Harvard Professor of Energy Daniel G. Nocera announced a genetically engineered bacteria which, when combined with his artificial leaf — a solar-powered device which continuously splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen — consumes the hydrogen, inhales CO2, resulting in the creation of alcohol fuel.
A one-liter reactor full of Nocera’s bacteria can capture 500 liters of atmospheric CO2 per day, he said. For every kilowatt hour of energy they produce, they’ll remove 237 liters of CO2 from the air.
But much of that will return to the air when the alcohol is burned.
“This isn’t solving your CO2 problem,” he said. ”I’m taking CO2 out of the air, you burn it and you put the CO2 back. So it’s carbon neutral. I’m not going to reverse 400 ppm of CO2. But you’re not going to use any more stuff out of the ground.”
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