The Global Methane Removal Program
The Global Methane Removal Program (founded by Peter Fiekowsky) wants to ensure the flourishing and survival of humankind by preventing a climate disaster through rapid methane release from the arctic. The technology used in this programme is called ‘iron salt aerosol’ (ISA). These are particles in the atmosphere that help in the natural process of methane removal through chlorine atoms (from sea salt). Methane is a greenhouse gas like CO2, but it is 80 times stronger! Furthermore, it currently causes about 1/3rd of the global greenhouse effect.
This effect of chlorine is a natural process and has been shown to be increased in volcanic plumes and in polluted air from asian cities. Via this link, you can see the widespread chlorine radical chemistry associated with pollution outflow from continental Asia.
What does this mean for the seafarer community? Well, most probably ships are using iron-containing additives in their fuel (for example ferrocene), to improve engine performance. The burning of iron-containing fuel above the ocean generates these ISA particles that generate chlorine atoms, which remove methane. Thus, this ISA effect is possibly already happening on a large scale in shipping plumes, but nobody has ever measured the effect. Therefore, this program emerged. By proving the effect in a shipping plume, the shipping industry can use it to reduce their greenhouse gas footprint, and the technique can be scaled up to remove more methane and protest the climate.
The mission of the programm?
- To demonstrate the presence of chlorine atoms, by measuring the concentration of several hydrocarbon gasses across the shipping plume.
The criteria for success?
- That gasses in a shipping plume are measured or indirectly estimated.
- That the amounts measured significantly indicate that chlorine atoms are generated by the shipping plume.
- That chlorine atoms are actually an indicator of removing methane – shown by the plume having less methane than the background level of 1.9 ppm.