These images of what appear to be giant fly-swats and humble freight containers show what the artificial forests of the future might look like which could help prevent catastrophic climate change.
Dr Tim Fox, Head of Energy and Environment at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said:
“It is clear that work needs to be done to cut the amount of greenhouse gas emissions people produce. But we also need to look at creative and ingenious ways of preventing climate change by taking out the emissions we have already put in the atmosphere, particularly CO2 – essentially cleaning up air.”
“The technology to make these CO2 absorbing giant fly-swats and freight containers already exists – albeit at an early stage. But governments and businesses need to prioritise funding in these technologies to make them happen quickly and on a big enough scale to make a difference.
“As international climate change negotiations flounders these technologies buy the world time to get to grips with cutting emissions, as well as providing us with a solution to historic emissions produced in the last century and difficult to manage emissions like those from aviation and shipping.”
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is calling on UK Government to:
• support more detailed work to establish the cost of air capture technology and demonstrate its feasibility;
• develop policy frameworks that enable the adoption of negative emissions and carbon recycling approaches to mitigation; and
• provide international leadership on negative emissions and carbon recycling.
Artificial trees work much like real trees to absorb CO2 from the atmosphere but work up to a thousand times more efficiently.
By using these artificial trees to remove the CO2 from the air and then storing it underground, it creates negative emissions which help reduce the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
CO2 captured by the devices could also be used for carbon recycling, where industries that need CO2 as a chemical feedstock for the production of things like substitute fuels, source their CO2 from the air using air capture machines and thereby establishing a ‘closed’ loop for the carbon.
The publication of these images comes ahead of the Institution’s “Air Capture Week” starting on 24 October during which Professor Klaus Lackner from Columbia University will give a live public demonstration of his air capture technology in front of a London audience.