<img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/34/349ae30c2ab5b81b7d6d6875e5d06a99.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>What if we could weaponize air conditioning units to help pull carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere instead? According to a new paper in Nature Communications, it’s feasible.
Using technology currently in development, AC units in skyscrapers and even your home could get turned into machines that not only capture CO2, but transform the stuff into a fuel for powering vehicles that are difficult to electrify, like cargo ships.
“Air conditioning,” Eva Horn once wrote, “is one of the oldest dreams of mankind. It means creating a world without heat or cold, rain or snow, without suffocating humidity or dusty winds.” However, when considering the challenges facing the current era, air conditioning yields a significant feedback loop: the hotter it is outside, the more air conditioners are put to use; the more air conditioners are put to use, the more their hydrofluorocarbons are emitted; the more their hydrofluorocarbons are
the larger the seasonal hole in the ozone layer becomes, thus warming the climate. “One of the oldest dreams of mankind,” in other words, exacerbates a seemingly inescapable system failure.
However, a new paper from Nature Communications hints at the possibility of an air conditioning system which pulls carbon dioxide from the air, thus reversing the products have typically waged against the environment. According to CityLab, the concept is called ‘cr…