Monday, July 6, 2009

Synthetic Trees

Trees are great natural absorbers of carbon dioxide and inhibitors of climate change, but leave it to humanity to engineer a better tree. This synthetic tree, pictured above, is currently being tested as a prototype and ensnares carbon about 1,000 times faster than a real tree. To put it in perspective, each synthetic tree could collect about 90,000 tons of carbon per year.

The synthetic trees uses plastic leaves that capture the carbon dioxide in a chamber. The carbon dioxide is then compressed into liquid form. The tree captures the carbon without the need for direct sunlight, which means that, unlike real trees, the synthetic trees can be stored in enclosed locations such as barns. They can also be used anywhere and transported from one site to another regardless of conditions.

Klaus Lackner, a professor at Columbia University who is developing the tree, met with U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu last month to talk about the concept. Lackner says the captured CO2 could be used to create fuel for jet engines and cars, the two most common carbon emitters. In other cases, the CO2 could be used to enhance current production of vegetable produce.

Read more about it HERE

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1 comment:

sam said...

synitheitic trees!

holy shizzzzzzz