ExxonMobil Investing in New Carbon Capture Technology

Sustainability |  < 1 min. read

What if this plant…

…worked like this plant…

As in, what if a big industrial plant “breathed in” carbon dioxide, just like a big tree?

Which would be a good thing, taking CO2 out of the atmosphere — since carbon dioxide emissions can contribute to global warming.

That’s not a thing yet, but it could be.  And the idea part is actually really simple: giant fans pull in air, from a factory’s equipment or directly from the atmosphere — the CO2 is filtered out — and the filtered air is put back into the atmosphere.

Exxon is the most recent company in the fuel and petrochemical industries to get in on the idea (joining Chevron and others).  Exxon is putting its money and scientific know-how into a partnership with fan and filter maker, Global Thermostat.

The idea is called “carbon capture”.  Global Thermostat’s way of making the capture, is using those giants fans to pull air over giant “sponges”, made of material that naturally absorbs carbon dioxide.  And if that idea isn’t cool enough, they call the sponges “monoliths”, which gives them a nice science-fiction sound.

Could it be a silver bullet for global warming?  Not by itself, no — but it could certainly be a needed green bullet.  Stay tuned.