‘Synthetic tree’ claims to catch carbon in the air

June 22, 2009 by carbonday  
Filed under News

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  • Story Highlights
  • “Synthetic tree” would capture carbon dioxide in the air to reduce emissions
  • Trapped carbon would be compressed to liquid C02 ready for sequestration
  • Technology is being developed by scientists at Columbia University in the U.S.
  • Broecker: “I think this is something that the world’s going to have to have”

LONDON, England (CNN) — Scientists in the United States are developing a “synthetic tree” capable of collecting carbon around 1,000 times faster than the real thing.

As the wind blows though 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.


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Tree Facts

• Two mature trees provide enough oxygen for a family of four.
• One acre of trees removes 2.6 tons of CO2 per year.
• About one third of the United States of America is covered by forests
• The average tree in an urban area has a life expectancy of only 8 years.
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