Cross-posted from ecomagination.
What if, in addition to curbing greenhouse gas emissions, we could capture them from the air? That’s the question that prompted Marc Gunther, an author and contributing editor at Fortune magazine, to write the e-book Suck It Up, a Kindle Single. Below is an excerpt from the book on the history of the start-up Kilimanjaro Energy, a private company that is seeking to solve the carbon extraction equation.
Working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory during the 1990s, Klaus Lackner had numerous interests: the behavior of high explosives, nuclear fusion, and self-replicating machine systems. At some point, he turned his attention to the technology used to capture CO2 from the smokestacks of coal plants — technology in which the U.S. government has invested billions of dollars, with little to show for it. He began to wonder whether it might make more sense to scrub CO2 from the atmosphere. So when his daughter Claire asked for help with a science project, he asked her: “Why don’t you pull CO2 out of the air?”
Chemical engineers have known for decades that sodium hydroxide, a caustic base also known as lye, will bind with CO2... Read more