Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory are studying a simple, cost effective method for extracting carbon dioxide directly from the air—which could allow sustained use of fossil fuels while avoiding potential global climate change. The method would allow researchers to harvest carbon dioxide from the air, reducing buildup of the so-called "greenhouse gas" in the atmosphere and allowing it to be converted into fuel. A Los Alamos-led research team recently presented the topic at the 223rd annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Orlando, FL.
"Fossil fuel supplies are plentiful, and what will limit the usage of fossil fuels is the potential climatic and ecosystem changes you may see as a result of rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere," said Los Alamos researcher Manvendra Dubey. "If you can capture atmospheric carbon dioxide, then you limit the environmental impact of fossil fuels and you can continue to use them. We have come up with a way to capture and sequester the carbon dioxide that we are putting in the atmosphere. Our approach is particularly well suited to capturing CO2 from numerous small sources such as automobiles that are largely being ignored."