Thursday, June 25, 2009

Synthetic Trees for Carbon Sequestration

I came across a cool article about carbon sequestration. Geophysics professor Klaus Lackner from Columbia University has developed a synthetic tree that can capture carbon 1,000 faster than an actual tree -- that's 1 ton of carbon dioxide per day. That's equivalent to the emissions produced by 20 cars. Unfortunately, these trees cost $30,000 to make, and according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in order to offset the emissions from the 135,932,930 cars on the road in the U.S., we would need 6.8 million of these trees! Undaunted, Lackner says he will have a prototype ready in 3 years.

How does it work? Well, it doesn't need sunlight or water, it simply collects carbon dioxide on a sorbent material, and then cleans and compresses the gas into liquid form, which can then be used to produce fuels and fertilizers.

So far, this is the best carbon sequestration solution I've come across... Let's hope it happens.

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