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Why I’m a Techno-Utopian

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Skyonic’s plan to commercialize Skymine, a process that scrubs SOX, NO2, mercury, and other heavy metals from industrial plant exhaust and converts leftover CO2 into sodium bicarbonate, was just a glimmer in the company’s eye as recently as February. But this week Skyonic announced that it is opening a carbon mineralization demonstration facility at San Antonio-based Capitol Aggregates, one of the biggest cement plants in Texas. The plant comes courtesy of a $3 million DOE grant that also requires Skyonic to produce qualifying samples of its baking soda-like CO2 byproducts, which can be turned into animal feed, glass products, and even a growth catalyst for bioalgae.

Carbon capture and storage (the current leading method of reducing industrial CO2 emissions) was never a very good idea. Skyonics’ method, on the other hand, turns CO2 and other waste materials into usable products. It even plans to beat its competitors on efficiency, compete in the market, and turn a profit.

Pollution reduced, value added to the economy, and novel scientific processes refined and better understood. It’s hard to find such win-win-win scenarios in life, and yet science and technology seem to deliver them with stunning regularity.

Posted in Cool Stuff, Science/Tech.

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