‘’Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.’’
-Leonardo DiCaprio after winning his first Oscar
You often hear speeches like this by activists and environmentalists and then move on. However, when Hollywood’s golden boy talks about the environment it sure did make many hearts skip a beat and this time, for a good cause! Additionally, it pushed the momentum of proactively making a change for a greener, cleaner world.
It also got us interested in this new research where scientists are planning to turn carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere into gasoline. The process is called ‘Carbon Engineering’ and it could possibly save the planet.
The Impact- The Recycling Effect
Carbon dioxide is one of the main culprits behind climate change. It is part of the greenhouse gases that directly cause global warming due to their exothermic reactions.
In simple words, they make the earth hot by just existing.
Therefore, if scientists can eradicate the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere then we will have one less thing to be worried about. Plus, they will be using the harmful gas as a resource to make combustible fuels. The manufacturers of gasoline will always release carbon fumes in the air. This is why the researchers assure us that this contaminated air will be reused as the raw material. They hope to develop a new renewable resource.
Sounds like a win-win situation, right?
How does it work?
The process of Carbon Engineering can be broken down into four simple steps:
- Suck the air in the atmosphere.
- Isolate carbon dioxide from the collected air by mixing it with liquid.
- Filtering the carbon dioxide from the liquid.
- Using the gas as a raw material to make fuels like gasoline.
As simple as sounds, there are lots of variables that need to be considered here. One of the major hindrances is the financial cost required to achieve this task. Can the world afford to spend money on a ‘trial experiment’? Then, there is the struggle to gather enough manpower and raw materials to accomplish the task on a commercial scale. However, most of the science enthusiasts have given the project their approval. They think this is the beacon of hope the world had been looking for.
The experiment sounds great and the results seem to be beneficial to prevent the depleting ozone layer and boiling temperatures around the world. However, what about the plants? Our grade school education taught us that carbon dioxide is required to kick-start the process of photosynthesis. This is the vital reaction that feeds plants and also helps them release oxygen into the atmosphere. This means if the experiment succeeds then man’s greed will suck off all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. As a result, the plants will wilt and die. We all know this can have a domino effect on the food chain. This may eventually lead to our extinction. As most environmentalists say, man has dug a hole so deep that he falls down every time he raises his head!
It is a big no from our team of nerds here!
What about you?