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Sucking carbon out of the air, and making money

Carbon dioxide pollution climate change
Akiyoko | Getty Images

Call it reducing pollution for fun and profit.

Two companies have carbon extraction systems to pull greenhouse gases out of the air...and sell it.

The amount of carbon dioxide this technology will pull out of the atmosphere will not do much to impact climate change. But one of company's founders — who also researches climate physics at Harvard — told Nature News his company will attempt to make the technology scalable.

But who would want a bunch of carbon dioxide? Swiss company Climeworks says farmers want to pump it into greenhouses to increase crop yields, and Carbon Engineering, based in Calgary, Canada, has won a contract to explore the idea of using it to power buses.

A few facilities around the world, mostly power plants and oil refineries, already capture carbon from their emissions. But these two companies represent some of the earliest commercial efforts to pull carbon out of the atmosphere, where it exists in lower concentrations, the article said.

There is also a business in manufacturing carbon dioxide, which is so far cheaper than extracted carbon.

But if governments start levying carbon taxes, this may also become a way to reduce the bill.

Read the full article in Nature News.