Vodka, toothpaste, yoga mats … the new technology making items out of thin air

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An exhibition at London’s Science Museum shows how far carbon capture research has come

Tackling climate change may bring unexpected benefits, London’s Science Museum will reveal next month. A special exhibition on carbon capture, the fledgling technology of extracting greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and emissions from factories, will display bottles of vodka, tubes of toothpaste, pens and yoga mats made from carbon drawn out of thin air.

In addition, the exhibition – Our Future Planet – will showcase prototypes of the gas-harvesting machines that can provide this carbon. They include the Lackner artificial tree which mirrors the actions of living plants by breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen. This Heath Robinson-like device – made up of dangling panels of carbon-absorbing material – was built by Klaus Lackner at Arizona State University and will be the first to be displayed in Britain.

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