Several weeks ago, I wroteabout technologies available / hoped for on getting rid of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. There are a lot of reasons why a Space Elevator “evacuator” would not be practical to use to accomplish this; separating the CO2 from the atmosphere without generating more CO2, pumping it up a “Space Elevator Tube”, gravity pulling it back down into the atmosphere, etc. In addition, I wonder if we really want to get rid of this stuff – there might come a day when we really need it and we’ll wish we hadn’t thrown it away.
It appears though, that at least one of these problems may be solved. In this article, the authors announce a technology which will separate CO2 from the atmosphere, and do so with materials that can continually be recycled. They use standard forms of energy to accomplish this (with the accompanying pollution), but this can be solved by powering this unit with Solar cells, making this a really clean way to get CO2 out of the atmosphere. The problem, of course, is what do you do with it then. It’s only stable in a gas form (having already been removed from it’s stable liquid (oil) form or stable solid (coal) form). You’d have to compress the bejesus out of it – into something like degenerate matter. Then you could use a Space Elevator to haul it out of the atmosphere and, as a bonus, send it to someplace that could use it (like the moon or Mars). This would help those bodies develop an atmosphere. Of course without a magnetic field to protect the life on the body, it probably couldn’t develop in a non-protected manner, but I’ll leave the solution of that problem as an exercise for the reader.
And yes, this post only has a tenuous link to a Space Elevator, but like many others, I’m waiting for the official announcement of the upcoming Space Elevator Games too…
Anyway, the article makes for interesting reading and there is also a link to a video on the post which shows the unit in action.