We’ve polluted so much that there are now companies that think there is profit to be made by sucking CO2 from the air. How they make money is by reselling the CO2 to make carbonation for soft drinks, or strangely, to make diesel fuel.
What a world!
German company Sunfire produced its first batches of so-called e-diesel in April. Federal Minister of Education and Research, Johanna Wanka, put a few litres in her car, to celebrate.
And the Canadian company Carbon Engineering has just built a pilot plant to suck one to two tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air daily, turning it into 500 litres of diesel.
The process requires electricity, but if the start-ups use renewable electricity they can produce diesel that is carbon neutral.
In other words, burning it in your car only returns to the atmosphere the CO2 removed in the first place.
Algae is amazing and as we find more ways to use the powerful, small, creatures we’ll improve our carbon footprints. Already algae is used to clean sewage, clean landfills, and so much more.
This week at the Milan Expo EcoLogics Studio revealed their algae canopy for urban centres. The canopy provides shade while cleaning the air in a very efficient way!
Created by EcoLogics Studio and demonstrated in Milan, Italy, this “world’s first bio-digital canopy integrates micro-algal cultures and real time digital cultivation protocols on a unique architectural system,” with flows of water and energy regulated by weather patterns and visitor usage. Sun increases photosynthesis, for example, causing the structure to generate organic shade in realtime. In addition to CO2 reduction, the canopy as a whole can produce over 300 pounds of biomass daily, all through a relatively passive system that requires far less space and upkeep than conventional civic greenery.
Ever wanted to have really fresh air in your place? This TED Talk by Kamal Meattle provides some insight into which plants you should have in your home and what element the clean in the air.
I’m going to try this out in my home.
This is groovy, a paint is being used on the walls of Manila that cleans the air.
In the Philippine capital Manila, which is one of the most polluted cities in the world, a paint which it is claimed can purify the air is being used.
A local company has come up with the paint and in partnership with the government it is trying to use it to clean up one of the city’s most smog-choked roads.
Watch the video at the BBC.
Our good friend algae is at it again and is cleaning smokestacks!
A mixture of hot gas rises out of a flue stack at the St. Marys Cement plant about 50 kilometres west of Waterloo. But not all the CO2-rich exhaust is vented to the open air.
Some is redirected through a 15-centimetre thick pipe connected to the side of the stack. The pipe carries the gas into a high-tech facility where a species of algae from the neighbouring Thames River uses photosynthesis to absorb the carbon dioxide and release oxygen in return.
“It’s a small model of what a big full-scale facility could be,” says Martin Vroegh, environment manager with St. Marys Cement Inc., headquartered in Toronto. The algae project, which went live last fall, is believed to be the first in the world to demonstrate the capture of CO2 from a cement plant.
The idea, Vroegh explained, is to turn CO2 into a commodity rather than treat it as a liability. The CO2-consuming algae will be continually harvested, dried using waste heat from the plant, and then burned as a fuel inside the plant’s cement kilns. Alternatively, the green goop can be processed into biofuels for the company’s truck fleet.
Keep reading at The Star.