Few people remain unconvinced of the dire need to reduce our carbon emissions. Most governments and world bodies acknowledge that global warming is a consequence of elevated atmospheric CO2 levels and is wreaking irreversible or near-irreversible damage to our climate.
The UN and thousands of the world’s scientists say what is needed now it to remove the CO2 that is already there, and in massive amounts.
The lack of consensus on how exactly to tackle the problem means that – while those in power hold meetings, discuss commitments, and debate an unending list of disputes, the precipice edges ever closer. Spurred by this inaction and lack of progress, one company has decided to act now and let the world catch up later.
That company is Global Thermostat.
Who are Global Thermostat?
Global Thermostat (GT) is a company on the brink of transforming carbon dioxide from a global liability into an immense profit center. It has already developed and proven functioning multi-patented technology to capture CO2 directly from the atmosphere and produce pure CO2 gas in a concentrated form at low cost.
What does this mean for the world?
Firstly, it has given us a way remove carbon dioxide cheaply and easily from the air, essentially combating the root cause of global warming directly. Secondly, the fact that the CO2 can be sold for profit gives individuals, enterprise, and governments the most effective motivation to participate in fighting climate change – economic progress.
The viability of GT’s business approach is due to the fact that carbon dioxide is used in a wide range of industries; a global commercial CO2 market already is worth about a trillion dollars. Some of the largest consumers of industrial CO2 are plants that manufacture carbonated beverages, wine, food, plastics, fire-extinguishing products, biofertilizers, synthetic fuels, and polymers and carbon fiber. The gas is also used in water desalination and for refrigeration and enhanced oil recovery.
These industries represent enormous commercialization potential for a company that can produce and deliver CO2 quickly, reliably and inexpensively. Global Thermostat can do all three.
Global Thermostat was founded by Graciela Chichilnisky, an A list star mathematician and economist that is Global Thermostat CEO and Peter Eisenberger, a world leading physicist and material scientist. Graciela and Peter coinvented the technology that Global Thermostat commercializes.
There is no doubt about credentials – Chichilnisky is former lead US author of the UN IPCC and the creator of the carbon market of the Kyoto Protocol which became international law in 2005. Her concept of Basic Needs has been adopted by 150 nations as the cornerstone of the definition of sustainable development, which was selected by the G20 as the world’s main indicator of economic development.
Graciela has been awarded the UNESCO Chair at Columbia University, the Keynes Chair at the University of Essex, and the Salimbemi Chair at the University of Siena, Italy. She is a professor at Columbia University and a Visiting Professor at Stanford University and contributes frequently to academic publications of the world’s leading universities.
Graciela has also created and trademarked the concept of Carbon Negative Technology which won her the Hero of the Environment award from Time Magazine.
It is this unique combination of in-depth physics, chemistry, and economics knowledge that gives Global Thermostat a solid basis in science, and the vision to transform it into a business plan with enormous transformational power.
Graciela’s long and intimate involvement with the carbon economy led her to conclude that taking carbon dioxide from the ambient air was a potential game changer. After an exhaustive search for the best way to extract CO2 from the atmosphere, they discovered that the ideal supporting device had already been invented – the catalytic converter used in automobiles, known as a ‘monolith contactor’.
Each GT monolith contactor is coated with GT’s own proprietary sorbent and 640 of them are arranged in an array to create a single Global Thermostat plant at SRI. Fans force air through the array and, as it passes through the porous monolith contactors, the sorbent absorbs all the carbon dioxide but none of the other gases.
Clean air emerges from the other side of the array and returns to the atmosphere.
However, this extraction phase constitutes just the first half of GT’s process; the CO2 then has to be released from the sorbent. This is achieved with the application of heat at 185°F (85°C), less than it takes to boil water.
The beauty of GT’s system is it uses very little electricity running on low temperature heat (85C) and can use the residual waste heat from many industrial processes. In fact, waste heat is generated by every single industry, even the ones which consume CO2 This is a remarkable opportunity. to cut costs and close the carbon loop at the source of contamination. The entire technology is new; it and each of its parts are covered by GT’s own 50 patents.
The trillion-dollar commercial CO2 market is currently dominated by large chemicals companies like Linde Gas Air Liquide and Praxair.
These companies address the industrial CO2 needs of manufacturers but employ the traditional approach where the gas is created in large plants by burning fossil fuels which themselves require huge amounts of energy and also create massive volumes of waste products and heat including CO2.
The CO2 then has to be packaged and transported by truck over what can be vast distances to their customers’ locations. This usually makes transportation the single largest component of their costs. Ironically, transportation is itself a major contributor to carbon emissions.
Compare that to Global Thermostat, whose strength of approach lies in its incredible versatility and low cost. Because the concentration of carbon dioxide all over the world is virtually constant, they do not need to dig deep into the ground nor travel to distant, dangerous regions to obtain it; the CO2 far above in the atmosphere is exactly the same as CO2 concentration in Moscow, Sydney or New York.
This means that a fully-functional Global Thermostat CO2 plant can be built on-site and can pop up anywhere that is most convenient and suits the customer. Real estate costs are not an issue – a GT plant has a small footprint and can even be situated in the cheapest areas where no one wants to live or work.
“We can reduce production costs by using waste heat from industrial processes that is just lost into the environment. With its capability to be set up at any location and to remove CO2 from industrial gases or directly from ambient air, we can situate them right next to the biggest sources of waste heat and benefit from an endless supply of heat to fuel our CO2 extraction process,” explains Graciela.
Another option is to locate Global Thermostat’s CO2 extractors right at a client’s location. The waste heat from their own production processes can be cycled into the array to fuel extraction, closing the carbon cycle. Not only does this eliminate transportation costs, it significantly reduces waste and is easier to manage in terms of both oversight and logistics. This multi-faceted range of benefits is responsible for the incredible buzz building around the Global Thermostat brand. The combination of massive cost savings in CO2 production and a market hungry for it mean that a vibrant, lucrative carbon economy is just around the corner.
As Graciela says, “I see the whole world’s economy based on carbon now; not petroleum, but CO2.”
Resistance to Change
Graciela says that one of the most common questions posed to her is that if such a thing were possible – to literally make money from the air – why has it not already been done? As an answer, she relates the story of the Wright brothers who, in 1903, made the first aerial flight in a heavier than- aircraft. There was widespread doubt that such a thing was possible before their flight, but the amazing thing was that the disbelief persisted after it occurred!
“People have the tendency to consider anything transformational unrealistic. The Wright brothers said, “Let’s just fly!” And they did.”
In the same way, Graciela and GT take the pessimistic naysayers in their stride. Instead of engaging in debate with them and trying to repeatedly prove the science behind it on paper, they have already started building commercial CO2 extractors and begun the process of cleaning the planet’s atmosphere.
A Mammoth Task
Humanity has delayed reducing carbon emissions for so long that we have crossed the point where that tactic alone can effectively fight climate change. The only feasible option for the survival of the planet is for us to find a way to remove the approximately 40 billion tons of CO2 that humans yearly have already put in the earth’s atmosphere.
“It is the only way can we prevent catastrophic climate change now,”
admits Graciela, but she is optimistic, “Carbon negative power plants like those produced by Global Thermostat grow the economy, create jobs and exports, and simultaneously clean the atmosphere of the planet.”
Global Thermostat projects a need for between 30,000 and 40,000 extractor units to achieve significant change. If full-scale production were to start today, not just by GT but also other companies, it would still take between 20 and 30 years to achieve that goal.
The delay so far can be attributed in large part to the lack of economic viability. However, just like direct investment and initiatives by governments helped boost the solar power industry in the 20th century, a CO2 revolution may be just around the corner. The US government in February of 2018 passed a law that provides tax credits for the removal of CO2 at $35 per ton, called the FUTURE Act a bipartisan federal law.
Securing Our Future
Global Thermostat is taking a very active public role in changing the industry and, in turn, changing the world. They offer a worldwide licensing scheme to make their technology very accessible, particularly in developing nations, at competitive costs.
Their focus is on nations with the lowest incomes who have the greatest need for the technology and also the best markets to offer.
The company is steadfast in its commitment to reduce harmful emissions and foster economic development while cleaning the planet’s atmosphere. It is scaling up steadily to combat climate change while offering economic advantages to underprivileged groups as it works towards a carbon negative world works towards a carbon negative world.
Source :-The Companies with Most Disruptive Innovation
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