The ACCESS, as you can see in the title, was developed by Global Research Technologies in Tucson, Arizona. They made a sponge-based system that filters out CO2 from the air and releases clean oxygen.
The system has been made in a smaller-scale unit, that can momentarily capture only less than 100kg of CO2 per day, but the future versions hold the key to capturing 3kg per second, the same amount a tree absorbs in a whole year.
Still, millions of these devices would be needed to significantly cut global emissions. The Department of Energy estimates that the United States alone released 7075.6 million tons of CO2 in 2006. The skeptics say that these devices produce themselves carbon dioxide, by being connected to the grid.
The inventors, on the other hand, say that they have already thought of a solar powered CO2 capturing device, so that grid connection and hence fossil fuel burning is no longer needed. I would say these devices should be connected to a working free energy device and absorb for free, independent of the weather, CO2 from the atmosphere.
The fun part comes with this question: what do you do with the absorbed CO2? Well, there’s a liquid capable of capturing the CO2 from the sponge, take it through some PVC pipes to a disposal area, then release the CO2 from the liquid and store it safely as a gas.
The preferred method of reusing the CO2 is to pack carbon away Han Solo-style with mineral carbonation, a process that turns CO2 into a solid by mixing it with other compounds. In addition to storage, the captured CO2 could be used commercially for oil recovery, preserving food and increasing plant growth in greenhouses.
The next step in developing the carbon-hungry machine is to design a model that can be easily mass produced. The technology won’t be ready tomorrow, but it’s not far off. “If it’s five years,” Lackner says, “we run an awfully slow outfit.”