• Question: Do yo think it will be possible in the near future to create machines that turn carbon dioxide into oxygen faster than trees

    Asked by Daniel to Chris, Joanne, Kathryn, Kieran, Sarah on 14 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Sarah Guerin

      Sarah Guerin answered on 14 Nov 2017:

      Really interesting question Daniel- scientists have been able to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen in the lab- the coolest way I’ve read about is by zapping it with a laser! This is probably close to the speed that individual leaves do it naturally, but there are just so many leaves in the world you would wonder how we could make a machine that could compare to all of those plants working all the time. I like to think those scientists are trying to make artificial trees from their invention, or some kind of space technology for astronauts/living on Mars- that’s what I’d do 🙂 It could also be great for combatting global warming.

    • Photo: Kathryn Schoenrock

      Kathryn Schoenrock answered on 14 Nov 2017:

      I don’t know- I haven’t heard of any research in that area but they have been able to store CO2 in stone in Iceland which is big progress towards reducing green house gas.


    • Photo: Chris Werner

      Chris Werner answered on 15 Nov 2017:

      Great question Daniel. Sarah has mentioned zapping it with a laser, so it is possible but unlikely to go into mass production, the best machine we could use to reduce CO2 is to just plant more trees. Sometimes nature is the best cure! We don’t want to get rid of all the CO2 though, it is damaging to the environment in quantities like we are producing it but at the same time it is an important greenhouse gas, and keeps our planet from being frozen over, but there’s far too much of it in the atmosphere to be considered as ‘useful’ now!