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Using Algae to Capture Carbon

UA Astronomy and Planetary Science Professor Daniel Apai and Research Associate Martin Schlecker are working on a novel, scalable solution to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. The project idea was inspired by Apai’s astrobiology research on habitable exoplanets and long-term climate feedbacks that may stabilize the surface temperatures of those worlds. Their team is using a special type of microalgae to capture carbon dioxide. These microalgae use energy from photosynthesis to extract carbon dissolved in the ocean to build shells made of calcium carbonate, a highly stable mineral. As the algae can divide several times a day, they offer a highly scalable, natural solution for large-scale atmospheric carbon dioxide removal. 


The University of Arizona press release can be found HERE.


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