Rather than focus on the daunting task of upscaling demonstration plants on the lines of Climeworks to the extent necessary to remove the gigatonnes of CO2 scientists deem necessary should we not switch to the 'retro' approach? There is existing infrastructure and technology which might be re-engineered with less demand on resources. Industrial air conditioning units designed to cool large spaces such as data centres are likely to be in increased demand as is the general demand given rising temperatures globally. Miniaturised DAC units utilizing 'electro swing' technology and relying on abundant electricity from renewable sources are under development by 'CO2Rail'

Might it be feasible for engineers to incorporate a DAC capability through 'retro-fitting' into industrial scale HVAC units which process possibly trillions of tonnes of atmospheric air annually.

(Edit 12th April) The 'downtick' received might possibly be considered justified but perhaps a word of explanation might help? My interest in the field of DAC was prompted by the obvious difficulties with the current approach using 'electricity-hungry' fans and expensive chemical de-sorbtion techniques. The low concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere necessitates compensating with fan-driven air. It occurred to me that what was needed was an 'edge' of some type to reduce costs.

I had first thought that this might be achieved my re-locating these plants to urban areas where CO2 concentrations might be higher.It seems however that such an increase in CO2 levels there is not significant. Looking at 'Carbon Trees' being trialled by a nearby city (mosses which absorb Particulates from urban air) gave me the idea that somehow linkage could be made with the general notion of technology to improve air indoors.This, incidentally, would make the DAC more appealing to the general public.

Since the amount of air processed by industrial HVAC units is not in doubt I floated the notion in Quora and received at least one positive response from a HVAC professional 'that the idea made sense'. Unfortunately I have not been able to obtain that contributor's permission to re-print his full reply and I believe, in any case, that 'cross-posting' is generally frowned on in Stack Exchange.

There do not seem to be any research results/references on this topic so as a general idea it is offered to any Stack Exchange users to weigh up its merits and de-merits...

(Edit 20th April)This reference is an update the above discussion on utilizing enhanced levels of C02 to make the DAC process. more economic and reference in science Direct Article quotes much higher indoor CO2 levels than anticipated.. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666790824000260

  • $\begingroup$ anything is possible when the tech doesn't exist yet. Who eats the costs for this tech in your view? $\endgroup$
    – Tiger Guy
    Apr 3 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ And how do you assure that the CO2 won't be captured with power generated from fossil fuel, thereby generating more CO2 than is captured? $\endgroup$
    – TimWescott
    Apr 7 at 19:41


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.