Carbon Collect Unveils Mechanicaltree™ In Partnership With Arizona State University

MechanicalTree™ will collect carbon from the atmosphere and help accelerate the fight against climate change

Business Announcement

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

Carbon Collect MechanicalTree™
IMAGE: CARBON COLLECT’S MECHANICALTREE™ IS UP TO A THOUSAND TIMES MORE EFFICIENT AT REMOVING CO2 FROM THE AIR THAN A NATURAL TREE. INCORPORATING RESEARCH AND INNOVATIONS BY ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY ENGINEERING PROFESSOR KLAUS LACKNER, AND FOLLOWING A CONCENTRATED TWO-YEAR DESIGN AND ENGINEERING PROGRAM, THE FIRST COMMERCIAL SCALE MECHANICALTREE™ WAS UNVEILED THIS WEEK BY CARBON COLLECT ON ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S TEMPE CAMPUS. view more CREDIT: PHOTO COURTESY CARBON COLLECT

In a major innovation in the fight against climate change, Carbon Collect Ltd. has developed a MechanicalTree™ which is primed to become a leading technology in the global drive to reduce carbon emissions. Incorporating research and innovations by Arizona State University engineering professor Klaus Lackner, and following a concentrated two-year design and engineering program, the first commercial scale MechanicalTree™ was unveiled this week by Carbon Collect on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus. Carbon Collect is incorporated in Ireland.

Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree™ is up to a thousand times more efficient at removing CO2 from the air than a natural tree. The captured carbon from the Mechanical Tree™ can be sequestered or sold for re-use in a variety of applications including food and beverage, industry, agriculture and energy. Future research in emerging sectors such as synthetic fuels promise to expand the use cases for captured carbon.

Unlike other Direct Air Capture technologies, the MechanicalTree™ can remove CO2 from the atmosphere without the need to use blowers or fans. Instead, the technology uses natural wind to deliver air through the system. This makes it a passive, lower cost and scalable solution that is commercially viable. When deployed at scale, the technology could help curb the growing amount of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere and help to combat the effects of global warming. 

“We are delighted to launch our first commercial scale MechanicalTree™ at Arizona State University, which is a valuable partner in the development of our project. We believe we have developed a real and scalable solution to combat the effects of C02. Our goal now will be to accelerate the global climate effort and to contribute to reversing carbon emissions over the next decade and beyond. I would like to acknowledge the invaluable work on our project by Klaus Lackner and the ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions,” said Reyad Fezzani, Vice Chairman of Carbon Collect.

The MechanicalTree™ installed on the ASU campus represents a radical new geometry for direct air capture systems, a tall column and disks. If widely deployed, the tree could help alleviate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In operation, the MechanicalTree™ rises to a height of 33 feet (10 meters) to collect carbon from ambient air. Once loaded with carbon, the stack of discs will retract into the base unit and give up the carbon drawn from the air.

An engineering program was initiated by Carbon Collect in March 2020 at the start of the Covid-19 lockdown. In two years, the company has moved from concept to the first commercial scale MechanicalTree™. Carbon Collect and ASU are working with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop engineering blueprints for carbon farms in the United States.

“Carbon dioxide is a waste product we produce every time we drive our cars or turn on the lights in our homes,” Lackner said. “Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree™ can recycle it, bringing it out of the atmosphere to either bury it or use it as an industrial gas.”

Carbon Collect is presently operating off its first funding round, with a focus on delivering the initial engineering program and launch of the first MechanicalTree™. The company intends to progress to a second funding round prior to the end of 2022, which will be a key preparatory step for scaling and executing its business plan. 

Carbon Collect plans to scale the technology starting with a series of direct air capture carbon farms which will capture approximately 1,000 tons of CO2 per day, designs for which are being completed.

“Our passive process is the evolution of carbon-capture technology, which has the ability to be both economically and technologically viable at scale in a reasonably short time frame,” said Pól Ó Móráin, CEO of Carbon Collect Ltd.

Carbon Collect’s team comprises a group of leading business and technology executives, as well as experienced engineers and scientists. The company holds exclusive global rights to key innovations of Dr. Klaus Lackner at ASU, and the company licensed ASU’s designs invented by Dr. Lackner. The company then engineered and fabricated the MechanicalTree™ and continues to sponsor ongoing research on carbon removal at ASU. Arizona State University is one of a group of shareholders of Carbon Collect Ltd. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and has a wholly owned subsidiary, Carbon Collect Inc. in Delaware, United States. The Vice Chairman and Executive Director is US-based Reyad Fezzani, and the CEO, Pól Ó Móráin, is based in Europe.

From EurekAlert!


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Doug Proctor
April 24, 2022 6:11 pm

Oh, dear. And what is the price he charges for his CO2? Can’t believe it’s economic. And what subsidies or offsets from, say, Exxon, does he get?

Like Tesla and electric cars, I bet his income depends on offsets payments from CO2-spewing industries. Who hold stock. Or at least their shareholders do. And Directors.

The money goes in a circle while Brian Stelter applauds.

Scissor
Reply to  Doug Proctor
April 24, 2022 6:46 pm

Is that Jeffrey Toobin clapping I hear?

Bryan A
Reply to  Scissor
April 24, 2022 8:47 pm

What they need to do is to create a true mechanical tree that takes in CO2, Uses Ground Water…sunlight…chlorophyll, produces complex carbohydrates and expels oxygen…
They would be a great use for Solar Cells in the shape of leaves on the canopy
OR…
Plant a tree or 20,000,000

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Bryan A
April 27, 2022 6:17 pm

Trees are great for a lot of reasons but they aren’t very good carbon sinks. They fix CO2 only during the day. At night, they respire like other living things, taking in O2 and excreting CO2. And they grow slowly in temperate or colder climates. Then unless turned into furniture or housing, they fall down and eventually rot, returning the fixed carbon as CO2 again.

Martin C
Reply to  Scissor
April 24, 2022 9:35 pm

Seeing crap like this, i should be embarrassed to that I graduated from ASU (B.S. Aero Engrg Tech, which they don’t even have anymore); – ALTHOUGH that was in 1983, and they weren’t as idiotic and ‘woke’ as this . . . what a waste this is.

DrTorch
Reply to  Martin C
April 25, 2022 10:54 am

I graduated from grad school at ASU.

I’m not embarrassed. If there is a market for this, and it works, GREAT. Let private industry work on this if they want to.

Electrostatic precipitator, fisheries/hatcheries, and other inventions have all provided some economic benefit as well as environmental/ecological.

What’s to hate about that?

Martin C
Reply to  DrTorch
April 25, 2022 12:41 pm

No problem if the ‘FREE MARKET’ would want one of these; if they want to put of the funding for this, fine.

I see that ASU is a PARTNER in this; why should they be ? So ASU was providing some funding; that means it was NOT ALL ‘private industry funding. So how much energy (likely generated from various power sources, INCLUDING fossil fuels . . ) was required to make this thing? How much electricity is needed in its operation?

And I see NO NEED to pull CO2 out of the air,

Mike Lowe
Reply to  DrTorch
April 25, 2022 1:01 pm

For me, the aspect to hate is that this device is intended to REMOVE “carbon” from the atmosphere when we should obviously wish for far MORE carbon dioxide. Shouldn’t there be some process to ensure that people like this “engineering professor” study their subject before wasting time on such a negative development?

leowaj
Reply to  Scissor
April 25, 2022 6:44 am

Yes… uh, let’s call it that– “clapping”.

oeman 50
Reply to  Scissor
April 25, 2022 9:22 am

You need two hands to clap.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  oeman 50
April 25, 2022 7:13 pm

ABLEIST!

dk_
Reply to  Scissor
April 27, 2022 3:51 am

Scissor, if it’s Toobin, that ain’t clapping…

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Doug Proctor
April 24, 2022 9:04 pm

The article mentions ‘Carbon Collect’s team comprises a group of leading business and technology executives, as well as experienced engineers and scientists’ and ‘is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and has a wholly owned subsidiary, Carbon Collect Inc. in Delaware, United States’.
It could be an elaborate tax-minimization strategy.

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Chris Hanley
April 25, 2022 1:04 pm

…… or a grant-maximising strategy?

Doug Proctor
Reply to  Mike Lowe
April 25, 2022 2:58 pm

Both. Carbon offset payments to other businesses is such a scam. Of course those payments are covered by product price increases! And tax deductible, I’m sure.

The engineer who supported this technology “if it works” is not thinking in terms of cost/benefit or energy in/out ratios. He’d better stay in academia or government. Proposing a project to industry because it technically “works” but is a cost not a profit enterprise gives you a short career.

H.R.
April 24, 2022 6:14 pm

What does one do with 1,000 tons of the CO2 captured every day?

Seems they’ve got a handle on the capture side. What about the storage and transport part of the operation?

You can’t just put all that CO2 in a barn like bales of hay.

Doonman
Reply to  H.R.
April 24, 2022 6:33 pm

You compress it into liquid and launch it into space so it won’t ever appear on earth as an evil gas again.

Tom
Reply to  Doonman
April 24, 2022 6:39 pm

Oops! For every molecule of carbon, two of oxygen go with it. that’s why it’s C O 2. That would not be good after a while.

Doonman
Reply to  Tom
April 24, 2022 7:06 pm

Oh darn. OK, let’s heat it way up until it becomes plasma and then zap it inside a nickle-iron cell or use a platinum catalyst. Then we can save the split off oxygen.

H.R.
Reply to  Doonman
April 24, 2022 7:39 pm

What… and compress the C into diamonds?

Reply to  H.R.
April 24, 2022 7:11 pm

“What does one do with 1,000 tons of the CO2 captured every day?”

Burn it and turn it into electricity. It’s basically clean coal…

b.nice
Reply to  co2isnotevil
April 25, 2022 12:11 am

umm no, CO2 is “ex-coal” ie.. already combusted.

Reply to  b.nice
April 25, 2022 7:55 am

“Once loaded with carbon, the stack of discs will retract into the base unit and give up the carbon drawn from the air.”

Sounds like it’s capturing it as carbon, but then again, they do seem to conflate C and CO2.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  co2isnotevil
April 27, 2022 6:22 pm

If there was soot in the air, that would be true. But this process is intended to capture CO2 gas, not carbon per se.

rhoda klapp
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 1:35 am

HR, is that you? Anyhow, to answer your question, you put it in beer.

H.R.
Reply to  rhoda klapp
April 25, 2022 3:50 am

‘Tis I, rhoda.

I’ve been enjoying the fun answers, but my question was raised to point out that they never thought about the costs and energy (lots of it!) required to do something with all that CO2.

Sure, there’s an established market for CO2 and existing ways to compress and transport CO2. But the way I read the article, the 1,000 tons would be from one capture ‘farm’ and there might be quite a few of those farms built out. With hundreds or thousands of those installations, here would soon be a massive over-supply of CO2.

The price of CO2 would sink to near nothing with such an over-supply. The costs and energy required to store and handle the-over-supply will be a dead loss. I’m pretty sure solar and wind couldn’t power the downstream processing. And of course, we’d be starving life on our planet.

But they weren’t trying to solve anything but the capture part of the problem, so I can’t fault them for not thinking about the downstream issues. I do fault the people who wanted and funded the CO2 removal process, because I’m sure they have not thought about the process, start to finish.

Robertvd
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 5:18 am

  to solve the capture part of the billions in funding.

It is not a stupid idea if you can make money with it lots of money. Who cares about the planet. 

TonyG
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 8:24 am

“I can’t fault them for not thinking about the downstream issues”

I don’t think they care about them – I think they’re just interested in getting the funding NOW (so they can pay themselves fat salaries), and damn the consequences.

william Johnston
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 8:32 am

“they have not thought out the process, start to end”. This sounds familiar.

Bryan A
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 12:30 pm

In other words…Just Another Subsidy Farm

william Johnston
Reply to  rhoda klapp
April 25, 2022 8:42 am

YES! Five gallons at a time.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  H.R.
April 25, 2022 5:42 am

It’s called catch and release for fun and promotion.

Tom Halla
April 24, 2022 6:19 pm

Doing something counterproductive at an unspecified price? Looks just like the rest of the green agenda.

Scissor
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 24, 2022 6:58 pm

The process seems intensive. I would like to see a material and energy balance.

Bruce Cobb
April 24, 2022 6:20 pm

Carbon Collect and its MechanicalTree are waste products, suitable only for the dustbin of history.

Scissor
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
April 24, 2022 6:57 pm

I like that Klaus Lackner has to wear a sweater with a fleece…in Arizona.

embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=2922881

Deacon
April 24, 2022 6:26 pm

if this is 1000 times more efficient at removing CO2 than trees, will it now lower levels that starve the plants we “attempt to grow” for food? Is this the next step to human starvation?

Bob B.
Reply to  Deacon
April 25, 2022 3:56 am

Yes, let’s hope the real trees don’t retaliate and create MechanicalMammal to suck out all the oxygen. Oh my!

Gunga Din
Reply to  Bob B.
April 25, 2022 6:39 am

If a bunch of Ents show up in Arizona, we’ll know why.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Deacon
April 25, 2022 4:27 am

I would like to see their calculations supporting the efficiency claim. I’ve never seen a tree that required electricity or steel. On their website was unable to find a description of how these machines work. The company claims to be unicorn hunters. This may be true.

DaveinCalgary
Reply to  Deacon
April 25, 2022 7:12 am

I was thinking the same thing. Its like bragging that dumping a container ship full of rice in the middle of the ocean disposes of it more effectively than 10,000 people eating it!

Last edited 25 days ago by DaveinCalgary
Forrest Gardener
April 24, 2022 6:30 pm

Ummm. Just one question for a friend. Why would anybody want a mechanical tree when real ones grow themselves for free, are aesthetically pleasing and produce usable products like food and timber?

Last edited 26 days ago by Forrest Gardener
Scissor
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 24, 2022 6:39 pm

For target practice, you wouldn’t have to feel bad about putting lead into a living thing.

RickWill
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 24, 2022 10:24 pm

AND have a profound effect on moderating the global climate.

Trees retain moisture in their environment and that moisture attracts more moisture from oceans through the process of deep convection.

Eliminate trees and the global land mass can just be called the expanded Sahara desert.

william Johnston
Reply to  RickWill
April 25, 2022 8:35 am

Sahara desert. Which by the way is decreasing due to some mysterious element in the air.

TonyG
Reply to  Forrest Gardener
April 25, 2022 8:32 am

Why would anybody want a mechanical tree

I’ve become convinced that these climate fanatics actually hate nature. They always seem so set on destroying it.

The Dark Lord
April 24, 2022 6:42 pm

Hmm let’s see that 1,000 tons a day offsets about 72000 cars … global daily car sales 200k plus … useless …

b.nice
April 24, 2022 6:47 pm

Probably one of the most stupid, idiotic, and anti-life wastes of money ever envisaged !

Pat from kerbob
April 24, 2022 6:48 pm

Don’t see any costs?

And
“If widely deployed, the tree could help alleviate carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
And it could help alleviate plants of the ability or need to grow.

Steve Browne
April 24, 2022 6:49 pm

I’d rather see 1000 trees than one of those machines. Trees provide many benefits to the ecosystem and habitat for many creatures. I’m not convinced more CO2 is the cause of warming. Higher CO2 concentrations make plants grow faster and require less water. CO2 is the source of all carbon-based life on this planet.

Gordon A. Dressler
April 24, 2022 6:52 pm

Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree™ is up to a thousand times more efficient at removing CO2 from the air than a natural tree. “

. . . and that MechanicalTree™ is bound to cost many thousand times more to build, operate and maintain than a natural tree raised from a seed or seedling.

But then again, who really cares about the cost of things these days?

Alexy Scherbakoff
April 24, 2022 6:54 pm

How’s it going to work with a ‘farm’? Downwind is going to be scarce of CO2.

DonM
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
April 25, 2022 10:57 am

They need to track ambient CO2, downwind.

Then plant trees (concentric, or in a line direction that is typical of prevailing winds) and track growth patterns.

Last edited 25 days ago by DonM
Alan
April 24, 2022 7:01 pm

Great idea. Suck all the CO² out the atmosphere. After the plants die, we can suffocate.

JCM
April 24, 2022 7:10 pm

They have not yet understood that the flood, drought, heat, and fire risk in their communities is more closely related to soil carbon conditions than the atmospheric carbon dioxide conditions. The stable soil organic sponge. There are no words to adequately describe the misguided empty hollowness that is these machines.

RickWill
Reply to  JCM
April 24, 2022 10:34 pm

If you look at the siting requirements for official weather stations, they require a specified separation from trees. Trees will influence the recordings by moderating thetemperature range and moisture levels. Maximums will be lower; minimum will be higher; humidity will be higher but rainfall will be less.

So climate prognosticators have a good understanding of the influence of trees but have set the world on a path to remove all the trees to make way for weather dependent energy collectors and now mechanical CO2 collectors.

The myopic focus on CO2 to the exclusion of the obvious benefits of trees to climatic conditions is leading to unintended negative consequences on a global scale. Real environmental disasters are already occurring to prevent make-believe disasters.

Peta of Newark
April 24, 2022 7:11 pm

I made it as far as 5 minutes into his video.. and started feeling sick to the stomach..

  • Too many flash graphics and twinkly musiks
  • We’re told about possible uses for the captured CO2, all of which are thermodynamic madness (turning it into ‘fuel’)
  • What are the ‘specialised sorbents‘ it uses – esp interesting when and if ‘they are made wet’ they release CO2 – after having absorbed the stuff when dry??
  • He really is a Walking Talking Malthus (He asserts that we have already passed the Paris target)….
  • ….exageration is mendacity – would you buy a used-car off this guy?
  • The real clue, the ‘meaty bit’ happens at around 5 minutes when he starts talking about Government Mandates.
  • IOW. This thing hasn’t a hope in he11 of being viable off its own merits = people are going be forced into buying and using what is a Thermodynamic Trainwreck and Resource Consuming Carbuncle
  • …..at a price he names because he holds all the patents and intellectual property

It is a device for farming subsidies
Lackner is an ugly, money grubbing and lying toad who only cares for himself – NOT the planet, the children the environment or anything else, as he claims.

That he is the product of, and some active part of, any modern university and/or contemporary science really totally gives a lie to the notion that;
Things have never been better

Edit to PS
If you have an Ad-blocker you’ll need to disable it to see his video – thank fugg. He’s already been sussed = Lacking by name – Lacking by nature

Last edited 26 days ago by Peta of Newark
Rick C
Reply to  Peta of Newark
April 24, 2022 10:46 pm

Peta: Yup, as soon as he started talking about having to pay for garbage collection and a $1.2 Trillion per year industry it revealed the nature of the scam. “Invest now and get in on the ground floor!” 1000 times more efficient than a tree? Define efficiency. A tree requires zero electrical energy input. A tree converts CO2, H2O and sunshine into a valuable useful material with no human produced energy input. Wonder what energy input a MechanicalTree requires to produce a ton of concentrated compressed CO2? Let’s compare “carbon sequestered per kwh of input” – trees win.

John K. Sutherland.
April 24, 2022 7:24 pm

And the energy input is…?

Scissor
Reply to  John K. Sutherland.
April 25, 2022 4:40 am

From EIA: In 2021, 99% of Arizona’s total electricity net generation was provided from 6 sources: natural gas (43%); nuclear power (28%); coal (13%); solar energy (9%); hydroelectric power (5%): and wind (1%).

markl
April 24, 2022 7:44 pm

So will this capture only AGW carbon or natural carbon as well? Messing with nature again? What could possibly go wrong?

David Solan
April 24, 2022 8:26 pm

Trees, shmees, the real comparison is to the way we get carbon dioxide gas right
now: which is usually through various chemical processes. These processes don’t
take the carbon dioxide out of the air directly, but what does it matter? The
carbon gets sequestered in any event and the carbon that was not in the air to
begin with would have ended up in the air in the form of carbon dioxide if it
hadn’t been so sequestered by these chemical processes. And some of these
current carbon-dioxide-production processes use up methane which, according to
the Greenhouse Warriors of Virtue, has a greenhouse warming effect of about 50
times that of carbon dioxide, at least over several decades.

Right now industrial processes throughout the world have adequate supplies of
carbon dioxide gas for all their needs. So if these Arizona professors with
their Rube Goldberg “mechanical trees” made more of it, where would it go? If it
went into the processes (making urea, food processing, carbonating drinks, etc.)
that it’s used for now, these “trees” would only replace the other processes
which are doing the same carbon-removal work. Replacing their carbon-removal
efforts which, I imagine, are far more cost-effective than what we are being
offered here, would end up a wash in net carbon removal: with just another
boondoggle resulting in no net change to the carbon dioxide calculus of the
world, but impressing the many dunderheads who run our society and those who
vote for them. The theatrics might be impressive, but that’s it. Eventually,
there would be no place to put that extra carbon dioxide gas but to let it go
right back into the atmosphere. Psssssss.

And if they took that carbon dioxide and sequestered it someplace “forever”, pretty soon it would burst out of that enclosure into the air as well. But this time the sound might be different. Kabooom.

David Solan

Giordano Milton
April 24, 2022 8:40 pm

Millions, billions of trees, self replicating, self regulating, automatic storage free

Last edited 26 days ago by Giordano Milton
RickWill
April 24, 2022 10:20 pm

A biological tree builds itself from water, CO2, sunlight and a few trace elements.

When the “mechanical” CO2 collector can replicate itself from its environment it could aptly be called a tree.

To consider trees as only carbon capture devices is a sad reflection on climate prognosticators and the myopic focus on CO2. Trees have a direct impact on the climate. Anyone who has sought shade under a tree knows how they moderate the climate. They are important globally for dampening the temperature extremes. The simple reality that weather monitoring stations are not sited under trees should give insight that trees moderate the climatic conditions.

What a sorry world we are creating by coming up with “mechanical” CO2 collectors and thinking they are anything like a tree.

Scissor
Reply to  RickWill
April 25, 2022 4:43 am

Yes, call it what it really is, an energy wasting contraption.

ihfan
Reply to  Scissor
April 25, 2022 7:50 am

It’s actually a subsidy harvesting device, 1000 times more efficient at collecting tax dollars than a real tree.

H.R.
Reply to  ihfan
April 25, 2022 1:39 pm

👍👍

RonK
April 24, 2022 10:23 pm

typical welfare mentality, spend a lot of money on something that contributes very little to the world, trees might not be as efficient but they produce wood that can be used to build something or crops that can feed people.

I thought the idiot politician of Europe and Australia were bad for cutting down forest to put up wind mills, but in the long run I think this is worse

rwisrael
April 24, 2022 10:43 pm

How much does one those gadgets cost? How much do a thousand trees cost? What’s the operating cost for this gadget versus a thousand trees? Will it have a useful life greater than a thousand trees? How much O2 does this gadget produce, versus a thousand trees? It sounds like some great minds just produced a square wheel because of its inherent stability.

Scissor
Reply to  rwisrael
April 25, 2022 4:45 am

What possible relevance could cost have? /s

Just hand over your checkbook, better yet, automatic withdraws will be made from your bank account.

TonyG
Reply to  Scissor
April 25, 2022 8:50 am

From your paycheck, Scissor, before it even hits your bank account.

DaveinCalgary
Reply to  rwisrael
April 25, 2022 7:28 am

 How much do a thousand trees cost?”

In Canada, conifers are just under $1 per tree. Much less for poplars which can be grown by suckering and cloning which is far cheaper than conifers which must be grown from seed.

Old Cocky
April 24, 2022 11:26 pm

Leaving aside the arguments as to whether reducing the rate of increase of the atmospheric CO2 concentration is necessary, that’s an interesting approach. It may be quite viable if there are economies of scale which make it cost-effective.

It would be quite interesting to see the costs of that when used in conjunction with a HELE coal power station or CCGT to provide base-load electricity.
It would also be useful to see the figures for offsetting the CO2 produced by internal combustion and combustion ignition engines.

It certainly appears to avoid the intermittency problems and massive storage requirements of photovoltaic or wind generators, and shows the benefits of taking a different perspective.

b.nice
April 25, 2022 12:10 am

I guess if they can produce it cheaply enough, they could bottle it and sell it to greenhouse fruit and flower growers.

ozspeaksup
April 25, 2022 2:04 am

hmm nice large metal object to sully the landscape provide no shade or cooling or promote rainfall and i bet they throw a lot of heat in summer
and the cost for the uglification is????
oh and cost of materials to make em? energy used etc?

FrankH
April 25, 2022 2:19 am

Carbon Collect’s MechanicalTree™ is up to a thousand times more efficient at removing CO2 from the air than a natural tree.

Sounds good. How much does it cost? Does it cost less than 1000 times the cost of a natural tree? If it doesn’t, why would I buy one?

Speed
April 25, 2022 3:33 am

Suspiciously lacking in financial and technical details. There’s no there there.

2hotel9
Reply to  Speed
April 25, 2022 3:58 am

And can this “trapped” CO2 be used? Can they sell it? Food industry and manufacturing use a f*ck ton of CO2, seems they could finance their entire operation that way, instead of stealing my money.

2hotel9
April 25, 2022 3:50 am

If they are so concerned about the climate they would be doing this all for free, not stealing our tax dollars.

April 25, 2022 5:48 am

Lackner seemed to gloss over a few inconvenient observations. First, is that in parts of this country turning on the lights has no impact at all on carbon dioxide emissions since electricity is generated by hydropower. Second, it is not usually pointed out that carbon dioxide is emitted each time one takes a breath. Finally, trees may not be as efficient as the claim for the mechanical tree’s ability to remove carbon dioxide; however, trees not only remove carbon dioxide but also produce oxygen.

Sara
April 25, 2022 5:48 am

Sooooo…. their only competition is the Plant Kingdom, which utilizes CO2 in a logical way to grow, produce usable products, and provide us with shelter and food.

Ri-i-i-i-i-ght.

The reality is that their egos demand that they kill off the plant kingdom, thereby rendering the planet barren of life. They must really despise biology in ways even I don’t understand.

Well, Planet Earth was fun to live on until these witless wonders decided to ruin it for the rest of us.

Last edited 26 days ago by Sara
Randle Dewees
April 25, 2022 6:19 am

I took a look at their website Carbon capture solutions | Negative emissions | MechanicalTree™ (mechanicaltrees.com). Not a lot of detailed info but apparently it is a vacuum chamber the “tree” is lowered into to suck the CO2 (and H2O and N2) out of the sorbent, Then the CO2 is separated using “standard” processes and liquefied. Seems pretty energy intensive to me.

Kip Hansen(@kiphansen2)
Editor
April 25, 2022 6:47 am

And how much CO2 does it remove each day? each week? each month? More than my houseplants?

In 750 words, they don’t say.

Gunga Din
April 25, 2022 6:57 am

Is this what the Greens call “returning to nature”?

TonyG
April 25, 2022 7:35 am

I realize it’s a long way to go before these things have any real impact, but what happens if/when they do? What if they overshoot the target (and what IS the target)?

Talk about a threat to life on earth…

Ed Zuiderwijk
April 25, 2022 8:55 am

The red spot is where you put in the money to make it work.

Andy Pattullo
April 25, 2022 12:42 pm

Great start. How about we replace all living things on Earth with some sort of technical/digital stand in and stop worrying about the joy of life. Can you imagine the breathtaking vista of a beautiful meadow of digitized mechanical grass and a standardized equally spaced grove of those hideous gas suckers in the image above. If we’re going in this direction my humble suggestion is the first beings to be replaced should not be trees but rather that strange hominid that spends its pathetic existence seeking ways to replace nature with technology.

Jørgen F.
April 25, 2022 1:03 pm

..sucking the air dry of food to all real trees – while at the same time windmills axes the life out of birds. Morning has broken….

Last edited 25 days ago by Jørgen F.
Old Cocky
Reply to  Jørgen F.
April 25, 2022 2:10 pm

You guys (not just Jorgen) are a tough audience.

This may be a commercially viable method of Carbon (dioxide) Capture and Storage, or it may not. If it is, it eliminates the rationale for photovoltaic and windmills.

Jeff Alberts
April 25, 2022 7:08 pm

And when all the “natural” trees are dead, we’ll know it’s done its job.

Eric Vieira
April 26, 2022 1:14 am

I can only see ONE positive thing: at least they don’t kill birds or bats …

Peter
April 26, 2022 3:31 am

Should come with a warning. If successful, this device will limit plant growth at best, or create a desert at worst.

This is truly scary stuff. CO2 is essential for life, it’s not a waste product.

Loren C. Wilson
April 26, 2022 3:46 am

Trees remove CO2 far more efficiently because they don’t require electricity to make the process move forward.

Wharfplank
April 26, 2022 11:27 am

Uh, my takeaway from this piece is Carbon and Co2 are the same thing.

Peter Morris
April 26, 2022 6:25 pm

These monsters want to take plant food out of the air, increasing the need for chemical fertilizers and directly hurting the lives of poor people around the world.

This farce has gone on long enough.

dk_
April 27, 2022 4:00 am

What is the carbon cost of construction, deployment, and operations and how long is the service life? Bet that each unit costs more than 1000 trees, that it doesn’t last as long as the growth cycle of a single cultivated pine or spruce, and you won’t get anything for building materials out of it when it is retired. But why go past the Eurekalert source to know that it is a con?

Leslie MacMillan
April 27, 2022 6:12 pm

There is very little you can do with that captured CO2 that doesn’t result in it ultimately escaping back into the atmosphere. Selling it to food and beverage manufactures is silly because it will just gas out of the drink, or out of the drinker. (People can’t store CO2 in their bodies or process it into anything; we just breathe it out.) Supplying it as an “industrial gas” depends on the industrial process. If it is vented to the atmosphere in the process, again just wasted effort. If it is incorporated into something like synthetic limestone (calcium carbonate), OK, but natural limestone dug out of a quarry is surely cheaper. Various pie-in-the sky schemes to turn it back into fuel require (obviously) input of energy, more than was released — entropy is a bitch — in the combustion of the fuel. So you need energy to do work on the air to concentrate the CO2, and then more energy to drive the fuel-synthesis process. This is the kind of thing that harnessed fusion energy was supposed to provide the limitless electricity for. But now I guess we are going to be doing this with windmills.

So in reality, all you will be able to do with this sequestered CO2 and achieve net negative CO2 are:
1) use it to purge elderly oil and gas wells to get out the last bits. Most of the CO2 will stay underground.
2) trap it as synthetic limestone — more energy needed to run this process — which you then dump somewhere dry (so acid rain doesn’t dissolve it and release CO2
3) pump it into purpose-built storage reservoirs
4) manufacture a truly gargantuan number of fire extinguishers, more than anyone will ever rationally need for all imaginable fires, ever.

Only the first use has any rational economic business case, but since we are going to stop pumping oil and gas anyway, there will be no market for well-purging. The last 3 are simply dead-weight losses that someone will have to pay for, on the assumption — “the social cost of carbon” — that sucking this CO2 out of the atmosphere is worth every cent that it costs, no matter how much.

Note that most projections now say that half of the journey to net-zero involves these carbon-capture schemes, given that no serious person believes that we will ever get to gross-zero fossil fuel use. (Indeed the true believers oppose CCS because they fear it will prevent us from making hard choices to embrace energy poverty.) And note that none of them have been shown to work at scale. This is an Emperor’s New Clothes story.
https://www.iea.org/reports/direct-air-capture-2022

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