Private Sector Finds Solutions to Atmospheric CO2 Levels

Peyton Gouzien | @pgouzien

With concerns over what rising atmospheric CO2 levels are doing to our planet, politicians are scrambling to find solutions. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is one attempt to solve this problem. Though the Green New Deal failed to pass, the private sector has made considerable progress towards sustainability. Multiple companies have developed technology that has been able to remove CO2 from the air, some with added benefits.

Carbon Engineering’s Direct Air Capture Technology

The company Carbon Engineering has created industrially scalable carbon removal technology that uses Direct Air Capture (DAC). The technology was first used at a plant in Canada, where the company has been removing CO2 from the air since 2015. They are working to bring the technology to a commercial basis and build plants worldwide.

Carbon Engineering released a YouTube video to explain the technology and its plans. Above all, the technology is a way to mitigate CO2 levels and a way to help slow climate change. Thus far, the Canadian government, Bill Gates, and many others have financially backed the company to help it expand.

However, Carbon Engineering is not alone in the removal of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Dimensional Energy turns CO2 into Energy

The Cornell University startup Dimensional Energy has developed a way to turn CO2 from fossil fuel plants into syngas or methanol. They use a photoreactor to capture the CO2 and convert it into natural gas. The company is working with the McGovern Family Center for Venture Development to bring the idea to a commercial level.

Company leaders are hoping to create larger reactors and deploy a pilot reactor in 2020. According to David Erickson, a co-founder at the company, the tech is a way to make fossil fuels “guilt-free”. The solution to rising CO2 levels could exist in private sector technology such as the innovations of these companies.

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