Carbon capturing rail car
The new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), passed by the 117th US Congress and signed into law by the 46th US President Joe Biden in August 2022, will help bring innovative climate solutions to life. The law provides, in particular, the transition to clean energy and electric vehicles. Half of the funds raised ($369 billion) will go towards financing climate-friendly and clean energy sources. The ultimate goal of the law is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about a gigaton by 2030, and achieve zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.
One potential innovator in this area is CO₂ Rail Company, Austin, Texas. It is working on a rail car that will capture carbon as it travels, reports Railway Supply magazine, citing The New Stack. The air intake valves are directed towards the slipstream created by the train, while the entire system is fully powered by regenerative braking and does not require additional external energy. The developer claims that certain configurations with multiple intakes can remove more than 15 tons of CO₂ per day for subsequent geological sequestration, and each complete braking maneuver produces enough energy to remove 1.5 tons of CO₂.
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“This changes everything,” said Eric Bachman, chief technology officer for CO₂. It more than triples the tax credit that companies receive for removing carbon from the air — from $50 per ton to $180 per ton, while reducing the qualifying threshold from 100,000 tons to just 1,000. Bachman believes this should in turn make it easier for carbon-capture startups to attract investors.
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