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Climate Change

Train carriages could be redesigned to remove carbon dioxide from the air

“All you need to do is take advantage of what is already available.”

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(University of Toronto via SWNS)

By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

Train carriages could be redesigned to remove carbon dioxide from the air, according to scientists.

Researchers say they could remove up to 6,000 tonnes of the environmentally unfriendly gas a year.

Their system, which costs $50, is cheaper than existing ones which are stationary.

Stationary air capture facilities need lots of land and getting planning permission can be difficult as people don’t want them built in their back garden.

Study co-author Dr. Geoffrey Ozin from the University of Toronto in Canada explained: “It’s a huge problem because almost everybody wants to fix the climate crisis, but nobody wants to do it in their backyard.

“Rail-based direct air capture cars would not require zoning or building permits and would be transient and generally unseen by the public.”

The eco-friendly train carriages have vents to take in air, which would end the need for energy-intensive fans that stationary air capture systems use.

Once enough carbon dioxide has been captured, the vent’s chamber is closed and the harvested carbon dioxide is collected.

It is then concentrated and stored in liquid until it can be emptied when the train stops to change crews or refuel.

It is then transported to be stored underground in a carbon pool or it is reused and recycled.

The clean carbon dioxide-free air then travels out of the underside of the carriage and returns to the atmosphere.

Normally when a train pumps the brakes, its brakes convert forward momentum into electrical energy.

As the brakes are applied, the energy dissipates as heat and is discharged from the top of the train.

This energy, enough to power 20 homes, is wasted and could instead be used to combat climate change.

The team from the US, Canada and the UK say their invention is a viable way of combatting climate change because the infrastructure is already in place.

Dr. Ozin added: “The infrastructure exists. That's the bottom line.

“All you need to do is take advantage of what is already available.”

Their plan could be even more eco-friendly if it leads more people to use trains instead of cars.

The findings were published in the journal Joule.

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