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NZ Herald: Absorbing ideas to combat warming

Posted in In the News on September 14th, 2009.

Anthony Doesburg, of the New Zealand Herald, writes about a report released last month by the British Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), a large, and venerable, organisation. The report proposed three new ways of postponing the effects of climate change: artificial trees, incorporating photobioreactors into building structures, and solar radiation management.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Whereas Dyson’s trees would be specially bred to consume lots of carbon, the British engineers are recommending artificial ones – 100,000 of them at an estimated cost of US$20,000 ($29,000) each – to capture all of Britain’s “non-stationary and dispersed” emissions, at a rate of about 10 tonnes each a day.

“Sorbent (able to collect molecules of another substance) material on the trees’ “leaves” would make them several thousand times more effective at removing carbon dioxide than any natural tree, according to the report. The carbon dioxide would then be stored, most feasibly in depleted oil and gas reservoirs.

“Non-stationary and dispersed emissions make up about half of the global total, the report says. With a fifth of all emissions coming from the transport sector, the logical place to plant artificial trees would be along motorways.”

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