Cleaning up the air around us and helping to have less CO2 is a global challenge and although trees do some of the work, it will take more than can be planted to do an effective job. This is why a new mechanical solution from Carbon Engineering received so much interest. Carbon Engineering's idea is to capture the air around us, extract the CO2 into a special membrane, absorb the gas into a liquid, and convert that into pellets which are then combined with hydrogen to make fuel.
Although not a new idea, Carbon Engineering is the first company to put it in place a working and has managed to capture 10 tons of CO2 since June, 2015. Its goal is to build a commercial plant by 2017 and start selling commercial fuels by 2018 making 200 to 400 liters of diesel or gas a day. The benefit of this system is it can be built on any piece of land that isn't suitable for anything else and it can give something back to the environment by producing CO2 free fuels. To truly understand how this system works, check out this video.
This is all well and good and presumably, if they're placed near a busy road, they will be able to clean the air more efficiently and hopefully reduce the levels of pollution. If small versions were placed on building roofs, the captured energy could be used to generate electricity to power air conditioning and heating systems, thereby helping the system to pay for itself.
Whatever it becomes, this technology, as like many other, has the potential to clean up the air around us whether or not the happens anytime soon depends on many factors but at least its another weapon in the battle against global warming.