Climatologists warn tired of the threat of the greenhouse effect due to the increase in the amount of CO2, H2O, CH4 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere.
But the merchants of the Swiss company Climeworks from this joy. In September or October 2016, they intend to launch the world's first commercial plant for the production of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The chemists hope that in the production scale CO2 production cost will not exceed $ 600 per ton.
Recently, scientists have noticed that because of the greenhouse effect on Earth has more vegetation.
This is understandable, because the carbon dioxide stimulates photosynthesis. For the same reason, it can be used as fertilizer. Experiments have shown that the use of CO2 stimulates plant growth, including increases the yield of lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes. Thus, Climeworks plant can sell the fertilizer to nearby farms.
Swiss chemists use to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, such as direct air capture technology (direct air capture, DAC), which is used on the International Space Station and on submarines.
The air passes through a filter impregnated with amines - organic compounds derived from ammonia. They bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and then the CO2 is removed from the filter by simple heating of free heat source.
Currently, CO2 is produced at industrial facilities and power stations: a CO2 concentration of smoke hundreds of times higher than in the atmosphere, and the production cost goes below. However, the new method has the main advantage. The atmosphere is everywhere, so that the plant can be placed almost anywhere, where it is convenient. For example, in Switzerland it intend to deliver the next municipal enterprise for the incineration of municipal waste, to receive free heat required in process technology. Nearby are the buyers and the product - farms that need fertilizer. Thus, businesses do not pay for any heat or for transportation.
According to experts of the American Physical Society, on an industrial scale carbon dioxide may be produced at a price of $ 600 per ton. The Swiss are hoping to achieve a cost and even reduce it.
Climeworks will receive a grant of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (Swiss Federal Office of Energy) to carry out works on the optimization of the design of the plant and reduce production costs. The pilot project is designed for three year.
In addition to fertilizers for agriculture, CO2 is suitable for the production of liquid fuels.
The Swiss plant will produce an atmosphere of 2-3 CO2 tons per day. For comparison, the humanity annually emits 40 billion tons of greenhouse gases. It turns out that one such plant eliminates the negative impact on the nature of 133-200 people.