As part of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Air Capture Week, which took place last week (October 26) at its headquarters in London, the CO2 absorbing device was showcased in the UK for the first time during a live demonstration.

The technology, which could be rolled-out as early as 2018, works by absorbing CO2 from the air – and has been proven to be thousands of times more powerful than a tree. Once captured, it is anticipated that the CO2 could then be used in industrial processes, or be safely stored underground. It is hoped that the device could be used as a key tool to help combat climate change.

According to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers head of environment, Dr Tim Fox, large amounts of funding isn’t necessary to bring the device to market, rather he says a “strategic direction” of where the technology could fit in with the Government’s strategy for dealing with climate change is need.

During the event, industry representatives, government and academics met to discuss the market potential for the technology, which the Institution says that unlike other climate change mitigating technologies, such as carbon capture and storage can be rolled out relatively cheaply and at a small-scale.

Dr Fox said: “Apart from being a vital technology for dealing with difficult to manage emissions like those from aviation and shipping, this technology could also be a vital tool for setting a definitive price for CO2.

“Air capture technology can handle any type of CO2 emission from all sources, so would set an upper limit for a CO2 price. This could help provide more investor certainty for companies wanting to invest in big projects like building new power stations, wind farms or factories.”

Carys Matthews

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