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The big metal container in Klaus Lackner’s lab doesn’t look like it could save the planet. It mostly closely resembles a dumpster – which it sort of is.

As Lackner looks on, hands in the pockets of his pressed khakis, the machine begins to transform. Three mattress­-shaped metal frames rise from the guts of the receptacle, unfolding like an accordion as they stretch toward the ceiling.

Each frame contains hundreds of white polymer strips filled with resins that bind with carbon dioxide molecules. The strips form a kind of sail, designed to snatch the greenhouse gas out of the air as wind blows through the contraption.

Crucially, that same material releases the carbon dioxide when wet. To make that happen, Lackner’s device retracts its frames into their container, which then fills with water. The gas can next be collected and put to other uses, and the process can begin again.

To read more, click here.

Category: Science