SPICE: Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering

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Event Details

19 April 2011 at 1:00 pm – 19 April 2011 at 2:00 pm
MSI Seminar Room, Building 74
Open to:
Public lectures; Seminars & Workshops


Dr Hugh Hunt of Cambridge University will discuss the SPICE project, which investigates the benefits, risks, costs and feasibility of solar radiation management through the deployment of reflective aerosols in the stratosphere.

We propose that particles can be delivered to the stratosphere through a high-pressure pipe suspended by a balloon tethered at an altitude of 20 km. An ultra-high pressure pumping system would deliver a particulate slurry to be dispersed at altitude. The resulting particulate cloud would then lead to global cooling by increasing the albedo of the planet in just the same way as the planet cools after a large volcanic eruption.

The project falls under the general heading of “Geoengineering”, ie how to cool the planet if we fail to control global CO2 emissions.

SPICE presents many novel engineering challenges, especially the design of the pipe and pumping systems to withstand pressures up to 4000 bar and tensions up to 500 tonnes.

In this presentation a number of these challenges will be discussed, including the challenge of preparing a 1 km test-bed to be constructed in November this year. Preliminary wind tunnel test results will also be presented as an illustration of the complexity of the dynamic behaviour of the tether in high winds.

SPICE is funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Our major collaborators are Bristol and Oxford Universities.

This seminar is presented jointly by the Faculty of Engineering and the Monash Sustainability Institute.

Event Contact

Andrew Hoadley
990 53421
Monash University