We Can Now Turn Carbon Dioxide into Rock
A new carbon capture technique could help us take carbon dioxide out of the air... for good.
Raising levels of carbon dioxide in the environment will alter the existing world. For instance, climate change can have a negative impact on public health. Diseases such as the Zika virus, Ebola, and Lassa fever are made worse in the face of the altering atmosphere. This is because the vectors (such as bats and rats) that carry diseases will see differences in their habitats as climate change continues. Because of the public health threat and many other challenges of climate change, scientists have started looking for tangible ways to prevent massive atmospheric changes.
Now, a group of scientists have shared in Science magazine that they have figured out how to capture carbon from the atmosphere and turn it into an innocuous solid. The technique could be a big step forward for the research community as it tries to discover sustainable ways to process high levels of carbon dioxide output.
The technique works by combining carbon dioxide and water with basalt, a volcanic substance that covers much of the earth. A chemical reaction results that turns the carbon dioxide into a solid material that can then be stored underground or in another safe location. While the idea is not a new one, scientists first thought that the chemical reaction process would take much longer than it actually did in the recent experiments.
The process of taking carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or from industrial plants is known as “carbon capture.” If the technique of funneling carbon dioxide into basalt does turn out to be easily replicated in other parts of the world, then that could mean that carbon capture is a much cheaper possibility than previously thought. While some have expressed concerns over the safety of the procedure (what if carbon dioxide leaked out of the ground for instance?), early and ongoing monitoring has yet to uncover safety issues.
Header Image: Jeff J Mitchell / Staff
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
Cook's commencement speech at Tulane University urges students to take action.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a commencement speech at Tulane University on May 18th.
- Cook cautioned the graduates to not get caught up in echo chambers and algorithms.
- He acknowledged the failures of his generation.
As Game of Thrones ends, a revealing resolution to its perplexing geography.
- The fantasy world of Game of Thrones was inspired by real places and events.
- But the map of Westeros is a good example of the perplexing relation between fantasy and reality.
- Like Britain, it has a Wall in the North, but the map only really clicks into place if you add Ireland.
Junk food causes weight gain, but it's not just about the calories.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.