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Earth’s Asprin?

March 27, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Mankind deposits billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year. Most of the world’s scientists now agree that this unnatural increase in carbon dioxide is directly responsible for climate change and ocean acidification.

Recent studies have shown that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere takes up to 10 years to build up in the upper atmosphere; this means that right now we are seeing the warming effects of the CO2 released in the 1990’s. World emissions have almost doubled since then.

Carbon Air Capture

Carbon Air Capture is the process of removing (and storing) CO2 from the atmosphere. It is increasingly beginning to be viewed as an imperative part of our transition to non-polluting energy technology. A company called Global Research Technologies has just successfully demonstrated the world’s first working prototype of such a device. The idea of such devices is that they will buy us a little time in which to reorganise our energy dependencies, removing the greenhouse gas from the air and storing it, in liquid form, in vast underground tanks.

The problem of carbon capture up to this point is that it could only be done at “point of entry”, on the chimney stacks of factories or power stations, and on the exhaust of every car. This is vastly expensive and extremely impractical; cars would have to pull a trailer at all times to collect exhaust emissions.

These devices can be placed anywhere. With enough of them we could control the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, eventually aiming to reverse the climate change that we have already caused, by returning CO2 levels to pre-industrial levels.

The device they have tested is one metre square and can remove 10 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. GRT (Global Research Technologies) intend to begin production of 10 metre square versions later this year. These will be able to remove 1000 tons of CO2 each year. Millions of these devices will be needed if we are to remove the 11 billion tons needed each year. This would sustain a concentration of carbon dioxide at twice pre-industrial levels.

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