Cars, power generation, factories, and houses all in one way or another are responsible for carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. While some companies claim that they have systems like “carbon capture” and “clean coal” that essentially amount to collecting all the junk and burying it somewhere. But the problem doesn’t just go away.
What if carbon emissions could stop being a problem, start being a solution, and reduce oil consumption at the same time?
AirCarbon entrepreneur Mark Herrema thinks that he may have a solution. By combining methane and carbon dioxide with a proprietary catalyst, his company rearranges the carbon into long chains, producing a plastic that can then be used to make bottles, chairs or anything else that plastic is used for.
AirCarbon diverts carbon from the atmosphere, but instead of burying it in the earth or storing it in canisters, it repurposes it as a usable material. Herrema emphasizes that his company’s product is completely carbon negative: from collection of the greenhouse gasses to transportation to production of the plastics. Currently, AirCarbon’s plastics are used by over thirty companies, including Virgin and KI.
In the meantime, US based Novomer is creating foams using a similar methodology that can be used in construction , clothing, insulation, and other applications.
If this works as advertised, this is more than big. Not only does it potentially take gobs of oil and other hydrocarbons out of products, but it keeps the waste from the ones we do use out of the atmosphere. Heck, your next home could be made out of the power plant in the next town’s belch.