Scientists in the United States are developing a “synthetic tree” capable of collecting carbon around 1,000 times faster than the real thing.
As the wind blows though plastic “leaves,” the carbon is trapped in a chamber, compressed and stored as liquid carbon dioxide.
The technology is similar to that used to capture carbon from flue stacks at coal-fired power plants, but the difference is that the “synthetic tree” can catch carbon anytime, anywhere.
“Half of your emissions come from small, distributed sources where collection at the site is either impossible or impractical,” said Professor Klaus Lackner, Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University.
“We aim for applications like gasoline in cars or jet fuel in airplanes. We are going after CO2 that otherwise is nearly impossible to collect,” he told CNN.