Friday, 18 March 2011

Carbon scrubbers - Wow

Have you heard of carbon scrubbers? Amazing technology, plastic coated with a carbon absorbing agent absorbs CO2, it can then be rinsed to remove the carbon and re-used.

The technology basically traps CO2 from the air. A plastic coating agent absorbs carbon dioxide as air moves over the surface. A single scrubber the size of a shipping container could capture a ton of CO2 (the production from an average of 75 US cars).

Once the plastic surface has collected the carbon, it can be rinsed with water vapour which removes the lightly bound CO2 from the plastic leaves. The filters can then be returned to the scrubber to start again. The CO2 can then be serparated from the water and compressed... so what next.

Well, the compressed CO2 can then be pumped underground - either to flush out hard to reach oil reserves (oil companies currently buy CO2 to do this) or could be pumped into brine aquifers half a mile down into the earth's core and stored as a liquid. Another option is to inject the CO2 into volcanic basalt which lies under the oceans - and it could then be stored as a carbonate mineral.

What us humans are capable of doing... it doesn't mean we can carry on producing more and more carbon, but it does show we may have the technologies coming to help.

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