Fake Tree Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Baking Soda To Stop Climate Change

Senior Contributor
10.10.12 14 Comments

Climate change is a controversial topic if you don’t particularly like science or think arguing over goverment regulations is more important than avoiding drowning. While we aren’t going to start forcibly LARPing Waterworld anytime soon, there have been some pretty disturbing trends lately.

So, we need a solution that bottles up some of those greenhouse gases, preferably one that doesn’t have a fungus that can make things worse.

Enter the geoengineers, who have invented a plastic tree that’s a thousand times more efficient at getting carbon dioxide out of the air than the real thing.

And, if that wasn’t weird enough, it does it by turning it into baking soda.

It’s actually pretty basic. You put up a fake tree with “leaves” that are impregnated with sodium carbonate. When it interacts with carbon dioxide, the magic of chemistry kicks in. The sodium carbonate yanks a carbon atom for itself, turning into sodium bicarbonate, while leaving the two oxygen atoms to float free and unencumbered through the atmosphere.

Also, it doesn’t need solar power to work. You can pretty much just leave these things lying around anywhere and they’ll do their job, because chemistry is cool like that. It also means that you can cram many more “leaves” into the “tree”, meaning you can suck up a lot more atmospheric crap.

It does need to be scaled up, but it’s a pretty ingenious solution to the problem. Also, hey, free baking soda!

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