What do you Love? What fills you with joy and excitement? What makes you lose track of time? What makes you lose track of yourself? What makes your heart sing? We often find ourselves wondering how we arrived at this place and space in time, wondering who we are and where “we” went. We question where our dreams have gone […]
The level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is becoming untenable – a recent report indicated that it hasn’t been this high in millions of years. Now, researchers in Switzerland are investigating a method of addressing the problem by capturing carbon dioxide from the air.
The team is developing a commercial approach to carbon capture at a facility half an hour outside of Zurich. A fleet of 18 fans the size of washing machines have been placed on top of the roof of a recycling center. As they draw in air, chemically coated filters absorb the carbon dioxide.
The filters become saturated within a matter of hours, at which point they are heated to 100 degrees C using waste energy from the recycling plant. This allows pure carbon dioxide gas to be siphoned off.
This set-up is being called a direct-air capture system, and was developed by the Swiss company Climeworks. It’s capable of capturing up to 900 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. In this case, that captured carbon is then sent to a large greenhouse, where it helps enhance the size of vegetable produce.
This kind of work is crucial for the continued health of our environment – but there are questions to be asked about how such endeavors will pay for themselves.
Cash for Carbon
“This is the first time we are commercially selling CO2; this is the first of its kind,” said Climeworks co-founder Jan Wurzbacher in an interview with BBC News. “It has to be for business. CO2 capture can’t work for free.”
Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is the goal, but continuing this kind of process indefinitely, without a revenue stream, is impossible. That’s why Climeworks is selling the gas that it collects at just short of $600 per tonne.
This figure is currently high because the company has built all of the necessary hardware from scratch. The hope is that, like solar panels and wind turbines, prices will fall once manufacturing efforts are scaled up. Climeworks wants to be able to sell carbon dioxide for around $100 per tonne, and estimates that this might be possible within two or three years.
The direct-air capture system could work hand in hand with other efforts to make use of our waste carbon dioxide. Climeworks previously provided carbon dioxide to Audi when the automaker was developing e-diesel, a liquid fuel made by combining the gas with water. At $100 per tonne of carbon dioxide, Climeworks estimates that e-diesel would cost just 25 cents per liter.
It will take a broad, multi-faceted approach to address the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Taking a direct approach to removing it could play a key role.
Disclosure: Futurism selected these products because we like them, but we may also receive a small affiliate commission on the purchases you make through this page. Want to support Futurism even more? Use this Amazon affiliate link when you do you your holiday shopping and we’ll receive a commission on some of the items you buy.
We’re always testing out and researching great tech products, so we’d like to help our readers find the best gifts out there this holiday season. We got together and compiled a list of our favorite things this year, and hopefully it will help you make the most futuristic shopper in your family. Here is Futurism’s holiday gift guide for 2017.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
Though we typically write about the future, this one feels like a blast from the past. The Fujifilm Instax Mini produces high quality instant pictures and fits in your pocket. It has many different useful modes for different kinds of scenes, and it’s pretty affordable at just over $100. If you’re looking for something someone can use during the holiday and long after, we’d definitely recommend this camera. (Amazon)
Luminette 2 – SAD Bright Light Therapy Glasses
A lot of people have been doing light therapy during the winter to keep their mood up while the Sun is hiding. There was even an episode of Broad City about it. Well, Llana could have used the Luminette 2 light therapy glasses, because they let you get some much-needed light while you’re on the go instead of dashing into a room for light therapy every time your mood goes down. These are for the person who has issues with seasonal depression who doesn’t have a lot of time. (Amazon)
Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones
There are so many different headphone options out there that it’s hard to know which ones to get, so we’ll save you some time. The Bose QuietComfort’s are top of the line, and they’re pretty nice looking too. The noise canceling is excellent, and these headphones have a mic so you can answer the phone without having to rush to take your headphones off. They work with pretty much every phone out there. (Amazon)
The Amazon Echo isn’t new, but it’s gotten a lot more popular this year, and we’re enjoying using it. It has a new speaker and a nice fabric design that comes in different colors. Alexa can tell you the news, play music, set a timer and more. It’s also easy to take with you if you want to have your little personal assistant with you while you’re traveling. We use this product every day, so it’s definitely worth the money, and it’s only $100. (Amazon)
Apple Airpods Wireless Bluetooth Headset
They may look a little odd at first, but Apple’s Airpods are a great bluetooth headset for iPhone users. Unlike a lot of Bluetooth headsets, they’re small, so you don’t have to have these clunky objects hanging off your ears. Audio starts playing the second you put them in, the sound quality is good and you can use Siri to trigger any commands you want. They’re around $200, so they’re not the cheapest option out there, but we’d say they’re worth the money. (Amazon)
Jackery Bar Portable Travel Charger
If you’re camping or traveling or just not going to be near an outlet for a while, it’s very useful to have a portable charger, and this one is super affordable (only $19) and reliable. It holds about three charges, which is more than we can say about other chargers we’ve tried, and it has a bright little flashlight for if you need to look around in the dark. It’s also pretty cool looking. It’s less than four inches long, so it’ll definitely fit in your pocket. (Amazon)
Yuneec Breeze Drone
It seems like everyone has a drone these days, and that’s probably because they’re really fun to use. The Yuneec Breeze drone is small, quick and captures great images. It’s also cheaper than a lot of high quality drones, at just over $300. The video and pictures are 4K, and the controls are pretty intuitive. If you or someone you care about wants to have fun and produce some terrific images, we’d go ahead and get this little guy. (Amazon)
If you’ve never been to Europe, you may never have used a bidet, but they’re good for staying clean. The Tushy is a nice and attractive option, and it only costs $74. The bamboo knob is classy, and the whole thing isn’t very large, so it’s not intrusive. Join the Europeans and stay super clean. (Tushy)
Pico Model C Homebrewer
If you’re looking to get into homebrewing beer but don’t know much about brewing, then the Pico Model C is a great option. It’s easy to use, and it only takes a couple hours to brew the beer. Once it’s brewed, you can start drinking it about two weeks later. You can create all different kinds of beers, and you can even start inventing your own flavors while you’re at it. It’s extremely fun. (Pico Brew)
Muse Brain Sensor For Meditation
Muse is a brain sensor that translates your brain patterns into natural sounds, like running water or wind, so you can meditate better. If the water is rushing, your mind is going too fast. If the water is barely moving, it’s calm. After you’re done meditating, an app on your phone will tell you how you did and what was going on with your brain while you meditated. It’s really cool. (Muse)
Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System
The Oculus Rift is fun and very popular, and it’s only made more fun when you add in the Touch controllers. With Touch, you can use your hands to do things within the virtual reality world. Virtual reality is growing quickly, and this is the best set out there for joining in. You have to have a PC to use it, so you might want to consider buying the bundle if you don’t have one to save money. (Amazon)
Biostrap Total Health
Here’s one for the health nuts. The Biostrap Total Health is a device that you strap on that monitors your heart rate, your steps, your sleep, your workouts and more. If you want one device that can completely track your health and habits, this would be the one to get. It’s $250, so it’s not necessarily cheap, but it’s one of the best health monitors you can find. (Biostrap)
Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am took heed of Steve Jobs’ “think different” but perhaps more so, he has kept it all the way 100 by being fresh and original — the core values of golden-age hip-hop. Today, the group released an augmented reality app, available on iOS and Android, to go with its graphic novel Masters of the Sun: The Zombie Chronicles. The story,… Read More
A number of bed-in-a-box startups have taken different approaches to selling their mattresses and bed ware in the last year. Casper and Tuft and Needle, for instance, launched their own branded physical store locations. However, Purple, a mattress startup out of Utah that recently merged with a New York shell company, took a different approach, instead striking a distribution deal with… Read More