3 Bits periodically provides three bite-sized items of interest about climate news.
1. Here, Kitty-Kitty or Bad News, Good News
While at first glance a new process that forces gases through zeolite (a clay found in kitty litter) to produce carbon dioxide sounds like a step in the wrong direction, researchers at MIT point out that this process can be used to actually reduce the amount of emitted methane, a gas that is far more pernicious than carbon dioxide and, therefore, a net benefit to the planet. Still in development, this process may evolve into filtration systems for mining and dairy operations where methane emissions are prevalent. (Source: Smithsonian)
2. Blowin’ in the Wind
Electrical energy is generally considered to be clean energy and yet the EPA estimated that about 25% of GHG emissions in 2020 resulted from electric energy production. Wind has long been an alternative and now there is political traction to ramp up off-shore wind farms in California and Maine. While there are concerns about how off-shore wind farms will impact fisheries and related environmental issues on both coasts, wind farms will be an essential puzzle piece – there is particular urgency in California as it moves to achieve a carbon-free energy grid by 2045. (Sources: MercuryNews and EnergyCentral)
Another example of how awareness about climate change is sparking innovation. An outfit called Air Company is getting some attention for its carbon-free vodka and other products. Their production process entails splitting water into its hydrogen and oxygen elements and then, using their patented technology, adding captured CO2 and converting the elements into “impurity-free” alcohols. Using their Carbon Conversion Reactor, the company also makes perfume, hand sanitizer, sugar, and jet fuel. The company claims that, while the average bottle of vodka creates 13 pounds of carbon, their product removes 1 pound of carbon from the atmosphere. (Sources: Ecowatch and AirCompany)