US startup CO2Rail Company is revolutionizing the carbon removal space by equipping trains with direct air capture (DAC) technology.
According to the company, a standard freight train that is equipped with this tech will be able to capture an average of 3,000 tons of CO2 from the ambient year per year.
The process is relatively straightforward: each DAC train car will effectively collect CO2 from the air, where it will be stored in liquid form.
But what makes this solution even more interesting is that it will rely entirely on renewable energy, making it more sustainable than many existing alternatives, in addition to being cheaper.
For one, CO2Rail has decided to retrofit existing trains with its new technology by mounting giant vents that will suck air in as the train moves.
And for another, each of the processes in the new carbon-sucking cars will be powered either by solar panels or energy that is generated by the train’s regenerative braking system.
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When applied, the regenerative brakes will trigger a reversal in the electric current in the motors, causing it to convert the train’s forward momentum into electrical power.
This is energy that would otherwise be released in the form of heat through the top of the locomotive in regular electric trains with every braking maneuver.
The result of all this is a staggering potential reduction cost of CO2 removal, bringing the total price down to only $50 per ton of the climate-warming gas, which is crucial to removing meaningful amounts of carbon from the atmosphere and helping nations reach net-zero sooner.
In addition, hopes are for the CO2Rail’s technology to make train travel more attractive to passengers, thus leading to more carbon removal.