Removing Carbon Dioxide From the Atmosphere
A Google search of the phrase “carbon dioxide removal” returns 314,000 hits. The top hit is a Wikipedia article on that phrase whose first sentence is “Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) methods refers to a number of technologies which reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”
Patent Number 8,088,197, “Removal of carbon dioxide from air” was issued on January 3, 2012 to an inventive team headed by Allen B. Wright (Tucson, AZ). The USPTO considers this invention to be classified as 95/51, and closely related to gas separation processes that use selective diffusion of carbon dioxide or monoxide permeating through a substantially solid barrier. The invention is assigned to Kilimanjaro Energy, Inc. of Waukesha, WI.
Wright’s team views their invention as allowing removal of CO2 from ambient air, making “it possible to use carbon-based fuels and deal with the associated greenhouse gas emissions after the fact. Since [carbon dioxide] is neither poisonous nor harmful in parts per million quantities but creates environmental problems simply by accumulating in the atmosphere, it is desirable to remove [carbon dioxide] from air in order to compensate for emissions elsewhere and at different times.”
Creates environmental problems simply by accumulating in the atmosphere? I refer you to 2.9 million Google hits on ‘photosynthesis’, 24.3 million hits on ‘respiration’, and 2.2 million hits on ‘carbon cycle.’
Wright et al.’s Claim 1 states:
“An apparatus for the capture of CO2 from ambient air, the apparatus comprising a store of ambient air, an anion exchange material in contact with a flow of said ambient air, and a collector that collects CO2 separated from said anion exchange material subsequent to the capture of said CO2 by said anion exchange material.”
Found in the patentECO Air Index, the patent reflects in many ways our times.