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Harvard Professor Builds Carbon-Sucking Machine

Harvard applied physics professor David Keith is building a machine that can suck carbon dioxide from the air.  Keith has started a company called Carbon Engineering that has attracted venture capitalists that see a future for this technology.

The machine uses a three-step process to good choice canadian drugs levitra filter the air and separate and sequester the carbon dioxide.  First, a fan sucks air into the machine where it enters a 31-foot-long chamber filled with wavy plastic material.  A sodium hydroxide solution runs down that plastic and reacts with the CO2 to pull it out of the air and turn it into carbonate solids.  Those solids then go into a 900 degree Celsius kiln where they're broken down and become a stream of pure CO2.  That pure CO2 is then capture where it can go on to be stored underground or used for other purposes.

The machine reuses ash left behind in the buy viagra without a prescription kiln to regenerate the sodium hydroxide solution and the process continues.

Of course the removal of the CO2 from the air is never the tricky part of these projects, rather it's what is done with the captured CO2 that leaves people feeling unsure.  The permanence of underground storage is still untested.

But the potential for the technology has generated some interest.  Bill Gates and other billionaire investors have given money to Keith's project and Keith himself hopes that it can be scaled up to a size that could actually make a positive impact on the only now cialis by mail environment.

via NPR



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Comments (16)Add Comment
written by Jamie Bowman, September 22, 2011
My 10-year-old son saw this article and cheap quality levitra said, "But mom, don't plants and trees need Carbon Dioxide to live?" Of course I answered yes, but could you please let me know, in layman-terms, how I can explain the benefits of this and how it won't harm plants and trees? Thanks - A Mom of cialis at real low prices an inquisitive Son
written by Tom, September 22, 2011

I'm not an expert, but assuming that some time in the future this (or something similar) is put to work on a scale which could affect the CO2 concentration globally, I would say that the machines would only be used enough in order to keep the concentration in the atmosphere at a constant pre-determined amount. Perhaps the level would be set at whatever it was pre-industrial revolution. Clearly animal and plant life flourished with the amount of CO2 available at the time, so the the best place generic viagra for sale trees will be fine in that scenario.

The benefits of this would be to slow down the effects of climate change and consequently attempt to slow global warming (since CO2 is a greenhouse gas).
@Jamie Bowman
written by MM, September 22, 2011
Since we're burning fossilized plants and cutting down rainforests at an faster rate than ever, I wouldn't be worried at all about plants getting enough. I would be much more concerned about the very real effects of more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, than the potential effects of removing it with a device like this one.

I would also imagine that devices like this one would run into a concept called diminishing returns-- that means, the less carbon dioxide there is in the atmosphere, the more energy will be required to make the device work, and so it'll be shut down because of increasing costs, not because we ran out of CO2.

Also, plants use photosynthesis to make sugars to grow and continue to wow)) viagra india live-- they expend oxygen and make carbon dioxide when they use their own sugars for energy, just like almost every other living thing on this planet.
What to do with captured CO2?
written by MM, September 22, 2011
I propose freezing it into dry ice, and burning magnesium with CO2 in an oxygen-free environment. Bam-- magnesium oxide and cheapest line viagra various allotropes of carbon, including graphene and possibly nanotubes!
CO2 in a nutshell
written by Steve, September 22, 2011

The best method we have for comparing historic CO2 levels with levels today is to take samples from ancient air trapped in antarctic ice cores--in fact, we think these cores are hundreds of thousands of years old. If our samples are accurate, carbon dioxide levels used to be somewhere between 20 and 25 percent lower than they are today--maybe more than that (see for more accurate numbers). Plants did just fine during that atmosphere of just try! viagra paypal long ago, although the temperature fluctuations that accompanied those CO2 changes probably affected the range where certain kinds of plants could have survived.
Stupid idea
written by Simon, September 23, 2011
What is wrong with simply planting a lot more trees?
Energy consumption
written by Devon Smith, September 23, 2011
I like the cialis order online discount overall idea of this technology, it’s a great concept.
But what really rattles me is where this 'machine' will get its energy from. Electrical, fossil fuels, renewables? It seems TOTALLY counter-productive to have a CO2 cleaning 'machine' require large amounts of energy (which heating a kiln to 900degrees does). Would it be justifiable to used this 'machine' when it could just be cleaning the CO2 it produces from its energy consumption? The designers are going to have to look at the entire spectrum, not just the functions of the technology. Also, would this type of technology give industry an excuse to c o d tramadol burn more fossil fuels without a conscience or consequence, because they could buy into this type of technology?
Climate regulation?
written by Matthew McDonough, September 24, 2011
I don't know about the rest of you, but I can't imagine a situation where I want any entity, public or private, trying to "regulate" the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

If there is too much carbon dioxide being emitted, then by all means, let's reduce it. But to actually use this to suck CO2 from the atmosphere is frightening. I don't believe the inventor or anyone else has the ability to accurately model the entire planet to determine "appropriate" amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

However, if the intent is to sequestrate the order propecia propecia CO2 directly from a power plant, for example, then this is a good interim technology until a more sustainable solution is derived.
written by Kalirren, September 27, 2011
Viable sequestration technology = price ceiling for carbon credits! Perhaps that will ease some fears of rent-seeking behavior in carbon cap-and-trade plans?
written by Simon, September 27, 2011
Why shouldn't cap-and trade be subject to the same corruption that we have seen elsewhere in the financial system? It is naive to pfizer viagra 50mg think that it won't happen.

The very fact that it is financial institutions like merchant banks that are getting into this gives the game away.

Cap and Trade systems provide an incentive to pollute. How can they not do otherwise? A carbon tax on the other hand cannot not have the same propensity to generate multi-level carbon scam trading schemes.
written by Matt Green, September 28, 2011
What a bullshit! That doesn't help anything. The storage of CO2 is very risky and doesn't help. "Wonder-machines" like this one only serve the industry that doesn't wanna change!
net co2
written by Hank, September 29, 2011
Does this vacuum sequester more CO2 than it produces? Reducing CO2 production by transitioning to non-fossil fuels like solar/wind/geothermal is more efficient than this co2 vacuum.
Solar Powered
written by Gordon, September 30, 2011
It does not speak to the energy consumption of the process. Can it be solar powered? Could you use a solar kiln to generate the 900degree heat? And how much CO2 is removed? How big a plant would you need to offset a coal fired power plant? A city? To match the CO2 captured by a 1 acre forest?
written by Gustavo G, September 30, 2011
The Solvay process, also referred to as the ammonia-soda process, is the major industrial process for the production of soda ash (sodium carbonate). The ammonia-soda process was developed into its modern form by Ernest Solvay during the 1860s. The ingredients for this process are readily available and inexpensive. No more comments
written by Don White, October 19, 2011
Why Frack when you can Synthesize

Did you know that methane gas is over twenty times more potent as a global greenhouse gas than is carbon dioxide. However, as essentially finite oil supplies dwindle, oil companies are touting hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as their climate friendly alternative to buy viagra pills petroleum. The problem with this is, fracking produces far more methane emissions than does conventional oil production (

There is a better way to satisfy an exponentially growing liquid fuel demand than fracking. We start by capturing all methane emissions from natural sources (bogs, dairy operations, etc.) as a gaseous fuel, burn it, then capture the CO2 emissions from methane combustion, to convert into a liquid fuel (

On a much larger scale, we also employ two emerging technologies, carbon engineering ( and the Joule platform ( ). Carbon engineering will pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere continuously then the Joule platform converts it into a liquid fuel that can distributed via existing liquid fuel infrastructure.

The potential for this approach is enormous. The U.S. dirty dozen power plants emit more than 220 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. By employing the“better way” they can convert this problem into a salable product or burn it in their own boilers. This would take a huge bite out of global greenhouse gas emissions. Think of all the jobs that could be created if all American power plants added liquid fuel production to their operations.
Try combining ideas
written by PJ, January 09, 2012
Maybe the carbon produced from this machine could be used to build carbon nanotube structures, like in this article

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