Scientists Create Synthetic Tree to Capture Carbon.

Via Lindsey Block
on Jun 23, 2009
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Synthetic Tree

Ever thought that maybe guerrilla gardening and/or planting more trees all around us isn’t the best way to restore our environment? At least not to U.S. scientists who are developing a synthetic tree that collects carbon “around 1000 times faster than the real thing.”

So how is a carbon-catching tree even possible?

As the wind blows through plastic “leaves,” the carbon is trapped in a chamber, compressed and stored as liquid carbon dioxide.

The technology is similar to that used to capture carbon from flue stacks at coal-fired power plants, but the difference is that the “synthetic tree” can catch carbon anytime, anywhere.

The scientists aim their synthetic tree to collect the CO2 from jets, airplanes, cars, etc. “We are going after CO2 that otherwise is nearly impossible to collect” says Professor Klaus Lackner, Ewing-Worzel Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University who is in the process of pitching his idea to the Department of Energy.

Although, are synthetic trees something we want to populate our beautiful city blocks and neighborhoods with? The synthetic trees are “highly efficient for its size when compared, for example, to a modern power-generating wind turbine.”

But can it be done, a synthetic carbon-catching tree? We’ll have to wait and see.

For the full story, go to CNN article.


About Lindsey Block

Lindsey Block spends her weekdays as part of the Elephant Journal crew and her weekends hiking or picnicking at the park with a book. She's been a vegetarian for most of her adult life and delights in cooking up a new recipe (even though she really just wants to make tacos). She currently lives in Southern California.


3 Responses to “Scientists Create Synthetic Tree to Capture Carbon.”

  1. […] coal, why are we wasting so much energy and so many resources? Shouldn’t we be looking to clean energy such as wind and solar power and to other renewable […]

  2. Richard says:

    Why not investigate using the energy created by planetary motion? It is most certainly feasible, though, the physics have not been fully realised.

  3. […] plants, bugs and animals that died to give the trees their food. The growers of the trees. The pickers of the fruit. The shippers, buyers, and packagers of the fruit that it took to get the […]