CO2 Catcher Could Slow Climate Change
Device in the works sucks greenhouse gas from the air
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2008 1:30 PM CDT
Smoke stacks at the Buck Steam Station in Spencer, North Carolina, on Wednesday, May 25, 2005.    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – A team of American scientists says it's taken an important first step toward creating a so-called carbon scrubber that can rid greenhouse gases from the air, the Guardian reports. The scientists, led by a Columbia University physicist, have a prototype in the works that can suck a ton of carbon dioxide out of the air per day—and do so economically.

"I wouldn't write across the front page that the problem is solved, but this will help," said the physicist, who hopes to have the $200,000 device operating within two years. The team's breakthrough occurred in finding a practical way to strip the CO2 from the device once it's trapped. That has long been the technological hurdle for scientists.