Climate change, as induced by carbon gas emissions, has been a hot topic of debate in the scientific community for decades. Experiments aim to alleviate the problem through novel techniques, but the biggest and most ambitious plans are often met with skepticism, especially those that are influenced by geoengineering.
Geoengineering refers to the manipulation of the natural mechanisms of Earth to halt global warming.
Three companies are, however, looking at carbon capture technology to mitigate the worsening effects of climate change through geoengineering. The plan is basically to collect the carbon gas emissions and store them.
The startups Global Thermostat, Carbon Engineering and Climeworks were all established in the 2000s, when the issue of climate change became prominent. Since these companies were formed, they have been working to raise funds, enhance their systems and present carbon capture as commercially viable.
However, these companies all had another similarity: the lack of a business model. Putting their technologies into action would require billions of dollars and massive global efforts. Another setback they face may also be the lack of possible uses for the carbon dioxide they collect.
Large-scale carbon dioxide removal has increasingly attracted scientists as a way to combat climate change, says Noah Deich, founder of the new non-profit organization, Center for Carbon Removal. He is particularly looking forward to the development of air capture as it has great potential.
Although air capture has kindled a spark of interest among some scientific experts, not all are impressed with the idea.
In an article published by the National Academies of Sciences, some experts described air capture as an "immature technology" since the methods involved are "not at the scale required for [the] significant sequestration" of carbon globally.
The experts instead encourage governments to support research that improves carbon dioxide removal methods that leave "a significant global climate impact."
Based on recent evidence, the development of clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, cannot keep up with the 2-degree Celsius limit that governments around the world have set to prevent global warming.
As governments are yet to provide funding for the use of carbon capture technology in the battle against climate change, the only possible option for now would be to wait for commercial companies that offer carbon dioxide collection services.
Photo: Carbon Visuals | Flickr