Can ASU’s MechanicalTree remove enough carbon to slow climate change?
Researchers at ASU Center for Negative Carbon Emissions, directed by Fulton Schools Professor Klaus Lackner and Travis Johnson, one of the center’s associate directors, are focused on contributing to endeavors to slow climate change and avoid the environmental problems it could cause. One of the primary efforts involves maximizing the effectiveness of the carbon-capturing technologies the center’s team has been developing. A prototype of one kind of that technology — trademarked as the MechanicalTree — was recently installed on a small lot next to ASU’s Biodesign Institute. Recently commercialized by Carbon Collect Inc., a renewable energy manufacturer, the MechanicalTree is one of six projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to slow the effects of carbon dioxide in the environment. The goal is to build “tree farms” in the coming years to capture 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide a day.