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Giant Fans Will Soon Suck CO2 out of the Atmosphere and Turn It into Fuel

While some may associate CO2 pollution mainly with industrial plants and giant chimneys releasing the gas into the atmosphere, the reality is that emissions from the transport sector represent about 24 percent of global CO2 emissions and have the highest emissions growth of all. They are also harder to limit and capture. While there are existing technologies for trapping CO2 out of a smoke stack, for example, there haven’t been solutions for capturing the amount already released into the atmosphere (by cars, trucks, and planes) — CO2 that is 300 times less concentrated than the type coming out of a smoke stack. That is until now. 

In the beginning of this year, in Squamish, British Columbia, the privately owned (and backed by Bill Gates) company Carbon Engineering began the construction of the first air-capture CO2 demo plant. For years, the company has been developing the technology that is now ready to be implemented on a larger scale. 

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Like trees, air-capture technology traps CO2 from the ambient air. However, as the team at Carbon Engineering points out, “planting enough trees in the numbers needed would require diverting vast amounts of agriculturally productive land. In fact, to absorb enough CO2 as an air-capture facility, trees would require roughly a thousand times more land.” Unlike trees, however, air-capture plants can be built on land that cannot be cultivated, such as deserts.

David Keith, a professor at Harvard University School of Engineering and the executive chairman of Carbon Engineering, together with a team of scientists has been doing CO2 capturing at a Prototype Contactor at the University of Calgary for several years already. The prototype system built at the University can absorb emissions from about 14-15 vehicles or about 100 kilos of carbon dioxide per day.

Simplistically put, the way the system works is this — after the air enters into the facility, it passes through a CO2-absorbent liquid that traps about 80 percent of the carbon dioxide into a solution for further processing.

In the full-scale facility that is currently being built in Squamish, the CO2 will be recovered from the carbonate solution and integrated into the production of liquid hydrocarbons that are fully compatible with today’s transport infrastructure, but have a low (or even zero) carbon intensity.

The construction of the demo plant by the end of this year will be the last step for CE before building a first-its-a-kind commercial air-capture plant by 2017 aiming to close the CO2 cycle.

Source bigthink.com

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29 Comments on "Giant Fans Will Soon Suck CO2 out of the Atmosphere and Turn It into Fuel"

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And put it back in the air after!

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Guest

cannabis seeds have done it millions years ago…

Guest

Don’t we need that for Breathing??

Guest

🙂

Guest

Thank you.. Thats why i asked.. 🙂

Guest

Not CO2, Cheryl – that’s what we breathe out.

Guest

You think they would put it next to a major city

Guest

thiss sukkks

Guest

Really?

Guest

Good.

Guest

Bad idea.

Guest

Why not? 🙂 Time is running out.

Guest

Mite just start to enjoy life an let me sell go, go have a fun time,,,,, sex n party n weed,,,

Guest

Which is looking increasingly likely. 🙁

Guest

Could be, unless we get nuked,,,

Guest

That’s true. Maybe there’s a way of putting moisture back into the air once the CO2’s been extracted?

Guest

Why would you such the moisture out the air,,,
It’s different breathing in very hot countries,
We are not used to very dry air,,,,

Guest

Why is it a bad idea?

Guest

What a brilliant idea! 🙂

Guest

A doubt it’ll suck all the co2 out the air lol plus there’s too much anyway

Guest

lol

Guest

Ye can explain at the weekend lol

Guest

but u have to see were it fails . every source wether no emotions or millions are fuked wee just dnt have techno to comprehend

Guest

But if ye read it the fuel that comes from it has next to no co2 omissions and we need a thousand times the trees we have the now to clean the air

Guest

aye that one but think ae it one means more if it works . having this ain’t a good idea

more fuel to use more waste to have .

Guest

and then wee have no trees to help us breath . hmm mm good idea humans

Guest

if the create it then no doubt
humanity has fallen . this species has long forgotten there roll in the eats life

Guest

They’ll no doubt find a way to tax us for the clean air.

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