One of the best ways to fight climate change is to invest in trees and plants. Branches and leaves help trap carbon dioxide, effectively reducing overall pollution in the atmosphere. The only hurdle is that trees take up a lot of land and resources to cultivate, which is why scientists are turning to an alternative source in the fight against carbon emissions.
Scientists in Germany just published a new study about how artificial plant life can also cut down on carbon pollution. The team created an artificial system that absorbs carbon dioxide and turns it into a product that is rich in carbon, like alcohol. The system then releases oxygen into the air and captures any excess carbon byproducts for later use.
The artificial system is actually more effective than what plants and trees do naturally. In fact, some experts believe this new technology is about 1,000 times better than its natural counterpart.
This is significant, because there is not enough room on the planet for trees and plants to absorb the amount of carbon we are currently emitting into the atmosphere. Although artificial trees might be the answer to help curb carbon emissions, there is one catch to the system.
According to The Guardian, the cost of installing artificial trees is beyond the reach of most communities. Starting a small forest of artificial trees costs close to a quarter of a million dollars, and that is just to get the ball rolling. Scientists hope to decrease that price point in the near future, but that will only happen once technology progresses and investors get more interested in funding research.
If scientists can lower the cost of artificial trees, then it might be our best option for capturing carbon emissions. But this technology is competing against other methods of removing carbon from the air, so only time will tell if artificial systems are the answer to the growing problem of climate change.
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