$100M Pledged For Best Carbon Capture Tech

By Ben Hamill - January 27 2021
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100M Pledged For Best Carbon Capture Tech

Billionaire tech entrepreneur and Tesla boss Elon Musk has promised $US100 million to whoever comes up with the most effective technology for capturing carbon dioxide emissions. Musk on Thursday tweeted that more information would be made available “next week”.

Even though capturing greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide is considered the only real way for countries to reach a point of zero-emission, very little progress has been made with the development of the technology needed to remove harmful gasses out of the air. Instead, the focus has predominantly been on cutting emissions.

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The Two-Phase CO2 Plan

Scientists agree that in order to secure a safe and “breathable” climate for future generations, reducing carbon dioxide already present in out atmosphere will not be enough; it will also be necessary for us to pull from the air the CO2 already deposited.

Systems that have shown promise in the past have all relied on the premise of not only capturing carbon dioxide, but also disposing of it much in the same way as how we treat other everyday pollution hazards – such as sewage. One example is a process known as carbon capture and sequestration, or CSS. This process involves burying the captured carbon dioxide gasses in underground saline aquifers after it has been pulled (or captured) from our atmosphere.

Some even consider the pulling of carbon dioxide from the air, and then using the gas for specific products and services, to be a $1 trillion industry by the year 2030. Up until now, the only real hurdle has been the issue of developing the type of capturing technology that will be considered viable in terms of cost-effectiveness.

Biden And Climate Change

As for Musk’s grand plan, Tesla officials did not immediately respond to requests for additional information and clarification. More information is expected to be released by the SpaceX boss this week.

Musk, who recently surpassed Amazon boss Jeff Bezos on Bloomberg’s world’s richest persons list, making his way into the No. 1 spot, owns several big-name science and technology start-ups – including SpaceX, Tesla, and Neuralink. The latter is a start-up experimenting with machine technology capable of connecting the human brain to an actual computer.

U.S. President Joe Biden has vowed to speed up the development of carbon capture technology as part of his own presidential campaign and plan to combat climate change and related environmental challenges. Biden on Thursday named Jennifer Wilcox, who happens to be an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the new principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy in the U.S.

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