Tuesday, February 20, 2007

C02 Consuming Desert Flowers

At four am the other day I lay awake (again) thinking about C02 reduction...as you do. I thought about Branson's latest self-promotional scheme and how it actually has some merit. It would contribute to easing his business man's conscience of course...but imagine if a scientist cracks it in our lifetime.

The winning technology would have to have no ecological footprint of its own. So I thought of a set of giant solar and hydrogen cell powered turbines in the Australian outback. These giant 'desert flowers' would have huge fans inside them engineered to cleverly circulate the atmosphere through spiral filters coated with C02 consuming bacteria.

The spiral filters would have panels that could be replaced or recycled. Each panel would contain a vast array of high surface area material. The only example I could think of was tungsten spirals used in light filaments. Some durable equivalent would work well. I thought too that the bacteria might have a lifespan and could need protecting from the elements so the giant flower could close (with the retractable petals) in times of inclement weather or sand storms.

So, seeing as I've just read Biomimicry I felt the structure should follow a biological example...and the Rafflesia came to mind.

Carbon Sequestration Prize

Richard Branson offers $25M Carbon Sequestration Prize
- From the AP:


LONDON -- British tycoon Sir Richard Branson on Friday announced a $25 million prize for the scientist who comes up with a way of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

The Virgin Group chairman was joined by former Vice President Al Gore and other leading environmentalists, as he announced the challenge to find the world's first viable design to capture and remove carbon dioxide from the air.