There are some which connect CO2 pollution with giant smoking chimneys and with big industrial plants who release gas in the atmosphere, but, realistically speaking, emissions from the transport sector also take quite a chunk on a global scale. ~24% to be more exact.
Their capture is much harder as well as their limitation. To be fair, there are technologies which literally trap the CO2 before it gets emitted in the atmosphere, but, again, there is no solution for the already disbursed one which is currently in our atmosphere (in here we can include cars, trucks, planes) – that specific CO2 is literally 300 times less concentrated than the one which is coming out from the smoke stack. At least not until now.
In the beginning of this year, in Squamish, British Columbia, the privately owned company Carbon Engineering (a company backed by Bill Gates himself) started the construction of the demo plant which will be used to air-capture CO2. Larger scale implementation, after years of research, is on the horizon for this company.
Take trees. Air-Capture technology wants to harness the power of trees which trap the CO2 from the ambient air. There is a catch however according to the working men and women at Carbon Engineering …
“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.”
Air-capture plants however, can be placed and built on uncultivatable land, such as, let’s say, deserts.
Stirring up the mix, is a professor from Harvard University School of Engineering called David Keith, which is also the executive chairman of Carbon Engineering. He and his fellow scientists were busy with CO2 capturing at a Prototype Contractor for several years at the University of Calgary. It came out as a blessing as the prototype which was developed managed to clean roughly 100 kilos of CO2 per day!
In layman’s terms, air enters in the facility, goes through a liquid which absorbs CO2 (roughly ~80%) and it goes in a solution to be dealt with further.
In Squamish (the holder of the first full scale facility), the CO2 is going to be taken from the solution and then reinstated into production of liquid hydrocarbons which will be in compliance with today’s transport infrastructure, but have a low (or even zero) carbon intensity.