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Scientists Look for Ways to Suck CO2 from the Air to Stem Climate Change

Scientists Look for Ways to Suck CO2 from the Air to Stem Climate Change
Bernadine Racoma

With all the talk about global warming, scientists are looking for ways to suck the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, believing it’s one of the ways to stem climate change. Will “hacking” nature truly protect Mother Earth by reversing the ongoing forward movement of climate change?

According to experts, global temperatures could be kept at a safe level by sucking monumental amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere, but it poses another question. How do you do it?

Response from Climate Change experts

Scientists are saying that in theory, CO2 could be extracted from the air and converted into materials for clothing, buildings and other things. However, it would be a very expensive process and storage would be a problem, due to the enormous volume. Dr. Klaus Lackner

He said that there is a limit to the amount of CO2 that could be captured and stored. However, they assume that this problem would find a solution. Donald Penman, a geologist at Yale University said that the best storage for a massive amount of CO2 would be at the ocean’s bottom to prevent any unpredictable side effects.

In the meantime Lackner and other scientists at ASU are developing a CO2-capturing machine. The concept drawing they had showed a large box with a big sail. Drawing inspiration from trees, the plastic resin sail will function as leaves, grabbing the carbon as air flows over it. Lackner explained that carbon would bind to the dry sail. Wetting the plastic would release the carbon and this would be the process of storing and harvesting CO2, based on their concept.

Urban use in Massachusetts

SHIFTBoston, an urban design group from Massachusetts is waiting for ASU’s carbon-scrubbing resin to be fully developed, which they would use to create solar-powered synthetic devices they call, “Boston Treepods.” These would be multi-purpose devices, based on their concept drawing, with the artificial trees working as CO2 scrubber, street lighting devices and urban art installations as well.

Agriculture use

At the moment, the device being developed by ASU is meant to be employed in greenhouses as plants need CO2 for growth. Although it is not a large-scale device that could help solve the climate change issue, Lackner said that this shows that the technology is viable, adding that if this proves successful it could maybe inspire the development of enormous CO2 farms later.

Image credit: Arizona State University

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