Photo via Greenlaunches
Carbon-capturing artificial trees have been getting some due attention lately, and for good reason: each fake tree can suck down CO2 thousands of times faster than their leafy, organic brethren--giving them intriguing potential as part of the solution to global climate change. Now, scientists have taken the idea a step further--they're proposing that one of the most practical ways to cut greenhouse gases on a large scale is to build a forest of 100,000 artificial trees over the next 10-20 years.In its new report that outlines three practical geoengineering solutions to climate change, the UK based Institution of Mechanical Engineers
has deemed artificial trees a development of utmost importance. So how would they work? They operate a form of carbon sequestration that catches CO2 from the air in a filter and holds it in storage. According to the BBC, "The CO2 would then be removed from the filter and stored. The report calls for the technology to be developed in conjunction with carbon storage infrastructure."
An early artificial tree prototype
What makes the idea so appealing to scientists, however, is its viability. The BBC reports that Dr. Tim Fox, the report's lead author, says
"Artificial trees are already at the prototype stage and are very advanced in their design in terms of their automation and in the components that would be used. They could, within a relatively short duration, be moved forward into mass production and deployment."Which means we might see some mechanical forests sprouting up in the very near future. The prototype tree that Dr. Fox worked with is said to capture "thousands of times" the amount of carbon that an ordinary tree does.
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