The Fizzy Math of Carbon Capture

That’s actually hilarious. The biggest challenge with capturing carbon from the air is the fact that its an incredibly thin soup. Imagine 0,04% of every breath you take is CO2. Argon, a noble gas that is used for welding and filling light bulbs is almost 1 % of the atmosphere or you breathe 25 times more argon than CO2. The average male human has a lung volume of about 6 liters of air. Or a bit more than 1,5 gallons. The CO2 content in this air volume is much smaller than a small droplet of water. So, you want to filter the volume of a small droplet out of more than 1,5 gallons. The amount of air to process is gargantuan. You will be filtering mountains of dust before you get to the CO2. The energy needed alone is beyond comprehension. This is what those folks call overabundance.

Peter Eisenberger was a department head at famed innovation hub Bell Labs when he heard that Exxon was worried the world was running out of oil. It was the 1980s, and the fossil fuel company was recruiting physicists to help it explore alternative energy sources. Intrigued by the opportunity, Eisenberger joined up.

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