CO₂ is an odorless, colorless gas that is a byproduct of burning fossil fuels and other natural processes. Humans release more than 36 billion metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually, significantly changing Earth’s natural carbon cycle. The excess carbon traps heat and causes global warming.
“The situation has gotten to the point where we need to stop talking about it and start doing something about it,” said Lackner, an ASU engineering professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. “Carbon dioxide is a waste product we produce every time we drive our cars or turn on the lights in our homes. Our device can recycle it, bringing it out of the atmosphere and either bury it or use it as an industrial gas,” added Lackner, who will serve as the chief scientific adviser to SKH.
The “mechanical tree” is a novel geometry which is agnostic to the wind direction. Each one contains a stack of sorbent filled disks. When the tree-like column is fully extended and the disks spread apart, air flow makes contact with the surfaces and the CO₂ gets bound up.
Tree, you have failed