions on fleshing out this basic outline or improving its’ clarity would be welcomed. A rather large volume of peer reviewed papers, books and other materials are being collected in support of the claims being put forward in this document. Any contributions of links and or financial donations to offset the cost of research material would be greatly welcomed. The extent of the investment in the literature review, graphics, other research expenses and travel may exceed $25K.  Email:    Phone: 360-708-4976  Skype: voglerlake               

Note about the author:

 I'm a retired commercial fisherman and ex-medic with 7 years of independent study concerning climate change mitigation/adaptation. I'm a regular contributor to the Google Group/Geoengineering site and other discussion groups related to large scale climate change mitigation/adaptation means and methods.

I'm currently developing the concept of a marine centric Biogeoengineering thesis as a counter to the chemical based Geoengineering concept known as Stratospheric Aerosol (sulfuric acid) Injection (SAI). In brief, SAI will, in it's current protocol configuration, significantly increase polar heating by increasing the production of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC), and thus, SAI has the real and significant potential to propel us into an Arctic Methane Tipping Point and other catastrophic climate warming related events.

The SAI and PSC link has never been modeled by the proponents of SAI. Yet, the belief that SAI will save us, or buy us time in the event of catastrophic climate change, has been accepted by both national and international authorities.

The use of SAI would be...itself...catastrophic to climate stability.

To quote Dr. Sallie Chisholm "Proponents of research on geoengineering simply keep ignoring the fact that the biosphere is a player in what ever we do, and its trajectory cannot be predicted. It is a living breathing collection of organisms that are evolving every second-a 'self-organizing, complex, adaptive system'. These types of systems have emergent properties that simply cannot be predicted. We all know this! Yet proponents of geoengineering research leave that out of the discussion.". Bio-geoengineering does not neglect this obvious reality.


MIT CoLab Awards:

Finalist: USG Leadership on MBECS Development/Demand and Within International Treaties

Simi-Finalist: Industrial GHG Reduction, Sustainable Growth and the IMBECUS Protocol

Please see the current MIT CoLab Proposals:


Energy Supply


Land Use: Agriculture, Forestry, Livestock

Energy solutions for Latin America

Energy-Water Nexus

Urban Energy Efficiency

The Cambridge Heat Island Protocol (CHIP); Management, Funding and STEM

Translating Environmental Biolinguistics Signals into Human Vocabularies