Arresting Climate Change

A Blueprint Towards Sustainability
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Understand sources of CO2 in our economy, not only from energy and transportation, but other industries
What Carbon Sequestration is and how DAC (direct air capture) is different than FSC (flue stack capture)
Understand the Earth's carbon cycle and learn how the Earth sequestered carbon from its high concentrations in the Earths original atmosphere
Why there is an energy penalty with all forms of carbon sequestration
How desalination can be coupled with carbon mineralization to eliminate CO2 and brine disposal, store energy, and reduce salination of groundwater


  • Chemistry 101 or a good high school class in chemistry would help but is not necessary
  • A desire to do something about climate change


In this class we discuss carbon sequestration as a means to mitigate climate change.  The method promoted is carbon mineralization. 

This course was developed as part of mission of the non-profit Carbon Negative Water and Energy founded by Dr. John Hoaglund.  If you have benefitted from the information, please consider making a donation.  If you're part of the 98% and can't make a donation, please massively forward the website and this course to your network ... it makes a difference.  More information is available at the foundation's website linked from Dr. Hoaglund's Udemy Instructor biography page.

The two-part course is based on two presentations, divided topically into 14 videos.  The first section features a Nevada Conservation League podcast, interviewing Dr. John Hoaglund.  The climate change issue, other industrial sources of carbon and how to mitigate it with carbon sequestration is discussed.  The second section is an expanded version of a presentation Dr. Hoaglund delivered to the National Groundwater Association (NGWA), and details the "CNWE environmental trifecta" (see below).   

Unlike the temporary biotic carbon sequestration used for "carbon offsets" (growing wetlands and forests in exchange for the "right to pollute", i.e. emit carbon), carbon mineralization is the Earth's permanent sink for carbon onto the seafloor.  There is an energy penalty associated with all carbon sequestration methods, but by combining it with brine desalination with the processes described here, the energy invested also 1) produces freshwater, 2) produces commodities such as hydrogen gas, an energy carrier that will soon replace lithium, 3) eliminates brine disposal, 4) eliminates carbon emissions, and 5) reduces salination of groundwater by producing a bicarbonate de-icing salt to replace chloride salts.

A technical description of the three components of the “CNWE environmental trifecta” is as follows:

  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) is reduced through the sequestration of carbon, achieved from flue stack capture (FSC), or direct air capture (DAC), of CO2, subsequently incorporated into solid carbonate mineral [MCO3 or MHCO3], or into increased naturally dissolved bicarbonate (HCO3) in groundwater, surface water, and oceans. Dissolved HCO3 can be incorporated into algae for biofuel, fertilizer, or feedstock production. The need for brine waste disposal is eliminated from both seawater and groundwater brine desalination operations. The most common technology for this step usually involves 1) the electrolysis of brine, producing a base MOH, and 2) the aeration of CO2 gas forming carbonic acid, which reacts with the base to produce a carbonate salt [MCO3 or MHCO3].

  • Freshwater is produced from the desalination of brine, and is managed through the prevention of salinization from brine handling and road salting, as well as the treatment of the acidification of groundwater and surface waters resulting from acid precipitation and acid mine drainage. MHCO3, replacing MCl in road salting and fertilizer operations, provides “non-point” source application of the bicarbonate for the neutralization of acid precipitation. The elimination of MCl salts prevents the chloride salinization of groundwater and surface waters. MHCO3 can also be applied locally, providing “point” source application for the neutralization of acid mine drainage point sources.

  • Clean energy is promoted through the production of energy carriers: lithium extracted from brines, and hydrogen produced from the electrolysis of brine. Other marketable byproducts are produced from the electrolysis process described above, which has existed for over a hundred years, and is already the standard means for the production of these compounds industrially. The marketable byproducts are NaHCO3 and various HxClx compounds, including H2, Cl2, HCl, and ClOx. The H2 can supplement the hydrogen economy. The Cl2 and ClOx compounds can be used in water sanitation. The HCl can be used in various waste digestion (dissolution) practices, particularly organic matter from agriculture (e.g. offal). HCl applied to native metals produces that metal’s chloride plus hydrogen gas.

[Throughout the discussion above, M is most commonly sodium, Na, when referring to univalent cations, and Ca or Mg when referring to divalent cations]

Who this course is for:

  • ANYONE interested in how to arrest climate change, including the concerned public, the activist public, politicians, venture capitalists, and business owners that can stand to gain from these methods

Course content

2 sections14 lectures1h 54m total length
  • What is carbon sequestration?
  • The Earth's Carbon Cycle
  • Other Industrial sources of carbon
  • Stopping a Train with Our Heels?
  • DAC vs FSC: Getting HCO3 to the Ocean


John Hoaglund
  • 4.9 Instructor Rating
  • 11 Reviews
  • 404 Students
  • 5 Courses

John R. Hoaglund, III, Ph.D.

Dr. Hoaglund is a geologist with more than 35 years of experience in environmental research, teaching, and consulting in the private sector, government, and academia. He received his BS (1985) and MS (1987) degrees in geology from the University of Wisconsin, worked in research and consulting in Wichita, Kansas on projects related to ground water supply and contamination, then returned to academics in 1991, receiving his doctoral degree in geological sciences from Michigan State University in 1996. As part of his dissertation, he completed the US Geological Survey (USGS) Regional Aquifer Systems Analysis (RASA) groundwater model of the Michigan Basin, a model used to calculate modern and Pleistocene groundwater and brine discharge to the Great Lakes and rivers in Michigan. He taught hydrogeology, groundwater modeling, environmental geology, and glacial / climate geology at the University of Michigan before joining the Pennsylvania State University research on regional climate-hydrologic models, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, and groundwater nitrate studies, funded by the US Department of Agriculture. In 2007, Dr. Hoaglund resumed groundwater consulting, focusing primarily on sites involving perchlorate groundwater contamination in southern California. While reviewing the reactions involved in the manufacture of perchlorate, he recognized the potential for the electrolysis reaction to consume salt waste while producing hydrogen. Later, reviewing DOW documents describing the reasons and methods for the air-tight conditions required for the storage of sodium hydroxide byproducts, he recognized the potential for the aeration reaction to sequester carbon into bicarbonate.

Dr. Hoaglund founded Carbon Negative Water Solutions, LLC in 2010 to pursue the trifecta of desalination, water resource development, hydrogen production, and CO2 sequestration. In addition to continued groundwater consulting, he wrote extensively about the potential for coupling ocean desalination with carbon sequestration, and approached several water and energy companies with the idea to promote mutually beneficial cooperation. He discovered these companies operate in separate universes on projects that are planned over a decade or more, and are reluctant to adopt new technologies over the established and state-approved method for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation: offsetting. In 2015, Dr. Hoaglund relocated to Las Vegas to accept contract work with Navarro Research and Engineering for the Department of Energy, assisting with groundwater characterization and modeling of the Nevada National Security Site (formerly Nevada Test Site), work related to the legacy groundwater contamination associated with historic nuclear testing. In 2019 he transitioned the Carbon Negative Water Solutions LLC to the non-profit Carbon Negative Water and Energy. In addition to the non-profit, he maintains a private research consulting and e-learning service, Provenance Geosciences.