The problem for climate change is the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere. According to MIT, “We emit so much CO2 into the atmosphere that, if carbon capture is going to play any significant part in the fight against climate change, we will have to store most of the captured CO2 underground.” Here’s an infographic displaying how carbon capture in a smokestack works.
“The concentration of CO2 in the air is about 300 times less than in the smokestacks of power plants or industrial plants, making it much less efficient to capture.” However, “CCS projects are storing almost 45 million tons of CO2 every year, which is about the amount of CO2 emissions created by 10 million passenger cars.”
Unfortunately, according to Hedges and Company, there are approximately 1.4 billion cars in the world. Fossil fuel burning automobiles are generating 140 times more CO2 emissions than the energy grid. Thus, in order to combat climate change we will need a more efficient system for sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere directly and/or a drastic reduction in the number of fossil fuel emitting vehicles. In the latter case, we are beginning to see the slow emergence of electric vehicles. In the former case, we will need new technologies.
I have recently become interested in CO2 capture and will be covering my own research in more efficient systems that will work directly upon the atmosphere. I may even decide to pursue a PhD in materials science and engineering at Rowan University so that I can help us preserve our world more personally.