Tesla Inc chief and billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions.
Musk made the announcement, tweeting “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,
In an additional tweet he added that there would be details next week.
In the response to his tweet, many netizens shared that they had a simple thought of planting a tree. However, studies show trees are a great solution but it may not be enough.
In June last year, two studies published in the journal Nature Sustainability found that large-scale tree planting is not a simple solution to climate change. One of the two researchers said that new forests may not offer the desired financial incentives and reduce biodiversity. It will also have little impact on carbon emissions
Why Carbon Capture Technologies required?
Because of humanity’s insistence on burning fossil fuels, the world is becoming warm, so capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check.
Most research is currently focused on carbon capture at fossil fuel-powered power plants, the source of the majority of man-made CO2 emissions. Many of these power plants rely on coal to create energy, and the burning of coal emits CO2 into the atmosphere, says a report in How Stuff Works.
The goal should therefore be to actively eliminate industries and power plants in order to efficiently attempt carbon capture.
The International Energy Agency last year had also said that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Companies working on Carbon Capture Technologies
Climeworks, a Swiss startup, specializes in direct air capture. They use filters to grab carbon dioxide from the air. The emissions are then either stored or sold for other uses, including fertilizer or even to add bubbles found in a soda-type drink
Carbon Engineering is a Canadian company that removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and processes it for use in enhanced oil recovery or even to create new synthetic fuels
LanzaTech, a New Zealand industrial biotechnology company, has developed technology that captures waste gas emissions and uses bacteria to turn them into useable ethanol fuel.
A bioreactor is used to convert into liquids captured and compressed waste emissions from a steel mill or factory or any other emissions-producing enterprises. The core technology of LanzaTech is a bacteria that likes to eat these dirty gas streams. As the bacteria eat the emissions it essentially ferments them and emits ethanol. The ethanol can then be turned into various products
U.S. President on Carbon Capture Technologies
As part of his sweeping agenda to combat climate change, newly-sworn-in U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the production of carbon capture technologies.
On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.