View Full Version : Just how big?

15th Oct 2008, 14:06
Just how big, or to put it another way because I just have to get my head around this, what size would a container have to be to hold 500 tonnes of CO2 in an uncompressed and non-solid or liquid format?

After you've educated (and impressed) me no end, then my next question will be this:-

If I now let it loose, say in my back yard, where will it go?

I expect that I may have to ask some supplementary questions as well, so in preparation for this can I have these answered without any sort of a chart and just simply without scientific stuff?



15th Oct 2008, 14:12
You're gonna need a bigger back yard. :uhoh:

15th Oct 2008, 14:19
At standard temperature and pressure, carbon dioxide weighs about 1.98 kilogrammes per cubic metre. So 500 tonnes would involve a volume of 252525 cubic metres, or a box about 63x63x63 metres. For comparison, the volume of the Albert Hall is a bit under half that volume...

.... or a sphere 130 feet across

15th Oct 2008, 14:19
Are you planning some kind of shock and awe eco-terrorist act?:E

Standard Noise
15th Oct 2008, 14:21
So what weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead?:confused:

15th Oct 2008, 14:21
Gosh Magnus, clever stuff.

Do you have a big back garden modtinbasher??

15th Oct 2008, 16:04
Are you planning some kind of shock and awe eco-terrorist act?

or a 1970s glam-rock revival concert? Sounds to me like you've got far too much spare time on your hands. Go and get a proper job or hobby.

Incidentally, how did come to be in possession of 500 tonnes of CO2? Didn't you read the eBay description?

mr fish
15th Oct 2008, 18:50
STANDARD NOISE-what weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of lead.
not too sure about the lead, but a pound of gold weighs less than a pound of feathers because a troy pound is less than an avourdupois pound (god knows how you spell it!!!!).
of course i may have this TOTALLY back to front:ok:

15th Oct 2008, 19:23
OK, and thank you. I now know how big it is, because I can visualise said container!

I've now taken the lid off......where is it going?

And yes, I've got a big one, but please no more enquiries about my back yard, tinbashette is listening!

Just please answer the question (same rules) where is it going to go when I release it?

Thanks, again


15th Oct 2008, 19:35
Err, either up or out or more correctly out then up. I do hope you have purchased the appropriate license to release said gas. Your neighbours and possibly plod may take a dim view of you 'accidentally' releasing it, that said you've a good chance of creating a nice toasty warm micro-climate until the gas eventually dissipates (hopefully you won't asphyxiate too many people before it does).

15th Oct 2008, 19:36
OK, thank you again. MagnusP, so a square metre of it weighs, in a balloon, getting on for what:-

"1.98 Kg per cubic metre"?

More than 4 pounds per cubic yard, in English, are you sure?

Sorry I'm being difficult, but I've got some serious thinking to do here!

I'll be back in a bit!

Thanks again


15th Oct 2008, 19:38
And since CO2 is more dense than air, I guess it'll spill out all over yer floor.
Not if:-
I've now taken the lid off......where is it going?:E

Pontius Navigator
15th Oct 2008, 19:43
Gobona, it was the lid he opened so I guess he has a box not a sphere.

It will therefore just sit there.

So, if we create a cavern deep down we can pour CO2 in and it will displace the nitrogen oxygen mix and not need a containment valve. Unless it gets hot of course.

15th Oct 2008, 19:48
Thanks for your wise advices. Naturally, I will not release it without prior consent(s) but I'm still confused.

You advise (on release) it may go down, sideways, or up, and I can imagine this, but being the CO2 is colourless, I'm told, do I have any remit or action as to where it will eventually lay to rest.

Many thanks again


15th Oct 2008, 20:38
CO2 is heavier than air are will, under still conditions, essentially act like a liquid, pooling in enclosed areas/depressions etc otherwise flowing freely away from its point of release. It will relatively quickly dissipate into the atmosphere assuming it is not inadvertently enclosed or trapped after release (it will flow through doors & windows and could quite easily be trapped in hazardous concentrations inside a building etc near to its point of release). As I noted in my previous post CO2 in high concentrations is an asphyxiant hence great care will need to be taken as to how & where you release it - dare I say it I'd strongly advise you to do a risk assessment. The much-maligned HSE will be able to help you with this - they are actually quite approachable & reasonable.

Given the amount of CO2 you are talking about, you may want to consider doing it on a windy day, also encouraging any one in the local area to go out for a few hours...

Would just like to add there are plenty of professional organisations out there who would be able to give you some legally-robust advice on your 'problem' (I hope you are getting my hint here).


15th Oct 2008, 20:46
You could buy yourself a load of old hot air balloons and keep it in those. It wouldn't fly off either :ok:

Roger Sofarover
15th Oct 2008, 20:51
Come on mod tell us why?? Are you planning to hold the world to ransom and destroy it with your own greenhouse gas generator?? Throw lots of plants in and convert it all to oxygen!!

15th Oct 2008, 20:53
So....we start capturing all this CO2 from coal-fired power stations, because the green morons think it's bad for the atmosphere, and we cart it off in tanks, on trucks, and pump it into holes in the ground (and just think of how much CO2 we'll produce by building all those tanks and trucks out of steel, and driving them around with diesel :rolleyes:), and then it gets into the groundwater and acidifies it, and the acidic groundwater leeches all sorts of nasties out of the earth around it, and then we pump up the groundwater and drink it.

What a good idea.

Why don't we put an equivalent amout of effort into punching the greenies repeatedly in the head, until they actually grasp the idea that they're just plain WRONG about AGW?

Howard Hughes
15th Oct 2008, 23:06
Are you planning to hold the world to ransom and destroy it with your own greenhouse gas generator??
Perhaps he is going to buy a Hummer!;)

16th Oct 2008, 11:15
modtinbasher wrote:
"1.98 Kg per cubic metre"?

More than 4 pounds per cubic yard, in English, are you sure?

Yes; check any school chemistry book, or one of the online resources.

And Gobonastick was right, the sphere is 130 ft radius, not diameter.

16th Oct 2008, 11:39
I went about this a slightly different way and got a 40-metre balloon if that's what you'd like to store the stuff in. I think that's about 130-feet. This is radius not diameter. I haven't done this sort of calculation for decades, I'm so pleased that my answer was the same as someone else!

16th Oct 2008, 16:17
If you can get it compressed again and into the appropriate cylinders, your friendly local landlord will be only too happy to take it off your hands and put it to good use.:ok:

18th Oct 2008, 10:30
Thank you folks for all your replies, some most amusing too!

I'm afraid that I don't actually have those 500 tonnes of CO2 anywhere, but if I did then with 5th November quickly approaching I'd have just the place to release it!

No, I was merely musing having read in the press that some council was about to turn off a load of street lighting during the hours of darkness to "conserve power", and this would save "500 tonnes" of CO2.

It just caused me to think how much space that would release for fresh air! And then I thought about all the people in the world breathing as they have done since we populated the planet, and where was all our CO2 going as well. One might thing that if this stuff was SOOOO harmful to planetary existance, that rivers would have risen and we'd be permanently experiencing temperatures well into the hundreds! But there we are, I suppose the "old fashioned" CO2 was quite acceptable and never did any harm at all. It's just this new stuff that has to be taxed!

But, surely, no matter how much money we have to pay for this new stuff, it will still be there won't it?


18th Oct 2008, 11:31
Yumans and nanimals burn oxygen. Plants photosynthesize CO2; C02 can be added to greenhouses to encourage growth. Water absorbs CO2: oceans contain around 50 times the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

CO2 it toxic in relatively small concentrations, so it's been used for pest control. Volcanos also use it to wipe out villagers from time to time.

18th Oct 2008, 12:25
If you're looking for a container to put it in my teenage son's pants seem to withstand that quantity of spent gases daily!:uhoh:

18th Oct 2008, 13:08
Purchase a small quantity of premium potting compost. Place one dandelion seedling in the centre of said compost and then place the seedling in the centre of your 500 tonnes of CO2.

Viola! Within 4 weeks the CO2 will have vanished (having been consumed by the dandelion) and will have been replaced by refreshing O2 and the dandelion seedling will now be sporting a dancing yellow head (or even more seeds to consume even more CO2). Plus you will have a selection of leaves for a healthy salad and a root which can be dried and ground to make ersatz coffee. :}

Jeez. And they pay scientists and economists millions of dollars for stating this stuff. :8

Roger Sofarover
19th Oct 2008, 05:00
The staggering fact is that CO2 in our atmosphere is a TRACE gas. How have we got to where we are right now? Mr Gore, in between counting his money, has a lot to answer for. All the scientists on his band wagon who live off the funding should be thoroughly ashamed. The councils turning off the lights are on the bandwagon also, using fear to justify saving their money, whilst compromising road safety and the safety of walkers at night. Darwinism was not quite correct, as a race we are connected to/stopped at leemings! We should use all of the currently wasted global resources (money etc blah blah) to prepare to avoid the cycle, rather than buy the selective few larger and larger houses and cars for the s****e they spout. Rant over:mad:

Loose rivets
19th Oct 2008, 05:12
So, a tree...a wooden one. Remind me again what it's made of.:8

Or as my dad probably said. Bugger! One has been squashed by a mass of concentrated CO2


Hey G-CPTN, any chance of tracing that Reg?

19th Oct 2008, 08:54
Researchers have determined that small, economical processing plants may be built for capturing large amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, using readily available technology. Estimated cost of the favoured process, as applied in a small-ish facility, the likes of which might be replicated thousands of times around the world as may be needed, is from US $56 to $105 per tonne of captured Carbon Dioxide, plus a comparable amount per ton for reprocessing the resulting compound (Bicarbonate of sodium) and thereby extracting the CO2 in concentrated form.

The process is simple, cheap, easy. Kinda puts a lid on the other economics of 'carbon credits', one might think.

PDF -- (http://www.ucalgary.ca/~keith/papers/97.Stolaroff.AirCaptureContactor.e.pdf) Carbon Dioxide Capture from Atmospheric Air Using Sodium Hydroxide Spray

Joshuah K. Stolaroff, David W. Keith, and Gregory V. Lowry

Bill G Kerr
19th Oct 2008, 09:15
On 15 August 1984 at about 2330, several people heard a loud noise or explosion from the Lake Monoun in Cameroon, West Africa

area and there were unconfirmed reports that an earthquake was felt that day at a town 6 kilometers N of the lake. The gas cloud was emitted from the E part of the lake, where a crater about 350 meters in diameter and at least 96 meters deep is located. Victims of the cloud were in a low-lying area and had apparently died between 0300 and dawn. No autopsies were performed and the exact causes of death are unknown; all bodies had suffered skin damage [corrected from first-degree burns]. Persons on the fringes of the cloud reported that it smelled bitter and acidic. From 0630 until it dissipated by 1030, the whitish, smoke-like cloud remained 0-3 meters above the ground. Vegetation was flattened within 100 meters of the lake's east end, indicating that a water wave as much as 5 meters above lake level was associated with the event.
Lake Monoun is near the center of a volcanic field that includes at least 34 recent craters, and there is evidence that eruptive activity has occurred there as recently as a few hundred years ago. However, the chemistry of the lake water and sediments, the uniformly low lake temperature (23-24=B0C), and the absence of new tephra in or around the lake suggested to the research team that the August 1984 event was not the result of an eruption or a sudden ejection of volcanic gas from the lake. Gradual emission of CO2 from volcanic vents is thought to have led to a buildup of HCO3 in the lake. An earthquake or internal seiche is thought to have upset the density stratification of the lake, triggering its overturn and catastrophic exsolution of CO2, which suffocated the victims. Explanations of the cloud's acid odor and the agent of victims' skin damage are uncertain. </div>

19th Oct 2008, 09:59
Hey G-CPTN, any chance of tracing that Reg?Brighton 1967 . . .

Loose rivets
19th Oct 2008, 10:10
That's clever, thanks. This happened shortly before the only time I met him in my adult life. His house had burned down, and now this. Tough year, then I suddenly turn up.

His three sons didn't know about me, but we've all met now...s'where I was this summer ooooop north at the lakes. Good up there, innit?

19th Oct 2008, 10:41
And the ambulance is a Bedford J1 . . .