Let’s face it: there’s way too much carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. The substance can affect our health in many ways, not to mention that it also has negative impacts for the environment. Climate change is one of the consequences of the high concentration of CO2 present in the Earth’s atmosphere.
If humanity somehow removes all the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, a new problem emerges: where would we put so much CO2? Thankfully, a new idea presented by scientists from the University of Michigan could be exactly the answer humanity has been waiting for.
Putting CO2 into concretes could be the key
The new study in question claims that adding the CO2 in concrete, meaning the popular material that holds up so many buildings, would solve the problem. The conclusion comes after the researchers analyzed over 20 separate CO2 utilization technologies. The researchers also found that only four of the technologies had an over 50% chance of being beneficial for the environment. The most promising two were in the widespread material known as concrete.
Researchers believe that concrete is good for storing CO2 for reasons that have to do with the actual molecule of CO2. Greg Keoleian, who’s the author of the new paper, explained more.
Some promising concrete technologies use little energy to include CO2, which can be easily inserted into the mix. CO2 can be transformed into calcium carbonate, a substance able to even strengthen the concrete mix.
Dwarak Ravikumar, who’s a research fellow at the Center for Sustainable Systems, and who contributed to the new study paper, confirmed as quoted by FastCompany.com that adding CO2 into concrete is a good idea:
It’s a double win.
But in case you’re wondering just how much CO2 is present in our planet’s atmosphere, Adams Gas has an answer: there are about 500 parts per million, meaning that 0.05% of the atmosphere is CO2.