First ever ‘wind scrubbers’ to be built

The first phase of a working unit that can remove greenhouse gases from ordinary air is to be completed by the end of this year, according to a report in Chemistry & Industry magazine. The work involves building a 10 square metre structure that will capture excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere around it. Scientists have so far only discussed the theory of ‘wind scrubbing’ – this will be the first attempt to build a practical model.From the Society of Chemical Industry:First ever ‘wind scrubbers’ to be built

The first phase of a working unit that can remove greenhouse gases from ordinary air is to be completed by the end of this year, according to a report in Chemistry & Industry magazine. Marina Murphy describes the groundbreaking work being done by brothers Allen and Burton Wright (and Burton’s engineering firm, Kelly Wright & Assoc, Tucson, AZ) to create a wind scrubber – a 10 square metre structure that will capture excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere around it.

Scientists have so far only discussed the theory of ‘wind scrubbing’ – this will be the first attempt to build a practical model. Unlike stack scrubbers, which address highly concentrated carbon dioxide streams, the Wrights will be looking at ways to process large volumes of air at low CO2 concentrations. Allen Wright describes the project as “feasible, and with some development, economically practical,” says Allen Wright. The design will be finished by the end of summer 2004, and the first phase of the prototype will be up and running by the end of the year.

Although some scientists agree that the project is a big step forward, others are less enthusiastic. “It is clear the work is at a very early stage; I am sceptical that this development could make any significant contribution to climate change. However, with emissions trading someone may make some money out of the idea”. – Rob Searles, Environment Group, Society of Chemical Industry. Lizzy Ray, T: +44 (0) 20 7598 1573, F: +44 (0) 20 7598 1579, E: press@soci.org

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