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allanshaw3
New Contributor II

cleaning the air

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If I burn a rocket engine using hydrogen and oxygen as a fuel with the water created from that engine if directed towards the earths atmosphere will it remove any carbon dioxide or methane or any other greenhouse gas when the water enters the atmosphere?

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scooke
Contributor III

Re: cleaning the air

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No.  The equilibrium between carbon dioxide, water and the atmosphere would not be affected simply by the introduction of a temporary local increase in the water content.  It it did, CO2 would be removed greatly every time it rains.  It would have even less effect on methane, as methane is not soluble in water.

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scooke
Contributor III

Re: cleaning the air

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No.  The equilibrium between carbon dioxide, water and the atmosphere would not be affected simply by the introduction of a temporary local increase in the water content.  It it did, CO2 would be removed greatly every time it rains.  It would have even less effect on methane, as methane is not soluble in water.

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allanshaw3
New Contributor II

Re: cleaning the air

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What if it was not temporary, but was continuous? with significant amounts of burning just above the ozone in the upper parts of the stratosphere? 

 

I am inquiring looking to see if it would pull any amounts out of the atmosphere?

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scooke
Contributor III

Re: cleaning the air

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Dear Allan,

No, that would not make any difference.  You should read up on the natural water cycle to see the amounts of water transport already at work in the atmosphere.

allanshaw3
New Contributor II

Re: cleaning the air

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Is there a fuel I could use to remove some of the green house gasses? or something that could be sprayed into the atmosphere to remove them? 

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scooke
Contributor III

Re: cleaning the air

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Dear Alan,

Well, we ALL would like a very simply solution to pop out from somewhere!  However, scientists have been studying this for decades now.  Much of my 40-year career involved many aspects of environmental concerns related to all forms of pollution.

Maybe, to understand the real-world complexity of both pollution and mitigation efforts, I would recommend that anyone read the information (lots of it, over the decades!) about concerns and solutions posted on sites like the U.S. EPA, https://www.epa.gov/ ;  U.S. Dept. of Energy, https://www.energy.gov/ ; the IPCC, https://www.ipcc.ch/ ; and general sites like ResearchGate https://www.researchgate.net/

Best regards,

Steven

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allanshaw3
New Contributor II

Re: cleaning the air

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I understand what you are saying and appreciate your feedback. I am currently working on several projects to help reduce the average person’s carbon footprint. I know reducing out pollution is the best plan of action and to get out governments involved as well. 

 

However, that is not what I am after. for clarification, I am currently working on a project that would involve the burning of rocket engines in the upper atmosphere. As I am not a chemist and have very limited knowledge in this area, I know there are several different fuels that can be used some more hazardous than others. 

 

I am looking to see if I could possibly use a mixture of oxidizers and fuels to create a biproduct that would pull more out of the air than is being put into it. My first thought was hydrogen as this is already used as a rocket fuel and creates water. which would as you said not have a meaningful impact on the pollutions currently in the air? 

 

my goal is not to clean all the air and solve global warming but to just pull more pollution out of the air than I am putting into it, even if this means burning more fuel to achieve the desired thrust. I would appreciate any help and do not have the time to learn chemistry on my own and cannot currently afford to staff one as I am working on this project in my off time. I am working to get funding currently and will hopefully have some soon, but it would greatly help me to guide my project in an environmentally conscious way if there was a way to burn a fuel in a vacuum and have the biproduct remove more harmful elements that it would be introducing. having this information will allow me to make decisions that would be cost effective to implement in the early phase and may not be possible to convert once the project is in full swing.

 

Again, I appreciate your feedback and I come in peace 🙂 

 

I am trying to do my part and not add to the problem. I do not accept it is not possible, but it may prove not to be cost effective, or not be able to produce enough energy to create lift.

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scooke
Contributor III

Re: cleaning the air

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Dear Alan,

Yes, one reason we (ACS) are here is to help the general populace to understand chemical phenomena and their role in our lives better.  A caveat, of course, is that there is a reason that it takes years of intense study and practice to achieve various levels of understanding and competence in the chemical sciences (and others).  Sometimes, a 'simple' answer may not suffice, but it does indicate where some additional exploration may be useful.

I'm very glad that you are concerned about the effects of the process!  That is what we refer to as "Sustainability" in chemical and industrial processes.  To reiterate my first point, despite concerns and some impacts (valid) of large and continuous emissions from different things into the environment, both the atmosphere and the oceans are really too huge and massive to be affected by relatively small local contributions.  "Pollution" is a problem because we are too often ADDING compounds that are NOT usually present, causing issues like upper atmosphere ozone depletion and various forms of acid rain.

I am a follower, encourager, but a little disappointed in the whole new push for HYDROGEN Economy.  But, that is because too many projects do NOT include the start-up emissions from non-hydrogen sources!  A few small places have demonstrated 'pure' hydrogen production, completely from solar sources (light and wind).  even those do not honestly take into account the environmental impact of the solar arrays or wind turbines that they NOW use to produce the electricity to make the hydrogen.

HOWEVER, in your case, yes, using a hydrogen-oxygen fuel/oxidant for rockets is the most environmentally benign of all power sources.  It is not adding additional amounts of any harmful compounds, and the water produced will simply be incorporated into the normal water cycle without really affecting it one way or the other.  So, it is the best "sustainable" fuel for rocketry (BEST if you can actually source it from truly solar systems), but it will at best do no harm, but will not really improve anything either.

Any other fuel system will only decrease the sustainability and generally, be a pollutant.

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