Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Synthetic Trees

We know that carbon dioxide is one of the main contributers to global warming and that trees effeciently remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Dr. Klaus Lackner from Columbia University first announced an idea to build "synthetic trees" back in 2003. His original idea emenated from his Daughter's high school project and his proposal was to build synthetic trees which would remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

At the time many scientists believed that the proposal was not practical and thought Dr Lackner's design wouold not hold together on the scale he proposed. They felt that you would expend more energy in capturing the CO2 - in keeping the slats coated in absorbent and disposing of it - than you would save.

Still working on the idea Dr. Lackner has now progressed his idea to large scale air capture technology and has successfully demonstrated a prototype which he expects to be commercialised in 2 to 4 years.
In the meanwhile trees are the best we've got for removing carbon from the atmosphere with 1 ha of trees removing approximately 3 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere yearly.

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