A Mineral That Harvests CO2 Can Rapidly Be Produced

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Earth is not getting cooler, and the carbon dioxide humans leaked into the atmosphere over the hundreds of years make things worse. How can we fix this? Scientists don’t think this is possible, because it means we have to somehow capture the CO2 from the atmosphere so that it has a CO2 level of under 400 parts per million. Without any intervention, it will continue to climb if we continue to burn up fossil fuel.

But can we fix this with a kind of reverse emissions technology? It should work, and along with planting more trees, we could keep the temperatures under catastrophic levels.

The latest discovery also brings hope. According to Advocator, there is a naturally occurring mineral that will crystalize and capture CO2 in the process. However, in nature, the mineral called magnesite need hundreds of years to develop.

Trent University Research Team Creates Magnesite in 72 Days

This is where scientists at Trent University in Canada step in, claiming that they found a way to speed up the production of magnesite. Professor Ian Power explained their findings at the recent Goldschmidt Conference in Boston:

“[Magnesite formation] is a process which takes hundreds to thousands of years in nature at Earth’s surface. [What] we have done is to demonstrate a pathway which speeds this process up dramatically.”

By dramatically, they mean that it was lowered from hundreds or thousands of years to just 72 days!

What’s more important is that the process can happen at room temperature, making it not only faster but also energy efficient.

Researchers used polystyrene microspheres to speed up the process, and these microspheres weren’t altered in the process of crystallization so that the team could use it multiple times.

Their next step is to scale up the process and find a way to trap CO2 and use it. It’s an experimental project, but a breakthrough in this field.

Rex Austin

Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere