Monday September 23, 2019

‘Mechanical Trees’ A Good Option To Fight Climate Change? Read Here To Find Out!

The device uses wind to blow air through its system rather than an energy-intensive mechanism.

0
//
Trees
A stump from a old growth tree cut for timber is pictured at the Garcia River Forest near Longvale, California, July 27, 2009. VOA

A Dublin-based company plans to erect “mechanical trees” in the United States that will suck carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air, it said on Monday, in what may be prove to be biggest effort to remove the gas blamed for climate change from the atmosphere.

The company, Silicon Kingdom Holdings (SKH), will build 1,200 carbon-cleansing metal columns within a year with which it hopes to capture CO2 more cheaply than other methods, following a successful test in Arizona over a two-year period, it said.

That is enough to suck up nearly 8,000 cars worth of emissions per year of CO2.

“We have to figure out how to act to get to a climate that is safe,” said the technology’s inventor, Klaus Lackner, a professor at Arizona State University.

SKH’s pilot would be the world’s largest “direct air capture” operation to date, said Jennifer Wilcox, a professor of chemical engineering at the U.S.-based Worcester Polytechnic Institute, who is not involved in the project.

Carbon capture is gradually gaining momentum, with the United Nations saying in a report last year that the technology is likely needed to keep the rise in global temperatures below catastrophic levels.

SKH expects its two-year pilot, possibly in California, to capture about 36,500 metric tons of CO2 a year, it said – the equivalent of nearly 7,750 vehicles driven for a year.

Full-scale farms would be 100 times bigger.

factory
While capturing CO2 from industrial facilities and power plants has a decades-long commercial history, “direct air capture”, which pulls the gas directly from the atmosphere is a burgeoning field with only a handful of players, said Wilcox. Pixabay

The company’s “mechanical trees”, as the firm has dubbed them because they are tall and slender and absorb CO2 just like trees, are fitted with filter-like components to absorb the CO2, a photo of a prototype showed.

The device uses wind to blow air through its system rather than an energy-intensive mechanism, it said.

While capturing CO2 from industrial facilities and power plants has a decades-long commercial history, “direct air capture”, which pulls the gas directly from the atmosphere is a burgeoning field with only a handful of players, said Wilcox.

Swiss firm Climeworks has so far led the market, alongside Canada-based Carbon Engineering and U.S.-based Global Thermostat, she said.

FILE - A facility for capturing CO2 from air of Swiss Climeworks AG is placed on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland, July 18, 2017.
A facility for capturing CO2 from air of Swiss Climeworks AG is placed on the roof of a waste incinerating plant in Hinwil, Switzerland, July 18, 2017. VOA

The companies compress the high-concentration CO2 they capture and then can sell it for use in industrial applications, including making drinks fizzy, creating fuel and extracting oil.

While the high price of direct air capture has long been viewed as an impediment to scaling up the technologies, SKH’s costs is less than $100 per metric ton for pure CO2, it said.

Also Read: Heavier, Taller Children More Likely to Develop Kidney Cancer, Warn Researchers

“The $100 a ton is important because I think that’s the point where things start to get economically interesting,” Lackner told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “You can buy liquid CO2 which is delivered by truck in order to fill fire extinguishers and myriad other things for prices between $100 and $200 a ton.”

SKH would not provide information about how much building the pilot would cost. It said it was “in discussions with a range of potential funders and strategic partners from the aviation, energy and food and beverage industries.” (VOA)

Next Story

G20 Nations Unable To Meet Paris Agreement On Climate Action

G20 nations are collectively not on track to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, but they have huge opportunities to undertake rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions

0
G20 Summit, climate action, Paris, agreement, climate
Ministers and delegates gather for a family photo session at G20 energy and environment ministers meeting in Karuizawa, Japan, June 15, 2019, in this photo taken by Kyodo. VOA

G20 nations are collectively not on track to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, but they have huge opportunities to undertake rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, a new UN research has said.

An advance chapter of the 2019 Emissions Gap Report, released on Saturday ahead of the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit slated to open on Monday, has said that the G20 members, which account for around 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, were not yet taking on transformative climate commitments at the necessary breadth and scale.

The report showed that around half of the G20 nations’ GHG emissions trajectories fall short of achieving their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Taken as a whole, the current NDCs are nowhere near enough to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius or below two degrees temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.

This means that the world is still on the path to a catastrophic temperature rise of well over three degrees this century.

However, the advance chapter points to key areas where G20 nations can rapidly step up action when they submit their next round of NDCs in 2020.

G20 Summit, climate action, Paris, agreement, climate
Young people afraid for their futures protested around the globe Friday to implore leaders to tackle climate change, turning out by the hundreds of thousands to insist. Pixabay

“We can only avoid planet-altering climate change with the full commitment of G20 nations to a zero-carbon future. So far, they haven’t done enough” said UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen.

“But the good news is that every G20 nation has an array of nationally appropriate actions available to them to slash their emissions. Combined with strong political and societal support for climate action, there has never been a better opportunity for policymakers to take these actions.”

The full Emissions Gap Report, due for release in late November, will contain a detailed G20 update.

ALSO READ: India To Become Global Steel Manufacturing Hub By 2031

The 2018 report said the G20 would need to cut an extra 2.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2030 to meet their unconditional NDCs.

For conditional NDCs, the number is 3.5 gigatonnes.

According to the report, nations must at least triple the level of ambition of their current NDCs to have a chance of keeping global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius.

To keep global temperatures to 1.5 degrees, they must increase their ambitions five-fold. (IANS)