I found out something really cool recently and I want to share it with you.
I was writing my first article for Massive Science on a one-pot reaction from atmospheric CO2 to methanol (I will share the link once it is ready). When I read the paper, I thought ‘really cool, man, nice reaction‘ but I had not focused on the first part of it.
Some people are literally sucking CO2 from the atmosphere with massive fans.
Just a second.
We have a massive CO2 problem. We produce it every time we burn fossil fuels to generate energy, when we drive our cars, when we take our flights, even when we cook our barbecues.
We know it, my parents know it, my little cousins probably know it. We produce too much of it, and it is ruining everything. It is increasing Earth’s temperature, with an avalanche of awful consequences from the melting of the glaciers to more extreme weather events.
So now, while we try to convince policymakers and the general public that we must stop using fossil fuels and find alternative energy sources; while some of us change their lifestyle completely, renouncing meat, cars and flights; we can start reducing that amount that – we know – is already too much.
With huge fans.
I could not believe how cool it is. Many companies are trying it out, while one is already doing it industrially.
And they can turn this CO2 in a list of useful things, from fuel to polymers and chemicals. Not every process is carbon-negative, but many are carbon-neutral.
And the coolest thing I found: they can turn it into stone.
They take CO2 from the atmosphere and pump it into the ground in Iceland, where it takes a couple of years to turn into stone. You can even buy it as a present. Can you imagine?
– How much CO2 would you like to turn into stone for your wife’s birthday?
– Yeaaah, daddy turned CO2 into stone for my birthday.
– A stone is forever.
Jokes aside, you can understand how much of a problem this is if the solution is hiding it underground, like some other toxic waste.
Carbon underground storage is thought to be the solution to get rid of the excess CO2. However, this is not THE solution.
THE solution is stopping burning fossil fuels to get energy for our not-very-considerate lifestyle.
Here, I said it; I feel so much better now.