Sustainability problem: Energy/Climate change
Each year, we are collectively producing 40 trillion kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Paris climate agreement aims at reducing this emission rate to keep global temperature from increasing more that 2°C. Because we are on track of emitting more CO2 than needed, we need a way of taking back the extra greenhouse gas.
- This article in Quartz highlights the work done by a company called Climeworks to turn a carbon-neutral geothermal power plant in Iceland into the first “negative emissions” plant.
- The technology developed by Climeworks is called direct-air capture, and it consists in machines that suck CO2 directly from air using coat plastics with an amine, a type of chemical that absorbs CO2.
- This captured CO2 is then injected into the ground, where it reacts with basaltic rock and turns it into stone. This ensures that the recovered CO2 won’t escape back to the atmosphere for millions of years.
- Climeworks’ CO2 capturing system works using waste heat from the geothermal plant, making the whole installation effectively carbon negative.
- This is still a pilot scale, capturing only 50 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air each year, about the same emitted by a single US household.
- Firms looking to reduce their carbon footprint
- Energy companies
- International organizations
- Climate change advocates
- Pilot the technology in different settings, proving the viability and cost effectiveness of the solution.
- Start scaling into bigger projects and look for opportunities to have economies of scale and costs reduction.
- Sell the technology to companies and governments that have set an aggressive emission reduction goal.
Comment: Smart Kitchen Garden
“Niwa comes with an connected smartphone app, which is the place where the owner enters the type of plants he is growing in his high-tech indoor garden. Along the way, the app will routinely ask you to check on the plants and answer some questions, so it can monitor the progress on the garden and adjust conditions to maximize growth.”