Developed by Dr. Klaus Lackner these synthetic trees could be used as CO2 scrubbers cleaning our air. Using a chemical reaction to pull carbon dioxide from the air, this carbon capture technology could buy the world time to development and implement alternative energy sources.
The idea is that air would flow through the vanes of these structures. Flowing through sodium hydroxide (NaOH) which is inside the synthetic tree, CO2 would chemically react to create sodium carbonate liquid which condenses and collects at the bottom of the synthetic tree. This would be the storage mechanism for excess CO2 in the atmosphere.
Then what? Well the condensed liquid would be pumped into porous rock below the sea bed using oil drilling technology. There, the carbon would be stored for millions of years.
Lackner states that one tree could scrub 90,000 tons of C02 from the air per year. Unlike a real tree, the synthetic tree doesn't release any oxygen is released, but the carbon sink principle is comparable to real trees. This technology is a band-aid on the problem of fossil fuel use, but as Lackner intends it could buy time and reduce existing carbon levels in our atmosphere.
As of now it is a sketch and a prototype but the synthetic tree is a potential remedy for our carbon problems.