Thursday, April 26, 2007

Re-inventing the wheel

The world is in a tizzy over the prospects of climate change caused by the increasing concentration of green house gases in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are the main culprit. Back in the 1970's I had to learn the concentration of various gases in our atmosphere for junior chemistry and I still remember that CO2 was 0.03%. Today that figure is closer to 0.04%. That's a pretty big increase in 30 years so you might imagine that a new invention aimed at capturing dioxide from the air would be a good thing. Global Resarch Technologies claim to have invented just such a device . Yet I am not convinced. For one thing where is the energy to manufacture and power these things going to come from - and will generating that energy not entail even further emissions of CO2? For another thing the device claims to produce a pure stream of Carbon Dioxide from the air. What exactly will be done with this CO2? My real objection though comes from a nagging feeling that I am sure I have already heard about a device that does this. Something that extracts CO2 from the atmosphere, that runs on solar power with no harmful emissions and stores the carbon in a compact environmentally friendly way. Oh yes, I remember now - here is a picture of one of these remarkable carbon sequestering devices.

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