About 1.6 billion AC units hum on the planet today. By 2050, that number will likely swell to over 5 billion.
Roland Dittmeyer, an engineer at Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, sees a lot of potential here. AC units, especially in big residential or commercial buildings, suck in masses of air, sometimes all day long. In a paper published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, Dittmeyer and a team of researchers propose that AC units be employed for a dual purpose: gulping the potent heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide out of the air while also cooling homes and offices.
It’s a relevant innovation to consider. Modern civilization has a giant CO2 problem. Carbon dioxide levels are the highest they’ve been in millions of years.