Contender 4: Make "Artificial Trees" to Recycle CO2 into Fuel
Technology is available for developing large "artificial trees"
to remove carbon dioxide directly from air.
These artificial trees can be designed to remove a volume of CO2
equal to the total tailpipe CO2 emissions of a given region,
resulting in a zero net balance of CO2 in the atmosphere;
effectively making the hydrocarbon burning cars and trucks
in the region equal to zero-emissions vehicles.
The CO2 could be "harvested" from the artificial trees
and recycled back into synthetic gasoline or synthetic diesel fuel.
Dr. Klaus Lackner, Professor of Geophysics in the Department
of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University
along with Dr. Hans Ziock of Los Alamos National Laboratory
and Dr. Patrick Grimes, an internationally recognized expert
in chemical processes,
have together presented a brief white paper titled,
The Case for Carbon Dioxide Extraction from Air.
American Energy Independence
BBC: Synthetic Trees could purify air
"It's simply a question of weight," he said.
"For every 14 grams of gasoline you use,
you are going to have 44 grams of CO2."
The alternative is to capture emissions from the wind.
In this case, a synthetic tree would act like a filter.
An absorbent coating, such as limewater, on its slats or "leaves"
would seize carbon dioxide and retain the carbon.
Dr Lackner predicts that the biggest expense would be
in recycling the absorber material.
He estimated that 250,000 synthetic trees worldwide
would be needed to soak up the 22 billion tonnes of CO2
Los Alamos National Laboratory research