As countries attempt to make major cuts in greenhouse gas production, scientists and other environmentalists are thinking about halting climate change with technology that removes gases from the atmosphere. The approach is called geoengineering and most of these experiments focus on removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere to help oceans stop becoming dangerously acidic. Ocean waters become acidic because of the absorption of too much atmospheric CO2. Although studies have shown that carbon removal would not have a hugely significant impact on global warming it may prove valuable if combined with additional approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
One of these approaches is removing CO2 to create Solar Fuel or “Liquid Sunshine.” Currently, chemical plants are already doing this but make fuel from natural gas rather than the air. Solar fuel technologies are looking to create sustainable fuel from renewables that are cheaper than current sources such as natural gas.
Although we have yet to see what the most effective carbon removal technique will be it’s refreshing to hear about how scientists are looking to impact industries such as aviation and long distance trucking where historically there have been no good alternatives to liquid fuels.
As writer Robert F. Service mentions in his article titled ‘There’s too much carbon dioxide in the air. Why not turn it back into fuel?, Solar Fuel technologies are envisioning “the prospect of one day bypassing fossil fuels and generating our transportation fuels from sunlight, air, and water—and in the process ridding the atmosphere of some of the CO2that our fossil fuel addiction has dumped into it.”
To read more about Solar Fuel Technologies and the research coming out of George Washington University click here