Direct Air Capture. Disruption in CO2 removal.

The accumulation of CO2 is certainly among the primary threats to the environment.

Greenhouse gas levels are responsible for much of the ongoing climate change.

Despite the actions taken by governments, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the highest since the appearance of man on Earth to date, and the trend shows no signs of stopping.

What is worrying is the state of the two natural filters of CO2: polluted waters and compromised forests.

But new hope comes from the academic environment of Tokyo Metropolitan University, with a highly efficient innovation to capture the carbon present in the air.

This is the Direct Air Capture (DAC) system developed by the team of researchers, led by Professor Seiji Yamazoe. This is currently the fastest system in the world with an efficiency of 99%.

How does the DAC work?

The removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere takes place through filters capable of separating carbon dioxide from the rest of the air.

Once collected, the carbon dioxide can be stored, or pressurized in the form of a fluid to be used again in biofuels.

Direct Air Capture (DAC) when combined with storage can physically remove CO₂ from the atmosphere. In fact, this is pumped deep underground permanently and without risk.

Limits that can be overcome.

They are mainly two. Dealing with huge quantities of CO2, involves large quantities of electricity. For the same reason, the risks are very high, requiring specific safety measures. Therefore, the costs of operations rise.

However, the use of renewable energies will significantly contribute to limiting the consumption aspect of systems which, in any case, boast an undisputed revolutionary significance.

DAC systems are about one thousand times more efficient than trees. Furthermore, they can be positioned anywhere in the world as long as they are near a place to store CO₂. Finally, the technology requires less surface area than any other existing CO2 removal technology.

The tests carried out also demonstrated how the DAC system was able to remove more than 99% of the CO2 present from the air, at infinitely higher speeds (about 201 millimoles per hour) and with great ease of recycling.

There are currently 19 Direct Air Capture systems in the world, but many are betting on a future large-scale installation of DAC systems.

The increasingly strong link between sustainability and new technologies will also be at the center of a course developed by the Swiss Institute for Disruptive Innovation (SIDI) in the e-learning School of Disruption, entitled “Disruptive Technologies for a Sustainable Future” and edited by the researcher Sarah Moraca.

“Our goal is to go beyond the concept of greentech by experimenting with the use of innovative, sustainable and disruptive technologies capable of making a positive impact. Therefore, through our courses, we work so that knowledge, exchange of ideas and discussion on new technologies that can be used to counter a phenomenon that affects everyone can be disseminated in the most capillary way possible”.

Pietro Veragouth, SIDI director

To deepen the topic:

  1. Cap and Trade (Emission Trading Scheme) for dummies
  2. Mechanical trees to fight climate change

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