Artificial “leafs” are an idea that researchers have been working on for the last several years, and it appears that at least one group has produced a working prototype. There are now several different methods being tested for large scale use that can pull CO2 out of the atmosphere, which could help stall or even start reversing climate change and could be another method for businesses that have a large carbon footprint to help offset that in order to meet or exceed any environmental regulations.
Given the rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns, and rising global temperatures, competition in this field is picking up as more and more look for ways to remove existing CO2 from the atmosphere.
The new process is chemical-based, uses the sun for energy so it doesn’t require any electrical supply to make it work, and is heading into new stages of experimentation. Like other such systems, it breaks the CO2 down into other gases, in this case, a mixture of Carbon Monoxide and Hydrogen.
This can be used to make what is called a “syngas” that can either be used on its own as a fuel or can be converted to diesel and other fuels to use in vehicles, generators, and so on. It will likely take several years before it can be scaled up to industrial scales, but in the meantime, they will work on refining the design for more efficiency.