Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has announced that he is donating $100 million towards a prize for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.
Carbon capture is the process of trapping waste carbon dioxide either directly from the air, or just before it gets emitted from factories and power plants.
With the latter, the first step is often to install solvent filters on factory chimneys, which catch the carbon emissions before they’re released into the Earth’s atmosphere. Once captured, carbon dioxide can then be shipped or piped somewhere it can’t escape from (often deep underground) to prevent it contributing to global warming.
Most of the captured carbon dioxide remains underground, but some of it can also used to make plastics and fizzy drinks.
Global carbon dioxide emissions have soared over the last 100 years, leading to unprecedented global warming and climate change.
U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged to put more of a focus on cutting emissions than his predecessor and said he wants the U.S. to be carbon neutral by 2050.