For the last two decades, in particular, the very real consequences that human activity have had in terms of carbon emissions creation have been laid bare for the entire world to see. However, the more pressing question of how to combat the effects is taking center stage. Thanks to the radical and very proactive approach of a team of Trent University researchers in Ontario, Canada, it seems relief is on the horizon. It involves the use of polystyrene microspheres —spherical particles used for adsorption or crystallization with magnesite. When magnesite, a naturally occurring rock, crystallizes, it absorbs CO2 at a 2 to 1 ratio: this means that for every half ton of atmospheric CO2, one ton of magnesite is required. They also were able to show that the process was possible to achieve in only 72 hours. Another promising aspect of their work is that the polystyrene microspheres can be reused, which means that the process could be streamlined and put less strain on magnesite resources when fully developed. Natural Magnesite Crystal. Source: Geochemica et Cosmochimica Acta (Nater, Sherman and Barak 1966) The work of the team was presented this week at the annual Goldschmidt geochemistry conference in Boston. […]

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