While carbon dioxide (CO2) is a naturally occuring gas (we expel CO2 when we breathe out) and is used by plants during the photosynthesis process, just like all things in life, too much of something is usually bad, and the excess of CO2 has resulted in climate change, and not necessarily for the better.

However it seems that one of the ways to deal with excessive CO2 might not be as expensive as previously thought. One of the ideas suggested to deal with excessive CO2 was to simply suck it out of the air. However scientists dismissed the idea as being too expensive where an earlier estimate published in the Proceedings of the National Academies estimated it to cost $1,000 per ton.

However a new analysis published in Joule is estimating costs that are much lower, where it could be as expensive as $232 per ton, or as cheap as $94 per ton. The cheaper end of the spectrum would see the captured carbon dioxide used to make alternate fuel, while the more expensive version would basically deliver compressed CO2 for permanent underground storage.

According to MIT Energy Initiative senior researcher Howard Herzog, despite these cheaper figures, he suggests that maybe we shouldn’t get too excited just yet. “Until you really can confirm the costs and performance at scale, you’ve always got to take those costs with a grain of salt. I still think a final number could be several times as much.” It is unclear when we might actually see this put into practice, but if it is as cheap as the latest estimates suggest, it could be a viable way of dealing with climate change.

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