In applying the technology, Keith offers that: "A company could, in principle, contract with an oilsands plant near Fort McMurray to remove CO2 from the air and could build its air capture plant wherever it's cheapest -- China, for example -- and the same amount of CO2 would be removed."
In demonstrating the technology in practice, Keith and his team used a custom-built tower to capture CO2 directly from the air while requiring less than 100 kilowatt-hours of electricity per tonne of carbon dioxide. The tower unit was able to capture the equivalent of approximately 20 tonnes per year of CO2 on a single square metre of scrubbing material -- which amounts to the average level of emissions produced by one person each year in North America.
While still in its early stages, the atmosphere-scrubbing technology has already been touted by environmentalists as an energy-efficient and cost-effective way to complement other approaches designed to help reduce transportation emissions, such as biofuels and electric engines.
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