Can we capture carbon from the air and turn it into building materials? Trees do it! What are the other opportunities? I’m super curious about direct air capture! This looks like an interesting webinar.
Could be interesting for sure. Carbon Engineering are already doing this in Squamish, BC:
The Licht group at GWU are researching turning CO2 into carbon nanotubes, fibres and graphene; and have claimed to be able to sequester all the anthropogenic CO2 in 10 years using solar thermal + PV in the Sahara, although the scalability and logistics are not necessarily solved. I’d be interested to talk to a chemical engineer about the feasibility. The reaction proceeds at ~730 degC in a molten lithium carbonate bath with an electrical potential of 3 V applied between galvanised steel electrodes.
If cheaper and carbon negative CNTs and CNFs became available it would open up the use of selective strengthened timber laminates to supplant steel.
We can certainly capture CO2 direct from the air; it is not technically difficult. The core problems are:
- Is it better to capture from air, or directly from high-concentration streams (e.g. cement kilns?)
- Where do we put the CO2?
- Would the money and energy be better used on displacing fossil fuels?