David Keith, director of the university's Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy, said he and his team have demonstrated it's possible to reduce carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming -- using a relatively simple machine that can capture trace amounts of CO2 present in the air at any place on the planet.
"At first thought, capturing CO2 from the air where it's at a concentration of 0.04 percent seems absurd, when we are just starting to do cost-effective capture at power plants where CO2 produced is at a concentration of more than 10 percent," said Keith. "But the thermodynamics suggests air capture might only be a bit harder than capturing CO2 from power plants. We are trying to turn that theory into engineering reality."
Keith and his team's research is featured in an episode of the Discovery Channel's "Project Earth" series. The episode on Keith's research has aired in the United States and is to be broadcast Jan. 9 in Canada.