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Taking a sip out of atmospheric carbon

Date: 25-Feb-20
Author: Liam Taylor

The Airthena technology allows carbon dioxide from the air to be used for industrial functions, like in beer!

The Airthena technology allows carbon dioxide from the air to be used for industrial functions, like in beer!

New technology from Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has found a way to pull carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere and put it into beer and other carbonated beverages.

Whilst the technology is unlikely to tackle global carbon emissions any time soon, it could reverse recent shortages in industrial supplies of CO2. In a time where increasing levels of atmospheric CO2 have become one the world’s most pressing issues, the gas is in global demand for purposes ranging from making fizzy beverages to food packaging and controlling the atmosphere in agricultural greenhouse. 

The technology, called Airthena, captures CO2 from the air through advanced filtration using tiny sponges known as metal-organic frameworks. The technology was developed in a partnership between Monash University, Energy Infrastructure and Resources and H2H Energy. 

"As it requires just air and electricity to work, Airthena offers a cost-effective, efficient, and environmentally-friendly option to recycle CO2 for use on-site, on-demand," said CSIRO project lead Dr Aaron Thronton in a statement

"It also provides a more reliable source of CO2 for use in small-scale applications ranging from beverage carbonation to controlling pH in swimming pools, and industrial cleaning."

Carbon dioxide for industrial uses is generally either bought from a supplier or generated by burning natural gas onsite, which can be very expensive in both cases. In contrast, Airthena needs only about two kilowatt-hours of electricity to generate a kilogram of CO2, equal to about 20 cents at minimum solar energy prices.

While Airthena won’t make any immediate impact on cutting global CO2 emissions due to its scale, it will help businesses with a more reliable source of the gas for their everyday operations, while reducing their carbon footprint.


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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.


Liam                                              Taylor
Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.

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