The built environment could play a major role in curbing carbon.

Scientists from major universities are pioneering carbon-capture technologies that could one day be incorporated into buildings.

Among these innovative approaches to decarbonize is a pneumatic tube that uses carbon-coated fiber strands that pull CO2 from ambient air. Once in the tube, the carbon is stored to be used for industrial fuels or chemicals. Developed by chemical engineers at Georgia Tech, the technology differs from other carbon-capture tools in that it does not need to be near the source of carbon, writes Blaine Brownell, an architect and materials researcher, in ARCHITECT.

Likewise, Northwestern University is experimenting with humidity as carbon drawdown method. Called the “moisture-swing technique,” this strategy uses carbonate and phosphate ions to capture carbon when humidity is low and release it when it is high.

Both approaches are examples of direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS.)

“As these technologies develop further, DACCS will offer a welcome supplemental function in building envelope and infrastructural applications and, just like forests, will continuously remove carbon from the ambient air,” Brownell writes.

Commercial carbon-capture systems are one of the many clean-energy projects the Propane Education and Research Council is exploring and investing into as the industry charts a path to net zero emissions.

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